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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.

Submitting....

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