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I agree with you that it is very difficult for us to consider the forest when there are so damn many big impressive trees and stands of trees and mountains of trees and logging operations to investigate. Am working on a new piece attempting to respond to recent events and the public discussion. The President and all the President's persons are in the perhaps unenviable position of trying to do the same thing, but to political effect, for a world of tree-hugging forest-haters.

Which seems to be the subtext for much of the current discussion, but rarely, at least in my earshot or purview the actual point of consideration. Should this continue to be the case. Kerry all but says this, the anti's all but don't say it.

We seem to have found that the system that works best or at all, in other words practically, is the one in which the nation geographically least suited to occupation and for related reasons best suited to power projection – the United States of America – handles the role of global hegemon or neo-hegemon, or neo-imperial power, producing an equilibrium between nation-state and global-state responsibilities

Can't quite work out the parallel , but somehow TWS Liberty Valence seems apt. "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend".

Yes, I read the piece, the key is Qatar's running the operation, and their preference for Al Nusra, as with Bel Hadj and Bin Qumu, in the last outing, is the key.

Mr. I seems to me to remain left-oriented but politically bi-curious. So he observes Marshall's blanket anti-interventionism and reflexive "anti-imperialism" sympathetically, but can't avoid referring to contradictions and complexities inconvenient for the straight political life. If you read the WSJ backgrounder (below), seems clear that it's as important in present calculations for U.S. not to let Assad/Russian/Iran "win," which also would quite possibly amount to an al-Nusra win as well, as to ensure a rebel win. But it's also probably true that Assad now must lose.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324049504578545772906542466.html

Well the argument put forth by Elias, is all encompassing, the objection is not about the general concept of intervention but the particulars, Russian involvement in Syria, the FSA vs, the Nusra front,

You have a way, don, of starting off the majority if not the overwhelming majority of your comments with unclear references. For instance, I am not sure what the antecedent of "that" in "that's a silly notion" is supposed to be. If people are often puzzled by your comments, I think that's often the reason. In the present instance, I'm not quite sure whom to defend against the charge of silliness.

Well that's a silly notion, otoh, is it likely the regime we replace it with is better.