President Trump shocked Washington this morning when he Tweeted confirmation of rumors that he would order the removal of US troops from Syria. According to his spokesperson, the order has already been given. The neocons are not happy, with Sen. Lindsey Graham Tweeting that removing troops is an "Obama-like" move. Will Trump's own staff rebel? What about the fine print? Are we really leaving?
One thing is for sure, the hawks are having a meltdown...
Warmongers Upset With Trump's Syria Decision.— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) December 19, 2018
Don't Buckle Mr. President. pic.twitter.com/BCytN4FkWB
* * *
As a case in point, Josh Rogin at the Washington Post ranted Trump undermines his entire national security team on Syria. And CNN emphasized as part of a "hard news" report that Trump has supposedly handed Syria over to Iran and Russia.
According to Rogin:
Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the region — and disregarding the advice of his top national security officials.
If he follows through, writes Rogin, there will follow "devastating and dangerous consequences for the United States." And further: "Trump is now contradicting what all of his other top national security officials have been telling the world for months," says Rogin. So the President of the United States can't make a command decision without a nod from the 'deep state'?
Meanwhile the CFR talking heads note Trump has "overruled" the "other voices"...
This is a dramatic U-turn in US policies in the region. President Trump has overruled other voices in Washington. https://t.co/4JjOIK3QDq— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) December 19, 2018
Early reports suggest the troops could be home for Christmas after Trump has declared victory over ISIS, with one Pentagon official giving Reuters a 60 to 100 day timeline for troop withdrawal, and the same report noting the U.S. State Department is evacuating all its personnel in Syria within 24 hours.
America's Syrian Kurdish partners on the ground are said to be "shocked" and scared, given that Turkey is poised to immediately invade. However, US "options" are aptly summarized in the following recent intelligence study: "The prospect of US being militarily involved in Syria, caught in middle of one of most complex conflicts in recent memory, with shifting objectives & ambiguous endgame, has been met with congressional indifference and public apathy."
Yet the usual hawks and pundits act as if the sky is falling, as Eric Jones, a former US Army soldier and Afghan war combat veteran rightly puts it:
To interventionists, the US military is used as a strategic fire-and-forget weapon: deploy forces somewhere, then react hysterically to an impending apocalypse when someone calls for the troops to be withdrawn. Both parties are addicted to military force as a first and only foreign policy option.
And further on Wednesday's surprise Syria decision out of the White House, Jones slams the commentariat current gnashing their teeth over Trump's draw down:
It is always enjoyable to see people who cannot be bothered to pay attention to the longest war in US history, Afghanistan, suddenly jump to provide their uninformed opinions on military deployments way back in the civilian rear when it comes to demanding US forces fight in Syria.
As Ron Paul is now urging in the wake the announcement... "don't Buckle Mr. President"!