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Former State Dept. Officer Peter van Buren on Obama’s War in Iraq, Syria

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“What’s the point?” asks Peter van Buren at the culmination of this discussion of the new perpetual war in Syria and Afghanistan. We talk about the “allies” of America that each have conflicting agendas, and failed efforts to establish client states in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

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Before he was squeezed out of Hillary Clinton’s State Department, van Buren wrote We Meant Well about his year in Iraq, spent trying to pacify Sunni leaders as he passed out dollars for reconstruction. In this in-depth interview, he describes the shifting alliances in Iraq and the region, and flatly predicts that Obama’s war will fail. He recaps many of the ten reasons he listed for a recent article in The American Conservative, and names US officials like Brett McGurk in this Salon article–who have been misjudging the situation for years, and are still in charge.

Agreeing with your humble host, van Buren says that US ground forces will likely be deployed after the November election and that Khorosan is just the latest concoction from administration scriptwriters.

Near the end, van Buren updates us on the reception to his novel published earlier this year, Ghosts of Tom Joad.