[Marxism] Fwd: Disaster Islamism | Salvage

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 20 10:38:54 MST 2017

Contrast this with the supply of anti-aircraft MANPADS. Air power, first 
his own and then Russian, is the primary reason that Assad has not 
fallen. If you were intent on toppling a regime and were arming its 
bloodthirsty sectarian opponents to the teeth, would you not supply them 
with anti-aircraft weapons as a matter of urgency? Yet these have not 
been forthcoming, because US policy was, and remains, in the words of 
Obama’s deputy national security advisor quoted in the New York Times 
article above, to avoid the ‘transfer of heavier weapons’. The FSA 
desperately requested anti-aircraft weapons from the US to defend Aleppo 
in the summer of 2013. None were sent, nor offered. Not only this, but 
the US actively blocked attempts by Qatar to supply Syrian rebels with 
anti-aircraft weaponry, as reported in the New York Times article of 13 
August 2013, ‘Arms Shipments from Sudan seen to Syria Rebels’. The US 
administration believed – probably accurately – that such weaponry might 
be used against American or Israeli interests. If this is an attempt to 
overthrow the regime, it is a rather poor show.

Contrary to fantasy (based on misinterpretations of low-level 
intelligence revealed by Wikileaks), and allowing that there have been 
debates within US ruling circles, and that its strategies have been 
incompetent and/or incoherent, there is not, and never has been, an 
American imperial policy to overthrow the Ba’athist regime in Damascus. 
In December of 2011, by which time Assad’s inability to fully rule the 
country had become clear, the US recognised the Syrian National Council 
as the ‘leading and legitimate representative of the Syrian people’ for 
a period of ‘transition’. But the US preference for this ‘transition’ 
has always been that it be a ‘managed’ one from within the regime. The 
model for US policy on Syria was the ‘managed’ – now distinctly 
unmanageable – transition from the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen 
to his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. President Obama reiterated the 
point in his press conference in October 2015, stating that US policy in 
Syria was for an outcome that ‘keeps the state intact, that keeps the 
military intact’. The only difference with Russia was the status of 
Assad himself. David Petraeus, former US viceroy of Iraq and proponent 
of a more muscular US policy on Syria – and the man responsible for 
Sycamore Timber – was explicit to the Kurdish news organisation Rudaw in 
March 2015 that the priority was not Assad but ‘clearly ISIS because 
that supports the effort in Iraq’.

full: http://salvage.zone/in-print/disaster-islamism/

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