Here Patrick Lawrence argues that Trump’s “deep state” overlords will never let him actually pull out of Syria
I think that’s true enough; and yet the larger narrative unfolding now suggests that this may be the straw that finally breaks
That could be the culmination of the major propaganda themes that “our free press” has been hammering for years. With “Russia-gate” still thundering away, it’s both predictable and ominous that “our free press” is now headlining Putin’s praise/approval of Trump’s plan; and though it’s been a while since we last heard about Assad’s ongoing “slaughter of his people,” that drive left a mass impression strong enough to be refreshed quite easily. Right now it’s the Kurds whom Trump is cruelly “selling out” (as if the US never sold them out before), but tomorrow it could be the “Syrian rebels” he’s betraying, out of deference to the “tyrants” Assad/Putin. (Whatever happened to the White Helmets? Maybe we’ll be hearing from them soon.)
In any case, we need to think about this latest bit of news within the larger context of “the news” in general—i.e., the larger propaganda narrative that has been edging us toward war for quite some time, whateverTrump may think, or tweet, or do, or try to do; and so it will be even after him, unless/until we (somehow)stop the war machine containing “our free press.”
December 19, 2018
It would be nice to think the president has final say on foreign policy, given the U.S. Constitution. But the misleading troop withdrawal announcement, followed by Trump’s boastful tweet, suggests the exact opposite, says Patrick Lawrence.
By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News
The announcement on Wednesday that the U.S. will withdraw all remaining troops from Syria within the next month looked at first like a rare victory for Donald Trump in his admittedly erratic opposition to senseless wars of adventure. “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there,” the president tweeted with an unmistakable air of triumph.
Don’t get your hopes up. Just about everything in these initial reports is either wrong or misleading. One, the U.S. did not defeat the Islamic State: The Syrian Arab Army, aided by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah militias did. Two, hardly was ISIS the only reason the U.S. has maintained a presence in Syria. The intent for years was to support a coup against the Assad government in Damascus—in part by training and equipping jihadists often allied with ISIS. For at least the past six months, the U.S. military’s intent in Syria has been to counter Iranian influence.
Last and hardly least, the U.S. is not closing down its military presence in Syria. It is digging in for an indefinite period, making Raqqa the equivalent of the Green Zone in Baghdad. By the official count, there are 503 U.S. troops stationed in the Islamic State’s former capital. Unofficially, according to The Washington Post and other press reports, the figure is closer to 4,000—twice the number that is supposed to represent a “full withdrawal” from Syrian soil.
It would be nice to think Washington has at last accepted defeat in Syria, given it is preposterous to pretend otherwise any longer. Damascus is now well into its consolidation phase. Russia, Iran, and Turkey are currently working with Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, to form a committee in January to begin drafting a new Syrian constitution.
U.S. forces conducted a precision airstrike near Sarmada in northwest Syria Nov. 18 that Pentagon says killed a senior al-Qaida leader. (Army photo by 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson)
It would also be nice to think the president and commander-in-chief has the final say in his administration’s policies overseas, given the constitution by which we are supposed to be governed. But the misleading announcement on the withdrawal of troops, followed by Trump’s boastful tweet, suggest something close to exactly the opposite.
As Trump finishes his second year in office, the pattern is plain: This president can have all the foreign policy ideas he wants, but the Pentagon, State, the intelligence apparatus, and the rest of what some call “the deep state” will either reverse, delay, or never implement any policy not to its liking.
Click on the link for the rest.