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Pat Buchanan: Is Trump Going Neocon In Syria?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Is President Donald Trump about to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war? For that is what he and his advisers seem to be signaling.

Last week, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s campaign to recapture the last stronghold of the rebellion, Idlib province: “If it’s a slaughter, the world is going to get very, very angry. And the United States is going to get very angry, too.”

In a front-page story Monday, “Assad is Planning Chlorine Attack, U.S. Says,” The Wall Street Journal reports that, during a recent meeting, “President Trump threatened to conduct a massive attack against Mr. Assad if he carries out a massacre in Idlib.”

Idlib contains three million civilians and refugees and 70,000 rebels, 10,000 of whom are al-Qaida.

Friday, The Washington Post reported that Trump is changing U.S. policy. America will not be leaving Syria any time soon.

The 2,200 U.S. troops in Syria will remain until we see “the exit of all Iranian military and proxy forces and the establishment of a stable, non-threatening government acceptable to all Syrians.”

“We are not in a hurry to go,” said James Jeffrey, the retired Foreign Service officer brought back to handle the Syria account. “The new policy is we’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year.”

President Obama had a red line against Syria’s use of poison gas, which Trump enforced with bombing runs. Now we have a new red line. Said Jeffrey, the U.S. “will not tolerate an attack. Period.”

In an editorial Friday, the Post goaded Trump, calling his response to Assad’s ruthless recapture of his country “pathetically weak.” To stand by and let the Syrian army annihilate the rebels in Idlib, said the Post, would be “another damaging abdication of U.S. leadership.”

What Trump seems to be signaling, the Post demanding, and Jeffrey suggesting, is that, rather than allow a bloody battle for the recapture of Idlib province to play out, the United States should engage Russian and Syrian forces militarily and force them to back off.

On Friday, near the U.S. garrison at Tanf in southern Syria, close to Iraq, U.S. Marines conducted a live-fire exercise. Purpose: Warn Russian forces to stay away. The Americans have declared a 35-mile zone around Tanf off-limits. The Marine exercise followed a Russian notification, and U.S. rejection, of a plan to enter the zone in pursuit of “terrorists.”

Is Trump ready to order U.S. action against Russian and Syrian forces if Assad gives his army the green light to take Idlib? For the bombing of Idlib has already begun.

What makes this more than an academic exercise is that Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, at a meeting in Tehran last Friday, told President Erdogan of Turkey that the reconquest of Idlib is going forward.

Erdogan fears that the Syrian army’s recapture of Idlib would send hundreds of thousands more refugees streaming to his border.

Turkey already hosts millions of refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Yet the massing of the Syrian army near Idlib and the Russian and Syrian bombing now begun suggest that the Assad-Putin-Rouhani coalition has decided to accept the risk of a clash with the Americans in order to bring an end to the rebellion. If so, this puts the ball in America’s court.

Words and warnings aside, is Trump prepared to take us into the Syrian civil war against the forces who, absent our intervention, will have won the war? When did Congress authorize a new war?

What vital U.S. interest is imperiled in Idlib, or in ensuring that all Iranian forces and Shiite allies are removed, or that a “non-threatening government acceptable to all Syrians and the international community” is established in Damascus?

With these conditions required before our departure, we could be there for eternity.

The Syrian civil war is arguably the worst humanitarian disaster of the decade. The sooner it is ended the better. But Assad, Russia and Iran did not start this war. Nor have Syria, Russia or Iran sought a clash with U.S. forces whose mission, we were repeatedly assured, was to crush ISIS and go home.

Trump has struck Syria twice for its use of poison gas, and U.S. officials told the Journal that Assad has now approved the use of chlorine on the rebels in Idlib. Moscow, however, is charging that a false-flag operation to unleash chlorine on civilians in Idlib is being prepared to trigger and justify U.S. intervention.

Many in this Russophobic city would welcome a confrontation with Putin’s Russia, even more a U.S. war on Iran. But that is the opposite of what candidate Trump promised.

It would represent a triumph of the never-Trumpers and President Trump’s relinquishing of his foreign policy to the interventionists and neoconservatives.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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TEP
TEP
September 12, 2018

Summarised from an extremely reliable Syrian Perspective source … A US-UK crew arrived 8 Sep 2018 to Idlib City by traversing the Syrian border via Turkey. Syria’s Military Intelligence informed the Russian military who studied the evidence. Of the crew 12 are Americans who worked previously for outlets like NBC and CBS and of these there are 4 Israelis who hold dual US-Israel citizenship. The crew also has 6 UK MI6 contractors providing core planning, expertise and security. On 9 Sep the crew met with Jabhat Al-Nusra (al qaeda), the White Helmets (al qaeda pr) and Turkestan ‘rebels’ to plan… Read more »

am hants
am hants
Reply to  TEP
September 12, 2018

Interesting comment.

Vince Dhimos
Reply to  TEP
September 12, 2018

Got a link?

drew currah
drew currah
Reply to  TEP
September 12, 2018

What a farce.

JPH
JPH
September 12, 2018
am hants
am hants
September 12, 2018

Nice one Netherlands. Even the masses are sitting up to take notice. Thanks ‘You Can Call Me Al’ for the link. Together with mentioning the double page spreads, in the Dutch Media, concerning the story. Please may it spread internationally and keep running in the MSM, for more then 10 days.

Dutch funded ‘jihadist’ group in Syria, terror trial may now falter… https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/09/dutch-funded-jihadist-group-in-syria-terror-trial-may-now-falter/

Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
September 12, 2018

“Many in the DC swamp would welcome a confrontation with Putin’s Russia, even more a U.S. war on Iran.”
True, but the response they will get from Russia won’t be the one they expect. It will be worse.

Stunned_at_Sunset
Stunned_at_Sunset
September 12, 2018

I’m not important enough for anyone to take me seriously but I really believe that the Anglo-American Alliance is going to “professionally script” this upcoming false flag which appears to be a very carefully planned, meticulously detailed storyline fabricated from the thin air of the Middle East. Observe the political, diplomatic, and military posture of both Russia and China at this time. They seem to be laboring to “put the world on notice” that skulduggery is afoot. Should this malevolent attempt to gain political traction in the Syrian conflict be carried out, I believe that the Anglo-American Alliance can expect… Read more »

Raymond Comeau
Raymond Comeau
Reply to  Stunned_at_Sunset
September 12, 2018

Kudos to this commenter. It is about time one called a spade a spade in regards to the criminality of the USA in attacking sovereign countries worldwide, in order to carry out the wishes of IsraHell, and to steal anything of value from the sovereign countries including oil, and minerals.

Vince Dhimos
September 12, 2018

Strange title, Pat. You heard Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric during his campaign. He flat out lied saying Iran was a terror supporter. You knew that the Saudis were the real terror supporter. Why didn’t you say something then? “Going Neocon” implies Trump didn’t used to be a Neocon, but he was already stirring up a war during his campaign. This is too little too late. You should have called him out before.

Raymond Comeau
Raymond Comeau
Reply to  Vince Dhimos
September 12, 2018

Pat certainly has changed since his position over the years until recently. Perhaps he has seen the light. I like the new Pat Buchanan. He is much more human.

Walter Dublanica
September 12, 2018

If America was a democracy there would be no swamp. American foreign and military policies are forced upon America by a cabal of neocons whose main interests are those of another country residing at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Time for we Americans take our country back. We were not responsible for the Holocaust nor are we to feel guilty about what happened in Europe in WW II.

Filming of staged chemical attack in Syrian Idlib begins – Russian MoD

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