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Operation on Syria Successful, But the Patient Died
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Reuel Marc Gerecht, the Wall Street Journal’s always available advocate of “let us reason together before we bomb Iran,” is now urging an immediate US surrogate attack on Syria by “unleashing the CIA.” Gerecht, a former CIA officer who served in Istanbul and Paris, once described the Agency disparagingly as a mixture of Monty Python and Big Brother, so it is particularly ironic that now he wants to go about unleashing it. He apparently hopes that the Big Brother component will prevail because Monty Python would no doubt prefer to execute a silly walk.

Gerecht, who currently perches at the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, argues that unless there is a “muscular CIA operation” to arm the rebels with “paralyzing weaponry” and other support that would provide them with a military advantage there will be between 200,000 and 4.5 million deaths in Syria. The numbers appear to be plucked out of the ethosphere and it should also be noted that Gerecht’s knowledge of paralyzing weapons and their deployment is limited as he never served in the US military.

The call for a humanitarian intervention in Syria comes oddly from Gerecht, who has never hesitated to call for the killing of any Iranian civilians who might get in the way of a US/Israeli assault, using inter alia the argument that Iranians have “terrorism in their DNA.” It also ignores the dismal record of various US interventions over the past fifty years and conveniently avoids the subject of blowback. The operation would be eerily reminiscent of the support for insurgents in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, an initiative that drove the Russians out to be sure, but also produced chaos in Afghanistan and created al-Qaeda. The situation in Syria is somewhat similar, at least in terms of potential downside, as Assad’s departure would create a power vacuum and no one really knows who the rebels are and what they represent.

But perhaps Gerecht is not really thinking about what is good for Syria and the Syrian people at all. He is a former employee of Doug Feith’s Pentagon Office of Special Plans that produced the disastrous war against Iraq and is also a close friend and associate of Richard Perle, who, together with Feith, drafted the 1996 proposal “A Clean Break”, which recommended specific policies to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “A Clean Break” endorsed encouraging Arab states hostile to Israel to splinter along tribal and ethnic lines, similar to what has been happening in Iraq. What could be better than a replacing a unified and hostile Syria with a chaotic civil war in which Alawites, Sunnis, and Shia are at each others’ throats while the Christian minority frantically looks for a way out? The Washington based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which was founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), apparently agrees, noting that the disruption caused by the Arab Spring has actually been good for Israel in strategic terms.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Syria 
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  1. TomB says:

    “Gerecht … argues that unless there is a ‘muscular CIA operation’ to arm the rebels with ‘paralyzing weaponry … there will be between 200,000 and 4.5 million deaths in Syria.”

    In addition to ignoring the idea of the U.S. staking its treasure if not lives in a conflict in which it has no important much less vital interest and thus can only hope against the odds to not to suffer any damage and absolutely cannot hope to actually win us anything, and;

    In addition to pursuing the logic that somehow pumping more weapons into a civil war will somehow lessen the death toll therefrom;

    It’s a queer sight indeed, some may say even shape-shifting, to hear the neo-cons concerned about arab/moslem suffering.

    Those who minded not the admitted starved and medicine-deprived dead Iraqi babies caused by their pre-war sanctions on Iraq?

    Those who minded not the estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed in their little war there?

    Those who indeed positively rejoice in the idea of the further civilian suffering their sanctions on Iran will have?

    So let’s see, first they were Warriors Against Evil, then they were Democracy Spreaders, and now they’re Humanitarian Interventionists (with “paralyzing weaponry.”)

    Either that or they’ve just been pursuing Israel’s “Clean Break” strategy from the start as Giraldi says.

    Gee, what a mystery.

    One thing you have to hand to these guys; they never quit, no matter how obvious the truth about them becomes, no matter the disasters they leave in their wake. They’d make Lenin proud: “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

  2. “What could be better than a replacing a unified and hostile Syria with a chaotic civil war in which Alawites, Sunnis, and Shia are at each others’ throats while the Christian minority frantically looks for a way out?”

    I think you put the finger on the fluttering pulse of this patient right here. Great analysis Phil, as always.

  3. Sasha says:

    ‘plucked out of the ethosphere’ -> polite way of saying ‘pulled out of his ass.’

    I think you are more tactful than I…

  4. Could it also be that Tel Aviv and its American lobby are inciting genocide against the Alawites as a prelude to the creation of an Israel-dependent Kosovo-style enclave in Syria?

  5. First clearing a continent by ethnic cleansing and conquest, then, not satisfied with that, on to Hawaii, the Philippines, Asia and the Middle East. Who is it that has violence, conquest and domination in their DNA? After the endorsement of the suicide-bombing terror attack on Syria’s leadership, it really does look like moral equivalency and “one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” We love to be entertained by our violence and get worked up to commit it, whether by government or lone wolf.

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