Ex CIA chief’s ‘kill Russians, Iranians’ comment – Clinton job application
Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell has proposed the US escalate the conflict in Syria by targeting President Bashar Assad's allies. He added that killing Russians should be done covertly, but in such a way that the Kremlin would get the message.
Morell endorsed Hillary Clinton for US president and is known as a strong critic of Donald Trump.
RT: Russia and Iran are helping the Syrian government fight terrorists. So what would the US achieve by killing Russians and Iranians there?
Annie Machon: I think it would be jeopardizing world peace, to be quite frank. I think this is more like an alarming job application by Morell – so he would love to have a senior post in any Clinton administration, if she were to be elected. He is saying what he thinks she would like to hear about how America should deal with the situation in the Middle East. If indeed this does reflect her own views, then we’ve got to the absurd position, where actually world peace might be in safer hands if Donald Trump were elected president.
RT: Is Clinton running any risks by siding with a man who is proposing such a radical foreign policy move, do you think?
AM: I think this is a general reflection of the American establishment. Ever since the presidency of George W. Bush there has been a hit list of the countries that America has tried to ensure a regime change happens within. This was the list he called ‘the axis of evil’ comprising Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Now, North Korea is under the patronage of China, so it’s relatively safe; plus it has a nuclear capability. So America can’t really do much about that one. But we’ve seen what they have done in all the other countries.
In fact, back in 2008 America was on the brink of going to war against Iran, as well. The only reason that rush to war was stopped - and this is something Bush has actually acknowledging in his memos – was because of the leaking of the national intelligence estimate of 2008, which is the combined thinking of all 16 US intelligence agencies – about Iran’s nuclear weapons capability and the development thereof. Their assessment then - and it has been re-ratified every year since - is that Iran gave up trying to develop any nuclear capability in 2003, and did not therefore pose a threat to Western interests. That is the only reason Iran is still standing. And we’ve seen all the mess in all the other countries.
RT: How consistent is Clinton’s foreign policy track record?
AM: I think fundamentally consistent with the sort of hawkish neocon approach the American establishment has been taking against many countries in the Middle East – preserve their interest there to prop up some of their close allies like Saudi Arabia and the dictatorships across the Middle East, as well.
But also consistent in trying to provoke reaction from Russia. The US and EU backed coup in Ukraine was an immense provocation. It is because Russia has managed to show a great deal of self-restraint in that area and in the face of provocation with big NATO exercises in the Baltic States and Poland and all the rest of it. That is the only reason that we haven’t seen an escalation into war.
RT: Clinton and her supporters claim Donald Trump is doing Russia a favor. His motto is making America great again. Why would that be perceived as beneficial for the Kremlin?
AM: I think mainly because he has made noises about the fact that he would ratchet down the pressure against Russia. In opposition to what Hillary Clinton has been describing – that the pressure needs to be kept on Russia. She represents the American establishment which is very keen on a unipolar world.
Now, with the resurgence of Russia that monopoly on power that America has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War, they deem to be under threat. Trump himself has said: “We don’t need to think like that. We can focus on building up our own country and let other countries get on with what they want to do, as well.” I think that is an unusually sane comment from the presidential hopeful.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.