[Marxism] Revealing analysis from Josh Landis

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 14 07:52:52 MDT 2013


Landis is a high-profile academic who blogs at 
http://www.joshualandis.com/. His position from the very beginning of 
the revolution in Syria was based on the need to reform rather than 
overthrow Baathism, although he never came out and said that exactly. 
This is from his latest post:

"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are withholding arms from radical Islamist 
groups which have been the most effective fighters.  When the Syrian 
rebellion first broke out, many western pundits urged Obama to intervene 
if for no other reason than to seize the opportunity to eliminate 
Iranian influence in Syria and to crush Hizbullah in Lebanon. But to do 
so, would necessitate defeating the Shiite population so completely as 
to make it vulnerable to ethnic cleansing. What is more, the US is 
perhaps wiser to allow a regional balance of power to emerge between 
Shiites and Sunnis. If the US presses down on the scales of power to 
dramatically in one direction, as it did in Iraq, bad things can happen. 
Because the Sunnis in Iraq were so thoroughly purged from state 
institutions and driven from positions of authority, they have gone on 
the warpath and remain radicalized. What is more, the US will withdraw, 
causing the balance of power to swing back toward a balance reflecting 
regional power arrangements. Better for America not to intervene itself, 
but to work through regional allies. In the case of Syria, these allies 
are Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They have more permanent interests 
in Syria and will balance Iran and Iraq out of necessity, rather than 
due to some momentary fit of anxiety."


"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are withholding arms from radical Islamist 
groups which have been the most effective fighters."

This, plus massive intervention by Hezbollah and the reconstitution of 
the Syrian army as an aggregation of Allawite militias, might explain 
the rebels being forced to relinquish control of contested territory.

"Better for America not to intervene itself, but to work through 
regional allies. In the case of Syria, these allies are Turkey, Saudi 
Arabia and Israel. They have more permanent interests in Syria and will 
balance Iran and Iraq out of necessity, rather than due to some 
momentary fit of anxiety."

The voice of a true IR hack.




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