German Economic News Interviews Seymour Hersh on Obama’s Syria Policy

by Eric Zuesse, summary translation from the German:

On January 14th, German Economic News interviewed the investigative reporter Seymour Hersh regarding Obama’s war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:

German Economic News:  You recently issued a highly acclaimed essay in the London Review of Books in which you demonstrate that the US military was against the US invasion of Syria, but Obama didn’t listen to their advice. Why?
Hersh: I don’t know, I have no explanation. The fact is that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had gone to Obama and told him: If Assad falls, chaos will break out. General Dempsey said that we must support Assad against the Islamists. Even the Federal Intelligence Service (BND [Germany’s intelligence agency]) supplied information to the Americans indicating that Assad is firmly supported by the Syrian people. I can’t read the thoughts of the President, but it was clear at the outset that there was no so-called “moderate opposition” [such as Obama constantly referred to]. There were radical Islamists against Assad, but the vast majority of the Syrians were terrified of those fighters as being dangerous crazies. Syrians were fleeing from the Islamists, toward Damascus as refuge, because they felt protected by the Syrian Army. …
The Americans failed on one thing above all: not recognizing that Syria, like Iraq and Libya, was a secular ally of the West. Instead, we overran these countries, overthrew their governments, and helped the rise of our worst enemies — ISIS or Daesh and all the other extreme Sunnis.
German Economic News:  Why didn’t Obama recognize what he was doing?
Seymour Hersh:  I don’t know. …
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


If you enjoy OffG's content, please help us make our monthly fund-raising goal and keep the site alive.

For other ways to donate, including direct-transfer bank details click HERE.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jan 18, 2016 10:22 PM

What is that is said about finding power? “Follow the money”……??
We have to ask “What is in Obama’s current and – more importantly, perhaps – future benefit?”
Sorry to be so venal-sounding – but isn’t that the truth?

Jan 16, 2016 4:35 AM

I believe that Obama did not want to go full blast against Syria not because this administration finally started to use their heads and reason. The real reason is that Russia and China had opposed an invasion and Russia had started building up military equipment in the port of Tartus. What these Zionist boys have been doing is to attack countries who can’t defend themselves as in the case of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Uganda, Yemen Palestine. But when they saw Russia building up in Syria, they decided no to mess with the bear who could give them a black eye.

Anthony Hall
Anthony Hall
Jan 15, 2016 3:39 PM

bushes senior and junior destroyed Iraq, Obama plus puppets killed gaddafis lybia now he wants to kill assad. all this is being done to remove all Israels enemies. only iran is left. but "they are on the table".
like a pedofile who is abused by his father; Israel
s obama is repeating the deeds of Nazi Germany.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jan 15, 2016 3:12 PM

Obama surely recognized what he was doing. The question is, What motivated him to do it?

Jan 15, 2016 8:56 PM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

A Fellow named Meyer Lansky

Jan 15, 2016 9:29 PM
Reply to  Adam

Not sure what you mean. Lansky died in 1983.

Bryan Hemming
Bryan Hemming
Jan 16, 2016 7:30 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

Motivated is probably the wrong word here. As events in Ukraine have shown very clearly, US Foreign Policy is not run by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but by unelected, neo-cons like Robert Kagan and his ‘let the eat cookies’ wife Victoria Nuland. They tend to cherry-pick advice, tending towards any they believe will further their aim of establishing global chaos, which, in their warped vision, they see as a vacuum of opportunity for US hegemony to fill.
Preferring to take tips from right-wing crackpots, they use information from people like retired general, and convicted criminal, David Petraeus to support their bid for world domination.
While Director of the CIA Petraeus was caught releasing secret files to a woman he was screwing, who just happened to be writing his biography at the time. It happens to the best of us. Unsurprisingly, for a man with so many friends in high places, Petraeus managed to avoid prison, being let off with little more than a slap on the wrist.
How the neo-cons manage to exert such pressure on Obama is as mystifying as it is terrifying, especially as following their advice has produced failure after failure.
But signs seem to be emerging – from no less a source than Seymour Hersh – that the military hierarchy is getting fed-up with losing war after war, as it doesn’t look good on their CVs. Unfortunately, an outbreak of civil war in the US is not a particularly encouraging sign for the rest of the world, let alone Americans. The mire the neo-cons have sank the US in seems to have no bottom.

John Smith
John Smith
Jan 16, 2016 10:34 AM
Reply to  Bryan Hemming

I suppose this fundamentally still is a lefty stamping ground, and that’s fine, but surely you can’t be telling yourself the fairytale poor innocent hope-and-change obama was co-opted by the nasty neocons?
A. Progressive democratic presidents have been in charge of almost all major US conflicts since 1900 with the notable exception of the War of Terror. Woodrow Wilson in particular was instrumental in laying the seeds of WWII with his 14 points for peace and wholesale slashing and burning of the Austria-Hungarian empire (like Obama, he had all the fashionable views about liberal democracy being that which people magically gravitated to once old structures were swept away).
B. The neocons simulated the progressive foreign policy in its global outlook, except they tended to focus more on God, glory, and an exceptional America bestowing democracy on lesser countries.
C. Read your history. Before Iraq 2, the democrats were firmly lined up behind interventionism to confront the new spectre of terrorism. Short of pulling the actual trigger, the democrats put everything in place Bush would need to move quickly to invasion. Hillary Clinton voted for Iraq take 2. The democrats are just as sold out to corporate interests as the Republicans. I mean seriously, the mainstream left make token gestures toward a redistributive demarche, but we know sex, race, and identity are the substrate of their worldview since the cold war. The revolutionaries of today are only interested in opposing ‘capitalism’ (at least their estimation of it) insofar as it interferes with realizing the existential truth of the individual. These days we ‘define’ ourselves through consumer choices, in much the same we choose Who We Are Going to Be at a slightly more rarefied level, so the great project of interiority manifests materially in consumer capitalism.
D. One of the first foreign visits Obama made (after Canada) was spending a considerable period in Turkey conferring with the local despotic NATO vassel, Erdogan. I wonder what they talked about? Had the neocons got to him already? After the swearing in ceremony, did Francis Fukuyama fly in on a magic carpet and convert that great man of the people?
E. Not only does your proposal require us to believe Obama was suddenly coopted, all the left leaning and/or democratic party mouthpieces like The Daily Beast, Slate, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian also turned neocon at the same time…no, they didn’t. Their discourse is R2P, liberal democratizing, and especially the whig version of history, which I briefly alluded to above, that sets up a sort of liberal democracy historicism. A neocon believes the savages require forcible enfranchisement aka ‘shock and awe’. Obama’s administration frames the issue in terms of organic, spontaneous outbreaks of democratic sentiment (even though these are elicited by the agitprop of a complex web of think tanks, NGOs, and local US agents (eg [Muslim Brotherhood]).

Jan 15, 2016 1:44 PM

Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet.