News Release

Istanbul Attacks and Syrian “Nation Destruction”


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Peck served in Tunisia and Egypt, was chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania, and deputy director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan White House.

He said today: “A big change in international relations is that virtually everyone is reachable. After the Paris attack, [French President François] Hollande said this is an ‘act of war.’ Well how would you describe what we’re doing in Syria? Clearly someone is unhappy with what we’re doing, given the Istanbul airport attack. We don’t want to blame the Turks, but they are involved in an internal war and that generates problems for them as it does for people who are reacting.

“Syria is a total catastrophe because of years of war. I remember people saying that after that authoritarian Tito is gone, Yugoslavia can finally prosper. Or that after we get rid of Saddam Hussein, the Mideast can bloom, or that Libya will be so much better off when that damn Muammar Gaddafi is gone. Well, us getting rid of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad isn’t going to make things better either. Because no state has the right to tell another state how to run itself.

“The administration has been saying for years that ‘Assad must go’ — and that’s often described as ‘nation building’ — but such policies have really done more destruction that building.

“You have this recent leaked memo of 51 alleged diplomats calling for escalating efforts to oust Assad. But we don’t even know the names, if these people follow the region or even if they’re at the State Department. There’s a great tradition of constructive dissent that changes policy at State, but that is very different from this leak.”

PAUL GOTTINGER, paul.gottinger[at], @paulgottinger
Gottinger is an independent journalist. He has found a sharp rise in terrorist attacks since 9/11: “My analysis of U.S. State Department data shows that terror attacks have increased by a staggering 65 times since 9/11. This massive escalation in terror really skyrocketed during the U.S. War in Iraq. British Intelligence has dubbed this the ‘Iraq Effect’. According the US State Department, in 2003 there were 208 terror attacks around the world, but that number had jumped to 11,000 attacks just two years later. In the years since, the number of attacks has generally been above 10,000.”

Gottinger has also written the piece “The U.S. Has Spent Twice as Much on War in Syria as it Has on Humanitarian Aid.” He said today: “The U.S. policy in Syria of sending arms, funds, and assembling rebel groups only increases terror. I believe, working with traditional U.S. adversaries Assad, Russia, and Iran to find common ground, clamping down on funding of jihadi groups from Persian Gulf countries, working to solve Sunni grievances in Iraq and Syria, and massively increasing support for refugees would all prove to be vital components of a far more successful counter-terror strategy.”

Background: “How Erdogan Enabled ISIS To Attack The Turks” by John A. Tures; Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government” by Adam Johnson for FAIR; “Risking Nuclear War for Al Qaeda?” by Robert Parry of ConsortiumNews.