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Scathing criticism of Trump’s foreign policy – from former US intelligence officers

Dahr Jamail | Former US Intelligence Officers Scathingly Critique Trump’s So-Called Foreign Policy, May 08, 2017, By Dahr JamailTruthout | News Analysis 

“……..As the Trump administration appears poised to become increasingly involved in Syria and the greater Middle East, what is life like under the bombs?………

As that conflict continues with no end in sight, in yet another direct contradiction to his campaign promises to avoid involvement in Middle East conflicts, Trump is now on the brink of plunging the US deeper into the morass of blood, destruction and suffering across the Middle East and beyond.

Several former intelligence officials spoke with Truthout about the Trump administration’s military escalations, and what his mistakes could mean for the world’s future.

Syria as a Distraction  The former officials pointed to Trump’s escalation of US attacks on Syria as a distraction from investigations into his administration.

I think it’s clear that Donald Trump found it expedient to fire the 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base on April 7 as a way to quell the media frenzy surrounding ‘Russiagate’ that was causing his approval ratings to tank,” Elizabeth Murray, who was formerly the deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council, told Truthout. Murray retired in 2010 after a 27-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she served as a media and political analyst on Middle Eastern issues.

Murray believes Trump seized the opportunity to blame the Syrian government for the April 4 chemical weapon incident so that he could use it as a pretext to bomb.

“By giving his generals the green light to launch the missiles, he was able to silence media criticism, appease pro-war neoconservative elements and shore up his flagging image,” Murray explained……….

From Bad to Worse

According to Murray, in terms of the trajectory of developments in Syria and Iraq, it’s very difficult to be optimistic in the near term.

“What’s really disturbing is that US citizens are being prevented from knowing what is really going on with regard to US involvement in those countries,” she said. “The Trump administration has announced that the public will no longer be informed of new troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, while this was routinely disclosed under the previous administration.”

She sees that as an indication that US military activity in both countries is being ramped up in a clandestine manner; and since deploying ground troops to these countries is wildly unpopular, the Trump administration has decided to keep the American people in the dark………

Given that the US military does not report numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, it is impossible for Americans to hold their so-called leaders accountable when they are prevented from knowing what is even occurring.

“These kinds of policies will leave us dependent on journalists and whistleblowers willing to risk their lives and livelihoods to tell the truth,” Murray added. “Meanwhile, weapons manufacturers and Washington, DC-based ‘beltway bandits’ [the cottage industry of think tanks and contractors servicing the Defense Department and intelligence agencies] will continue to thrive under a foreign policy of endless wars.”………

Murray thinks face-to-face talks with North Korean leadership are required to de-escalate tensions, which Trump has gone out of his way to ratchet up. Additionally, she says Washington should scale back the ongoing hostile rhetoric and major military maneuvers it has been conducting in the region.

“If one reads the terrible history of US military intervention in North Korea, it’s easy to understand why Pyongyang is jittery and testing its ballistic missiles,” Murray said. She noted that a similar process of de-escalation should be employed with regard to Syria and Russia, adding that Iran should be included in these negotiations………


May 10, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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