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

Fred Murphy fred.r.murphy at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 09:50:07 MDT 2016


"Notably missing from the statement was any reference to steps the United
States might take to strengthen the Syrian opposition by providing
antiaircraft weapons or imposing economic sanctions to punish Russian
organizations that are helping the Syrian government.

"The Obama administration has announced that it will consider 'options and
alternatives.' But with Mr. Obama reluctant to intervene in the escalating
Syrian civil war or to risk an inadvertent confrontation with the Russian
military, it is not clear how much interest the White House has in pursuing
such options.

"Mr. Kerry said in a meeting with Syrian civilians last month that he was
one of three or four people in the administration who had previously argued
for using force against the Assad government, and that he had lost the

On Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 7:50 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> 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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