Sunday, December 23, 2018

December 23, 2018


MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

General Mattis, Syria, and the “Lost It” Hysteria of the DC Swamp Deep State Globalists – They Now Advocate a Military Overthrow of President Trump

Friends,

My intention this morning was to begin a short series on what the Holy Feast of Christmas means, and must mean, for us…and I still intend to write about that. But a couple of very good friends, one of whom is a neighbor who stopped me in the local Food Lion the other days, have inquired about the recent decision by President Trump to pull our 2,200 troops out of the cauldron of the Syrian “civil war” (AKA, terrorist rebellion): could I offer some additional information and background on what just happened. I told my friend that I had written an installment in this series that very day, December 21, for MY CORNER: https://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/2018/12/december-21-2018-my-corner-by-boyd.html

In that column I made reference to five other installments which went into some detail on the background of the Syrian civil war…and why we should never have been there. But the idea of providing a short, accessible summary about what just happened this past week kept popping up as something that might be very useful to my friends and readers.

So this morning, without a lot of my commentary I want to pass on several items that I think will place what just happened into some context and perhaps give you ample background to begin to understand what President Trump did.  And, hopefully will offer perspective on why the near totality of the Foreign Policy Establishment, and the political Deep State elites in Washington—All Democrats and most Republicans in Congress (and on Fox News)—are beside themselves, upset, angry that our president is fulfilling his promise regarding Syria, and even calling for a “military coup against the president” [why, I ask, aren’t such pundits being arrested for proposing treason?].

Various politicians---from Republicans like uber-globalist Senators Lindsey Graham and Ben Sasse, plus oodles of Democrats, ALL UNITED [what does THAT tell you about the globalist nature of the Deep State cliques who not only control the US of A, but wish to control the rest of the world as well?]—have harshly condemned President Trump for his Syria decision, and even more so for the fact his Secretary of Defense General James Mattis has resigned.  Mattis, too, like the globalists in Washington—now twenty-six years after the fall of world Communism—wanted to continue to send American boys to die in foreign civil wars in jungles and deserts where we have no business being, so that the fruits of American egalitarianism and (pseudo) democracy could be inflicted on those downtrodden states….not to mention expanding control of the American financial global elites who would control their economies, their oil, and just about everything else…oh, yes, all in the name of “democracy.”

Why, just think of all the benefits we could inflict, say, on Syria: transgendered Mullahs, same sex bathrooms replacing Shar’ia law in those madrassa Islamic centers of learning, free abortions for those downtrodden Muslim women, wonderful commercials everywhere on Syrian TV for Viagra and Preparation-H, with same sex partners showing them all how it is done, and “democratic” elections with maybe Karl Rove parachuted in to instruct them how to manipulate votes. Maybe we could even encourage a few million Mexicans to move there to bolster whichever side the new “Demo-Republicrat” globalist alliance supports? And, why not get George Soros involved, too, if he is not already involved?

Is this not, in sum, what we’ve been fighting for? Not so much against ISIS (the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and the Russians have done almost all the fighting and defeating of ISIS), but for one more desert outpost of “American democracy and equality”?

And that, in reality, is why everyone from the Establishment left to the Establishment “conservative movement” are all so upset, and why they now talk of…actually…a “military coup” against President Trump. The resignation of Mattis was just a pretext, the nail to hang their frenzied and putrid ideological hat on. And it is that same unrestrained fervor, that vicious anger still over the results of 2016, their resentment that “THAT MAN sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” that same Deep State lunacy that has even a few of them, get this, “contemplating suicide”! [Let me wish they carry through with that threat—the Dark Lord of Hell awaits them with open arms.]

So, here, first, is a brief account of those unleashed reactions from the devilish denizens of the Deep State: you must read these to begin to comprehend the quasi-religious madness these folks exhibit. And, once again, I ask: can there ever be any kind of “peace” with these votaries of the Dark Lord? Second, Andrew McCarthy responds to a vitriolic anti/Never-Trump piece by National Review’s David French. McCarthy is not ordinarily thought of as a staunch Trump loyalist and the magazine he writes for is and has been an outpost of Establishment Never-Trumpism, but he does make some good arguments about Syria, and why we should not be there and why we should get out.
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Establishment Meltdown Over Mattis Resignation: They Talk of Impeaching President Trump, Coups and Suicide

  

The Establishment is melting down after the sudden resignation by Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Thursday. Talk of impeachment, coups, and suicide abound over fears that Mattis was the last ‘adult’ keeping President Trump in check. Mattis resigned as Trump moved to assert mastery over his presidency this week in key areas after nearly two years on the job.
Former AFP White House reporter Andrew Beatty wrote that nearly anywhere else Trump would forced out of office by a military coup, “Syria withdrawal, Afghanistan draw down, Mattis gone, govt shutdown looming, President making decisions on the fly. Almost any other place in the world the guys in camouflage would be at the TV station by now.”
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson passive/aggressively called for a coup, “If we lived in a lesser country than our great nation, today is the day we really would be talking about a military coup. Soldiers down to the enlisted ranks are raising hell about the President’s Syria decision.”
Foreign Policy Pentagon reporter Lara Seligman wrote the press corp is contemplating suicide over Mattis’ resignation, “I think I speak for all national security reporters tonight when I say I’m about ready to jump off a cliff. But at least I already wrote the “who will replace Mattis” story two months (only two months?????) ago @ForeignPolicy

The Washington Post’s [house “conservative”] Jennifer Rubin called for Trump to be impeached and removed from office, “it is time for Senate Republicans to seriously consider removing Trump in the event the House moves to impeach. Trump is a menace to our democracy and national security”
The Washington Post’s Matt Viser made a play on the winter solstice tomorrow, “Tomorrow is the darkest day of the year.”
Veteran Hollywood actor Ed Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show and the move Elf), “With Mattis’ departure could we be seeing the first steps of a coup?”
The Wall Street Journal reported a Pentagon official saying, “We are on the edge,” “Lawmakers and Pentagon officials said tonight that they were shaken by Mattis‘s departure and what it could mean for the U.S. military and the nation’s national-security strategy. “We are on the edge,” one Pentagon official said. “This is unbelievable.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said Mattis’ resignation is his worst nightmare.  Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is scared, “This is scary. Secretary Mattis has been an island of stability amidst the chaos of the Trump administration. As we’ve seen with the President’s haphazard approach to Syria, our national defense is too important to be subjected to the President’s erratic whims.”
House Speaker-designate Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was “shaken and “concerned”. “General Mattis was a comfort to many who were concerned about the path the Trump Admin would choose to take. His resignation letter is defined by statements of principle — principles that drove him to leave the Administration. All of us should be concerned at this time.”
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Pelosi in expressing concerns about Mattis resigning.
The Washington Post reported a former senior administration official saying, “There’s going to be an intervention. Jim Mattis just sent a shot across the bow. He’s the most credible member of the administration by five grades of magnitude. He’s the steady, safe set of hands. And this letter is brutal. He quit because of the madness”
More Washington Post, “A sad day for America’: Washington fears a Trump unchecked by Mattis”
CNN reported D.C. is shaken and scared, “Shaken, saddened, scared: Washington erupts over the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis”
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe fears a Trump nuclear war with Mattis gone, “Yes: this. Retweet if you were hoping a grownup like Jim Mattis would stand between Trump and the nuclear codes.”
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The Syria Fairy Tale Lives!

By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY  December 22, 2018 6:30 AM
Americans will no longer support Washington’s incoherent Middle East adventurism.
Unlike my colleagues, I’ve been a bemused spectator during this week’s Syria follies. As readers of these columns know (see, e.g., herehereherehere, and here), I believe the United States has less interest in Syria than in the persistence of drought in Burkina Faso. That is why I was a steadfast naysayer on American intervention in a conflict among rivals whose common ground consists of hatred for America and affinity for sharia supremacism (and the abetting thereof — I’m looking at you, Vladimir).
The current frenzy was ignited by the president’s abrupt decision to pull U.S. forces (all 2,200 of them) out of Syria. This prompted Defense Secretary James Mattis’s resignation — though General Mattis’s stinging letter indicates that Syria was really just the last straw for him after two years in the Trump grinder.
These latest chapters are already being folded into the Syria Hawk Fantasy Narrative. To recap, we are to believe that President Obama, by extracting forces from Iraq (inconveniently, pursuant to an agreement struck by President Bush) created a “vacuum,” in which ISIS spontaneously generated. It is supposed to be irrelevant to this story that the American people never supported Washington’s farcical sharia-democracy project, and that the Iraqis claimed to want our troops out even more than we did. What matters is that Obama’s decision “created ISIS,” dashing the dreams for a secular, pluralist democracy harbored by the moderate Muslims who predominate Iraq (at least on days when they’re not executing homosexuals and apostates), and making an unspeakable bloodbath of the heroic struggle by the same moderate Muslims to overthrow Syria’s Tehran-backed monster, Bashar al-Assad.
Of course, Obama did not create the Islamic State. Sharia supremacism did. What no one in Washington pontificating on Syria and neighboring Iraq cares to acknowledge is that this region is a tinderbox of fundamentalist Islam in which, if there were no intervention by outside forces, Sunnis and Shiites would be slaughtering each other until some strongman imposed order — something that is to be expected in a culture of voluntarism (God as pure will) where submission to authority is the norm. (Voluntarism is brilliantly explained by Robert R. Reilly in The Closing of the Muslim Mind.)
It has been 17 years since 9/11 and 25 years since radical Islam declared war against the United States by bombing the World Trade Center. Yet, head firmly in the sand, we continue to discuss such catastrophes as Syria as if the most critical fact on the ground, the power and prevalence of sharia supremacism, did not exist. Consequently, we subscribe to delusional history (Obama created ISIS) and make policy around the resulting storylines.
If there was a Syria silver lining, at least for us at National Review, it was the scintillating debate between my friends David French and Michael Brendan Dougherty, during this week’s edition of The Editors podcast. Because I am solidly in the MBD camp on the folly of our Syria escapade, much of what follows will read like a rebuttal of David. I am sorry for that, because I believe he made the counter-case as eloquently and persuasively as it can be made, scoring some unassailable points along the way. It will more than repay the time you make to listen to it.
The exchange that most struck me was when, pressed by Mike to explain what on earth the U.S. mission is in Syria, David replied, “Completing the job of degrading ISIS into irrelevance.” To me, this seems like tunnel vision.
ISIS is simply a breakaway faction of al-Qaeda. It started, long before Obama came along, as the network’s franchise in Iraq, during the anti-American insurgency that metastasized into sectarian civil war. Al-Qaeda did not spontaneously generate either. It arose largely out of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets. You may notice a pattern here. The animating force is sharia-supremacist jihadism — the conviction that there is a divine injunction to impose Islamic law on Muslim countries and, from there, spread it globally. This is to be done by any means necessary, though fundamentalist ideology (in contrast to other interpretations of Islam) makes violence the highest form of jihad.
There has never been any vacuum in Syria (or Iraq). Sharia supremacism fills all voids. In focusing on ISIS, David discounts sharia supremacism as “an idea.” But it is much more than that. It is a cultural distinction — even, as Samuel Huntington argued, a civilizational one. It will always be a forcible enemy of the West. It doesn’t matter what the groups are called. You can kill ISIS, but it is already reforming as something else. In fact, it may no longer even be the strongest jihadist force in Syria: Its forebear-turned-rival al-Qaeda is ascendant — after a few name changes (the latest is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Levant Liberation Organization) and some infighting with other militant upstarts. There is a better chance that ISIS will reestablish ties with the mothership than fade away.
The fact that al-Qaeda, which triggered the “War on Terror,” does not factor into American clamoring about Syria is telling. The anti-ISIS mission David describes was not always the U.S. objective in Syria. First we were going to pull an Iraq/Libya redux and help the “moderates” overthrow Assad. But the “moderates,” in the main, are Muslim Brotherhood groups that are very content to align with al-Qaeda jihadists — and our fabulous allies in Syria, the Turks and the Saudis, were only too happy to abet al-Qaeda. Syria had thus become such a conundrum that we were effectively aligning with the very enemies who had provoked us into endless regional war.
When ISIS arose and gobbled up territory, beheading some inhabitants and enslaving the rest, Obama began sending in small increments of troops to help our “moderate” allies fend them off. But the moderates are mostly impotent; they need the jihadists, whether they are fighting rival jihadists or Assad. Syria remains a multi-front conflict in which one “axis” of America’s enemies, Assad-Iran-Russia, is pitted against another cabal of America’s enemies, the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda factions; both sides flit between fighting against and attempting to co-opt ISIS, another U.S. enemy. The fighting may go on for years; the prize the winner gets is . . . Syria (if it’s the Russians, they’ll wish they were back in Afghanistan).
Degrading ISIS into irrelevance would not degrade anti-American jihadism in Syria into irrelevance. If sharia didn’t ban alcohol, I’d say the old wine would just appear in new bottles. It was, moreover, absurd for President Trump to declare victory just because ISIS has been stripped of 95 percent of the territory it once held. Caliphate aspirations notwithstanding, ISIS’s mistake was the attempt to be an open and notorious sovereign. It was always more effective as a terrorist underground, and it still has tens of thousands of operatives for that purpose.
If we stayed out of the way, America’s enemies would continue killing each other. That’s fine by me. I am not indifferent to collateral human suffering, but it is a staple of sharia-supremacist societies; we can no more prevent it in Syria than in Burkina Faso. And I am not indifferent to the challenge David rightly identifies: terrorists occupying safe havens from which they can plot against the West. But that is a global challenge, and we handle it elsewhere by vigilant intelligence-gathering and quick-strike capabilities. We should hit terrorist sanctuaries wherever we find them, but it is not necessary to have thousands of American troops on the ground everyplace such sanctuaries might take root.
The Kurds are a more complicated problem. We have had a good deal with the Kurds: We protect them from Turkey, they kill jihadists. I could not agree more with David (among others) that it is shameful to abandon them, and it is shame multiplied by cowardice if, as reporting indicates, Trump decided to pull out after a threat by Ankara.
When we look a little deeper, though, we see why Americans will no longer support Washington’s incoherent Middle East adventurism. When we made our arrangements with the Kurds, we knew the backbone of their fighting forces was the PKK, which the U.S. government has designated a terrorist organization. We knew the Kurds had territorial ambitions over which the Turks (and the Iranians, for that matter) are spoiling to go to war. We knew, further, that Turkey is our purported ally in NATO — quite apart from its failure to keep its defense commitments, this Western alliance maintains as a member the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a sharia-supremacist in the Muslim Brotherhood mold who despises the West. We knew, therefore, that conflict between Turkey and the Kurds was inevitable, that we would eventually have to make an excruciating choice, and that the freight of the NATO alliance would tip the scales in Erdogan’s favor. In fact, in the very conversation in which Erdogan advised Trump to steer U.S. troops clear of Turkey’s imminent anti-Kurd operations, Trump offered Erdogan a Patriot air- and missile-defense system in order to dissuade the Turks from completing a purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile-defense system.
Could we defy Erdogan and keep — or even beef up — the U.S. military presence to protect the Kurds (including protecting the designated terrorists with whom we’ve managed to ally)? Sure we could . . . but by what authority?
I felt like a lonely voice around here in April 2017, when I condemned President Trump’s airstrikes on Syria as an unconstitutional act of war and an embarrassing contradiction of Trump’s broadsides against Obama for doing the same thing. I was therefore delighted when, addressing Syria a few months later, David asserted, “The Constitution cannot be discarded when it’s inconvenient.” He elaborated:
It’s past time for a true congressional vote on American engagement in Syria. Any argument that previous use-of-force resolutions applicable to Iraq or al-Qaeda also apply to the current conflict evaporate the instant American forces find themselves holding foreign territory in hostile opposition to the foreign sovereign. There is no credible argument that any current authorization allows American forces to occupy a single square inch of Syria without the consent of its government.
Amen. The Constitution is not a suggestion; it is our law. But this week, it is somehow not even a consideration. I hold no brief for Trump on Syria (as noted above, I believe his lawless aggression risked a wider war no one wants). But I find it remarkable that, as the president was rebuked across Capitol Hill — from Senator Lindsey Graham, who is a true believer in American adventurism, to Democrats, who will exploit any pretext to attack Trump — congressional critics never paused, ever so slightly, over the fact that the troops they want the president to keep in Syria were never authorized by Congress to be in Syria.
Some commentators sensed the problem but tried to finesse it, allowing that it would be good for Congress to have a “debate” about Syria because it would give clarity to the mission. That misses the point. The clarifying debate is a residual benefit we get from the constitutional necessity of obtaining congressional authorization before committing acts of war against other countries that have not threatened us. If the mission is not authorized, its clarity is immaterial.
Which brings me back, finally, to the excellent discussion on The Editors. Here’s David again, defending the mission:
This is one of the clearer missions that I’ve seen. This is not a nation-building mission. This is a mission that is a degrade and destroy a specified enemy, and then hold a geographic line against geopolitical foes who would seek to take that geography and crush our allies. That’s a clear mission
Yes, it’s clear. But so was David’s declaration, a year ago, that there is no lawful authorization in existence that “allows American forces to occupy a single square inch of Syria.” How, then, is it permissible for our forces to be “holding a geographic line” in a foreign country? What does it matter that, rhetorically speaking, Syria, Iran, and Russia are “geopolitical foes” if Congress has never authorized the use of force against them?
We all know the answer to this. Obama did not seek congressional authorization for combat operations in Syria because Congress would have refused. And Congress does not want any president to ask for authorization because members do not want to be accountable — they want to go on cable TV and whine that whoever is president has been heedless, whether for going in or for pulling out.
Want to declare war against ISIS? I’d be up for discussing that. Or, as a matter of honor, an authorization of military force to protect the Kurds for what they’ve done on our behalf? I could be persuaded. Or even a declaration of war against Iran — it wouldn’t require us to invade, but it might be useful as part of a real “maximum pressure” strategy, rather than just making mean faces at them in Syria. I’d be open to all of that; but not to more unprovoked military interventions that don’t have congressional authorization.

There is nothing for America in Syria. We haven’t defeated ISIS by taking its territory, and it wouldn’t matter if we did because sharia-supremacist culture guarantees that a new ISIS will replace the current one. The names change, but the enemy remains the same. And if you want to fight that enemy in an elective war, the Constitution demands that the people give their consent through their representatives in Congress.

6 comments:

  1. The Department of Ironic Punishments suggests we arrest those calling for the overthrow of President Trump and hand them over to ISIS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ISIS was funded by the CIA, either directly or through Saudia Arabia. It had a heyday because it was funded by the 24/7 oil tanker convoys to Turkey that were not interdicted until the bad bad Russkies showed up and bombed the daylights out of them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Correction: "Funded further by the 24/7 oil tanker convoys"

    ReplyDelete
  4. "That is why I was a steadfast naysayer on American intervention in a conflict among rivals whose common ground consists of hatred for America and affinity for sharia supremacism (and the abetting thereof — I’m looking at you, Vladimir)."

    Huh? What is McCarthy drinking?
    Assad is fighting ISIS. Putin has his own problems with Muslim Chechnya. But both have affinities for sharia supremacism?

    Oh, he writes for neocon NR, which just might end up like the neocon Weekly Standard. Got it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Advocating treason will get you locked up.
    Any other country isn't here.
    So what does happen if you have an insurection.
    Not sure, but if Trump lives through it, you have a whole bunch of people with their heads departing their bodies and that is legal.
    I am surprised that a good lawyer hasn't already brought charges under the appropriate sections of the federal law against treason.
    But that would require guts.
    I disagree on the President in many things. He is the President and I am not in his shoes. He was duly elected.
    Opposition would do much better to propose things that would put them in a good light even if they are over rode by the Congress. All of which might put a Democrat in the White House at the next election.
    But none of the violent over throw of the government period.

    ReplyDelete
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                                                         April 30, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   The Survival of Western Culture...