[Marxism] WaPo editorial on Syria

1999wildcat at gmail.com 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 20:53:40 MST 2018


If we leave it simply there, that means that withdrawal of US troops equals the green light, which means we should oppose that withdrawal!

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 19, 2018, at 6:23 PM, Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Trump has given a green light to Turkey to invade northeastern Syria.
> 
> This follows the Turkish invasion of Afrin in January 2018, and before that the Turkish invasion of the Jarablus-Azaz-al-Bab area in August 2016.  Turkey also has troops in Idlib province.
> 
> The US left should be campaigning against US support for the Turkish invasion of Syria, just as it opposes US support for the Saudi invasion of Yemen.
> .
> The left should oppose weapons sales to Turkey.
> 
> Chris Slee
> From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of John Reimann via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, 20 December 2018 7:47:16 AM
> To: Chris Slee
> Subject: [Marxism] WaPo editorial on Syria
>  
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> 
> 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
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