You see, you don't need a knowledge of facts on the ground in Syria to understand the "logic" of the Nation piece but you should be familiar with the moonscape of conspiracy theories that credit western spies with just about everything connected with the Arab Spring. Those people think the Arabs have no agency themselves, they are simply proxies for the Central Intelligence Agency. So never-mind about them, they are Obama's proxies, so we''ll just tell him not to escalate the war in Syria and just surrender.
In advising surrender, Dreyfuss shows us he has no problem with seeing Assad win, but then he isn't in Syria, is he? Most Syrians may have a big problem with surrendering to Assad. He has run a brutal police-state, infamous worldwide for its torture facilities, and now he has topped it off with a murderous sectarian war against Syrian civilians that has killed 130,000 and made another 7 million homeless. Assad has always been a vindictive dictator and there's no reason to think the killing will end once people stop fighting back. The recently released pictures of thousands of tortured corpses of Assad's detainees shows how he treats those that have surrendered to him.
But never mind Assad's, shall we say, "blemished" record as a leader, Bob Dreyfuss wants to keep him on the job because "The rebels, increasingly dominated by hard-core Islamists and Al Qaeda types, aren’t fit to take over." Like I said, knowledge of facts-on-the-ground can only get in the way. What the Nation requires here is suspension of disbelief. If you are aware of the open warfare between the Free Syria Army with the Islamic Front on the one hand, and the "hard-core Islamists and Al Qaeda" ISIS on the other, that has itself cost over 1700 lives, then Bob Dreyfuss's unified rebels that are increasingly dominated by them, just doesn't make sense. Please understand that he is in some alternate universe were the ISIS and al Nusra haven't been exposed as agents of Assad. He still hopes to use them to tarnish all of Assad's otherwise unmentioned opposition as not "fit to take over."
Bob Dreyfuss wants Bashar al-Assad to win. He doesn't have a problem with what he's done to his people or how he's run the country, at least he doesn't express it in this paper. That is his basis stand. He doesn't speak of Assad's escalation. How he started out with with snipers shooting protesters and then escalated to tank fire, and then attack helicopters, heavy artillery, cluster bombs, napalm, barrel bombs and poison gas. This is not the escalation that Bob Dreyfuss is concerned about. He is concerned about a possible Obama "escalation," and, in all honesty I have to admit, going from zero to anything at all would constitute an "escalation."
This is were Dreyfuss's total dis-regard for Syrian lives struck me the most:
it appears that the Obama administration has given the green light to Saudi Arabia to supply the rebels with heavy weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles. Until now, Washington has been reluctant to send these devastating weapons to the anti-Assad forces because they will inevitably fall into the hands of Al Qaeda and its allies, who will use them against El Al and Western airlines.Civilians are being slaughtered on the ground by Assad's air force because they have no defense against his planes. In this context, anti-aircraft missiles will save lives. This is the "escalation" that Dreyfuss is worried about. His assertion that al Qaeda will get them and use them against El Al, is just so much speculation and fearmongering. There are ways, including technical, to guard against that. What they will do now is save lives by stopping Assad's planes from bombing people unopposed.
In his very last sentence he re-asserts his alternate world view that "it’s the United States that is creating the problem, by using the CIA and its covert allies to wage a war of regime change." The Syrian people have nothing to do with it so never mind about their suffering and their aspirations, its just a great game being played by great powers and Dreyfuss thinks Obama should throw in the towel.