This classic truth always comes to mind whenever I hear our dear "anti-imperialists" attempt to account for United States President Barack Obama's "apparent" shift from Syrian "regime-change" policies he's made a mess of over the past four years to a new "openess" to an Assad regime that lingers on.
"Good Cop, Bad Cop means there's two bad cops.”
Phyllis Bennis brought some humor to my morning as I heard her with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now attempting to reconcile her past confusion about Obama's real intentions with regards to a Syrian government headed by Bashar al-Assad with the present reality that that is precisely what all the "Great Powers" are fighting for. Her first problem, and it is one that is common to all the "anti-imperialists" at the moment, is to show outrage that Obama is sending less than 50 U.S. Special Forces to Syria, and only to fight ISIS, after claiming for years that he has secretly sent in thousands to fight Assad. This is how Bennis handled it:
It is clearly an escalation. Now, it may well be that there have been special operations forces, CIA agents and others on the ground in Syria already. We can assume that’s the case, given that the priority of U.S. strategy has involved training and arming various militias, some of which never existed...Notice the "dialectical-materialism" at work here? We don't determine "the priority of U.S. strategy" by analysing what they actually do, like are the various militias they claim to be training and arming real or imaginary? We already "know" their priorities, so we can just imagine how many troops they had in Syria before "admitting" to these 50. As Amy Goodman said, without offering anything like a shred of evidence, "there are probably many more special ops forces on the ground." Still these plans for less than 50 are to be considered a dangerous "new escalation."
So, without seeing the slightest need to examine their long held belief that President Obama, the CIA, the Pentagon or any other representative of United States imperialism ever made a serious effort to overthrow the Assad regime, Phyllis Bennis goes on to credit Obama with making "concessions." The idiots!
And it’s important, Amy, I think, to recognize that three weeks ago at the General Assembly at the United Nations both President Obama and President Putin made important concessions in their speeches, despite the level of bombast of those speeches. So, President Obama said, number one, times are different now, there will have to be concessions. Number two, he referenced what Secretary of State Kerry had said earlier when he said that the possibility of new negotiations will go forward and that Assad will not have to be gone on day one or even on month one. That was a very serious concession.Concession to what, we might ask? Concession to years of bombast about how Assad should "step down?" And while Democracy Now had plenty of time to discuss the big picture in Syria on Monday's show, as I feared, they did overlook the Assad regime or Russian air strike that killed 70, and injured 550.
As the Syrian "Good Cop" / "Bad Cop" play enters it end game, Obama's latests positions seem right out of the "Police Manual." Just play along with me, I'll win the "Bad Cop" over to "our side," and then we can make all these charges go way!Please RT - Will @DemocracyNow report this? 70 killed, 550 wounded in #Douma market bombing https://t.co/Qfm3g0mRAX pic.twitter.com/5gZNGX8vQq— Clay Claiborne (@clayclai) November 2, 2015
If the suspect confesses, the “good cop” suggests that they will get to go home and may even get a lighter sentencing.It is in that light that this very important article in BloombergView about the latest Whitehouse Syrian fantasy should be read:
As I've been saying:
No One But U.S. Believes Russia Will Abandon Assad
By Josh Rogin
31 October 2015
The Obama administration began a new diplomatic process Friday to solve the Syria crisis -- a gambit that depends on Russia to eventually push Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down. But not even America’s allies think Russia will reverse its support for the dictator.
Representatives of all of the countries supporting forces in Syria's civil war met for nine hours in Vienna, after which top U.S. officials said that the new talks had made some progress in identifying shared goals, such as maintaining Syria’s territorial integrity and ending the violence. Diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and several other countries agreed to meet again within two weeks. There was no agreement on the key issue, whether Assad would be compelled to leave power as part of a transition to a new Syrian government.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. deputy secretary of state who spoke Saturday at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, said the U.S. government believes it’s only a matter of time before Moscow realizes that its military intervention and its ardent support for Assad’s continued rule are mistakes, after which the Russian government could support a political process that includes replacing Assad.
The Obama administration has long said that its support for Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State, also called Daesh, is not directed at Assad. In any case, U.S. support for the rebels fighting Assad has declined, especially after the U.S. canceled its "train and equip" program to empower local fighters.
Privately, European diplomats at the conference told me they were concerned the new U.S.-led diplomatic effort was an empty gesture, to allow the Obama administration to claim it was working in earnest to solve the Syria crisis. America’s allies are reluctant to invest in a process in which they do not think the U.S. has much confidence and that has little chance of success.
U.S. officials told me that the Vienna talks with Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others are an honest attempt to convince Russia to change its position on Syria and that there is some hope Russia will endorse a solution to the Syrian civil war that does not include Assad remaining in power. But nobody else in the room shares that hope. More...
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
John Kerry and his 'dear friend' Bashar Assad
How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
Hillary Clinton's early role in facilitating Bashar al-Assad's crackdown in Syria