Saudi FM Backs State Dept Call for Syria Regime Change

State Dept: No Plans to Make Memo Calling for War Public

Yesterday’s emerging reports of the State Department “demanding” that the US abandon its ongoing war against ISIS in Syria in favor of a separate war against the Assad government continues to dominate US foreign policy discussion, and is attracting major comments internationally.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir was quick to back the State Department, insisting that’s the war the Saudis wanted all along, and criticizing President Obama for continuing on with the ISIS war, which the White House insists will not change.

In their daily press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed the existence of the “dissent channel message,” saying that it is extremely unusual for such a message to exist, let alone have a lot of signatures, as this one does.

At the same time, Kirby insisted that the document itself was likely to remain secret, and refused to discuss the exact details of the document, beyond saying that “no one’s content with the status quo.”

The Pentagon and CIA have been fighting for months over the Syria War, with the Pentagon favoring the war against ISIS, and undermining CIA efforts to smuggle weapons to Islamist rebels as part of the civil war, believing it would undermine the ISIS war.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    As I recall it, the 9/11 attacks were made by 19 Al Qaeda terrorists, 15 of which were Saudis and ZERO were Syrians. The Syrian government is secular and is under armed attack mostly by Sunni extremist groups (including Al Nusra and ISIS, both of which emerged from Al Qaeda) who follow the teachings of Wahabi Sunni extremist religious leaders in Saudi Arabia. If our US Government has any justification for supporting “regime change” in the Middle East, the prime target ought to be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and not Syria. The Syrian regime has done absolutely nothing to harm US interests, unlike Saudi Arabia which has spread violent Sunni extremism all over the planet.

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Syria must be defeated as part of THE GREATER ISRAEL PROJECT … google it and MASS MIGRATION WEAPON WAR

      • Don

        A temporary setback because of Obama and Putin conniving to create a stalemate in Syria. And then, the Obama admin not refusing to be taken in by the peace deal initiative that has saved Iran for the immediate future.

        So no matter how much you hate Obama, the facts on the ground spell at least partial success. And this issue with Obama being on the side of right, should bring it home to you a little more. President Clinton should convince you thoroughly but you may remain to proud to admit it!

        luv from Canada.

        • dieter heymann

          Canada. Is that not the country where the Royalists fled to?

          • Don

            It doesn’t matter dieter, I have no real false loyalty toward my country and no gushing of patriotism that is stirred up in the minds of Americans by their country’s propganda campaign of compliance. No charge against Canada will be challenged by me if it’s valid. And I probably won’t even respond to the invalid ones in defense of my country. We are complicit in US led wars and crimes against humanity too.

            Or in other words, if you’re antiwar then I’m on your side. if you’re another American faker then I will eventually expose you.

            luv from Canada.

          • dieter heymann

            In brief. I did not report to the Wehrmacht in February 1945 (I was a German national living in the Netherlands at the time) when I was called up. That should tell you where I stand on warfare. If I had not done that I would not have been allowed to remain in the Netherlands after the end of the war and I would never have been able to become a Dutch citizen.
            Please do not bite the somewhat lighthearted “Royalist” jest again. You cannot vote, I presume, in the US November elections which is what I expressed. I do not like your expression that President Obama is “conniving” with Putin.
            Where I stand on “Assad must go” you can read in my answer below to John Wells. I hold that the Obama administration is waging dangerous games with Russia on the borders of that nation and in Syria. The end of that game is hopefully a political Stalingrad because there can be no shooting war.

          • TellTheTruth-2

            Obama is playing a dangerous game by allowing the neoCONs to dictate his foreign policy to him. What I find so shocking is Obama has kept his administration INFESTED with war monger neoCONs and then pretends he even wants to be a peacemaker. We KNOW OBAMA by his fruits and his neoCON friends.

          • Don

            You’re coming around to learning something when you suggest that Obama is being dictated to by the neocons. It’s a start!

            The reason I know is because it’s the same in my country and the same in all democracies, parliamentary or the US mishmash called a republic. Dictatorships differ.

          • Adriaan de Leeuw

            just look at Nuland in Ukraine a quick look at both her and her Husband and one wonders how can she call herself a Diplomat! That requires an open mind and compromise! Victoria Nuland has none of these qualities and is a committed NEOCON who has been trying to get Russia into a war with the US for years!

          • Don

            Putin is hated by the American people because they’re told to do that by their propagandists. For Obama to take a stand that doesn’t oppose Putin is asking for the ridiculous. He’d be run out of town on the next freight. At best he can drag his feet and work schemes that can’t be objected to by the hawks. He did that brilliantly and successfully with Putin when he offered the same deal as was offered to Iraq on their WMD’s that weren’t there. Then Assad gleefully agreed on the US demands and the hawks must have torn their hair out. The sham was supposed to work twice and allow the US to go to war based on Assad’s non-compliance.

            The rest is history, and historians will speak of it long after Obama is gone. Because it’s a permanent stalemate that was imposed on the US due to Russia’s legitimacy in Syria now.

          • Don

            Keep it serious dieter and we won’t have many problems.

            If you think the Obama admin is waging dangerous games with Russia, then you’re on the right track by not insisting it’s Obama. perhaps you have read my comments that disagree with the Obama haters when they contend that Obama is responsible for the bombing. The American people are responsible. The government they elect and the demands they make of that government are what tell the truth.

            No candidate, remaining or otherwise has professed an antiwar agenda. It’s not popular in the US and would cause a candidate to lose popularity.

          • Bianca

            Yes — because people are FOR something, not just generically anti-war.

            Trump is an example of saying everything that neocons disapprove. From Iraq on onward. Did not bother people, People are for change — from Obama onward, that was the mood of nation. But we keep on getting same worn out warmongering. US needs fixing not other countries. Call the voters stupid if you will but they know the cost of endless wars and meddling i to other countries business. Those that make money in warmongering industry are unhappy. But Joe Sixpack knows the difference between a war and stupidities to pad pockets in the name of defence. To nust be intellectuly anti-war without knowing what one is for characterises the impotence of intellectualism at times of ossified intitutions crying for change. If they do not change a wrecking ball will appear sooner or later. In ghe meantime we csn hope for a safery valve to blow off some steam before a larger damage is done. Change agents come in different forms. This is at least the opinion of the author of Black Swan.

        • TellTheTruth-2

          Don 🙂 First, I don’t HATE period. It’s a useless emotion that hurts the hater, not the hated. Second, to me, Obama seems to be a Narcissist who has no empathy for others and does not have the ability to even understand he is a Narcissist. Third, he’s a tool of the neoCONs. google … university of Chicago neoconservatives Strauss Obama .. and study.

          • John Ellis

            Forth, Hillary is Obama-Bush in spades.

          • TellTheTruth-2

            Right !!!!

          • Don

            That’s the best assurance you could have given me to prove that your hate for Obama is irrational. And so that only leaves your domestic politics that oppose his politics, or your racist hate.

            When you tell me he’s a narcissist with no empathy for others, it tells me you are seething with hate that’s motivated by some cause. I’m pretty sure I have it pegged now.

          • TellTheTruth-2

            Bye Bye Don .. there is a time to walk away .. I won’t be responding to you anymore.

          • Don

            Good. But don’t say it if you don’t mean it. Or rather, don’t say it when it ties you to not being able to respond. My motive is not to oppose you on everything you say, just to point out where I disagree with much of what you say. An antiwar agenda will be consistent with mine and will not offer any chances to disagree.

      • Don

        And I should have also mentioned, to address your complaint, there hasn’t been a president more hated by Netanyahu than Obama!

        • dieter heymann

          You do have a point there.
          I cannot understand the reasoning by other commentators why the Netanyahu government would prefer ISIL over Assad. Assad has repeatedly demanded the return of the Golan Heights but has never tried to get them back by invasion. ISIL will not be so restrained. The Caliphate not only wants to take the Golan Heights but Israel too.

          • Don

            Israel hate, or, legitimate hate of the apartheid regime causes the others to say some crazy things. Of course Assad won’t go to war over the Golan. Neither would Russia and mainly because Russia would love to drive a wedge between the US and Israel. Nothing in that hurts Russia’s agenda.

            Russia’s and China’s agenda is to protect what remains of their interests in the ME. That’s become painfully obvious now. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Assad’s claimed brutality. No more than it did with Saddam obviously.

    • jeff_davis

      Exactly right,… fifteen years after 911, five years after the start of the Neocon/Saudi war to destroy Syria. Yet despite the flashing red, undeniable fact that Saudi Wahabism funded by Saudi oil money is the cancerous source and financial fuel for extreme Islamic terrorism from Morocco to Mindanao, that reality struggles even today to find expression in the MSM. The reason this self-evident fact remains suppressed is as obvious as it is criminal: American oil company profits and American arms manufacturer profits from Saudi oil money.

      Time for some aspiring political figure — perhaps one whose name starts with Donald and has no stake in tainted oil profits — to blow the lid off this criminal business. Executive bullet points: Bush family closeness to the Saudis — inflamed nicely with photos of GWB holding hands with Bandar “Bush” — The Carlyle Group principals, w/revenue stream details, Dick “Darkside” Cheney and his Halliburton connections.

      As you know, Trump sought to tie Obama to the Orlando attack through his support for the anti-Assad “rebels” — al Quaeda et al — in Syria. (Though Trump didn’t mention her, Hillary is linked as well, heading up as she did the Neocon-driven State Dept/CIA Syrian regime change effort.) So far, the media has deflected Trump’s effort to get traction with that issue.

      I stark contrast, the Saudi/Wahabbi/Bush/Cheney terrorist connection is a nuke-level monster issue primed for detonation. Hillary as the head of Obama’s State Dept, would be caught well within the “blast radius”. Time to drop that bomb, Donald.

  • Lord Byng

    Yeah, this makes a huge amount of sense. Let’s ally ourselves with the organization that promises to kill us all. And not mince words: that’s what these so-called State Department signatories want. An alliance with ISIS. Because ISIS is less of a concern to them than Syria. Did I say “Syria”? I meant, Iran. And did I say, “them”? I meant, Israel.

    Israel wants us to dispose of the Assad government for them. If ISIS takes over Syria- well, what’s the problem? ISIS has never attacked Israelis. Only French, British, Germans, Turks, Kurds, Iraqis, and Americans.

    Israel is confident they’ll be fine with the black flag flying over Damascus. Hezbollah would be weaker. That’s the real goal, because that’s the real threat. All those Hezbollah missiles.

    I’d like to see a count of how many of these “State Department” people are dual citizens.

    Attack Assad: yes, great idea. Here’s a war with two sides, and these morons suggest going to war with both sides. That’ll work. That’s genius.

    And Russia too. Anyone think Russia is just going to stand aside and let American planes wipe out their ally? With S-400’s at Latakia?

    Who are these people? Are they really so stupid?

    • TellTheTruth-2

      ISIS = Israel Secret Intelligence Service … google it

  • Tom Aman

    The Saudis have to, otherwise we might not sell them more weapons

    • Adriaan de Leeuw

      Just shows how much you know about whats going on…………..The Saudis literally own about half of foreign US treasury bonds, the US economy will crash if the Saudis sell them off, will the Saudis take a hit absolutely, but America will collapse economically and it will get worse if the Saudis go from the Petro dollar to the Euro! As we speak the US is funding Al Nusra they used to be called Al Qaeda, the Saudis are funding them as well they are also funding ISI Israel is providing medical services for Al Nusra also. Just remember all those oil trucks belonging to ISIS that sat in a desert parking area for years whilst being filled up wth stolen Iraqi oil driven to Turkey and processed in the Turkish Presidents Sons refinery, for years not a bomb was dropped there until the Russians made it clear to the world what was happening in the US general assembly suddenly literlly the next day those trucks were bombed, Now I as a normal citizen knew that those trucks were there not exactly but I had heard roughly where they were from Normal media sources, to even hint that the CIA and others did not know where and what they were doing beggars belief! Of course one likes to avoid bombing your allies even if they are secret nefarious ones that you are claiming to be fighting!

      • Tom Aman

        Zzzzzzzzz… nothing you or me can do about it

  • WinstonSmithy

    Logical conclusion: Pentagon actually goes to war with the CIA?

  • John Wells

    The State Department has been more militaristic than the Pentagon for quite some time now. They are the ones who should always be for diplomacy, not wars.

    • dieter heymann

      Remember von Clausewitz? The Prussian General who knew that states normally try to get by war what they could not get by diplomacy.
      “Assad must go” is many years old. Why is that demand dug up now?
      The White House comment is: ““no one’s content with the status quo.” That either means a wimpy WH or a WH which agrees with the State Department.
      There are currently talks ongoing of the Obama administration with the Russians to expand the Government of Syria withe elements of the opposition. Putin has already agreed in principle. Why does President Obama allow the State Department to throw an obvious monkey wrench into these negotiations unless he agrees? This is a dangerous playing.
      The support by the House of Saud should be a prime reason to move closer to Putin and away from Saud’s political poison.
      President Obama has for many years tried to get “Assad to go” flirting several times with war only to be checked by Putin. Has he decided to cross his Rubicon to forcefully chase the Russians out of Syria by upping the ante in the Black and Baltic Seas?
      The silence on this matter by Trump, Clinton, and Sanders is deafening. No wonder because the three also demand that “Assad must go”.

      • Don

        There is no antiwar movement in the US so consequently, no politician is being asked to voice an antiwar agenda. Why can’t that be accepted as the obvious answer. And besides that, Obama can’t do it by himself. If he outright professed an antiwar agenda, he would be taken as a surrender monkey who has no interest in protecting his country from terrorist attacks.

        The American people might be starting to come around to understand that they need to support antiwar logic but it’s very slow and hardly visible amongst the mainstream. When the people do then they will ask their politicians to do the same. Politicians only do what is asked of them but will do it if they are threatened if they don’t act on the wishes of the people. When you say ‘wimpy WH’ you need to consider the impossible task you’re asking of Obama, to do what we want to see by himself.

        Americans don’t want to accept their responsibility and so nothing changes. Bernie Sanders could have been a hope for change but their divisive domestic politics kept them blind to the possibility. Now they have two very bad choices for president with a glimmer of hope that either one or both of them can be replaced.

  • malletgirl02

    To hell with the memo not being released to the public! These so called diplomats want their cake and eat it to. They want their war, but also don’t want their names release so they people know who called war more war. I demand for this memo to be released, it is important for the public to have all the facts. Anyone have any ideas how to push for the release?

    • How to push for the release: Push the left mouse button.

      URL: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/17/world/middleeast/document-state-dept-syria.html

      • malletgirl02

        I went to the New York Times website and found it before I saw your post. I was confused by the subject time of the article, “State Department: No plans for calling for war public”. that is why I thought it wasn’t available to the public. There is no need for nasty snark. Plus when I looked at the memo on the New York Times website, The names of the 51 diplomats that signed the memo was not on the document. So my point about not knowing the names of the signatories still stands.

        • The whole point of the “Dissent Channel” is for State Department employees to be able to express their opinions without fear of retribution. That being the case, why would they put their names on the thing before handing it over to the New York Times? We don’t even know if there actually ARE 51 signers.

          • Don

            If they get away with this one then they have achieved the ultimate skullduggery against a democracy. (or republic if you must)
            On the bright side, it’s another clear admission that Obama is on the side of right. I’m becoming more and more bold with saying, “I told you so”! And their credibility slips further by denying it. And you Thomas?

          • Yes, because saying something and not putting your name on it is “the ultimate skullduggery against democracy.” In some alternate universe, at least.

          • Don

            That propellor on your hat is being turned by libertarian bullshit Thomas. Stop mascerading as antiwar on the basis that the libertarian agenda demands it. It really doesn’t. Just as surely as your guns agenda isn’t libertarian because it steals the rights and freedoms from far more people than the guns pretend to protect.

          • TellTheTruth-2

            Be Careful Don …

          • Don

            Really? Do you want to see me continue on this site? I can safely say that I don’t want to see you go, or anybody else for that matter. At least not people who make some sense, regardless of their politics not appearing sensible to me. You offer a mixed bag but still valuable.

          • I would be antiwar whether “the libertarian agenda” demanded it or not, idiot.

          • Don

            I said, ‘if’ they get away with it and you need to consider what that means. You could think of it as roughly equivalent to the WMD scam for the war in Iraq. Or maybe even think of it in the same terms as when Colin Powell held up the little bottle that probably contained tap water.

            Would the American people ever allow this skullduggery to pass muster? Most likely not but then that’s where the ‘if’ comes in which I mentioned.

        • And if you think that was “nasty snark,” you must not have been on the Internet very long. That was “playful snark.” You’ll know “nasty snark” when you see it.

      • TellTheTruth-2

        Thanks for the link .. right clicking on the link lets a new tab or page be opened without leaving antiwar . com.

    • Don

      Maybe scream, hold your breathe, and stamp your foot?
      You American had your chance with Obama but you couldn’t support him because of your domestic politics and him being the wrong colour. Now you’re going to get Clinton and things will be nearly back to normal. Nearly, because Putin had Obama’s cooperation to set up a stalemate in Syria where it’s hands off for an all-out US led war.

      Clinton will up the demonization of Putin and attempt to take away Russia’s credibility it has built in Syria, in preparation for war but Putin is going to stand his ground this time. Iran is also safe for now but we can expect the US to try to tear up the agreement and convince the EU to do likewise.

      It’s too late because the Obama years will have a longlasting effect on US foreign policy in the ME.

      luv from Canada.

      • malletgirl02

        I did support Obama, I voted for him both times for president.

        • Don

          Good! You have at least been a part in postponing America’s march to world domination. Most likely permanently because Russia is standing up now to take the place of the Soviet Union. And along with China, should prove to be even more effective on serving that purpose.
          I’m not suggesting that the S.U. did or did not serve other purposes, just that it definitely was the deterrent to US led wars that we have been experiencing since it’s fall, and then to date.

      • dieter heymann

        The EU is not a signer of the Iran agreement. Only the US, France, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and China are signatories. You know that of course so why do you throw in the EU nonsense? And what makes you so cock-sure that the Germans will tear up their signature? Or the French?
        There is a distinct chance that our Congress will vote that Boeing must stop its negotiations for the sale of planes to Iran. It will of course never get past Obama’s veto but if it did do you really believe that the European plane makers would follow us?
        I agree: the opening to Iran and its stubborn defense will stand as one of the major foreign policy achievements of the Obama administration. The number of governments which are against it can be counted with one hand.

        • Don

          Fwiw, the EU was a party to the agreement and I believe a signatory.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_nuclear_deal_framework

          I’m not at all sure that the Germans will tear up the agreement. Or the French. I don’t know what European plane makers would do but I think the other parties to the agreement would resist US efforts to destroy the agreement. With the exception of the British perhaps.

          What I said mostly agrees with the other points you make. Remember how the P5 didn’t agree with the Kosovo war or the Iraq war and that didn’t stop the US?

          I only think it’s important to point out that this time the Russians and the Chinese are on board with the agreement and that is going to change things. They aren’t going to buckle to the US even if the others do.

          Thank you for your agreement on Obama being instrumental to the agreement being a success. Can you agree that Obama has stopped all-out US led war on Syria too?

    • TellTheTruth-2

      These diplomats are not diplomats, they’re one sided war mongers.

  • RickR35

    Good that all the snakes are coming out commenting on affairs that aren’t their business. Are we going to hear from netenyahoo next? Saudi Arabia is getting much more vocal recently–following israel’s lead in interfering in someone else’s foreign policy.

  • John Ellis

    If Donald Trump would promise to fire all 51, if we had a peace loving society, would not the White House be his in a landslide?

  • If at all a regime needs to be changed, the Saudi regime is the one that needs changing.

  • lemur

    Another Israel-Saudi temporary-alliance-from-hell channelling via Foggy Bottom.
    It’s sad it has come to the point where one hopes there would be a general of honour who would rid us of the political pests, in “Falkenberg’s Legion” style.

  • dmaak112

    It should come as no surprise that Saudi Arabia favors a war against Syria’s government and not against the Islamic radicals. Both of our major political parties are beholden to the Saudis. Oil, its control and pricing, remains the keystone to US-Saudi relationship. For all the bluster about terrorism, there are almost no voices pointing to the contribution that Saudi Arabia, as well as Qatar, has made to Islamic radicalization. Building religious schools, sponsoring fanatical religious leaders and funding and arming terrorists are the hallmarks of these Medieval oil sheiks. Their concern about Syria has nothing to do with democracy, but everything to do with the on-going struggle between the Arab oil monarchs and Iran. This effort to topple Bashar al-Asad also plays into Israel’s goal of removing Asad because of Syria’s support of Hezbollah and its alliance with Iran. These two nations carry a great deal of influence in Washington and policy making. If Americans really want to defeat Islamic terrorism, then we must change in our foreign policy in the Middle East. Removing Asad from power will not defeat al Qaeda which is funded and aided by our Turkish and Arab allies, and it will certainly not destroy ISIS. We are fighting and defending the wrong parties in this conflict.