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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
Guest
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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Putin’s State of the Nation Part III – Raising Russians

President Putin’s State of the Nation talk began with the most important element of any society – the family.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Parts I and II of this series outline much of Russia’s “face towards the world” in terms of both economic / trade and military matters. Part III actually comprises the great majority of what President Putin addressed in the Russian State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, 20 February. As he pledged upon his re-election to his fourth presidential term, the 66-year old leader focused primarily on domestic affairs within the Russian Federation.

The whole speech is available at Kremlin.ru, and by following this hyperlink.

We have selected excerpts along the reasoning of illuminating those parts of domestic policy in Russia that reveal why the globalist and secularist elíte in the West are so determined to block Russia’s success as a nation, even to isolate it and destroy it if possible. We will emphasize and comment on various points from the speech.

One of the biggest differences in Russia from the US is the centrality of traditional families, with children. Children are wanted and needed in the Russian Federation, and President Putin started his speech by addressing the matter of raising new Russians:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia,

Today’s Address is primarily devoted to matters of domestic social and economic development. I would like to focus on the objectives set forth in the May 2018 Executive Order and detailed in the national projects. Their content and the targets they set are a reflection of the demands and expectations of Russia’s citizens. People are at the core of the national projects, which are designed to bring about a new quality of life for all generations. This can only be achieved by generating momentum in Russia’s development…

Therefore, the work of the executive branch at all levels should be coordinated, meaningful and energetic. The Government of Russia must set the tone.

At the same time, I would like to emphasise and repeat: our development projects are not federal and even less so agency-based. They are national. Their results must be visible in each region of the Federation, in every municipality. It is here, on the ground, that the majority of specific tasks is implemented.

Here, President Putin seems to be alluding to the importance of nation. While Russia has a much more openly socialist style government than the US does, it is nonetheless also much more efficient in its work in many ways. Communism failed, but it did teach some lessons about how to do a lot of work with few resources. There is a reason the largest nation on earth does not have to go into huge debt year after year.

Let me now share some specifics on our objectives. I will begin with the key objective of , which means providing all-around support to families.

Family, childbirth, procreation and respect for the elderly have always served as a powerful moral framework for Russia and its multi-ethnic people. We have been doing everything in our power to strengthen family values and are committed to doing so in the future. In fact, our future is at stake. This is a task shared by the state, civil society, religious organisations, political parties and the media.

This, while states in the US are trying to pass radical abortion laws to even be able to kill babies who survive abortions.

Russia has entered an extremely challenging period in terms of demographics. As you know, the birth rate is declining…

We succeeded in overcoming the negative demographic trends in the early 2000s, when our country faced extreme challenges. This seemed to be an impossible challenge at the time. Nevertheless, we succeeded, and I strongly believe that we can do it again by returning to natural population growth by late 2023 – early 2024.

Today, I wanted to talk about a new package of measures that has already been prepared to support families.

First: It is important that having children and bringing them up do not put families at the risk of poverty or undermine their wellbeing. As you know, we have already provided for the payment of subsidies for the first two children until they reach 18 months…

Starting January 1, 2020, I propose raising the bar to two subsistence wages per family member. This is what people have requested and these requests come directly into the Executive Office. This measure will increase the number of families entitled to additional benefits by almost 50 percent. Some 70 percent of families with one or two children will be able to benefit from help from the Government.

Second: At present, carers looking after children with disabilities and people disabled since childhood receive an allowance of only 5,500 rubles. I suggest increasing this to 10,000 rubles, starting July 1. Of course, I understand that it is still a small amount. However, it will be an additional measure of support for families with a child who needs special care.

Third: The income of Russian families must, of course, increase. This is a serious task that requires a comprehensive solution. I will speak about this in greater detail later. But we need direct measures. First of all, the tax burden on families needs to be relieved. The approach should be very simple: the more children there are, the lower the tax. I propose increasing federal tax relief on real estate for families with many children. I also propose lifting taxes on 5 square metres in a flat and 7 square metres in a house per each child…

Fourth: The Government and the Central Bank need to consistently maintain the policy to lower mortgage rates to 9 percent, and then to 8 percent or below, as stipulated in the May 2018 Executive Order. At the same time, special measures of support should be provided for families with children, of course… A family making a decision to buy housing certainly makes plans for a long or at least medium term, a lasting investment. But with this [present] programm, they take out a loan, start paying the installments, and the grace period ends. The interest is actually subsidized only for the first 3 or 5 years. I propose extending the benefit for the entire term of the mortgage loan.

Yes, of course, it will require additional funding, and the cost will be rather high: 7.6 billion rubles in 2019, 21.7 billion rubles in 2020, and 30.6 billion rubles in 2021. But the programme is estimated to reach as many as 600,000 families. We certainly need to find the money. We know where to get it. We have it, and we just need to use it in the areas that are of major importance to us.

And one more direct action solution. Considering the sustainability and stability of the macroeconomic situation in the country and the growth of the state’s revenues, I consider it possible to introduce another measure of support for families having a third and subsequent children. I suggest paying 450,000 rubles directly from the federal budget to cover this sum from their mortgage. Importantly, I propose backdating this payment starting January 1, 2019, recalculating it and allocating relevant sums in this year’s budget.

Let us see what we have. If we add this sum to the maternity capital, which can also be used for mortgage payments, we will get over 900,000 rubles. In many regions, this is a substantial part of the cost of a flat. I would like to draw the attention of the Government and the State Duma to this issue. If need be, the budget will have to be adjusted accordingly. An additional 26.2 billion rubles will be required for this in 2019. The relevant figures for 2020 and 2021 are 28.6 billion rubles and 30.1 billion rubles, respectively. These are huge funds but they should be allocated and used in what I have already described as a very important area.

There is a great deal more detail on the notion of various tax breaks for families with children. It is worth a read, and it is also worth noting the very clear language set forth here. It appears rather refreshing to hear these ideas laid out in such a blunt fashion.

 

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Pressure mounts on Theresa May to agree to 3 month Brexit extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 181.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at how the EU, in coordination with forces inside the British Parliament, are pushing for Theresa May to agree to a three month “Brexit day” extension.

According to a Bloomberg, Theresa May must resign as British prime minister and Conservative leader later this year after delivering Brexit, according to politicians at the highest levels of her own government.  May has promised her party she will stand down before the next general election, slated for 2022, but she’s likely to face pressure to go within the next three months. Once the U.K. is out of the European Union, and local district elections on May 2 are over, the premier will have no reason to stay in office, one senior minister said, speaking privately. Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29.

A person familiar with another minister’s views agreed with the timescale, arguing that the prime minister should leave in the summer, so a new leader can be in place in time for the party’s annual conference in October. A third senior member of May’s administration pointed out that Tories had no way of formally seeking to remove May before December under the party’s internal leadership rules. May will never voluntarily resign, despite her previous pledge, the person said.

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Via Zerohedge

Theresa May once again failed to extract concessions from the EU27 on Wednesday after yet another meeting with Juncker (surprise, surprise) as the Continent refuses to budge on May’s demands for “legally binding changes” to the deal – specifically to the troublesome Irish backstop, which many Brexiteers fear could result in the UK being reduced to a “vassal state” of the EU by becoming interminably trapped in the customs union, with zero say over its rules. Talks between Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and EU27 chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday were similarly inconclusive.

And with only 36 days left until “Brexit Day”, it’s becoming increasingly clear that May will need to ask her EU colleagues for an extension to the two-year negotiating period, something that would cut against her commitment to take the UK out of the EU “as scheduled”, though she has never explicitly ruled it out. According to Bloombergthe EU expects May to request a 3-month “technical extension,” which would be the first, and hopefully only, delay, (because anything further would ratchet up the pressure for the UK to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections…an unnecessary complication).

Still, without meaningful concessions on the backstop, it’s difficult to see a way forward. Rebellious Tories and the “Independent Group” have so far focused their efforts on securing a legally-binding commitment to take a “no-deal” exit off the table. And with the deadline unlikely to be extended past this point, if a deal isn’t reached during the March 21-22 UK-EU summit, he way forward will appear impossibly vague.

But with dozens of Tories reportedly ready to rebel unless the PM offers concrete reassurances that ‘no deal’ isn’t an option, and that rebellion will likely take the form of support for an amendment tabled by former minister Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Yvette Cooper to give Parliament the power to delay Brexit Day if no deal is reached by mid-March.

Meanwhile, thanks to the latest round of defections, the “Independent Group” has become the fourth-largest party in Parliament.

But all of these threats likely won’t take on real significance until the March summit with the EU, thanks to the Continent’s reputation for holding out until the last minute. Meanwhile, MPs have told the media that a vote on May’s Brexit “Plan B” deal – which had been set for next week – is unlikely.

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Trump’s Syria military pullout, not under John Bolton’s watch (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 89.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the announcement from the Trump White House that the United States has decided to station a ‘peacekeeping group’ of roughly 200 US soldiers in Syria for a ‘period of time’ after the much hyped withdrawal.

Once again we see that once the US enters a country for a regime change mission, it becomes nearly impossible to fully disengage, ultimately leaving America in the role of invader and occupier, for an indefinite amount of time.

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Via RT…

Despite President Donald Trump’s promises to withdraw American troops out of Syria, the US intends to maintain presence on the ground with a “small peacekeeping group” for an unspecified “period” of time, the White House said.

“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement without elaborating.

Trump took the world by surprise back in December, when he announced the US withdrawal from Syria without specifying a timetable. The initiative was not well received in the Pentagon, even forcing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign after clashing with Trump, as both the generals and politicians have been claiming that US presence in Syria is vital and that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group would inevitably reemerge if all of some 2,000 Americans leave.

The US withdrawal is being stalled by concerns about potential Turkish incursion into the territories currently controlled by the US-backed Syrian Kurds. On Thursday, Trump had another phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the issue. Washington wants Turkey to agree to a buffer ‘safe zone’ in northeastern Syria and is also contemplating arming the Syrian Kurds, despite Ankara’s strong opposition.

While the US continues its diplomatic maneuvering, some noted the irony, wondering if the White House was using the term ‘peacekeeping’ correctly or was even aware of what it actually means. Others questioned the logic and the motive of maintaining such a contingent on the ground, noting that 200 troops could serve as a human shield, but is unlikely to really sway the outcome of the conflict.

Traditionally, the term peacekeeping has been used to describe the UN Blue Helmets whose missions are strictly mandated by the Security Council. American troops, however, hardly have any legal basis to remain in Syria, as they had never been invited by the official government in Damascus.

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