Zerohedge noted , yesterday, that the interventionists are in meltdown mode after Trump said last Thursday that the US would be pulling out of Syria very soon. CNN, for example, painted a picture of mass revolt among the ranks of military officers and career State Department officials, asserting that, "Any decision by Trump to pull out of Syria would also go against the current military assessment, a fact that left some national security officials concerned about the impact of a withdrawal, another senior administration official told CNN."
What's really interesting, ZH notes further, is how "brazenly honest" the interventionists are whenever Trump says something truthful about Syria. The poster child for this is the Washington Post's Josh Rogin, who posted a column on Friday headlined "In Syria, we 'took the oil.' Now Trump wants to give it to Iran." After complaining that Trump isn't persuaded by any of the "good arguments" for keeping US troops in Syria, Rogin says that the troops part of "a larger U.S. mission in Syria that is really about containing Iranian expansionism, preventing a new refugee crisis, fighting extremism and stopping Russia from exerting influence over the region." And the tool for that geopolitical game? Oil. "We have this 30 percent slice of Syria, which is probably where 90 percent of the pre-war oil production took place," David Adesnik, director of research at the neo-con Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Rogin. "This is leverage."
"It's incredibly important that with all these oil-rich areas … we don't end up in a situation where we do have to pull out and there is some sort of deal that allows Iran to essentially take the land, the oil, and these areas, and empower their land bridge that they've been building inside the country," Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, also told Rogin. "We took the oil. We've got to keep the oil." He doesn't explain why Iran needs Syrian oil, nor does he acknowledge that Syrian oil really is the patrimony of the Syrian people. It's a just another tool in a zero-sum game of geopolitics.
ZH cites a "well known Syria analyst" who tweets under the handle of EHSANI2 (a Google search did not turn up the real identity of EHSANI2 but he has articles posted on the Syria Comment blog of Joshua Landis and other locations) who rips Rogin's argument to shreds. "Whenever one thinks Syria analysis has hit bottom, nonsense like this (a hand icon pointing down) comes along to remind us otherwise. @joshrogin piece makes a set of outrageous observations that has become a mainstay of Syria's war coverage over the years. Let's establish the facts first ===>" he tweeted on Saturday. He doesn't stop there, however. "Iran's expansion that @joshrogin wants to 'counter' did not start with Syrian war but started in the aftermath of the ill-advised Iraq invasion that opened the pandora box which we are still dealing with today (Birth of ISIS is another ) Interventionists have short memory." Then: "Syria's alliance with Iran did not start with the Syrian war. It was cemented after Damascus decided to side with Iran during its war with Saddam's Iraq in early 80's. At start of Syrian war, Tehran decided to pay back the favor and came to Assad's aid when no one did." Having read a few books, recently, on the history of Iran and US relations with Iran, I can confirm that this is basic history that is readily available to anyone who can read. "So it's not only his conclusions, but every assumption of Rogin and his ilk concerning the Middle East is simply dead wrong," notes ZH.
Lindsey Graham, not surprisingly, is one of those politicians militantly committed, like Rogin, to being "dead wrong." He went on Fox News Sunday, yesterday, to demand that Trump not pull US troops out of Syria. "If we withdrew our troops any time soon, ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] would come back, the war between Turkey and the Kurds would get out of hand, and you'd be giving Damascus to the Iranians without an American presence, and Russia and Iran would dominate Syria," he blustered. "It would be the single worst decision the president could make. I've seen this movie before when Obama did the same thing in Iraq."
Michael Rozeff, a retired professor of finance from the University of Buffalo, easily refutes Graham's geopolitics in a "memo to Lindsey Graham" posted on lewrockwell.com. "Senator, the statement of yours that most genuinely reflects your feelings is your allusion to Russia and Iran having a presence in Syria but not the U.S. You can't stand the idea of somehow 'losing' Syria or not 'gaining' Syria or not breaking it up into pieces," Rozeff writes. "Senator, your attitude reflects a view that Syria is not a country of the Syrians, by the Syrians and for the Syrians. You treat it as land that's up for grabs among other powers. You treat its peoples as pawns in a big power game."
Western media coverage is lamenting the defeat of the jihadis in Eastern Ghouta with the claim that Eastern Ghouta, and Douma in particular were the heart of the "pro-democracy" demonstrations that began the war in 2011–just check the coverage in Reuters and AP and you'll see what I mean–but who are these oppositionists, really? The Zerohedge article notes that Trump, in a 2016 tweet, linked to a partially declassified intelligence report that showed that US support to jihadists in Syria under President Obama is precisely what fueled the rise of ISIS in the first place. The report, posted by Judicial Watch and dated Aug. 5, 2012, stated that "The Salafist, Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." In the very next sentence, it noted that the West, Turkey and the Gulf states supported the opposition, while Russia and Iran supported the government. "AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media. AQI declared its opposition of Assad's government because it considered it a sectarian regime targeting Sunnis."
It's not just oil that's a tool of the geopoliticians/serial interventionists, but the terrorists, too.