Syria Bombing Exposes Cracks in American Facade

by Kit

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Yesterday, the USA committed what is – essentially – an act of war against the legitimate government of Syria. The official position is that, due to a breakdown in communication (or possibly bad intelligence), the US Air Force – with Australian support – bombed SAA men and vehicles resulting in the deaths of at least 60 Syrian soldiers.
The Russian’s are, understandably, incensed. Accusing the Americans of “assisting ISIS” and describing it as an “intentional provocation”, all of which ties into a speech Putin gave yesterday, in which he questioned American commitment to the deal.
But why did this attack happen? Assuming it wasn’t just straight incompetence, which is always a possibility when dealing with an American military far more concerned with being expensive than efficient, what was the motivation? Why has the Obama administration worked for weeks to get this deal together, only for the USAF to bomb Syrian soldiers days into the ceasefire? Why has Kerry spent hours carefully negotiating with Sergei Lavrov, only for Samantha Power to immediately launch into abusive and hysterical language the moment any even minor conflict occurs?
The only logical position to take is that, for some reason, some parts of the American political or military establishment are trying to scupper the ceasefire before it can take hold. To smother peace in its cradle.
This is just the latest in a long line of evidence that suggests, tempting and easy as it is to see American power as monolithic, there are factions at work within the heart of the Empire. It has been suggested, many times, that any cracks in Washington run along party political or institutional lines. Democrats vs. Republicans. The FBI vs. the CIA. It has been mooted that Edward Snowden is a CIA agent out to discredit the NSA. I doubt any breaks run along such neatly defined borders. But we can say there are at least two different groups, with different agendas, ideologies and even realities. For now we shall call them the Realists, and the Lunatics.
The Realists are largely Old School diplomats, or veterans of the Cold War. Think Henry Kissinger, who loudly and publicly decried the US’s approach in Ukraine, and even attacked the government’s motives in the news (Kissinger has been a proponent of increased Russian-American cooperation since heading the Track II program). Think Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was one of the few voices of reason on Syria during Obama’s “red line” nonsense. John Kerry, likewise, obviously comes from this same school. Not decent or moral people by any means, but diplomats and pragmatists. Disdaining violence and chaos, not out of empathy, but as waste of time and resources that reflects badly on their skill as politicians. They deal in realpolitik, and can be counted on to always serve their own best interest and at least having some semblance of a notion of veridical reality.
The Lunatics are comparatively new on this stage, spiritual successors to the old-guard Neo-cons, they have been weened on stories of American exceptionalism and see themselves as morally, intellectually and emotionally superior. They believe they can simply create reality through their words, and cannot be shaken from this belief no matter how much the world refuses to shape itself around their certitudes. Look at Samantha Power. Or Victoria Nuland. Or Robert Kagan. They are dangerous because, no matter what, they believe in the moral rectitude of their actions. They cannot see their actions from an outside perspective, or appreciate the position of their supposed “adversary”. They are dangerous because they refuse to deal with the real world. They are black and white creatures in a grey universe.
Watch the following video.

This is the perfect example of what we are talking about, here we have an emotional, irrational ideologue arguing with a pragmatic psychopath. A Lunatic versus a Realist. When Carl Bernstein, yes the Carl Bernstein, argues that “we should morally isolate Russia”, he is confronted with a pragmatist asking him “How?”. It’s a question he never tries to answer.
Interestingly, in this video you hear the first references to “isolating” Russia – a theme that was heavily used by pundits all across the MSM just a couple of years later, during the Ukraine crisis. Ukraine was obviously a neocon plan to try and weaken Russia, in response to Russia’s checking of their war in Syria, and was equally obviously never going to work. Again, when Brzezinski asks how they intend to “isolate” Russia from China or the rest of their partners and allies, he receives no answer based in any kind of reality.
The plan to “isolate” Russia (both morally and strategically) failed…but this has never been acknowledged. Instead, pundits politicians and their proxies, both above and below the line, in the press have simply declared Russia to be “isolated” and “a pariah state”. Regardless of the conflict with reality.
This goes hand-in-hand with Karl Rove’s famous claim that, as an Empire, when America acts it “creates reality”. There are people within the corridors of American power who genuinely believe that this is literally true. That they can shape the world alone, with no checks or balances or compromises. That they have the controls of the game, and everyone is just an NPC awaiting their input. They don’t see that they can push Russia into starting WWIII, because they don’t credit that anyone can take any action without their say-so. It is why so many of their plans fall apart. It is why Syria and Ukraine are in chaos.
Once you factor in that there are different teams pushing for different agendas in Washington, the world begins to make more sense. That’s why the US is currently supporting the Kurds, the Turks and ISIS in Syria..despite the fact they are all (notionally) in conflict with each other. It’s why they go to all the trouble of breaking Ukraine into pieces, but then stop short of arming their Nazi proxies. It’s why Obama can be instructed to lay down a “red line”, but told to stand-down when Assad crosses that line.
American foreign policy is a speeding car with two people fighting over the steering wheel, shooting off in a direction neither intends. The combat between these factions plays out across different battlefields. You can see it through the “leaks” that materialise that discredit and expose one another. Through deals that are made and then broken, and lines that then crossed with no consequences. Through the splintering, confused narratives that surround who is to blame – and why – for terrorist attacks (see the Boston bombing). And, of course, through Presidential elections.
Hillary Clinton is the war party candidate – she has made that clear. Whether that is through actual idealist commitment to “the cause”, or just compulsive and destructive self-interest is unclear, and frankly irrelevant. She is the new face of lunatic neo-con foreign policy. It’s highly likely that her Secretary of State will be Victoria Nuland, perhaps the craziest of the crazies, and her campaign has made it clear they will “tougher” on Syria, and maybe even attack Iran.
These are insane positions. Aside from the very real threat of global incineration, America were unable to win a war in either Iraq or Afghanistan – the idea that same military would be able to take on Iran, and win, is laughable.
That is, in part, why this Presidential election has been so fractious and unpredictable. This isn’t like 2000 or 2008, when all the insiders were on the same page and the election was a formality. This time there is genuine indecision.
On the one hand you have Clinton, a decades-old Washington insider, with enough money and clout (and probably blackmail material) that she can launch herself into the race without the total approval of the intelligence and political infrastructure. Then on the other side Donald Trump, an unknown, a wild-card. Possibly he never intended or expected to be able to win, but then found is campaign being fueled by Washington insiders who dread the possibility of a Clinton-run America.
The leaks and polls and scandals bouncing back-and-forth across the surface betray the roiling movement beneath. No-one is exactly sure who “their guy” is. No one knows, definitively, which candidate will be easiest to control and the least dangerous.
And so we come full circle, to America’s bombing of the Syrian Arab Army, and the scuppering of the ceasefire.
The Realists have been working, frantically, to get an agreement done in Syria. John Kerry, one of the most prominent realists, is desperate to get a deal done soon. Why? Because there’s an election in November, and that faces us with the very real possibility of a psychotic (and possibly brain-damaged) Hillary Clinton taking over the White House with a team of crazy idealogues at her back. Obama et al know that if they leave Clinton even the tiniest sliver of a possibility of starting a war in Syria…she will take it. They need to stabilise the situation before she comes to power.
Likewise, Hillary’s backers from the Lunatic side realise how much harder it will be to start their war, if there have been any clear signs that negotiations might work. They need to undermine any ceasefire, and preferably before the election so that all the blame can be pinned on the previous administration.
The car is weaving all over road.

ADDENDUM: Echoing the questions posed by this article, Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, asked in his speech at the UN: “Who is in charge in Washington? Is it the Pentagon or the White House?”

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: empire watch, featured, Kit, Syria, United States

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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Bruce Wayne
Reader
Bruce Wayne

This can all be resolved with massive protests which demand that Hillary, Obama, and John Kerry be tried in the ICC. for aggression against at least 2 sovereign states.
The SYrian people should do so and the wealth of the Hillary foundation and U.S. taxpayers can begin to repair the damage Obama has done in Syria and Lybia.

joekano76
Reader

Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

JanjoukedeHaan
Reader
JanjoukedeHaan

Meanwhile, the Guardian quotes the “rebels in Alleppo” (Al Nusra) complaining about those nasty Russians, Quotes American sources that want to remain anonymous, who “have reason to believe” that the SYrian Air Force was involved, and the Russians of course.
Sickening.

Sav
Reader
Sav

This latest attack on the UN convoy has been run out as usual without any fact checking, simply ramming the US story line to the herd- get the lies out full and hard. The facts won’t matter afterwards.
The saintly White Helmets just happened to be there to film it all and get the pictures out.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Alexander Dugin’s interpretation of the significance of the Deir ez-Zor strike: “THIRD WORLD WAR HAS NEVER BEEN SO CLOSE” http://katehon.com/article/third-world-war-has-never-been-so-close Here’s the nub: Quote begins: “The globalist US leadership obviously cannot rule the whole world and, what’s more, the threat posed by Trump puts their control over America itself into question. Now, while the puppet Barack Obama is still in office and the globalist candidate Hillary Clinton is falling apart in front of American voters’ very eyes, is the last chance to start a war. This would allow them to postpone elections or force Trump, if he were to win,… Read more »

George
Reader

I doubt that Putin will comply.

Norman Pilon
Reader

That is my fear.

louisproyect
Reader

The Realists are largely Old School diplomats, or veterans of the Cold War. Think Henry Kissinger, who loudly and publicly decried the US’s approach in Ukraine, and even attacked the government’s motives in the news (Kissinger has been a proponent of increased Russian-American cooperation since heading the Track II program). Think Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was one of the few voices of reason on Syria during Obama’s “red line” nonsense. Actually, Obama’s “red lines” was an empty threat as Jeffrey Goldberg’s interviews with him in the Atlantic Monthly revealed. Nobody in the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton, wanted a rebel victory.… Read more »

Sav
Reader
Sav

Then why did Obama’s admin try to get a No Fly Zone, ala Libya, in Syria? Why at every point have the US been arming these fanatics and aiding them?

physicsandmathsrevision
Reader

Once you use the NYT as a “credible source” any independent-minded or even sensible person knows that you are bullsh*t-mongering.
Quote “… there was zero interest in a large-scale intervention in Syria in either civilian or military quarters.”
Get out of it. How old are you? Twelve?

mikael
Reader
mikael

Hrmf. Are there still people out there that thinks this is an display of “incompetance” and was an “mistake” well, I have some Nigerian Nuklear Mud kakes to sell you, hand baked and sun dried, I swear, just as ex-general from the Imperial banana republic, did. All in all an truthful analyze but do NOT think Trump is any better than Hitlary or the Lord of piss and drones Obamalama, that isnt true, Trump is equally raving insane when it comes to nations He will nuke to oblivion, He have stated that several times and He backs Eretzh Israel all… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Hillary’s backers… need to undermine any ceasefire, and preferably before the election so that all the blame can be pinned on the previous administration. Another day, another dodgy video. This morning the Russians or the Syrian regime (or possibly neither – but you won’t read that in the Guardian) targeted a Red Crescent convoy as they unloaded humanitarian aid at Urem al-Kubra. If deliberate, this ‘egregious attack’ would constitute a war crime (if they did it.) I’m no journalist and I haven’t got time to take this story apart; but my gut instinct is that this story, and the timing… Read more »

ragheadthefiendlyterrorist
Reader

Why, if Kerry is so intent on making some kind of deal, is his master Barack Hussein “Nobel Peace Prizident” Obama now going all out in an attempt to make Killary win? That his campaign has resulted in Trump’s poll numbers surging is neither here nor there. The only real conflict in American politics is between the military industrial complex and those who want to make money by means other than war. Trump, as a businessman, believes that he can profit better via trade, while the military-industrial complex, which has seen twenty six years of nonstop war as an enormous… Read more »

michaelk
Reader
michaelk

This piece, though very depressing, sort of sums up what’s happening globally. How dangerous things are. How we’re moving along a slick and bloody path towards something even worse than Syria. The momentum is already built into the system. It’s a structural problem and threat, the move towards conflict/war with Russia and China. Which is why it’s gonna be so hard to reverse or avoid, or stop. It isn’t an accident. Our leaders aren’t sleepwalking or incompetent. War will be a result of the things they believe and think and the actions they take, as certainly as the sun rising.… Read more »

marc
Reader
marc

Russia: Major development — “We have come to a terrible conclusion: USA works with ISIS”
http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/09/major-development-russia-affirms-us.html

Husq
Reader
Husq

RAF Reaper drones were involved in the weekend airstrike that killed at least 62 Syrian government troops and threatened the fragile truce in the country, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The British military is cooperating fully with an investigation by the US-led coalition into the incident, which led to dozens of soldiers being killed and injured, according to Syrian government reports.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/19/raf-reaper-drones-used-airstrike-killed-syrian-government-troops

BALDEAGLE 11
Reader
BALDEAGLE 11

We should not forget the fact of a Syrian TV newscast, which added several related facts to this US/NATO bombing of a unit of the 4th SAA brigade, which had been based on the site of mountain side which was bombed by the USA finest political airforces. All of whom were obviously equipped with precision targeted bombs/missiles. Moreover, the US and UK elements would have been able from their joint Cyrus base to downloaded satellite data for the joint mission planning officers responsible for the mission overall accuracy ?

JJA
Reader
JJA

I am pretty convinced this bombing was no accident or mistake.
However I remember as a student hitchhiking in the 1970s and getting a lift from a lorry driver. I cant remember how the subject came up, but the driver started talking about having served in the British contingent in the Korean War and that one day a US plane came flying over so they waved and then the plane swooped and attacked them. I asked the driver what happened next. ‘We shot the stupid bastard down’, came the reply.
Maybe they are simply incompetent.

jack garbo (@Seua2557)
Reader

Reminds me, my father fought alongside Yanks in WW2. He said, “You never get in front of them, let them lead. They shoot at anything ahead of them. Cowboys.” However, I’d suggest that the latest strike was a deliberate beach of the ceasefire.

michaelk
Reader
michaelk

A good trick, or method, that aids understanding of the current situation, is to imagine how the media and our politicians would be reacting if dozens of US soldiers had been killed and wounded in an attack carried out by the Russian Airforce. Collective, mass hysteria and calls for the gloves to come off and a lurch towards open war with Russia in Syria would be just the beginning. Think of how the Sun would cover it, or Fox News.

BALDEAGLE 11
Reader
BALDEAGLE 11

I am MICKHAELK sure that your estimate of the USA/NATO response if these circumstances were reversed is correct. However, this situation as the author of the above article suggests it is difficult to place the actual political culprit(s) ? In my opinion, I view the current USA situation as a Nation which in particular, fears an breakdown of its monetary system as well as the realisation from a military point of view that its future superiority in any type of potential war is extremely limited in terms of a successful war? And given the foregoing this explains the reluctance of… Read more »

Mick McNulty
Reader
Mick McNulty

I believe Brzezinski and Kissinger now talk of caution instead of blitzkrieg because they know if the US starts war against Russia and China there is no guarantee the US military will use nukes, and as the US is not good enough to win a conventional war, war criminals like themselves face being hunted down, arrested, tried and hanged.

Tom Gregg
Reader
Tom Gregg

If there is a war between the USA and Russia (and/or China) there will be no winners.

sroussina
Reader

This is an excellent analysis! Best I have read.

Kathleen Lowrey
Reader
Kathleen Lowrey

Yes, it makes sense of what has been a nonsensical approach in both Syria and Ukraine. “Set the region ablaze, and blame the Russians” as Brzezinski puts it.

Bryan Hemming
Reader

This incident reminds of the time John Kirby took irony to a new level. Last February, In a State Department press briefing, a straight-faced Kirby informed journalists that it wasn’t up to Americans to show evidence a Russian plane had violated Turkish airspace, but for the Russians to provide proof it hadn’t.
Proof that Kirby did say that in the video attached. So it’s now up to the State Department to provide evidence he didn’t.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTwAZOH33tU

jack garbo (@Seua2557)
Reader

I (almost) pity these sock puppets mouthing inanities to smart journalists, who know its all lies and waffle. How do they conduct their familial discourse – the same lies?

falcemartello
Reader

Brezinsky valid points but lets be real. Afghanistan 1978 Taliban. He is the midwife along with the house of Saud of military takfirism. The west ,msm are in a total dystopia. This is where Brezinsky is showing some type off wisdom with his arguments. .The rest of the trumpeteers on that panel have the morality and intellect of a parrot . I a,m amazed that they even aired Brezinsky challenging their narrative and questioning their logic. Brezinsky in his day new too well that if the Russians and the chinese were to ever partner up it would be game set… Read more »

michaelk
Reader
michaelk

Here’s an article examining some rather scary statements made by influential Americans within the military complex about starting, what looks increasingly like WW3. That our media choose to ignore this, or filter it out of existance, whilst, at the same time they demonize the list of potential enemies, indicates the direction we are moving in.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/09/19/pers-s19.html

damien
Reader
damien

Great article, Kit! You got it right. The Pentagon and CIA are at war with Obama and Kerry over the ceasefire deal. They know that implementing the provisions of the deal requires al Nusra and allied jihadists to leave Aleppo or be bombed. If implemented, the deal would effectively hand the Syrian Armed Forces a win in Eastern Aleppo (they already have the rest of it). So they are going to sabotage the ceasefire, primarily by baseless claims that Russia is refusing humanitarian aid. The propaganda wheels are coming off. The Western public is waking up. There was no chance… Read more »

paulcarline
Reader

Apart from a single reference to ‘Anglo-Zionism’, no-one has mentioned a key piece of the puzzle: Israel’s duplicitous role in the war in Syria. Joaquin Flores on RT suggests this explanation for the US’ ‘mistake’ in bombing the SAA: “Israel bombed the SAA earlier in the week and as a response from the SAA, had several of their aircraft shot down. Of course the Obama administration is going to be pressured by its ‘only democratic ally in the region’ to take direct action against the SAA, diplomacy be damned. So of course the US had to do something. Things need… Read more »