The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

BREAKING NEWS: Michael Young admits he was wrong on Syria


The minutes 6:40-8:30 are a good watch:


Well not quite breaking news but…I just watched an incredible interview with Michael Young on France 24. Two and a half years after the Syria revolt broke out, he just now is admitting 1) He was WRONG in predicting that Assad would fall – an incredibly irresponsible”analysis” he has long promulgated and which is a brand of thinking that very much helped to lead to this tunnel of extreme violence we are all now in and 2) that there is NO SOLUTION WITHOUT ASSAD, russia Iran etc.

He also suggested that he really does not have a good idea anymore of what to do.

This is simply a breathtaking turnaround for all of us who have watched and argued with Michael about how wrong his analysis and suggestions were in dealing with the crisis in Syria.

Michael has always argued that he is a mere pundit – and not to blame him for US mistakes in the region or anyone elses mistakes. The problem is that he is read, he is taken, mainly by Neo LiberalCons, seriously and some of his best admirers in the Bush administration have used his columns as the ideological basis for some of their most disasterous moves in the region over the last 10 years.

Where does this leave Michael now? I await his next column with great interest.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I was able to rewatch the episode today, and there is a final part that is instructive: He is pressed by the interviewer who refused to let him wiggle out of answering the vital question of what SHOULD have been done early on. Michael is of course reluctant to give a direct answer because with hindsight most can now see how his original prescription is illogical: He says that the US and allies should have “taken out” Assad very early on. This comes after he acknowledges that the Assad regime was a redline for the russians (so why is a massive frontal attack to decapitate their redline a good idea?)…. and after he admits the sizable military power that Assad has brought to bear on the field.

Now, of course, “taking assad out” was a really bad idea early on WHEN ASSAD HAD FAR GREATER power, when such an attack would have prompted a massive counter response by the Resistance Axis who would have been easily able to make a reasonable casus belli argument to various publics etc. As such, Michael tries his best to not have to promulgate these ideas. But the interviewer does not let him go!

How a person with no military training can armchair QB a preemptive military attack against a WMP power in the most explosive part of the world is beyond me!


Written by nickbiddlenoe

July 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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