Friday, December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Two Cheers for President Trump on Syria and A Thousand Hisses for the Neocon Foreign Policy Establishment (especially those Officious Doofuses on Fox News!)


Yesterday President Donald Trump did exactly what he promised he would do when he was running for president: he announced he had given orders to pull American troops out of Syria (plus a probable draw-down in Afghanistan).

The president acted swiftly, without the kind of expected “consultation” that previous Deep State-controlled leaders have obligatorily shown to Congress. And he did so despite the apparent objections of his Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (who thereupon resigned) and National Security Adviser John Bolton, both of whom argued against a pull-out. But he acted in concert with the views of the American citizenry and, most particularly, to fulfill his oft-stated campaign pledge.

The United States, now twenty-seven years after the ignominious fall of  world communism, has been irrationally overextended to the point that as a nation we have confused our vital national interests and reasons for military involvement, with the frenzied ideological zealotry of the Neoconservative globalists who believe, in an almost fanatical religious sense, that our nation has the “moral” imperative to inflict American-style equality and democracy on every medieval sheikdom, on every desert oasis or impenetrable jungle on the face of the planet.

Syria has been perhaps the most egregious example of this “globalist power politics” insanity.  The reasons the foreign policy elites have given for us being there are multiple: (1) we need to “stop Iran,” (2) we need to keep the Russians out, (3) we haven’t yet completely defeated ISIS and if our measly 2,000 “advisers” don’t stay there, well, ISIS—according to doofus Neocon Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois—“will be coming for us here and right at our front door.”  And, most importantly, (4) we need to force the installation of a “democratic government” in Damascus.

All four rationales are bogus in varying degrees and boil down essentially to expressions of Neoconservative globalist ideology. I will not rehash my answers to these superficial arguments; I have written in much greater detail about the Syrian imbroglio back in April of this year. Then I authored five installments in the My Corner series on this topic, and what I wrote then is applicable now.
I refer you to those columns:

Additionally, along with a number of serious foreign policy analysts, I have published a number of other essays on the history of the Syrian conflict, on just who is responsible for the “gassings” that have been blamed on President Bashar al-Assad (and his government, which has been protective of Syria’s large Christian population), and on how the United States has, in actuality assisted the Al-Nusra Front and other “democratic opposition” groups which are, in fact, tacit allies of ISIS. The utterly reprehensible role of the late (and unlamented) Senator John McCain and some rather unscrupulous elements in the Deep State foreign policy establishment must be again highlighted.

McCain and his coterie of conspirators bear a heavy burden…and, in fact, ultimate, if partial responsibility for the deaths and dispossessing of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, many whom were Assad-supporting Christians.

This should not surprise us, now that we learn (and was discussed even on the Laura Ingraham Program, December 20) that staffers in McCain’s office and for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan actually worked hard to spread the fake “Russia dossier” supposedly incriminating President Trump, and that Adam Kinzinger also was involved. Of course, that incredibly fetid and filthy dossier, paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign, has been the primary document used by our Deep State-controlled Intelligence agencies as the foundation for the Mueller Investigation and the all-fronts attempt to reverse and invalidate the results of the 2016 election: In other words, to stage a not-so-silent coup.

And this is the type of “democracy” we are exporting to places like Syria? Of course it is, as long as the global elites control it (and reap the financial rewards) and can continue to pull the strings on their favored and installed puppets.

Not to forget the veritable “fruits” of feminism and “gender equality” for those unenlightened backwater nations!  Alas, have we not heard that paragon of intellectual buffoonery, Neocon honcho Jonah Goldberg, complain that countries like Russia and Hungary are “anti-democratic” and “opposed to human rights,” and veering into the oh-so-dangerous waters of Trumpian nationalism, populism, and…shudder!.... “fascism,” because they won’t accept American tutelage and all the bountiful benefits of same sex marriage, transgenderism, and the  grossest form of American commercialism?

And that our goal must be to spread those same benefits to the backward countries of the Middle East, even if it kills every man, woman and child there, and maybe a few thousand American soldiers, as well? But, you see, the goal of transgendered sheiks and liberated Muslim women having abortions by the millions, and a government of plutocrats who were supposedly elected “by the people” (with millions of American-taxpayer dollars gone to insure a “correct” result)—that is worth it.

So now Donald Trump, against the stern advice of his Neocon advisers—against the frenzied super-hawks and hysterical globalists who dominate the Congressional Republican Party (and who are—have you noticed?—completely united with the Deep State Democrats on this question)—against almost the totality of the media (including a number of zealous braindead Fox pundits, e.g. super-doofus Brian Kilmeade)—against them all, says he will comply with his promises.

My earnest hope this Advent and Christmas Season is that he does, that he follows through on his promises, and that he resists the intense pressures from Congress, from the media, and from the Foreign Policy elites.

“Make America Great Again!” Not the jungles of South Sudan, not the deserts of Mali, not rain forests of Burma, but America….

Pat Buchanan writes on this topic, a column I pass on to you:

Will Trump Hold Firm on Syrian Pullout?

By Patrick J. Buchanan   Friday - December 21, 2018

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there," wrote President Donald Trump, as he ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Syria, stunning the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Trump overruled his secretaries of state and defense, and jolted this city and capitals across NATO Europe and the Middle East. Yet, Trump is doing exactly what he promised to do in his campaign. And what his decision seems to say is this:

We are extricating America from the forever war of the Middle East so foolishly begun by previous presidents. We are coming home. The rulers and peoples of this region are going to have to find their own way and fight their own wars. We are not so powerful that we can fight their wars while we also confront Iran and North Korea and face new Cold Wars with Russia and China.  As for the terrorists of ISIS, says Trump, they are defeated.

Yet, despite the heavy casualties and lost battles ISIS has suffered, the collapse of the caliphate, expulsion from its Syrian capital Raqqa and Iraqi capital Mosul, and from almost all territories it controlled in both countries, ISIS is not dead. It lives on in thousands of true believers hidden in those countries. And, like al-Qaida, it has followers across the Middle East and inspires haters of the West living in the West.

The U.S. pullout from Syria is being called a victory for Vladimir Putin. "Russia, Iran, Assad... are ecstatic!" wails Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham is echoed by Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse who called the withdrawal a "retreat" and charged that Trump's generals "believe the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS and Hezbollah."

But ISIS is a Sunni terrorist organization. And, as such, it detests the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah and Iran, both of which are hated by ISIS as Shiite heretics. "Russia, Iran, Syria... are not happy about the US leaving," Trump tweeted, "despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us."

If Putin, victorious in the Syrian civil war, wishes to fight al-Qaida and ISIS, the last major enemies of Assad in Syria, why not let him?

The real losers?   Certainly the Kurds, who lose their American ally. Any dream they had of greater autonomy inside Syria, or an independent state, is not going to be realized. But then, that was never really in the cards.

Forced to choose between Turkey, with 80 million people and the second-largest army in NATO, which sits astride the Dardanelles and Bosphorus entrance to the Black Sea, and the stateless Kurds with their Syrian Democratic Forces, or YPG, Trump chose Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And Erdogan regards the YPG as kinfolk and comrades of the Kurdish terrorist PKK in Turkey. A week ago, he threatened to attack the Kurds in northern Syria, though U.S. troops are embedded alongside them.

What kind of deal did Trump strike with Erdogan? Turkey will purchase the U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense system for $3.5 billion, and probably forego the Russian S-400. Trump also told Erdogan, we "would take a look at" extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Erdogan says instigated the 2016 coup attempt that was to end with his assassination.

National security adviser John Bolton, who said U.S. troops would remain in Syria until all Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias have been expelled, appears not to have been speaking for his president. And if the Israelis were relying on U.S. forces in Syria to intercept any Iranian weapons shipments headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Damascus, then the Israelis are going to have to make other arrangements.

The war party project, to bring about regime change in Tehran through either severe sanctions leading to insurrection or a U.S.-Iranian clash in the Gulf, will suffer a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria.

However, given the strength of the opposition to a U.S. withdrawal — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the GOP foreign policy establishment in Congress and the think tanks, liberal interventionists in the Beltway press, Trump's own national security team of advisers — the battle to overturn Trump's decision has probably only just begun.

From FDR's abandonment of 100 million East Europeans to Stalin at Yalta in 1945, to the abandonment of our Nationalist Chinese allies to Mao in 1949, and of our South Vietnamese allies in 1975, America has often been forced into retreats leading to the deaths of allies. Sasse says Trump is risking the same outcome: "A lot of American allies will be slaughtered if this retreat is implemented."

But is that true? Trump's decision to pull out of Syria at least has assured us of a national debate on what it will mean to America to extricate our country from these Mideast wars, the kind of debate we have not had in the 15 years since we were first deceived into invading Iraq.

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