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More Mideast Madness as Trump Prepares to March
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We are now moving rapidly into stage II of Levantine Madness as the US boosts its intervention in the war-torn Mideast.

Five thousand US troops are back in Iraq to bolster the shattered nation’s puppet regime that is propped up by American bayonets. New Iraqi military formations have been formed, totally equipped with modern US M1 Abrams tanks, Humvees, and fleets of trucks. More US forces are on the way.

These US-financed Iraqi units are euphemistically called ‘anti-terrorism forces’ and are supervised by US officers. In fact, what we see is the old British Imperial Raj formula of white officers commanding native mercenary troops.
These Iraqi units are now assaulting ISIS-held Mosul, Iraq’s second city, and smaller towns. Most of America’s Iraqi ‘sepoys’ (as native troops in the British Indian Raj were known) are Shia bitterly opposed to the nation’s minority Sunnis. After its 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US encouraged animosity between Shia and Sunni as a way of breaking resistance to foreign occupation – ‘divide et impera’ as the Romans used to say.

Interestingly, the backbone of ISIS leadership is made up of senior officers of Saddam Hussein’s old Iraqi army. The ‘Mother of All Battles’ continues, as President Saddam predicted shortly before he was lynched.
Meanwhile, thousands of US troops and Special Forces are now also engaged in Syria though just whom they are battling remains confused. Syria has become a mad house of warring factions backed by outside powers – a sort of modern version of Germany’s dreadful 30 Year’s War of the 1600’s.

The overall US commander for the Mideast, Gen. Joseph Votel, just asked the Trump administration for a large number of new American troops, saying he lacks the military resources to subdue and pacify the Levant. Votel, who is pretty sharp and a star of the US Army’s Special Operations ‘mafia,’ also just warned that India and Pakistan risked triggering a nuclear war, a grave danger this writer has been worrying about for years.

Meanwhile, the crazy-quilt war in Syria that was started by the Obama administration and the Saudis has become unmanageable. Syrian government forces are being strongly backed by Russia and slowly driving back anti-regime forces backed by the US, Saudi Arabia, France and, ever so quietly, Israel. ISIS and what’s left of al-Qaida are battling the Damascus government, sometimes discreetly aided by the western powers.

America’s main ally in Iraq and Syria are Kurdish militias of the PYD party, an affiliate of the older PKK which has sought an independent Kurdish state for decades. I covered the long, bloody war between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK in Eastern Anatolia during the mid-1990’s. Turkey is desperately concerned that formation of even a mini-Kurdish state in northern Syria or Iraq will eventually lead to creation of a large Kurdish state in Turkey. Eighteen percent of Turks are ethnic Kurds. The mighty Turkish Army will never allow this to happen.

ORDER IT NOW

The Turks just watched the US break up Sudan, creating the new state of South Sudan, which has turned into a bloody disaster. Could Turkey be next? Many Turks suspect the US was behind the recent coup attempted against Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Washington would like a more obedient leader in Ankara – or see the army generals back in power.

Turkey calls the Kurdish PYD ‘terrorists.’ The US calls them comrades in arms and finances them. Clashes between the Turks and PYD appear very likely. PYD’s blood brothers, the PKK, continue to wage bombing attacks across Turkey along with Islamic State. US forces in the region could easily be drawn into this murky fracas.

Meanwhile, ISIS appears increasingly vulnerable. It has lost almost half of Mosul, the one big city it holds. The ISIS ‘capital,’ Raqqa, will soon be overrun by US-led Iraqi forces and Kurds. Raqqa is a two-by nothing, one-camel town of no military value whatsoever. There is no way that 3,000 or so ISIS hooligans with only small arms could hold off a serious attack by regular troops and massed airpower, including B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers.

Why Raqqa was not taken a year ago or more remains one of the war’s major mysteries. As I’ve previously written, I suspect that the US and Saudi Arabia originally helped create and arm ISIS to be used against Syria’s government and Afghanistan’s Taliban movement. The US has long pretended to fight ISIS but has barely done so in reality.

Maybe this time it will be for real. ISIS has largely slipped out of the control of its western handlers, a bunch of 20-something wildmen whose main goal is revenge for attacks on Muslim targets. Without modern logistics, heavy weapons and trained officers the idea that ISIS could stand up to any western forces is a joke. It’s only when ISIS confronts ramshackle Arab forces that it has any clout. And that’s because mostly Iraqi Arab forces have no loyalty to their governments. They are merely poorly paid mercenaries.

As if this witch’s brew was not sufficiently toxic, US and Russian aircraft and Special Forces are brushing up against one another in Syria. At the same time, the US Navy in the nearby Persian Gulf is provoking the Iranians to please President Donald Trump who seems determined to have war with Iran.

The US Navy is now threatening to impose a naval blockade on war-torn Yemen, another joint US-Saudi warfare enterprise that has gone terribly wrong.

History shows it’s also easy to lie, flag-wave and bluster into war but awfully hard to get out. Trump, whose main information sources appears to be Fox fake TV news, does yet seem to understand this verity. He should have a good look at Afghanistan, America’s longest war, now in its 16th year of stalemate. The Pentagon, heedless that Afghanistan is known as ‘the Graveyard of Empires,’ wants more troops.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Trump will fall greatly in my estimation if he lets himself get tangled in the Middle Eastern snakepit.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Don
    I think it's a bit late- he's already in the snakepit, and indeed seems very enthusiastic about all things war.

    Funny how this wasn't exactly the case, when he was eligible for service in Vietnam...
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  2. Maybe this time it will be for real. ISIS has largely slipped out of the control of its western handlers, a bunch of 20-something wildmen whose main goal is revenge for attacks on Muslim targets.

    Nah. ISIS doesn’t need to be under control; its only purpose is to break the ‘Shia Crescent’. To that end, ISIS (or some other US/Saudi-sponsored militant force) will remain, roughly somewhere along the Iraqi-Syrian border.

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  3. Trump is a total disappointment regarding his foreign policy. He lied about normalizing relations with Russia. Or he was so stupid he thought he could do that while waging war against Iran and invading Syria. Either way it’s a deal breaker for me. Good luck with your domestic enemies Donald. You are rapidly losing the support of the people who elected you.

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    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @SPQR70AD
    I hope trump is not talking to putin because of the tons of abuse he got over the Russians helping him win. if he met with putin media would have a field day. as far as the mid east he called the Iraq war a lie and a mistake now he goes back on that
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  4. 5371 says:

    Iraqi forces involved in Raqqa? Shome mishtake here shurely.

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  5. Randal says:

    Turkey is desperately concerned that formation of even a mini-Kurdish state in northern Syria or Iraq will eventually lead to creation of a large Kurdish state in Turkey

    No sympathy whatsoever.

    What did the Turks expect would be the outcome of opportunistically joining in with the US-backed regime change effort in Syria? Clearly, they expected wrong and now they are paying the price of their greedy aggression.

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  6. KenH says:

    I suspected Trump would sell out at some point during his term but never would I have guessed that he would do so within six weeks of assuming office. I think we all know that the few hundred extra troops being sent to Syria will turn into a “surge” of a few thousand then tens of thousands and then mission creep to simultaneously defeat ISIS and overthrow Assad.

    Nothing seems to change. American military might will be at the beck and call of Israel while Trump is in office.

    I’m also angered that the Trump administration didn’t coordinate their actions in Syria with Bashar Assad or seek his permission. If we don’t respect Syria’s territorial sovereignty then how can we expect any other nation to respect ours?

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  7. Donald Trump should consider the example of Lyndon Johnson. Johnson had, as his priority, an aggressive domestic agenda: the Great Society (love it or hate it). Yet he found his Administration consumed by the Vietnam War; eventually he didn’t even run in 1968, and died in early 1973. Unless he acts decisively to get the U.S. out of the Mideast quagmire, Donald Trump risks his Administration foundering very much as did Lyndon Johnson’s.

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  8. We were — waist deep in the Big Muddy And the big fool said to push on.

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  9. Clueful says:

    Donald is playing it brilliantly. While he panders to the whims of the military, he has handed the the entire executive branch of the government to his billionaire buddies. No one has time to talk about it blinded by the deliberately created smog of fake and meaningless Russian contacts.

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  10. Don says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic
    Trump will fall greatly in my estimation if he lets himself get tangled in the Middle Eastern snakepit.

    I think it’s a bit late- he’s already in the snakepit, and indeed seems very enthusiastic about all things war.

    Funny how this wasn’t exactly the case, when he was eligible for service in Vietnam…

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  11. Trump turned out to be a fake and a coward, not to mention naive and clueless.

    He has installed the “swamp” into the White House and he is now being overwhelmed by the swamp gases.

    He lied so openly about so many of his promises and is now totally controlled by the NWO minions, the Military Industrial Complex, the Neocons and Israel. It only took a few weeks to bring him down and tame him. Anyone who is forced to allow Comey to stay in office is an idiot that does not deserve to be “president”.

    Trump is a petulant and snotty arrogant 12 year old boy in a 70 year old man’s body. What a vile joke on the American people and on all others around the world who had hope for peace to break out.

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  12. SPQR70AD says:
    @WorkingClass
    Trump is a total disappointment regarding his foreign policy. He lied about normalizing relations with Russia. Or he was so stupid he thought he could do that while waging war against Iran and invading Syria. Either way it's a deal breaker for me. Good luck with your domestic enemies Donald. You are rapidly losing the support of the people who elected you.

    I hope trump is not talking to putin because of the tons of abuse he got over the Russians helping him win. if he met with putin media would have a field day. as far as the mid east he called the Iraq war a lie and a mistake now he goes back on that

    Read More
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  13. ABC says:
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  14. RPDC says:

    Some of this information is outdated, and it paints a far grimmer picture than the reality on the ground. The reality is that we’ve been quietly cooperating with Russia and the SAA for months. We now even have the SAA and SDF working together to thwart Turkey and TFSA around Manbij. Honestly, it was unthinkable only a month ago that the SDF would peacefully and voluntarily hand over territory around Manbij to the SAA, and agree to power-sharing in that area.

    We also helped out with the retaking of Palmyra. In fact, the Coalition twitter account let the proverbial cat out of the bag, tweeting that they had destroyed ISIS units in support of “partner forces” retaking Palmyra. It could only have meant the SAA, so it was quickly deleted.

    One other point that I actually think borders on “forward-thinking” is that reportedly it is 1,000 Reservists that have been called up to head to Kuwait. If that is true, it means that we intend to play purely a support role for the SDF, as the Army Reserves don’t have combat troops – only medics, combat engineers, etc.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Don't reservists get deployed as active combat troops -- not just medics or engineers -- all the time these days?

    http://www.military.com/army-birthday/history-army-reserve.html
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  15. @RPDC
    Some of this information is outdated, and it paints a far grimmer picture than the reality on the ground. The reality is that we've been quietly cooperating with Russia and the SAA for months. We now even have the SAA and SDF working together to thwart Turkey and TFSA around Manbij. Honestly, it was unthinkable only a month ago that the SDF would peacefully and voluntarily hand over territory around Manbij to the SAA, and agree to power-sharing in that area.

    We also helped out with the retaking of Palmyra. In fact, the Coalition twitter account let the proverbial cat out of the bag, tweeting that they had destroyed ISIS units in support of "partner forces" retaking Palmyra. It could only have meant the SAA, so it was quickly deleted.

    One other point that I actually think borders on "forward-thinking" is that reportedly it is 1,000 Reservists that have been called up to head to Kuwait. If that is true, it means that we intend to play purely a support role for the SDF, as the Army Reserves don't have combat troops - only medics, combat engineers, etc.

    Don’t reservists get deployed as active combat troops — not just medics or engineers — all the time these days?

    http://www.military.com/army-birthday/history-army-reserve.html

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. […] here. Trump’s de facto foray into Yemen is deconstructed here. Another critique can be read here. Hillary Clinton’s “achievements” in Yemen have been fleshed out here. Also, 28 […]

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  17. […] here. Trump’s de facto foray into Yemen is deconstructed here. Another critique can be read here. Hillary Clinton’s “achievements” in Yemen have been fleshed out here. Also, 28 […]

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