Then There Is Syria!

Trump has said he will withdraw troops from Syria……CoS Bolton said not so fast….Military generals say they will follow the order of the president to draw down troops…it has been fun watching this story play out…..who will win?

Will the president bow to the Neocon warmongers and keep troops in Syria or will he, Trump, do what he promised on the campaign?

The war industry is pulling all punches and rolling out why the US should stay in Syria…..

The warmongers are using the deaths of 4 Americans in Syria by suicide bomber as reason to stay the course…..

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that a suicide attack in the Syrian town of Manbij against American troops in the city, might have aimed to affect the U.S. administration’s decision to pullout forces in Syria. 

Four U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded in the attack on Wednesday, a U.S. official told Reuters

 
The “War Whores” (a great title) scramble to keep the US at war in Syria……
 A suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria has reportedly killed 19 people including four Americans, two of whom were US soldiers and two of whom worked with the US military. ISIS, which has an extensive history of falsely claiming responsibility for attacks it had nothing to do with, has claimed responsibilityfor the attack. Despite the fact that ISIS would claim responsibility for a housewife stepping on a Lego block, and despite the complete absence of evidence that it had anything to do with the deadly explosion, all the usual cheerleaders of endless war are pointing to the Manbij suicide bombing and shrieking “See?? Trump said ISIS is defeated and it’s not!”

“ISIS is still a very real threat here,” CNN international corespondent Clarissa Ward told Jake Tapper from northern Syria. “And the real concern that we are hearing over and over again on the ground, Jake, is that when US troops withdraw, a power vacuum is created, and that only gives them more strength.”

Virulent Syria war pundit Charles Lister, who is notorious for praising Al Qaeda and is a senior fellow at the Gulf state-funded neoconservative think tank Middle East Institute, told AFP that this attack invalidates Donald Trump’s order last month to withdraw troops from Syria.

https://theantimedia.com/syria-attack-means-troops-must-remain/

All the back and forth in DC means little….the Army chief has made his choice……

For the first time, a senior U.S. military official has commented on President Trump’s late-December decision to quit Syria, confirming publicly that American troops are planning to leave once ISIS is defeated on the ground.

“We are determined to finish that off and then hand the battle off to our indigenous partners,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said on Wednesday.

His comments came hours after a suicide bomber killed four people in Manbij, Syria, including two U.S. troops, a Defense Department civilian, and one contractor. Three more were injured in the blast, for which ISIS declared responsibility.

https://www.defenseone.com/news/2019/01/army-chief-confirms-us-will-hand-isis-fight-syria/154237/

Some groups see the pull-out as a good thing for it will give the US more wiggle room in the Middle East…..

On December 29, Russia and Turkey agreed to coordinate their ground operations in Syria after high-level consultations. The move related to Turkey’s declared intention of invading Rojava. At this stage, the U.S., Russia, Turkey and President Assad all agreed that Daesh must be completely eradicated, but their assessments of the organization’s strength and its chances of making a comeback varied widely.

Russia’s interest was to back Mr. Assad. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared before meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Moscow would consider Turkish military intervention “in the perspective of protection for Syria’s territorial integrity.”

https://www.gisreportsonline.com/withdrawal-from-syria-george-washingtons-warning-revisited,politics,2767.html

All the tit for tat in DC about the move to leave Syria but the American people are okay with the policy…..

The long life of the Afghan war makes it hard to remember how popular it was when it began. As the fighting began, 80 percent of America supported it. Nobody in Congress except Rep. Barbara Lee (D–Calif.) was prescient enough to vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force and its open-ended-enough-to-attack-a-dozen-more-countries wording. Not until 2014 did a majority of Americans begin to regret that the war ever started.

Now some polls suggest it’s nearly as unpopular as the wildly unpopular ill-fated war in Iraq.

http://reason.com/archives/2019/01/11/americans-ok-with-leaving-syria-and-afgh

Syria is still a point for argument…..but if the “war whores” (I love that title) get all their ducks in a row then we will stay engaged in Syria.  The attack gave these people the ammo they need to make a case for staying……

An ISIS suicide bombing in Syria’s Manbij killed four US troops. This caused a minor redesign in the narrative from hawkish US politicians and media pundits who were opposed to the US withdrawal from Syria. They’re exactly as opposed as before, only now Manbij is the excuse.

So after weeks of centering their talking points on saving the Kurds from Turkey, the focus now is on the idea that ISIS is emboldened by the announced US pullout, and that continuing the pullout will only make the withdrawing soldiers a target.

Their solution is to keep US troops in Syria, which ironically is also ISIS’ solution. Having lost their caliphate and become a desert-centric insurgency with little territory, the US pullout would be a big blow to ISIS’ already crumbling relevance as an international movement.

The easiest way for ISIS to stay relevant is to keep US troops close-by to occasional fight and attack. This would keep anti-US recruits flowing in, and international funding for their leadership.

In a way, this isn’t dissimilar to the hawks’ desire to keep US forces in Syria, as it is another chance for the advocates of the war to remain relevant, and to keep the money flowing on the American side of the war.

(antiwar.com)

The “Syria Saga” is far from over.

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Let’s Go To The Poll

If you talk to any given candidate then they will say that they have the support of the military and that they listen and do what concerns our veterans…..like I said a claim….but do any of these people actually approve of our current military policies?

Let’s go to the polls!

To answer that question the Smithsonian asked active duty troops as well as veterans about our current military policies……

It’s no secret that many Americans are fatigued by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it’s clear for the first time that the troops are, too, according to a new poll conducted by Smithsonian with two partners, the Defense Department publication Stars and Stripes and the Schar School at George Mason University.

Seventeen years after the U.S.-led military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 80 percent of 1,031 service members and veterans surveyed agreed with the statement that the occupations have “been going on too long.” As far as we know, this survey was the first one to pose that question to current and former service members. Their frustration is significant because they also voiced strong support for the war on terror generally, with 83 percent saying it should continue.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/new-poll-us-troops-veterans-reveals-thoughts-current-military-policies-180971134/

I agree with almost everything……I have a problem with the border thingy…I understand the fear but are troops really the answer?  If so then why do we have a border patrol/ ICE let the military handle it…..of if the border is so important why did it take 2 years to become an issue?  Is this admin so mentally deficient that it can only handle one issue at a time….then they need to move over and make room for the “big boys”……
A poll that was somehow missed by the MSM…..so much for them having the pulse of the nation.
As long as I am writing about polls……a recent one shows that a majority of Americans agree with a 70% tax on the uber rich……
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sparked a flood of hysterical and error-filled responses from the right when she suggested in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that America’s top marginal tax rate should be hiked to 70 percent to help pay for bold progressive programs, but a survey published on Tuesday found that the majority of Americans are on the freshman congresswoman’s side.
That was surprising, huh?
Any thoughts?

More US Deaths–2019

With all the debate on whether we are pulling out of Syria or not there is one thing that never changes….the chance of being killed in service to the country.

4 American soldiers were killed in Manjib, Syria by a suicide bomber…..

Described as the deadliest attack against US troops in Syria, a suicide bombing in the city of Manbij killed at least 15 people, including four US troops, and wounded a number of others, including three US troops.

The attack was claimed by ISIS, and that started an immediate furor among opponents of the announced US withdrawal from Syria, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who suggested the very idea of the pullout had provoked the attack by emboldening ISIS.

This is almost certain to grow dramatically, with huge numbers of lawmakers and media pundits opposing the Syria pullout bound to present this as vindication for keeping the war going.

This is not just a convenient case for hawks to be mad, but also for ISIS themselves. ISIS, like its al-Qaeda predecessors, is very keen to keep US forces in the immediate vicinity as a way to keep them globally relevant. As with al-Qaeda in places like Afghanistan, the US has long been willing to give them exactly what they want.

So while now many are gearing up to try to further slow, if not outright stop, the Syria pullout, the reality of the situation is that if the US had kept to the reported 30-day pullout in the first place, the troops attacked today almost certainly would’ve already been out of Syria.

The names have not been released….I shall update this post as soon as the names are available…..

The sad thing is to see the media and war hawks try and use this incident of sadness as a rallying cry to stay the course in Syria. (A separate post to follow soon)

“To Advise And Support”

I know that most people only know about our many wars from what little information they get from their news media of choice…..in other words they get very little info in a 30 second report…..

Most Americans think they know what the US is doing in all these countries (about 140 countries)….they are not fighting but rather they are advising and supporting…..is that what you think the US is doing these days?

It is an excellent con job……how many of you know just what an “Adviser” actually does…..what are the parameters under they must function?

Military writing requires that the bottom line be stated up front.  Here is the bottom line: an advisor is a person lawfully tasked and employed to provide expert advice and counsel to Foreign Security Force officials, representatives, and influencers; through the establishment or continuance of interpersonal relationships founded on mutual trust and respect.” For some reading this, that definition may seem obvious; for others it may seem almost counterintuitive. Our considerably diverse comprehension of what an advisor actually is was my motivation for writing this article.

The mission to advise has existed for many years. In fact, some could argue that the United States owes its existence at least in part to an advisor named Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian military expert employed by the fledgling Continental Army to train military maneuver.7 However, for this discussion I am focusing on the contemporary character of the mission in the era of the Wars on Terror (2001-present 2018).

I have already provided the bottom line, so now I need to explain how I got there. To do that, I will first reflect on a cold war era method of defining duty by exploring what it is that we expect our advisors Be, Know, and Do. I will then discuss briefly, the sources of my bottom line conclusion including a discussion on the impact of this topic. And then, I will conclude the paper by exploring what needs to be done in the interest of our sustained national security.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/definition-advisor-comprehending-mission-advise-foreign-security-forces

Please read the missions that the “advisers” must labor under and the functions of the job scope……

Learn Stuff!

Turn The Page!

A Real Life “Manchurian Candidate”

Back in the 60’s there was a great suspense movie with Frank Sinatra, The Manchurian Candidate…..the movie is about some brainwashed soldiers during the Korean War…it was a “Red Scare” film….it was updated in the 2000s….but the original was by far the better of thew two….

Trailer from the original movie

Now the trailer for the newer version…….

I have been writing about this situation for several years now……this is one of my posts…..https://lobotero.com/2017/01/05/modernizing-the-manchurian-candidate/

I bring all this up because of the news in the last couple of weeks…but of course if you listen to the talking heads it is all “fake news”….but is it?

The article below entitled Trump, The Manchurian Candidate: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Campaign to Destabilize the Trump Presidency waspublished on January 4, 2017 prior to the inauguration of president Trump.

In early January 2017, we had predicted an unprecedented constitutional crisis characterized by a coordinated and carefully planned operation to destabilize the Trump presidency involving several stages, both before and after his inauguration.

We are dealing with a carefully planned operation, a “conspiracy” in the true sense of the word.

In recent developments (January 2019), the FBI investigation is being quoted by the media as “evidence” that Trump is “wittingly or unwittingly” an agent of the Kremlin. (see below Guardian January 2019 report)

 
Personally, I liked the original much better…I guess as an old fart that lived through the Red Scare days I can relate.  The news smacks of the script of the Manchurian Candidate….could this be the case….if not it would make a good script for a future movie.
 
Just Saying.

In case you would like to watch the full movie…..

Syria! Whatcha Gonna Do?

I have watched the saga around the Syrian conflict go from devastation to a draw down to a slow down to a not leaving any time soon.

Bolton threatens Syria (Syria is not alone in the threats)…..something these warmongers do almost daily….

a State Department official said “(w)e have no timeline for our military forces to withdraw from” the country. Delay may turn out to be not at all.

On Sunday, a senior Iraqi parliamentarian said

“(t)he  Americans have built a military base in Erbil (in) the Iraqi Kurdistan region to use…against Iraq’s neighboring countries, in particular Iran and Syria.”

Iraqi media said the Pentagon has 14 military bases in the country – along with a reported 18 in Syria. The US is highly unlikely to abandon them, especially ones considered most strategically important.

An earlier report indicated the Pentagon intends establishing a permanent base along the Iraqi border with Syria. Turkey reportedly established one or more military bases in northwestern Aleppo.

On Saturday, a senior Trump regime official said US forces may remain indefinitely at the (illegally established) al-Tanf base in southeastern Syria near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders

https://www.globalresearch.ca/bolton-threatens-syria-us-troop-withdrawal-on-hold-permanent-us-military-base-on-syria-iraqi-border/5664843

This conflict has never been an easy one to follow…Obama made it murky and then Trump came in and it became damn near bleak.

So may I ask….what the Hell is the US Syria policy?

Does anyone know for certain just what US policy is in Syria? And by “anyone,” we include the folks in the White House and the State Department.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly canceled a scheduled sitdown with National Security Advisor John Bolton, then went on live TV to berate him. His gripe: Bolton had suggested the US won’t totally withdraw its forces from Syria until the safety of its Kurdish allies is assured, mostly from Turkish attack.

It’s just the latest whirl in the policy merry-go-round that’s spun ever since President Trump dropped his surprise announcement of a Syria withdrawal “as quickly as possible.”

https://nypost.com/2019/01/08/does-anybody-know-what-americas-syria-policy-is/

Just thought I would ask.

Trump has said that Syria is nothing more than “sand and death”…..but according to Neocon thought….we should never underestimate the importance of Syria….

When Donald Trump described Syria last week as a place of “sand and death”, without “vast wealth”, it would have helped him to first check his remarks with a contemporary historian.

That person might have been able to tell the US president that during a significant period of the last century, as it still is today, Syria was the centrepiece of competition between leaders in the Levant and Egypt, so that whoever controlled the country could pretend to a degree of regional dominance.

As Patrick Seale wrote in his classic book The Struggle for Syria, the nation’s “centrality derives from the fact that it lies at the heart of the Arab-Asian power system where, for good or ill, it affects every political relationship in the region”. With Mr Trump saying that his aim in the Middle East is to contain Iran, it made no sense for him to describe Syria dismissively. Without a strategy towards Syria, it is unlikely the US will succeed in curbing Iran.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/history-proves-syria-s-strategic-importance-should-not-be-underestimated-1.811201

It all comes down to Syria is nothing but a spot to confront Iran….not the devastation….not the death….not the refugees….none of that matters to the US as long as they can stick to Iran.

How sad is that?

But Bolton has flexed his tiny muscles and overrules Trump on the Syrian draw down….

National Security Advisor John Bolton has in effect overruled President Donald Trump’s troop withdrawal decision. This will have fateful consequences for America’s national interests, and none of them are good. Speaking in Israel, Bolton stated that two conditions must be met before a withdrawal of U.S. troops, and the conditions amount to a recipe for indefinitely prolonging the deployment. One is that the United States must “make sure ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again”—an objective that is impossible for the two thousand U.S. troops in Syria to achieve. With the mini-state of ISIS largely gone, whatever threat the group poses is a matter not of military control of a patch of Syria—a patch of “sand and death”, as Trump put it —but instead of ideology, politics, fear, and hatred that cannot be described on a battle map.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/syria-policy-hawks%E2%80%99-talons-sink-deeper-trump-41017

Apparently Trump is too ignorant to realize the insubordination of Bolton…..will Trump realize his brain fart?

https://theweek.com/articles/816140/shameful-insubordination-john-bolton

But guess what……generals said when asked about Bolton’s turn around on Syria…”We do not take orders from Bolton”…….

After days of back and forth over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pullout American troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday the process of withdrawal has begun, declining to comment on specific timetables or movements.

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said “the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria” has started.

“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” the Baghdad-based official said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/01/11/us_official_says_troop_withdrawal_from_syria_has_started_114098.html

I see that our Syrian policy is as murky as always.  None have been able to answer the one question…..just what is the US Syrian policy?

Can you?

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, (Pause) Bomb Iran

I can hear the late senator John McCain singing that song during the 2008 presidential election…..it is the mantra of the Neocons and their masters the Israelis for decades. Since 1979 the Israelis have preyed on the US neocon hatred for what the Iranians did to the US in that year.

SO when the news came out the Bolton had asked for plans for an attack on Iran made none of us old farts surprised…it it old hat to Neocon behavior…..

The attack—three mortar shells launched into Baghdad’s diplomatic sector by Iranian militants—injured no one, but the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that it “triggered unusual alarm” inside the Trump administration. National Security Adviser John Bolton responded by asking the Pentagon to draw up plans to attack Iran, a request so unusual and a response considered so outsize by many senior administration officials that it “definitely rattled people,” one such official tells the Journal. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.” An NSC rep says it simply “coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats.” Bolton has long advocated regime change in Tehran, notes the Journal, and penned a 2015 New York Times op-ed with the headline, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”
I have been writing about this news for decades,….ever so oftewn the Neocons, when in control, throw a story like this one out there for the MSM to feed on for awhile……https://lobotero.com/2018/07/31/bomb-bomb-iran/