[Marxism] From 60 Minutes interview with Obama

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 29 07:02:35 MDT 2014

Well, I hate saying that I told you so but I did tell you so: When the 
USA finally intervenes in Syria on a serious basis, it will be against 
exactly those forces that the "anti-imperialist" left claim are his proxies.

On August 8, 2013 I posted from two articles that anticipated what is 
happening now.

 From the March 15, 2013 LA Times:

"The CIA has stepped up secret contingency planning to
protect the United States and its allies as the turmoil expands in
Syria, including collecting intelligence on Islamic extremists for the
first time for possible lethal drone strikes, according to current and
former U.S. officials."

 From the August 8, 2013 NY Times:

"As foreign fighters pour into Syria at an increasing
clip, extremist groups are carving out pockets of territory that are
becoming havens for Islamist militants, posing what United States and
Western intelligence officials say may be developing into one of the
biggest terrorist threats in the world today."

All those comparisons with Reagan backing the Afghan jihadists turned to 
be complete and utter bullshit. Reagan not only put the red carpet down 
for them in the White House, he armed them with Stinger missiles. The 
"anti-imperialist" left embarrassed itself by even making such a 
comparison in the first place, but then again they are so cynical and so 
lacking in principle that it would hardly matter.


 From last night's interview:

KROFT (voice-over): Syria is more challenging because the U.S. has few 
viable allies on the ground there. The regime of Bashar al- Assad is 
fighting ISIS, but the U.S. wants Assad deposed for committing horrific 
crimes against his own people, and other opposition groups like the 
Al-Nusra front and a terrorist cell called Khorasan, which was plotting 
attacks against Europe and the U.S., are both affiliated with Al Qaida. 
The coalition is hoping to train 5,000 moderate Syrian fighters in Saudi 

(on-screen): Is there a moderate Syrian opposition?

OBAMA: There is. But right now, it doesn't control much territory. It 
has been squeezed between ISIL on the one hand and the Assad regime on 
the other.

KROFT: These are the people that you said -- the farmers, the doctors, 
the pharmacists -- who stood no chance of overthrowing the government.
OBAMA: Well, keep in mind, two years ago, that was absolutely true. This 
is in response to the mythology that's evolved that somehow if we had 
given those folks some guns two-and-a-half years ago, that Syria would 
be fine.

And the point that I made then, which is absolutely true, is that for us 
to just start arming inexperienced fighters who we hadn't vetted -- so 
we didn't know and couldn't sort out very well who's potentially
ISIL or Al-Nusra member and who is somebody that we're going to work 
with. For us to just go blind on that would have been counterproductive 
and would not have helped the situation, but also would have committed 
us to a much more significant role inside of Syria.

KROFT: You said that we need to get rid of Assad. And while we're saying 
we have to get rid of Assad, we are also bombing and trying to take out 
some of the -- his most threatening opponents and -- and the...

OBAMA: I recognize the -- I recognize...

KROFT: And the beneficiary of this is Assad.

OBAMA: I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a 
contradictory circumstance. We are -- we are not going to stabilize 
Syria under the rule of Assad, because the Sunni areas inside of Syria 
view Assad as having carried out terrible atrocities. The world has seen 

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. Millions have been 
displaced. So for a long-term political settlement, for Syria to remain 
unified, it is not possible that Assad presides over that entire 
process. On the other hand, in terms of immediate threats to the United 
States, ISIL, Khorasan group, those folks could kill Americans. And so...

KROFT: They're more important than Assad at this point. That's what 
you're saying.

OBAMA: What I'm saying is that they're all connected, but there's a more 
immediate concern that has to be dealt with.

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