5 readers online now  |  69 million page views

US Troops = "Military Tourists"

Reader comment on item: I Taught NATO to Stand Up to a Dictator
in response to reader comment: What's left to lose?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Oct 20, 2017 at 05:09

BTW, Jeff,

I've been basing my gloomy assessment of the US position in the ME, on an Iraq that is no longer loyal to the US. It is true, that the US has troops in Iraq and Syria.

In Syria, we are there by the assent of the de facto Kurdish regional authorities, whom the Turks call terrorists; and we are certainly there over strident objections by the Syrians. Even the Russians have begun openly defying us there; so we are there by force of arms only.

Where is our line of supply to our forces in Syria? Certainly not through Turkey, since the Turks are intent on crushing our Kurdish and Arab allies there. That leaves Iraq. When ISIS swept into Mosul a couple of years ago, it was the US that saved Baghdad from falling into hands as well; so in a one-way sense, we acted as their "allies". On the other hand, Shiite militias, proxies of Iran, also came in to prop up the Baghdad government; so that since then, Americans AND Shiite militia have roamed freely through the country. Since the effective defeat of ISIS, moreover, Iraq and the militia have moved in unison against our presumed Kurdish allies, over American objections. Iraq today, then, resembles the "security check" in the movie, "Airplane":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHZISoNlqAA

For a comparison with the Vietnam War, it is as though US troops are stationed all over the country, fighting nobody, while the Viet Cong drive their tanks through Saigon, with full consent of the RVN government -- perhaps waving at the Americans as they ride by.

The word "farce" comes to mind. What makes it worse now, than it was under Obama, is the fact that the militias have driven the Kurds out of Kirkuk and elsewhere, the day after Trump declared them to be our enemies, while the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards was in Kurdistan and Baghdad. That would be like Võ Nguyên Giáp having talks, in the field, with Vietnamese and Montagnard commanders while our own troops smoked opium. Things were bad in Vietnam, but they never got quite that bad.

In Syria and Iraq, therefore, the US armed forces are effectively "military tourists". Meanwhile, President Trump tweets:

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
Big wins against ISIS!
5:23 AM - 11 Jul 2017

cropped next to a video of Shiite forces moving against Kirkuk. Notice that Trump said "wins", not "win", as though the Shiite victory against the Kurds was an American "win". I've never seen such blatant double-speak coming out of the White House.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submitting....

Submit a comment on this item

Reader comments (34) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The Turks actually disapprove of everyone, except themselves [100 words]Michael SOct 12, 2017 03:56241054
Turkey is moving into Idlib, de facto allied with the jihadists it is purportedly fighting [6 words]Michael SOct 11, 2017 06:06241051
Rival Powers Use Islamists Against Each Other [189 words]DaveOct 9, 2017 17:00241039
Bravo, Mr. Pipes [3 words]Vadim AnshelevichOct 9, 2017 12:39241037
Trump is losing the Middle East FASTER than Obama did [341 words]Michael SOct 9, 2017 03:58241034
What's left to lose? [262 words]JeffOct 14, 2017 15:55241034
"The Illustrious" vs. "the Madman" [423 words]Michael SOct 20, 2017 01:45241034
US Troops = "Military Tourists" [428 words]Michael SOct 20, 2017 05:09241034
A thank you to Daniel Pipes [116 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
SadeqOct 8, 2017 01:14241022
"Testosterone" to stand up to Erdogan? [344 words]Michael SOct 14, 2017 05:40241022
respond to Michael [84 words]SadeqOct 28, 2017 01:44241022
I hate Islam, but love Muslims [420 words]Michael SNov 3, 2017 18:07241022
2Turkey is a huge problem [178 words]Alex FlintSep 28, 2017 22:07240946
Turkey is now threatening military action against its peaceful neighbors [178 words]Michael SSep 27, 2017 06:21240921
1Kurds can have it all [241 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 4, 2017 11:36240921
my best guess of what will happen [285 words]Michael SOct 10, 2017 05:49240921
Dear Michael [207 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 19, 2017 23:46240921
Israel and Kurdistan will likely soon be neighbors [373 words]Michael SOct 28, 2017 01:40240921
Western ethical values [42 words]AnnaSep 24, 2017 10:51240908
3Does NATO really need Turkey now ? [297 words]RobertSep 23, 2017 22:54240903
NATO membership [55 words]Nicholas VariasSep 21, 2017 14:21240884
An Historic Moment [201 words]Michael SSep 24, 2017 04:40240884
Bravo to standing up to Erdoğan [82 words]Dr. Jack LawsonSep 21, 2017 13:23240882
The Erdogan Dummy [129 words]DaveSep 20, 2017 15:45240878
I Taught NATO to Stand Up to a Dictator [151 words]Judith DaviesSep 20, 2017 13:38240875
Thanks for the explanation [73 words]PeterSep 20, 2017 11:57240874
Never Be Silenced by Bullies or Dictators [52 words]MichaelSep 20, 2017 05:59240871
1Some Thoughts [356 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
EmreSep 20, 2017 04:21240870
Who is the terrorist? [54 words]SadiqOct 8, 2017 01:22240870
erdogan and gulen are like brown and yellow ... [338 words]wealth swiftOct 24, 2017 22:30240870
Only Erdogan can stop Erdogan [384 words]Michael SSep 20, 2017 03:58240869
Where is the speech? [41 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
VivartoSep 20, 2017 03:24240868
Good for you Daniel [58 words]avi elnekaveSep 20, 2017 02:55240866
1I Taught NATO to Stand Up to a Dictator [94 words]Admiral Peter KikareasSep 20, 2017 01:51240865

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to US Troops = "Military Tourists" by Michael S

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

ADVERTISEMENTS

eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2017 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes