Leading American military and intelligence experts, professors, and writers continue to condemn Barack Obama's war policies in Russia and in the Middle East, which are putting the world on the edge of thermonuclear war. But none of these call for Obama's ouster, and that is the critical role that only the LaRouche movement is taking.
On Oct. 28th, in a blistering speech at the National Council on U.S. Arab Relations, Ambassador Chas Freeman, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, called the Obama policy against ISIS a "FlusterCluck," quoting a popular military insignia that reads, "Operation Enduring ClusterF**k." Freeman attacks the hype against Iran—including the decision not to include Iran in the Geneva talks on Syria, or in the anti-ISIS operation, saying, "There is no evidence that sanctions have had any effect at all on Iran's policies. Maybe that's because it doesn't have the nuclear weapons program our politicians say it has. Our intelligence agencies tell us there's no evidence it does. No matter.... [emphasis added]. It is the U.S.'s "regime removal" that "empowers Islamists" of the Da'ish (the Arabic acronym for the IS). He told the audience, "Think Iraq, Libya, and Syria."
"Western-led military intervention is not just an inadequate response" to Da'ish, Freeman said, "It is a preposterously counterproductive response."
The other major issue is Obama's war on Russia and coup d'etat in Ukraine. The November-December 2014 issue of the Council on Foreign Relations' magazine, Foreign Affairs, has two articles condemning Obama's provocations. First, Professor John Mearsheimer lambasts former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael "Color Revolution" McFaul and CFR's Steven Sestanovich, for lying about Mearsheimer's own position on Ukraine, and reasserts that the expansion of NATO and the years-long US regime-change drive in Ukraine are irrefutably to blame for the crisis. In another Foreign Affairs piece, Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson writes "How the West Broke Its Promise to Moscow" by expanding NATO.
On Oct. 25, Robert Parry, publisher of Consortium News, ripped apart the anti-Putin propaganda since the Valdai speech, by exposing the neo-Nazi role in overthrowing Viktor Yanukovych, and reprising how "Neo-Nazi leaders were given several ministries in the new [post-Yanukovych] government, and neo-Nazi militants were incorporated into the National Guard and volunteer militias dispatched to crush the ethnic Russian resistance in the east."
On Oct. 30, Antiwar.com editor, Justin Raimondo wrote that
"The editorialists and the neocon pundits [Wash Post, National Interest & several others] are up in arms over the Valdai speech precisely because Putin is absolutely right [emphasis in original] about what he calls the "legal nihilism" of the US and its satellites."
Hagel Memo on Syria Exposes Rift in Administration as LaRouche Warns of World War
Just as Lyndon LaRouche warned that the Obama administration is bringing the world to the brink of thermonuclear world war, as reflected in its anti-Russia Ukraine policy and its failed ISIS policy in Syria and Iraq, a public rift in the administration has emerged against the Obama policy and his national security staff.
On October 29, the New York Times ran an article titled "Obama Could Replace Aides Bruised by a Cascade of Crises," in which it was revealed for the first time that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had written a two-page memo to Obama's National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, highly critical of the administration's Syria policy.
The article reports that there is much speculation that Obama is being pressured to purge his team. The immediate point of conflict is between Susan Rice and White House chief of staff Dennis McDonough, on the one side, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, on the other. As the New York Times article reports: "Mr. Kerry and Mr. Hagel ... are struggling to penetrate the tightly knit circle around the president...." White House officials, according to the New York Times, joke that Kerry is like the astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the movie "Gravity," somersaulting through space, untethered from the White House.
Although the full content of the two-page memo has not been released, it is known that Hagel expressed "concern about overall Syria strategy" and argued that "we need to have a sharper view of what to do about the Assad regime."
Asked about the memo at a press conference on Oct. 30, Hagel refused to discuss the details of the memo but essentially argued that the entire plan was "in danger of unraveling" because of the lack of an endgame strategy:
"Now, the fighting can go on for years and years to what end? How does that bring a resolution to the objective of what the people, the governments of that part of the world need?"
Although some media attempt to argue that Hagel is arguing for a more aggressive campaign against Assad, there is no evidence that that is the case, and, in fact, sources report that the Pentagon does not want to be engaged against the Assad military. From a strategic standpoint, the only reasonable alternative to the Obama policy is to work with Assad, Iran, and with Russia to defeat ISIS. Nothing else will work.
Along these lines, an October 30 article in the Los Angeles Times, "U.S. strategy against Islamic State hits major hurdles," quotes an unnamed senior U.S. military officer who points out that "If we really focus on Assad, the Iranian piece of this coalition will fracture, and we will have Shia militants trying to target us." The article also points out that "U.S. forces are now in at least tacit alignment with traditional enemies such as Iran and Hezbollah against a common threat."
As for John Kerry, on Thursday, he said there is no military solution to the Syria crisis and that the U.S. is reaching out to Russia and Iran, among others, to seek a new political negotiation.
The moves against the Obama inner circle, including Rice, McDonough, and CIA director John Brennan, come in the context of the release of Leon Panetta's book "Worthy Fights," which was highly critical of Obama, and in the context of the fight over the release of the Senate Torture Report.
Sources say that what has occurred so far is only the beginning and that more will come out. Although the immediate targets are Rice, McDonough, and Brennan, there is a growing realization that Obama must be put into receivership if not impeached.
Obama ISIS Envoy General John Allen Is In Over His Head
According to numerous news reports, including an article by Mark Perry titled "Is Gen. John Allen in Over His Head?" the appointment of Gen. Allen to be Obama's special envoy to the coalition against ISIS is viewed by the head of the U.S. central Command, Gen. Looyd Austin, and by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, as an attempt on the part of Obama to bypass the military chain of command. According to Perry, Gen. Austin told him several days afte the appointment. "Why the hell do we need a special envoy — isn't that what John Kerry's for?"
Former U.S. Central Command chief Anthony Zinni told a reporter: "John Allen is a great guy, but does it take a retired general to coordinate a coalition? What is Centcom, chopped liver? Who is really leading here—that is my question."
Accordingv to a currently serving officer who knows Allen well:
"Allen is a rah-rah guy, and that's fine, but he's a little gullible." Allen "looks great in uniform," but he is now filling the role usually reserved for diplomats. "I don't know how that's going to work, since he's never been one." A senior civilian official who saw Allen up close during the Anbar Awakening said, "He's a parade-ground general."
U.S. Strategy Failing in Iraq, Too
The US strategy in Iraq depends on reconciliation between a new "inclusive" government in Baghdad and the Sunni tribes in Anbar province. Events of the past couple of days, however, have put that strategy in considerable doubt as ISIS is now turning on the same Sunni tribes that it had previously supported against the government, and the government is unable to protect them, even if it is inclined to do so. Reports emerged, earlier this week, of ISIS publicly executing 46 members of the Albu Nimr tribe in the city of Hit, in order to put down resistance to ISIS rule from within the tribe. Possibly as many as 400 more were killed afterwards.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon, yesterday, that the US advise-and-assist mission needs to be expanded, because the Iraqi army "would be unlikely to be able to respond to a request for assistance." He added, "We could, with our air power, if we had the proper ISR at the point when it was requested." The problem with the Iraqi security forces in Anbar seems to be that they are barely able to hold on to their bases, and are completely unable to go to the aid of Sunni tribes under assault from ISIS. The Washington Post reported:
"On Monday, U.S. cargo planes dropped more than 7,000 meals to Iraqi forces around Ayn al-Asad military base (about 50 km northwest of Hit), which were then delivered to Albu Nimr tribesmen who had fled Hit. But the Iraqi soldiers appear unable to venture out from the base to come to the rescue of tribesmen in areas controlled by the Islamic State." If the Iraqi army is barely able to defend itself in Anbar province, and can't go to the aid of Sunni tribesmen threatened with massacres by ISIS, this does not bode well for Sunni tribes joining with the government in Baghdad to take up arms against ISIS, a key part of the Iraq side of the US anti-ISIS strategy.
Pesh Merga Still on the Edge of Kobani
According to the latest news reports, the pesh merga contingent that arrived in the Turkish town of Suruc a couple of days ago, still hasn't entered Kobani. According to Reuters, an advance guard of 10 pesh merga officers did cross the broder into Kobani yesterday, to discuss tactics with the leaders of the Kurdish YPG defenders. The reasons for the delay of the pesh merga force, said to be carrying heavy machineguns and anti-armor weapons, in the entry into Kobani, remain unclear.
The Reuters report also updated the number of FSA fighters that have entered Kobani, to 200 from the 52 reported yesterday. An FSA commander told Reuters that the FSA, pesh merga, and Syrian Kurdish defenders would all be working from the same operations room, and that the FSA had no problem with letting the YPG lead the operation. Whatever the exact number of FSA fighters in Kobani, the fact that they're there is making FSA commanders in Aleppo very unhappy. Rebel commander Nizar al-Khatib told a group of journalists at a press conference in Istanbul, yesterday, according to Hurriyet:
"I am criticizing this decision because we need these forces in the other fronts in Aleppo. The situation is very critical in Aleppo right now, regime forces have been surrounding the city for some time."
According to the Iraqi Kurdish Rudaw news agency, the YPG initially refused entry of the FSA fighters into Kobani on Wednesday. The Turkish military intervened, citing a previous agreement with the YPG leadership to allow the FSA passage, and threatened they would be sent in with the Peshmerga troops, Rudaw reported, citing the Turkish Milliyet news agency. At this point, the FSA fighters were allowed to cross, but the pesh merga were held near the border overnight. The YPG was initially hesitant because of their belief that the FSA has some association with ISIS.