Sunday, December 23, 2018

Getting a Sick Sense of Déjà Vu

While I have always had misgivings about the role of the US in the Syrian civil war, I think that Trump's sudden planned withdrawal of American military personnel from Syria will be a disaster... Daesh hasn't been completely defeated, the Syrian government isn't exactly a 'good' player in the conflict. More worrisome to me is the utter selling out of our Kurdish allies. Out of the peoples of the current Middle East, the Kurds seem to align best with American values, embracing religious pluralism and women's rights to a greater extent than their neighbors.

So now, the Turkish army is massing at the Syrian border, our nominal NATO allies moving against our allies of the recent conflicts in the region. This is the same abandonment of allies that I mentioned in my post about Bush 41, who suggested to the Shiite marsh Iraqis that they should rise against Saddam Hussein, then abandoned them to get slaughtered. This sends a horrible message yet again- the United States is not to be trusted, so why ally with the US?

Any withdrawal from the theater of war should be well-considered, but the erratic, sudden actions of an irresponsible executive will do permanent damage to our standing in the world.


Al said...

I applaud the President for pulling US troops out of Syria and hopefully out of Afghanistan. This is what he said he wanted to do during his campaign in 2016. And now he is doing just what he said he wanted to do. Why have the so called liberals become the same chickenhawks that they use to despise. Pulling the ground troops out is correct and is a start but the President must also stop the US warplanes from bombing and killing people. The sooner the US war machine pulls out of the Mideast the sooner US troops will stop killing and being killed. The US has killed more the 20 million people around this planet since the end of WWII and this horror and terror must stop now and not at some mythical moment in the future. As a US citizen, I am complicit in these war crimes and I am sick to death in my soul for what has been done in my name.

LibraryGuy said...

Al, you address none of this post's points, but especially this one: "Any withdrawal from the theater of war should be well-considered, but the erratic, sudden actions of an irresponsible executive will do permanent damage to our standing in the world."

Many people agree that the US needs to get out of the ME, reduce it's military might around the world, etc. But I see over and over people claiming that raising objections or disagreeing with this move by Trump is the equivalent of supporting bloody US interventionism around the world. It isn't.

You can agree that the US must change it's actions and policies AND vehemently agree that Trump's unplanned, unexpected, politically-motivated withdrawal that leave the US allies abandoned and under threat is a really, really bad idea.

"US out of Syria" isn't a plan or a policy, it's a catchphrase.

mikey said...

Wow. Trump is REALLY in your head if you're all of a sudden in favor of endless American wars just because he's against them.

Fucking amazing...

Al said...

LibraryGuy, our (the USA) standing in the world is that we are the most dangerous country the planet. There are millions of people around the world, that if you asked them what happened to their father, mother, sister, brother or family dog, they would tell you that the Americans killed them. Ask those people what they think of Americas standing in the world. This isn't a game to those people because they know what it feels like to have American bombs dropped on them and on their homes. Perhaps when Americans finally feel what William Tecumseh Sherman called "the hard hand of war" then maybe we will stop this madness.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I'm not against a gradual pullout, but the pell-mell withdrawal without consulting our allies is what I'm against. I was against the whole Gulf War embroglio in the first place, but the Kurds (the most reliable allies in the entire region) are going to get slaughtered.

Also, an expanding Saudi role in the civil war will only lead to the expansion of ISIS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Saudi-backed Wahhabists.

Seriously, people, there's a middle ground between endless war and sudden abandonment, and this administration has not even attempted to find it.

mikey said...

1.) If you can't ever walk away because your 'allies' will get slaughtered then you can't ever walk away. Every stupid act becomes eternal.

2.) There IS no Saudi role. The Alawites are Shi'a - this is why Iran has an active role. If the Saudis try to participate, they'll be the ones that get slaughtered. The money they promised for 'rebuilding' - if they ever actually produce it - is nothing but a bribe to Trump.

3.) ISIS isn't going anywhere no matter what. There are at least 7 factions in Syria not counting the US, and one of them is the hardcore Islamists. You can't 'destroy' an ideology.

4.) If you can't name one single compelling US interest in the region, there is no basis for having troops there. Whether they leave in 6 weeks or 6 months, the outcome will be the same - let's bring 'em home TODAY!!!

Procopius said...

"So now, the Turkish army is massing at the Syrian border, "
Well, the Turkish Army massed on the border last month and spox for Erdogan announced they were going to be attacking the Kurds East of the Euphrates. That was all announced before Trump's announcement. In fact, there are now stories that, because the SAA (Assad's forces) are moving into that region, Erdogan is having second thoughts. The SAA is now a formidable force and has Russian air support. They will probably be able to wipe out the stubborn remnant of IS that the SDF (forces supported by the U.S.) has been unable to beat. The better news, that has not been reported in American MSM, is that at the meeting in Ankara on October 27, between France, Germany, Turkey, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman was forced to promise to stop sending money, weapons, and ammunition to IS and Al Qaeda in Iraq. If they keep that promise IS is done for. Most of their fighters depend on their monthly salaries and will have to find other employment. Removing American troops from Syria is the right thing to do and should have been done back when there were only 200 of them.