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Trump Is Both Right And Wrong On Syria Pullout

Trump Defends Syria Decision










President Trump’s apparent decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria has generated a strange alliance of Leftists ready to use the pullout as the latest cudgel with which to beat the President and neocons who never see an international problem that can’t be addressed by means other than the endless expenditure of American lives and taxpayer dollars.

In truth the President’s analysis that the current state of affairs in Syria should be brought to its final conclusion by parties in direct proximity to the problem is nothing more than the sensible judgement that the heavy lifting in the fight against the Islamic State has already been done, and that the mopping up can and should be handled by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

However, there is a deeper truth that both the President and the opponents of the pullout are ignoring, because those who advocate keeping American troops endlessly engaged in the intramural Muslim conflicts that have animated the U.S. intervention in Syria refuse to acknowledge it exists, let alone that it should be confronted and defeated.

And that truth is that behind all the arguments about borders, self-determination and democratic principles lurks the dark shadow of political Islam and its drive for world domination.

The truth is that the real enemy in the Near East is not Bashar al-Assad, it is political Islam, and the only way to defeat it is to drop the fiction that “Islam is a religion of peace” and use all our national power to present an alternative worldview that undermines and eventually destroys Sharia-supremacism and Iranian “Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih” (Guardianship of the Jurist).

None of the generals who have been tasked with fighting and winning the wars in Syria and Iraq, and certainly none of the politicians who have advocated United States involvement in them, have been willing to accept and confront that truth, and as a consequence the war that was supposed to be a three month intervention to defeat the “JV forces” of the Islamic State became a seven year sinkhole of American lives and treasure.

What’s more, while neocons and Obama apologists have made getting rid of brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a central casus belli, it is clear that Senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and the interventionists on the Left did not think through who would govern Syria if he’s gone, or what America would have to do to prevent that alternative from being even more odious – and dangerous.

And therein lies another thread in the tangled skein that is the American involvement in Syria.

In July of 2015 Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted that only 60 so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels were then being trained by the U.S. in the $500 million program that had been slated to put 3,000 fighters into the field against ISIS by the end of that year.

Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he regretted disclosing that the number was so low but "I wanted to tell the truth. The number 60, as you all recognize, is not an impressive number. The number is much smaller than we hoped for at this point."

The $500 million Syrian training program authorized by Congress was intended to train and equip up to 5,400 fighters annually, with about 3,000 projected to be ready by the end of 2015.

In September of 2015 Senate the testimony of CENTCOM commander, General Lloyd Austin, revealed that the U.S. plan to train thousands of Syrian opposition soldiers had cost half a billion dollars and resulted in "4 or 5" trained people on the battlefield.

Most of the trainees that constituted the “Free Syrian Army” were killed in their first contact with the enemy or went over to the jihadi forces aligned with the Islamic State.

Meaning we might have defeated Assad only to empower enemies even more dangerous, because they are committed to the world domination of Islam in a way that the thoroughly secular al-Assad dynasty never was. And by weakening Assad we have made him more dependent than ever on Russia and Iran, two enemies much more powerful and capable than the parasitic Islamic State ever was or could be.

The genesis of that misjudgment lies with Obama and Hillary Clinton and their support for the so-called Arab Spring, an uprising they claimed to support as a democratic uprising against authoritarian dictators, such as al-Assad and the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

In reality the Arab Spring was an Islamist uprising against secularism and it ushered in fairly successful civilization-level attack on the West by political Islam. The millions of Muslim “refugees” invading Western Europe and the United States and the spread of Iranian influence throughout the region were caused by the war in Syria, and they will not be turned back or defeated by the presence of 2,000 American troops in Syria.

To those who argue that keeping a U.S. presence in Syria deters Iran and may prevent the mullahs from obtaining a land presence on the Mediterranean coast, I can only point out that they are already there through their proxy the Lebanese militia-cum-political party Hezbollah.

And the United States, while it designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization way back in 1997, has done nothing to defeat its ideology.

Indeed, as David Daoud of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy noted, Hezbollah remains the most successful and most prominent Iranian revolutionary export. And Mr. Daoud is not the only one to hold that view.

Gilbert Achcar of the University of London has called Hezbollah “the most prestigious member of the regional family of Khomeinism.” The Lebanon-based terrorist group is cut from the same ideological cloth as the Islamic Republic, which, according to former CIA intelligence analyst Kenneth Pollack, is Hezbollah’s model and inspiration. Eitan Azani, the deputy executive director of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC Herzliya, has said that Khomeini and his successors serve as Hezbollah’s ultimate source of religious, political, and ideological guidance and authority. Hezbollah fully accepts the concept of Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih, and openly acknowledges Khomeini as its faqih, leading Augustus Richard Norton of Boston University to call Khomeini Hezbollah’s “undisputed, authoritative leader.”

Yet, when Iranians have protested the failures of Khomeinism and Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih the United States has done little or nothing concrete to use that popular discontent to undermine the regime, once again substituting holding worthless real estate in the Middle East and killing a few thousand ignorant jihadis for fighting and winning the real war – which is the defeat of Sharia-supremacism and Iranian Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih.

Done right, U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war might have offered the possibility of a strategic defeat of Iran. If the United States acted to tip the balance of power in the civil war, Iran would have been weakened by the collapse of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, its single Arab ally and a vital link to their important clients – Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.

Isolated, Iran would have become more vulnerable to international pressure to limit its nuclear program. As dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Vali Nasr observed for Bloomberg, if “Iran’s regional influence faded, those of its rivals -- U.S. allies Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- would expand.”

However, America through its generals and diplomats never fought that war, because they never engaged it on the most important battlefield – the battlefield of secularism versus Sharia-supremacism and Iranian Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih.

So, President Trump is right, there is little value in staying in Syria if Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iraq are prepared to mop-up the scattered remnants of ISIS and hold the territory once occupied by the Islamic State, but the President is wrong, and deeply so, if he thinks that killing a few thousand jihadis and retaking some desolate ground in the Middle East ends the war political Islam, and Iran in particular, have declared on the West.

George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for then-Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

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I know, it could start another war

Not between the US and anywhere though. If they want us they'll have to come here. Believe me, fighting on someone else's soil is doubly hard. I've been in 3 so have a little experienceTurkey and the Kurds will fight? My opinion is so? You can't trust any middle eastern country except Israel, maybe that's personal. An IED deafened me for a week and caused a few neurological problems. Nothing big, but a nuisance.