President Trump Declares the War Against ISIS Won

President Trump Declares the War Against ISIS Won December 19, 2018

The commander-in-chief of our military is a complete idiot.

That may not be completely fair. To be fair, we’d also have to pose the question: How would a Russian asset act any differently?

With a tidal wave of investigations, scandals, and reports of corruption threatening to overwhelm President Trump, his administration, and even his family over the entirety of his presidency, thus far, he really needs distractions.

Just the news cycle of the last couple of weeks demands something big.

With that in mind, Trump arose on Wednesday morning and decided, “Hey… Maybe we should just say ISIS is defeated and immediately withdraw from Syria!”

ISIS, is not, in fact, “defeated.”

Have they been frustrated and their efforts cut off?

To a degree, yes, but that only indicates that the pressure should be increased, to finish the job. Trump wants to give them time and breathing room  to regroup.

Do you know who else wants to see the United States out of Syria?

Vladimir Putin.

I’m just saying…

So the day began this way:

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

The White House confirmed in a statement that the administration has “started returning United States troops home” but emphasized that coalition efforts in Syria would continue. It also reiterated Trump’s claim that “the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate.”

“These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign. We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign. The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Let’s keep in mind that Trump has no military experience and draft dodged with the best of them, having his wealthy daddy get him 4 or 5 deferments from serving in Vietnam, based on a sore foot.

He later joked with shock jock Howard Stern that his “personal Vietnam” was avoiding sexually transmitted diseases.

What a guy…

Meanwhile, the Pentagon seem rather perplexed, and you can bet within the next few days, we’re going to be hearing stories of how they were caught off guard by Trump’s latest announcement.

The Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning was asked about the president’s tweet on Wednesday, only to say that our military continues to work with partners in the region, and that they have nothing more to add (regarding Trump’s tweet) at this time.

Seriously. Is there anyone else that thinks maybe making really sensitive foreign policy and military announcements across social media, and essentially, on a whim, is a great idea for this nation?

Trump fanboy and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, actually took time away from licking Trump’s boots to call out this misguided move. He referred to it as a “big, Obama-like move.”

It wasn’t a compliment.

“After visiting Syria earlier this year, it is abundantly clear the approximately 2,000 American troops stationed there are vital to our national security interests,” Graham said in a statement. “An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia. I fear it will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world.

A big win for Russia. I think you’ve stumbled on to something, Senator.

A full withdrawal from Syria would be a reversal for the Trump administration, which as recently as Monday was talking about the need to remain in the country until the “enduring” defeat of the terrorist group.

“We’re well on our way to seeing that happen, the problem is ISIS will come back if the underlying conditions are receptive to that kind of ideological movement,” the State Department’s special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, said at the Atlantic Council.

National security adviser John Bolton also pledged in September that U.S. forces would stay in Syria until Iran withdraws all its forces.

Gee. I wonder if he’s feeling a bit tossed under the bus, today?

Stick with this administration long enough, Mr. Bolton, and it will eventually happen.

There will be a time to leave, but it should be after the work is done.

Senator Marco Rubio took to his Facebook page to post a short video, voicing his opposition to the move.

He suggested that ISIS has been “significantly degraded,” but not defeated.

He then skillfully mapped out what is happening in the region, and why Trump is wrong.

It is well worth the watch.

Others had their opinions about what is happening.

 

 

For those who have been watching closely, just because he says it, there’s no guarantee he’s going to act on it.

Just look at the southern border wall, for instance.

The problem, however, is that he is sending signals to both our foes and our allies in the region, and none of it makes the United States seem strong, or as reliable partners.

President Trump should not be tossing out such critical statements as distractions from a bad news cycle.

 

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  • IllinoisPatriot

    So Trump’s policies are different from Obama’s how ? Did not Obama also declare the war in Iraq won, set a timetable for withdrawing troops and pull our troops home prematurely before the region was actually secured. Did not Obama make his decisions against the advice of our military and foreign policy experts ? Did not Obama’s actions result in a vacuum that allowed ISIS to fester, grow, become an international threat and require a re-engagement of our military forces (not to mention the interim terrorist attacks on home soil as a result of ISIS’ growth ?

    How is Trump’s announcement any different ?

  • chemical

    Syria is a proxy war, with at least 3 sides duking it out:
    The Assad government backed by Russia,
    moderate rebels backed by the USA, and
    ISIS.

    This is in addition to Iran and Hezbollah throwing their weight around, too, as well as the Kurds. Iran and Hezbollah would likely back the Assad government (given that they’re all Shi’a) and the Kurds would likely back the moderate rebels. However, I’m not entirely sure how much these groups are cooperating. This is why the war has gone on as long as it has: All of these sides are all well-funded and can continue to train new soldiers and buy more weapons.

    Let’s just say for the sake of argument that Trump is right and ISIS is either defeated or on its last legs. If he withdraws support, that means that the new strongest player in Syria is the Russian-backed Assad government. They will likely put aside any differences that they had with Iran and Hezbollah, if they were even fighting in the first place (again, all Shi’a). Assad wins, moderate rebels lose, and Russia and Iran get to expand their sphere of influence. Iran tilts further towards Russia and we lose influence in the Middle East. Even if ISIS isn’t defeated, that creates a situation where the moderate rebels will be weak, and will likely be crushed by Russia and the Assad government after they’re done killing ISIS.

    Short story: There are still other wars in Syria to fight. This isn’t over, and Trump is a fool to think otherwise.

  • chemical

    Not exactly. Obama followed up on Bush-43’s foreign policies. Basically, Bush set some policies in place with Iraq where the military would withdraw from Iraq while Obama was president, and Obama didn’t want to throw a monkey wrench into the works by revoking a previous president’s policies. I actually agree with you in that Obama shouldn’t have withdrawn troops, but I understand why he did it. Sometimes the boat needs rocked!

    Did not Obama’s actions result in a vacuum that allowed ISIS to fester, grow, become an international threat and require a re-engagement of our military forces…?

    Somewhat. The short story of the most recent Iraq war: Bush and Saddam Hussein get into a fight. Bush wins, Saddam gets executed. Now you have the power vacuum because there are 3 groups in Iraq that don’t like each other (Kurds, Sunni, and Shi’a Muslims) and nobody is in charge. While Bush was still president, Nouri al-Malaki, a Shi’a hardliner, takes over Iraq with US help, and immediately starts sticking it to the Sunnis. Obama wins and Bush leaves office after getting shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi. Obama withdraws according to the Bush/al-Malaki agreement. Then ISIS happens. Those same Sunnis from before, who were serving in the Iraqi army say “Why am I defending this country again? al-Malaki treats me like garbage.” and basically either let ISIS win, or join ISIS (ISIS is Sunni).

    Syria is a bit different, in that it’s a proxy war with at least 3 sides and is a bit more complex. Trump’s advantage here is that the US doesn’t have any prior agreement with Syria, so he’s a bit more free to do what he wants over there.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Not quite: For starters, your “summary” is revisionist history: It was not the simplistic “Bush & Saddam Hussein get into a fight”. It was more “After years of US President Clinton ignoring Saddam’s willful violations of international law, Bush came into office and gave Saddam final warnings that Saddam ignored. When Saddam was suspected as attempting to get atomic weapons, buying yellowcake, and knowing that Saddam was a big sponsor of the same terrorist organizations that had recently attacked the US on 9/11, Bush formed a coalition to enforce a no-fly zone which Saddam also ignored. When Saddam invaded Kuwait without provocation, Bush & the international coalition declared war on Saddam to remove him and to protect preserve/restore the sovereignty of Kuwait (a US ally) and removed Saddam from power. Thus began the “war” on the Osama Bin Laden-led terrorist group that had attacked the US throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. Without Iraq to hide in or to protect him and his operations and with the fate of Iraq serving as a deterrent to others protecting Osama Bin Laden, he was eventually found & executed, receiving the same lack of due process he had afforded the victims of his terrorism.”

    BTW: ISIS is Shiite – not Sunni. Shiite Iran is helping them partially because of their religious tribalism. Saudi Arabia is Sunni and so helps the Sunni forces. The mistake of the US foreign policy was to ignore or minimize the impact of religious differences between the Sunnis and the Shiites – differences that made it impossible for them to work together or to form a common police or national security force – differences that sparked a constant stream of hatred toward each other resulting in constant (literal) back-stabbing between the two factions even when supposedly fighting on the same team.

    The power vacuum was created when Obama announced that the US would be pulling out of Iraq without establishing a stable and secure government with a military force having sufficient discipline and incentive to hold the country together. All the terrorists (ISIS & others) needed to do was to wait Obama out and they knew the country would be theirs to divide and control – which is what happened.

    Syria is a bit different. Syria was a continuation of the war that was necessitated by Obama allowing the terrorists to flee Iraq when he was forced to send US troops back in. The terrorists took sanctuary in Syria from where they launched their attacks on Iraq and on US forces throughout the ME and on civilians throughout the ME, Europe and the rest of the world. With Syria now giving sanctuary, the and the US STILL not understanding the impact of religion in the ME fighting, the US decided to remove Assad. Assad’s allies in Iran (and their sponsors in Russia) finally had to show their hands openly and join the fight with national uniformed troops. Trump’s failure (like Obama’s) is pulling the US troops out of the fight before a meaningful peace / surrender of opposing forces is accomplished for the sole purpose of political gain at home and without regard to US security interests in preventing the ME fighting from being contained in the ME and spilling across the borders of Western countries (including the US).

    Saying “Bush & Saddam got into a fight and Bush won” is overly simplistic and ignores the provocation that Saddam provided as well as the clear violations of international law. It is revisionist history at best (from the standpoint of the anti-war Democrats).

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Trump has shown indications of WANTING Russia to prevail in its provocations – why would it not be consistent for him to unilaterally pull US troops out of Syria and the ME and abandon the field to the Russians and Iranians ?

    The only other option I see is for Trump to formally surrender to the Russians in Syria, but since the Russians are not “officially” there in the first place, attempting to surrender US forces to the Syrian or Iranian army would likely not play well with his base.

  • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

    BTW: ISIS is Shiite

    Is that true? I only ask because I believe they’re into tearing down Shiite holy spots, attacking shittes during their Arba’een Pilgrimage, etc.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/world/middleeast/islamic-state-bombing-shiites-iraq.html

    I’ve always thought this was true (from link below): the followers of ISIS practice a radical form of Salafism, a branch of Sunni Islam whose adherents strive to emulate the Prophet Muhammad and his followers and who claim to practice Islam in its purest, most unadulterated form.
    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150702-ISIS-Palmyra-destruction-salafism-sunni-shiite-sufi-Islamic-State/

  • John225

    Sounds like Russia is expanding its presence in South America. It has secured an agreement with Venezuela to build a bomber outpost on a Caribbean Island. Two nuclear capable bombers have conducted drills in Venezuela.

  • chemical

    Yes, I’m definitely over thinking it. Trump will “go with his gut”, meaning he won’t give the issue any thought at all. Which means Putin will call him up and say “You know, Donald, it would be stronk idea if you leev Syria. You need those troops to Make Amerika Great. And they can’t help Amerika if they’re in Syria, no?”

    And Trump will fall for it because he’s a dolt with an insatiable ego.

  • chemical

    the followers of ISIS practice a radical form of Salafism, a branch of Sunni Islam whose adherents strive to emulate the Prophet Muhammad and his followers and who claim to practice Islam in its purest, most unadulterated form.

    This is correct. ISIS is Sunni.

    The smoking gun here, besides them tearing down Shi’a holy sites, is the leader of ISIS renamed himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Abu Bakr is also the name of Mohammad’s father in law and was the first caliph after Mohammad died in 632.

    Thing is, Shi’a Muslims don’t recognize Abu Bakr as a legitimate caliph. After Mohammad died, there was a family feud over who got to be the next caliph: Abu Bakr and Ali ibn Talib (Mohammad’s son in law) were the front-runners, but Abu had more support and won. 1386 years later, the Ali supporters (Shi’a Muslims) are still bitter about that.

    A Shi’a Muslim would never, ever, name himself Abu Bakr. To put it in Christian terms, it’s like trying to unite all non-Catholic branches of Christianity by calling yourself Pope Francis.

  • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

    I didn’t know that, thanks for the info. 🙂

  • IllinoisPatriot

    My understanding is that Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni while Iran is primarily Shiite. Thus when the mostly Sunni Irag population was under Iranian / Shiite influence, the Sunni’s were “persecuted” by the minority Shiites. Because Iran has now allied with Syria, (Shiite) who is against the Kurds (mostly Sunni or Christian), the entire region made a sort of sense to me.

    This is the first I’ve heard that Iraq is now considered to have been primarily Shiite) (outside the Shiite, Iran-Influenced government) or that Syria is mostly Sunni and I would question that assessment as the sides that were chosen were originally along the “Sunni/Shiite” division.

    As to being attacked during their pilgrimage, we should remember that both Mecca and Madina are in Saudi Arabia (Mostly Sunni with a royal family that seems to be, to lean or to support Salafist/Salafism) (is that a word?) and that was a financial sponsor of Osama Bin Ladin – himself a radical Salafist.

    As I recall from my early research, Iran (and now Syria) are the only state(s) in the ME where Shiite is the official flavor of “Muslim”. All others either are either totally Sunni or have a majority Sunni population or have heavy western influences where tolerance is practiced and neither ‘flavor’ dominates, or there is some combination of the above (Egypt, Jordan for examples).

    As to ISIS being Shiite – I’m sure there MAY be some Salafists and som Sunnis mixed in as well as Christians and Atheists from the western world (think ‘woke’ liberals with more anger and money than brains), but the origin of ISIS was the Iran-backed terrorists retreating into Syria after being driven out of Iraq by the US troops and our Iraqi Sunni allies – allies that frequently ran from battle leaving lots of US equipment for the Iranians and terrorists…..

  • chemical

    This is mostly correct, but there is more than one group of terrorists at work here. 90% of the world’s Muslims are Sunni, and most of the Shi’a Muslims are in areas that used to be called Persia, like Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Don’t lump in Iran’s terrorists with ISIS. These 2 groups do NOT get along. ISIS is Saudi-funded, not Iran-funded.

    ISIS was born out defeated al-Qaeda remnants in Iraq plus the chaos that took place in Syria. Assad was (still is) an iron-fisted dictator, and Syrians got the idea that they should be a democracy. They protested, and Assad ordered the Syrian army to kill the protesters. Many refused, abandoned their posts and formed the Free Syrian Army, which are the moderate rebels the US is backing. Meanwhile, with the collapse of the Iraqi government next door, ISIS gained a foothold. With the Syrian Civil War kicking off, ISIS saw an opportunity to win a country, because Assad was currently fighting against his own army. As an added bonus, he’s Shi’a.

    That’s why Syria turned into a 3-way fight: All these groups are well-funded and they all found backers outside of the region (Assad has Russia and possibly Iran, FSA has the US, and ISIS had the original Saudi funding from al-Qaeda and every hateful idiot everywhere). All 3 sides have a different vision for Syria and they all want each other dead. For now it seems like Assad and the FSA called a cease fire for long enough for them to focus on ISIS, but when ISIS inevitably finds its way into the grave, Assad and the FSA will go right back to killing each other again.

    I’m not actually certain of the exact religious breakdown of Iraq, but it has both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. What I do know is that during all this chaos, Nouri al-Malaki, who had ties to Iran, took control of Iraq and ran the country into the ground. He used the government to discriminate against the Sunnis, which is why they didn’t bother to defend their country when ISIS came knocking.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Right concept – wrong country – it was Turkey that called and got Donald to remove his troops. I smell a Trump Tower:Turkey in the works……

  • chemical

    I heard that, too. Sultan President Erdogan wants to eradicate all the Kurds, and the US was kind of interfering with that by backing them, since the Kurds doing a great job against ISIS. He’s another Islamist theocratic thug that we’re better off without.

    So Erdogan and Assad have a bit in common, it seems. Seems like Turkey will be less pro-Assad than they are anti-Kurd. Regardless of how you slice it, the players in the Syrian Civil War are changing: US out, Turkey in.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Trump’s “best brain” must think that if we stay in Iraq, we can stop ISIS in Syria. He is too ignorant of history to remember that the reason Bush/Obama took us into Syria in the first place was that we had run ISIS out of Iraq under Bush and were following them into Syria to finish them off lest they use Syria as a base to recoup, recruit and reform (which they did in the power vacuum left by Obama).

    The entire purpose of the fighting in Syria was to deny ISIS and other terrorist organizations a safe-haven and base of operations from which to organize world-wide strikes at non-Muslim countries.

    Trump appears to believe that if we stay in Iraq and turn Syria over to the forces of Assad, Russia, Iran and Turkey, that somehow bloodshed will be averted (our Kurdish allies will not be slaughtered in a Turkish genocide) and that ISIS will suddenly behave in a civil manner just because we have troops in Iraq.

    This approach by Trump is nothing more than appeasement and surrender to Turkey and Russia (and Iran) that are funding and training ISIS terrorists and fighters and their allied terrorist organizations. By abandoning our allies, Trump is pretty much insuring that US promises will never be trusted again in the world – especially after Obama broke so many alliances, promises and treaties with HIS surrenders and pandering to Muslim groups throughout the ME (I wonder if Trump has ever revoked the Obama mandate that NASA’s mission has changed from space exploration to making Muslims “feel good about themselves” ?) Last I heard, NASA has not yet been re-directed back to space exploration by Trump and remains mired in “muslim outreach” and “climate change research” where their mission is apparently to find (or manufacture) proof that mankind is affecting the Earth’s climate.

  • Barros Serrano

    The Assad regime is Alewite (Shia) but the Syrian population is mostly Sunni.

    In Iraq, the southerners (Basra, etc.), in the region formerly under Persian domination, are Shia. The “Arabs” in the center, in the region with more Roman influence, are Sunni, as are the Kurds in the north.

    Obama’s policies of concentrating on ISIS worked… they lost virtually all territory. Kurdish fighters largely were the forces accomplishing this. Bush, Sr. betrayed the Kurds when he urged them to rise up against Saddam and then did nothing to help them when they did, leaving them to be massacred by Saddam using gas he’d gotten from the Reagan Administration (whose policies in the region were a disaster, e.g., arming the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan). Now Trumpolini has given Erdogan the green light to slaughter them.

    Shame on the U$A and on anyone continuing to support this Orange Nightmare.