Given the majority of Syrians wish to keep Assaad in power as per a number of recent polls , I can only wonder why Feffer thinks this "we" have any role in determining whether ot not Assaad remains in power , what powers it is that he has and ignoring the desires of the Syrian people.
This is a wonderful twist of Schrödinger's cat, the poor damn cat. What is the state of Assad and the State of Syria in the Middle East. Is it/he really dead or alive. Of all the catastrophes of our foreign policies (i.e the US's reigning puppet emperor's and his troupe of neocon's foreign policy advisiors), this is one of the worst. I keep thinking, what is la solution de jour."? Will the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees that find themselves scattered around the Levant and all over Europe and in Germany in particular, will they be able to vote. The whole state of Syria is a transitivity. Let's finally admit it, the US is the Prime Mover that has initiated the state of chaos that is the Middle East.
The author makes a point that is seldom articulated about what passes for historical understanding in the U.S. - . "the great man" theory of history." Over and over, the populace has been told that only if a single powerful person is removed, all will be well: Noriega, Saddam, Osama bin Laden, Qaddafi and, currently, Bashir Assad. Such a theory discounts the social, political and economic forces driving history and serves to justify not only endless wars but the American political system itself: Obama will usher in the millennium! Obama has destroyed Everything! Trump will make America great again! Ben Carson will heal us of all our sickness! Bernie Sanders will break the power of the billionaires!
This myth is all about denying the potential power of millions of people and inculcating in them acceptance of the idea that only the great ones have any power, for good or evil. (the same could apply to the more dominant religious sects which visualize the Jewish teacher Jesus as all powerful creator of the universe)
it is probably the only useful or novel point in this otherwise puke of a beltway essay, but you're right: American politics is drenched in GMT. Even among ordinary people, you can see people place an unreasonable emphasis on the face of a system and the personality behind that face (usually a manufactured image anyway). So it's not just the establishment enamored with a theory that has as much intellectual traction as Atlas Shrugged.
Probably for the same reason he apparently thinks that physicist's name was Schrodinger rather than Schrödinger (or if he doesn't know how to type an Umlaut-o, Schroedinger): ignorance.
"The only sensible approach is to compromise on Assad by devising a
political solution that keeps the head of state in power (nominally) and
yet deprives him of power (substantively). "
We Brits managed to do that between 1641 and 1660. It took an 8-year long civil war that claimed 250 000 dead from a population of around 5 million though, as well as a fair bit of political manoeuvering by Parliament until the 1750s. It's called a Constitutional Monarchy.
"The Obama administration has an almost mystical belief that the removal of the Syrian president will magically make Syria whole once again."
Oh good grief, no it does not! The Obama adminstration can't SAY what it's real beliefs are, but "magical wholeness for Syria" is not it. It's verging on silly for Feffer to assert that, as if it were simply a face-value true statement, as if it were some sort of cogent "foreign policy anlysis".
One way to settle this is to have all those self-important busybodies who would remove Assad to move around for one month with the same amount of personal security that Assad employs -- the same as Qaddifi employed incidently --- that is none.
Those still among the living at the end of the month could come back and reconsider.
We might otherwise call it the "psychopaths' version of history", because it's they who imagine, and demand that others agree, that they're central to everything.
If we look at history, we see that there's always a "great" man at the back of every war, every pogrom, every evil event. Always someone making demands if he has the power to demand, or egging others on if he doesn't. And it's always for his own pleasure, because he's easily bored, and profit, because he thinks he deserves to get whatever he wants without productive effort.
A few things are a bit simplistic, but in general, a brilliant article!
In naming only bad guys that the US has overthrown, Feffer leaves the impression that the US only gets rid of dictators and such. Not true. The US overthrew the democratically elected, Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Lumumba in Congo in 1960, Bosch in Dominican Republic in 1963, Sukarno in Indonesia, Allende in Chile in 1973, Aristide in Haiti twice, among others. Not to let Obama off the hook, in 2009 the US helped overthrow Honduran president Zelaya. In each case dictators and terror resulted. Let us be clear: US foreign and military power is not used to promote democracy, it's used to prevent and destroy it.