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New Call for Smashing Assad Comes from Clinton’s Camp—Jeremy Bash in London’s Telegraph; Pressure on Obama To Act Now

July 31, (EIRNS)—In the Telegraph of London, an exclusive interview was run July 29 with Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy advisor Jeremy Bash, who was chief of staff for Leon Panetta as Obama’s CIA Director (2009-11) and Defense Secretary (2011-13). Bash issues a strident call for stepped up action in Syria against Bashar al-Assad. While posing this an attack on Obama’s being soft, the reality is that it is an attack on Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been working directly with Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov to formulate an actual solution to the Syria crisis, based on targeting the terrorists, not the government.

Bash states that Clinton will be ordering a "full review" of U.S. strategy; that is, that she backs tougher action than the Obama Administration is performing to date. This is in line with the bellicose remarks made by Bash’s boss Leon Panetta himself, at the Democratic Convention on July 27, where he was booed with the chant, "No More War." A rundown on Panetta and others—called "Hillary’s Hawks"—was issued in last Friday’s Consortiumnews.com by author Gareth Porter.

The Telegraph article is titled, "Hillary Clinton Will Reset Syria Policy against ’Murderous’ Assad Regime," and its gist is to say that the Obama administration (i.e., Kerry) is prevaricating on Syria, especially by working with Russia. Bash is quoted,

"A Clinton Administration will not shrink from making clear to the world exactly what the Assad regime is. It is a murderous regime that violates human rights; that has violated international law; used chemical weapons against his own people; has killed hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of children,"

and so on. According to the Telegraph write-up, "Mr. Bash describes a foreign policy more hawkish than that of the current administration."

That is the point of the Gareth Porter posting July 29 on Consortiumnews.com "Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks." Porter covers the recent bellicose statements by Leon Panetta and Michelle Flournoy, said to be in line for Clinton’s Defense Secretary, noting,

"It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for figures known to be close to a presidential candidate to make public recommendations for a 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."

Clinton’s advisors so openly calling for war on Assad, "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."