‘US militaristic faction continues to push for Middle East wars’

Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force (C) © Kevin Lamarque
No matter how much bombing the US military carries out in Syria and elsewhere, Washington lacks the consent of the people in the region; thus, we are using the pretext of fighting ISIS, says Todd Pierce, a former US Army judge advocate.

The US Air force Secretary Deborah Lee James said on Tuesday there is a need for "boots on the ground" in Syria in order to “occupy” and “govern” parts of Syria. She claims an air campaign will be more successful with ground troops. James said that "air power is extremely important. It can do a lot but it can't do everything."

RT: Whose "boots on the ground" do you think Washington is talking about?

Todd Pierce: If you listen to Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain, they are demanding that there be US boots on the ground. Graham was on ‘Morning Joe,’ a US TV show [yesterday] morning calling for a combined army, professional army, as he calls it, made up of Mid-Eastern nations, but including at least 10 percent of American troops… I think we need to begin to understand there is a militaristic faction within the US government that is pushing and demanding a war and to stay in the Mideast as they’ve been for 14 years.

So Lindsey Graham is calling for US boots on the ground, and generally the President has been rolling over when the militaristic clamor has got loud enough. So there is a risk that US troops will be in. As you probably know, once we [US] get in, we generally refuse to go unless something like Iraq - we had to maintain the pretense – that it was an independent government, so we gave in and pulled most of our troops out. And now we’re trying to get back in.

RT: How do you think the public is going to react to this? And how the White House is going to be able to sell this to the people?

TP: Well they almost sold it in 2013 when Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were demanding that we get in a war against Syria with missile strikes, etc. So they “manufactured consent,” as Noam Chomsky writes, and you don’t have to be a Noam Chomsky to recognize that. Fortunately the British Parliament stopped us from going in then. They never give up, though; they keep trying to get back on their feet and start in a different direction, and that is what we’re seeing now. We’ve had special operations forces operating in there; we’ve been spending a fortune.

I’ve got a bias: I’m for the American people - meaning, the people that I belong to – that we are not bankrupted and brought into more and more war by this militaristic faction, which in my opinion is thoroughly against the American peoples’ interest, as well as the people in the Mideast. So they keep trying and they will come up with more propaganda, like Lindsey Graham talking about ISIL/ISIS/DAESH being the second coming of the Nazis, religious Nazis. Again, it is constant propaganda that we get here now...

RT: What about the letter of law? The Syrian government hasn’t asked for the US help, and it is pretty unlikely that it would do. Would that violate international law?

TP: We’ve got to be honest with ourselves as Americans and as other people, because there are other people that have a big stake in this too, and I’m about people not only in the Middle East, but Europeans. The US lawyers have learned how to manipulate the law - as one person referred to it as “legalistic wordplay.” For example, when the State Department said that striking Libya with missiles flying from offshore beyond the maritime border that that would not be a war requiring the War Powers Act to be invoked, because we won’t have boots on the ground – the missiles will be flying overhead and coming from outside the country.

They incredibly said that that would not be a war. They’ll come up with some other inventive legal rational for why this is not a violation of international law. Relying something upon responsibility to protect the Syrian people or some other fallacious legalistic claim that they become very accomplished at making. But that is not true – there is going to be in violation of international law, and people outside the US need to be clamoring, demanding that the US abide by international law.

© Mohammed Ameen

RT: How does Deborah Lee James’ statement fit in with what appears to be a push for diplomacy to solve the crisis in Syria?

TP: ... Yes, there should be a push for diplomacy; there is a diplomatic solution here. I can’t say exactly what it is, but there is always a diplomatic solution. And the idea that has become popular in the US that the only solution that is ever desirable is a solution based upon war and military conquest. That is against everybody’s long-term interest, including the American peoples’, if they would only realize that.

RT: Do you think the US Air force Secretary made an effort to cover up the failure of the US Air Force?

TP: Well, again it was foreseeable that it would be a failure. No matter how much bombing they are going to do, we [US] don’t have the consent of the people in the region; we are using a pretext of fighting ISIS, when what we’re really doing is trying to have a regime change in Syria and taking [Bashar] Assad out of control, out of power, even though he was our go-to guy when we wanted somebody to torture Arab prisoners that we captured early in 2001-2002. Our ethics, our morality is entirely situational. We love a guy like Assad when we want somebody to torture our prisoners.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.