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US Troops Out of Syria – Not Victory, In Defeat

Trump’s decision this week is to be welcomed, but it’s long overdue. Criminally long overdue.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


US President Donald Trump’s order this week to withdraw American troops from Syria is long overdue. American forces have been in the Arab country for at least four years. They have been there illegally, present without any international mandate. Not with the permission of the Syrian government, nor with the sanction of the UN Security Council.

American troops in Syria are therefore an illegal occupying force, violating the sovereignty of Syria and international law. Washington claims its soldiers and air force are in the country to combat jihadist terror groups. That claim is risible given the ample evidence that Washington has been covertly supporting the same jihadist groups it is supposed to be fighting. Thousands of Syrian civilians have been killed by American forces in what amounts to countless war crimes.

President Trump declared “an historic defeat” of the terror groups was the reason for his order to withdraw US troops. Trump with his typical braggadocio is claiming a “victory”. That is so utterly misplaced. His self-righteous words are a travesty and an insult to international norms of law and morality.

The military forces that really brought an end to the terror groups were those of the Syrian army, Russia and Syria’s others allies, Iran and Hezbollah. Trump’s self-congratulations are grotesquely way off the mark. The terror proxies that wreaked havoc and horror in Syria for nearly eight years were enabled, armed and directed by the US and its NATO and regional client regimes.

Still, it is to be cautiously welcomed that Trump has called it a day for American forces in Syria. With American withdrawal, there is now more chance of a political settlement being found for the war-torn country. But Washington deserves no thanks for its belated troop withdrawal. In a sane world, Washington should one day face justice for its barbaric crimes in Syria.

Whether US troops actually do vacate Syria remains to be seen. Media reports say the Pentagon plans to pull out nearly 2,000 US troops within the next month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in his annual international press conference this week gave a cautious welcome to Trump’s announcement. Putin noted, however, that Trump has made a similar call earlier this year only for that to be overturned by the Pentagon. Putin also noted that Washington has been talking about removing troops from Afghanistan, yet the Central Asian country continues to be occupied by US troops more than 17 years after Trump’s predecessor GW Bush ordered an invasion in 2001.

So, it remains to be seen if Trump’s announcement this week regarding Syria is just a political stunt to placate his domestic base. During his 2016 election campaign, Trump promised to bring the troops home. His withdrawal plan this week could therefore be a disingenuous Christmas “good news story” for his political base, which in the coming weeks may be quietly abandoned.

There are sound reasons to be skeptical about Trump’s withdrawal plan from Syria. Only a few months ago, his national security advisor, John Bolton, was saying that US forces would stay in Syria for as long as Iranian troops were present there. Notwithstanding that Iran forces are present in Syria legally at the request of President Bashar al Assad’s government, as are Russian forces.

It’s not clear if Trump is just acting on his own whim or if there is a significant strategic decision in Washington to retreat from its regime-change machinations in Syria.

One thing seems clear though. Washington’s would-be withdrawal from Syria has nothing to do with its supposed defeat of terror groups. How could that be when Washington has for eight years worked assiduously and covertly to foment these same terror entities for regime change?

Washington’s putative withdrawal from Syria, if anything, is due to its realization of defeat for its regime-change operation. The Syrian army, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah deserve the laurels for heroically defeating the terrorist jihadist proxies whom Washington deployed to Syria for regime change. Salute too to the brave Syrian people for their amazing steadfastness in the face of horrific assault.

It is laughably ironic that US politicians, Britain and France are criticizing Trump this week, saying that “the terrorists are not yet defeated”. When it was these powers, plus Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Israel and Turkey which created, armed and supported the terror groups for the purpose of destroying Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is correct in saying that US military pullout from Syria is potentially a positive move towards political settlement to the war in that country.

Russia, Iran and Turkey (belatedly) have been working diplomatically to bring about such a political settlement. Logically, with one less military player in Syria – the US – that lends towards a possible resolution of conflict. If, that is, Trump’s order is actually carried through. That’s a big “if”.

There is, however, concern that US withdrawal might spur Turkey to intensify its military involvement in Syria against Kurdish militants which the US has been protecting up to now. We may expect that Russia and Iran will act to prevent any such adventurism by Ankara.

All in all, US planned withdrawal from Syria is viewed as a good thing. It’s about time that Washington removed its illegal presence in the Arab country, and thereby permitting the country to restore the peace that it was so criminally denied for the past eight years.

Yes, Trump’s decision this week is to be welcomed, but it’s long overdue. Criminally long overdue.

Trump’s typical bravado about “winning the war” is contemptible. In reality, Syria stands as an historic defeat for US imperialism.

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Olivia KrothAntoinetta IIIKenny BrooksCudwieserTheCelotajs Recent comment authors
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Cudwieser
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Cudwieser

Bragadocio and bravado I can live with If the reality is a relative peace. Ultimately Trump is simply putting a face on things and at best will only convince Some Americans of any victory, namely patriots and other thickos who neither cared for or cared to understand the truth. In the end if Trump would ‘declare victory’ in Afghanistan we might actually be able to focus on the true villians, the globalists and Neo-Cons who are leading us to war. If the bastards want blood, they can trade theirs for mine.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Still suffering the Vietnam defeat.

JPH
Guest
JPH

Only still missing a photo op of those helicopters evacuating the embassy in a hurry..

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“It’s not clear if Trump is just acting on his own whim…” That is a grotesque misinterpretation of the facts. However much you may dislike Mr Trump personally – and I don’t think he is a whit worse than any of his predecessors as President – you must admit that he is the President. Head of the executive branch, command in chief of the armed forces. His advisers do not dictate to him – all they can do is advise him. The word “adviser” is the clue. If Mr Trump were the Queen of the UK, he would be constituionally… Read more »

Anthony Wicher
Guest
Anthony Wicher

I agree with what you say about Trump, but you are mistaken about the Queen, who was not elected and does not answer to the people at all, unlike President Trump who does.

Brigitte Meier
Guest
Brigitte Meier

Don’t get so upset about a white lie by Trumpi. If that makes it possible for him to move US troops out of Syria, let it be. It’s a face saver and in politics saving face is important. The real reason for US pullout is Turkey, who refuses to go along with the US partition plans for Syria and who may exit NATO if Trump doesn’t give in and leave. Turkey leaving NATO would be a mortal blow to the US’s entire containment of Russia and China policies. Just look at a map. Turkey as part of the Sino-Russian bloc… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Yes, indeed: “Turkey leaving NATO would be a mortal blow to the US’s entire containment of Russia and China policies”, and it would be a great step towards world peace. If only Turkey would leave NATO, no matter what US troops do or do not do …

In Europe many people inofficially call N-A-T-O the North Atlantic Terror Organisation. The sooner it will be dissolved, the better.

JPH
Guest
JPH

Rather put some lipstick on that pig than having to keep that pig around.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Stating the obvious – but don’t believe the ZioYank liar-losers are done yet – they can still sneakily continue their perverted cowardly black-flag terrorist-abetting from across the border in Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Iraq.

Anthony Wicher
Guest
Anthony Wicher

It’s a victory for peace, not a defeat for anybody but the imperialist warmongers. It’s a huge victory for Trump and the American people, the Syrian people and all people everywhere.

SteveK9
Guest
SteveK9

It may be an historic defeat for America’s war-mongering political elite, but it is a victory for ordinary Americans, and one of the primary reasons Donald Trump was elected President.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

US troops: robbers and murderers worldwide! Yankees, go home!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The US leaves a trail of bitterness in Syria. They installed the so-called “militants” who are shelling Syrian cities day and night. If only the US troops, if they are really leaving, could take all that trash along with them which they installed in Syria, without being invited there.

TASS reports:
Three Syrian regions come under fire by militants in past day
World December 22, 23:29 UTC+3
Militants operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone shelled settlements in the provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo

More:
http://tass.com/world/1037512

TheCelotajs
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TheCelotajs

No they are not because he is replacing them with uncontrollable CIA paid mercenaries just like he is doing in Afghanistan that way the United States is no longer responsible if they commit war crimes. George W. Bush did it in Iraq using “Blackwater Security aka Academi Company now” until Iraq kicked them out for killing incent civilians. James Jeffrey, the US’s special envoy for Syria, has warned that his country’s mercenaries in US military uniforms are to remain illegally in the country until the initial goal of Regime Change is achieved, thus adding pressure on the Syrian state and… Read more »

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

Pick your battles wisely as blind threat wages a silent war against us all. We are no more your enemy as you ours. We fight the same foe, that of our paymasters and deceivers. We elect our own demise by our own hubris and so we must condemn those who falsely speak in our name and free ourselves from our oppressors as our neighbours do the same.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Today, the SYRIAN-ARAB NEWS AGENCY (SANA) reports: https://www.sana.sy/en/?p=154151 “Authorities on Sunday found huge amounts of weapons and ammunition, some of which are Israeli-made and US-made, left behind by terrorists in the northern countryside of Quneitra. SANA’s reporter in Quneitra said that authorities continued operations of combing the areas which had been liberated from terrorism by the Syrian army in Quneitra countryside to remove the explosive devices and mines left behind by terrorists to protect the lives of civilians.” What is this? Strange! When US troops finally leave Syria – the sooner, the better – they should take all of their… Read more »

Antoinetta III
Guest
Antoinetta III

Join the discussion…No, leave the kit behind. I’m sure the Syrian Army or Hezbollah can make good use of it.

Antoinetta III

Olivia Kroth
Guest

What kit?
No US kits needed in Syria. Russia has a humanitarian help center in Syria, they are bringing enough kits for the Syrian people, including medical help and food and clothes ….

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Russian reconciliation center conducts humanitarian operation in Syria’s Hama
World December 08, 0:55 UTC+3
Head of the Russian reconciliation center Sergei Solomatin said 500 bags with food products were handed out to civilians in the settlement of Skalbiya
Officers of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria conducted a humanitarian operation in the Hama governorate, handing out food products to local residents, the center’s chief Sergei Solomatin said on Friday.

More:
http://tass.com/world/1035048

Kenny Brooks
Guest
Kenny Brooks

Trump always thought our involvement in Syria was a mistake! It was Obama McCain Graham Rubio and AIPAC that put our troops there! Trump has solidified the support of his political bas.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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