December 22, 2018

President Trump has done the right thing with regard to America’s troop deployment in Syria. Trump ordered the 2,000 US troops based in Syria to get out and come home.

Neocons and the US war party are having apoplexy even though there are some 50,000 US troops spread across the rest of the Mideast.

The US troops parked in the Syrian Desert were doing next to nothing. Their avowed role was to fight the remnants of the ISIS movement and block any advances by Iranian forces. As a unified fighting force, ISIS barely exists, if it ever did. Cobbled together, armed and financed by the US, the Saudis and Gulf Emirates to overthrow Syria’s regime, ISIS ran out of control and became a menace to everyone.

In fact, what the US was really doing was putting down a marker for a possible US future occupation of war-torn Syria that risked constant clashes with Russian forces there.

We will breathe a big sigh of relief if the US deployment actually goes ahead: it will remove a major risk of war with nuclear-armed Russia, whose forces are in Syria at the invitation of the recognized government in Damascus. The US has no strategic interest in Syria and no business at all being militarily involved there. Except perhaps that the war party wants never-ending wars abroad for arms production and promotions.

Trump’s abrupt pullout from Syria has shocked and mortified Washington’s war party and neocon fifth column. They were hoping reinforced US forces would go on to attack Damascus and move against Iranian forces. It was amusing to watch the anguish of such noted warlike chickenhawks as Sen. Lindsay Graham and the fanatical national security advisor John Bolton as their hopes for a US war against Syria diminished. Israel was equally dismayed: its strategic plan has long been to fragment Syria and gobble up the pieces.

The venerable imperial general and defense secretary, Jim Mattis, couldn’t take this de-escalation. He resigned. Marine General Mattis was one of the few honorable and respected members of the Trump administration and a restraint on the president’s impulses. To his credit, he opposed the reintroduction of torture by US forces, a crime promoted by Trump, Bolton and Chicago enforcer Mike Pompeo.

What really mattered was not a chunk of the Syrian Desert. Matis’s resignation may have been much more about Afghanistan, America’s longest war. The US has been defeated in Afghanistan, rightly known as the ‘Graveyard of Empires.’ Yet no one in Washington can admit this defeat or order a retreat after wasting 17 years, a trillion dollars and thousands of Americans killed or wounded. Least of all, Gen. Mattis, Bolton or Pompeo who bitterly opposed any peace deal with the Taliban nationalist movement.

According to unconfirmed media reports, the US has already thinned out its Afghan garrison of 14,000 plus soldiers. These soldiers’ main function is to guard the corrupt, drug-dealing Afghan puppet government in Kabul and fix Taliban forces so they can be attacked by US airpower.

Taliban insists it won’t begin serious negotiations until all US and 8,000 foreign troops are withdrawn. In fact, Taliban, which has been quietly talking to the US in Abu Dhabi, may agreed to a 50% western troops cut in order to begin peace talks.

The Afghan War has cost the US $1 trillion. Occupying parts of Iraq and Syria has cost a similar amount. Resistance against US rule continues in both nations. Mattis and his fellow generals really like these wars, but civilian Trump does not. As a candidate he vowed to end these ‘stupid’ wars. Let’s hope he succeeds over the bitter objections of the Republican war party, neocons, and military industrial complex.

Syria is an ugly little sideshow. By contrast, Afghanistan is a dark blot on America’s national honor. We watch with revulsion and dismay as the US deploys B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers to flatten Afghan villages. We watch with disgust as the US coddles the opium-dealing Afghan warlords and their Communist allies – all in the spurious name of ‘democracy.’

If Trump wants to make America great, he can start by ending the squalid Syrian misadventure and the butchery in Afghanistan.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2018

This post is in: Syria, USA

9 Responses to “TIME TO GET OUT OF SYRIA”

  1. Since 9/11 all but two or three of the remaining countries not under the control yet of the international bankers cartel, have been forced under that vile umbrella.Syria is good friends with Iran and Iran is still free of that bankers scourge. By destroying Syria like Iraq Libya and others, the power of Iran would be diminished and have given the west some important strategic advantages. Even with all the help from the US Saddam could not defeat Iran. And then there is that ever present logistics problem, plus the hate across the globe the US has accumulated since the start of their ill fated empire building. If the US had been honest from the beginning and not claim WW2 victory all for themselves but had admitted, that without the USSR in that war, the outcome would have been very different and the common language of Europe today would likely have been German, but they started to believe their own propaganda lies. And now on top of all the other bad news, the petrodollar started to slide into oblivion.

  2. It appears that Lindsay Graham has been meddling and the withdrawal is to be delayed. Too good to be true.
    All the best to everyone in the New Year.

  3. A trifecta… the Iraqi leadership wants the Americans to leave… win, win, win… and get out of the Middle East for good.

  4. This is the first action by Trump that I agree with. I recall the Bob Newhart skit about an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters. It seems the Donald got something right. I don’t know why it took so long. The Syrian war was not well received by the American public, anyway.
    Breaking News: The order to withdraw from Syria has just been signed.
    His reducing troops in Afghanistan is also welcome. They are only propping up a ‘fake’ government and one that is not regarded as having any legitimacy with the general population. When the Taliban took over from the Russians, poppy production went to zero; after 11 years of American ‘guidance’ it is higher than it ever was. It almost led one to the conclusion that the Mafia was directing American foreign policy just to keep the supply of opium.
    I can just imagine the ‘howls’ from the neocons at having their rice bowls broken. The reaction was predictable… first, questioning Trumps sanity and possible ulterior motives. The specter of Putin’s interference, yielding to the might of the Russians, and a raft of other issues.
    Lindsay Graham immediately flying off to Afghanistan to inform them the Americans were not deserting the cause… whatever that was. The pretext that it was because Afghanistan would not turn over bin Laden was a feeble charade. This ended with his extrajudicial execution.
    There will be some interesting effects of this. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel will not be pleased. It also means that Russia can deploy several batteries of surfact to air missiles that can be effectively used on Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel. We’ll have to wait to see how that plays out. I was surprised that foreign countries were using Syrian airspace with impunity.
    I think you are correct in your assessment of ISIS being a ‘rag-tag’ handful of radical fundamentalists, distributed far and wide throughout the area. The problem is that it is very hard to destroy a belief. The Muslim belief is one of ‘sharing’ and the despotic rulers of the area are ‘rolling in luxury’ whereas the peasants are destitute and starving. This gives rise to resentment and an approval of the ISIS actions.
    It’s interesting that Mattis has resigned on principle, and, that this resignation was ‘pushed up’ by Trump from the end of February to the beginning of January. The old white guys in Washington were of the opinion that he provided some stability to the White House. It’s good that he’s gone; he would likely been an object of interference with the withdrawal and would have tried to thwart it. I don’t know the qualifications of his replacement, Patrick Shanahan. Like a Mafia chieftan Trump has his enforcers Pompeo and Bolton.
    The cost of this war has been staggering, and, the funds could have been better spent improving the American health care and education… make America truly great again. We’ll see how the neocons, ‘old’ republicans and the military industrial complex adjusts to the new campaign. We also wonder who the Americans with start another war with… maybe North Korea, after all, we cannot have all these soldiers sitting around ‘collecting dust’.

    • The bottom line is the US, who boasts it’s a Nation of Law and Order, is in Syria in Violation of International Law.

      Americans may be in denial, but the World knows the US went to the United Nations Security Council with fake Intelligence supplied by US Intelligence Agencies, asking for the Legal Authority only the UNSC can give, to invade Iraq. The UNSC said, NO!

      With the delusional belief in it’s own exceptionalism, the US invaded anyway in violation of International Law, undermining the Global Order as represented by the UN since WWII, ushering in the Law of the Jungle to the Middle East and this World.

    • Third paragraph… that should be 18 years.

    • It’s important to NOT give Trump too much credit. He has no interest in winding down the wars. His concern is America isn’t getting Paid enough for the job. Trump is just more blatant about the American “Protection Racket” than his predecessors. 🙂

  5. When will we be allowed to refer to the Afghanistan war for what it really is The second opium war? It was always about restoring the opium trade fro big pharma.

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