The U.S. has dramatically ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, slapping new sanctions on key companies Wednesday as White House press secretary Jay Carney said the leader is guilty of “heinous actions” and the country would be better off without him.
President Barack Obama and other administration officials have already said publicly that Assad has “lost legitimacy” and must begin the push toward democracy in Syria or step down. A few weeks ago, after months of protests on the streets of Syria and little progress from Assad without explicit U.S. calls for his resignation, administration officials began to consider calling for Assad to step down, CNN said.
The new push from the White House, officials said, will make clear Assad is no longer a credible reformer and should give up his post.
A Nato plan for a post-Gaddaffi Libya - carving up the country, and giving the richest spoils to the UAE - has been leaked.
The U.S. is already at war in Somalia. As the New York Times noted last month: "U.S. Expands Its Drone War Into Somalia".
What explains these widespread wars throughout the Middle East?
As American reporter Gareth Porter reported in 2008:
Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders.
Feith's book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states...
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].
When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."
The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage or destroy" their military capacities - not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD)...
Rumsfeld's paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld's proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden.
Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a "small price to pay for being a superpower".Obama is simply carrying out the Neocons' war plans created right after 9/11 ... if not before.
Postscript: The former director of the CIA’s counter-terrorism center says that American policy in the Middle East is failing because the U.S. doesn't believe in democracy.
And security experts - conservative hawks and liberal doves alike - agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this and this.
Oh well ... can't change policy of the the most Infamous White House Murder INC, now, can we....?
Obama is a pretend populist who says he's fighting for jobs ... when his policies actually increase unemployment.
Economics professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich - who presumably has good insider sources on job-related issues - agrees:
I'm told White House political operatives are against a bold jobs plan. They believe the only jobs plan that could get through Congress would be so watered down as to have almost no impact by Election Day. They also worry the public wouldn't understand how more government spending in the near term can be consistent with long-term deficit reduction. And they fear Republicans would use any such initiative to further bash Obama as a big spender.
So rather than fight for a bold jobs plan, the White House has apparently decided it's politically wiser to continue fighting about the deficit. The idea is to keep the public focused on the deficit drama -- to convince them their current economic woes have something to do with it, decry Washington's paralysis over fixing it, and then claim victory over whatever outcome emerges from the process recently negotiated to fix it. They hope all this will distract the public's attention from the President's failure to do anything about continuing high unemployment and economic anemia.
Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham (co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo - one of the largest fund managers in the world, having more than US $107 billion in assets under management as of December 2010) writes:
So now (July 30), the U.S. – with a dysfunctional Congress – has to decide between two of the ugliest choices seen in a long time. Should they cut government expenditures and therefore cut aggregate demand at a time of a critically weak economy on the cusp, perhaps, of a double dip? Or should they do nothing and allow a technical default, compromising the integrity of the dollar and sending a powerful signal to the world that the U.S., at least for now, is not a serious country and is probably past its prime. Ouch! Nobly trying to resolve this impasse, a small chunk of Republicans has seized the mantle of blackmailers and turned out to be very good at it. Certainly too good for President No-Show. Come to think of it, the choice was between technical default and looking like a Banana Republic and technical blackmail and looking like a Banana Republic! Just different bananas perhaps?
He's right ... the U.S. has become a banana republic with no bananas.
Previous Grantham quotes:
- "The Fed Has Spent Most of the Last 15, 20 Years Manipulating the Stock Market, Whenever They Feel the Economy Needs a Bit of a Kick"
- "All In All It Appears That Eisenhower’s Worst Fears Have Been Realized And His Remarkable And Unique Warnings Given For Naught"