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PostUS Withdrawal from Syria: Not a Wise Move (Istvan Simon, USA, 12/24/18 4:20 am)
I do agree with Cameron Sawyer (December 21st) that president Trump is a fool, but I disagree that Trump's order to withdraw the small US forces from Syria is in the geopolitical interest of the United States.
Exhibit one is that all United States allies were dismayed by the move. Exhibit two is that as far as I know, only two world "leaders" applauded this decision: Putin and Erdogan.
Exhibit three is that General Mattis resigned over the matter, and no American voice interested in United States national security I know of, not even the sold-out sorry GOP that remains currently supported the move. Trump did receive the support of Senator Rand Paul, but he may be an even bigger fool than Trump is. Like father like son I suppose--the Paul family is an odd-ball case of MDs venturing into politics, and magically becoming monetary and geopolitical "experts."
Cameron asks what possible geopolitical interests we have in Syria. Plenty, I would like to say.
Trump's original claim that we won the war against Isis is reminiscent of George W. Bush's "mission accomplished" statement after Saddam Hussein was deposed in the Iraq war. Later, Trump admitted as much, by saying why should we fight for "others"?
Clearly, our 2000 troops did not accomplish the defeat of Isis. Isis lost territory, but was not completely vanquished. The move is a betrayal of our true allies in the fight against Isis, the Kurds, who actually did the fighting and the expelling of Isis from their strongholds. As far as I know, neither Russia nor Assad did much of anything useful against Isis. We all still remember the disgraceful bombing of Aleppo, a war crime committed by Putin and Assad. Russia did nothing similar in Raqqa. The fight against Isis was done the hard way, by the Kurds, both in Mosul and in Raqqa.
No wonder that the Kurds feel betrayed, and discussed releasing 3000 Isis prisoners they have taken as a response to their betrayal by the United States.
Trump already caused major damage to US long-term interests. The United States is seen by our true allies as no longer a reliable partner. Australia has declared as much, and so did our NATO partners other than Erdogan. I have predicted in these pages that Trump will be gone from our national life, and it could not be soon enough, but I think that it will take years of fence-mending and a complete reversal of all Trump's policies to regain the trust that was lost.
I also disagree with Cameron Sawyer's statement in an earlier post that Trump's tax cuts was an accomplishment worthy of approval. It was not. Tax cuts have been a long-term GOP panacea, after all who enjoys paying taxes?
Ronald Reagan started this anti-tax mantra, but at least his tax cuts were not a total sham, and the middle class did enjoy some benefits. There are no benefits for anyone who is not in the top 1% in the shameful Trump-GOP tax giveaway to the billionaires and corporations of this country.
It is strange that Cameron just recently defended the high taxes in Scandinavia, while applauding the Trump tax cuts.
I will discover the full extent of the ripoff only in a few months, when I file my own taxes, but it seems that my taxes will likely increase not decrease with this absurd politically designed cynical tax law, which rewarded billionaires like Trump and the Koch brothers, while hurting people who live in Democratic-majority high-tax states, like New York and California. In any case, even if my taxes remained the same, I would still oppose this legislation whose beneficiaries are a tiny part of the United States population, and the wrong people to boot, while the country suffers the loss of revenue in increased national debt.
The tax benefit for corporations is a similar fraud. Corporations have used the bonanza to buy back their own stock, which naturally increases their price. This obvious fraud used to be illegal, but is another "deregulation" present, making it legal again under the guise of highfalutin' rhetoric.
JE comments: I greatly miss my phone conversations with our late colleague Bob Gibbs. Bob knew the Kurds better than anyone in WAISdom, and said that they are a people with absolutely no friends. Did Trump's move only reinforce this belief? Remember how the Kurds were left to Saddam's mercy after the First Gulf War?
In a twist of ecumenical syntax, the press has described the US withdrawal as a Christmas present for Erdogan, who now has a free hand against the Kurds. I hope Yusuf Kanli will weigh in from Ankara.