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Time to Get Out of Syria
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President Trump has done the right thing with regard to America’s troop deployment in Syria. Trump ordered the 2,000 US troops based in Syria to get out and come home.

Neocons and the US war party are having apoplexy even though there are some 50,000 US troops spread across the rest of the Mideast.

The US troops parked in the Syrian Desert were doing next to nothing. Their avowed role was to fight the remnants of the ISIS movement and block any advances by Iranian forces. As a unified fighting force, ISIS barely exists, if it ever did. Cobbled together, armed and financed by the US, the Saudis and Gulf Emirates to overthrow Syria’s regime, ISIS ran out of control and became a menace to everyone.

In fact, what the US was really doing was putting down a marker for a possible US future occupation of war-torn Syria that risked constant clashes with Russian forces there.

We will breathe a big sigh of relief if the US deployment actually goes ahead: it will remove a major risk of war with nuclear-armed Russia, whose forces are in Syria at the invitation of the recognized government in Damascus. The US has no strategic interest in Syria and no business at all being militarily involved there. Except perhaps that the war party wants never-ending wars abroad for arms production and promotions.

Trump’s abrupt pullout from Syria has shocked and mortified Washington’s war party and neocon fifth column. They were hoping reinforced US forces would go on to attack Damascus and move against Iranian forces. It was amusing to watch the anguish of such noted warlike chickenhawks as Sen. Lindsay Graham and the fanatical national security advisor John Bolton as their hopes for a US war against Syria diminished. Israel was equally dismayed: its strategic plan has long been to fragment Syria and gobble up the pieces.

The venerable imperial general and defense secretary, Jim Mattis, couldn’t take this de-escalation. He resigned. Marine General Mattis was one of the few honorable and respected members of the Trump administration and a restraint on the president’s impulses. To his credit, he opposed the reintroduction of torture by US forces, a crime promoted by Trump, Bolton and Chicago enforcer Mike Pompeo.

What really mattered was not a chunk of the Syrian Desert. Matis’s resignation may have been much more about Afghanistan, America’s longest war. The US has been defeated in Afghanistan, rightly known as the ‘Graveyard of Empires.’ Yet no one in Washington can admit this defeat or order a retreat after wasting 17 years, a trillion dollars and thousands of Americans killed or wounded. Least of all, Gen. Mattis, Bolton or Pompeo who bitterly opposed any peace deal with the Taliban nationalist movement.

According to unconfirmed media reports, the US has already thinned out its Afghan garrison of 14,000 plus soldiers. These soldiers’ main function is to guard the corrupt, drug-dealing Afghan puppet government in Kabul and fix Taliban forces so they can be attacked by US airpower.

Taliban insists it won’t begin serious negotiations until all US and 8,000 foreign troops are withdrawn. In fact, Taliban, which has been quietly talking to the US in Abu Dhabi, may agreed to a 50% western troops cut in order to begin peace talks.

ORDER IT NOW

The Afghan War has cost the US $1 trillion. Occupying parts of Iraq and Syria has cost a similar amount. Resistance against US rule continues in both nations. Mattis and his fellow generals really like these wars, but civilian Trump does not. As a candidate he vowed to end these ‘stupid’ wars. Let’s hope he succeeds over the bitter objections of the Republican war party, neocons, and military industrial complex.

Syria is an ugly little sideshow. By contrast, Afghanistan is a dark blot on America’s national honor. We watch with revulsion and dismay as the US deploys B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers to flatten Afghan villages. We watch with disgust as the US coddles the opium-dealing Afghan warlords and their Communist allies – all in the spurious name of ‘democracy.’

If Trump wants to make America great, he can start by ending the squalid Syrian misadventure and the butchery in Afghanistan.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Alistair says:

    We should give credit to president Trump for getting the US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan.

    Mr. Trump has always been consistent about the withdrawal of the US Forces from Afghanistan; back in 2011, in an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump reiterated his total dismay and opposition to the waste of lives and money in Afghanistan; he clearly mentioned that he would withdrawal the US Forces from Afghanistan immediately, See the link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/22/donald-trump-said-afghanistan-president-saying-now/

    The same applies to Syria, America has no genuine strategy to remaining in Syria; staying in Syria would be further destabilizing the region – fueling the Syrian civil war for the sole benefits of Israel and Saudi Arabia whom had created the ISIS against the Iranian influence in the region.

    President Trump deserves to get credit for being courageous and consistent about the US involvement in the middle east; withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan is the right strategy, too many lives have perished and trillion of dollars have been wasted for nothing; let’s put an end to this – thank you Mr. Trump for doing the right thing !

    • Replies: @Texas Sweetie
  2. Jimmy says:

    Trump finally does something sensible?…hard to believe…

  3. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:

    Fun fact: $2 trillion is more than Italy’s GDP.

  4. Leave one of if THE largest income sources of the CIA? Afghan opium flown to camp Bondsteel, occupied Kosovo, and refined there by the local US installed organ, sex and drug trafficking Albanian mafia and distributed to Europe. I really can’t see that being realized.

    • Replies: @Macon Richardson
  5. “Except perhaps that the war party wants never-ending wars abroad for arms production and promotions.”

    I don’t know what doubt there could be about that.

  6. Hail says: • Website

    there are some 50,000 US troops spread across the rest of the Mideast

    Where?

    This statement from Margolis implies:

    Syria: 2,000
    Afghanistan: 14,000
    Other: 36,000

    Where are the other 36,000 U.S. troops? Pew says, as of Sept. 2016, 19,000 in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar combined. Turkey: 2,000. Djibouti, Jordan, and United Arab Emirates: ~1,500 each. That leaves over 10,000 to account for.

    Supposedly 20%+ of the 200,000 U.S. troops deployed outside the USA are in secret/undisclosed locations, so that could cover the remainder.

  7. @Dr. Rosenpenis

    While I’m willing to conceive and concede the CIA capable of what you assert, your knowledge or understanding of the extraction of alkaloids from raw opium and the processing of certain of those alkaloids is nil. In any reality, the alkaloid of choice, morphine, would be extracted in-country before shipment anywhere. That you assert airplane-loads of raw opium would be shipped out of the country shows that your assertions are merely that–assertions. The only foundation for them is that you assert them. Nothing more.

    The so-called opioid epidemic in America is due to opioids, not opiates, opioids being synthetic drugs that mimic opiates. The source of these drugs is the pharmaceutical industry and its infinite greed and infinitesimal moral conscience. This industry in league with the American Medical Association (the doctors’ union) and the retail pharmacy oligopoly in America has created the opioid epidemic–if there is one at all.

    I certainly concede that the CIA has sought out the drug centers of the world, Turkey in the 1950s, South-east Asia in the sixties, Colombia, and Afghanistan in the 2000s. I merely challenge your assertions, not the underlying reality. Your assertions are too glib to be based on any knowledge of the situation.

  8. swamped says:

    If “Marine General Mattis was one of the few honorable and respected members of the Trump administration and a restraint on the president’s impulses” then why was Gen. Mattis “least of all” able to “…admit this defeat [in Afghanistan] or order a retreat after wasting 17 years, a trillion dollars and thousands of Americans killed or wounded.” It took President Trump, despite him, thank you!

  9. @Alistair

    Let’s hope Mr. Trump follows through on Syria AND Afghanistan. It’s time.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  10. anastasia says:

    I am sick to death of these endless wars.

  11. APilgrim says:

    Syria’s Kurds, Feeling Betrayed by the U.S., Ask Assad Government for Protection, BEIRUT, Lebanon, By Ben Hubbard, Dec. 28, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/world/middleeast/syria-kurds-turkey-manbij.html

    American-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., said the Syrian government should send troops to the city of Manbij, near the Turkish border. The request amounted to a United States ally calling on an enemy of the United States to protect it from another American ally, Turkey.

    The Kurdish militias are regarded by Turkey as dangerous, autonomy-minded insurgents. The United States regards them as valuable partners in helping rout Islamic State extremists from Syria — the original purpose of the American military deployment four years ago. Although the American troops in Syria number only about 2,000, they have been a deterrent to an assault on the Kurdish militias by the Turks. The American presence also discouraged Mr. Assad’s forces from sweeping into the area even as they retook major areas elsewhere from anti-government fighters, often with the support of Russia and Iran.

  12. The Kurdish militias are regarded by Turkey as dangerous, autonomy-minded insurgents. The United States regards them as valuable partners in helping rout Islamic State extremists from Syria — the original purpose of the American military deployment four years ago.

    This is BS. the original purpose of the American military deployment was certainly not “to rout Islamic State extremists from Syria”! As was shown by the farcical “fight” against them before the Russians showed the World what was really happening, after 31/10/2015.

    In spite of the “Best efforts” of the coalition, (Probably, the most powerful armed force the World had ever experienced, at least on paper.) over several years, IS expanded very rapidly and took on many of the atributes of a real state.
    IS wanted to overthrow the Assad government. The US wanted to overthrow the Assad government. What possible reason would the US have for wanting to “rout” them?

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  13. APilgrim says:
    @foolisholdman

    Obama, Hillary & McCain GREW Daesh into IS –> ISIS –> ISIL.

    Trump & Putin Slaughtered ISIS into WasWas.

  14. APilgrim says:
    @Texas Sweetie

    Unless Congress passes some AUMFs and appropriates some money, we are done with these Sandboxes.

  15. APilgrim says:

    The growing USA O&G production surplus is RAPIDLY changing the political landscape.

    Prior to the nationalization of the oil production by KSA, Libya, et al, & the formation of OPEC, the Texas Railroad Commission set the World Price of Oil.

    President Trump now has the LEVERS to control the World Price of O&G. So far, he has only been playing with those LEVERS. Soon, I expect that President Trump will begin to control the World Price of O&G in a manner beneficial to this nation, rather than just for the benefit of consumers.

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