With Syria, the Senate Neocons Are at It Again

U.S. Army soldiers from the 1-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, watch helicopters at Combat Outpost Terra Nova
A scene from America’s endless war in Afghanistan (Council on Foreign Relations)

Ronald Enzweiler

The current brouhaha in the U.S. Senate (and the larger neocon community) over President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria is a repeat performance of the passion play that the same actors performed earlier this year when Trump first announced his intention to make good on his campaign promise to get our country out of its endless wars.  In the leading role for the neocons last time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a speech on the Senate floor on January 19, 2019 excoriating Trump for doing what he told the electorate he would do if he was elected president.

Having been an interloper in our country’s national security state, I know how things work in Washington and the tactics the pro-war political establishment uses to sell the public on its interventionist foreign policy and endless wars.  I wrote a book (When Will We Ever Learn?) on this subject based on my personal experiences.

As this drama plays out again, I’ve excerpted passages from my book that reveal the modus operandi the neocons used last time for overruling President Trump in determining U.S. military policy.  My critique of Senator McConnell’s speech is as pertinent now in exposing the fallacious thinking underlying the neocons’ current “stay forever” battle cry for Syria as it was in the brawl Trump lost to the neocons earlier this year when he wanted to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan after 18 years.  Let’s hope the president learned from that defeat.

It’s now “game on” in round two of this battle.  The same players are back.  Senator McConnell is even using the word “precipitous” again.  Get your popcorn out and let’s see who wins this round in this heavyweight bout.

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We’ve already seen [earlier in my book] how the national security state sandbagged a Democrat president in his role as Commander-in-Chief in the conduct of the Afghan war.  Let’s now see how Washington elites are trying to sandbag a Republican president in his attempt to end this 18-year long war – despite President Trump’s vow in his presidential campaign and strong public support in the polls for getting all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

The neocon foreign policy establishment used three of its most prominent members to maintain their control over national security matters: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Richard Haass; and James Dobbins, Senior Fellow at the Rand Corporation.  Mr. Dobbins was the lead author of the 15-page Rand Report dated January 7, 2019, Consequences of a Precipitous U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan.  (Take note of the word “precipitous” in this title.)

For those who don’t recognize the name, Rand Corporation is a charter member of the national security state insiders’ club.  Military history buffs might recall Rand wrote the Pentagon Papers for the DoD in the late 1960s.  They were the War State’s obvious go-to think-tank for this important assignment on Afghan war policy.

First, let’s see what Senator McConnell had to say about President Trump’s decision to start pulling U.S troops out of Afghanistan and Syria.  Below are remarks Senator McConnell made on the Senate floor on January 31, 2019.

“Simply put, while it is tempting to retreat to the comfort and security of our own shores, there is still a great deal of work to be done,” McConnell said. “And we know that left untended these conflicts will reverberate in our own cities.”

The United States is not the “world’s policeman,” it is the “leader of the free world” and must continue to lead a global coalition against terrorism and stand by allies engaged in the fight. He also stressed the importance of coordination between the White House and Congress to “develop long-term strategies in both nations, including a thorough accounting of the risks of withdrawing too hastily.”

“My amendment would acknowledge the plain fact that al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to our nation.” McConnell said his amendment “would recognize the danger of a precipitous withdrawal from either conflict and highlights the need for diplomatic engagement and political solutions to the underlying conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan.”

Notice the word “precipitous” in the Leader’s remarks.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that the title of the Rand Report is Consequences of a Precipitous U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan?  Obviously, Mitch got the memo from neocon headquarters.

He even got in the “we’re not the world’s policeman” line.  In Washington-speak, this is called “a non-denial denial.”  It translates to: “I’m really doing what I say I am not doing, but I can’t admit it, or you would catch on to how duplicitous I am.”  I’ve hung around with Washington swamp creatures too long to know that this professed denial is really an affirmation.

The line “we know that left untended these conflicts will reverberate in our own cities” is also classic neocon-speak.  It’s meant to scare the public.  But what it really does is reveal the flawed logic in their interventionist foreign policy doctrine.  The U.S. builds military bases around the world, starts wars, deposes governments, and occupies other countries – this is the interventionist foreign policy Senator McConnell champions as the head neocon in the U.S. Senate.  But the local nationals affected by this U.S. militarism don’t like a foreign power meddling in their part of the world, changing their governments, and interfering with their way of life.  (Who would?)

The obvious way to avoid blowback “in our cities” is for the U.S. to stop intervening in centuries-old ethnic, religious and territorial disputes in other parts of the world.  Not realizing this cause and effect (or simply ignoring it), Senator McConnell’s solution is to “stay the course.”  In neocon-speak, this means sending in more troops, intensifying bombing, and increasing extrajudicial drone killings.  These actions only worsen the conflicts, causing the U.S. to sink deeper into quagmires.

Predictably, Senator McConnell’s amendment passed the Senate on a 63-28 non-binding vote, proving that bipartisanship isn’t dead in Washington when it comes to authorizing endless wars.  This vote just shows how out of touch our elected officials are with the electorate as well as the power of the pro-military and pro-war lobby in Washington.

The other character on the neocon’s tag-team to undercut the President on his Afghan exit plan is Richard Haass, CFR President.  Mr. Haass was a senior State Department official in the first term of the Bush administration when the Iraq war began.  He’s one of several media savvy spokespersons for the national security state who apparently was charged with getting the word out on the Rand Report and endorsing its conclusion.

On the day after the report came out, Mr. Haass tweeted to his 150,000 followers:

“This report has it right: winning is not an option in Afghanistan (nor is peace) but losing (and renewed terrorism) is if we pull out U.S. forces any time soon.  We should stay with smaller numbers and reduced level of activity.”  Twitter, January 18, 2019.

In sum, even though there’s no chance of winning, America needs to keep fighting.  How do they sell this nonsense?

This was a three-step process.  First, the “let’s stay in Afghanistan forever” doctrine was composed by Mr. Dobbins in the Rand Report.  It was next preached by CFR President Haass. And finally, it was ordained by Senate Majority Leader McConnell in his speech on the Senate floor with the hallelujah chorus being the 63 “yes” votes for his resolution.

Picking up the trio’s “let’s stay in Afghanistan forever” cue, guest op-eds and editorial board columns appeared in the usual pro-War State newspapers advocating the neocon position. Media talking heads – as semiofficial spokespersons for the Washington national security state – echoed the neocons’ talking points on this issue.

This modius operandi for keeping the national security state in charge of foreign and military policy – and its untouchable $1-trillion-plus/year War State budget– has been going on since the Kennedy presidency.  Michael Swanson documents how this takeover evolved in his  book War State.  Most times, the story being sold (e.g., keep U.S. troops in Syria; stay in NATO after it became obsolete; continue the DoD’s $300-billion unworkable missile-defense program) is a front for the national security state’s real objectives (e.g., maintain U.S. influence in the Middle East to keep Israel’s supporters happy; keep the Cold War alive with Russia as an adversary; and fund make-work projects for defense contractors).

This duplicity is how business is done in Washington.  It’s an insiders’ game where what’s good for the American people and U.S. national security is, at best, a secondary consideration.  Among the Washington ruling class, what counts most is retaining power by keeping big donors happy.  And if that means endless wars, so be it.

Mr. Enzweiler, who served in the US Air Force in the 1970s, has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, serving seven years (2007-2014) as a field-level civilian advisor for the US government in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  Now retired, he has written a book (When Will We Ever Learn?) that critiques US foreign and military policy.

45 thoughts on “With Syria, the Senate Neocons Are at It Again

  1. There are two other points that could be tacked onto Mr. Enzweiler’s blog. The first is the Wall Street-Security-Military-Industrial-Complex, which owns the majority of the Legislative Branch of Congress. Second is, it is not enough to control the resources of the world they can be denied to others too.

    The Entertainment Media FOX, CNN and MSDNC will have the usual parade of “experts” on to tell us we must “stay the course”. The Titanic is heading for the ice berg – by Gawd Stay the Course.

    We know one thing from History, the Middle East since writing began has been a hodge podge of kingdoms and empires constantly at war with one other. Historically, even when an Empire has established control like the Persians, Alexander, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, or the Turks, the natives get restless and revolts take place. If the central authority of an Empire weakens and collapses, the natives are back on the war path, among each other – Turf Wars.

    The power of the Neo-Cons is great. Bitch McConnell and Lindsey Grahman are almost 99.9% on the side of President Agent Orange, that the schism is so open is a sign of the Neo-Con Power.

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    1. Yes, it’s becoming more and more obvious that this Military Security Complex owns Trump, but I wonder why is Mr McConnell called Moscow Mitch (and Putin’s bitch) if he is a neo-con, and a neo-con leader at that as Mr Enzweiler writes.

      I thought the neo-cons hated Putin. And if they hate Putin, how can Moscow Mitch be a neo-con ? And if he is a neo-con, why did he block the new round of sanctions against Russia ?

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      1. I realize that such matters have escaped you, Mollusk, but the word-like noise, “Russian,” if uttered by an American politician, simply means “bad” when hurled as an epithet at anyone, for any reason, concerning any thing. Both of the Property Party’s right-wing factions now employ the epithet against the other faction if that seems to fit in with their naked, self-serving opportunism at any given moment. As Sheldon Wolin wrote in Democracy, Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (2006):

        In a one-party state, politics is, in effect, “privatized,” dissociated from the practices of citizenship and confined within the party, where it takes the form of intramural rivalries for the privileges of power and status. It is a politics that never goes public except to orchestrate unanimity.”

        Worth repeating and memorizing: “one-party state” and “Intramural rivalries for the privileges of power and status” and “politics that never goes public except to orchestrate unanimity.” It doesn’t get more clear and simple than that. Both right-wing factions now seek to orchestrate a public unanimity around the scurrilous slander and libel of anything that can even remotely connect with something “Russian.” Weak. Lame. Pathetic. But the U.S. has little else left with which to console itself as it falls further and further behind a world that considers America stark raving mad.

        Both right-wing factions have heavily invested themselves in what they hope to gin up as a means of keeping themselves in power and close to all the career and post-career goodies: namely, another Cold War, or FEAR ITSELF, in FDR’s memorable phrase. Since neither of the two blended and melded factions can now distance themselves from the fabulous, fictitious narrative that they, themselves, have constructed, they must each try to “out-Russia-bait” the other, just as Southern politicians like Strom Thurman used to say about not letting a political rival “out-nigger” him.

        As the 2016 campaign and election demonstrated to anyone interested in observing, the American electorate doesn’t know anything about the Russian Federation, its people, or it’s government. Americans largely couldn’t give a rat’s ass what Russians think or don’t think about real-life conditions in the United States. As a matter of fact, the Republican Donald Trump ran to the left — in the direction of the center of the country — promising peace and jobs, while the Democrat You-Know-Her ran to the right, promising more job-killing trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP while threatening to impose a no-fly zone over Syria which would have resulted in open warfare with the Russian Federation and rapid escalation into WWIII. The American electorate largely went with Trump as a result. They will support President Trump again if he actually comes through with any of those promised jobs and withdrawals from stupid imperial bloodletting exercises.

        Having lived through the original Nixon-McCarthy Red-baiting in the 1950s and 1960s, I recognize the squalid bi-partisan mud-slinging at work here. Yet I think it won’t have the same staying power because the easy post-war prosperity that sustained it doesn’t exist in the United States any longer. Trying to stoke Cold War 2.0 with “Russia” baiting .0005 will not work, or at least not for any appreciable length of time. This dreary prognostication, however, will not dissuade Rachel Maddow, the DNC, the CIA, the FBI, and a bi-partisan Congress from flogging “Russia” as the fountainhead of all perfidy and power in this world.

        As Count Dracula — in the movie Love at First Bite — said to Dr Jeffrey Rosenberg who kept trying to bait him in front of his girlfriend, Cindy Sondheim:

        “You are getting to be a bore, Rosenberg.”

        True in 2016 and, I suspect, equally true in 2020.

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        1. You have a point there, Mr Murry, I also believe that there’s too much screaming about Russia.
          And nobody officially questions the Hungarian connection, which is pretty much obvious nevertheless.
          Like the great RW Emerson said “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” That trail should be thoroughly investigated, as the breadcrumbs lead to very interesting places and people.

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          1. Breadcrumbs, indeed. Although, as happened in the fable of Hansel and Gretel, birds ate the breadcrumbs so that the two little kids couldn’t find their way home and wound up captives of the wicked cannibalistic witch. Fortunately for Attorney General William Barr and Investigator John Durham (both recently in Rome tracking down the notorious Professor Mifsud of “Steele Dossier” — i.e., MI-6 — fame) the enormous flows of money greasing the four-lane “trails” converging in Ukraine make it child’s play for even a nightclub comedian to follow the story. “Follow the Money” always makes more investigative sense than looking for breadcrumbs that hungry little birds have probably already eaten.

            Anyway, Jimmy Dore and Company have a field day lampooning just some of those who took the beaten path AND stupidly left a trail that a blind man could follow just by sense of smell. See: Democrats Deep Ties To Russia & Ukraine Corruption!, The Jimmy Dore Show (October 12, 2019)

            See also: Why Trump Has No Fear Of Impeachment, The Jimmy Dore Show (October 11, 2019)

            Just as a final, passing note, let us never forget that the Obama administration committed two monstrous crimes when they (1) “successfully” overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in 2014, launching a bloody civil war in that country and (2) tried but failed to overthrow the UN-recognized government of Syria. The Sordid Arabians and Zionist Occupation of Palestine demanded that the U.S. commit the second of these crimes in service to those “countries” own interests; while the ubiquitous, bi-partisan “Washington Consensus” — i.e., fuck the Russians and “Shock Doctrine” loot the Ukraine — demanded that the U.S. commit the first. President Obama and his administration supinely obeyed. Now, not just the proverbial chickens, but every fabulous foul creature imaginable has begun coming home to roost in the Imperial Potomac Swamp. So much raw sewage to wade through. Who will drain even a teaspoon full of it?

            “… a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
            Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
            A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
            A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
            Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
            Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

            And what rough beast, it’s hour come round at last
            Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?” — W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming.”

            President George W. Bush unleashed the Rough Beast in 2003. President Barack Obama promised to put it back into its crypt but instead gave it a new lease on life and handed it off, re-energized, to President Donald Trump. And just when Trump shows signs of getting even the slightest handle on the foul creature, he meets nothing but resistance and vilification from those who feast on the Rough Beast’s leftovers while shedding crocodile tears for its savagery.

            The U.S. “government” has crawled up its own ass and died. And it didn’t even need a half-blind wicked witch to trick it into licking the insides of its own intestines.

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    2. Yes to your two additional points: (1) The ownership of the U.S. government — and many other imperial vassal governments as well — by enormous financial interests and (2) the denial of resources — necessary for economic national development — to others. You know: “Full Spectrum Dominance” as America’s medal-encrusted war-workers like to call their fevered dream of actually accomplishing something by blowing things up. As Noam Chomski has pointed out, Big Money and The Zionist Occupation of Palestine have more to do with influencing U.S. elections than anything done by anyone else, except possibly the candidates (if ugly enough) themselves.

      And of course, the concentrated corporate media — thanks to President Bill Clinton’s deregulation of the broadcast industry — can now blanket the U.S. population with heavy-handed propaganda “talking points” distributed daily for regurgitation by courtier stenographers grovelling for “access” to those anonymous “sources” who shamelessly lie to them and — through them — to us.

      And yes, too, in regards to collapsing empires marked by breakouts of local Turf Wars as the Imperial Constabulary loses its ability to enforce obedience. This we can see happening now, if we care to look. But a subject population that raises its collective head and actively looks around for clear signs of encroaching reality does not sit well with Empire’s minions who have started to panic at the thought of losing their command of The Agreed-Upon Fictional Narrative.

      But as to the alleged “power” of the so-called “Neo-Conservatives” like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham of the U.S. Senate, they have eager and willing company in the “Neo-Liberals” like the Clintons and Obamas. Even Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilhan Omar (of The Squad) — ostensibly “progressive” — also buy into and help propagate the myth that presidentially pimped out U.S. war-workers cannot ever — at least in this lifetime — cease prostituting themselves for the interests of squabbling foreign “tribes” (code word for “transnational corporate stockholders”).

      To my knowledge, only Tulsi Gabbard of the current Democratic party presidential candidates has actually travelled to Syria and spoken to several of the contending forces there, including the UN recognized government administered by President (and former opthamologist) Bashar Al Assad. Her policy in this instance coincides with that of President Trump in withdrawing America’s pimped-out war-workers from that war-ravaged (courtesy of the U.S., Turkey, and Sordid Arabia) country. In the forthcoming primary debates, I suspect that she will face hostile attacks by the debate “moderators” and other candidates. I look forward to seeing if she can keep her cool, avoid accepting loaded premises as “factual,” and artfully step outside the transparent, hysterical “frame” into which so many others, of both right-wing political factions, have foolishly plunged. On the other hand, if the bipartisan war-agitators can bully even her into mouthing stupid and bankrupt imperial talking points, then I’ll concede that only the monumental ego of Donald Trump has a chance of getting America out of at least one of its stupid, pointless Ordnance Expenditure Exercises [I refuse to dignify these imperial, corporate farces as “wars”).

      Anyway, and again as to your remarks about empires: the “neo-conservatives” and the “neo-liberals” have seamlessly melded into a Monolithic Property Party with two right-wings, as Gore Vidal said quite some time ago. And the Property he referred to does not exist solely in the fictional “homeland” — certainly not in the actual territory of the United States — but throughout a global empire open to systematic plunder by a transnational corporatist oligarchy more loyal and committed to fellow oligarchs in imperial vassal marketing territories and population containment zones than to the citizens of any one “country.” As Michael Parenti has noted, we make a fundamental mistake when we resort to using the “nation state” as our unit of analysis. Such quaint relics of a bygone era no longer exist other than as scripted, choreographed Kabuki Theater productions for those who will passively accept glittering illusions in preference to grubby reality. As Michael Parenti also notes: “Foreign aid is when poor people in a rich country give money to rich people in a poor country.” The globally dispersed but tightly connected Rich give to themselves anywhere while exploiting the Working Poor everywhere.

      Finally, the CIA, Pentagram, Congress, and the Concentrated Corporate Media will collude, conspire, and coordinate in every possible way in a bureaucratic death struggle with President Trump — or any other U.S. President — should he or she try to command our pimped-out war-workers to withdraw from anywhere. President Trump’s phone call to the leader of a looted-and-collapsing, wholly owned flunkie-vassal territory like Ukraine has nothing to do with the real issues here. The Empire has struck out, and its self-promoting “Storm Troopers” have produced nothing but another shabby little squall.

      If they knew what to do, they’d have done it already. If they could have, they would have; but they didn’t, so they can’t. Time’s up.

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      1. Within a few days of Gabbard announcing her presidential bid, DisInfo 2018, part of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, found that three of the top 15 URLs shared by the 800 social media accounts affiliated with known and suspected Russian propaganda operations directed at U.S. citizens were about Gabbard.

        Analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted “chatter” related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns. The chatter discussed Gabbard’s usefulness.
        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/russia-s-propaganda-machine-discovers-2020-democratic-candidate-tulsi-gabbard-n964261

        – And lo and behold: a nest of Russian propagandists (actually they’re mostly Hungarian but they’re always praising Putin) who are right wing white nationalists and even some neo-nazis promoting Tulsi:
        https://www.realms.chat/t/7650617298

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        1. And other Russian propagandists pretending to be leftists and promoting RT and antisemitism:
          https://disqus.com/by/kathleen_garvey/
          aka https://disqus.com/by/deemic/
          aka https://disqus.com/by/disqus_Yd7xFEoCXV/

          And Russia promoter troll Lyttenburgh
          aka https://disqus.com/by/rwemersonii/

          I have a list with a few hundreds of them, many of them Hungarians like these two. Their employer won in Syria but is beginning to lose in Hungary, despite moving there over one thousand FSB and GRU operatives (officially).

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  2. It’s quite amazing to me today: the old 1%ers of the 1920’s. Traveling on glorious ocean liners the owners hardly could afford, so were “helped” by various governments. (AH! Check out ss Normandie!) Made stupid investments, but never war. What it all crashed, FDR helped the “deplorables” of his time, and helped American infrastructure in the deal. He cleaned up the corrupt banking system, but NEVER bailed out the 1%ers. I’ve never believed WW2 got US out of Depression: it was FDR’s sound revision of the banking system. It thrived in the 50’s till the 70’s – until the wars started, and they ruined FDR’s banking laws. Styling & quality no longer mattered, that gave US people jobs! It was international robbery of resources. Remember the gas crisis of 1973? It helped no one but the 1%ers.
    Anyway, great post. Will read Michael Swanson’s ‘War State’.
    Sorry folks: I’m just an old SOB, who likes Positive Results compared to failures like “Rand”, “Hass” etc. I HATE LOSERS!

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  3. It’s a remarkable and revealing thing that leading Republicans like Mitch (Mister Turtle) McConnell and Lindsey (I’m just a poor white bachelor) Graham only dare to criticize Trump when he tries to end wasteful American military commitments.

    Of course, the Democrats too join the bipartisan attack squad about “betraying the Kurds.” When did American politicians come to love and embrace the Kurds? They didn’t help us at Normandy, as Trump said.

    The war lobby is so powerful that only a man like Trump can hazard withdrawing troops. At least they’re not calling him a wimp (like they would if any Democrat had done this).

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    1. About those Democrats joining the bi-partisan attack squad about “betraying the Kurds,” did you see this, Bill? I typed up a sort of transcript and will post it here for those who would like a written record for future reference. See: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard slams the DNC, explains why she might boycott the 4th debate, The Rising (October 11, 2019). WTF?

      [Begin partial transcript]

      [Moderator 1]: “Right after President Trump announced the official withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, Turkey launched a military assault on that region according to a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Warplanes began air strikes on Wednesday.

      [Moderator 2]: “President Trump has apparently told the American military not to get involved. In another development, there are reportedly plans from House Republicans to introduce a sanctions bill against Turkey. Joining us via Skype to discuss what’s happening in Syria and other news, is presidential candidate and U.S. veteran Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Congresswoman, we really appreciate it.”

      Representative Tulsi Gabbard: “Thank you both. Great to see you.”

      [Moderator 2] “First, your reaction to this news out of Syria. I know you’ve been outspoken on this issue for many years. There’s bi-partisan agreement in Washington that this is a bad idea. Your thoughts, Congresswoman.”

      Representative Tulsi Gabbard: “Let’s go back to December of 2018 when Trump said that he was going to withdraw all our troops from Syria. I put out a tweet at that time saying that we need to bring our troops home BUT [emphasis mine — always a “BUT” disclaimer] the withdrawal needs to be done in a responsible way. What we’ve seen happen here with Trump’s decision is neither. Our troops are still in Syria. He’s not withdrawing them from that country. All that he’s done is remove them from the Northern border of Syria really laying out a red carpet, a green light, for Erdogan and Turkey to launch an ethnic cleansing, an offensive against the Kurds, slaughtering them, which has happened now. How we got here is important. Trump and his administration have lied to the Kurds for so long, saying that “We’re going to be here for you. We’re going to support you. We’re going to provide you with the protection that you need, blocking them and preventing them from negotiating with or reconciling with the Syrian government to form a common defense of the northern border with Syria against the Turkish invasion. And this is the problem that we find ourselves in now, is because of this, because of Trump’s failure to end the regime-change war in Syria, the Kurds now are paying the price.”

      [shows screenshot of Tulsi Gabbard tweet from October 9, 2019]

      The Kurds are just another casualty of this regime change war which is supported by war-mongering Republicans, Democrats, and corporate media.

      The hypocrisy of war-mongers like Nikki Haley, Senator Graham & others who have demanded that we continue our regime change war in Syria, who are now crying crocodile tears for the Kurds, is nauseating. Starving the Syrian people through draconian sanctions … (4/5)
      … strengthening terrorists like AQ and ISIS, wasting billions of dollars, creating a refugee crisis, & now this impending genocide & ethnic cleansing of the Kurds – the warmongers consider these costs to be a small price to pay in their effort to change the Syrian regime. (5/5)

      [Moderator 1]: “What does a responsible exit plan look like in your opinion, Congresswoman?”

      “If that had happened back when Trump first announced his withdrawal, it would have allowed the Kurds to do what they wanted to do. They were seeking and trying to get negotiations with Syria, Russia, and even Iran, the countries that are active within that region to try and form some kind of security agreement, some kind of reconciliation, but Trump and his administration were blocking those talks or any kind of deal from occurring. So now, this is what’s happening as a result.”

      [End partial transcript]

      More stuff follows with Representative Gabbard (1) folding to the Impeach-Trump hysteria, (2) possibly boycotting the upcoming debates after I donated $25 from my little social security check to help her qualify, and (3) regurgitating all the “kindness” dreck spewed by Ellen DeGeneris towards Deputy Dubya Bush while sharing a VIP box at a Dallas Cowboys football game. Jimmy Dore does a scathing take off on this, See:

      Ellen Defends Hanging With War Criminals, The Jimmy Dore Show (October 9, 2019)

      I think you have it right, Bill. With Tulsi turning into just another play-it-safe crocodile-tear dispenser, it will take an unscrupulous opportunist and monumental ego like Donald Trump to get even a few of our pimped-out war-workers home from Syria, if not Afghanistan and many other foreign hell holes. “Responsibly” or “Irresponsibly.” Just get it done. Time’s up. The Kurds will rejoin Syria, the country they tried to help dismember or they’ll have to die fighting Turkey. They made their bed with Obama, Sordid Arabia, and the Apartheid Zionist Entity. Bad decision. The American people don’t owe them anything.

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      1. 1. I think Tulsi attends the debate, Mike. She needs the platform and publicity.
        2. If “W” Bush is a war criminal, isn’t Obama too? With his kill lists, his drone killings, even of a U.S. citizen?
        3. It’s amazing to me how Bush went from being the “village idiot” to a respected statesman, apparently because of Trump’s singular vulgarity.
        4. Not sure why Tulsi is spreading the Aloha spirit with Ellen and W. Maybe she figures she can afford to make only so many enemies. She is, after all, a politician. But I think she has more principles than most of them.

        Overall, I’m a Bernie supporter first, Tulsi second.

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        1. What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?
          As she injects chaos into the 2020 Democratic primary by accusing her own party of “rigging” the election, an array of alt-right internet stars, white nationalists and Russians have praised her.

          WASHINGTON — Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, is impressed with her political talent. Richard B. Spencer, the white nationalist leader, says he could vote for her. Former Representative Ron Paul praises her “libertarian instincts,” while Franklin Graham, the influential evangelist, finds her “refreshing.”

          And far-right conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich see a certain MAGA sais quoi.

          “She’s got a good energy, a good vibe. You feel like this is just a serious person,” Mr. Cernovich said. “She seems very Trumpian.”

          Among her fellow Democrats, Representative Tulsi Gabbard has struggled to make headway as a presidential candidate, barely cracking the 2 percent mark in the polls needed to qualify for Tuesday night’s debate. She is now injecting a bit of chaos into her own party’s primary race, threatening to boycott that debate to protest what she sees as a “rigging” of the 2020 election. That’s left some Democrats wondering what, exactly, she is up to in the race, while others worry about supportive signs from online bot activity and the Russian news media.

          Then there is 4chan, the notoriously toxic online message board, where some right-wing trolls and anti-Semites fawn over Ms. Gabbard, calling her “Mommy” and praising her willingness to criticize Israel. In April, the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, took credit for Ms. Gabbard’s qualification for the first two Democratic primary debates.

          Ms. Gabbard has disavowed some of her most hateful supporters, castigating the news media for giving “any oxygen at all” to the endorsement she won from the white nationalist leader David Duke. But her frequent appearances on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show have buoyed her support in right-wing circles.

          Both Ms. Gabbard and her campaign refused requests for comment about her support in right-wing circles or threat to boycott the debate. Even some political strategists who have worked with her are at a loss to explain her approach to politics.

          “She’s taken a series of policy steps which signal to the right that she has deep areas of alignment,” said Neera Tanden, a longtime policy adviser to Hillary Clinton who now leads the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

          The questions deepened on Thursday after Ms. Gabbard threatened to boycott Tuesday’s debate, arguing that the corporate news media and the Democratic National Committee are working together to rig the event. (The New York Times is a co-sponsor of the debate with CNN.)

          But it’s also an argument that reminds some Democrats of the narrative pushed by Russian actors during the 2016 presidential contest, when an operation by internet trolls worked to manipulate American public opinion: that the electoral system is broken and cannot be trusted.

          Still, Democrats are on high alert about foreign interference in the next election and the D.N.C. is well aware of the frequent mentions of Ms. Gabbard in the Russian state news media.

          An independent analysis of the Russian news media found that RT, the Kremlin-backed news agency, mentioned Ms. Gabbard frequently for a candidate polling in single digits, according to data collected by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a group that seeks to track and expose efforts by authoritarian regimes to undermine democratic elections.

          Disinformation experts have also pointed to instances of suspicious activity surrounding Ms. Gabbard’s campaign — in particular, a Twitter hashtag, #KamalaHarrisDestroyed, that trended among Ms. Gabbard’s supporters after the first Democratic debate, and appeared to be amplified by a coordinated network of bot-like accounts — but there is no evidence of coordination between these networks and the campaign itself.

          Laura Rosenberger, a former policy aide to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and director of the Alliance, sees Ms. Gabbard as a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division within the Democratic Party.

          “The Russian activity could be part of a longer-term effort to drive a wedge among Democrats,” she said. “This messaging has echoes of 2016.”

          Like

          1. “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” Oh, please.

            Tulsi, an Army major on active duty, actually went to Iraq and knows war. Her policies, critical of the military-industrial complex, have got her into trouble with the elites; that, and her principled criticism of the DNC.

            She’s made a lot of enemies, and they know how to smear her and isolate her.

            Like

        2. I’m sorry Mr Astore, no smears but facts. I used to like Tulsi thinking her a fresh face in politics who promoted positive thinking, but when one digs just a little deeper there are very dubious things about her.
          ____________________________________________________

          Tulsi Gabbard Hires Russian Agent to Keep Hawaii Media in Check

          by Andrew Walden

          Russia has lots of experience in media censorship. So perhaps it is logical that Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) hires an agent of the Russian government as a ‘consultant’ to keep Hawaii media under control.

          But Gabbard’s consultant, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Square Group, is no ordinary Russian agent. Cooper is allegedly one of seven identified as being at the center of illegal Russian lobbying efforts reaching into the Trump campaign and Congress.

          Inquiries with Gabbard’s DC office last June by reporter Christine Gralow—then stringing an article for Honolulu Magazine–must have piqued the attentions of the numerous Hare Krishna cultists employed there. Within 24 hours a letter from Cooper, identifying himself as “a consultant to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard,” riddled with misspellings and inaccuracies, landed in the in-box of Honolulu Magazine’s editors.

          It worked. Honolulu Magazine suddenly lost interest in Gralow’s articles – which she eventually published on her own website, http://www.MeanwhileinHawaii.org. And confirming its obsequience, on November 20, Honolulu Magazine characterized a Gabbard cult expose in the New Yorker as “another project in otherizing Gabbard’s faith journey.”

          Gralow says she became aware of the Cooper letter in November when a source sent her a copy. She posted the letter on her website December 31, 2017. Cooper—who has not previously been publicly known to be tied to Gabbard—is one of seven people named by Hermitage Capital Management CEO William Browder in a July 15, 2016 memo to the US Department of Justice identifying unregistered agents working illegally in the US “under the direction/control/influence of the Russian Government.” The seven are seeking repeal of the now-famous 2012 Magnitsky Act signed into law by President Obama in response to the imprisonment and 2009 murder of Hermitage’s anti-corruption investigator, Sergei Magnitsky, by agents of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

          Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya is also among the seven agents cited by Hermitage. Repeal of the Magnitsky Act was the subject of a well-known June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Veselnitskaya and Trump campaign officials. This meeting is a focus for numerous Trump-Russia conspiracy investigations.

          The interests of Russia’s Syrian client-dictator Bashar al-Assad were front and center when Gabbard met personally with then President-elect Trump November 21, 2016. Gabbard afterwards told reporters, “I shared with (Trump) my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country, and the world.” In January, 2017, Gabbard travelled to Syria and met with Assad in a highly criticized trip organized by a pro-Assad political party. Gabbard has repeatedly argued that President Obama was arming ISIS and al-Qaeda via his support of anti-Assad rebels.

          http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/20879/Tulsi-Gabbard-Hires-Russian-Agent-to-Keep-Hawaii-Media-in-Check.aspx

          Like

          1. Well Oyster, whatever you posted in the past, you blew it, in my opinion, posting a positive post on Bill Browder, or even Sergei Magnitski. Latter dead, please do some research into Browder: he’s an International Oligarch & Criminal. It’s not Putin’s fault, or Russia’s: he’s an International Thief. He made his fortune under pathetic Yeltsin, but there’s no takers since.
            Don’t you even know how the Soviet Union ended? They -gave!- shares of Soviet companies to Russian citizens; after all they paid for it! The “Browders” etc. bought them out-cheap. Say $150 per family. A fortune after the collapse. Soon gone of course. The ‘Dictator’ Putin got elected, and stopped this robbery of Russia.
            Sergei Magnitski was jailed for facilitating these illegal transactions: only Russians were supposed to own them. Browder needed a Russian to pull this off.
            Stop being so pompous, Oyster. Maybe Magnitski died of guilt & shame, betraying his country and it’s many citizens that could have benefitted from the original USSR deal.
            Yet the West had more to steal, and created the farcical “Magnitski Act”.
            That’s why the West hates Putin, and Russia today. Question to you: How many millions of people have the West murdered or dislocated since this traitors’ death in a jail?

            Like

          2. Yes, and maybe Magnitsky also hit himself to death.
            Russian agents might be carrying radioactive suitcases from Transnistria all over Europe thanks to the special Hungarian visas but some people would still admire Putin.

            Like

      2. Jez, MM you bring back old names; Last week Robert Baer, this week Ellen Degeneres.
        I haven’t wasted much time with Ellen; years ago doing a comedy skit for 5 minutes on someone else’s show, OK. Never watched her show, until I read on a “conspiracy” internet recently she interviewed the Las Vegas “security” guard Jesus Compos* & hotel engineer Stephan Schuck. *Compos is the guy Stephan Paddock supposedly shot in the leg outside his hotel room. This brave hero, bleeding and in pain, refused medical treatment until the carnage downstairs could be attended to, then disappeared for a few days. Strangely, Ellen got the ONLY interview with him, on a “comedy” show, stranger still. Compos has disappeared again, but a few serious private investigators have visited the hotel, and asked employees if they knew him. They just get laughed at!
        Obviously, none of all this is a laughing matter, nor is her attending a football game with the Bush’s. But I feel safe to say she is part of the Deep State, along with George Clooney, and your favourite, You-Know-Her, who invites to her daughter’s wedding, the likes of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s pimp.

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        1. The funny thing is that all those who present Putin as the saviour of Russia from the robbers of the Yeltsin years tend to forget that the KGB was still very much in charge in the 90’s, and it participated in the looting of the state.

          The security apparatus in the former USSR and communist countries was absolutely huge and ran everything. They simply transitioned from being privileged communist torturers to very rich capitalists aka oligarchs. Some of them siphoned their wealth out of Russia and into the US, England, the Cayman Islands, etc but others remained in the country. It’s those whom Putin fought, namely those who were not from his own immediate gang, and replaced them with his protegees.

          One of the biggest lies to come out of Russia is that she was robbed by the evil West in the 90s – when in fact everything that was done was with the accord of the KGB/FSB. It was/is the same in all the former communist countries which are still controlled by the same security police and former communists, and their friends and relatives mafia style.

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          1. Oyster, I don’t think the KGB/FSB made a better martini than James Bond: just a bigger one. Though the CIA/MI6 have nothing to be proud of either: except even bigger drinks. They’ve been WRONG about just about EVERYTHING! Shah of Iran falling, German Reunification, killing Castro, Iraq, etc. I need a drink to go on!
            But you say something interesting “….syphoned off wealth to US, England, Cayman Islands….
            You answered your own question! Historically, via colonisation, etc. the West can only thrive with plunder. So they’re angry ‘Putin’ kept it’s wealth in Russia. Let’s face it: the West is DEEPLY in debt. It’s not food stamps, US can easily afford, it’s senseless Trillion$ wars to steal resources. We’re supposed to be the great “technologiests” of the world, but even that is failing: US jailed a competitor in Canada.
            I just want to turn America away from WW2 euphoria, and get back to work. These schemes have not worked.
            I’ve had recent thoughts about IMF, WB, etc. They were great ideas at that conference, but dead meat today. Without a gold standard, it becomes sanctions, etc.
            Russia & China are smart! It will go back to gold standard, and people like Christine LeGarde who I REALLY HATE! will be left to failures of history.

            Like

  4. All political labels – including “neocon” – are garbage.
    Contrary to what we were taught, our beloved “two-party system” did not come down from Sinai etched into stone tablets, and merely helps to guarantee the tyranny of the minority (inside the Beltway) over the majority (everyone else).
    Who American politicians – regardless of party affiliation – love & embrace or excoriate & condemn will always come down to a single, determining factor: “Which side of my bread is buttered?” And The Complex Ike warned us about way back in the way back when has a lot of butter. You could even paraphrase a wonderful line from “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid”: The Complex uses butter while the rest of the world uses margarine.
    (The original line being, of course, “I’ve got vision while the rest of the world wears bifocals.”)

    Like

    1. Yes. I agree that labels like “Neocon” and “Neo-liberal” have no useful application, as I noted in my comments above. Instead, we require a clear recognition of the fundamental agreement that both of our advertised “parties” have reached with each other in order to distribute power and money — or “butter”, as you say — first, among their true corporate constituencies, and, second, among themselves. As I like to summarize this in verse:

      Buy a Republican, they’ll shout “Gawd Bless.”
      Rent a few Democrats, they’ll lose for less.

      Sheldon Wolin in Democracy, Incorporated (2006), put it somewhat more expansively:

      The Republican Party is not, as advertised, conservative but radically oligarchical. Programmatically it exists to advance corporate economical and political interests, and to protect and promote inequalities of opportunity and wealth.”
      … but …
      “While the Republican Party is ever vigilant about the care and feeding of its zealots, the Democratic Party is equally concerned to discourage its democrats.
      The timidity of a Democratic Party mesmerized by centrist precepts points to the crucial fact that, for the poor, minorities, the working class, anti-corporatists, pro-environmentalists, and anti-imperialists, there is no opposition party working actively on their behalf. And this despite the fact that these elements are recognized as the loyal base of the party. By ignoring dissent and by assuming that the dissenters have no alternative, the party serves as an important, if ironical, stabilizing function and in effect marginalizes any possible threat to the corporate allies of the Republicans.”

      In 2016, You-Know-Her did a great job of playing Republican junior varsity: energizing the Republican “deplorables” while discouraging the base of the Democratic party from voting. She will do so again the moment she resurfaces from deserved oblivion in a last-gasp attempt to seize power from all those “Bernie Bros” and “Putin Puppets” who robbed her of that political pony that her father and husband promised her as a rightful entitlement. I mean, the Black Guy community organizer from Chicago got his, so why can’t “a woman” (with all the right Ivy League degrees) get hers, too?

      Sure, an actual woman like Tulsi Gabbard might rightfully pose that question. But how does a Goldwater Ghoul cackling “We came, we saw, he died,” connect with the generally accepted notion of “woman”? Even worse, You-Know-Her seems intent on associating herself with generic “women” and supposes that some sort of political gender solidarity exists between members of that sex. Unfortunately for her and anyone believing nonsense like that, received wisdom tells us that “No woman ever had a worse enemy than her best friend. And if you don’t believe that, ask Monica Lewinsky what she thinks of Linda Tripp.” In 2016, more women voted for the billionaire misogynist Donald Trump. Somebody only thinks they know something about women. Somebody else actually does.

      So much for pejorative labels and the electoral demographics to which they ostensibly appeal. Donald Trump, the left-running Republican, knows who voted for him and ceaselessly panders directly to them via his twitter feed and rabid rallies. The right-running Democrats do not seem to care whom they have betrayed and deserted since their role as guardian of the Republican’s left tail-feather, requires just such pious perfidy on their part. They don’t care if they win, as long as they get paid.

      America needs a real political party that will oppose corporatism and endless bloody war-working. The Democratic party has long since ceased to support American working people while assisting the Republicans in cramming the Warfare Welfare state down the throats of our increasingly desperate fellow citizens. As President Harry S. Truman said: “If you give the American people a choice between a real Republican and someone who only looks and acts like a Republican, they’ll choose the real Republican every time.” True in 2016 and most likely true in 2020. Unless, of course, the CIA and the FBI and the DOD decide that Donald Trump or anyone proposing military withdrawals will just have to go — whatever “go” might possibly mean.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link, Bill. I have read many articles just like it. But a single, emotionally loaded word in the title: namely, “betrayal,” turned me off before I read the first sentence.

      Putting aside what I already know about the history of the Middle East: from the Crusades, to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire after WWI, to the post-WWII attempt — still ongoing — to establish a new, Apartheid Zionist kingdom in Palestine, I instinctively reject — on technical dialectical principles alone — attempts to “guilt-trip” me into agreeing with something that my none-too-brilliant intelligence tells me to reject out of hand. Consider the following from Attacking Faulty Reasoning: a practical guide to fallacy free arguments, by Professor T. Edward Damer (2001):

      Appeal to Pity This fallacy consists in attempting to persuade others of a position by appealing to their sympathy instead of to relevant evidence, especially when some more important principle is at stake.

      … and regarding the intellectual responsibility of the target of an appeal to pity …

      “If you allow yourself to be overcome by the force of an emotional appeal, it is important to remember that you are no less guilty of fallacious reasoning than the one who formulates the appeal. You have allowed the description or projection of a pitiable situation to count as evidence, even though, in most cases, it does not constitute any evidence at all. The possibility that someone may be disappointed or suffer some kind of mental anguish because of your failure to give a desired response to a claim or proposal is usually an irrelevant consideration in the determination of the claim or proposed action.

      In short: I do not wish to participate in flogging anyone’s emotions so as to over-ride their ability to think for themselves. The Kurds, for their part in this bogus pity-mongering, decided to assist — for their own self-serving interests — in the attempted dismemberment of the Syrian nation, hoping to use the dumb and docile Americans as a limitless fountain of money, weapons, training, and supportive media propaganda — most of it aimed at the easily stampeded Americans themselves. Syrian President Assad hasn’t “gone” as U.S. President Obama arrogantly decreed. On the other hand, Barack Obama has gone, leaving behind to others the work of undoing his disastrous policy of trying to dismember Syria because some Sordid Arabians and Apartheid Zionists told him to do so. Fuck him and fuck any U.S. President who can’t even get his supposedly “loyal” military to get their sorry asses out of another country in which they have no legal or “defensive” basis for parking themselves.

      Personally, I didn’t “betray” any “loyal ally” when I got my young ass out of Vietnam at the end of January, 1972. To the contrary, I won my war when survived, got out of Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club, and got on with my interrupted life. I never asked my government to deploy me to Southeast Asia. I did nothing there to defend anyone’s “freedom.” So I distrust and reject any further attempts by my own government to send other duped U.S. war-workers abroad in search of monsters to create.

      To recapitulate:

      Fool me once: shame on you. Fool me twice: shame on me. Fool me eight times: call me a Kurd. Fool me for seventy-plus years telling me that my country must bleed and bankrupt itself so as not “betray” a “loyal” “ally” whom I never heard of and couldn’t locate on a map: call me an American.

      Like

      1. I kid you not, Mike. I saw this just after I read your comment:

        Abandoning the Kurds. After U.S. troops spent more than five years fighting alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State, Trump abruptly withdrew them from northeast Syria, opening the door for Turkey to launch a large-scale bombing campaign against Kurdish targets. “There will be a whole generation of U.S. military that will never forget this betrayal nor stop apologizing for it,” a retired U.S. military officer told FP’s Lara Seligman.

        That’s from FP: Foreign Policy. This theme of betrayal and abandonment is going to continue to be hyped.

        Like

      2. In the “Oh, shit. Here We Go Again” department:

        I detect yet another regurgitation of the bogus, emotive-accusative rhetorical “question”: Who Lost China? Which assumes that America owned that country in the first place. Sort of like You-Know-Her “owning” the 2016 Presidential election before “the evil Russians” “stole” it from her through some sort of creepy Vulcan mind-meld exercised over the helpless American electorate from the other side of the planet. Anyway, let us substitute “Kurdistan” or “Afghanistan” or “You-Know-Her’s Promised Political Pony” for “China” and read on, from A Nation of Sheep, by William J. Lederer (1961) [my first year of high school]:

        “At the end of World War II, most Americans at home believed the Generalissimo [Chiang Kai-Shek] to be a genius, a man of Confucian wisdom, a brave savior of his country; a fighter for democracy and freedom. However, the Chinese people felt otherwise. They hated the Generalissimo, neither believing nor respecting him. The people finally rejected him and the Soongs [the wealthy family into which CKS had married]. The nation was ripe for a take-over — the rotten Chinese apple was ready to drop of its own accord. Some people doubt this, and the accusation has been made that America’s failure to give Chiang sufficient military aid is what caused his downfall and handed China to the Reds. Such conclusions are based on ignorance, propaganda, and gullibility. Actually, in 1945, Chiang had billions of dollars of U.S. equipment for his three-million-man army. But his troops had neither the training nor the will to fight for Chiang’s regime. Money for their food and their pay (supplied by the U.S.A.) went into the pockets of officers. The majority of the troops were unwilling conscripts who had no loyalty to Chiang. Many dissatisfied Chinese voluntarily turned their ammunition and supplies over to the Communists.” [Hence Chairman Mao’s description of CKS as “my quartermaster”]

        I saw very much the same thing during my eighteen months as a U.S. Navy “adviser” in the now-defunct Republic of Vietnam. When I took a college course later in Sino-American Relations, my professor tasked me with writing a paper comparing the U.S. military’s intervention in the Chinese Civil War with the U.S. military’s intervention in the Vietnamese War of National Independence. My concluding summary: “Just change the Chinese names to Vietnamese names — the American names don’t even need changing — and the story reads the same.”

        I’ve heard this emotion-flogging sob-story about “betraying” “loyal” “allies” or “losing” — what someone never owned — so many times in my life that I simply refuse to waste another minute tolerating it. Not from rabid Republicans like Lindsey Graham. Not from “Democrats” like Tulsi Gabbard (who I once thought knew better). The United States does not own Syria any more than You-Know-Her — a graduate of the Madam Chiang Kai-Shek Finishing School for Upwardly Nubile Young Debutants (Wellesley College) — “owned” that 2016 political pony that her henpecked husband promised her. A great many Americans loathed and hated You-Know-Her every bit as much as the Chinese peasants loathed hated Chiang Kai-Shek and the Soong family grifters. I feel the same way about the Barzani and Talibani Kurdish warlords and their clans who don’t give a shit about “democracy” any more than the Sordid Arabian “royal family” does. If the Syrian government now refuses to come to the rescue of some Kurds who deserted their country for American money, weapons, and promises of an eventual “Kurdestan” carved out of Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq, then Too. Damn. Bad.

        None of this shabby imperial guilt-flogging does anything to assist working-class Americans with the very real problems they face in their own lives. If anyone has done any actual betraying, I would indict the U.S. government — as a wholly owned subsidiary franchise of the Transnational Corporate Oligarchy — for that crime.

        Like

        1. ” I do not wish to participate in flogging anyone’s emotions so as to over-ride their ability to think for themselves.”

          Right..

          Like

  5. Capitalist stooges, Commie stooges, running dog lackeys of the bourgeoisie, fellow travelers, revelations of secret meetings/conspiracies & the “real inside story” complete with “documented evidence” of foreign agents, foreign interference, bad actors, the long reach of the Kremlin, Neoconservatives/Neoliberals about whom there is nothing “neo” … look long enough and you can find someone who has the facts & figures to support whatever conspiracy theory you’ve cooked up. There are also plenty to choose from if you lack the imagination to come up with something of your own. And to think there was a time when people were concerned with the secrets of the Rosicrucians.
    Well, it doesn’t work. “It won’t wash.” “That dog won’t hunt.”
    When was the last time the U.S. had allies in the true sense of the word? With whom do we share a common ideology and vision? No one, because it’s always – always – our way or the highway. Everyone else is misguided or simply wrong.
    Supplying some ethnic group or motley collection of “freedom fighters” with cash and arms isn’t an alliance anymore than “regime change” is anything other than an act of war against a sovereign nation. Our foreign policy – i.e., “Where can we send troops now?” – has become entirely based on convenience. We no longer have treaties, agreements, or accords – we have “deals” which, as recent history has shown, we’ll back out of the moment it suits us to do so. America’s loyalty it to itself (meaning, ultimately, it’s corporate sponsors) which – tragically – is not the same as being loyal to the principles it is supposed to stand for.

    Far from being “the world’s policeman” – a self-appointed role – America has become much like the Lone Ranger in Lenny Bruce’s skit, “Thank You, Masked Man”: advised by a wandering prophet that the Messiah has returned, all is pure, and there is no longer a need for people like him, the Lone Ranger says, “Well, then I’ll make trouble.” We look for it and when we can’t find any, we do our best to stir some up.
    As a teacher of mine said long, long ago: “This country is becoming like a cockroach. It’s not what it carries off but what it gets into and screws up.”

    The American purity that – from what I’m reading here – is being assailed by enemies both within and without (“enemies both foreign and domestic”) has never existed, not even in the minds of the nation’s founders who, had they any notion of how base and venal their noble cause would one day become – a cause which they were willing to lose everything up to and including their lives for – might have had second thoughts about sending copies of the Declaration of Independence to Parliament and George III.
    We’ve smashed all the mirrors, our eyes no longer look inward. We feed on a steady diet of paranoia with increasing helpings of racism and xenophobia wrapped in the guise of patriotism/nationalism.
    (That sound you hear is the death rattle of empire. The republic was 86’d long ago, before the internet and cell phones and even Fox News. Not that anyone noticed.)

    Wow, who’s bitter, eh? It’s nearly 3 AM, I’m tired, I think I’m coming down with the flu (or something), and all I can think is “O, tempora! O, mores!” Darn right, I’m bitter.

    Like

  6. I have noted above and transcribed most of Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s performance during a video interview with Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti of The Hill’s Rising. Others have commented in response, sincerely and seriously. The expected — and by now, simply laughable — ignorance and anti-Russian bigotry from the Mollusk, I will ignore.

    In an attempt to provide context for, and contrast with, Tulsi Gabbard’s criticism of President Trump’s announced “withdrawal” of pimped-out war-workers from Syria (while pimping out still others to guard Sordid Arabian oil fields from Iran which never attacked them) I will first post again the following exchange:

    [Begin transcript]

    Krystal Ball: “What does a responsible exit plan look like in your opinion, Congresswoman?”

    Congresswoman Gabbard: “If that had happened back when Trump first announced his withdrawal, it would have allowed the Kurds to do what they wanted to do. They were seeking and trying to get negotiations with Syria, Russia, and even Iran, the countries that are active within that region to try and form some kind of security agreement, some kind of reconciliation, but Trump and his administration were blocking those talks or any kind of deal from occurring. So now, this is what’s happening as a result.”

    [End transcript]

    My Translation from gobbledegook to plain English:

    Q: “What is your plan for what to do now?

    A: “Something that Bad Man Orange didn’t do “responsibly” some number of years ago”

    Now, for an actual discussion of the present situation in Syria, I submit another, more informative, conversation from Demystifying Syria, “Cross talk, RT.com (October 11, 2019)

    [Begin transcript]

    Mike Raddie: “The whole narrative … is completely wrong. The Kurds (the YPG) had their non-aggression pact with Damascus in 2014. They reneged on that as soon as the Americans came in and started giving them weapons. And now even the YPG have lost control on the ground and they can’t really do the deal they should do with Damascus. It might now even be too late.”

    Peter Lavelle: “It just may be too late, because that opportunity was out there from the very beginning of this proxy war that was forced upon Syria from the outside.

    Marwa Osman: “These people [the U.S. Corporate Media] cannot locate Syria on a map. They don’t know what has been happening in Syria for the past eight years. They don’t know that the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have been eliminating Daesh [ISIS, Al Qaeda, et al]. They think that it is really the U.S. that has eliminated ISIS. It’s laughable. … The Mainstream Media is working towards misinforming the public. Hence, making policy according to this misinformation would only target the Syrians, the Syrian government, and institutions.”

    Peter Lavelle: “They wouldn’t know a Kurd if it hit them in the face.”

    Amar Waqqaf: “I would disagree slightly, because actually, the American forces did not go into Syria to save the Syrian people or whatever it is. They went specifically to counter Putin and Iran. … So, in a sense, it is to counter Russian influence, they think the point of the matter is. Find new allies in the Kurds. Prop them up. And so on and so forth. So it is natural in such circles of decision-makers in Washington to view such a withdrawal to be ceding territory to Russia and Iran [emphasis added].

    Peter Lavelle: “In crude terms, the Kurds were a tool for the U.S. and its intervention into Syria. But now, being a tool, we have to protect their civil and human rights, and give them a state, and pay for this, and stay forever. And constantly create chaos in Syria. That’s what they’re selling in Western media. But Nobody forced the Kurds to do this. Nobody forced them to take the money. No one forced them to take the arms. No one forced them to take the training.” [emphasis added]

    Mike Raddie: “The YPG have played a really crucial role here. In terms of the YPG, They were the ones who were facilitating the theft of Syria’s oil, state assets from the Syrian government and Syrian people, effectively, via Turkey and down into Israel, Syria’s mortal enemy. The YPG have facilitated that since 2014, 2015. So their ties to Damascus were very tenuous to begin with, but back when this all started, President Assad did offer 300,000 Kurds full citizenship. So I think that the boat has now sailed for that relationship to come back together again. But that is their only hope. They say that the Kurds only have mountains for friends. They had Damascus at one point. Whether that’s still the case, we’ll have to wait and see.” [emphasis added]

    [End transcript]

    Now we have actual knowledge of events in Syria sufficient to suggest to Representative Tulsi Gabbard what the Kurds themselves might wish to do, if they can, now that they’ve run themselves into corner from which few sympathizers — outside of the U.S. Congress and Corporate Media — will wish to rescue them. As themselves betrayers of Syria and willing dupes of the U.S. invaders, they have little, if any, leverage left from which to bargain. It looks like surrender or die time for the YPG and PKK. Russia will probably prevail upon Damascus to show a little enlightened mercy. Not deserved, but sometimes diplomatically expedient.

    I wish that Congresswoman Gabbard had shown a little understanding of the Kurds’ own responsibility for their predicament rather than simply parroting all that “betrayal” and “slaughter” bullshit. I still wish her well, but if she can’t stand aside from the stampeding herd when it counts, then she does not have those “follow me” leadership qualities that I once thought she possessed.

    Like

    1. Hi Mike Murry. Good posts, especially one above on “Who Lost China?”. You said in a paragraph what took me 600+ pages of history books to figure out about Chang Kai Shek. I know from my readings what you say is true: especially ‘Madame’. She liked the ‘good life’, to the embarrassment of NY newspapers. A forerunner of Imelda Marcos, in my time, US never learned a lesson.
      Since you’re not afraid of RT, I recommend you watch Putin’s interview, translated, on sister broadcast RT Arabic. The Emperor/Dictator must be be pretty awful to his tailors/housekeepers/barbers, because boy! does he look spiffy! He’s off for Saudi Arabia, which is what the interview is mostly about.
      I’m not willing to wage a bet if he’ll do a “sword dance” with those decadent’s, but something tells me he WON’T. We’ll see!

      Like

    2. Yes Mr Murry, you are bothered by “anti-Russian bigotry” (not russophobia ? – no, I guess that term has outlived its usefulness). But what about Russian antisemitism ? Look at this outrageous title on Russia Insider: The Necessity of Anti-Semitism. Unbelievable. And the hate comments which it generates:
      LS • 8 hours ago
      Why do we tolerate these people among us?
      3
      •Reply•Share
      https://russia-insider.com/en/necessity-anti-semitism/ri27775

      Like

      1. In the first place, Mollusk, by “phobia,” I mean an “unreasoning fear.” In the second place, by “bigotry,” I mean “the expression of intolerance towards those of different race, religion, politics, etc.” Both words can apply to the attitude or opinions expressed by one and the same person. In other words: neither of these terms necessarily excludes the other.

        For example: since Russians have done nothing to harm me, my family, or my country, I see no reason to fear them any more than I fear vampire unicorns. Most Americans don’t really fear Russians, either. Some U.S. political leaders would like Americans to fear at least the “idea” of a menacing Russian, but Americans don’t know enough about Russians to objectively evaluate whatever actual threat or promise a real Russian might pose to them. Therefore, Americans who claim to fear Russians qualify as either Russophobic by definition, or cynical, manipulative liars.

        For another example, I consider people anti-Russian bigots who consistently hurl insults and invective at Russians simply because they have heard other influential persons do so and find comfort in submerging their own identity in a particular nationalistic group-think.

        If the shoes fit, wear them.

        Now, as for “semitism,” pro- or anti- (favoring or disapproving), I have my own opinions based on whether one includes “Arabs” as well as “Jews” in their definition of “semitic,” as a dictionary of mine does. I have scanned the article you referenced on the Russia-Insider web site, and can’t really say what I think about it, much less what most Russians would make of it. Semitic Jews who persecute Semitic Arabs I would call “anti-semitic Jews.” Christians who want all Jews to return to Occupied Palestine so that Jesus will come back and blowtorch them for not converting to Christianity, I call these people “anti-semitic Zionists,” or just bat-shit nuts Bible thumpers.

        But I don’t see how these semantic issues relate to President Trump’s withdrawal of some U.S. war-workers from between two advancing armies in North Eastern Syria. The removal of these human shields from an untenable military situation, I consider timely and prudent. The Kurds can make whatever deals they wish — reunification with Syria probably the most likely — but after that, who knows what President Trump will do with the other U.S. war-workers that still remain in other areas of Syria: a sovereign nation that the U.S. has invaded, occupied, and helped to wreck without a shred of legal or moral legitimacy. A tiny step in the right direction deserves encouragement but a demand for more and more such steps has to relentlessly follow. Otherwise, we have nothing before us but another public-relations charade.

        Like

        1. – “In the first place, Mollusk, by “phobia,” I mean an “unreasoning fear.” “-
          Sorry, Mr Murry, the definition of phobia is ‘fear’; you don’t get to decide what’s unreasoning or not. Mollusk = ad hominem.

          – “since Russians have done nothing to harm me, my family, or my country, I see no reason to fear them” –
          If you mean Taiwan, than yes, you are probably right. What Russians have done to America is another matter, which will hopefully be elucidated by a proper investigation.

          – “Most Americans don’t really fear Russians, either.” –
          Sweeping statement. You can’t know what most Americans fear or not.

          – “Americans don’t know enough about Russians to objectively evaluate whatever actual threat or promise a real Russian might pose to them.”
          Cat. Out. Bag.

          – “Therefore, Americans who claim to fear Russians qualify as either Russophobic by definition, or cynical, manipulative liars.” –
          Sweeping statement: you can’t know their reasons. Bigoted judgement (according to your own definition of bigotry as “the expression of intolerance towards those of different race, religion, politics, etc.”): if they think differently from you they are ‘cynical, manipulative liars’.

          – “I consider people anti-Russian bigots who consistently hurl insults and invective at Russians simply because they have heard other influential persons do so” –
          Maybe. But you don’t know their reasons, so again a generalization.

          – “If the shoes fit, wear them.” –
          Ad hominem.

          – “Now, as for “semitism,” pro- or anti- (favoring or disapproving), I have my own opinions based on whether one includes “Arabs” as well as “Jews” in their definition of “semitic,” as a dictionary of mine does.” –
          You and your dictionary may have your own opinions, but the Merriam-Webster says Definition of anti-Semitism
          : hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group
          And the article and comment I quoted refers to them.

          – ” Semitic Jews who persecute Semitic Arabs I would call “anti-semitic Jews.” Christians who want all Jews to return to Occupied Palestine so that Jesus will come back and blowtorch them for not converting to Christianity, I call these people “anti-semitic Zionists,” or just bat-shit nuts Bible thumpers.” –
          My question was what do you think about Russian antisemitism.

          – “can’t really say what I think about it, much less what most Russians would make of it” –
          But you seem to know so much about the Russians. At least that’s what you keep telling us ignorant russophobes.

          – “But I don’t see how these semantic issues relate to President Trump’s withdrawal of some U.S. war-workers from between two advancing armies in North Eastern Syria. The removal of these human shields from an untenable military situation, I consider timely and prudent.” –

          Trump Not Worried About ISIS Fighters Escaping Syria’s Prisons Because They’ll Just Go to Europe
          https://www.mediaite.com/trump/trump-not-worried-about-isis-fighters-escaping-syrias-prisons-because-theyll-just-go-to-europe/

          Since the Turkish incursion began on Wednesday, ISIS has claimed responsibility for at least two attacks in Syria: One car bomb in the northern city of Qamishli and another on an international military base outside Hasaka, a regional capital further to the south.

          Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that the United States has taken the worst ISIS detainees out of Syria to ensure they would not escape. But in fact the American military took custody of only two British detainees, half of a cell dubbed the Beatles that tortured and killed Western hostages, American officials said.

          After a Turkish airstrike, female detainees connected to the Islamic State rioted in a camp in Ain Issa, lighting their tents on fire and tearing down fences, according to a camp administrator, Jalal al-Iyaf.
          In the mayhem, more than 500 of them escaped, Mr. al-Iyaf said.

          The secret agreement on the Kurdish question
          On September 16, Russia, Turkey and Iran reached an agreement on the Kurdish issue. The Russian draft Constitution for Syria could take the form of a cultural federation (and no longer an administrative one as envisaged initially). The return of Syrian Kurds allied to the US in the fold of Syria’s authority could be led by Iran whose own Kurds have patiently infiltrated the YPG command.
          https://www.voltairenet.org/article207820.html

          Like

          1. Re The secret agreement on the Kurdish question:

            Abandoned by U.S. in Syria, Kurds Find New Ally in American Foe
            Under fire by Turkish forces, the militia that battled ISIS threw in its lot with Syria’s Russian-backed government.

            So – on September 16 there is a secret agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran to return the Kurds allied to the US under Assad’s authority and led by Iran, no less.
            Soon after that Turkey attacks them; and Trump decides to pull the US troops out of the area. Meanwhile in the EU, Putin’s lackey Hungarian premier Orban is vetoes the EU resolution and stands with Turkey.
            Result – the wayward Kurds return into the fold of Mother Russia’s embrace.

            The chain of command is clearly visible – but of course “there’s no collusion” as some Marines would say.

            Like

  7. It would appear that while I was out buying groceries, the word “secret” underwent a critical reappraisal, was found wanting, and has been redefined. The new meaning, apparently, is “not secret at all, and with plenty of details.”

    Like

    1. Yes, indeed, BUTSUDANBILL. Well and succinctly stated. The word “secret” actually means “in plain sight,” or “public” when openly conducted diplomacy rapidly results in the only reasonable solution to a problem which should not have existed in the first place. The announced details of Kurdish reintegration into the Syrian state look pretty much like what experts in Middle Eastern affairs have predicted for several years now. Once the invading American war-workers butt-out, the local tribes can either fight each other, or let reasonable people get on with the business of diplomatically resolving disputes. Kudos to everyone who had anything to do with bringing this process one step closer to a stable, sovereign Syria.

      This anti-chaos policy will outrage the Sordid Arabians and Apartheid Zionists occupying Palestine, but the former have had to back off of their intra-religious jihad against Shia Muslims — for the time being — while Bibi Netanyahu and his rabid Likudniks will just have to accept their billions of dollars of annual tribute from vassal America while seething in otherwise impotent frustration.

      Some “Secret.”

      P.S.. I just caught this comment from an article on RT.com:

      “Six years of fighting and stalemate. The US pulls out. 10 minutes later Damascus and the Kurds have a deal. I cannot help but think that if the US pulled out 5 years ago this war would have lasted only 3 months.”

      As I said to one of my weeping and wailing high-school classmates on Facebook: “If only the U.S. had betrayed the Kurds six years ago by not invading Syria in the first place.”

      Like

      1. “Apartheid Zionists occupying Palestine” and “rabid Likudniks”..
        Gosh Mr Murry, I think I have your answer about The Necessity of Antisemitism Russia Insider article.
        Possibly about the comment I quoted too ? (“Why do we tolerate these people among us?”)

        Like

        1. You will have my answer, Mollusk, if and when I decide to formulate one and proffer it to you. For your part, of course, you may babble and blubber in any cliché-ridden word-like noises that you choose. You have tried the Russophobia canard, the anti-Russian-bigotry canard, and now you wish to trot out the last-gasp refuge of the the intellectually bankrupt: namely, the “anti-semitic” canard. Go pound sand.

          “Apartheid Zionist” Jews do indeed illegally occupy historic Palestine in violation of UN resolutions. The far-right Likud party does currently — although narrowly — dominate tribal politics in Tel Aviv as well as Washington, D.C. If you can’t deal with those realities, then that has nothing to do with me or anything someone else may have written on the Russia-Insider website. I try to use accurate, descriptive language — not prefabricated propaganda designed by others — and I take responsibility only for what I, myself, have written.

          For your reference, the author of the current article under discussion, Ronald Enzweiler, has laid out “the national security state’s real objectives.” He lists three. (1) “Maintain U.S. influence in the Middle East to keep Israel’s supporters happy.” (2) “Keep the Cold War alive with Russia as an adversary.” (3) “Fund make-work projects for defense contractors.”

          I do not support any of these three objectives. As for (1) I don’t give a rat’s ass about keeping the supporters of foreign Jewish ethnic cleansers happy. As a matter of fact, I wish to thwart their nefarious projects in every way I can. If any of these “supporters” finds unhappiness in my opposition to Apartheid Zionism, then too bad for them. They can call me anything they want. I don’t care. As for (2) I have no reason to wish for a return to hysterical Cold War red-baiting, having survived decades of the original Cold War in my youth. I have nothing against Russians and would like to see my country work cooperatively with them. The Russians certainly wish to do so. Trying to make the Russian Federation an adversary doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Pure bullshit ignorance and bigotry. And, of course, (3) I don’t care what defense contractor stockholders want. I favor hitting them with an exorbitant “war profits” tax to fund these regime change operations they seem to love so much. Make them pay for these idiot quagmires, and they will become anti-war hippies in a heartbeat.

          Again, this thread purports to deal with President Trump’s shuffling of a few thousand pimped-out war-workers from North East Syria to Sordid Arabia. Single-Spook Animisms like Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity do have a great deal to do with Middle Eastern history, but the last time a U.S. President tried boarding “infidel” Christian war-workers in a Sordid Arabian hotel — the Khobar Towers — things didn’t turn out so well for the pimped-out war-workers. Ditto for President Reagan getting 240 Marines killed when he stupidly deployed them to the Beirut Airport. 9/11/2001 didn’t turn out so good for the United States, either. Muslims get real touchy about the “sacredness” of those two shrines, Mecca and Medina. You might think that those maniacs running the U.S. government and military would have figured that out by now.

          So now you have my answer to the sort-of rhetorical “question” that you seem to think that you asked.

          Like

    2. No secret, Mr B ? That’s too bad then if president Trump knew what was discussed at this meeting between Russia, China and Iran and didn’t let anybody else know, neither his allies, nor even his advisers. It’s very bad because scores of people have been killed by the Turkish incursion and their blood is on Trump’s hands.

      It also makes one wonder how did he know that Turkey, Russia and Iran had discussed the return of the Kurds under Assad’s authority when all that was reported was that the discussions were about the buffer zone. Or maybe Erdogan told him during the Sunday October 5th phone call ? Which then led to Trump next day giving the order to pull out the troops and taking everybody by surprise, even his closest advisers and the military.
      And now scores of people have been killed by the Turks, thanks to Trump. And Iran and Russia will have free reign in the area.

      Like

      1. Syrian, Turkish, Russian, and Iranian diplomats had good reasons for not inviting the likes of you to their deliberations, Mollusk. You would have just shot your mouth off and leaked like a sieve to anyone and everyone who wants to perpetuate the U.S. invasion and occupation of Syria. Absent ignorant blabbermouths like you, the deliberations proceeded rather smoothly and swiftly for a change — once the U.S. military took a long overdue hike out of the area. The number of casualties resulting from the agreed-upon re-deployment of heavily armed forces, while regrettable, pale to insignificance when compared to the slaughter initiated by the U.S. invasion and sponsorship of ISIS in an attempt to overthrow the secular Ba’athist government years ago. A U.S. President — and Donald Trump at that — appeared reasonable, cooperative, and competent for a change. How long that can last, who knows?

        Like

  8. The Moon of Alabama blog (October 14, 2019) has an excellent (as usual) analysis of what “just happened” in North East Syria (after months of diplomatic bargaining by the interested parties). See: Syrian Government Regains Control Over Country’s Northeastern Parts.

    [Begin Transcript]

    Eight days ago U.S. President Donald Trump gave a green light for another Turkish invasion of Syria. We explained why that move made it inevitable for the Kurds to submit to Damascus and to let the Syrian Arab Army back into northeast Syria [emphasis added]:

    While the YPG might want to fight off a Turkish invasion they have little chance to succeed. The land is flat and the YPG forces only have light arms.

    There is only one solution for them. They will have to call up the Syrian government and ask it to come back into the north east. That would remove the Turkish concerns and would likely prevent further Turkish moves.

    After Trump had spoken with the Turkish president Erdogan, the U.S. military removed a few of its forces from some areas near the Turkish border. The Pentagon was still under the false impression that Turkey would limit its invasion to some 5 kilometer in depth. It was obvious, as we wrote, that Turkey wanted far more [emphasis added]:

    A major goal is to interrupt the M4 highway that runs parallel to the border and allows for troop movements between the east and the west of the Kurdish majority areas. The highway is about 20-30 kilometers from the border.

    The M4 road is also one of the major logistical routes for the U.S. troops stationed in the western part.

    The Kurds could do little to resist the Turkish onslaught. On Saturday Turkish supported “Syrian rebels” reached the M4 highway and captured and killed several Kurdish troops and civilians who were passing by. The Pentagon finally took notice of the imminent danger:

    “This is total chaos,” a senior administration official said at midday, speaking on the condition of anonymity about the confusing situation in Syria.

    Although “the Turks gave guarantees to us” that U.S. forces would not be harmed, the official said, Syrian militias allied with them “are running up and down roads, ambushing and attacking vehicles,” putting American ­forces — as well as civilians — in danger even as they withdraw. The militias, known as the Free Syrian Army, “are crazy and not reliable.”

    Ahhhh. The “Free Syrian Army”, which the U.S. built and supplied with an immense amount of weapons to fight the Syrian government, is “crazy and not reliable”. How come that all the think tankers and ‘journalists’ who for years lauded that ‘army’ never noticed that? [emphasis added]

    The Pentagon finally recognized that it was not possible to hold onto the area without starting a war with its NATO partner Turkey [emphasis added]. On Saturday evening Trump gave the order that all U.S. troops shall leave northeast Syria within 30 days. The Secretary of Defense did not resign as his predecessor did over a similar decision but defended the move.

    The decision was the kick in the ass the Kurds needed to agree to the return of Syrian government troops to the area they had held on to while under U.S. command [emphasis added]. Currently Syrian troops and their heavy weapons are streaming in. Their primary task is to prevent any further encroachment by Turkish forces. They will also move to retake the oil fields east of Deir Ezzor and they will take control of the prison camps where ISIS fighters are held.

    [shows map of Syria]

    As of this writing Syrian troops (red) have entered Manbij, Ain al Issa, Tabqa airbase near Raqqa and Tel Tamr. Turkish supported groups (green) hold Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn and the villages between those two cities. That area has an Arab majority population.

    The Kurds wish to keep their ‘autonomous administration’ of northeast Syria. While talks are still ongoing I do not expect that the mostly Arab inhabitants of the whole area, nor the Syrian government will agree to that. There can not be a special status for any of Syria’s many ethnic or religious groups [emphasis added].

    The Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces will be disbanded. Its soldiers will be integrated into the Syrian army. The Syrian government will also disband the ‘autonomous’ Kurdish administration. It will confiscate the weapons the U.S. has given to the Kurds. All this will take some time but it will, in the end, remove the Turkish concerns that the organized Syrian Kurdish groups could enter Turkey to fight on the side of their PKK separatist brethren [emphasis added].

    The U.S. had more than 1,000 troops in northeast Syria. There were also several hundred French and British special forces and some 2,000 U.S. contractors. They, and a huge amount of equipment, are now moving out. They have nothing to fear from the Syrian forces. Syria is happy to see them leave [emphasis added]. (Reports that the U.S.yesterday bombed Syrian troops are false.)

    The strategic plan behind last week’s development must have come from Moscow. Russia has tried for some time to get Turkey into its camp. Russia, Iran and Syria allowed Turkey a limited invasion of Syria to scare the U.S. out. Russia largely supported the Turkish move but it will also set its limits [emphasis added].

    Trump has been looking for a chance to move the U.S. troops out of Syria since December 2018. The borg made that politically unfeasible. The Turkish (Russian) move gave him the excuse he needed [emphasis added].

    It is possible that the whole arrangement was made for exactly that purpose.

    [End Transcript]

    Good work, Moon of Alabama. Barflies everywhere salute you.

    Like

    1. This deal has always existed as the inevitable solution, but U.S. domestic politics — as usual in the imperial capital — required some sort of face-saving exit for the Emperor and his Noble Foreign Legions. It would appear that the Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and even the Turks, gave Emperor Trump just the off-ramp he needed. If the Democrats and CIA try to “out war-monger” him on this, I doubt that this will get them very far. And the Republicans now foaming at the mouth will go along with him, anyway, if he keeps them in power with access to the Treasury.

      The Pentagram — for once — decided not to get so many of its enlisted war-workers and dogs-of-war mercenaries — i.e., disposable targets — killed and maimed for Sordid Arabian and Apartheid Zionist “interests.” The U.S. military establishment — for once — decided to follow orders from their nominal “commander in brief.” It remains an open questions whether they will do it twice should President Trump order a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan — his obvious next two geostrategic moves. Our generals have a great talent for throwing their enlisted (and a few junior officer) war-workers into bottomless pits full of snakes and crocodiles, but they have a lousy record of ever getting them out again. This move on their part truly surprised me, so rarely have I seen anything like it in the past.

      But anything beats nothing at all. So let us hope President Trump really intends to dismantle the failed and flailing empire before it collapses of its own dead weight and drags us all down with it. If he only has opportunistic eyes for his domestic “base” and a 2020 re-election, then he will probably — and loudly — declare this minor troop shuffling “The Greatest Greatness that Ever Anyone in History called Great.” After that — or concurrently — he will escalate drone bombings of Afghan pine-nut harvesters while pimping-out a few thousand war-workers to “defend” Sordid Arabian oil fields. All of this, of course, he will do for the transnational corporate stockholders whom both the Democratic and Republican right-wing factions obediently serve.

      I look forward to our blog proprietor’s report on the next Democratic party presidential “debates” where Representative Tulsi Gabbard and the other hopefuls get their chance to either criticize or support the withdrawal of U.S. war-workers from Syria — if the “moderators” even bother to bring up the subject. It looks to me like President Trump has pulled another 2016 by poaching on the Democrats’ former working-class, anti-war base which Presidents Clinton and Obama betrayed in their rush to the Right for several million of those donor class bribes.

      President Obama’s twin criminal blunders in Ukraine and Syria, along with Bush and Cheney’s war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have left President Trump the opportunity to pose as a “non-partisan” statesman trying against all domestic political odds to extricate the United States from the quagmire disasters bequeathed to him by his immediate predecessors. In this, he will have a strong degree of truth and common sense on his side. The Deep State Borg will do anything and everything to thwart him. Regime-change may have blown back upon America after all.

      Like

  9. If the Americans come, they will just draw an arbitrary line through a temporary problem, and make it permanent.”

    So said my graduate professor of Buddhism and Sanskrit, Dr Ananda W. P. Guruge — formerly Sri Lanka’s Minister of Education, and Ambassador to France, the United States, and UNESCO — when I asked him why Sri Lanka’s government had declined the American military’s offer of military assistance with the Tamil insurgency then raging in that country.

    Once a foolish American president allows the American military to involve itself in any foreign policy problem, they will just make things worse and never want to get out of the mess they’ve made of things. See Iraq and Afghanistan for two of the worst examples of U.S. military blundering. Even more bizarre than their usual trademark bungling, at one point during President Obama’s Syrian invasion, the CIA and DOD each backed a different proxy-jihadi group of terrorists busy fighting each other instead of the Syrian government that President Obama and his administration had determined to overthrow.

    And for the most recent case in point: no sooner has President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. war-workers from North East Syria, than the Pentagram starts bitching about having to leave somewhere. The stuffed-shirt, ticket-punching, fuck-up-and-move-up brass just couldn’t shut up, follow orders, and leave well enough alone and alive. See: Pentagon to ‘press NATO allies to sanction Turkey’ over Syrian op, blames Erdogan for potential ‘war crimes & ISIS resurgence’ .

    For crying out loud! Our Senate-ratified treaty of alliance with Turkey mandates that the U.S. come to Turkey’s defense, not “sanction” or “punish” it for fighting those who want to carve out an independent state for themselves out of Turkish territory.

    What an unmitigated crock of shit the Corporate Media Conglomerate feeds the American proles instead of truthful information. As a matter of fact, the Syrian Arab Army, with the assistance of the Russian Aerospace Forces along with Iranian and Hezbollah militias did the lion’s share of smashing ISIS in Syria. The U.S. military only switched sides from sponsoring to “opposing” ISIS once it became clear that these defeated jihadi terrorists could no longer provide an effective force for the overthrow of the Syrian government. So President Trump swoops in, takes credit for the bloody sacrifices of others, and orders his useless military forces out of danger once NATO ally Turkey decides it has had enough of U.S. stalling and decides to make a grab for what it can get in Syria before Russia calls it off and brokers a diplomatic settlement, which it just did.

    Worst of all, from the standpoint of “defending” the people of the United States from “terrorism,” the U.S. military had created more of the disease than it has ever cured by trying to kill it. As Scott Horton summed up the situation in a radio interview with Tom Woods. See:
    Ep. 1510 Syria, Trump, and the Kurds: Scott Horton Tells the Story, Tom Woods,TomWoods.com (October 9, 2019).

    Key paragraph:

    Scott Horton: It’s not like, “Hey. If you isolationists would just give us a minute to tie up some loose ends. We’re almost done fixing what we broke here.” No. That’s not true. We give them the writ to track down Al Qaeda: Osama and his four-hundred friends in Afghanistan. And what do they do? They knock off Saddam Hussein and kill a million people. And then go on to Libya. And Syria. And Yemen. With regime changes and attempted regime changes.

    Regime changes waged against whom and in favor of whom? You guessed it:

    AGAINST secular dictators IN FAVOR OF jihadists … Just because those jihadists are anti-Shiite [meaning] anti-Iran. Which has nothing to do with protecting the American people from Bin Laden-ites at all. In fact, it is the exact, treasonous opposite of that. So when we give them a writ to protect us in the war on terrorism, they wind up fighting a war directly FOR terrorism. Simple as that. They’ve done it over and over again.

    So if you want more terrorists who hate the United States and will do anything to seek revenge upon Americans, then send the U.S. military abroad to “get rid of them.” Just how ass-backward can the United States get? And does Donald Trump have any idea just how fucked-up a “government” he somehow got elected to manage?

    Like

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