Putting down a mad dog was the right thing to do

You have to trust someone’s judgement on issues one knows near nothing about, and David Archibald is one of my go-to people on foreign policy. He has now written this article, Mattis was no good, which begins like this.

American Thinker readers were warned about General Mattis over a year ago in this article.  Briefly, Mattis was and remains a supporter of global warming.

The issue of global warming continues to be a reliable and simple litmus test.  If someone believes in global warming, then you can be sure he is a globalist who loathes Western civilization.

Then there was his support for the Islamist Anne Patterson, loathed by the Egyptian people for her support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Then there was the matter of allowing one of his underlings to throw Fox Company, of Task Force Spartan in Afghanistan in 2007, under a bus so he could advance his own career.

And on it continues. He had me at global warming, the surest dye marker for incompetence and a sell-out for our Western way of life. The rest just adds more detail and substance. A great name “Mad Dog”, but past that happy to see him on his way.

The one certainty is that there is no certainty

With the Deep State found at every turn, it is hard to know where to look for sense on PDT’s pull-out of American forces from Syria. The one person whose views I therefore most wished to hear were those of Caroline Glick at The Jerusalem Post. She has now published this, which the headline writer described as: TRUMP’S DECISION TO PULL FORCES OUT OF SYRIA HAS UPSIDES. In the article itself, she is more positive, with this her conclusion which she links to Nikki Haley’s speech to the UN last week:

By abandoning the anti-Israel fake “peace process” and striking out on a new path based on reality, and by walking away from Obama’s pro-Iran policies in Syria and Lebanon and backing Israel in its efforts to defeat its enemies, the Trump administration is demonstrating what pro-Israel really means. So long as it is true to its word, Israel is safer and stronger for it.

OK. But there are two sides to this as she makes clear.

For the past two years, the Trump administration has continued implementing Obama’s pro-Iran policy in Syria. Efforts to change the US mission have failed, largely due to Pentagon opposition. During his visit to Israel in August, National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the mission of US forces had been expanded to block Iran from asserting control over Syria. But since the administration didn’t request a new mandate from Congress, the mission remained officially what it has been since 2014.

It is true that on the ground, the US forces in Syria do far more than fight ISIS. They block Iran from controlling the Syrian border with Iraq and so prevent Iran from controlling a land route from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.

US forces also have blocked Turkey from taking over Syrian Kurdistan and have prevented Turkish President Recep Erdogan from carrying out his pledge to destroy the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces. If the US chooses not to arm and supply the SDF, once the Americans leave, Syria’s Kurds – America’s only loyal allies there – will either have to cut a deal with Russia and Iran or face Turkey alone.

US forces in Syria also block Russia from taking over Syria’s oil fields. On February 7, forty US Special Forces troops blocked hundreds of Russian mercenaries from seizing the Conoco oil field on the eastern side of the Euphrates.

Finally, US forces in Syria act as a deterrent against Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah aggression against Israel. With US forces on the ground, they fear that provoking a war with Israel will be tantamount to going to war against America. With US forces out of Syria, their fear of attacking Israel will diminish.

Nevertheless, she still sees the positives, and it is quite striking that the Israeli reaction generally has been so quiet. It is the same people who oppose a border wall in the US who are also the ones most critical of Trump’s decision. The one certainty is that there is no certainty, no matter what you do.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS: There is an apparent assumption that PDT just does what he does with no groundwork and preparation. However, as noted by Baa Humbug in the comments: Saudi Crown Prince MbS Sends Replacement Troops To Defend Kurds in Syria…. There is also this to dwell on if it doesn’t turn your stomach: THE NEW YORK TIMES WAS AGAINST WAR IN SYRIA BEFORE IT WAS FOR IT.

Almost a year ago, on Jan. 19, 2018, that same editorial board raked the president over the coals for even daring to continue America’s policy of military adventurism. The Times expressed concern that more American troops beyond the 2,000 initially deployed could soon be sent overseas in a mission without any clear goals. “Syria is a complex problem. But this plan seems poorly conceived, too dependent on military action and fueled by wishful thinking,” The Times said.

Who would depend on these people to protect our way of life?

From the Wall to Wall Street


TRUMP VOWS VETO OVER WALL!
FRUSTRATION BUILDS
SHUTDOWN LOOMS

Meanwhile, in The Oz, this is the headline story in the paper – allies warn as Trump pulls troops out of Syria – but it’s no news anywhere else, including at The Jerusalem Post, where the top story at the moment is “SODASTREAM TO OPEN FACTORY IN GAZA”. In fact, you can already barely find the story in the online edition of The Oz.

Then in the realm of manufactured news, we have this:

GOODBYE 23,000: STOCKS CONTINUE ROUT...
DOW -464...
WORST MONTH IN DECADE...
WIRE: Recession near? 

I am hardly the only one who wonders whether this is an anti-Trump fit of hysteria, in part through a Deep State effort in selling off shares, and in part through the Fed having raised rates for the seventh time since Trump was elected. They really are out to get him, and they are utterly indifferent who ends up paying the price.

He may have half the country with him but it’s the wrong half

Quite a day for news. First the economy.

FED RAISES RATES; DEFIES TRUMP

MARKETS PLUNGE

The aim is to sabotage the American economy. No one in the deep state, whether they are in the “public service” or George Soros, will be affected. I think higher rates are a positive over the longer term, but everything is now aimed at the next election in 2020. Instability is the aim, so we shall see.

Then there’s this.


WALL STALL…
TRUMP IN RETREAT…
Judge blocks asylum crackdown…
Chinese nationals smuggled across U.S. border in ultralight plane…
GALLUP: Government, immigration top problems…

The Republicans in Congress could have built the wall and at more or less negligible cost. Will not do it. Border protection is the last thing on their minds.

And if you want more transformative news on the day, not even mentioned at Drudge. From The BBC.

Syria conflict: US officials withdraw troops after IS ‘defeat’

US troops in Syria on 4 November 2018
Image captionAround 2,000 US troops are believed to be stationed in Syria

The Trump administration says US troops are being withdrawn from Syria, after the president said the Islamic State (IS) group had been “defeated”.

I can only hope this is an accurate reflection of circumstances on the ground. The limited coverage in the American media might even mean this is a positive story that could even reflect well on the President.

 

“It would be a great thing to have a good relationship with Russia, Trump said”

PDT is afraid of nothing. Here they are, out to railroad his presidency because of some alleged form of pre-election collaboration with Putin and Russia, and here he is, just yesterday, collaborating with Putin and the Russians: Putin and Trump talk Syria, election meddling at brief meeting. The US and Russia working together against a common enemy works for me, and apparently for them as well.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed a statement on Syria during a brief meeting at a summit in Vietnam on Saturday and Putin again dismissed allegations of meddling in last year’s U.S. election.

And walking into the media-Democrat Lion’s den, this is how the article ends.

“It would be a great thing to have a good relationship with Russia,” Trump said.

It would indeed. It would be great if the relationship between Russia and the United States could somehow be reset. It would be a true benefit if the President could have more flexibility now that the election is over, if you know what I mean, which no Democrat following the party line would ever do.

And then there’s this, in late-breaking news: South Korea, China agree to manage North Korea issue peacefully, in stable manner. It would be great to have a good relationship with China too.

Putin and American foreign policy

Who is the enemy? Damned if I any longer know. This is from Mike Whitney, described as ” a contributor to “Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion“. The title: Putin Forces Obama to Capitulate on Syria:

The Russian-led military coalition is badly beating Washington’s proxies in Syria which is why John Kerry is calling for a “Time Out”.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for an emergency summit later in the week so that leaders from Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan could discuss ways to avoid the “total destruction” of Syria. According to Kerry, “Everybody, including the Russians and the Iranians, have said there is no military solution, so we need to make an effort to find a political solution. This is a human catastrophe that now threatens the integrity of a whole group of countries around the region,” Kerry added.

Of course, it was never a “catastrophe” when the terrorists were destroying cities and villages across the country, uprooting half the population and transforming the once-unified and secure nation into an anarchic failed state. It only became a catastrophe when Vladimir Putin synchronized the Russian bombing campaign with allied forces on the ground who started wiping out hundreds of US-backed militants and recapturing critical cities across Western corridor. Now that the Russian airforce is pounding the living daylights out of jihadi ammo dumps, weapons depots and rebel strongholds, and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is tightening their grip on Aleppo, and Hezbollah is inflicting heavy casualties on Jabhat al Nusra militants and other Al Qaida-linked vermin; Kerry’s decided it’s a catastrophe. Now that the momentum of the war has shifted in favor of Syrian president Bashar al Assad, Kerry wants a “Time out”.

Keep in mind, that Putin worked tirelessly throughout the summer months to try to bring the warring parties together (including Assad’s political opposition) to see if deal could be worked out to stabilize Syria and fight ISIS. But Washington wanted no part of any Russian-led coalition. Having exhausted all the possibilities for resolving the conflict through a broader consensus, Putin decided to get directly involved by committing the Russian airforce to lead the fight against the Sunni extremists and other anti-government forces that have been tearing the country apart and paving the way for Al Qaida-linked forces to take control of the Capital. Putin’s intervention stopped the emergence of a terrorist Caliphate in Damascus. He turned the tide in the four year-long war, and delivered a body-blow to Washington’s malign strategy. Now he’s going to finish the job.

Putin is not gullible enough to fall for Kerry’s stalling tactic. He’s going to kill or capture as many of the terrorists as possible and he’s not going to let Uncle Sam get in the way.

These terrorists–over 2,000 of who are from Chechnya–pose an existential threat to Russia, as does the US plan to use Islamic extremists to advance their foreign policy objectives. Putin takes the threat seriously. He knows that if Washington’s strategy succeeds in Syria, it will be used in Iran and then again in Russia. That’s why he’s decided to dump tons of money and resources into the project. That’s why his Generals have worked out all the details and come up with a rock-solid strategy for annihilating this clatter of juvenile delinquents and for restoring Syria’s sovereign borders. And that’s why he’s not going to be waved-away by the likes of mealy-mouth John Kerry. Putin is going to see this thing through to the bitter end. He’s not going to stop for anyone or anything. Winning in Syria is a matter of national security, Russia’s national security…..

The entire US political establishment supports the removal of Assad and the breaking up of Syria. Kerry’s sudden appeal for dialogue does not represent a fundamental change in the strategy. It’s merely an attempt to buy some time for US-backed mercenaries who are feeling the full-brunt of the Russia’s bombing campaign. Putin would be well-advised to ignore Kerry’s braying and continue to prosecute his war on terror until the job is done.

That bit in bold. I didn’t know that. Is it true? Is that really what they want? Seems perfect for ISIS to me, but what do I know? But given Obama’s approach to Libya, Egypt and Israel, whatever the “US political establishment” wants, I am inclined to take the other side.

You can’t tell the players without a program

syria competing goals

This is the story as I understand it, but really I don’t understand it at all. Russia, it seems, attacked America’s anti-Assad allies in Syria who are themselves enemies of ISIS but are also the remaining forces of al Qaeda! The US can do nothing to defend its allies, not that they should be its allies, but is in any case without any genuine ability to enforce its will. The diagram above from The Wall Street Journal provides a rough guide to the various major parties and what they are seeking out of the conflict. Meanwhile Europe is submerged in new migrants from alien cultures which has changed Europe forever.

The American reaction is all spelled out here: US urges Russians to focus airstrikes on Islamic State. But in the midst of it, there is a sentence that highlights to me, and probably others, the profound lack of seriousness in American foreign policy:

“We are not yet where we need to be to guarantee the safety and security” of those carrying out the airstrikes, Kerry said, “and that is the discussion that is taking place today,” referring to the US-Russia military talks. “And it will take place even more so over the course of the next few days depending on the outcome today.”

“It’s a way of making sure that planes aren’t going to be shooting at each other and making things worse,” the secretary said in an interview late Thursday on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Colbert is the replacement for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. You cannot parody these people and satire is now impossible.