CFR goes non-interventionist

In many years of posting on rightwing sites of a higher level of understanding, I have reminded that the “Trilats” and CFR crowd are not as hostile to our points of view as might be assumed. If you read the publications of the CFR—which I do from time to time—there are a few nuggets of surprise.

Justin Raimondo notes that the Council on Foreign Relations suggests staying out of the ISIS/Syria mess; let Assad have a free hand, and trust Iran and Russia can restore the status quo. Seems reasonable. Raimondo goes further to point out the limits of American Conservative resident non-interventionist, Daniel Larison’s critique in AmConMag.
Note Larison’s reflex anti-Assad position against Raimondo’s profoundly Rightwing argument for “optimal solution:”

As dark as that may be, Bashar al Assad is the best Syria can do at the moment, and acknowledging that is key to freeing oneself of the liberal guilt Americans are so prone to suffer.

What this might have to do with the 2016 election–this being the CFR–is anyone’s guess, but the hint is pretty obvious.

12 thoughts on “CFR goes non-interventionist

  1. redphillips

    Raimondo and Larison seem to have this thing going on between them and have for some time. It’s like they look for things they disagree on so they can accentuate them. Raimondo seems to be soft-selling Gelb a bit. Gelb is not saying do nothing. He is saying do something different. If something must be done (I don’t concede that), then allying with Syria and Iran seems better than continuing to treat both like pariahs and going it alone. At least Gelb doesn’t have the irrational fear of Iran that the neocons and mainstream cons do. And Larison seems to be overreacting as well. I see no reason to single out Assad. Aligning with Assad would certainly be no worse than aligning with some of the characters we have aligned with over there.


  2. roho

    This obsession with Syria and Bashar Assad is mostly smoke and mirrors for the stockholders of Western Oil Companies. A Western educated eye doctor, wearing nice western suits, a drop dead good looking wife of French influence fashion design, and a moderate policy towards both Christian and Jewish theology in his country, why mess with him?………..LOL!

    If Christians spent some time understanding the Shia vs Sunni doctrine of Islam, they might just slow down? (But they want even read their own Bibles!)……(Especially the TWELVERS sect on Jesus vs the Jewish Talmudic theology!)…….But they want……They will let Bill Oreily and Wolfy Blitzer tell them just like they prefer to let their Pastor do the reading for them.

    They don’t even know who Gaddafi was?

    “Gaddafi’s Libya Was Africa’s Most Prosperous Democracy”

    Long Live The Wall Street War Promoters And Screw The Workers! (We will deal with them later.)


  3. hawthornecht Post author

    Larison’s aims are not related to taking power, where ours are a fair deal with the elites–stop, and reverse, the demographic displacement, and cease with the stupid wars (CFR was horrified by the propaganda surrounding the W. invasion of Iraq.) We’ll hear you out on smart wars, but we’re probably going to be against them too as the brainiacs haven’t showed us much in our lifetimes.

    It’s a fair offer.


  4. weavercht

    “CFR crowd are not as hostile to our points of view as might be assumed”

    The crowd maybe but not those at CFR surely.

    Politics makes odd bedfellows is all.

    I doubt Assad is so terrible for a politician btw. Politics is a cold thing, and I doubt we’re in a position to judge him – nor to even know if the claims against him (e.g. extensive torture) have some truth.


  5. weavercht

    I think the reason Raimondo and Larison conflict so frequently is Larison isn’t as bright and it annoys Raimondo.

    The old guard paleos are just better than everyone else, which isn’t to say perfect.

    I think we’re unusually blessed to have access to such people.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kirt Higdon

    Larison objected to Gelb’s suggestion that the US intervene on the side of Assad, which is more or less what Obama is doing now, but without admitting it. And Larison is right! Not intervening on anyone’s side in that mess is the optimal policy. Of course, Raimondo is right that the US has had (and continues to have) very unsavory allies, but this is an odd argument for Raimondo to make to excuse intervention. As for the CFR, their publication serves as a discussion board for considering various policies and some of the contributors are almost bound to have some good ideas to consider. But the real results of the tank-thinking is what you see in the actual implementation of US foreign policy and this is far from benign.


  7. hawthornecht Post author

    “which is more or less what Obama is doing now, but without admitting it.”

    That’s a stretch. Obama moved when the Kurds came under fire, nothing else, and continues to deny a free hand to Syria. Doing nothing, in so far as letting Assad (and Iran and Russia) have a free hand doesn’t meet the level of an intervention–it’s just common sense. Raimondo covered his disagreements with Gelb’s piece fairly well.

    Lairson on the otherhand, won’t come out in support of Assad’s regime as legit, and that is a problem for a serious non-interventionist foreign policy.


  8. Kirt Higdon

    Why must a non-interventionist foreign policy concede that Assad’s regime is legit? Serious noninterventionism means that the US does not care who rules Syria, Iraq or whoever or even whether these areas have rulers. Will Costa Rica or Switzerland send troops to determine who rules northern Syria or southern Arabia? That is what non-intervention should look like.


  9. hawthornecht Post author

    Obviously, if the US considers Vichy France to not be a legit government, it’s for the purpose of intervention. Acknowledging that Assad is the legitimate ruler of Syria is the heart of not getting involved; it is acknowledgement of the Sovereign. Let him have a free hand.


  10. roho

    Thank You Kirt!…………We should pull completely out of NATO and tell Europe “Good Luck!”

    We are losing our influence in our own Hemisphere, while NATO members focus on quality of life issues at the expense of dead US Citizens. I love my White European Heritage, but I did not adopt them!

    We should have thought about that at the beginning of the 20th Century!
    Screw Free Trade And Globalism.

    “Alabama Steelworkers Fight For Their Jobs, Threatened By Korea Trade Ruling”.



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