Over a week ago US President Donald Trump announced that he would be withdrawing US troops from the Syrian conflict. The move was welcomed by the Syrian people who have suffered for years at the hand of the US-backed terrorist campaign against the country. Many in the mainstream US society seemed to support his measure to eliminate US presence in the country as well, particularly among his supporters. The Democratic Party doesn’t seem to feel as positive about his actions. They’d like the US to remain in the war-torn country for as long as it takes to defeat the Islamic State. (If we are to believe their reasons.)
Trump said on Dec. 19 announcing his withdrawal of U.S. forces, that they, “have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” and added later, “Now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”
This statement was contradicted by his national security advisor John Bolton. He claimed that the troops would only be pulled from the country after the Islamic State was defeated, and once a deal had been reached with Turkey to protect the Kurdish elements who have aided the US in occupying Syria illegally.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham also opposed the president’s plan for immediate withdrawal when speaking on the CBS program Face the Nation. He told the audience that “the bottom line here is we want to make sure we get this right, that ISIS doesn’t come back. And I applaud the president for re-evaluating what he’s doing. … He has a goal in mind of reducing our presence. I share that goal. Let’s just do it smartly.”
When these statements were made, Trump seemed to flip-flop and tell a different story. He then said that “we are pulling back in Syria. We’re going to be removing our troops. I never said we’re doing it that quickly.” Yet he very clearly said previously: “They’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now.” We can plainly see that the president is going back on his previous statement because his attitude towards the withdrawal has changed.
It is not uncommon for Trump to suddenly change his mind about an issue and support the opposite. Throughout his presidency, he’s gone back on his own plans and statements several times. From alleged Chinese currency manipulation to James Comey, to the withdrawal from NATO, to opposing the Export-Import Bank. Trump has been very inconsistent in his positions.
So why the sudden desire to change his mind on the issue? I think it comes down to this: Originally, Trump wanted to pull out of the conflict because he had promised to do so during his campaign. Getting him to keep any of his promises has been more difficult than pulling teeth. He wanted to keep something where he can say he kept his word. After saying it, the generals most probably came to him and told him why they were there. The goal had always been to undermine and destroy the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad.
The US essentially created the crisis and “uprising” in Syria by funding Al-Qaeda and other opposition groups in the country. The lineage of the Assad family has always been in opposition to US interests in the region, particularly with making Syria a neo-colony. This, of course, has largely to do with the energy resources, as well as iron ore, crude oil, phosphate rock, manganese ore, asphalt, marble, rock salt, and gypsum.
The goal was to oust Assad through a manufactured populist movement made up of US-funded elements. The movement was unsuccessful causing the US to move onto a civil war which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. During the course of the campaign the US reached out to the Kurds to act as a proxy force. The official story given is that the US is in the country to fight the Islamic State. In actuality, the goal is to use the Kurds as an occupying force to capture land that will be controlled by the US, which just happens to be primarily oil fields. With US protection the Kurds have carried out the ethnic cleansing of Arabs to force a Kurdish homeland. Essentially, they’re creating an Israel 2.0.
The immediate withdrawal of US troops will place the Kurds at the mercy of the Syrian government for their collaboration with US imperialism. The generals probably came to Trump and told him that they need to protect their assets in Syria (the Kurds) for the purpose of oil and mineral extraction. It’s clear that the US will not give up any land they’ve captured from the Syrian government easily. To that end, the US must remain in Syria as long as it takes to reinforce the burgeoning illegitimate Kurdish apartheid state.
It’s clear that Trump’s flip-flop on policy towards Syria was the result of him not knowing (or caring) why the US was there, to begin with.