To Steve @ JVP-Chgo-BB -- Yesterday you wrote, "If the US is supporting the uprisings in Libya and Syria" -- you cavalierly follow that conjecture as if you had evidence that, "Much of the leadership of both rebellions are either CIA assets...Or at least some of the leadership of both rebellions are..." Well, which is it? Following that you inform me that the CIA has been supporting dissident groups in both countries for years -- so I take it, q.e.d. Even if that were not a universally known fact, that has nothing to do with the current massive uprisings going on all over the Middle East.
Of course the US has had its CIA and other assets of subversion in all these countries, especially in those where its economic and/or strategic interests in the status quo need to be maintained. But what has historically and to the present time been the case is that US SUPPORT HAS ALWAYS GONE TO THE ELEMENTS WITHIN THOSE GOVERNMENTS WHO AGREE TO MAKE DEALS FOR KEEPING THAT STATUS QUO THE US IS SO INTERESTED IN MAINTAINING -- not to the ones or groups who wish to eliminate the US boot from their necks.
When disorder threatens to break out in a client state, because of the immiseration of the people, the US either sends Green Berets, (Columbia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti) and/or massive amounts of new support for beefing up internal police, death squads. Or if the country is a more "modern democracy" by offering huge bribes to officials and affecting the subversion of the country's interests in a powerful yet more subtle way (NSA, etc.) Not to mention,of course, another method -- directly choosing a US-favorite puppet to head up the US installed regime (Iraq, Afghanistan.)
The amazing thing is that with all of its mighty power, the US loses sometimes. If you think that the US had sympathies with revolutionaries in the past, how did Evo Morales in Ecuador and Chavez in Venezuela manage to actually wrest their countries out of the American power grip? Do you actually believe that their movements for change and their ardent supporters were "backed by the CIA"?
As can be seen when a favorite dictator Mubarak was threatened then brought down in spite of the massive support he had received from the US for years, Obama and Hillary were caught with mud on their faces - amusing to see their embarrassment if the history weren't so tragic. (Which is not to say that developments after the heady Tahrir Square events couldn't change for the worse -- too early to know. But there are good signs too so far, and the movers of the Egyptian democratic groups, the students, the amazing women and professional people are ever watchful and activist in their new roles.)
And of course the US WILL TRY to subvert these revolutions -- if they can. It's what they do (by bribes, by subversion, by murder too in funding military garrisons or death squad adventures perhaps) But do you really think these heroic leaders are fools? That they are naive and don't know about the history of the CIA in their country and its effects in all the countries of the Middle East? Do you really believe, as you wrote, "Once these [new leaders] attain power such leaders can be persuaded to turn their countries into US client states"? Really!
Why then are they facing death -- and dying -- without retreating for their demands for democracy? Why are they continuing to defiantly resist the brutality and the ruthless crackdown and the torture and disappearances and all the savagery the Syrian government is now pursuing as its punitive policy? Do you really believe these heroic and unarmed people are just the kind of people to make deals with the CIA and the US, which they know all too well?
Yesterday Neal wrote, "It's not the business of Cochburn or any of us non-Syrians to be taking a stand of advocacy for one side or the other." Well, the Syrians themselves all over their country ARE taking a stand. They agree their government does not deserve to exist as it is because of its 40 years of harsh dictatorship, the immiseration of its people, and because of the current horrendous atrocities Assad is committing against them in trying to save his moth-eaten regime. Not to offer at least moral support is to be complicit in atrocity.