Neocons Babble Over Syria Crisis

By Daniel Lazare at Consortium News

Typical of the incoherence now common among U.S. foreign policy pundits discussing the Syrian crisis is Jeffrey Lewis, who took to the pages of the prestigious journal Foreign Policy to venture his opinion. He started out reciting the usual “group think” narrative about the need to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and denounced Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for stepping up support for the Syrian military in the face of gains by Sunni terror groups.

But Lewis, who is billed as an arms-control specialist at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, then admitted that he doesn’t have a clue what to do, which at least is an improvement over all the other “experts” who say the U.S. must do something – anything! – to counter Russian intervention.

Lewis begins his article with a lot of scary talk about satellite photos confirming that Russia is expanding an air base near Latakia with the goal of increasing military aid to the evil Bashar al-Assad so as to give his doddering regime another lease on life.

“The satellite image shows far more than prefabricated housing and an air traffic control station,” Lewis observed. “It shows extensive construction of what appears to be a military canton … designed to support Russian combat air operations from the base and [which] may serve as a logistical hub for Russian combat forces.”

U.S. officials, he said, “believe Russia will base combat aircraft at the site.” The photos show that “construction crews have completed a taxiway that connects the runway to the construction area,” which in turn “means aircraft shelters for Russian aircraft.” Bottom line: “Russia is substantially expanding its involvement.”

In other words, the Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! After all, alarmism and drumbeating are de rigueur nowadays for U.S. pundits, so Lewis was doing what he had to do

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