7/27/17 Gareth Porter on Barack Obama’s policy of arming jihadists in Syria

Gareth Porter returns to the show to discuss his latest articles for the American Conservative, “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria” and “How CIA and Allies Trapped Obama in the Syrian Arms Debacle.” Scott and Gareth discuss how U.S. national security policy since Obama took office has been largely been, either directly or indirectly, in support of al-Qaeda and that unlike George W. Bush, who empowered al-Qaeda accidentally, Barack Obama did it with full understanding of the likely consequences of his policies. Gareth then explains how U.S. policy in the Middle East, and in Syria particularly, changed with the outbreak of the Arab Spring, which the U.S. saw as an opportunity to foment revolution with the goal of regime change. According to Gareth, Obama’s advisors failed to warn him that arming Assad’s enemies in Syria would increase the role of Hezbollah and Iran, and ultimately backfire—just another example of how the U.S. foreign policy machine is always able to rationalize their views, no matter how ill-fated, in order to advance their supposed interests. Gareth also explains why the Iran Deal pressured Obama into opposing Iran everywhere else in order to placate Saudi Arabia and many of his advisors, including David Petraeus. Finally, Scott and Gareth touch on the considerable role Israel and the U.S.’s Sunni allies in the region play in determining U.S. policy.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter.

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