No Change in Obama’s Syria Policy?

Putin at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
June 17, 2016
Heightened Risk of Escalated War on Syria
June 18, 2016
No Change in Obama’s Syria Policy?
by Stephen Lendman
According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s Syria policy remains unchanged with few months remaining before he steps down – despite dozens of hawkish State Department staffers urging US airstrikes on Assad’s government.
It would represent a major policy shift if initiated. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton urge greater use of force, the former secretary especially hawkish, responsible for orchestrating war on Syria, wanting no letup in efforts to oust Assad.
In Washington, Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir urged “more robust intervention,” saying “(i)f the Bashar regime feels that it can continue in a stalemate, much less prevail, there will be no incentive to take the necessary steps to bring about a transition.”
He urged airstrikes on government forces, no-fly zone prohibition against Russian and Syrian aerial operations on terrorists mischaracterized as moderates, and supplying them with surface-to-air missiles.
He and US administration hawks believe war is peace. Endless conflicts serve their interests. According to the Journal, “(s)ome Western diplomats” share their sentiments – while admitting Russia’s veto assures no Security Council authorization for escalated war.
Kerry indicated he’ll respond to hawkish State Department staffers after returning from overseas, calling their view on Syria “important.”
At the same time, State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby said “(t)here aren’t any US plans to target (Assad). That’s not part of the calculus. None of the other options are better than the one we have been pursuing.”
Former State Department advisor for “transition” in Syria Frederic Hof backed hawkish agency staffers, saying Obama’s Syria policy is “morally vacuous and politically bankrupt,” disgracefully calling Assad “a mass murderer.” 
At the same time, he deplorably claimed administration dissenters “uph(eld) American credibility and honor,” adding “(t)hey (did) us all a huge favor.”
“Their superiors should press (Obama) to change his policy. If he refuses…stand up and publicly defend the indefensible or resign.”
With half a year left in his tenure, Obama is unlikely to initiate a major policy shift – leaving it to his successor to decide what’s next in Syria.
Continued push for regime change is likely under Trump, full-scale war to achieve it if Clinton succeeds Obama, the madness of risking direct confrontation with Russia in the process.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.