[Marxism] WaPo editorial on Syria

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 13:47:16 MST 2018


Here is an editorial from the Washington Post. I don't need to convince
anybody on this list, but note that nowhere in the editorial is "removing
Assad" mentioned as a goal. Also note that the editorial points out that it
seems likely that this removal is a nod towards Erdogan, which means
pulling the rug out from under guess who... the PYD, who depend on US
forces to remain in power.

"PRESIDENT TRUMP’S sudden move to yank U.S. troops out of Syria
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-plans-to-pull-us-troops-from-syria-immediately-defense-official-says/2018/12/19/4fcf188e-0397-11e9-b5df-5d3874f1ac36_story.html?utm_term=.a6bd3bf79b18>undermined
at a stroke several foreign policy goals he has championed. The president
promised to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State, but the
withdrawal will leave thousands of its fighters still in place. He vowed to
roll back Iran’s aggression across the Middle East, but his decision will
allow its forces to entrench in the country that is the keystone of
Tehran’s ambitions. He promised to protect Israel, but that nation will now
be left to face alone the buildup by Iran and its proxies along its
northern border.

The president’s top national security advisers had carefully developed and
articulated a strategy of maintaining a U.S. presence in Syria until the
Islamic State was beyond revival and Iran withdrew its forces — a plan they
were defending up until this week. Mr. Trump has again demonstrated, to
them and to the world, that no U.S. policy or foreign commitment is immune
from his whims.

Mr. Trump claimed
<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/19/us/politics/trump-syria-turkey-troop-withdrawal.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage>
the
Islamic State had been defeated, but that is not the view of the Defense
and State Departments. Thousands of jihadist fighters are still in Syria
and control splotches of territory in the Euphrates Valley
<https://www.crisisgroup.org/trigger-list/iran-us-trigger-list/flashpoints/middle-euphrates-river-valley>.
A U.S. withdrawal will give the extremists an opportunity to reconstitute,
as they did in Iraq
<https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/07/the-mess-obama-left-behind-in-iraq-surge-debate/>following
the premature U.S. withdrawal ordered by President Barack Obama
<https://millercenter.org/president/obama/foreign-affairs>.

Until Wednesday, a prime talking point of senior national security
officials was that, “if we’ve learned one thing over the years, [the]
enduring defeat of a group like this means you can’t just defeat their
physical space and then leave,” as the State Department’s special envoy for
the global campaign against the Islamic State, Brett McGurk, put it last
week <https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/12/288024.htm>. Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis said it another way
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-plans-to-pull-us-troops-from-syria-immediately-defense-official-says/2018/12/19/4fcf188e-0397-11e9-b5df-5d3874f1ac36_story.html?utm_term=.a510098e0b80>in
September: “Getting rid of the caliphate doesn’t mean you then blindly say,
‘Okay, we got rid of it,’ march out, and then wonder why the caliphate
comes back.”

Mr. Trump has justified some of his most controversial decisions, including
his continued support for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/for-trump-the-relationship-with-saudi-arabia-is-all-about-money/2018/11/19/74a2bef8-ec28-11e8-8679-934a2b33be52_story.html?utm_term=.253bc71a6269>,
as needed to contain Iran’s threat to the United States and its allies. But
the Syrian withdrawal hands Tehran and its ally Russia a windfall. Iran has
deployed thousands of fighters and allied militiamen to Syria and aspires
to create a corridor to Lebanon and the Mediterranean, as well as a new
front against Israel along the Golan Heights. In reaction to that threat,
Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, announced Sept. 24
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/bolton-us-forces-will-stay-in-syria-until-iran-and-its-proxies-depart/2018/09/24/be389eb8-c020-11e8-92f2-ac26fda68341_story.html?utm_term=.33feb60c46eb>that
“We’re not going to leave [Syria] as long as Iranian troops are outside
Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias.”

U.S. ambitions in Syria have never been backed by adequate resources, and a
case could be made that neither Congress nor the American public were
prepared to support the mission suggested by Mr. Bolton. But Mr. Trump’s
decision appears to have been precipitated by the bellicose rhetoric of
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who last week threatened
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-tries-to-head-off-turkish-assault-on-kurds-in-syria/2018/12/14/6d614120-ffe5-11e8-ad40-cdfd0e0dd65a_story.html?utm_term=.d9a7896156e2>
—
not for the first time — a military operation against Syrian Kurds, even
though U.S. troops are positioned around them. The autocratic Turkish ruler
appears to have extracted multiple favors from Mr. Trump in recent days,
including the sale of U.S. Patriot missiles
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-19/state-department-backs-missile-sale-to-turkey-in-breakthrough>
and
a promise to reexamine the possible extradition of his rival, Fethullah
Gulen
<https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/19/world/politics-diplomacy-world/trump-willing-look-extraditing-turkish-cleric-fethullah-gulen-still-noncommittal/#.XBqYSdtKhQI>,
from Pennsylvania. If Mr. Trump received anything in return, he hasn’t
disclosed it.

The Syrian Kurdish forces, which have fought alongside the United States
and played a crucial role in liberating most of eastern Syria from the
jihadists, will be perhaps the foremost victims of Mr. Trump’s decision.
Betrayed by Washington, they will now be subject to a military offensive by
Turkey. The stab in the back will send an unforgettable message to all who
are asked to cooperate with the United States in the fight against
terrorism: Washington is an unreliable and dangerous partner.

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook


More information about the Marxism mailing list