[Marxism] US withdrawal from Syria and myths of "regime change"

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 23:55:20 MST 2018

Most of what Cockburn says is so obvious that anybody who occasionally
reads the newspaper could tell you that.

Then the idea that "Other sections of the US ruling class want to keep
troops in Syria"... This implies that there are sections that support
Trump's move. Please tell me who aside from Trump (and probably his family)
is supporting his move? We should be able to get a sense of that from the
main representatives/strategists. The editors of the three major newspapers
in the US - the Wall St. Journal, the NY Times and the Washington Post have
all denounced the decision. So has the SF Chronicle. As far as I can tell,
the entire top brass of the US military is opposed. The most important
think tank for the strategists of US capitalism - the Council on Foreign
Affairs - is appalled. I don't know of any significant figure in either of
the two parties who supports the decision. Even Lindsay Graham (!) has
denounced the move.

John Reimann

On Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 6:29 PM Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com> wrote:

> John Reimann dismisses Patrick Cockburn as "saying very little".
> I think Cockburn makes some good points.  He says the US troop withdrawal
> "makes it easier for the administration to revive the old US alliance with
> Turkey".
> Erdogan wants to invade northeast Syria.  The US troop presence there has
> been an obstacle.  Trump will remove this obstacle.
> After the fall of Mosul in 2014, the US became worried by the rise of
> ISIS, and began cooperating with the YPG and SDF to oppose it.
> Trump is now shifting back to the pre-2014 US policy of fully supporting
> the Turkish state against the Kurdish left.
> Other sections of the US ruling class want to keep troops in Syria, either
> because they still regard ISIS as a threat or for other reasons.  But Trump
> can plausibly claim that his policy is good for US imperialism, because it
> will restore good relations with Turkey, a very important ally.
> Chris Slee
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of John
> Reimann via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
> *Sent:* Saturday, 22 December 2018 5:10:06 AM
> *To:* Chris Slee
> *Subject:* Re: [Marxism] US withdrawal from Syria and myths of "regime
> change"
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> I think Michael Karadjis for his extremely well documented commentary on
> the US involvement in Syria. A couple of additional points:
> At times the "opponents" of US imperialism point to the comment of one or
> another US official that Assad should go as proof of attempted regime
> change. Often, these same people claim to be Marxists. But it is a
> fundamental view of Marxism that a regime is no just one person. The head
> of state rules through an apparatus, and it is exactly that apparatus that
> US imperialism never ever even gave lip service to changing. Same with
> Egypt. Even when Obama called for Mubarak to step down, he never even
> implied that the apparatus that Mubarak had built up should be removed.
> This is totally different from Iraq, where Bush & Co. removed the entire
> Baath apparatus lock, stock and barrel. Now THAT was real regime change!
> (Of course, nowadays the US regime doesn't even want to remove the head of
> state in Syria, never mind his entire apparatus.)
> On the SDF: My understanding of them is that they are an unstable alliance
> of multiple different groups that has already had a tendency to fracture.
> It also seems to me that what holds them together is the cover of the US
> military. Once that is gone, it seems to me most likely that the SDF will
> tend to completely fall apart. That would leave it to the YPG, which I
> think is already the main component of the SDF, to do any fighting against
> a Turkish invasion. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if some
> forces in the SDF were to ally themselves with Turkey. And, as Michael
> seems to be saying, I think the YPG will call on Assad to enter the region;
> they will directly and openly align themselves with Assad. But, to repeat,
> it seems to me that the SDF overall will fragment and more or less cease to
> exist once the US leaves.
> As far what the "anti-imperialists" have to say: I've noticed that most of
> them maintain an embarrassed silence. I sent my article to a socialist
> discussion list which I'm on that has a couple of outspoken Assadists on
> it. Neither of them has raised his head above the parapet. Both Mintpress
> and Globalresearch are saying this is a defeat for US imperialism, that it
> shows the weakness of US imperialism. Beyond that, what Chossudovsky writes
> on Global "Research"
> https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-trump-administration-isnt-ending-the-wars-in-syria-or-yemen-its-only-shifting-and-fighting-over-strategy/5663574
> sounds very deep, but it's really incomprehensible. Max Blumenthal, UNAC,
> and Veterans for Peace are silent on the issue. Ben Norton does an
> interview with Patrick Coburn on the "Real" (sic) News (
> https://therealnews.com/stories/medias-russia-obsession-obscures-how-trumps-syria-withdrawal-benefits-turkey-most?fbclid=IwAR0GRz8nHXBcmqOsJgFXPw8JlU8HfIfnq0Ly1AevcNpfco-gOIALfQgXaV8
> ).
> Both of them - especially Coburn - sound very learned and the latter talks
> in a fair amount of detail about this and that, but when you put it all
> together, he's basically saying very little except: (1) the withdrawal does
> not benefit Russia (which is complete nonsense in my opinion; (2) turkey
> will invade (duh!); (3) The YPG will turn to Assad (another duh).
> John Reimann
> --
> *“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
> Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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