I’ve been hard on President Trump recently. He’s deserved it. But, his decision to announce without any prearranged warning a complete pullout of all U.S. forces in Syria is something I can unreservedly applaud.
Whether he actually goes through with it or not is another story.
But even just his tweaking the D.C. establishment on this issue is enough for at least a golf clap. Nothing unites D.C. like the start of a new war or the threat of ending an old one.
And apparently Trump blind-sided nearly everyone on this. From the our NATO allies like France and the U.K. to his outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of them found out when Trump took the bully pulpit and informed the world.
This is the guy we elected. This is Loki-like behavior, not the weak-kneed appeaser that we’ve seen since Helsinki, tweeting like a madman trapped in a cage of his own making.
So, keep doing this Don and you might earn some trust.
The reality is that Turkey and Russia now set the terms of what’s happening in Syria going forward. Trump just acknowledged the U.S.’s untenable policy there is over.
In my latest piece for Strategic Culture, written before Trump’s Syria announcement, I talk about this weekend’s events leading up to Trump’s surprise announcement.
If these things weren’t enough Turkish Prime Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said recently that Ankara was now willing to work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he survives “democratic and credible” elections. This is rich coming from Turkey, but whatever.
The importance of this statement, however, cannot be overstated. Turkey was one of the major partners in the mission to destroy Syria. And now they have joined with Russia, Iran and China in negotiating the peace process.
They have gone from “Assad must go!” to “Assad can stay.” It is an admission that the US plan for balkanization of Syria will eventually fail and that their best bet is putting maximum pressure on the US to give up its regional plans.
Russia, of course, stands behind Turkey in this and themselves are now upping the costs on the US and the Israelis. Because, it is now Russian policy to assist Syrian Arab Army forces in proportional retaliation against Israeli aggression in Syrian territory, according to Elijah Magnier.
No longer will the Russians stand aside and allow Israel a free hand over bombing what it says are Hezbollah and Iranian targets within Syria. The SAA will now strike back with a proportional response.
An airport for an airport, as it were.
Trump just admitted that the Bolton/Dunford strategy of balkanizing Syria has failed and he’s done subsidizing it. Hopefully, this will lead to something better and a more coherent strategy to rescue U.S. foreign policy from the cesspit of neoconservativism Trump still deserves heaps of scorn for allowing to rule his administration.
But for now, I’m taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. So too, is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump had to put something concrete on the table.
I’ve always said that there will be no resolution to the situation in Syria until the U.S. takes responsibility for some of its actions there and makes a move towards de-escalating it.
The U.S. had to act first. So, declare victory and get out of there.
Trump’s track record of threatening, sanctioning, insulting and bullying has put him in a very bad place to negotiate the U.S.’s withdrawal from Central Asia. There is no reason why anyone should sign an agreement with him or believe a word that comes out of his mouth or that of his staff.
So, the two years he’s been in office have seen an administration with few cards to play throw them down on the table for all the world to see and still try to bluff their way to winning the pot.
It’s all so unbelievably amateurish and sad.
The best move here is to stop the bleeding, end the destruction of what’s left of U.S. foreign policy credibility and bring the troops home before the next financial crisis leaves them even more vulnerable than they were before.
I’ve always argued that we wouldn’t have WWIII with the Russians over Syria or Ukraine unless a massive mistake was made. Trump’s staff maneuvered him into a position where the probabilities of that mistake happening rose to an unacceptable level which culminated in the downing of that IL-20 reconnaissance plane over Syria.
Putin took control of the situation there and Erdogan used the gift handed to him by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman perfectly. Now, Trump is talking about handing over Cleric Fetullah Gulen as well as a Syria withdrawal.
On this point I agree with Bernard at Moon of Alabama that Trump decided to choose keeping Turkey in NATO rather than allowing it to jump to the alliance of China, Russia and Iran formally.
And it looks like he finally had enough of trying to appease his generals who have been bleeding him dry since he took office.
Each and every one of the warmonger bought and paid for prostitutes of the war machine who are objecting should have to go over there and pick up a rifle or a water bucket at the very least,
Instead of polishing the seat of their fancy chairs and posing for photo ops.
A requirement to have some skin in the game on the ground.
I can agree with the sentiment ursel doran, but if you did not serve in the infantry, or carry a water bucket as you say, tone it down a little. Knee jerk is the reason we’re in this mess. The Kurds have been getting the short end of the stick for 100 years, let’s not trivialize this decision for those locals that have supported our ground pounders in northern Iraq & Syria for the last 20 years.
We are no in there for any bloody knee jerk! Just cash money. When Trump last announced pull the troops out, like magic, another smoke bomb went off, and the White Helment’s, USA hired guys, said it was poison gas!! Arrrggg.
OOPS Unable to be confirmed after we lobbed a million dollars of bombs onto some place not to hit any people, just like the first lob of bombs onto a remote air field with almost no planes, as they got the word and left. Look it up on google earth like I did.
I was a draft dodger, and to dodge the draft, avoiding going to Nam, in 1965, and crawling around in the mud getting shot, after university I went to Officer Candidate School for the Navy in, at Newport R.I. See the movie “Officer and Gentleman”.
Upon graduation I was getting $50 every two weeks, and went to submarine school at New London Conn. for six months, and was then posted to an old WW 2 boat. The reason for the low pay was the Navy had to loan us $1,250 for uniforms to get in the Navy and took half our pay for six months to recover it. Froze to death almost in the north Atlantic on the old boat for four years.
Was eventually moved from supply officer to Chief Engineer, and in between was the Top Secret Crypto communications officer in charge of all top secret communications, and documents, where I became interested in all the goings on in the world.
If you are at all curious look up Navy ship SS 340, Entemedor. Last of the old WW 2 pig boats with the nukes coming in. Was in for a total of Seven Years! You??
The point sir is I am able at the age of 76, with more miles than you can imagine, see and separate government war monger B.S. for War profiteering from reality.
The largest most powerful, sophisticated military cannot take out a few guys with Ak-47’s on Jeeps and Horses for 18 years?? ONLY if you want to to keep it going FOR MONEY!!
Are You aware of the PNAC? Look it up, lots of info on line. Check the dual nationality of the drafters and most of the signatories.
WHY are we killing innocents in Syria???? For what exactly? So the so the Saudis can get a pipe line through to Europe?? Why are we supporting mass slaughter in Yemen??
Have you seen the video of Victoria Nuland, Obama’s hired gun Neo Con, ON YOU TUBE,
stating that we spent “Five Billion”, for the regime change in Ukraine, and then slaughtered 90 innocents with snipers in the town square, and blew the airliner out of the sky slaughtering 250 souls to create false flag’s to goad Putin into a conflict?
Putin has the “Art of War” book memorized. First rule is do not go to war!!!!
If you have not read it I recommend the cheap paperback with foreword by the great author James Clavell. $11, last I bought several to give away.
No regrets about the rant as you hit my hot buttons on a slow boring night.
Salute ALL the troops, and ground pounder’s and whack all politicians shining leather chairs with their fat asses with bribes from lobbyist’s, with NO SKIN IN THE GAME sending our guys to die for their money!!
Have you seen the 60 Minutes interview with Madeline Albright asking her if she thought it was OK to slaughter 500,000 Iraq children? Answer was “Regrettable but necessary”.
Direct quote on camera!
It seems the more active we are in Syria, the more problems we have in Afghanistan. Probably just a coincidence. :)
He’ll have to fire at least one footdragger to whip the others into obedience. Mattis is already gone, so who’s next?
GREAT READ, a bit long but sums up the condition our condition is in very well. Enjoy.
I’ll begin by noting talk of an ordered draw down of 7 K troops in Afghanistan. Couple this with the Syrian withdrawal and N Korea it seems a draw down of Military bases around the world is beginning. Japanese activation of Aircraft carriers, demands for greater EU defense spending. Trump definitely has a withdrawal from empire in mind. I think he saw what happened to the USSR and the sudden fall and has decided to hedge that by repatriating the economy and increasing weapons sales. Nothing is more dangerous then an unemployed public. All his action also allow him to institute a long budget stalemate which grants him a certain amount of spending flexibility. Ultimately I believe he’s trying to play the game in a way that’ll spare the USA the pain that the USSR experienced in the 90’s. Trump may trying to do a controlled descent versus an uncontrolled one that happen in the USSR. I may be ascribing too much to the man, but there does appear to be a design to the behavior.
The Syria withdrawal is interesting in that Turkey has now delayed the attack, purchased 3.5 billion in missiles and delivery of F-35’s. I believe as a condition for decreasing the Khashoggi rhetoric Turkey won a lot of concessions, the above being the visible ones. Syria was a no win game for the US, only they didn’t understand that.
Next on deck are Ukraine and Kosovo. I really think Trump wants to be seen as peace builder and does want a Noble peace prize. Obama received a peace prize and accepted it for doing nothing. Trump’s ego is to one up Obama and erase his legacy completely, this would be another feather in that cap.
It’s interesting to watch.
Neo Con warmonger whores are screaming loudly, so the CIA / Pentagon war machine will attack again. Another false flag Gas attack with another smoke bomb, is highly likely. IMHO.
A golf clap indeed. A birdie worth tweeting about.
Tom: Just watched “Stand Up for Us or Get Out of the Way!” on YT. Bravo brother; I appreciate your sincerity & passion. Long past the time for DT to stop trying to placate everyone which almost always winds up with pleasing no one.
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