T Nation

Sy Hersh/Obama/JCS Debacle


#1

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military

I'm reminded of the line from Sterling Hayden in Dr. Strangelove: War is too important to be left to politicians.

This report, if true, is absolutely SHOCKING. It's not shocking that the President is running things like a fucking ignoramus. What is shocking is the apparent level at which the Joint Chiefs are willing to circumvent the President's authority and implement their own vision for Syria/ISIS.

Fuck the President. If his bullshit is allowed to prevail, his pomposity and outdated thinking regarding Russia in particular is going to undermine the security of this nation and the entire Middle East for decades.

Also, for those who haven't read the article, I highly recommend you read the WHOLE thing, all 7,000+ words. Don't skim through it and don't read the first couple thousand words and think you've got the gist of it. The China/Uighur angle is quite compelling, but gets no mention until about 3/4 of the way through.


#2

I read the whole piece but unfortunately am not knowledgeable enough to weigh in on it.

However, Seymour Hersch is a hack who has been wrong - epically, monumentally wrong - so often in the past that nothing he writes can be trusted to have any truth to it whatsoever.

Off the top of my head, he implicated a US ambassador in a coup in Chile, he insisted Iran had no nuclear weapons program, that Iran was Bush's next target complete with a tactical nuclear first-strike plan by the US, that George Bush persuaded the Iranians to hold the hostages until after the 1980 elections, a bunch of shit involving Kennedy, the Mafia, Marilyn Monroe, and Castro, and finally stories about Pakastani walk-ins and bin Laden's body parts being thrown out of a helicopter.

I don't trust a word this guy puts to paper.


#3

While Hersh's credibility has certainly eroded over the years, it isn't entirely gone.

Regardless, there are enough statements from named sources to lend some credence to the idea that President Obama is running a complete shitshow that even his own party and his advisers can't get behind any longer.

I'm not familiar enough with Lt. General Flynn or Rep. Gabbard to make a judgment on their credibility, but where there's smoke there is fire. There's no doubt that the policy of arming "moderate" rebels is absolutely fucking bogus. The terms "moderate" and "rebel" are practically mutually exclusive, and as Putin has repeatedly pointed out, it makes no sense to waste time trying to place various groups into either a "moderate" or "extremist" category.

President Obama clearly suffers from an outdated mentality. He has shown little grasp of any sort of semi-complicated geopolitical analysis, and he's never come across (at least to me) as the sort who commands respect from the sort of people that make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

And this certainly wouldn't be the first time insubordination of this sort has happened. (see: Bill Harvey and Operation: Mongoose).


#4

Flynn was a director of DIA who has developed a reputation in some circles for sounding off in retirement. I saw him do an interview on Al Jazeera, ballsy by the way, where he stated that "history will prove the invasion of Iraq to be a strategic disaster". It's worth watching. Personally, I like the guy.

Idaho posted on inflammatory piece on here that didn't get any replies about the absolute failure of a program to arm/train rebels to fight the Assad regime, and the general in charge Nagata ended up with a promotion. Foreign Policy did a big spread on him some months maybe a year back.

It was something like 200 million for 5 guys. There was quite a bit of discussion about it in some of the more discriminating news/commentary outlets.

Circumstantially, this fits with Hersh's allegations, and the military understands the problem of green on blue violence better than most. Arming/training guys that will end up indiscriminately killing Americans along with whoever else they want dead is probably not something they want to be a part of, especially if they conclude that the program will not be capable of achieving its goals.

Hersh's problem is he used to be a true investigative journalist that exposed some major cock ups, and has turned into publishing rumor-mill gossip bullshit.

You'll probably hear much more about this period in 30-40 years when most of the principal actors are dead or senile, assuming we are all still around.


#5