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Trump Bull in the Mideast China Shop
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President Donald Trump is getting ready to plunge into the burning Mideast with all the zeal and arrogance of a medieval crusader. The new administration’s knowledge of the region is a thousand miles wide and two inches deep.

Reviving a truly terrible idea originated by know-nothing Congressional Republicans, Trump proposes US-run safe zones in Syria for refugees from that nation’s conflict. The president went out of his way to insist that such safe zones would spare the United States from having to shelter Syrian refugees.

He should better worry about Chicago where 762 citizens were murdered last year.

At the same time, Trump, declaiming from his new Mount Olympus of New York’s Trump Tower, vowed to impose a 30-day halt on immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to ‘protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals.’

One wonders if any of Trump’s Praetorian Guard noticed that all these listed ‘terrorist’ nations have been attacked by the United States or seen their governments overthrown by Uncle Sam. I’m surprised Afghanistan and Pakistan were left off the list. Their time will likely come soon. Is it any wonder that all of these Muslim nations bear a serious grudge against the United States? The angriest group is ISIS, who are seeking revenge for the destruction of Iraq.

Former President Barack Obama shied away from direct military intervention in Syria, preferring stealthy warfare, drones and hit squads. He had the sense to know that US military intervention in the heart of the Mideast would be fraught with danger, not the least clashes between US and Russian forces. History shows it’s easy to invade into unstable areas but hard to get out.

But not so for bull in the Mideast china shop Trump as he charges into the Levant, advised by generals who made a mess in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Trump’s ardently pro-Israel cabinet must be rubbing their hands in glee as they see Syria in his cross hairs. The destruction of Syria’s regime and fragmenting that nation is an Israeli strategic priority.

One wishes Trump would stop for a moment and reflect. There are 11 million Syrian refugees in Syria and neighboring states. They are the result of a civil war engineered by Washington, Turkey, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with France and Britain playing a supporting role. Western money, arms and supplies have fuelled the six-year old conflict whose aim was to overthrow Syria’s Assad government because he is an ally of Iran.

The US and France did exactly the same thing in Libya, overthrowing its leader, Muammar Khadaffi, and murdering him – thank you Hillary Clinton. The US invaded and destroyed Iraq, tore apart Somalia and neighboring Sudan, and is now providing warplanes, bombs and mercenary advisors that Saudi Arabia – the patron of the jihadi forces in Syria – is using to crush little Yemen.


The largest number of Mideast refugees are now in Syria, thank you Uncle Sam, and its neighbors, Jordan and Lebanon. The second biggest group are the 5.2 million Palestinian refugees scattered across the Levant. Iraq is awash with internal refugees, thank you George W. Bush. Add now a couple of million refugees from strife-torn South Sudan, a new failed nation created by blundering US Mideast policy as a way of punishing disobedient Sudan, thank Bush and Obama.

At the same time, Washington must avoid any and all risk of military clashes in Syria with Russia. We can’t keep huffing and puffing that Moscow has no business in Syria when it’s as close to southern Russia as northern Mexico is to Texas. The US has troops and bases across the globe, most lately in Africa. Who are we to tell Russia to get out of Syria?

Just when it seemed that the Syrian conflict was beginning to simmer down, Trump’s intervention will be certain to heat up the conflict and undermine potential peace agreements. In case there are still Muslims who believed the US is their friend, as was the case fifty years ago, they will now understand that America is their enemy thanks to Trump’s ham-handed, ‘no Muslims’ policies.

Muslims account for 23% of the world’s population and will surpass Christians in about four decades. Besides riling up the Chinese, is it really wise to antagonize and insult members of Islam, the world’s fast-growing religion? And single out Muslims as most likely to face torture? Bad idea.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Middle East, Syria 
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  1. Trump can have a working relationship with Putin or he can make more trouble in the MENA. He cannot have both.

    • Replies: @george Archers
  2. Well, but at least it looks like he’s serious about his campaign promises, and that’s refreshing. But hey, he appears to be fulfilling all of them, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And if he fulfills all the good ones, I’ll say: it was worth it…

    • Agree: Kyle McKenna
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  3. Trump, and his nominee for Secretary of State, undoubtedly understand one thing about the Middle East, and it is that the economics of petroleum have changed markedly in the past ten years, as fracking and horizontal drilling have made the United States the world’s largest oil producer. Yet our policy there for the past forty-odd years reflected, and continues to reflect, a fear of the repetition of the 1973-4 Arab oil embargo, which paralyzed the economy of the day. This is the reason for the ongoing appeasement and flattery of the Middle East’s dictators, absolute monarchs, and theocrats.

    We don’t need to do this any more! The Arabs have to sell their oil, and now they have competition. They can’t eat their oil – but living in whst is largely desert, they haven’t enough arable land to feed themselves. They lack the industry needed to clothe, house, and transport their people on a self-sufficient basis. They need foreign exchange from the sale of oil so that they can buy the necessities of life. They no longer can use oil as a weapon in the way they once did.

    This knowledge should henceforward govern American policy in the Middle East. I suspect it is already governing Russian policy. Russia is already a latte oil producer, and has reportedly outstripped Saudi Arabia as a supplier of oil to China. In the future it is possible that old geopolitical rivalries and ambitions involving western and central Europe, Russia, India, and China will again come to the fore while the Middle East slides into internal disorder. The great powers will do well to erect a cordon sanitaire around the Islamosphere and let it sort its sectarian conflicts out on its own.

    Islam has yet to go through the experience that Christendom did during the Thirty Years’ War. Perhaps Muslims need to fight until they are all fought out. The important thing to do is to keep their fighting confined, which will entail excluding further Muslim immigration into, and even removing Muslims from, the West.

  4. If these kebabs weren’t in the West, it wouldn’t matter if they were insulted or not at all. Stop invade/invite.

  5. anon • Disclaimer says:

    So what is your solution Mr. Margolis? What is wrong with restricting Muslim immigration? The USA can pick and choose who it wants to come to its own national territory. As for Chicago’s homicide rate, you can partially thank that on BLM, among other things. I love how you go from the middle east to the south side of the windy city. Your ability to conflate things that have no corroboration or common denominator is truly commendable.

  6. @Mao Cheng Ji

    it is pretty bad right now. green card holders are also blocked from reentry. This could blow up in trump’s face big time.

  7. The author of this article is a democrat and he is heartbroken because HC did not win, amen.

    He is unable to comprehend the madness behind the thinking of democrat politicians : Republicans are bad enough but democrats are simply insane beyond words.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artisrt.

    • Replies: @liveload
  8. A major barrier has been the cognitive disassociation where continuous warfare has been normalized, yet considered irrelevant to the population of the country waging the war. Supposedly we have invented consequence free war – just keep shopping. But despite the denials and distractions, regardless of the manipulation of public opinion, it cannot be true. War has consequences, however ignored for a time, even to its perpetrators. It never before has been meant to be comfortable, even when the realization of a day of reckoning is put off.

    This may be a concept that is novel in its denial, but hardly a new discovery. Any competent leader of the past never allowed mass immigration from countries he or she was at war with.

    If you want to stop creating endless waves of hostile refugees who didn’t appreciate you killing their children, their fathers, their mothers, their brothers and sisters, then you need to stop violent regime change, wars of choice and occupations and let people in those nations work out their own issues where they are.

    In any case, the humanitarian choice really is to set up safe zones for refugees near their own countries, which when the wars are ended, their countries restabilized, they can return to. Destabilizing our own countries through meddling for the sake of elite “American Interests” in others is totally against the interests of Americans.

    Now I will addend that Homeland Security implemented policy in its usual boorish, SNAFU-riddled, bureaucratic and dysfunctional way. There hasn’t been a policy they’ve been handed that they haven’t managed to make a hash of, regardless of administration, for over 25 years, and it’s only gotten worse.

    An implementation that meets common sense, something that has been winnowed out of that cohort of drones, would have excluded from its denial of entry those who are already lawful permanent residents and those already legally approved with visas in hand.

    By not making sure of this, and being unreasonable, just added a whole lot of new political opponents to the rest of the administration’s agenda, including judges.

  9. @Astuteobservor II

    It’s odd if the green card holders are denied reentry. It obviously wasn’t intended, and it sounds like an act of sabotage.

  10. @Astuteobservor II

    Strip them of their Green Cards and send them back to their homelands, problem solved. We need to deport all non citizens. PERIOD.

  11. @Mao Cheng Ji

    no idea if it is sabotage or not, but students and legal immigrants are being detained. getting kinda crazy and out of hand.

    • Replies: @anon
  12. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Just ship them back sport. Problem solved.

  13. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Trump has just clarified that Green card holders are excluded from the ban.

  14. Good point, Eric, but I say it’s time to stop both invading AND inviting the world. Why are neocons (to his credit Margolis opposes them) so keen to let half the Muslim world in the US? So they can avoid blame for genocide in Islamic countries?

  15. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    What is crucial isn’t expertise but caution and realism.

    After all, most of Middle East was peaceful and stable before the EXPERTS got involved and came up with all sorts of proposals that led to mess in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

    Things were better when the region was LEFT ALONE.

    So, Trump really has it easy if he wants peace. STOP MEDDLING. Don’t listen to the GLOB that wants to foment more goy vs goy tensions in Middle East.

    Work with Russia to defeat terrorists in Syria. And then, don’t do anything. And don’t encourage Saudis to mess up Yemen.

    Once Syria stabilizes with defeat of terrorists, there won’t be any need to have Safe Spaces. All of Syria will be a safe space.

    The problem was never lack of expertise. It was the vicious agenda of the Neocons and the hubris of ‘democracy’ spreaders.

    • Agree: Talha
  16. CK says:

    About that bull in a china shop thing.

    Yeah another one bites the dust.

  17. All of these articles by Eric Margolis expressing concern for Mohammedans should be prefaced by a disclaimer noting that Margolis married a Mohammedan woman.

    In other words he is literally sleeping with the enemy.

    Margolis has admirable anti-interventionist instincts, but he is fundamentally unsound on immigration.

    Mohammedans are our enemies and always have been. They must be expelled from our lands.

    • Replies: @Barney Gogol
  18. @WorkingClass

    Only Reason Trump is trying to be buddies with Russia,so China is on it’s own.

  19. Didi says:

    From its foundation statements and its intent to establish a new caliphate ISIS is far more than a reaction to Western intervention and destruction. For ISIS every Muslim government in the Middle East is apostate and its leaders must be assassinated.

  20. Trumpeter says:

    I agree all the immigrants must be expelled immediately. Also anyone whose ancestors came from away must Go Home. Which means everyone in the Americas must self-deport back to Africa, since that’s where humans came from originally.

    Of course with seven billion people living in Africa, it might get a little crowded, but the wildlife on the rest of the planet would be grateful for a little peace and quiet.

    But people are missing what is going on with this anti-Muslim policy. Nobody really believes the fairy tales about Putin the Poopyhead manipulating the election and controlling Trump the Terrible. Not even the alleged sex scandals are sticking to him. So the Killary Liberals have decided that the immigration issue is a convenient stick to use on Trump.

    World leaders, who just happen to be members in good standing of the Washington Consensus, are jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon. Even Canada, who is usually kissing US ass to make sure it gets more pipelines, held a special parliamentary debate to attack Trump’s policy (I guess he is also PM of Canada) at midnight last night.

    Where were all these alleged humanitarians fourteen years ago when George Bush decided to smash Iraq, thereby leading directly to today’s refugee catastrophe?

  21. @Thorfinnsson

    So what does it matter who to whom he’s married. And what does that have to do with banning ‘selected’ Muslims from America? Margolis is right, again.

    • Replies: @anon
  22. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Barney Gogol

    No he is not. Margolis used to write for the TORONTO SUN. Years before when he was a serious writer and hadn’t embraced cultural Marxism, he wrote an article “immigration lunacy is destroying Toronto”, or something to that effect. Maybe somebody could find it and post it here.

  23. liveload says:

    Tell me this Mr Mensa.

    What’s the difference between a Liberal bomb and a Conservative bomb?
    A Liberal massacre and a Conservative massacre?
    A Liberal war and a Conservative war?

    Here’s a better question;
    Do you think any one of the millions that lie dead from our hands would give a crap?

  24. Trump screwed up. He chose publicity for his adherents rather than effectiveness.

    Barry the Kenyan had placed these countries on the list of those not eligible for the visa waiver program . All he had to do was tell the consulates not to issue visas.

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