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Friday, October 18, 2019

Trump Has America's Back; We Should Have His



Friends, my latest article is a full-throated defense of President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria -- and an encouragement to him to finish the job and get us all the way out of Syria's civil war.  See if you agree...

America First or Kurdistan First — Take Your Pick

Democrats, talking heads in the media, and even most establishment Republicans are united in their condemnation of President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the border area between Syrian Kurdistan and Turkey. Trump has “betrayed” a faithful ally, they say, destabilizing the region and emboldening dictators in Turkey, Syria, and Russia. How dare he?

The fact is, however, that the conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C. is wrong. U.S. intervention is not a panacea that can fix any international problem, and the time has come for U.S. forces to leave Syria and let the Syrian people decide their own destiny. 

President Trump's only mistake lies in the timing of his decision. A phased withdrawal from eastern Syria, begun when Trump first announced his decision to pull out in December 2018, would have mitigated some of the negative consequences we see now. But that America does not belong knee-deep in Syria's civil war has been clear from the start.

First, we should consider the disingenuousness of many of the arguments advanced against Trump's withdrawal. Democrats and Republicans are saying that it is wrong to pull support from a trusted ally. Many of these Democrats, and some of the Republicans, were opposed to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War...and yet the U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam precipitated a bloodbath, and consigned many of America's closest friends to a miserable fate, sometimes worse than death! 
 
Moreover, the U.S. was fighting alongside the South Vietnamese for years, on a much greater scale than we ever fought in Syria, and almost 60,000 Americans died in the conflict. Surely, then, our moral obligations to the South Vietnamese, and to fallen American soldiers, greatly exceeded any duty we may now feel to help the Kurds maintain their autonomy on Syrian soil. But the cacophony of voices criticizing President Trump sees no hypocrisy in its support for withdrawal from Vietnam — and in many cases for the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq as well — versus its determination to stay put in Syrian Kurdistan.

Consider also that the media is showcasing civilian casualties in Turkey's new “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, in order to justify U.S. intervention to protect the Kurds. The fact is, though, that as many as half a million people have died in Syria's civil war. Over 12 million have been displaced. In terms of scale, therefore, what is happening right now on the Syria-Turkey border is a sideshow compared to the tidal wave of misery and death that has washed over Syria since 2011. The D.C. establishment and the media know-it-alls, however, never advocated large-scale U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war to end the bloodshed. That is because human suffering is not the real reason for intervention, either now or then. The powers-that-be are ganging up on Trump, and critiquing his decision to leave northeastern Syria, not to “save women and children,” but because it is a convenient way to buttress the agenda of interventionism, which many D.C. politicians and reporters believe in implicitly and unthinkingly. It is also a fun and easy way to make Donald Trump, super-villain, look bad. In other words, for the Washington elite, it's a twofer.

As weak and self-serving as the arguments against President Trump's decision to withdraw may be, we have to acknowledge that ending U.S. protection of the Kurds does subject them, and the region, to certain risks. Americans must weigh these risks, though, against the risks borne by U.S. servicemen every day in Syria, where a handful still serve. The battlefield in Syria is complex and extremely dangerous. ISIS was our principal enemy there, and it was — and is — notorious for its extreme brutality. Many of the other forces in Syria, however, including the Kurds, can be just as unsavory.

Moreover, every second that U.S. forces remain in Syria creates more potential opportunities for conflict between our servicemen and women and the armies and air forces of the Syrian government, of Iran, of Turkey, and of Russia. The Syrian conflict, in short, is a tinderbox, and we have been fortunate that we have not yet been burned, in a major and dramatic fashion, by our decision to wade into that quagmire. Make no mistake — if we stay in Syria, and especially if we stay there indefinitely, as the D.C. elite wants, we run the risk of being pulled into a much wider and deadlier conflict, and one which ultimately advances no vital American interest whatsoever.

The time has come, therefore, for the U.S. to pull out of Syrian Kurdistan, totally and permanently. Only if a global threat like ISIS reemerges should we ever contemplate returning.

Syria, then, will be, and should be, ruled by Syrians. The Syrian Kurds will need to make accommodations with the Syrian government, as they are now doing, and with the Turks. That is the only way that they can preserve their autonomy in the long run.

The days of the U.S. military fighting the Kurds' battles for them are over.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.

And here it is at Townhall:

https://townhall.com/columnists/nicholaswaddy/2019/10/19/america-first-or-kurdistan-first--take-your-pick-n2555000 

4 comments:

  1. I agree. I also like what he said the other day, "We are not the worlds police." --America First, period. Ending this 'global agenda' should of have been number one on the very first day. Unfort. it has taken this long to realize how much damage previous presidents have done (and I won't mention how undermining the military, CIA and others are).

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  2. Agreed! The globalists are insidious and relentless. I can see why Trump hesitates to take them on...but the time has come!

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  3. Dr. Waddy and Linda: As the courageous Kurds were our ally in the hopefully permanent destruction of the beyond inhuman ISIS, so were we theirs. Which group stood to lose more at the hands of ISIS? Why the "insolent" and freedom loving Kurds of course. ISIS was right there!. But our interest is not the same and it ended when ISIS was defeated. We believe that eventual threats to our nation should be met at their places of origin (eg Vietnam). The Kurds have no further claim on our ground forces because that particular struggle has been settled. And we need to get out of there.Gads how I hope and trust the Kurds will prevail but we cannot do more for them.

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  4. Jack, I just hope the Syrian Arabs, the Kurds, the Turks, et al. find a way of living side by side in relative peace. They did so not long ago. I see no reason why they can't again.

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