Clinton Repackages Her Syrian ‘No-Fly’ Plan

By Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. Originally published at Parry’s Consortium News (republished with permission).

While the major news media focused on Donald Trump’s agnostic response about whether he would respect the results of the Nov. 8 election, Hillary Clinton slipped in a little-noticed but important revision to her call for a “no-fly zone” in Syria, suggesting that it would be negotiated with Russia and Syria.

“This would not be done just on the first day,” Clinton replied to a question about the military cost and human toll that imposing a no-fly zone would require. “This would take a lot of negotiation. And it would also take making it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe zones on the ground.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Before Wednesday night, Clinton had left the impression that the U.S. military would unilaterally impose a “no-fly zone” on Syria, a military action that not only would violate international law but would require a major commitment of U.S. forces to destroy Syrian air defenses and to shoot down planes from the Syrian and possibly the Russian air forces.

President Obama and the U.S. military high command have resisted pressure to implement Clinton’s suggestion because of the potential for killing large numbers of civilians and dragging the United States into a wider war, potentially a clash with nuclear-armed Russia.

Debate moderator Chris Wallace noted, “General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says you impose a no-fly zone, chances are you’re going to get into a war – his words — with Syria and Russia. So the question I have is, if you impose a no-fly zone — first of all, how do you respond to their concerns? Secondly, if you impose a no-fly zone and a Russian plane violates that, does President Clinton shoot that plane down?”

Breaking from her usual belligerent tone, Clinton repackaged her idea as something quite different, a diplomatic initiative to persuade the Syrian and Russian governments that they should allow the creation of a “safe zone” so Syrians fleeing the fighting could have a place to live inside Syria.

Clinton said: “We’ve had millions of people leave Syria and those millions of people inside Syria who have been dislocated. So I think we could strike a deal and make it very clear to the Russians and the Syrians that this was something that we believe was in the best interests of the people on the ground in Syria, it would help us with our fight against ISIS.”

Whether the Syrian leadership and the Russian government would accept such a plan is doubtful, since it would amount to inviting the U.S. or NATO military to establish a beachhead inside Syria from which rebels, terrorists and other insurgents could operate beyond the reach of military retaliation.

Distrusting Clinton

The Syrians and the Russians are also well aware of the duplicity of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 when she led the effort to persuade the United Nations Security Council to authorize an emergency program to protect Libyan civilians around Benghazi from an offensive by the Libyan army seeking to root out Al Qaeda-connected terror groups

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Once the Security Council agreed (with Russia abstaining rather than vetoing the plan), U.S.-coordinated airstrikes decimated the Libyan government’s forces. Next, NATO military advisers began assisting the rebels on the ground, with the “humanitarian” mission quickly morphing into a “regime change” operation, with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi driven from power, captured, tortured and murdered.

After Gaddafi’s death on Oct. 20, 2011, Clinton exulted in a TV interview, “We came; we saw; he died.”

So, a President Clinton isn’t likely to get the benefit of the doubt again, especially since she has made clear that her desire is to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad suffer a fate similar to Gaddafi’s. Clinton’s open hostility toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom she’s compared to Hitler, also is not likely to make Russia eager for concessions.

But Clinton’s repackaged “no-fly zone” – as a negotiated undertaking, rather than a unilateral act of war – suggests that the Democratic presidential nominee is at least trying to present a less warmongering face to the American voters, especially to peace-oriented Democrats. Whether the American people have any more faith in Clinton’s words than the Syrians and Russians do is another question.

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  • October 03, 2012 Provoke an Attack on Iran? “Lets Bring it On… At the End of the Day… We Ought to Take ‘Em Out”

    See the statements of Hillary Clinton and former Secretary of State James Baker III in video above (video: courtesy of Information Clearing House and Live Leak)

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/provoke-an-attack-on-iran-lets-bring-it-on-at-the-end-of-the-day-we-ought-to-take-em-out/5307044

    • X@mailinator.com

      The problem with war, is it has no end. Numbersusa.com is an interesting site because they have well thought out positions and activist approaches regarding sensible migration reform. One of their talking points common is that you can effect much more change with many fewer dollars, usually a multiplier of 10 or greater, by simply aiding people in place rather than moving them. It was also reported elsewhere that gdfi guy was going to hold free elections right before this all went down. He was going to release power. This is yet another conflict nations imposed on themselves. Imagine if every soldier was also a diplomat in his own right and would force peace through every mechanism possible, building, sharing, educating, and resorting to violence only as a last resort. The notion you strike the heart of war is to engage with your own heart. I believe new thinking is necessary, such as educating from without, to eventually reach within. Take care and build on the outskirts, withdraw major armies. Let people whom would leave, do so. They don’t need to be exported like products, they just need a safe location with sanitation, education, and hope. The armies first purpose should be peace not war.

  • (Jan.1998) US history – “How Jimmy Carter I Started the Mujahideen” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor 1977-1981

    “Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a13_1240427874

  • ~Hillary Clinton Admits the U-S- Government Created al-Qaeda~

    And the Soviet Union went broke in part because of their war against Afganistan. Oil and opium anyone?

    https://youtu.be/VAJM2zKaUy0

  • slorter

    The Americans would have enforced a no fly zone long ago if it was at all possible but it is not!

  • Nexusfast123

    US policy represents the ramblings of idiots with a one trick pony play book.

    • X@mailinator.com

      It represents the concept of war for profit. But we do not all feel that way. I for one vote for isolationism and peace.

  • Oct 18, 2016 Bill Clinton: ‘I’ve tried to run for her on her behalf’

    https://youtu.be/YuFsBTw0DrE