Must We Stay In Syria?

Just a few short months ago our president stated that our troops would be leaving Syria because ISIS had been defeated…..first ISIS has not been defeated just given a bloody nose and second, the MIC did not give Trump permission to take troops out of Syria….but I wrote about it back then……https://lobotero.com/2019/01/21/then-there-is-syria-5/

Now that the MIC has gotten their way and US troops will remain in Syria to protect Israel what will be the hidden costs of such a decision?

President Donald Trump was right to want to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and should not have let his advisers overrule him. The rationales the administration gives for keeping U.S. forces in Syria are impossibly ambitious, and vehicles for escalation. Elements of the administration, starting with John Bolton, the national security adviser, seem eager to use U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq as bait for a war with Iran.

We have occasionally hoped that Congress might bestir itself to vote on the U.S. war in Syria, or even end it. Instead, its members mostly criticized the possibility of withdrawal, avoided any vote on the war, and now have sponsored an expert report setting out an extravagant set of missions for the small U.S. force remaining there.

Last December, when Trump suddenly announced the withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria and declared ISIL militarily defeated, foreign policy pundits across the political spectrum were appalled. The nation’s major op-ed pages wailed. With a few exceptions, most of whom are running for president, the Senate overcame its partisan divide to condemn the withdrawal of troops. Trump’s own secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, and his special envoy to the “Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,” Brett McGurk, resigned in protest over the decision.

 
This should be the lesson for lawmakers…..once the US starts a war it is incapable of ending it.
 
Just saying!

 

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Troops Out Of Iraq?

AS an opponent of war I want our weary troops out of Iraq….but of course I am pretty much alone since the government, M-IC and the media will do whatever it takes to see that our troops remain…..

Do not get me wrong it there was a good reason for the troops to be there then I would reconsider my stand….but I do not see that good reason.

Besides the media and the M-IC would go batcrap crazy at the thought of our troops coming home…….does anyone remember 2008…Obama is president and troops were being pulled out…..and the M-IC turned to the media to help the GOP fight to keep the troops in country…..most of their stuff was lies….but I expect that from the GOP…..but I wrote about in 2008……https://lobotero.com/2008/06/15/iraq-may-ask-us-to-leave/

I know who care about something that was a mere blip on the geopolitical radar?

Well the Iraqis may be in the process of throwing the US out of the country……

Iraq has spent the better share of the last 16 years under US military occupation. Despite this, time and again US-Iraqi relations have come to be defined by US hostility toward neighboring Iran, and Iraq’s desire to not get mixed up in that.

So while Iraq’s parliament was already bristling under Pentagon talk of staying in Iraq, and Trump saying that the US was staying in Iraq to “keep an eye on Iran,” the recent escalation of US rhetoric about a war against Iran has sparked action within parliament.

It has been said for awhile that Iraq will be voting on a bill that would aim to expel all foreign troops from Iraqi soil, and singles out US troops in particular as needing to leave. The bill is endorsed by Iraq’s top two Shi’ite blocs, and is expected to pass fairly easily. Exact timing of the vote is unclear, but it is expected to be sooner rather than later.

What happens then is the real question. Iraq’s parliament is already being spun as “pro-Iran factions,” and it’s been a long time since US officials, Pentagon or otherwise, gave any indication that they thought staying in Iraq was up to the Iraqi government.

So while the Iraqi Prime Minister is warning the US that they can’t use Iraq to launch a war on Iran, the US is browbeating Iraq over its government-aligned Shi’ite militias, and doing everything they can to try to portray that Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government as effectively in league with the Iranians, and subsequently a threat to US interests. No matter what happens, it seems certain US-Iraqi ties will suffer for it.

(antiwar.com)

Deja vu all over again!

How will the M-IC and media spin this to have it overturned?

If it happens there will be a massive attempt to change the narrative.

The Road To Middle East Peace

This could be seen as 70+ years of failures…..from the proposals of Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948 to the promises of peace from Donald Trump……the closest we came to an end was in 1978 Camp David Accords….and then we had an election that brought a warmonger to the White House and the downhill slide began and has only picked up speed in the years after.

We have been promised to hear a plan from Kushner, the leader of Trump’s ME peace team, for years….the promise is that we will finally hear this plan sometime this month.

Personally, I feel that this plan will be nothing more than a sideshow to help change the dialog of the day……

After two years of drum-rolling, Donald Trump’s “ultimate deal” for Israelis and Palestinians is about to enter what its architects claim is the pre-launch phase.

The US president has said the peace plan drawn up by his team – two former personal lawyers and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner – will be ready to unveil by the end of January.

Yet despite the anticipation surrounding Trump’s proposals for resolving one of the world’s most intractable conflicts, a more crucial plan for the region is already being implemented on the ground: an attempt to strengthen Israel’s hand while weakening that of the Palestinians.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/01/donald-trump-middle-east-peace-plan-israel-palestine

Sorry being a Jew does not necessarily qualify one to be the master of peace in the Middle East…..but that aside any plan (if one actually makes an appearance) will need Congress before anything…..

In recent days, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, has revealed certain key aspects of the long-touted White House Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that he and other senior administration officials say they will launch sometime after the April 9 elections in Israel. In normal times, these would be headlines. But America is currently so consumed with the Mueller investigation and the president’s declaration of a national emergency to fund his border wall that it is hard to find the bandwidth to discuss anything else.

The plan is said to be based on four principles—freedom, respect, security, and opportunity—with one key goal being “developing infrastructure” for “tremendous growth in … the West Bank and Gaza.”

The price tag for these investments, meanwhile, is reported to be in the tens of billions of dollars—a substantial sum, particularly for an administration that has slashed U.S. foreign assistance across the board and especially to the Palestinians. No doubt this is why Kushner and other senior administration officials are currently touring the Arab Gulf states: not just to “share … some of the details … especially on the economic vision” with leaders there, as Kushner described, but to ask them to foot most if not all of the bill.

 
Keep in mind that the Trump machine has a long record of failures……
Many American presidents have blundered in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, but Donald Trump’s personal involvement in the region has been particularly disastrous. President Eisenhower introduced the CIA to the world of covert action, when he ordered the overthrow of the legitimate government of Iran in 1953. President Reagan endorsed a U.S. troop presence in Lebanon in 1982 in order to pull Israeli chestnuts out of the fire there due to their war crimes in Beirut, offering proof to the Arab nations of Washington’s one-sided support for Israel. President George H.W. Bush went ahead with Desert Storm in 1991 although Soviet President Gorbachev had gained a commitment from Saddam Hussein to withdraw his forces from Kuwait. Worst of all, President George W. Bush used phony intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq in 2003 that has created sixteen years of disarray throughout the region.
 
The roll out (if there is one) will be massive and taunted as “peace in our time” sort of thing…..I predict it will be yet another failed attempt at peace for this region.
 
The only peace plan is one the both sides keep their dignity and respect for the opponent….I do not see that happening anytime soon…..
 

Those Chemical Attacks

Everything that has happened in Syria in the last decade is the rest of those dastardly chemical attacks….the US build up and the US attacks to punish this dastardly affront to civilization….the attacks of which I wrote in 2018……https://lobotero.com/2018/05/02/syria-saga-continues/

Now a MIT rocket scientist writes about those attacks….

 “The evidence is overwhelming that the gas attacks were staged,” Award-winning scientist and MIT professor emeritus Theodore Postol told The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté in a newly published interview.

The interview with the noted MIT rocket scientist comes after Fox’s Tucker Carlson featured rare mainstream coverage of the bombshell leaked OPCW report on his show Thursday night.

The “smoking gun” memo refutes key events surrounding the April 2018 alleged chemical gas attack in Douma, Syria – which resulted at the time in massive US and allied airstrikes on Damascus, including the launch of over one hundred Tomahawk cruise missiles.

As we summarized previously of the leaked chemical weapons engineer report from the world’s chief international chemical weapons watchdog group:

The document, whose authenticity the OPCW has confirmed, contends that the official story which was used to justify an air strike by the US, UK and France about poison gas being dropped on civilians from Syrian government helicopters is scientifically implausible, saying “In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft.” 

Watch the interview below:

MIT Rocket Scientist: Leaked Document Shows Syrian Chemical Attacks Were Staged

I bring up this history because they are at it again……this from 23May19……https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/22/us-accuses-syria-of-more-chemical-attacks-just-as-chemical-weapons-narrative-crumbles/

Most people are not aware of just how involved the MSM is in the selling of military action……it is the best propaganda tool the government has at its disposal.

The MSM is not a neutral purveyor of the news of the day……it is nothing more than propaganda on a daily basis to condition the American public to accept whatever issue the government feels is important.

So you want example…..okay…Israel!  Military involvement! Pick an issue…any issue…..if it is a major story of the day then it is spun to get the reaction that is wanted……and the American people walk along as if in a trance and accept whatever they, MSM, is spinning.

A Haven For Warmongers

I have been preaching a message of antiwar for 40+ years, since 1972 and I will admit it has been a long hard road because most Americans could care less since it does not apply to them at all.

The problem is we should send people to Washington that will do all they can to keep Americans out of harms way in the many small wars raging at any given time.

US foreign policy should be…Do No Harm!

But these days DC has become a haven for warmongers and their handlers…..the situation with Iran illustrates this point…..

The current crisis atmosphere in U.S.-Iranian relations, in which the risk of open warfare appears greater than it has been in years, is solely, unequivocally due to the policies and actions of the Trump administration. To point this out does not mean that actions of the Iranian regime have not come to be part of the crisis atmosphere as well. It instead means that such an atmosphere would never have existed in the first place if the administration had not turned its obsession with Iran into the relentless campaign of stoking hostility and tension that has become one of the single most prominent threads of the administration’s foreign policy.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/washington-has-become-warmongers-paradise-58832

A recent letter from Congress illustrates how deep the warmongers are entrenched in DC….

Nearly 400 Congress members from both chambers — roughly 75 percent of all federal US lawmakers — have signed an open letter calling on President Trump to escalate the war in Syria, in the name of countering Iran, Russia, and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Top Democratic Party leaders have joined hawkish Republicans in a bipartisan demand that the far-right president “address threats in Syria” and “demonstrate American leadership in resolving the prolonged conflict.”

 
After reading that article….I came upon a couple points….”augment our support for Israel”…so our troops are there to protect Israel?  Then to confront Hezbollah…why?  Hezbollah is NO threat to the US…oh wait sorry…it is that Israel thing again.
 
400 Congresspeople signed this letter……who pays their salary?  Apparently not the people they will send to fight their goddamn stupid wars.
 
We need people in Congress that do not want this country embroiled in conflict after conflict with no end in sight.
 
Vote to end continuous war…..
 
Learn Stuff!
 
Now VOTE!

Remember The Gulf Of Tonkin?

I sincerely hope that all my American visitors had a great Memorial Day……

Back to work, Professor!

I’ll bet that if you are not an old fart then you have no idea what I mean by the title…..for you ‘younguns’…..

This was an attack by North Vietnam on two naval vessels cruising off their shores….and this incident lead to the mash up that cost 50,000+ American lives……

More information on the incident…..

That is enough history for you….I bring this up because I said that the attacks on the tankers in the Persian Gulf smelled like a new “Tonkin Incident”…..

But to refresh your memory…..

With the US having signed off on another 1,500 ground troops being sent to the Middle East, some justification is needed. A top Pentagon official is relying on previous speculation to make this all look very official.

Vice Admiral Michael Gilday told reporters that the US has “very high confidence” that recent sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates was done by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He also claimed rockets recent fired ib Baghdad were fired by “Iranian proxies.

(antiwar.com)

Then the president order more troops to the region….and now he, Trump, is using an unclear threat to help sell weapons, that the Congress has said no to, to the Saudis and their lackeys…..

In a move predicted earlier this week by members of Congress, President Trump has declared a “national emergency” for the sole reason of circumventing Congressional restrictions on arms sales, and using it to rush shipments of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress is supposed to get a 30 day notice ahead of any sales, and can then block shipments. Concerns about war crimes in Yemen mean Saudi arms would be likely to face some effort to block them.

But the law has a loophole in it, which allows the president to declare an “emergency” of any sort he wants, with no oversight on that declaration, and then send the arms over without Congressional notification.

This is a notoriously cheap way to circumvent Congress on arms exports, but several Senators said they expected Trump to make such a move as soon as next week. It appears he decided to get out in front of that move with a declaration on Friday going into the holiday weekend.

Officially, the “national emergency” is tensions with Iran, though several in Congress have pointed out that the US has had nonstop tensions with Iran for decades, and that’s not a reason to suddenly declare a new emergency.

(antiwar.com)

We have an emergency according to Trump…..The Trump administration on Friday invoked a rarely used provision in federal law to bypass congressional review of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing threats the kingdom faces from Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Congress of the decision to use an emergency loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with sales of $7 billion in precision guided munitions, other bombs and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support to Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, without lawmakers’ approval. Pompeo said, the AP reports, “that an emergency exists which requires the immediate sale” of the weapons “to deter further the malign influence of the government of Iran throughout the Middle East region.” He said the transfers “must occur as quickly as possible in order to deter further Iranian adventurism.”  (If anybody can recognize “adventurism” it is the American war machine….we have been committing it for over 5 decades)…….

So the weapons could be sold….the State Department withheld info from Congress……

The US State Department missed a deadline today to explain to the heads of multiple Congressional committees why the Iran section of their arms control report contradicted all available information from US intelligence agencies.

The report came out in mid-April, and was immediately contested by a number of officials. Intelligence officials said the report was “skewed” in such a way as to justify military action against Iran. They also said that the text indicated that the State Department had totally ignored all intelligence assessments on Iran, and just wrote the report in a way that would fit the narrative.

At the time, the State Department refused to address the allegations from other officials, and claimed the report included “all relevant information,” suggesting they didn’t consider intelligence reports that didn’t agree with the conclusion they were supposed to come up with relevant enough to mention.

Ignoring Congressional calls for clarification is a growing problem throughout the administration. Repeatedly, the administration has been given direct questions by Congress, or members thereof, with specific deadlines, and just let those deadlines go with neither a response, nor an explanation as to why they didn’t respond.

(antiwar.com)

Could it be missed because the intel will not confirm that lie being sold?

A piece of evidence in the Trump administration’s case against Iran may be less than it seems.

The Trump administration announced Friday that it is sending 1,500 new troops to the Persian Gulf and authorizing new arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to counter a rising Iranian threat in the region. But satellite images provided exclusively to The Daily Beast by the company Planet Labs show that a component of the administration’s description of Iran’s aggressive behavior—an apparent positioning of Iranian missiles onto boats—may not be as clear in commercial imagery as anonymous administration officials claimed it to be in statements to other publications.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/satellite-images-raise-questions-about-iran-threat-experts-say

Sorry, but I have heard all this before….and it did not end well for 50,000+ Americans…..we cannot let it happen yet again!

War With Iran?

No matter what we believe about the state of Iran…we are inching closer to a armed confrontation……something I do not believe will end well…..

But more on that later…..Sec. Pompeo is pulling out all stops to get a war….we have a hard on for al-Qaeda since 9/11 and he used AQ to justify a war with Iran…..

In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “there is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaeda. Period. Full stop.”

If the connection was that al-Qaeda has been fighting against Iran, and vice versa, for decades he might have a point. That’s clearly not Pompeo’s intention, however, and other officials are noting that he’s wrong.

Pentagon and State Department officials say Pompeo’s comments were “way out of proportion,” and that there “is nothing in the intelligence to suggest” that Iran and al-Qaeda are working together in some grand anti-US alliance.

(antiwar.com)

So why is Pompeo lying? It’s because legally what he claims would have been very convenient. The 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Forces (AUMF) authorizes war against groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, and Pompeo is among administration officials talking up war with Iran. Linking them to al-Qaeda, however non-credibly and preposterously, would be a way to allow Trump to circumvent Congress on authorization.

And then there is our “close” ally MbS….not to outdone he is pushing for a war with Iran……

Mohammed bin Salman has appalling judgment and a terrible track record, so it comes as no surprise that he thinks having the U.S. start a war with Iran is a good idea. Bogged down in a disastrous war of his own making in Yemen, he would have the U.S. set the entire region aflame with more reckless military intervention. The Trump administration should obviously ignore Saudi calls for war, but given the president’s history of doing Riyadh’s bidding there is no guarantee that a concerted push from regional clients won’t have the desired effect. Saudi support for attacking Iran is the latest example of their government’s destructive and destabilizing role in the region, and it is another reminder that the crown prince is reckless and incapable of learning any of the right lessons from his previous failures. With any luck, the anti-Iranian summit later this month will be as much of a flop as the Trump administration’s failed gathering in Warsaw.

 
If we go to war and we do win, whatever that looks like, there will be a need for another occupation…….if you need an example (hopefully you care more than that)….think Iraq there is NO better example.
 
It is a shame that we have NO clear objective here……we have the regime change bullshit from Bolton and Pompeo and the incoherence of Trump….one way at breakfast and by lunch it has changed and probably will again by breakfast tomorrow…..

To some extent, there is nothing new under the sun. Fabrication and folly are hardly unknown to US presidential policies on war and peace. Before President Donald Trump commits further to any new or expanding military operations against Iran, therefore, it would be prudent to look back at some of this country’s previous war policy manipulations and errors.

Even if it should first appear that a “tailored,” “limited,” or “narrow” American-led action against Iran would be gainful in geo-strategic terms (and also defensible in law), a second look would still be in order.

In any such complex matters, history deserves its pride of place. Where, precisely, have we gone wrong in the past? Why were we Americans so sorely mistaken in Vietnam and other places? Were we simply misled by poor presidential leadership? Even as a free people, have we just been incapable of selecting capable candidates for high public office?

And why?

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/war-iran-error-manipulation-and-president-donald-trumps-strategy-incoherence

This is all too familiar……maybe some are too young to remember the lies and deception by the government and the media in 2003….but I am not….and that is why I write!

Plus the media has worked well for the government narrative…..they have successfully sold the narrative of war with Iran to the people…..

While Americans are more concerned about Iran as a security threat to the United States now than they were last year, few would be in favour of a pre-emptive attack on the Iranian military. But if Iran attacked U.S. military forces first, four out of five believed the United States should respond militarily in a full or limited way, the May 17-20 poll showed.

Historically tense relations between Washington and Tehran worsened in May after U.S. President Donald Trump hardened his anti-Iran stance and restored all sanctions on Iranian oil exports following his decision a year ago to pull the United States out of a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-iran-poll/half-of-american-adults-expect-war-with-iran-within-next-few-years-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUKKCN1SR27R

Goebbels would be proud of our MSM!

What about Iran threatens the “Homeland”?

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