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US Syria foreign policy shift not going down well with the Establishment

President Trump’s decisiveness about Syria continues to confound the American Neo-Con Deep State

The problem with making changes is that everyone talks about making the change, but when it comes to making the change, the same people are likely to switch sides and complain about the change. This is what we see in evidence in President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. establishment, with most of the US House voting in a condemnatory resolution against his move to pull US troops out of a Kurdish-held enclave in Northwestern Syria that was set in motion on the 6th of October this year.

The present sitrep (“situation report” to those of you not familiar with military lingo) is this: Following President Trump’s move, he warned Turkey’s president Recip Erdogan that any hostile move against the Kurds on Syrian soil would be met with absolutely crippling economic sanctions. Recip must not have cared much about this, that or his built-in resentment against the Kurds must be more important, because he went ahead and launched an apparently major attack against the Kurds.

However, this did not change anything. As strategic analyst Douglas MacGregor postulated on October 6th on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the Kurds ended up making an agreement with the Syrian government, backed by Russia, for support in that region. The US immediately placed and is placing severe economic sanctions against its NATO “ally” Turkey, and President Trump appears to be holding his stance. A conference with Democrat and Republican congressional leaders whose biggest highlight was the crybaby fit of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer condemning the president for calling Mrs. Pelosi a “third rate politician” apparently actually became productive after these two capricious old people stormed out of the meeting with their feewings hurt (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose). The President appeared to throw the neocons a bone by saying that there will remain a small American force in Syria ostensible “to protect the homeland”, whatever that may mean.

In other words, with the exception of Pelosi and Schumer, everyone seems to be getting what they want, or at least, what they need.

As we chronicle this event further, we come to the announcement made on Thursday by Vice President Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo (the “Mike and Mike” Duo, perhaps?) that after a five-hour session of negotiations, Recip Erdogan is conducting a ceasefire and a halt to his military operations in Syria. Fox News carried the joint statement issued by the governments of both Syria and the United States, a few points of which we reprint below:

  • Turkey and the US are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.
  • Turkey and the US are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.
  • The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.
  • Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the US agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the Executive Order of October 14, 2019, Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria, and will work and consult with Congress, as appropriate, to underline the progress being undertaken to achieve peace and security in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Once Operation Peace Spring is halted as per paragraph 11 the current sanctions under the aforementioned Executive Order shall be lifted.

These four points seem to comprise the guts of the agreement. Vice President Pence went on further in an exclusive interviewwith Fox News White House Correspondent John Roberts to say that the swift actions by President Trump and his no-nonsense approach to dealing with Erdogan showed that Mr. Trump “means what he says” when it comes to handling matters like this.

The rest of the interview seemed to portray this as a major diplomatic victory, and given John Roberts’ well-placed concern about the nature of Recip Erdogan, time will show how good this agreement actually is as it is implemented.

What it also does is give the US President a bit of cover. President Trump has no intention of changing his mind and redeploying US troops to this region. As far as anyone can tell, we’re out of there for good. The stipulation in the agreement above that the US will work with Turkey to “coordinate” on detention facilities does not mean that US personnel have to be in the area to do it, and it is likely that they will not be there.

A diplomatic victory for the US and its government also gives a bit of cover to the Russians, and it is only unfortunate that this inevitably is going to be viewed as a bad thing by most of the mainstream press. Even President Trump knows that the “Overton Window” is not in a place where the American public can comfortably hear that Russia is going to be responsible for the peace in this region from now on, no matter how excellent this strategy actually is. However, there are more and more voices speaking more and more openly about this very fact and with the understanding that it is indeed the right move to make.

This foreign policy shift is the US President’s biggest gamble thus far in his presidency. It is a big gamble because it is an abrupt reversal in the course that the US power brokers have followed for at least thirty years, regardless of the party in power. We report elsewhere on the King of the Hill syndrome and how futile it is to try to remain the one who rules everything.

Our neocon and neoliberals groups are quick to assert that “American democracy” is wanted everywhere and we are the ones to give it to everyone, (whether they want it or not), but for decades this has been a cover for simply trying to be the King of the Hill. This is a tiresome position to hold for any length of time, and protecting it is needlessly expensive. The American people who are most inspired by President Trump’s message of “America First” understand that this is the right way to go – to keep to ourselves more and perhaps only wield our immense power when someone actually has the need for it… and when they ask us, freely. Not when we decide we know what they need.

We can expect that this pill will be hard to accept for many people, but acceptance of it is inevitable.

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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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Ramon Zarate
Ramon Zarate
October 20, 2019

This sounds like the first constructive move by the US in the region, Hopefully it will become the first big win for US foreign policy. I imagine TDS will result in a strong push back by US groups who have vested interests in other outcomes.

October 20, 2019

The deep state has been behind the push the for impeachment of Trump. I suspect that he has possibly decided to let them know who is the president of the US .Of course this goes against the grain but they put him in a corner and came out guns blazing . Not a Trump fan but his latest actions have left many wondering.

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