President Donald Trump’s decision to declare ISIS defeated and order a full US withdrawal from Syria has been met with anger and disbelief by the Washington establishment that hoped for regime change in Damascus.
Trump declared victory over Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on Wednesday morning, as media reported that some 2,000 or so US troops will leave Syria within 60 to 100 days. Though Trump had openly spoken about wanting to leave Syria back in March, senior officials in his administration have said that US forces would stay there indefinitely.
CNN’s Jake Tapper reacted to the announcement by quoting an anonymous Pentagon official who saw it as a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Responding to this, a Pentagon official asks me: “so when does Russia announce their victory?” https://t.co/1kWL3XH9oT
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 19, 2018
Hillary Clinton’s former foreign policy adviser Jesse Lehrich bemoaned that the withdrawal would embolden Syrian President Bashar Assad and strengthen Russia and Iran, while leaving the US-allied Kurdish militias “once again hung out to dry.”
there are no easy answers in Syria & getting troops home is a worthy goal, but…
1) this is a lie — the Pentagon says so.
2) abrupt withdrawal will not only breathe new life into ISIS, but also amounts to a dangerous abandonment of our allies & strategic goals in the region. https://t.co/w4wUk1ap2U
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) December 19, 2018
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), known as a foreign policy hawk, also disagreed with a withdrawal, calling it a “colossal” mistake and a “grave error that’s going to have significant repercussions in the years and months to come.”
Rubio echoed Lehrich’s assessment that the US withdrawal would turn Syria over to Russia and Iran, adding that it might lead to another conflict between Israel and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and lend strength to the (hypothetical) argument by Russia and China that Washington is an “unreliable ally.”
Sen. Rubio: “The decision to withdraw an American presence in Syria is a colossal, in my mind, mistake — a grave error that’s going to have significant repercussions in the years and months to come.” https://t.co/bAqgAlxw2rpic.twitter.com/4qZ3hmn1DW
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 19, 2018
Another foreign policy hawk, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said the pullout would be “a huge Obama-like mistake,” enabling the revival of IS and putting the Kurds at risk.
With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and after just returning from visiting there — certainly not Afghanistan.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 19, 2018
The Atlantic Council’s resident Syria expert, Faysal Itani, was likewise glum in his predictions.
“I expect ISIS will be back in some form within a year, and expelling Iran from Syria will not be achieved if the US is not in Syria at all,” he told the UAE-based The National, adding that a more likely outcome would be “a possible military confrontation between Turkey and the Kurds, at least in the border area, if Russia allows that.”
The Washington Post’s foreign policy editor Jackson Diehl wondered how Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton felt about the withdrawal, given his recent statements about the US staying in Syria as long as any Iranian-backed forces were there, meaning indefinitely.
I wonder how John Bolton is feeling this morning. It’s been less than three months since he announced the US would not leave Syria unless and until Iran did. https://t.co/Mwck57QeR1
— Jackson Diehl (@JacksonDiehl) December 19, 2018
Critics of the US involvement in Syria, however, cheered on the news of the withdrawal, pointing out that the real mistake was Washington getting involved in the attempt to overthrow the government in Damascus in the first place.
Um…Lindsey? Take your meds. Obama is the moron who got us INTO Syria. So getting us OUT of Syria would by definition NOT be an “Obama-like” mistake. https://t.co/91dHqwmp84
— Daniel McAdams (@DanielLMcAdams) December 19, 2018
If the #US pull out all its forces from the north-east of #Syria, and I mean ALL, this is time to celebrate for all Syrians and declare the day of the last US soldier withdrawal THE independence day.
The main source of trouble to the ME claim it is pulling out? Am I dreaming?
— Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai) December 19, 2018
One satirical news site perhaps put it best, “reporting” that both the left and the right were taking aim at Trump for “breaking with the longstanding American tradition of remaining in Middle Eastern countries indefinitely.”
Trump Criticized For Breaking With Longstanding American Tradition Of Remaining In Middle Eastern Countries Indefinitelyhttps://t.co/kI7n27dCTCpic.twitter.com/BRq0XhBxpd
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) December 19, 2018
Washington to Continue to Pressure Damascus, Tehran After US Troops Leave Syria
US President Donald Trump did not discuss in advance his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a senior US official told reporters on Wednesday.
“President [Trump] and President Erdogan speak regularly,” the official said on Wednesday. “The President had made his own decision. It was not something he discussed with President Erdogan. He has informed President Erdogan of his decision as a neighbor of Syria. Obviously, it’s going to be an important issue for Turkey but this was not a topic of discussion, it was informational.”
Meanwhile, the United States will continue to vigorously utilize all tools available to affect the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Iranian supporters after the American troops are withdrawn from the Middle Eastern country, a senior administration official told reporters.”We will continue to robustly employ the broader tools that we have across the government to try to affect the behavior the Assad regime, of his Iranian enablers,” the official said on Wednesday.
READ MORE: Turkey, Russia to Play Stronger Roles In Syria After US Troops Pullout — SNC
On Tuesday, the White House announced removal of all troops deployed in Syria, and the Pentagon said they have already started the process of returning US servicemen home. All State Department staff will evacuate from Syria within 24 hours, and the armed forces will be withdrawn in a period of 60 to 100 days, according to media reports.
A senior administration official also told reporters that the US Defense Department is currently working on a timeline for the US forces’ pullout from Syria.”Our understanding is that we will be doing this re-positioning of troops and assets in an orderly fashion,” the official said on Wednesday. “The timeline is being designed, and I am going to refer you to the Pentagon on the logistics and the process for that, because they are working on it right now.”
Meanwhile, Moscow would like to clarify what the United States means by the “next phase” of its Syria campaign which has been announced after the withdrawal of the US troops from the Middle Eastern country has been declared, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said.
READ MORE: Syria Militants Create Hotbeds of Terror in Africa — Russian Security Council
“The United States has said that it had switched to a new phase, an unknown phase. There are no details but it allegedly includes the withdrawal of troops … Of course, we would like to understand what this new phase and the new stage of the Syria campaign entails. And may it not turn out the way it happened in Afghanistan. You know this better than me. [The United States said] no, we fully withdraw the troops, and now we send them back. And this has been happening for years,” Zakharova told Channel One broadcaster.The diplomat noted that the US withdrawal from Syria was “a return to the norms of the international law.”
“I would like to remind you that they stayed there illegally, despite all the loud statements on the fight against the IS[Daesh],” Zakharova pointed out.
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“Fury IN Washington”?
I think the only people mad about removing our Troops from harm’s way are:
Dual US-Israeli “politicians”
Congressmen bought and paid for by Sheldon Adelson
200,000 Hasbara Trolls
It’s really very simple. Erdogan and Putin both want the US out of Syria so they cooked it up. Erdogan makes to buy Russia’s S400 system. Trump can’t let that happen so he offers Erdogan a deal, You agree to buy our Patriot system instead and we’ll leave Syria to you. Shake. Trump announces the troop withdrawal and Erdogan agrees a 3 billion Patriot purchase. Trump has done what he promised in this campaign, Putin has Syria, and Erdogan is free to batter the Kurds. A good deal for everyone?
He gets credit when it happens, not when he says it. Words of a president have never meant less.
But, it is the right thing to do.
One must not trust this statement at face value. Some good reporters must follow each of the 2000 Americans from the instant they leave Syria to the instant they arrive home on some street in USA and also verify some other American Soldiers are not returning to take their places at the same time. Do you believe him? Why should we? Isn’t lying his daily routine?
Could it be that this has all been one giant bluff all along like we used to do decades ago in our weekly poker games in a friend’s basement and Trump finally awoke to the stark reality that NY or LA or SF could be in ashes tomorrow because Putin wasn’t bluffing this time? Could it even be that Israel has been hung out to dry? How do we know the bully US was not bluffing all the time? How long has it been since they really won any war honestly on a battlefield?
By the way how did the four star generals do “defending” America from that “terrorist” attack on 9/11/01 over 17 years ago? Were any of those planes we all observed strike the towers intercepted and’ or shot down by our fighter jets? Did you observe any of our fighter jets in the sky that day to defend our country? What happened? Why weren’t the four star generals required to testify under oath at public hearings regarding their dismal failure to defend this country from attack when they have been provided virtually unlimited resources to do so? Isn’t something very very wrong in Dodge? Why were they permitted to quietly retire on lavish pensions despite their dismal failure?
41 is done
There are persons at a higher pay grade than Netanyahu (and Adelson for that matter) that Trump needs to report to. Another piece of circumstantial evidence that Israel may have outlived its usefulness.
I think the US Military was only there to protect Israeli occupied territory i.e. the Golan Heights. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are heavily funded by AIPAC, the Jew Lobbyists, and are obligated to do their bidding.
Israel needs to return to its illegal squatters (1948) borders immediately or there will never be peace in the Middle East.
Withdraw to come home or to Ukraine ? Or Afghanistan ? Or several of the N.Africa nations where our Special Forces have been operating for years ? Iraq ..?
While of course the morally correct decision on many levels for the US to pull its illegal occupation forces out of Syria, one wonders why it was made.
An extraordinary decision all considered. Maybe the Joint Chiefs cleared the smoke just enough to allow some clear daylight into the tactical equation of what was almost sure to be a confrontation with Russia in the coming weeks. The big question now is: IRAN. Or has that too become an irrelevancy, an innocuous bobbing buoy in the Straits of Hormuz? Or maybe for Israel something as piddling as Hezbollah will engage their attention with subterranean subterfuge. The war drums along the Potomac are pounding loud to the cowardly shrill voices of cretins who never heard a shot fired in anger; the abject filth of humanity – two faced, double dealing, dual citizen non-entities – neither one thing nor the other – in a word, nothing; the tale of any political career akin to that of a gormless fool, a spineless toad belching venom:
“a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” (Macbeth V, v – Shakespeare)
And Bibi – poor Bibi having an unfortunate time of it lately is left virtually alone to face the foe, any and all things forward of his big toe that can to stomped to a martial beat by his zionist zombies in fatigues that might be Abercrombie and Fitch and here and there in the ranks ring and sing words by Sonny and Cher* everyone heady and ready for war until they hit the skids maybe after killing women and kids of Qana in nightclothes recalling those deaths at Sabra and Shatila and a hundred other places of children-in-arms of dead mothers’ murdered ultimately by political complaisance that allowed satanic AIPAC to disgrace and deface us. Ah, the rich hypocrisy of ‘poor Israel’.
*”And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da”
“In response to the U.S.announcement regarding withdrawal from Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented that in discussions with Trump on Monday and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, “The American administration . . . made it clear that they have other ways of expressing their influence in the area. This is, of course, an American decision. We will study its timetable, how it will be implemented and – of course – its implications for us. In any case we will take care to maintain the security of Israel and to defend ourselves in this area.”
Earlier in the year, a phone call between Netanyahu and Trump reportedly became strained over Israel’s rejection of the U.S.’ six-month Syria exit plan, according to an Associated Press report.”
Evidently Israel Lover Trump cleared this with Netanyahu.
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