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17 December 2015


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This is such an important perspective and it is almost nowhere to be found in the US media narrative or in analyses by so called foreign policy experts. The only other substantive discussion of the topic that I've seen is on Robert Parry's site.

"The long-cherished neocon dream of 'regime change' in Syria is blocking a possible route out of the crisis – a ceasefire followed by elections in which President Assad could compete. The problem is there’s no guarantee that Assad would lose and thus the dream might go unfulfilled, writes Robert Parry."


"why not test that assertion?"

i agree. But how comes this obvious question it does not enter their thought processes?


If you think America is the Upper West Side, then McGurk's "Syrian People" similarly defined--and all exiled in DC, Doha, and Istanbul--probably won't.


Presumably before Obama leaves office the Russians and Syrians will have defeated the 'moderate' terrorists, and some of their remnants will have defected to the winning side. Perhaps the Washington crazies can then save face by claiming that Assad has changed and has joined the 'moderates', so it will be OK to stop saying he must go when obviously he is staying.

The only 'we' who matter in matters Syrian are Putin and Assad. They are no more dependent on American permission than is the sun in deciding to rise each morning. The Washington lunatics are just doing a bad impression of King Canute.


sounds like McGurk is addressing the usa's mid east friends and the crowd in the usa that like perpetual foreign interventions.. he's not addressing reality, but it wouldn't be the first time we saw that in a politician..


Meanwhile in Libya, a group of innocent US hikers got expelled ..http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/2015/12/us-special-ops-lands-in-civilian-marked.html#disqus_thread


Syria had elections in 2012 and 2014. Why should some Americans be needed to sanction/grant them?



Because this would strengthen the hand of people resisting the neocons and R2Ps. pl



From an execution vantage point, the U.S. experience with engineering elections in Iraq, perhaps the only ME country where elections really mattered, was an abysmal failure. They were outplayed by Iranians at every turn, even when DOS and CIA "managed" Allawi's bids for this and that office while their NGO and media proxies were buoyed up by Arab and U.S. moneys the likes of which were never seen in Iraq. Perhaps, the human and organizational skills required to run successful influence operations had already atrophied within the U.S. foreign policy and intelligence bureaucracies.

Now imagine Russian operatives on the ground helping Assad and Iranians frustrate the U.S., Turkish and Arab election "operations" in Syria.

It'll be ugly.



It would seem the Borg would resist this most sensible idea as they would fear that Assad would win and their theory that the Syrian people are desperate to get rid of the brutal dictator would be proven to be just propaganda.



That Is the idea, i.ie., force them to show the lack of reason in their rehime change crap. pl


It is worse than that. It is obvious that if he competes in the next election that the West wants him to win (outside of the fact that we than have lost the war) because his outside opposition are Jihadi's and internally hawks. Neither side we want to win


Speaking on Syria and elections. Can anyone give me an advise on what book to read regarding Syrian state in last decades? I'm afraid my knowledge of what was going on there is a bit fragmented.


You are forgetting about Iran, they matter too.


You are forgetting about Iran, they matter too.



Apologies for this off-thread link:


"...rediscovering historic and brotherly ties." Uh huh. So, Qatar throws money at Egypt, makes moves to permit the establishment of an active Turkish military base on its territory instead of a mere training program, and Turkey and Qatar jointly support the Muslim Brotherhood. This, in conjunction with the Turkish presence in Iraq, is going to do little to dampen speculations concerning the Neo-Ottoman ambitions of Erdogan and his compatriots. Don't think this will play well at all in either Riyadh or in Tehran. A Turkish naval presence in the Gulf will not sit well with the Iranians, not to mention other countries with coastlines on the Gulf, and maybe not with other world powers who will scarcely consider this presence as a force for stability. Of course, for all of these reasons, the NeoCons will be falling over themselves to support this.

And then there's the issue of how this will play in NATO circles. What if the Turks got into some sort of dust-up in the Gulf? What then NATO? Time to get them out of NATO before they can get up to (yet further) mischief? Talk about your loose cannons on the gun deck...

Linda Lau

It will be difficult, if not impossible, for all the Syrian refugees to vote. Some organization, perhaps the UN, would have to register them. We all know how successful that mission was in the Western Sahara. So, if we have only those left in Syria and brave enough to vote, Assad would win in a landslide. Does this mean he would be "popularly elected"? I don't think so.


Linda Lau

They did a couple of elections in the last few years and the UN voted the refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. There is no reason they could not do the same thing with those elsewhere. What is the alternative, jihadi rule in Damascus? All should not be the operative word. Most should be the word.pl


Stalin famously said "it's not who votes, but who counts the votes." A corolary to this is it's not who wins, but who gets to run. We've seen this in Egypt, Iran, Turkey where candidates get disqualified by judges or the deep state.

Syria is effectively a one party government and the Presidential election is a yes or no plebiscite. Besides Baath, I think there is the Syrian National Party, and one other that other allowed to participate.

The Lebanese SNP is the one whose members killed a couple of Israeli invaders at Wimpy's cafe in Beirut in the 1980's.

Al-Assad was on the path to true multi-party elections, but he didn't have enough gravitas to push it through b/c of Baath party opposition. Of course, you can't allow ISIS or al-Qada to run, or it would be Egypt-Morsi redux.

Amending the Syrian Constitution is where the focus of negotiations should be.

Sad to say, it appears that only Donald Trump, Rand Paul, and Tulsi Gabbard "get" Syria. There may be more in the political class that "get" Syria b/ i"m not familiar with them.


this is probably resolved by now, but interesting. i stop at debka every coupe of months to see what their agitprop de jour is.

"iraqis chose not to fight????

"Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a group of 26 Qatari citizens, including several members of the Persian Gulf state's royal family, in Iraq during the predawn hours of Wednesday morning. The kidnappers, dressed in fatigues and traveling in dozens of vehicles, raided the hunting camp in the area of Samawa within the Najaf Desert in southeastern Iraq. The hunters were being protected by Iraqi soldiers, but after seeing the dozens of kidnappers they chose not to fight them."

Medicine Man

A sidebar: I assume that all of those foreign jihadis who flooded into the country looking to create their dream world would not be considered eligible voters?


Col. Lang,

Well, I was O/T with a link in a prior post in this thread that you were kind enough to post, so I now venture another one that pivots around seeking understanding of the various maneuverings of Erdogan and his counterparties in the Middle East and beyond. It appears as if the author of the post follows the situation closely, and has done so over a goodly span of time, so perhaps there are things capable of being profitably gleaned from it. On the surface it seems to lean toward the abominated "school of economic determinism"; but as has been discussed on CP's recent post, economics being intimately tied up with "national power" and the ability to project same, this is not an irrational course of inquiry and investigation. Anyway, your call.




They let the Palestinians vote, and they voted for Hamas. That is still fresh in their thought processes, and thus why a vote is not a viable option in Syria, at least for those with an ulterior motive.

different clue


It is better they got expelled than getting kidnapped and taken hostage for ransom.

different clue


Maybe it is time for US to get out of NATO. Maybe it is time for EUrope to get NATO out of existence. I have suggested before that the EUropean powers could form their own North East Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NEATO)
and be very picky-choosy about who gets to join. Maybe having a genuine North Eastern Atlantic Ocean coastline could be a first and most basic precondition of membership, for example.



" A corolary to this is it's not who wins, but who gets to run." I think we are hearing that line in GOP establishment circles too. Interesting note on the Qatari kidnappings.

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