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

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.

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  • tell it like it is

    Two points: the foreign policy of the United States, constitutionally, is the responsibility of the the executive branch, over which the president presides, with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. It is not the responsibility, at the policy level, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Naturally, one would expect a prudent president to take into account the advice of the Joint Chiefs, but not necessarily to obey it. In the late 50s and 60s the Joint Chiefs favored a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union. Fortunately for Americans and everyone else on planet earth, presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy and Johnson resisted this advice.

    The obvious “player” whose advice Obama does appear to heed in this instance is the Israeli fifth column that exercises overweening power over American foreign and financial policy.

  • ClubToTheHead

    A new report by the Pulitzer-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh
    says the Joint Chiefs of Staff has indirectly supported Bashar al-Assad
    in an effort to help him defeat jihadist groups. Hersh reports the Joint
    Chiefs sent intelligence via Russia, Germany and Israel on the
    understanding it would be transmitted to help Assad push back Jabhat
    al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Hersh also claims the military even
    undermined a U.S. effort to arm Syrian rebels in a bid to prove it was
    serious about helping Assad fight their common enemies.

    • nomadfiles

      How hawkish do you have to be to be more hawkish than the Joint Chiefs of Staff ?

  • nomadfiles

    Why didn’t Obama recognize what he was doing?
    Perhaps he did. Perhaps the chaos was the result he desired. He wanted Assad crushed. The hell with the consequences. Even if it caused IS to flourish.

    • ThereisaGod

      You’re right. Failure of western policy is not really failure at all, it is meta-failure, i.e. success.
      When the covert objective is destabilisation, disempowerment and the creation of insignificant mini-states that we can control then ALL failure is really success.
      It is ‘madness’ only if you believe that our governments represent our interests and where possible the interests of humanity at large. They don’t. They represent the drive to globalisation of the banking corporatocracy and any move that furnishes short-term profits for the thieves that dominate the same.

      • nomadfiles

        “Failure of western policy is not really failure at all, it is meta-failure, i.e. success”
        Just like the failure to close Gitmo, the failure to curtail NSA surveillance, the failure to realize that drones are increasing terrorism, the failure of healthcare reform…
        Success! Success! Success!

      • berger friedrich-wolfgang

        The Planned COLLECTIVIZATION of National-Economies , Goes Hand in Hand with the Suddenly Exploding Use of “Willful Distorting Verbal GENERALIZATIONS” ! By Neglecting the “Sometimes Contradictory Individual DIFFERENCES” of a Certain Kind of Things , they are Said , to be “One & the SAME” 1 For an inattentive “INTELLECTUAL” No Problem the Individual , Personal ATTRIBUTION , has No Influence on the Way of Life , of an American , or a Chinese !

  • Just a guess, but . . . because AIPAC said to?

    • nomadfiles

      or to destroy a Russian ally?

  • Dec 9, 2015 US & Britain Planned Use of Islamic Extremists to Topple Syria 57 Years Ago

    BBC reports that – in 1957 – the British and American leaders approved the use of Islamic extremists and false flag attacks to topple the Syrian government: Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive “regime change” in another Arab country… by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures.

  • bondo

    via israel to assad? and what did israel pass on to assad?
    and the military kept “losing” weapons, supplies to isis and other “rebels”
    and somehow bombed things belonging to syria and not isis.

  • lew

    Because we are implementing Israel’s foreign policy, not an fp for US goals.

    Israel wants a Balkanized ME, a strong Syria is a center of opposition to Israel’s Greater Israel goals and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.