Back in late March, US President Donald Trump announced that he wanted to get the US out of Syria, since it really hasn’t accomplished anything but the waste of billions of US dollars, and a massive loss of life. One good staged “chemical” attack, backed by no evidence, and suddenly he’s launching a military strike on Syria in cooperation with allies Britain and France.
While the strike was limited to just certain targets believed to have been chemical weapons research, development, or store houses, that’s not all Trump initially wanted to target, as he was willing and ready to strike everybody that was acting like a thorn in America’s side in Syria, but was talked down by his Defense Secretary Mattis to keep the target list small, due to the possible outcomes of striking Russians in Syria.
But, Trump says he still wants to get US troops out of Syria, since he’s said that he wants to get us out, but has taken the lead on advancing our military initiative in Syria, Trump has placed himself on both sides of the field. How to go about ousting Assad from power in Syria while getting our guys out (since that’s what he campaigned on, and what he reiterated last month), while saving face? Why not do both? Why not get our guys out while still carrying out and “defending” American, and Israeli, interests in Syria?
We still have allies in the region who also want to see Assad go, and who have also helped us fund and train our favourite “moderates” who will be glad to see some help in their losing battle against him. Hence, the idea of an Arab Coalition, made up of US allies in the region who can be positioned where America has maintained its presence, and who can help pick up the tab. It sounds like a win-win-win proposition.
Enter John Bolton, the new Secretary of War, Mass Death and Destruction, err, National Security Adviser. For years, Bolton has been adamantly urging that we should just launch a D-Day invasion of both Syria and Iran, and get them both out of the way of our “national interests”. Bolton is now leading the charge to develop this “Arab Coalition” to take America’s place in Syria so that the Americans can pull out and save some financial and political capital. The White House has also promised a “compelling reward” for Arab nations who will send their forces into Syria.
So far, the list of possible candidates for this new “coalition” includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt. Since US action in the region is being sold as a humanitarian thing, like saving the polar bears, US allies in the region who also have shining humanitarian records of bravery in the face of insurmountable odds and unquestionable human rights ethics, like the Saudis, Qatar, and Kuwait, will be just the thing that is needed to save the Syrian people from this “monster” Assad, and the terrorists that we, and our Arabian allies, have been arming, training and funding since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011.
American officials are, and have been, reaching out to these Muslim nations about establishing this regional coalition, but so far haven’t gotten the deal across the goal line. The choice to participate, and at what level, is entirely up to potential participants, according to the US-led Coalition in Syria’s spokesman, Col. Ryan Dillon, who said “as far as the coalition and individual nations that are contributing forces to Syria as a request by those nations we have not announced that and we will respect their request on that, so whether that’s providing air support or ground support or trainers, we’ll leave that to individual nations to personally make that announcement.”
The Saudis are ecstatic about the idea, as they have been pushing for the chance to deploy their troops in Syria since Obama’s tenure in the White House, but which didn’t get the world’s warmest response. The Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir said at a news conference with the UN Secretary General in Riyadh that “we are in discussions with the US and have been since the beginning of the Syrian crisis about sending forces into Syria.”
Additionally, the UAE adviser and Blackwater USA founder, Erik Prince, is lobbying for a role in the initiative, as contractors may still be Americans, but don’t have to be official government employees, which helps Trump keep the fight against Assad going while simultaneously claiming that America’s boys aren’t dripping blood for it.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.