seymour hersch: "vietnam junkie" and journalist-historian
US presidents tend to gauge their own power in terms of their ability to force "regime change" in other parts of the world.
The overthrow of Mosaddegh in the Eisenhower years and the re-installation of the puppet Shah of Iran gave Allen Dulles and cronies a sense of what's possible. Guatemala then too, with Chile to come later, under Nixon.
Cuba was a more intractable "problem" as we see in hindsight, and now also Syria.
The White House has already been used as a platform to insist "Assad must go" with little thought about the day after.
President Obama admits his most serious mistake might have been not thinking about "the day after" in Libya, where a similar "must go" posture was struck.
A major symptom of a government imagining itself to be a "superpower" (i.e. having superpowers) is this insistence on having both the right and the wherewithal to overturn ("topple") other governments.
Keeping the people in line and in favor of "regime change" likewise requires endless bombardment with propaganda. Minions need to be perpetually persuaded they're following the right leaders.
"Assad uses barrel bombs"; so did the Pentagon, in great quantities, during Vietnam, they're less expensive.
"Assad gassed his own people"; the evidence suggests that famous sarin attack in Ghouta was engineered by Assad's enemies.
Yes the "civil war" in Syria is ugly. So was the civil war in the US. Adding cruise missiles and stealth bombers to the equation has so far not helped any.
Any except the weapons testers that is, who are having a field day with their criminal undeclared war on civilian guinea pigs, the pattern since WW1, and outlawed by the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
"Saddam Hussein has a nuclear weapons program"; the allegations are designed to create fear in the general population and therefore support for more military action.
Or is popular support even a requirement anymore?
Opposition to the war against Iraq was huge, yet the WDC government went ahead anyway, bringing narratives about "democracy" to the brink of bankruptcy. Are we back to monarchy then, or is it oligarchy? Welcome to the Banana Republic of North America (BRNA).
Does there ever come a point when a population develops antibodies to all this fear and manipulation by those suffering from a "superpower" military-industrial complex?
Do we have any kind of antidote for this Fourth Reich mental illness?
As a footnote to the above interview: my understanding is General Krulack's office in the Pentagon had arranged for Diem's transport to Europe but Diem was not yet ready to admit defeat and balked (sources: L. Fletcher Prouty, admittedly controversial; corroborating sources: intended arrest; CIA memo). The Kennedy brothers hoped he'd get out alive, understanding their position was high risk.