David Sanger on Syria, Iran and Regional Conflict

Thursday, August 09, 2012

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, WNYC contributor and author of Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, discusses the latest diplomatic efforts around the Syria crisis and where Iran and the rest of the region fit in.


David Sanger

Comments [24]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

roseellen, Please go to Syria and use your great influence and insight to get the Assad regime and the rebels to stop killing each other.

Maybe you can get some tips from the taliban?

Good Luck.

Aug. 10 2012 01:09 AM

roseellen - but that's just it... we can't even get a handle on street crime in the US. and as usual in international politics... it's rarely just a matter of who is "good" and who is "bad".

Aug. 09 2012 03:10 PM

To stand by and do nothing about the torture and murder of men women and children taking place by this regime is complicity at this point.If alquada is there on the side of the people then it is our narrative about alquada that needs to change.To call this a civil war is like calling the holocaust a civil war.The fact that assad if good for christians is no ethical reason to accept crimes against humanity on non christians. It does not matter ethically who "these people are"-they're people and they're being tortured and killed en masse by a brutal dictatorship.That we labeled syria part of the axis of evil and yet when the people themselves rise up against this regime-we come up with reasons to not help the people topple this evil regime-exposes the reality that it is the arab people we are against.After we "liberated" iraq even though they never asked to be "liberated".Apparantly is was more about shock and awe then any concern with "liberation" as our reaction to syria exposes.[If assad is shocking and aweing those arabs he doesn't need us to do it too.]That we threaten iran yet practically defend assad which iran backs is indicative of our complicity with a virtual genocide.Unbelievable.

Aug. 09 2012 02:19 PM

As typical - don't try "Jedi-Mind tricks" that the politicians do in debates. You got off the topic of what I was discussing.
Not one of those issues you stated had anything to do with 9/11. But I will engage...

Saddam committed MANY atrocities when he was listed as an ally prior to invading Kuwait.

You don't even know who those ppl demonstrating in Syria are. Do you really think they are all boyscouts? Do you really think they want to be your friend? Do you have any idea who you are "supporting"???

Our problems with Iran stem to us placing the Shah in power... It's like a carousel that you can't find a way to get off. The point was to never get on in the first place. This space is too short to go into the history of the Shah.

Again - when you keep trying to pick winners and losers there will continue to be problems.

With almost each one of these "revolutions"... Israel actually becomes more vulnerable. As well as the Christians who have to flee because they then become a prey... when they had mostly peaceful lives before.

Aug. 09 2012 01:23 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


Did Iraq ever have WMDs?
Did Iraq ever use WMDs?

Where are the "anti-war" activists demonstrating across from the Syrian consulate? How many people have to die until "progressive" "anti-war" activists conclude that it's time to oppose genocide in Syria? A genocide that the "anti-war" crowd can't blame on the US or Israel?

Has the self identified Islamic Republic of Iran made threats against the US and Israel? And considering the death threats by the president of the Islamic Republic, do you believe that their nuclear program is only "peaceful"?

Aug. 09 2012 12:44 PM

Edward - my comment was in relation to Iraq, Syria, Iran none of which were involved in 9/11... so what is your point????

Aug. 09 2012 12:19 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Andre, The 9/11 attack is analogous to the Pearl Harbor attack.

Aug. 09 2012 11:51 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

A few points worth mentioning.

Halabja Iraq. Saddam Hussein used poison gas, a WMD, and killed 5,000 Kurds.

National SOCIALIST Germany and Soviet SOCIALIST non-aggression pact
Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union

That Socialist pact lasted until Socialist Hitler reneged on the pact and attacked the Soviet Union.

Friction at the U.N. as Russia and China Veto Another Resolution on Syria Sanctions

Also I have yet to see so called "anti-war" demonstrations across from the Syrian consulate, demonstrating over the deaths of 20,000 people.

Are the "anti-war" activists being told to stand down by Russia and China?

Aug. 09 2012 11:49 AM

jgarbuz - all that has happened is that the Shi'ites in Iraq have done what they always wanted to do... and that is to become friendly with Iran (while the Sunni backed Al Queda types try to cause havoc still). I guess you completely forget that Saddam was backed by the US when he fought Iran... and he oppressed the Shi'ite population in his country as a result of the war. The US was his benefactor until he invaded Kuwait - which upset Saudi Arabia. Where were you when all that was happening?? The Revolutionaries in Iran came to power because the west backed the Shah.. and the normal ppl wanted him out. This is like a carousel... and ppl always die. Trying to pick winners and losers is most certainly folly.

Don't compare this to Okinawa... that is an insult to those who died at Pearl Harbor.... which drew the US into WW2. That was national defense to defend against Japan.

Aug. 09 2012 10:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Hugh Samson

The outcome in Iraq is (a) they are NOT producing WMDs, and (b) there is no more sanctions on them, and (c) they are trying to create a democracy of sorts. Hence, I consider Iraq a victory for American values. Was it bloody?Of course. So was Anzio and Okinawa. Democracy did not come easy to Germany and Japan either. It was quite a bloodletting.

Aug. 09 2012 10:29 AM
Jefferson Brick

"Only the SUpreme Fuehrer Khameini knows."

Unless you are in on US covert programs, you are just making this up

Aug. 09 2012 10:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Jefferson Brick

Yes, we took Iraq too seriously, and hence the propensity now is to underestimate Iran. But Iraq did have an illegal nuclear program, in violation of the NPT, but it was stopped in the 1990s. After the IAEA inspectors were kicked out in 1998, so we could not be sure what Iraq was doing. But in Iran we KNOW they have an advanced nuclear program, and the only question is, have they decided to actually produce warheads at this time, or not. Only the SUpreme Fuehrer Khameini knows. It's all up to him.

Aug. 09 2012 10:24 AM
Hugh Sansom

The sanctions on Iraq were enforced ruthlessly — to the tune of 500,000 Iraqi lives (by the Clinton administrations own admission).

Is it possible Sanger doesn't remember the outcome of things with Iraq?

Aug. 09 2012 10:23 AM
Mark Tapley

"The Arabs living on liberated Jewish soil..." that was taken from them by force by the Brits and decades later given to the Jews???

Aug. 09 2012 10:23 AM

we are awesome...we want to do whats best for everyone...another expert shilling the gvt propaganda....

Aug. 09 2012 10:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The fact is that almost all the states that were occupied by Arabs after the 7th century are inherently unstable, as we have seen. Because democracy has not taken root and hence the minorities are suppressed. In Israel you have Arab supreme court judges and elected Arab members of the Knesset (Parliament). So minorities in Israel have democratic outlets, and have the ability to vote and hence have democratic input into the calculations of many Israeli politicians.

Aug. 09 2012 10:19 AM
Sarah Gamp

"indigenous native "indians" have accepted the right of the United States..."

that's a very big assumption that lumps all indians into one very wrong pile.

Aug. 09 2012 10:19 AM
Jefferson Brick

We took Iraq seriously and were wrong. I doubt we'll take Iran seriously anytime soon.

Aug. 09 2012 10:16 AM

Haven't they learned since WW1??? The more the "west" gets involved in the the middle east the more problems there are... sigh!! A lot of the skirmishes exist (just like in Africa) because of colonial cutting up of tribal areas to fit their own political wants... How well has it turned out????

Aug. 09 2012 10:16 AM
gary from queens

The video link below is the press conference held yesterday in Washington by Center for Security Policy. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy spoke for 60 min and took questions for 40 min.

McCarthy was an attorney in New York's southern district and led the court trial against the Brotherhood figure known as the Blind Sheik, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

McCarthy describes the national security threats posed by the "Arab Spring" and other issues Mr. Singer touches on.

Aug. 09 2012 10:15 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Hugh Samson

The Arabs living on liberated Jewish soil who call themselves Palestinians have been offered a state of their own many times since 1947, and continue to be offered one, but insist they will never recognize the national state of the Jewish people. Even the indigenous native "indians" have accepted the right of the United States- a country made up of foreign settlers - to exist, and yet the Arabs will not accept a Hebrew national state to exist, even if it means never getting a Palestinian state.

Aug. 09 2012 10:15 AM
Hugh Sansom

The host is just naive when she says the US "can only control" its response. The US uses threats of cutting off aids — among other things — to force agreement from other nations. This is extremely well-documented, so that the host can express this demonstrates either ignorance or deception.

Aug. 09 2012 10:14 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I don't know when we are going to take Iran seriously. Probably when they have nuclear tipped missiles in Venezuela or Cuba aimed directly at us. We only start to take threats seriously when they move into our own "back yard."

Aug. 09 2012 10:11 AM
Hugh Sansom

Why don't you ask Sanger about how the US has used its veto for decades to torpedo international consensus on Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians? Or is that a forbidden topic? Russia and China are not expressing their slavish devotion to the Syrian regime, unlike the US's slavish devotion to Israel and the Israel Lobby. Russia and China are almost certainly using Syria to maintain some minimal balance of power with the US.

Sanger repeats a proven falsehood about a claimed attempt to kill the Saudi ambassador. He must know that's been proven false, so he's lying.

Aug. 09 2012 10:11 AM

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