Lobe on Trump and Syria

Jim Lobe was interviewed for about an hour last Friday on issues of interest to many of this site’s visitors by prize-winning author and thinker Robert Wright for his bloggingheads.tv. They discussed a range of issues of possible interest to many of this site’s visitors, including:

Is Trump abandoning America Firstism?

The money behind Washington think tanks

Are the regime change boys back in town?

Why Jim thinks a Syria “surge” isn’t likely

What Mattis wants

Missile strikes? Cue applause.

It’s springtime for neocons!

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.


One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting interview.

    I found it really informative. As a EU citizen that can only look into the power struggle that is presently being fought in the US establishment from the outside and from afar, the interview made me realize that the “factional landscape” is much more nuanced and complex than I thought at first.

    Before listening to this I was filing under the neocon label many of the people who are mentioned, and who – according to your words – in reality have pretty different perspectives on the world and are pursuing different objectives and strategies.

    One of the remarks I found most interesting, surprising and definitely scary is the suggestion that some in the military apparatus could be looking at Iran as a suitable middle sized country that might make a fine target to demonstrate the US military power.
    I find such an idea especially worrying since I believe that a war with Iran would be more likely to spiral out of control and turn from a regional into a global struggle, rather than for example a military strike against North Korea.

    Sure, an intervention against the DPRK would very well prove costly and very very deadly, especially for the North and South Korean people. But the mass media have been thouroughly demonizing the North Korean leadership for years now, and I’m inclined to believe almost nobody in the world would raise a finger to defend Kim Jong Un.
    Russia and China would definitely vehemently protest against a unilateral action but I don’t think they would ever fight against it.
    Russia’s interests are pretty limited as far as I can understand.
    China’s are more prominent, but the Chinese are pursuing a very long term strategy. Such an ancient country appears to have a different perspective on the time variable and its geopolitical strategy seems to be grounded in the knowledge that each passing year closes the gap between its strength and influence and those of the US.
    I can’t picture the Chinese throwing away their strategy for North Korea.

    Iran on the other hand feels like a whole different matter. A destabilization or destruction of Iran has the potential of setting the Caucasus on fire and that’s something that Russia might very well feel compelled to prevent. It might represent Russia’s red line.
    It’s hard for me to imagine what the reaction might look like: it would probably depend on how determined the US attempt to hit Iran would be. But I don’t think anybody can confidently rule out the chance that the reaction might be violent and decisive, even if commensurate to the threat.

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