[Marxism] Nader Atassi on the "regime change" bet

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 4 05:50:33 MDT 2016

(Posted to FB)

All of this Assad apologist posturing needs to be understood in terms of 
a bet.

For the most part the US foreign policy establishment believes siding 
with Assad is wise given the threat of Islamists. There’s a small, 
vocal, neoconish contingent against this, but they’ve lost the fight so 
far. What some alt journalists are trying to do is a big gamble in terms 
of credibility but will reap big gains if it comes true: they are hoping 
the US switches to treating Assad as enemy #1 so they can ultimately say 
"we told you so." This would be a significant shift from the current 
position of cooperation with Russia and the need to preserve regime 
institutions vs Islamist threat. The problem is this fantasy that the US 
views the regime as its number one enemy is not the reality on the 
ground and any analysis that says so is obfuscatory unproven garbage.

The bet is as follows: if the US does switch, the obscurantists can say 
we knew all along and traced the networks of regime change. But this 
entire logic is predicated on the fantasy that the foreign policy 
establishment will completely switch course from the current understanding.

It’s a huge risk, but if this FP minority gathers enough power to change 
the US's position, Assad apologists can say they were right all along. 
This “we told you so” rhetoric will provide them with significant social 
and cultural capital within US alt-journalism world. And this is why 
they ignore the current US-backed slaughter: they see the development of 
a discourse opposing it and suspect it will become policy. Because if it 
becomes policy, their incorrect predictions and their wrong reading of 
the situation for 5 yrs will be vindicated.

“This is what the US wanted all along” they will say. And they will pat 
themselves on the back while Syrian corpses pile up. But all indications 
show that this is not what will happen, despite the cries of outrage to 
Assad/Russian slaughter. And this is why they fail in their analysis but 
are also able to write off such crimes. Because, they insist, the worst 
is yet to come.

But Syrians have been living the worst for years now. It’s about time 
you acknowledge this and forego your cheap bet.

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