It appears that President Trump is making good on his committment to get the US out of endless foreign wars. In a move sure to be overshadowed (and probably used) by the Compleat Fake Impeachment Inquiry, the White House announced late Sunday night that, following a conversation with Turkey’s President Recip Erdogan, Turkey will now move forward with a military operation in northeast Syria, in an area where US troops had been operating in conjunction with Kurdish-led forces.
Trump explained much of his sentiment about this matter through Twitter, and despite the limitations of that medium, he made his case very well. (We cocatenated and punctuated his messages for ease of reading:)
The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days; that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area.
We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe. But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA!
I said “NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials.” They again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything.
The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades.
I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.
WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.
Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their “neighborhood.” They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!
A newspiece that ran on the Fox News website said that US troops are already withdrawing from the area in question:
Based on our confidence in the #US efforts in the Security Mechanism agreement, we implemented all our commitments to remove military fortifications between Tal Abyad & SereKaniye, withdraw combat forces with heavy weapons, risking a security vacum as a result of the agreement.
— Coordination & Military Ops Center – SDF (@cmoc_sdf) October 7, 2019
The piece goes farther, noting that this action beginning to take place in Syria:
Hours after the announcement, Kurdish-led forces in Syria reported that American troops have begun withdrawing from areas along Turkey’s border.
The White House announcement comes less than a week after Gen. Mark Milley became the U.S. military’s top officer—chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—replacing Gen. Joe Dunford and more than two months after Defense Secretary Mark Esper was sworn in after Jim Mattis resigned in December over the president’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.
A December 19th, 2018 piece, available here, affirms that this move was long in coming. That piece noted the criticism from the Kurds, whom the US has been supporting in the area for a long time. They expressed fear at the time that the US was abandoning them, but with a statement that honestly does not make much objective sense:
“Everyone is upset, sad and afraid,” one SDF member from the Kurdish-dominant Syrian city of Kobane told Fox News. “It’s a historic mistake. We wanted to be part of America. We are surrounded by enemies, and ISIS isn’t even finished yet.”
This has been, and will be, the source of criticism against President Trump by those who support US hegemony and wars everywhere. However, this point of view has worn out its welcome on a great number of Americans, who elected Mr. Trump in part because of his committment to get America out of the role of fighting everywhere, especially thanklessly.
According to the Fox piece, the US withdrawal is being cast as dangerous, as Turkey, who will now oversee military operations in this area, has it in for the Kurds in a big way. The Kurds appear just as eager to fight Turkey as Turkey does them, as shown in this quote:
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said it is committed to the agreement between Turkey and the U.S. to preserve stability in the region.
“However, we will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people,” SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted a day earlier.
In the past, this sort of tired trope kept the US troops in areas like this, where although one or more sides receive American military support, their own motives are less clear. As far as the Middle East goes, the intertwined web of mostly Islamic groups are sometimes little more than gangs, and sometimes, like ISIS, are very powerful.
Thankfully, Tucker Carlson was having none of this narrative. He again spoke forcefully in support of the decision, highlighting and chastising the Establishment politicians in both parties in the US for their support of “all war, all the time.” His response is here:
One thing is very clear. The American experiment of supporting select groups in combat against other groups “for the sake of democracy” was an enormous lie. The real goal was enforced instability in this region, and an instability that could only be “stabilized” by a powerful American presence in the region. As we noted from Tucker Carlson’s scathing report about the bumblefoolery of the American intelligence community, this activity has been largely an extension of globalism, US style.
It appears that step by step, this era is ending. It is significant that President Trump authorized this move now, while the Compleat Fake Impeachment Inquiry is in full swing, to show that the American President is not afraid of the globalist establishment. He has declared all-out war against their agenda and he is on the move to dismantle their power structure wherever and whenever the opportunity permits.
By letting the powers of the Middle East get closer to autonomy to fight out their own problems, the US is doing the right thing. Our presence in these places was enabling at best, and tragically misused at worst, and there are plenty of cases of both in Syria over the recent years.
It would seem that the President made the right decision. Again.