John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo credit: US Department of State / Flickr.

It appears CNN and The New York Times gave the public a sanitized report on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Syrian opposition leaders back in September.

Unlike those two media giants, Wikileaks released the full, unscrubbed audio of the 35-minute conversation this week. Included was the revelation that the White House knew of the growing threat the Islamic State presented in the region and that it actually hoped ISIL’s progress would lead to regime change in Syria.

CNN decided to remove the audio from its site months ago, while the NYT never actually published the audio in the first place, and reported around the most embarrassing passages.

Meanwhile, giving US foreign policy the benefit of the doubt against charges the White House stood idly by during the rise of ISIL is becoming an untenable position.

As reported back in September after the meeting, Kerry wanted the West to use force in Syria. What’s new is that he was apparently overruled by an administration that saw ISIL as a tool for ousting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. What’s also new, as Kerry concedes, is that Russia came to Assad’s rescue largely for the purpose of halting ISIL’s advance.

“And we know that this was growing, and we were watching,” Kerry can be heard saying. “We saw that Daesh (ISIL) was growing in strength. We thought, however, that we could probably manage. You know, that Assad might then negotiate.”

That seems to fly in the face of stated White House policy for over half a decade that ISIL is an enemy that must be taken out.

President Barack Obama’s address to the nation on Sept. 10, 2014, for example, began: “Tonight I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. … ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.  And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”

So, their strategy was to “destroy” the murderous terrorist organization by way of letting it take Damascus? Curious.

Instead, Assad appealed to Putin for aid, and the Russian president provided it. Once Russian military might entered the stage, White House plans for the region — undoubtedly set to continue under a Hillary Clinton presidency — were thrown into chaos.

With the obvious Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin cohesion at play, it is becoming clear that the decades-long US policy of favoring Sunni interests in the Sunni-Shia split is now at a major crossroads.


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So is this why the US refused to interfere with the ISIS/Turkey oil for arms trade until the Russians got involved and bombed the oil trucks? I thought the US just wanted a counterweight to a Shia Iraq.


The state is the central abstraction by which a catastrophically wrong idea is placed into practice. ~David Calderwood

“Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.” ~ Michael Rivero

Archer Crosley

Please, don’t humor Obama and his band of merry men by using the term ISIL. They only use that term because everyone else calls them ISIS. When they use the term ISIL they use it as a subtle putdown to say to you the following: “You are so stupid, you can’t even get the name right.”

Jeff Clyburn

Oh, your Obama hatred is showing. … Meanwhile:

Archer Crosley

Yes, I understand this; I’m not an idiot. Early on there were many terms for ISIS – ISIS, ISIL, IS, Daesh. Most organizations and people had settled on ISIS. Obama knew this and still chose to use the term ISIL knowing full well he was in the minority. I know liberals; I know how they think; and I’ll bet I’m older than you, sonny. So don’t tell me what you think you know. People like Obama have been drinking the Harvard Kool-aid for a long time. They have been indoctrinated into thinking they are the best and brightest (they are not). They need to reinforce this delusion to themselves every chance they get. Go ahead, keep drinking the Kool-aid. Better yet, look at the results, not the bullshit foisted upon you by MSM.

Jeff Clyburn

I stopped reading at “I know liberals; I know how they think.” Though I should have known the semantics spiral of pettiness I was getting myself into. Your archetype is also familiar to me. … Shall I link to the multitude of conservative pundits who also refer to the group as ISIL? Such as David Azzerad at the Heritage Foundation? Or is it only pretentious and irritating when the “liberal” president does it? … Yes, I think we understand what’s being suggested here by another left-hating “patriot.”