The conflict in Syria is regional, ancient and, when all is said and done, impervious to outside, top-down reordering and interventions.
Doug Bandow in Chronicles:
Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” foreign policy. But he hasn’t been immune to the vapors of the Swamp. Not even three months after his inauguration, administration officials were praising NATO; affirming commitments to Japan and South Korea; discussing troop surges for Afghanistan; talking about permanently stationing forces in Iraq, increasing aid for Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen, and effecting regime change in Syria. It was as if Hillary Clinton occupied the President’s body.
Trump’s flip-flop on Syria was particularly shocking. Before the dawn of the Neoconservative Age no sane American would have suggested intervening in the horror that this ancient land has become.
… The Syrian conflict quickly turned into a proxy war: The U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf states pushed for Assad’s ouster, while Iran (including Afghan and Iraqi militias under Tehran’s command), Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Russia supported the Damascus government. Turks and Saudis were pleased to work with the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (the Support Front), which was the local Al Qaeda affiliate; meanwhile, Washington actively battled ISIS while tolerating al-Nusra. True to form, Ankara viewed Kurdish militias (allied with Washington) as the most dangerous faction and focused its malign military attention on them….
Islam in early America:
And this is what transpires when American elites import the world, its factions and fights. (Via The Guardian, because the American Moron Media are news-averse.)
Nine people were hurt and two arrests were made during an altercation at the Turkish ambassador’s residence in the US capital during a visit by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.
According to witnesses, a brawl erupted when Erdo?an’s security detail attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party outside the residence. A local NBC television affiliate reported Erdo?an was inside the building at the time.
Erdo?an’s referendum victory spells the end of Turkey as we know it.
Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the altercation broke out between two groups but he didn’t elaborate on the circumstances. He said two people were arrested, including one who was charged with assaulting a police officer.
“All of the sudden they just ran towards us,” Yazidi Kurd demonstrator Lucy Usoyan told ABC, adding that she was attacked by a pro-Erdo?an supporter. ..
Still and all, the Kurds are America’s friends, not the Turks. That is if Deep State America can be a friend to any nation.
The moron media had also failed to tell Americans that “Trump agreed to arm the Kurds in [what is a] hugely significant move for Syria.”
Foreign policy/invasion updates:
National security team:
At the end of the war on Iraq, the only document that proved truthful was the one presented by a terrified Saddam Hussein, in which he accounted for his weapons of mass destruction: Hussein had none. At the time, those who killed that country laughed at him, in anticipation of The Kill.
So when a weak leader stands up to the big bullies of the world and says he didn’t do it; it’s worth listening to Bashar-al Assad. (Those of us who hail from the Middle East and know the culture, appreciate how easily Arabs play the idiot superpowers, to get what they want from them.)
In any event, from the fact that Sarin was used in Syria it doesn’t follow that we know who used it: And how do you verify a video? There is certainly no reliable information shared about this attack other than iffy video footage.
Mr Assad accused the West of making up events in Khan Sheikhoun so it had an excuse to carry out missile strikes on the government’s Shayrat airbase, which took place a few days after the alleged attack.
“It’s stage one, the play [they staged] that we saw on social network and TVs, then propaganda and then stage two, the military attack,” he told the AFP, questioning the authenticity of the video footage.
Mr Assad also said the Syrian government had given up its chemical arsenal in 2013, adding “even if we have them, we wouldn’t use them”.
Since 2013, there have been continued allegations that chemicals such as chlorine and ammonia have been used against civilians, by both the Syrian government and rebel groups.
Turkey and the UK say tests show Sarin or a Sarin-like substance was used in Khan Sheikhoun, which would be the first time since 2013 that a prohibited chemical had been used on such a scale.
A few independent-minded, mainstream politicians are questioning “whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible for last week’s chemical weapons attack on civilians that prompted US missile strikes.” Like Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, they actually want evidence other than Nikki Haley waving a picture of a kid and Ivanka weeping.
One is Independent Australian MP Andrew Wilkie, also a former senior intelligence analyst. Wilkie “was ‘skeptical’ about who was responsible for the April 4 attack. ‘I’m actually skeptical about some of these claims,’ he told ABC radio on Tuesday. His comments come after US Defence Secretary James Mattis said ‘there is no doubt’ the Assad regime was responsible for planning and orchestrating the deadly attack.”
Wilkie has a history of showing good sense. Via ABC.Net.Au: He “resigned from the intelligence agency Office of National Assessments in 2003 in protest over Australia’s role in the Iraq War, said the Federal Government should have ‘learned from the past.'”
“I think we should be very cautious in Australia and not be too quick to automatically endorse what the US is saying,” said Wilkie.
Hard to believe that after Iraq, against which I railed in columns for years (“Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Culture”), starting in September of 2002, American leaders are back to doing the same.
When you quote truth disgorged by a liberal, GOPers pounce. But truth is truth no matter who says it.
Princeton’s Joyce Carol Oates captured the US’s appetite for destruction:
“[T]ravel to any foreign country,” Oates wrote in the Atlantic Monthly in November 2007, “and the consensus is: The American idea has become a cruel joke, a blustery and bellicose bodybuilder luridly bulked up on steroids … deranged and myopic, dangerous.”