18:59 GMT01 December 2020
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    Last week, a group of unidentified US State Department officials leaked an internal memo calling for airstrikes against Syria, ostensibly to fight Daesh.

    Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear speaks with political analyst Daniel McAdams about how dissent within the State Department could impact America’s relationship with Russia and what US foreign policy might look like under a Hillary Clinton presidency. 

    In the memo, which was filed through the State Department’s dissent channels, signatories revealed that, "we do see merit in a more militarily assertive US role in Syria, based on the judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, that would undergird and drive a more focused and hardnosed US-led diplomatic process."

    ​"I think you need a neocon decoder ring to be able to understand that in actual English," McAdams joked, adding, "But sending missiles against a country that hasn’t attacked you, against a civilian population, is the definition of extrajudicial killing. There’s nothing judicious about sending missiles, so it’s a funny use of the term." 

    McAdams believes there are aspects of the memo that suggest careerism on the part of the authors.

    "First of all, it is only 51 out of about 13,000 foreign service officers and foreign service specialists," he said. "It was sent to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times with the understanding that the names of the signatories would remain classified. So we have no idea who these people are, just that they’ve run this up the flagpole." McAdams noted that ex-CIA employee and writer Phil Giraldi called the memo an "application letter to join the Hillary Clinton foreign policy team." 

    Loud and Clear Host Brian Becker asked McAdams if there was overlap between "the so-called liberal (war) hawks and neoconservatives," calling both groups "hyper-interventionist" and saying, "They seem to be one in the same."

    "They both base foreign policy on an ideological outlook on the world," McAdams responded, "which is that the world can and should be remade by force, that the United States is an exceptional nation and therefore shoulders the historic responsibility of forcing other countries, whether they like it or not, to do something Washington thinks will be in their best interest." 

    President Vladimir Putin meets with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad
    © Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
    President Vladimir Putin meets with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad

    He detailed how intervention campaigns often come under various names but tend to have similar outcomes. 

    "They have different ways of describing these interventions," he said, "They may say this is for 'humanitarian reasons,' or they may even say this is for regular political reasons, but they’re not realist or idealist. They’re strictly ideologue, which is always a danger I think, and the proof is in the outcome of the policy. From Yugoslavia on, you’ve seen nothing but bad outcomes to these interventions."

    Becker pointed out that Russia launched airstrikes against Syria last week, and that US Secretary of State John Kerry responded saying, "Russia needs to understand that our patience isn’t infinite." The Loud & Clear host asked McAdams what he thinks this issue would look like if Hillary Clinton were president.

    "I think the plan B that may come to pass under a Clinton administration would be to simply disintegrate the country and leave Assad in charge, but in charge of nothing," he said, suggesting that the former first lady would "split up the Kurdish region, push the Kurds to take more territory, split and cut and splice and turn it into essentially an ungovernable, Libya-style country, with Assad in charge of parts of Damascus, and that would be an absolute tragedy for all the religious and ethnic minorities, and every decent human being will be stuck in a real hellhole."


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    war, Syria, Hillary Clinton, Daesh, Bashar al-Assad, Damascus, Syria, US
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