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View Diary: Obama & Syria: Lies and deception now institutionalized (126 comments)

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  •  Nobody disputes that the CIA was involved (14+ / 0-)

    But it is downright foolish to claim that these conflicts were created or otherwise initiated primarily or even significantly by the US.  Bizarre, wrong, oversimplified.  And it is naive to think that the US has no role or could avoid any role whatsoever once they started.

    The Libyan revolution was not initiated in any way by the US.  There were plenty of reasons for the Libyans to revolt, and the US then played catch-up and finally found itself directly involved when the imminent risk of vast civilian casualties in Misrata and Benghazi pretty much forced the issue.  And, frankly, the Obama Administration handled Libya about as well as anyone could have.  The usual whining is that (a) we started it and (b) it's not perfect now, so that must be our responsibility.  In Libya, neither is true.

    In Ukraine, the EU was probably more responsible than the US in encouraging nationalists... but even so, there was plenty enough anger at Yanukovich and the Russians to spark the Maiden revolt.  Do you honestly think that the Obama Administration wanted to undermine relations with Russia right when they need them to make progress on Iran?  No... the reaction to Ukraine has been just that, a reaction, and an attempt to minimize harm.  

    Syria?  What can I even say about that.  If you don't see nuance there, if you don't understand why many Syrians are fighting the regime while others are supporting it, and if you have no knowledge of past revolts against Hafidh al Assad, Syrian ethnic and sectarian divisions, etc. .. in short, if your knowledge of Syria is driven by Seymour Hirsch (!), then there's really not much to talk about.  

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:55:35 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Where are you getting your information? (4+ / 0-)

      "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:45:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends (8+ / 0-)

        Libya:  I was in Libya at the end of the revolution.  I've worked with several Libyans both here in the US and there, and had long conversations with many of the people directly involved in the revolt.

        Syria...  I work with an organization that works with Syrian refugees in Iraq and Lebanon, and am most familiar with the conflict in eastern Syria.  I've worked intermittently with populations on the Iraq/Syria border areas since 2006.  I will be in Lebanon in two weeks to meet with our partners there.  One close friend was the US liaison for the Syrian National Congress, and several friends in Iraq favor the Assad regime, so I get both sides of the conflict. I've been to Damascus in 2009 and we had a small project there at one point, so I am fairly familiar with Syria.  Of course, Josh Landis' blog is also a good start, as is Juan Cole.

        Ukraine - I don't work in Ukraine, but I follow the news closely.  If you want a more nuanced perspective on Ukraine, read International Crisis Group reports.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 02:57:40 PM PDT

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    •  That's a very low bar to set... (4+ / 0-)

      Now it's initiated. Protests, uprising, sparks all come from a source which may or may not be initiated by the Sate Dept or CIA, etc... and really doesn't matter if it is or isn't. What matters is who backs it once it starts.

      Libya was started over a housing project. Ghadafi responded by giving 20 billion for more housing. Then more protests broke out in places like Benghazi. By that time, the CIA/State was involved. As the protests got more violent, we provided more support for the protesters as they started going after military bases and weapons. We formed things like the National Transitional Council which whole purpose was regime change. They had a seat at the UN in place of Libya. We made the no-fly zone to protect "civilians" but it was really an excuse to bomb Ghadafi forces. Let's not pretend we did not have the major role in Ghadafi's downfall.

      Ukraine, we formed dissent in the form of 65 NGO's providing money for dissident voices to the tune of $5 billion of 20 years or so. Doesn't matter if the one voice to call people to the Maiden for the last protests was on payroll or not. We right away held meetings with opposition leaders, handed out cookies, was on calls saying who we wanted to be in charge after the government fell. The EU also wanted change, backed certain leaders, but somehow their pick wasn't chosen. So if the EU had say in the matter, it sure didn't work out for them though they did get the financial deal they wanted though I'm sure they would rather have had the Russians bail out Ukraine rather than the IMF. Hands clean in Ukraine? I think not.

      Syria went much like Libya. Organic protests. Instead of carrots like Ghadafi, Assad gave them the stick. Once major violence broke out, we verbally backed the protests and started to provide military support in the form of weapons and training. The FSA didn't form out of nowhere. You don't leave the Syrian army unless you know you have backing from another source. We tried to form a no-fly zone but Putin was pissed off at being fooled with Libya and shot that down and her we are.

      Let's not pretend the US doesn't have it's hand all over these conflicts. In, time more and more will be known. I'm glad people like Sy are pulling the lids off the covers. Someone has to get the ball rolling, just like these conflicts except this time it's knowledge of what's going on that the MSM refuses to investigate.

      •  Thanks for - IMHO - your perceptive comment. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, Lepanto

        Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

        by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:27:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And not.one.link. Nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howarddream

        While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:59:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't provide links (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo

          Go look it up yourself. If something I've said was incorrect  then say so. Provide a link if you like and then I might provide one to counter your argument. Perhaps you can start by reading the Wikipedia articles on the above conflicts and go from there. Good luck.

        •  How far back do you want to go re CIA intervention (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo, Lepanto, protectspice

          in Libya? What happened was an almost exact replay of the CIA/Mi16 playbook in Libya from previous attempts to depose Qaddafi.

          A New Successful Covert Operation
           Mar 26, 1996 by rmcgehee

          Reuters news reports yesterday state that unrest in the Jabal Akhdar mountains of Eastern Libya is caused by armed rebels who may have joined escaped prisoners in an uprising against the government.

          This is an operation to overthrow Gaddafi led by Col. Khalifa Haftar, of a contra-style group based in the United States called the Libyan National Army. The army is the military wing of the Salvation Front for the Liberation of Libya.

          It is obvious that the CIA is behind this group and indicates a new "awakening" for the CIA now that it has been cleared and re-energized by all the various official exonerations; and led by the new Director Deutch who pushes for more covert operations. With "Mr. Intervention," Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations advising the government on intervening via mililtary and covert operations toward China and probably also Libya and the rest of the world, we can expect a number of additional successful" CIA covert operations similar to that of Vietnam, Central America and
          Afghanistan.

          Ralph McGehee
          CIABASE

          Information from CIABASE files reveals:

      •  I really do need a citation (7+ / 0-)

        for $5 billion provided to opposition organizations in Ukraine.  That is not credible.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:48:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Listen to it direct from the horse's mouth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo

          •  OK I listened to that (7+ / 0-)

            The US has spent $5 billion in Ukraine but:

            *  Since 1991 (you left that out)
            *  For all assistance, not just to support pro democracy organizations

            I'd remind you that the US wisely spent a great deal of money in the former Soviet Union including in Ukraine to get them to get rid of nuclear weapons and participate in non-proliferation.  What you don't consider here is that the price was a large aid and economic assistance package.

            An average of $217 million per year, including economic assistance, for one of the largest former Soviet republics, does not strike me as being all that much.  The actual amount spent on civil society organizations will be a tiny fraction of that.  The main US source for funding for civil society organizations focused on democracy building is the National Endowment for Democracy.  A quick google search shows that the actual amounts were mostly small grants of $30,000 or so - not billions.

            http://www.ned.org/...

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:25:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't leave anything out. The US has been (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lepanto, protectspice, corvo

              working at getting all the Warsaw Pact countries under the NATO umbrella since it was disbanded in 1991. Poland and the Ukraine were especially targeted.

              The main US source for funding for civil society organizations focused on democracy building is the National Endowment for Democracy.  A quick google search shows that the actual amounts were mostly small grants of $30,000 or so - not billions.
              Read the fine print. The grant descriptions in that link are from the 2013 NED Annual Report. How many millions on that one page for 2013?
              •  Yes, I did read the fine print (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                There are not that many millions on that one page.  The overwhelming majority of grants are very small. My point stands.

                But I guess I'm rather more confused by your concern that diplomacy supporting Ukraine and Poland (!) membership in the EU is somehow a nefarious plot.  Perhaps you feel that bringing Poland under the NATO umbrella was a bad thing, or something resisted by the Poles?  I am confused by that.  I think that the overwhelming desire of the Poles was to join Europe and avoid Russian domination.  That is a bad thing?  Am I missing something? Are you honestly suggesting that it was a mistake to help Poland join the EU?  

                “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                by ivorybill on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:04:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Dishonest comment, Claudius. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fcvaguy

            I will remember this in reading your future comments.

      •  Interesting perspective (0+ / 0-)

        I prefer perspectives that embrace the Ukrainian point of view and actions that are in the best interest of Ukraine.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:40:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama Admin in the form of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto

      USAID dumped millions and millions into dissident groups to "enhance democracy" . . . just like they enhanced democracy in Chile in 1970.

      And that's just the reported expenditure - not including whatever %age of CIA budget is being spent in Ukraine.

      Our foreign policy is still working off the neocon handbook.

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:26:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comment, ivorybill. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

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