Thursday, October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Faked Syrian Atrocity Video and the Rush to Condemn Trump


There it was for all to see Sunday night, October 13…right there on ABC Nightly News (and then re-shown on “Good Morning America”): grotesque and horrible film footage of Turkish army units shelling and massacring our defenseless Kurdish allies and their families in northeastern Syria. You could hear Lindsey Graham wailing at top voice: “Stop the atrocities! Stop the genocide!”

There was just one small problem: the film footage shown by ABC News was faked, it was not of Turks massacring helpless Kurds. It was, instead, film footage of a nighttime arms demonstration at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky. ABC News’ announcer, David Muir, intoned that the situation in Syria “is rapidly spiraling out of control.”

ABC’s Tom Llamas, earlier on Sunday, breathlessly reported: “This video right here appear[s] to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town. The Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS. Now, horrific reports of atrocities committed by Turkish-backed fighters on those very allies.”

“This video, obtained by ABC News, appears to show the fury of the Turkish attack on the border town of Tal Abyad,” senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell, who is in Syria, said Monday on Good Morning America.

When finally confronted by the fake video, a spokesman for ABC replied defensively:
"We’ve taken down video that aired on 'World News Tonight Sunday' and 'Good Morning America' this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy," a spokesman told the Washington Examiner. "ABC News regrets the error….”

But did you see any corrections on air?

Which raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions: how did ABC get the footage? Did they not know its provenance? What was the reason for screening it?

I think we know the answers to those queries. But in answering them, another even deeper consideration arises: here we have a mouthpiece of the Deep State Swamp and a leading minion of the Mainstream Media, agents of the Washington Establishment once again attempting to manipulate public opinion to defend the “national consensus” in favor of globalism, and to persuade viewers that what is black is actually white…and that Donald Trump is, well, abetting war crimes and criminality.

Fascinatingly, Fox avoided mentioning it or commenting on it—this from the so-called “conservative network”—until Lou Dobbs mentioned the fake video on October 16 on his program “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” Dobbs, of course, is one of the very few commentators still on Fox who actually favors the American withdrawal from the never-ending conflict in Syria.

 And the reason, again, is obvious. Fox News by and large (with a couple of notable exceptions) is zealously pro-intervention and resolutely opposed to the pull-back of American “advisers.” Thus, the virtual black out. Who says the Neoconservatives don’t engage in their own censorship?

And so do the lemmings in Congress. They voted in the House of Representatives 354 to 60 to condemn the president’s withdrawal order, and that number included 129 Republicans congressmen, despite that fact that support for reducing American presence is well over 57% among the Republican base.

It seems to make no difference to the Republican and conservative Inside-the-Beltway elites. Always, it seems, they join with their friends on the further Left to defend the continuing efforts to impose egalitarianism, democracy, and the triumph of a globalist “new order” all around the world, paid for by American taxpayers and with returning American body bags.

The news from northeastern Syria is actually hopeful, although you will not hear that from Fox News or from most members of Congress. Because of the American pull-back, the Syrian Kurds have turned to the legitimate government of Syria for cooperation and protection: to the government of Bashar al-Assad which, with substantial Russian support, has done most of the fighting against ISIS and cleared most of the country of those terrorists.

Here, succinctly, is how Ron Paul correctly described it:

“Interventionists will do anything to prevent US troops from ever coming home, and their favorite tactic is promoting ‘mission creep.’ As President Trump Tweeted, we were told in 2014 by President Obama that the US military would go into Syria for just 30 days to save the Yazidi minority that they claimed were threatened. Then that mission crept into ‘we must fight ISIS’ and so the US military continued to illegally occupy and bomb Syria for five more years.

“Even though it was the Syrian army with its Russian and Iranian allies that did the bulk of the fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, President Trump took credit and called for the troops to come home. But when the military comes home, the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex loses its cash cow, so a new rationale had to be invented.

“The latest ‘mission creep’ was that we had to stay in Syria to save our ‘allies’ the Kurds. All of a sudden our military presence in Syria was not about fighting terrorism but rather about putting US troops between our NATO ally Turkey and our proxy fighting force, the Kurds. Do they really want us to believe that it is ‘pro-American’ for our troops to fight and die refereeing a long-standing dispute between the Turks and [Marxist] Kurds?

“It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground. While their interest in fighting ISIS was limited, they were happy to use Washington’s muscle in pursuit of their long-term goal of carving out a part of Syria (and eventually Turkey) for themselves.

“We can never leave because there will be a slaughter, Washington claimed (and the media faithfully repeated). But once again, the politicians, the mainstream media, and the Beltway ‘experts’ have been proven wrong. They never understand that sending US troops into another country without the proper authority is not a stabilizing factor, but a de-stabilizing factor. I have argued that were the US to leave Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) the countries of the region would find a way to solve their own problems.

“Now that the US is pulling back from northern Syria, that is just what is happening.

“On Sunday the Kurds and the Syrian government signed an agreement, brokered by the Russians, to put aside their differences and join together to defend against Turkey’s incursion into Syrian territory.

“Now ‘our Kurdish allies’ are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad – who we are still told by US officials ‘must go.’ Washington doesn’t understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.”

That says it all too well.
Here then are two columns that add to this: the first is a superb summary by Pat Buchanan; then, I remit a slightly edited column I first authored on October 13, “President Trump is Right on Syria.” It was picked up and published by The Unz Review”:

Is the Interventionists' Era Over for Good?
By Patrick J. Buchanan   Tuesday - October 15, 2019
President Donald Trump could have been more deft and diplomatic in how he engineered that immediate pullout from northeastern Syria. Yet that withdrawal was as inevitable as were its consequences.

A thousand U.S. troops and their Kurdish allies were not going to dominate indefinitely the entire northeast quadrant of a country the size of Syria against the will of the Damascus regime and army. Had the U.S. refused to vacate Syrian lands on Turkey's demand, a fight would be inevitable, whether with Turkey, Damascus or both. And this nation would neither support nor sustain a new war with Turks or Syrians.

And whenever the Americans did leave, the Kurds, facing a far more powerful Turkey, were going to have to negotiate the best deal they could with Syria's Bashar Assad.

Nor was President Recep Erdogan of Turkey going to allow Syrian Kurds to roost indefinitely just across his southern border, cheek by jowl with the Turkish Kurds of the PKK that Erdogan regards as a terrorist threat to the unity and survival of his country.

It was Russia that stepped in to broker the deal whereby the Kurds stood down and let the Syrian army take over their positions and defend Syria's border regions against the Turks.

Some ISIS prisoners under Kurdish control have escaped. But if the Syrian army takes custody of these prisoners from their Kurdish guards, those ISIS fighters and their families will suffer fates that these terrorists have invited.

Denunciation of Erdogan for invading Syria is almost universal. Congress is clamoring for sanctions. NATO allies are cutting off weapons sales. But before we act, some history should be revisited.

Turkey has been a NATO ally, a treaty ally, for almost seven decades. The Kurds are not. Turkish troops fought alongside us in Korea. Turkey hosted Jupiter missiles targeted on Russia in the Cold War, nuclear missiles we withdrew as our concession in the secret JFK-Khrushchev deal that ended the Cuban missile crisis. The Turks accepted the U.S. weapons, and then accepted their removal.
The Turks have the second-largest army in NATO. They are a nation of 80 million, a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. They dominate the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, the entrance to and exit from the Black Sea for all U.S. and Russian warships. U.S. warplanes are based at Turkey's Incirlik air base, as are 50 U.S. nuclear weapons. And Turkey harbors millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war, whom Erdogan keeps from crossing into Europe.

Moreover, Erdogan's concern over the Syrian Kurdish combat veterans on his border should be understood by us. When Pancho Villa launched his murderous 1916 raid into Columbus, New Mexico, we sent General "Black Jack" Pershing with an army deep into Mexico to run him down.

With no allies left fighting on our side in Syria, the small U.S. military force there is likely to be withdrawn swiftly and fully.

Today, the Middle East and world have been awakened to the reality that when Trump said he was ending everlasting commitments and bringing U.S. troops home from "endless wars," he was not bluffing.

The Saudis got the message when the U.S., in response to a missile and drone strike from Iran or Iranian-backed militias, which shut down half of Riyadh's oil production, did nothing. Said Washington, this is between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Hence, it was stunning that the administration, at the end of last week, under fire from both parties in the House and Senate for "abandoning" the Kurds, announced the deployment of 1,500 to 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia to bolster the kingdom's defense against missile attacks. The only explanation for the contradiction is Sen. Henry Ashurst's maxim: "The clammy hand of consistency should never rest for long upon the shoulder of a statesman."

Yet, this latest U.S. deployment notwithstanding, Saudi Arabia has got the message: Trump will sell them all the weapons they can buy, but no Saudi purchase ensures that the Yanks will come and fight their wars.

Thus, the Saudis have begun negotiating with the Houthi rebels, with whom they have been at war in Yemen since 2015. And they are seeking talks with Iran. A diplomatic resolution of quarrels seems to have come to commend itself to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, once he learned that the Americans do not regard Saudis as we do NATO allies.

Undeniably, the decisions — not to retaliate against Iran for the attack on Riyadh's oil facilities, and the decision to terminate abruptly the alliance with Syria's Kurds — sent shock waves to the world.

Where the Americans spent much of the Cold War ruminating about an "agonizing reappraisal" of commitments to malingering allies, this time the Yanks may be deadly serious.

This time, the Americans may really be going home.

Every nation that today believes it has an implied or a treaty guarantee that the U.S. will fight on its behalf should probably recheck its hole card.

President Trump Is Right on Syria
Let’s Hope He Follows Through this Time
The unified foreign policy establishment in Washington, the Deep State politicos—from Lindsey Graham and Lynne Cheney in Congress, to the inveterate Never Trumpers like Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal, [“he’s (Trump) all impulse, blithely operating out of his depth”], to the near totality of the progressivist Left (e.g. Chuck Schumer, Diane Feinstein, and others), have come together (as they always do) to protect their sacred commitment to globalism and, this time, in opposition to President Trump’s decision to finally withdraw American support troops from northeastern Syria.

If it is one thing that brings the “Swamp” together in solidarity it is a serious threat to their hegemony in administering America’s foreign policy. From the pseudo-conservative “right” to the loony Left, the one issue that unites these agents of the Managerial Administrative State is the absolute imperative for the United States “to be involved” practically everywhere in the world, the zealous pursuit of “democratization” and the imposition of “egalitarian” values—most significantly in our export of “educational” programs and the various strings attached to our voluminous aid packages. Such programs always follow in the wake of any boots on the ground. They are part and parcel of the Deep State’s attempt to re-fashion the world along the lines and with globalist postulates that are, in fact, inimical to the traditions and heritage of the American founding.

Such initiatives mirror in numerous ways the goals of international financiers and subversive globalist instigators such as George Soros, whose multiple “Europe without Borders” (“Europe sans frontiers”) initiatives involve the virtual destruction of that historic continent by dissolving national borders and via an open door policy towards immigration, most especially from “Third World” countries. Soros and his apparatchiks have run into fierce opposition from Hungary and its valiant Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and, to some degree, from Poland and now from Italy, under its more rightist populist government. Yet, for Soros such opposition is a mere hindrance. He and those internationalists like him continue feverishly their scheming towards a global “nation” founded on ruins of an older, Christian civilization.

Just as with the massive “re-education” of Europe following German defeat in 1945, the results are not always what we are informed they will be. In the case of post-war Germany, it was not only the tearing out, root-and-branch, of any supposed trace of Naziism and antisemitism, but the real and practical disauthorization of ANY actual, traditional conservative presence (including traditional, non-Nazi conservatives), to the point that German history was so completely re-written and sanitized as to make any defense of even pre-1918 Germany—of Prussian history—any defense of a “national German spirit,” the equivalent of “the recrudescence of antisemitism and Hitlerism.” Germans were taught and continue to be taught to despise and reject their past, not just the twelve year interregnum under Adolf Hitler, but in fact its near entirety. The German nation has become, in a real sense, one immense bog of continuous apologies and imposed, never ending penance.

The ignominious demise of Soviet Communism, a threat to us and our existence prior to 1991, in no way lessened the beating war drums and the dreams of international “democratization” or the desire for imposing “egalitarian values” emitted from the American foreign policy establishment. Nor its implicit, if not always seamless, tacit collaboration with the aims of uber-globalists like Soros. The specter of the George W. Bush years, of a John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and of Neocon “thought leaders” like Bill Kristol and James Kirchick demanding that the full panoply of “gay and lesbian rights” be implemented in Russia, that “democratic values” be imposed in Iraq, and that America intervene in Syria, are stark reminders that those policies continue full blast in the Swamp.

And thus when Donald Trump uttered the unutterable and ordered the withdrawal of American troops, he enraged not just the fanatics over on the progressivist Left, but the unelected managerial bureaucrats and Republican and “conservative” denizens of that same Swamp (who hold themselves condescendingly above all those rubes and deplorables out in the American hinterland). How dare the Trumpster question the “national consensus”! How dare he challenge the irrepressible advance towards world democracy and equality for everyone, everywhere! How dare he be so petty and insular as to reject “progress”!

Thus the howls of disapproval and anger directed at the president for his announcement last week that he is doing exactly what he declared he would do, both during his presidential campaign and back in December: withdraw American “advisers” from the Turkish border in extreme northeastern Syria.

Unlike the jeremiads one hears from nearly all the media, including Fox News and pundits like Chris Wallace and Brian Kilmeade, this decision was not unexpected, but had been in the planning stage and in the offing since this past December (when General Mattis resigned because he disagreed). The president just finally decided to follow through on his promise.

Perhaps the most pointed—and poignant—argument used by those who oppose the president is that we are leaving “our Kurdish allies in the lurch, we are deserting them,” placing them at the mercy of the Turks just across the border who have already begun to attack them. Those who make this argument appear to forget that the Marxist Kurdish resistance in that region has been and continues to be, in many respects, an anti-Turkish terror group hoping to carve out of Turkey a large area to be part of an independent Kurdish nation. Over the years they have engaged in various barbaric acts of terrorism and mayhem directed not only against the Turkish military but also against civilians. Our alliance with them, such as it was, was one of convenience: that we would offer them some temporary aerial cover, a kind of shield against their hereditary enemies, and in return they would assist us in that small area of northeastern Syria that continued to be subject of ISIS attacks.

This they did.

But too often we Americans suffer from both strategic and historical myopia. We did not win the war against ISIS, and neither did the Kurds. The vast majority of the fighting was done by the Syrian Army of Bashar al-Assad, backed strongly by Russian assistance—and with the near unanimous support of Syria’s beleaguered Christian population. Some 80% of the country was liberated by the Syrians themselves.

Now the Kurds in that part of Syria may have to look to President Assad for an alliance and protection, and that would not be a bad thing at all. Assad is, after all, the legitimate president of Syria. Despite the best efforts and machinations of the American State Department (abetted by the late Senator John McCain) to undermine his struggle against Islamic extremists, Assad has been largely successful in defending his nation’s geographical integrity and its independence. Just as in Iraq, American intervention—in the name of “human rights” and “spreading democracy”—was wrongheaded from the beginning and woefully counter-productive. Would there have even been such involvement in Syria had it not been for “protecting Israel’s flank”?

Certainly, there are some outstanding issues that need resolution: no one wishes to see additional civilians—Kurdish women and children—caught up in more cross fire. And there are approximately 10,000 ISIS prisoners being held in the area (which European countries don’t wish to take, and who we don’t want either). Hopefully, discussions between Donald Trump and President Erdogan of Turkey will result in some kind of solution for these questions.

Yet, over it all there is the overarching and searing reminder that for thousands of years the Middle East has presented an almost unsolvable conundrum, a morass where armies perish in the sands, where whole nations seem to disappear into the recesses of history. Just reflect, if you will, on efforts over the past fifty years to engineer (that is the correct word) peace between the Israelis and their Arab neighbors…of the immense hostility existing between the Sunni and Shi’a and Wahabi Muslims…of the enmity between the Saudis and Gulf States, and Syria and Iran. These conflicts are not isolated, nor new: they reflect millennia of violence, carnage, and hate. And there are few signs that that will change, with or without Americans in the region.

And, given our very dubious record (at best) in the Middle East, our efforts at “democratization” and “peace-keeping” should have taught us a lesson or two. Unfortunately, the foreign policy Swamp and the globalists continue to believe that they can reconstruct human nature, with enough American advisers, enough American aid, enough secularized education and population re-programming and re-educating…and maybe a few body bags thrown in for good measure.

In so doing, they actually bring on the eventual demise of the America Empire.

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