July 29, 2016
An investigative journalist and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, Porter just wrote the piece, “Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks” for Consortium News, which states: “As Hillary Clinton begins her final charge for the White House, her advisers are already recommending air strikes and other new military measures against the Assad regime in Syria.
“The clear signals of Clinton’s readiness to go to war appears to be aimed at influencing the course of the war in Syria as well as U.S. policy over the remaining six months of the Obama administration. (She also may be hoping to corral the votes of Republican neoconservatives concerned about Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy.)
“Last month, the think tank run by Michele Flournoy, the former Defense Department official considered to be most likely to be Clinton’s choice to be Secretary of Defense, explicitly called for ‘limited military strikes’ against the Assad regime.
“And earlier this month Leon Panetta, former Defense Secretary and CIA Director, who has been advising candidate Clinton, declared in an interview that the next president would have to increase the number of Special Forces and carry out air strikes to help ‘moderate’ groups against President Bashar al-Assad. (When Panetta gave a belligerent speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, he was interrupted by chants from the delegates on the floor of ‘no more war!’ …
“It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for figures known to be close to a presidential candidate to make public recommendations for new and broader war abroad. The fact that such explicit plans for military strikes against the Assad regime were aired so openly soon after Clinton had clinched the Democratic nomination suggests that Clinton had encouraged Flournoy and Panetta to do so.
“The rationale for doing so is evidently not to strengthen her public support at home but to shape the policy decisions made by the Obama administration and the coalition of external supporters of the armed opposition to Assad.
“Obama’s refusal to threaten to use military force on behalf of the anti-Assad forces or to step up military assistance to them has provoked a series of leaks to the news media by unnamed officials – primarily from the Defense Department – criticizing Obama’s willingness to cooperate with Russia in seeking a Syrian ceasefire and political settlement as ‘naïve.’
“The news of Clinton’s advisers calling openly for military measures signals to those critics in the administration to continue to push for a more aggressive policy on the premise that she will do just that as president.”