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Added: Tuesday, October 22nd 2019 at 3:35pm by chuckman

John Chuckman




‘Trump with a Plan to Divorce Syria’s Kurds but Not Her Oil

‘Trump: "I don’t want to leave troops" in Syria except to "secure the oil"’




This is not really about oil.

The notion of leaving two hundred American special forces in Syria and perhaps interfering with Syria's access to its own oil represents a hastily, and badly, conceived scheme to placate Netanyahu and the Israel lobby in the United States for the de facto loss of a long and costly proxy war.

Trump essentially has no foreign policy, policy implying a well-thought out set of goals and strategies. Trump takes whatever steps he thinks will secure his re-election, even when the next step seems to contradict the previous one. That's all the Syria withdrawal was ever about.

Indeed, it is what drives all his efforts abroad, efforts which may be characterized as being consistent only in their inconsistency.

He isn’t a sound pragmatist and strong logical thinker like Putin. Although you might regard his bending every situation towards his own re-election as a kind of pragmatism, it really is not.

It is chaotic because it depends on Trump’s own faulty and fickle judgment, and it involves no other, larger considerations at all. He sacrifices basic principles in his various lurches and drives, principles such as always respecting allies and always acting so that the world regards America as consistent, stable, and dependable.

He needed a "withdrawal" to try re-securing the support of that portion of 2016 voters who have been alienated from him, the anti-war voters who do not necessarily agree with any of his other belly-over-the belt attitudes, such as the importance of building a costly, cumbersome wall on America’s southern border or the benefits of starting international trade wars.

His natural political base is simply not quite large enough to elect him. He must draw a bit of additional support from somewhere, and the anti-war crowd represents his best possibility.

The Democrats have made no effort to offer the anti-war constituency anything. The few who have are treated as pariahs by members of their own party in a shabby public name-calling spectacle, and they will be prevented from winning the nomination.

After all, the Democratic Party in 2016 displayed to the world just how willing it is to manipulate democratic contests for a pre-determined end, in that case for the nomination of Hillary Clinton over a firebrand challenger.

Interestingly enough, the Democratic Party’s anti-democratic efforts in 2016 ended by getting Trump elected. Sanders would have defeated him handily at that time. Hillary is not a well-liked or trusted figure and has always been a cheerleader for war. She provided Trump with just the opportunity he needed.

If they prevent a thoughtful, articulate anti-war candidate like Tulsi Gabbard from getting the nomination, which they almost certainly will, they will repeat history. Trump will win. That’s why they are becoming serious about impeaching him. As I’ve explained before, impeachment in America always is a political act. It would only be otherwise if a President were caught committing a serious felony or a treasonous act, both quite unlikely.

The withdrawal from Syria deeply conflicts with Netanyahu's fervently declared wishes. Trump undoubtedly thought he had done enough for Israel in the form of lavish giveaways and favors that he wouldn't hear any complaints over his relatively minor Syria withdrawal.

But he was wrong. There has been noise and pressure. Netanyahu's capacity to ask for more of almost anything is virtually limitless.

America's entire set of efforts in Syria - both covert in supporting jihadi-looking mercenaries and overt in occupying certain areas and doing plenty of bombing while pretending to fight ISIS - has had from the beginning nothing directly to do with oil. Syrian oil only came into play as a way to finance some of the terrorist activity and as something valuable of which to deprive Syria’s government.

American efforts have always been about destabilizing or destroying a government that does not toe its foreign policy line, which of course, would involve Syria’s paying homage to Israel, America’s Middle Eastern privileged special-status colony, as the dominant regional power, just as Saudi Arabia, under its usurper Crown Prince, has now effectively done.

Israel has had a tremendous interest in seeing Syria incapacitated because it wanted not only to secure and legitimize its occupation of the Golan Heights, but even perhaps to grab another slice of Syria, a "buffer zone," in all the chaos of the long proxy war.

Israel has always hated Assad, again for his independent-mindedness, a leadership characteristic which the long series of Neocon Wars, starting with Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, was intended to uproot throughout the Middle East. Or as the worst American imperialists like to put it, in order to make all the killing and destruction sound wholesome, inducing “the birth of a new Middle East.”

So, Israel is working away on Trump to get what it can out of the general defeat in Syria, and that includes any annoyance and irritation that can possibly be achieved in northeastern Syria.

But the notion of a couple of hundred American special forces hanging around to control Syria's oil for any period of time seems very far-fetched. Maybe it’s a good measure of just how disillusioned and desperate the people who created seven years of terrible war in Syria are.

There's no way that Putin, after all his immense effort, is going to watch a reunited Syria be reduced by having its natural resources stripped from it. One way or another, this "plan" will fail, even though it may provide difficulties in the meantime.

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