So we find out that the intelligence community was quite clear over a year ago that the idea of arming Syria’s “moderate rebels” was unworkable:
“One of the things that Obama wanted to know was: Did this ever work?” said one former senior administration official who participated in the debate and spoke anonymously because he was discussing a classified report. The C.I.A. report, he said, “was pretty dour in its conclusions.” … The C.I.A. review, according to several former American officials familiar with its conclusions, found that the agency’s aid to insurgencies had generally failed in instances when no Americans worked on the ground with the foreign forces in the conflict zones, as is the administration’s plan for training Syrian rebels.
Did this stop the program of arming the rebels? Of course not! Even when the CIA itself argues against such a crazy idea, the underlying pro-intervention paradigm holds. Always. Something bad happens anywhere in the world and Washington is addicted to its own fantasy of being able to fix it. Obama went ahead anyway – but with apparent reluctance. That could not be said of Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, John McCain and David Petraeus, the unreconstructed liberal/neocon hegemonists, who were passionately in favor of a proxy war that even the CIA opposed.
That’s worth knowing as we face the grim prospect of a future Clinton administration. PM Carpenter nails it:
We are left with the distressing question of why (probably) the next president of the United States advised the current president of the United Stated to intervene on behalf of Syrian rebels either in the absence of the CIA’s imminent conclusions (Mrs. Clinton left the secretary of state’s office in early 2013) or indeed in the “dour” presence of those conclusions. If all the CIA’s findings hadn’t yet come in by the time of Hillary’s departure, then she was offering somewhat blind advice. And if the findings were in, then she was offering advice in contravention of what intelligence officials were warning.
Remind you of any other U.S. president?
Hint: he was in favor of the same war Hillary was in 2003. And she didn’t even read the full intelligence report back then either.
Meanwhile, the Sunni insurgency continued to make progress as the Iraqi military – created and trained with $26 billion of US tax-payer’s money – continues with its hapless incompetence, corruption and cowardice. But, hey, we can train another army at even more expense, and it will turn the tide. At some point you wonder whether there are any sane people in the White House – or just the president who appears to have had his spine and his vocal chords simultaneously removed.
Today, we continued our coverage of the pastoral earthquake in Rome, with your thoughts and mine on the inevitable freak-out by the theocons; the mid-terms loomed and we noted how the charted likelihood of a Republican victory in the House looks like a middle finger to the entire country; Nate Silver embraced the conservatism of doubt; plus: the anti-selfie; and a new TV show, Jane The Virgin, that actually portrays the religious as something much more than caricatures.
Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here. You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 21 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here. Dish t-shirts are for sale here – including our new “Know Dope” t-shirts, ahead of Election Day – full details here.
A final email for the day:
I’m another long-time holdout who finally subscribed. I’m glad I finally did – I’ve been a reader for many years and learned a great deal from you and your readers, for which I am grateful.
BTW, I was in the Dish once, in “The View From Your Recession” series. I was the corporate headhunter who dropped out and moved to Peru. I met my wife there, and our son was conceived and born there as well. Now that the economy has recovered in my industry (construction), we’re all back in the States, and I’m back at my old job! Business is better than ever, in fact.
Know hope. And see you in the morning.