The Deep State and the Middle East

Interesting that the Americans will show this but not give out the name of the dog who was injured. I would have thought there’s lots to learn from the way the attack took place, but maybe not. If there is any overall lesson here is that the US remains engaged in the Middle East.

We amateurs in foreign policy nevertheless love to keep an eye on the world. I am a former student of Machiavelli and Hobbes, even taught them at one time in my career, so I’m in there with the best of them, like Greg Sheridan. So following from the killing of the leader of ISIS, we are again asked to listen to the words of the Deep State as reflected in Sheridan’s column today: Trump’s Mid-East retreat raises the threat of war. These are the words that appear in the middle of the page in the paper:

Trump often threatens Iran but it has become clear there are almost no circumstances in which Trump would act against it.

You could say the same about Obama, except for him you would have to remove the word “almost”, and then add the billions in cash flown in to get the Iranians to slow, not stop, their acquisition of nuclear weapons. So Greg, what’s the plan? What should America do, given all of this:

Iran has built huge conventional forces inside Lebanon through its proxy Hezbollah, which now has 150,000 missiles trained on Israel. Iran has huge influence in Yemen….

The threat of a serious war between ­Israel and Iran is growing. Even [Don’t you mean especially?] Trump would not stand outside a war which threatened Israel’s life.

It is possible that reducing US influence in the Middle East could needlessly lead to a huge Middle East war, which America would have to join.

Weakness is provocative.

It is all a worry, but what makes me worry more than anything else is the thought of a Democrat in the White House in 2021. Which side are you on, Greg, which side are you on?

And here is the Fox News report.

LET ME NOW ADD THIS: Trump’s Withdrawal from Syria Is a Foreign Policy Masterstroke. This is how the article begins:

In one deft move that doesn’t put a single American life at risk, President Trump achieved a regional solution to ISIS, undermined Iran’s capacity for foreign aggression, and disentangled the United States from an alliance of convenience that threatened to create major diplomatic headaches down the road.

Contrary to claims that withdrawing American special forces from Northern Syria will enable ISIS to resurrect itself, for instance, the arrangement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan merely shifts responsibility for the few remaining ISIS fighters onto Turkey.

The successful operation to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi only makes it even less likely that the terrorist group will reemerge.

As was once not said by Zhou Enlai [the modern spelling, apparently] about the French Revolution, “it’s too soon to tell”. As for the counter-factual, that we will never know outside of a parallel universe.

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