The Extravagant Hypocrisy of Obama’s Foreign Policy Mandarins

Image: Steven Senne, Associated Press

James F. Tracy
Activist Post

Foreign policy analysts gathered before journalists at the Center for American Progress on September 12 in an event titled, “Combating the Islamic State.” The occasion was held to unveil the analysts’ co-authored report, “Supporting the Syrian Opposition: Lessons from the Field in the Fight Against ISIS and Assad.”

The document’s overall thesis is that US resources must be directed at correcting the “humanitarian situation” (p. 11) in Syria by concentrating on “the defeat of ISIS” with “the removal of Assad” as “a more long term U.S. objective” (p. 3).

A cunning piece of propaganda, the paper’s faulty reasoning is exceeded only by its blatant manipulation of recent history, both of which serve to support the larger geopolitical objective of replacing the moderate, democratically-elected Bashar Al Assad government with an entity more responsive to Western decrees.

“The Obama administration’s policy is that President Assad must go,” the document concludes,

and there is good reason for it. There is no question that Assad is largely responsible for the bloodshed and hardship that his people have endured over the past three years, as repression sparked the first uprising and then degenerated into a vicious civil war. He has committed war crimes, including the use of chemical weapons on his own people, and created the largest refugee crisis in the history of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (p. 33).

In reality, the Syrian people have experienced relentless and brutal assault by US, Saudi, and Qatari-backed paramilitary death squads since early 2011. With this in mind, it is perhaps fitting that the Center for American Progress’ policy analysts were joined at their September 12 presentation by none other than Robert Stephen Ford. Ford served as US ambassador to Damascus from 2011 to 2014 and is presently a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute.

US Ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford with FSA Commander 
Abdul Jabbar Al Aqidi in 2013.

Ford was the mastermind behind Syria’s destabilization that began just two months after his January 2011 appointment to the position by President Obama. The US envoy was trained by none other than John Negroponte, the George W. Bush administration’s ambassador to Iraq in the mid-2000s.

As Reagan administration emissary to Honduras in the early 1980s, Negroponte orchestrated the Contra-led cross border death squad incursions into neighboring Nicaragua that resulted in the deaths of 50,000. He was thus the Bush administration’s logical choice to oversee the brutal “death squad option” introduced in Iraq during that country’s US occupation.

Ambassador Ford in Hama in July 2011

“[T]he choice of Robert S. Ford as US ambassador” to Syria, Michel Chossudovsky observes, “bears a direct relationship to the onset of the insurgency integrated by death squads in mid-March 2011 (in the southern border city of Daraa) against the government of Bashar al Assad.” As “‘Number Two’ at the US embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005) under the helm of Ambassador John D. Negroponte,” Robert Ford

played a key role in implementing the Pentagon’s ‘Iraq Salvador Option’. The latter consisted in supporting Iraqi death squads and paramilitary forces modeled on the experience of Central America.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the journalists gathered at the September 12 event saw fit to call Ford out on his earlier roles alongside Negroponte in Iraq, or as US ambassador to Syria in the immediate prelude to the latter country’s dislocation.

The Center for American Progress’ “Supporting the Syrian Opposition,” coupled with its rollout in the company of the principal architect behind Syria’s strategic destabilization, is emblematic of the deception, hypocrisy, and contempt the Obama administration and its immediate predecessor approach the American public with.

Much like what is routinely presented by US officials as well-conceived procedures, the report’s main purpose is to provide a scholarly and “humanitarian” gloss to what, if truth be told, is a murderous, destructive, and anti-democratic foreign policy requiring forthright propaganda and subterfuge to appear halfway palatable.

This article first appeared at, the official blog of Dr. James Tracy.

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