Saturday, June 18, 2016

Former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford Explains Why There Is Now A Mutiny In The State Department On U.S. Policy Towards Syria

President Barack Obama meets with U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford in the Oval Office, Aug. 1, 2011. (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

New Yorker: Former Ambassador Robert Ford On The State department Mutiny On Syria

The Obama Administration has long been divided over what to do about Syria. The crisis produced one of the biggest differences between President Obama and Hillary Clinton, his first Secretary of State. The policy chasm has only deepened during the five years of conflict, which has now reportedly claimed almost half a million lives. The State Department acknowledged tersely on Friday that more than fifty American diplomats had recently submitted a letter of complaint about U.S. policy in Syria through its Dissent Channel, a sort of complaint box through which employees can voice their disagreement with official policy without fear of reprisal. Travelling in Europe, Secretary John Kerry told reporters, “I think it’s an important statement and I respect the process very, very much, and I will probably meet with people or have a chance to talk when we get back.”

Robert Ford was the last American ambassador to serve in war-torn Syria. After the uprising erupted, in 2011, Ford dared to visit opposition areas, meet with demonstrators, and pay a condolence call on the family of a slain activist. Ford was pulled out of Damascus over security concerns after the civil war broke out later that year. The State Department charged the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with incitement against Ford. In June, 2012, the Geneva I Conference on Syria agreed on the need for a transition government, including the government and opposition. Among the participants were Secretary of State Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. But in 2014, the Syrian civil war became even more complex with the emergence of the Islamic State, an extremist movement that has since seized a large chunk of northern Syria, including Raqqa, the capital of its caliphate, as well as Deir ez-Zor, Syria’s seventh-largest city, and other strategic areas.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Some in the comment thread of this blog have mentioned that this has more to do with them showing support for Hillary Clinton than for changing U.S. policy. Considering the timing of the letter (right after Hillary Clinton has clinched the nomination) .... and the intensity of the election campaign .... they are probably right.


Jay Farquharson said...

"So, when Obama entered the White House, he faced a difficult challenge. The State Department needed a thorough purging of the neocons and the liberal hawks, but there were few Democratic foreign policy experts who hadn’t sold out to the neocons. An entire generation of Democratic policy-makers had been raised in the world of neocon-dominated conferences, meetings, op-eds and think tanks, where tough talk made you sound good while talk of traditional diplomacy made you sound soft.

By contrast, more of the U.S. military and even the CIA favored less belligerent approaches to the world, in part, because they had actually fought Bush’s hopeless “global war on terror.” But Bush’s hand-picked, neocon-oriented high command – the likes of General David Petraeus – remained in place and favored expanded wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama then made one of the most fateful decisions of his presidency. Instead of cleaning house at State and at the Pentagon, he listened to some advisers who came up with the clever P.R. theme “Team of Rivals” – a reference to Abraham Lincoln’s first Civil War cabinet – and Obama kept in place Bush’s military leadership, including Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, and reached out to hawkish Sen. Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State."

Aizino Smith said...

" Some in the comment thread of this blog have mentioned that this has more to do with them showing support for Hillary Clinton than"

So why do we need them again.

Anyone, who is not a lib, is a neocon to Jay. What a venturi.

Jay Farquharson said...

Wow, too dumb to even know who Robert Perry is,

Pretty sure the only Perry you are aware of is Katie Parry.

RRH said...

Sorry Aizino,

Jay ain't no Liberal.

From where I sit, he's a Red Tory Canadian left nationalist, a la Donald Creighton and more than likely has copies of "Lament for a Nation" or Innis' "The Canadian Pacific Railway" kicking around on his book shelves.

Old School.

We don't make 'em like that no more -- but rumour has it 2015/16 saw the beginning of development on some modernized prototypes ;)

And respectfully, a note,

Many politically minded Canadians (unless you are dealing with Reform, Alliance, CRAP Conservatives or Liberals by the name of Beeker, or Ignatieff), do not fall easily into American molds or labels.

And a hint for you on Robert Parry,

"No Sir, I don't recall...."

Aizino Smith said...

I'll stand by my statementa

1) What do we need these loser FSOs for.

2) I am sick of hearing about everything wrong is the neocon's fault. Substitute boogey man for neocon and it makes as much sense. There are so many neocon's to hear Jay tell it that they should be able to have their own party and have enough legitimate votes among themselves to elect a president.

RRH said...


1) "we" don't need them for anything; people like Baby Bush, His O'ness and Killary need them to provide a chorus to the voices in their heads.

2) Sigh... I wish I could agree with you but there isn't a boogeyman that gets near as much play on here as the leftist/socialist/communist one. Muslims come in a close second. I mean really, there are times when I wonder if the next big natural disaster won't be pinned on some nefarious left wing plot to lay waste to large tracts of private property and/or facilitate the imposition of Sharia law for some dark, inscrutable purpose.

Aizino Smith said...


I married a communist (generically speaking & they know communist canon law and theology well) or at least someone born in communist country and who lived there well past majority and college and whose parent(s) were communist party members.

For every plan NATO had the Russians had one. The Russians were quite adept at paying off and influencing journalist and getting students in Western colleges indoctrinated.

I read Zerohedge. I also listen to people who call the 2 parties '2 card monte' or 'the Combine'. I distrust the establishment greatly, but I still see the threat from the Left and fro Islam in general.