CNN: Obama administration reportedly ‘shifting their strategy’ on Syria to go after Assad.

From an article published by CNN on 13/11/3014:

‘President Barack Obama has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing that ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, senior U.S. officials and diplomats tell CNN.

(Emphasis mine)

The article then quotes Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the National Security Council, as saying that:

‘Assad has been the biggest magnet for extremism in Syria, and the President has made clear that Assad has lost all legitimacy to govern. Alongside our efforts to isolate and sanction the Assad regime, we are working with our allies to strengthen the moderate opposition’.

It quotes an anonymous ‘senior official’ as saying:

‘What really tipped this into a more vigorous reassessment was hearing from our coalition partners that they are not convinced by the Syria part and this strategy only works if there is a more coherent Syria piece’.

And then reports that Secretary of State John Kerry has:

‘ . . .in recent months intensified discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Russia about the possibility of a diplomatic tract to transition al-Assad and his inner circle out of power, while maintaining large parts of the regime and institutions of the state’.

(Emphasis mine)

So then, we are to believe that after months of dallying and half-measures, the Obama regime are finally waking up to the fact that, to defeat ISIS, you have to get rid of Assad, who is the ‘magnet for extremism’.

But what if, as some of us have long suspected, the Assad regime was the target all along? That ISIS are only seen as a problem in Syria to the extent that they present a major threat to a settlement that is favourable to U.S. interests emerging when Assad falls?

(And let’s not pretend that U.S. policy towards Syria is driven by anything other than a desire to further their economic and strategic interests. All that stuff about democracy and human rights is patent nonsense, given their track record)

If that is the case, then articles like this one – full of off-the-record briefings from Obama regime officials – shouldn’t be seen as signalling any kind of sea change in strategy.

They should instead be seen as the first, tentative steps towards preparing state-corporate media and public opinion to accept the long planned move against Assad (to the point where eventually, it’ll just be forgotten that Assad being the target was ever in doubt).

The idea that ISIS are uniquely and supremely evil and need to be vanquished is now well established in state-corporate media and (to a lesser extent) popular discourse.

And if it takes getting rid of Assad to defeat ISIS, then who could possibly object?

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3 Responses to CNN: Obama administration reportedly ‘shifting their strategy’ on Syria to go after Assad.

  1. louisproyect says:

    Apparently you don’t understand the difference between Obama saying that Assad must be removed and the actual American policy. By analogy, when Obama says something like Palestinians must have their own state, those are words coming out of his mouth. Or that everybody should have a job, etc.

  2. Hi Louis,

    My own opinion is that U.S. officials wouldn’t keep saying that Assad has no future, and has to go, if they didn’t ultimately mean it. And this is what they have been saying, with some regularity, for nearly four years now (examples available on request).

    Mainly because if Assad then does remain in power, it’ll look like he’s successfully defied them, and that could give funny ideas to other potentially recalcitrant global leaders.

    But as to whether i’m right about this or not, we’ll let history be the judge.

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