By Robert A. Vella

The White House announced today that President Trump has ordered the withdraw of U.S. forces from Syria.  In a tweet, he wrote:

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

In fact, ISIS has not been defeated even though it has suffered serious losses.  Trump’s decision contradicts his own policy makers, is being met with harsh criticism from Republican senators, and is inconsistent with his administration’s apparent foreign relations strategy.  The angry reaction from senators also highlights a growing rift between Trump and the GOP over the nation’s foreign policy under his presidency.

From:  What politicians are saying about US pulling troops from Syria

… the commander-in-chief’s contention that the US had defeated ISIS in Syria also seemed to contrast with reports from the Pentagon and UN that up to 30,000 ISIS fighters remain in Syria and Iraq.

The decision also contradicted a policy announced in September by national security adviser John Bolton.

“We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” Bolton said at the time.

And Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the global coalition to defeat ISIS, confirmed that policy just days ago.


GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham — a reliable Trump ally and golf buddy — said a withdrawal would have “devastating consequences” for the US interests in the region and throughout the world.

“An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, [President] Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia,” whose leader, Vladimir Putin, supports Assad, the South Carolina senator said in a statement.

“With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and after just returning from visiting there — certainly not Afghanistan,” Graham said in one of several Twitter posts slamming the move.

“President @realDonaldTrump is right to want to contain Iranian expansion. However, withdrawal of our forces in Syria mightily undercuts that effort and put our allies, the Kurds at risk,” he continued before delivering what — to Trump — could be the ultimate insult.

“Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,” Graham said, and “be seen by Iran and other bad actors as a sign of American weakness in the efforts to contain Iranian expansion.”

Indeed, Graham makes a very good point.  Trump’s move is great news for Iran, a country he has consistently vilified as terrorist and which is adversarial towards his Saudi royal family allies.  Another of Trump’s allies, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, happens to be Iran’s most powerful supporter.  And, an additional Trump ally – Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey – must also be pleased by the news because it means his Kurdish enemies will lose much of their military support and become more vulnerable to Turkish oppression.

Who’s happy?

Syria’s Bashar Hafez al-Assad
Russia’s Putin
Turkey’s Erdogan

Who’s unhappy?

The Kurds
The Saudis
The Pentagon

Confused?  You should be.

28 thoughts on “Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria gets angry response from Republicans

  1. The idea behind the wars is to pad the pockets of the investors and corporations. Ike warned us about this happening (industrial military complex) Now it’s a way of life. This will most likely help the real motives behind the ongoing seesaw battles we never win on purpose.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sometimes it seems that vested interest is all that is ever required for the US to launch into another military action.
    How did that work out for George W? How many people died?
    Maybe a cessation of military action might not be such a bad thing?

    Liked by 2 people

    • In this case, it is vested interest which is driving Trump’s decision to withdrawal from Syria – specifically, to appease Putin’s geopolitical aims, and to appease Erdogan’s obsession to destroy the Kurds. None of this has anything to do with peaceful motives. The sectarian civil war in Syria will go on minus the U.S.

      I was opposed to President Obama’s decision to involve America in Syria. However, America is involved now and the situation today is different than it was then. Trump’s decision will not help stabilize the region, and it is likely to trigger further destabilization.

      When considering to support or oppose the foreign policy moves of national governments, one must understand the circumstances and the potential consequences. Such issues are never simple – so much so that reality is rarely what it appears to the naked eye.


      • Well, I don’t usually involve myself with things political as you probably know, but considering how much death had occurred in Syria even before the ‘US and the rest of the ”global community” it seemed, on he face of it, a bit Johnny come Lately.
        ”Never simple” is an oft heard term in one form or another.

        In fact it is more simple than most are prepared to acknowledge.
        First: Don’t sell fucking arms to foreign countries.
        That would be a good start.

        Once that happens I’m sure foreign policy would be a whole new ball game.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Don’t sell fucking arms to foreign countries.

          But … but … but … it brings in M.O.N.E.Y.!!! And that is the bottom line to everything that happens in this world.


        • I know. This is BAD. Really, really bad. The way this is all playing out, i mean. Bad times are coming. Fast. I’ve never felt this afraid and uneasy for our future, our IMMEDIATE future, than now. What a complete fucking mess.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The wheels, the engine, and even the paint job has come off of this train! Man, I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m stunned and afraid because BAD stuff will come from this and the damage done, even if he leaves tomorrow, will take years to fix.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, it’s obvious that you are not well-versed in politics. Still, the standard you demand for nations regarding war are legitimate and to which I completely agree. However, if you apply that standard to one nation, then you must also apply that standard to all nations. By condemning America’s involvement in the Middle East, while ignoring Russia’s, Iran’s, Turkey’s, Saudi Arabia’s, Israel’s, etc., then your standard for peace is an empty one filled with personal bias.


        • While I don’t usually jump into politics in any in-depth manner,I don’t think I said I wasn’t well-versed, Bob, I just said I didn’t usually get involved.

          I do apply/expect the same standard to every nation.
          May’s husband, for example, has financial interest in one company that is an arms manufacturer/supplier.
          Tell me there is no conflict of interest in that scenario!

          Someone has to take a lead so why not the US?
          And lest we forget …

          If history is any example, how must we view America’s involvement in Vietnam?

          The US somewhat disregarded the UN in one fairly recent war if memory serves, and for all intent and purpose made the UK its Bitch ?

          And of course the WOMD nonsense.
          How about Afghanistan?
          Like every military power, that wants to play international policeman to ensure supposed democracy, somewhere down the line a price will be demanded, but if a country has nothing the ”Policemen” really wants or needs … well, who cares, right?

          That is road neither of us really want wander down, I’m sure.

          Liked by 2 people

        • You’re preaching to the choir, Ark. I do agree. But, you need to understand that there are smart ways of doing things and there are stupid ways. Diplomacy is always better than taking ill-advised unilateral action. What Trump did will not advance the cause of peace, will not elicit similar military withdrawals from other powers, and will likely create new humanitarian crises.

          From: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/turkey%E2%80%99s-erdogan-delays-operation-against-kurdish-forces-in-syria/ar-BBRghKv

          Turkey sees Kurdish forces both at home and in Syria as a threat to its national security and warned of an impending offensive to rout them from the Turkish border.

          “We decided last week to launch a military incursion into the east of the Euphrates River and shared that information with the public,” Erdogan said at a meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly in Istanbul.

          “Our phone call with President Trump, along with contacts between our diplomats and security officials and statements by the United States, have led us to wait a little longer,” he said, referring to a phone call between the two leaders last Friday.

          Still, he said, Turkey’s military is planning to launch the offensive in several months, with the aim of “eliminating” both the Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Units, and Islamic State remnants.

          The Kurds are stateless. They don’t have a country of their own, and they are vulnerable. What Trump has enabled Erdogan to do in the coming months is nothing less than ethnic cleansing. This is just one example, and there are others. When offering opinions on foreign policy, one must be aware of the circumstances and the potential consequences. Idealism must be tempered with realism.


        • While I am sympathetic to how you feel, if perhaps you could offer a few examples where military intervention with only human welfare has had demonstrably long term positive results?

          On the face of it, this apparent realism has been little more than an almighty fuck up.


        • We’re discussing unilateral military withdrawal here, not military intervention. We do live in the real world, like it or not. If you can’t accept that, then you don’t need to concern yourself with such issues. But, the Kurdish people don’t have that luxury. They will suffer and die because of Trump’s decision. That is a fact.


        • Without being purposely asinine, military intervention always precedes military withdrawal.

          I don’t see a whole lot of wonderfulness in Syria, or Yemen for that matter, from the participation of the US and its allies.

          Of course, I stand to be corrected.


        • I agree with you, Ark. Stop selling arms, stop intervening militarily on behalf of fossil fuel corporations. Cut military spending to 10% (for defense) from the current 50% and use that 40% to supply clean water, an affordable health care, and rebuilding the country’s crumbling infrastructure. For a beginning, the obvious rest should follow.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Not a popular answer, but I could not agree more. USA, get out! Remember that old chant, “Hey, hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” There are endless propaganda methods to justify any war… but in my world there is not a single reason given that can justify killing a child. One child’s life is the same as one world’s life. Does not compute? Too bad, it’s a valid statement.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.