The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Martin Dempsey, backed by his Joint Staff generals and admirals, stood between a hasty and knee-jerk President Obama who was intent on launching a military attack on Syria and a tenuous peace in the Middle East.
As of the evening of Friday, August 29, President Obama was on track to launch a sustained 72-hour cruise missile and drone attack on pre-selected air defense and other strategic military targets in Syria.
Obama had been convinced by his national security adviser Susan Rice, UN ambassador Samantha Power, and deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, all «Responsibility to Protect» advocates, that he could trump congressional approval for his attack by claiming that humanitarian operations do not require approval under the War Powers Resolution or Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Rhodes, who lacks any military experience, as is also the case with Rice and Power, is in his position because of his family ties. Rhodes’s brother, David Rhodes, formerly an executive with Fox News, is the president of CBS News. In addition, the brother of Obama’s special adviser, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is Ben Sherwood, President of ABC News. Power is married to Obama’s former «information czar» Cass Sunstein, who developed methods to combat information unfriendly to the president through campaigns of «cognitive dissonance».
Many of Washington's insiders went to bed Friday night firmly convinced that Obama would give the final order to attack Syria sometime during the early Saturday morning hours of August 30. However, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, made a hurried trip to the White House during the early morning hours of Saturday to make one last final plea to hold off on any attack.
Dempsey told Obama that the president's military plan would not work. «If you do this, the plan will fail and you'll get in deeper. And without congressional approval, you'll be screwed,» Dempsey told Obama.
Dempsey's warning about Congress had merit. Already, 210 House members, Republicans and Democrats, signed a letter to Obama warning him not to attack Syria without congressional authorization.
At least temporarily, Dempsey's argument prevailed and Obama decided to hold off on any attack until Congress reconvened after Labor Day. Obama decided he would seek a congressional vote to authorize a military strike on Syria. Administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, began arms twisting members of Congress to approve Obama’s military operation against Syria. The Israeli Lobby organization, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) weighed in with its considerable political heft to force members of Congress with whom its showers with campaign contributions, to fall in line behind Obama’s war plans.
During the evening of September 1, The New York Times initially reported Israeli involvement in lobbying Congress on its website: «One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called AIPAC ‘the 800-pound gorilla in the room,’ and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, ‘If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line’ against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, ‘we’re in trouble’». The newspaper quickly took down the report after it appeared in its web edition.
AIPAC’s financial largesse bestowed upon members of the U.S. Senate is witnessed by its chief recipients being the loudest supporters of military action against Syria. The second largest recipient of AIPAC money from 2006 to 2012 -- $772,327 -- is Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who has been a champion of Syrian rebels, including the human organ-eating guerrillas of the Jabhat al Nusra, an Al Qaeda-affiliate. Another major recipient of AIPAC cash is New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez who has rung up $343,394 in AIPAC donations. Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was tasked by the Obama White House to shepherd its Syria attack resolution to final approval.
In temporarily overriding Rice, Power, Rhodes, and Kerry, who all favored a Labor Day weekend military strike, Dempsey incurred the wrath of the R2P faction that dominates the National Security Council. State Department sources began spreading the word that Obama would still attack Syria without congressional approval. The Pentagon, on the other hand, pointed out that none of the National Security Council «heavies,» Rice, Power, or Rhodes, had any military experience and that Kerry was channeling the wishes of his good friend Senator John McCain, who has consistently supported Al Qaeda-led rebels in Syria and Libya.
Obama is faced with another grim reality. Some within the Pentagon ranks are so displeased with Obama's policies on Syria, they have let certain members of Congress of both parties know that «smoking gun» proof exists that Obama and CIA director John O. Brennan personally authorized the transfer of arms and personnel from Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia Islamist rebels in Libya to Syria's Jabhat al Nusra rebels, who are also linked to Al Qaeda, in what amounts to an illegal «Iran-contra»-like scandal. The proof is said to be highly «impeachable».
When the documented proof is released that Obama and Brennan, the latter the point man who oversees operations involving Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud and Al Qaeda, were personally aware that arms from the caches of the late Muammar Qaddafi of Libya were transferred to Al Qaeda forces in Syria for use in terrorist attacks, there will be demands for impeachment hearings. The arms transfer was directly involved in the Libyan Islamist rebel attack on the CIA annex in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, an event from which Obama has not been able to extricate himself.
Bandar, who has been nicknamed «Bandar Bush» by members of the Bush family because of his close ties to them and «Bandar bin Israel» because of his close links to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, is the principal player in seeking the overthrow of the Bashar al Assad government in Damascus. Bandar is carrying out a Saudi policy that would see the Syrian government replaced with a Sunni fundamentalist regime that would circumscribe the rights of Christians, Alawites, and Shi’as, essentially how Saudi Arabia today treats not Sunni Wahhabis within its borders.
One of the reasons why Obama and his cohorts have cracked down on whistleblowers in a manner unprecedented in recent U.S. history is to limit the fallout from military and intelligence professionals coming forth with details on how Obama, like his predecessor, has «cooked» the intelligence to pave the way to war. In this case, White House intelligence charging Syria for using chemical weapons is solely based on dubious signals intercepts provided by Israel. Not only is intelligence on the rebels’ use of chemical weapons in Damascus and Homs, sarin gas in Damascus and chlorine gas in Homs, being suppressed but National Security Agency and British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intercepts from the Mount Troodos facility in Cyprus directly contradict signals intelligence by Israel’s Unit 8200 that purportedly show that Syrian army commanders ordered the sarin gas attack on Ghouta on August 21.
The White House finds itself relying on the use of propaganda and disinformation to stake its phony claims. The BBC has been caught using photographs of dead civilians in Iraq to show «victims» of Assad’s alleged chemical attack. Likewise, Al Jazeera, a conduit for the Muslim Brotherhood power brokers in Qatar has shown footage of «victims» of Assad’s government covered with fake bandages and Hollywood «blood».
Men and woman in U.S. military are acutely aware that Obama and his advisers are lying in order to get the U.S. involved in another quagmire in a Muslim nation. This time, the generals and admirals are standing with their ranks in opposing another Obama «war of choice» in support of Saudi Salafist expansion and Israeli regional imperialism.