Some 51 State Department employees signed a protest memo urging the Administration to re-focus in Syria away from attacking ISIS and toward attacking the Assad government. They write that the best way to destroy ISIS is to overthrow the Syrian government (which has been fighting ISIS). What has happened to US diplomacy?
Robert Perry: The State Department’s Collective Madness
Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams. Daniel, nice to see you.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Good. Our goal today is to stop the war. The war that has been ongoing, but is about to get some escalation and that of course has to do with Syria and things are really stirring up there. A friend of the peace movement Robert Perry, who writes on the Consortium News, has a real important article out just last day and it’s called “The State Department’s collective madness”. He has been writing about the State Department not for a year or two, but for 30 years or so, he is a real expert on the State Department and his big beef in the article is the fact that 51 so-called diplomats have written a note, a letter, so-called internal, but the message was to the President to start bombing and they want to see themselves as the deliverer of the policy. Of course it is back and forth and sometimes we see some resistance from the President, but other times, this group of people has been more or less identified with Hillary, a little bit more, maybe a lot more aggressive.
But, the big thing is that they want to start bombing, which has a lot of ironies here and I am sure you have taken a look at this. What do you think is going on here? Do you think they are going to win and the bombs are going to start dropping soon?
Daniel McAdams: It is interesting, because what they are urging that the administration do is to stop its focus on ISIS in Syria and start bombing the Assad government. First you have got to overthrow the Assad government and that is the best way to defeat ISIS, but to any rational person that makes no sense, because the Assad government has been fighting ISIS for years. In fact, they are poised to take back Raqqa, which is ISIS’s headquarters, so the idea that you would bomb the people that are fighting ISIS as a way of defeating ISIS, you don’t have to be a great diplomat to see that that seems a little bit screwy.
But, what is interesting is that these are 51 people, State Department employees, out of the total workforce if you combine the foreign service officers and so-called foreign service specialists, of 13,000, 51 out of 13,000. They use a kind of a back channel, or a descent channel they call it, so that tells us that it is not a prevailing view if it has to be a dissenting view, one thing and two it is relatively insignificant number. Normally you could sort of write it off, except for the fact that the New York Times puts it on the front page and makes it huge news.
Ron Paul: It’s the power of the war propaganda. To me the real irony is that ISIS is on the run, ISIS is our enemy. All you have to do is look at this country. We are terrified of ISIS, even when ISIS is not involved, they are still involved, it’s always ISIS and the people are literally hysterical over it and our government is going nuts. Not that we should ignore the violence and all that, that is beside the point, but here it is, that we can stir up this whole nation, undermine our Second Amendment rights, undermine the Fourth Amendment rights, undermine all our freedoms because of ISIS and I see what we are doing here now is rescuing ISIS. They are in trouble and sure it is a mixed bag there, the Russians are in there helping one of their allies and they have been invited in, they have a base and also there is a little bit of help from the Iranians, which is their neighborhood.
So, now our bitter enemies are on the run, they are being pushed back, so what are we going to do? We have to hurry up and start bombing Assad, which we have been trying to do for 5 years that we have been messing around over there, but they are bound and determined and of course there has been resistance and the radical neocons would have done it a long time ago and Obama for various reasons has been a little less aggressive, but still doing enough things that he hasn’t really settled this, he hasn’t taken charge to say no, this is not our business and we should just be out of there, so it’s on again, off again. But, it looks like it may be coming to an end.
Daniel McAdams: Yes and this memo that the dissenters sent is I think purposely and very self-consciously deceptive, because it uses as a pretext the idea that Assad is violating the cease-fire in Syria. The fact of the matter is there is no cease-fire, this is called a cessation of hostilities and there are certain groups that are party to this agreement, that have agreed not to shoot at each other and that would be the Assad government and the so-called moderates. But, there are other groups that are outside of this agreement, ISIS is outside of the agreement, Al Nusra Front, which is Al-Qaeda in Syria, is outside of this agreement, therefore any attack on these two groups is completely legitimate in terms of the actual agreement.
But, what happens is that the US backed the moderates, the Ahrar al Sham and others, they fight alongside Al-Qaeda in Syria. So, when the Russians or the Syrians bomb them, they are hitting both sides and then the US points and says you are hitting our moderates, you are hitting our moderates, why are they fighting alongside Al-Qaeda?
Ron Paul: The rhetoric is growing, the media is pumping it up and there is an escalation in the rhetoric right now and just there is agitation in the Congress right now to give authority and prod Obama into doing something that he seems to be reluctant to do. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had a vote, some small committee, 10 to 7, to bomb and it has to go back and forth, but sometimes I think that is important, but sometimes it’s irrelevant. If we would have a had a much more aggressive neocon as a President, they would have started bombing a long time ago, it wouldn’t matter.
So, they are going back and forth on this and the rhetoric can be determined by how many warnings there are and I have looked on Google today, looked at Syria warnings and Putin and Assad and Obama and the whole list of them. Obama warns Putin, Putin warns Obama, ongoing, back and forth and yeah, that is sort of racheting up, but it’s also pretty darn serious that they are threatening and Putin is not going to be pushed around there. I mean, we are looking for a thing, a real fight and he didn’t do too badly to try to overcome NATO on Crimea and some other places.
So, I think they are really playing with fire here and I think really the hilarious part, because I don’t think Obama comes from a precise strong belief in what it is, so when he was warning Putin, he says you better watch out, because you just ought to remember what happened to you when you were in Afghanistan and I thought my Lord, that is the attitude, that is our diplomacy.
Daniel McAdams: One of the things that I thought of these 51 is that the writing is on the wall, perhaps to them that if Hillary is the President, the State Department is going to be much more warlike and I remember hearing back in the Committee when you were questioning Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State and you mentioned how we need more diplomacy and less war and she said I agree with you Dr. Paul, that is why we are ramping up more State Department budget, but little did we know what they are ramping up are the neocons in the State Department and Robert Perry, who I think is a terrific writer and I read all the time, he points out how the state has shifted, really starting from Reagan and the neocons have infiltrated and when Obama came in, his was a reaction to the Bush’s foreign policy, it was supposed to be a foreign policy of peace.
But, as Perry writes, he never bothered to clean up the stables and so you had people sticking around or you had people like Victoria Nuland for example, she is married to Fred Kagan, a huge neocon, super powerful Washington family, she is going to be tapped to be Secretary of State most likely if Hillary wins, so my guess is these 51 are trying to curry favor and their careers are going to go up if she wins.
Ron Paul: Yeah. That is the important thing, Nuland is a close ally to Clinton and she is more hawkish than Obama, even though they are all interventionists and they don’t take a principled position of trying to avoid these conflicts. So, she is lining up and she was also very much involved in the Ukraine thing, in the overthrow of the elected government there, wasn’t she?
Daniel McAdams: I remember her phone call was intercepted where she literally said what you have to do, we want this guy put in as Prime Minister, not this guy yet, she literally was directing how to overthrow a duly elected government.
Ron Paul: But, it’s still the big bugaboo, when you have to and I guess I don’t have to, but on occasion I open my ears to hear what the conventional news people are saying, what the New York Times are saying and they are always just putting this thing often and not ever getting to it and they claim that these people are nothing to worry about and we will take care of them and this sort of thing.
Daniel McAdams: This letter in my opinion is breathtakingly reckless, because it essentially says that it is a possibility that Russia might get upset with us when we start bombing and destroying all the things that Russia achieved in September, putting back ISIS. It is possible that they might get upset, but we are not too worried about it. Is this really a risk that is worth taking of stirring up a war with Russia over whether Assad stays in power or doesn’t. It doesn’t mean a single thing to the United States.
Ron Paul: Perry summarized his statement by saying foggy bottom gone nuts. That is about it, it just makes no sense whatsoever. At the same time we continue to hear this obsession and rhetoric that we have to stop ISIS and think of how many things we said here and started listening, we could find a lot of things where our policies either backfire or deliberately backfire. We just make stupid choices, or if there was unintended consequences, it has been beneficial to ISIS and both are supposed to be our enemy.
Then, we come up and the Cold War ends and the Russians, compared to the Soviets are practically angels and we work with them, we have economic ties with them and it seems like starting with Ukraine, we have gone out of our way to try to have this going, have this fighting. The statement was Putin is serious, if we go in there and destroy a bunch of weapons for Assad, they will replace them and that is true. Who knows, maybe our military industrial complex in some way is part of that, because so often what we put in there ends up in the hands of the enemy.
This is why to sort it all out, the unintended consequences, the contrivances on how they do this, whose side they are on, it just makes the case for what are we doing there, will our freedoms be enhanced, will we have a healthier economy, will the world be more peaceful and it just isn’t so. But, the obsession is there, the rhetoric in this country is building, because they will have an incident by American citizens and quite a few of some of these killings that are going on, which are rather serious, but minor compared to these wars, they are committed by American citizens, and at the same time this means we have to bomb more people over there and we go and bomb more and we have to bomb Assad.
Where does he get the authority, he is getting the authority because anybody participated or helped in 9/11, the conspirators that bombed the towers, but we had a hot lead and I remember the hot lead on 9/11 was the week of 9/11, because it was in the papers and it was announced that if your name was Bin Laden or you are Saudi, you get ushered out of the country without being questioned and then they wonder why in the world do we get into this mess and now we are still working on trying to get more information out exactly the participation of the Saudis in this and they are out best allies, we can go over there to study human rights and civil liberties and then we come back and we try to do some of these things to our people.
Daniel McAdams: I think it’s overblown when someone says the US backs ISIS and founded ISIS and things, but it’s always you can’t ignore the attitude of the State Department, I remember that it was just a few weeks ago that Mark Toner, State Department Spokesman, this is after the Assad government liberated Palmyra, which is an historic town, UNESCO site, liberated it from ISIS, which was blowing up all these things, that the Syrian army came back and kicked out ISIS and at the press conference they asked Mark Toner isn’t this better now, that at least that Assad has gotten ISIS out and he says it is almost like going from the frying pan into the fire.
Ron Paul: You take how Libya works into this, we go in there and we know in this administration Hillary had a little bit to do with that chaos and weapons being sent in and the weapons end up in the enemies. What I still, since I don’t know if we have proof, you can have suspicion, but are they just really stupid or do they really think it would be good if we got some of these weapons in the hands of our friendly radicals who are going to overthrow Assad. It is really hard to be certain about what their intents are, but the results, they shouldn’t argue about the results, the results are always horrible.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah, I think history will note that the idea of using Islamists to fight jihadists will be one of the stupidest things ever tried.
Ron Paul: Anyway, frustrations are here and the danger is here, we think, at least I do, I believe sincerely that it was all preventable, we don’t need to be in these conflicts and this arguments that this means that you are going to wimp out and not defend the country, no, if you want a strong national defense, if you want us to be safer and have liberties, we have to change the foreign policy. You can’t just say that if there is an attack or a pretense of an attack or a false accusation, that we need to kill more Muslims and more radicals and we go over and bomb more and kill Assad under the authority that came in on 9/11.
That is totally ridiculous. It is time we woke up and decided to non-interventionism, mind our own business, have a strong national defense, have a strong economy, have a strong currency, protect civil liberties here at home. That will do a lot more good to provide peace and prosperity in this country than any of this militaristic talk from our State Department.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.