Skip to comments.Trumpís decision to pull forces out of Syria has upsides
Posted on 12/28/2018 4:51:54 AM PST by SJackson
On its face, Trumps announcement that he is pulling US forces out of Syria seems like an unfriendly act toward Israel. But it isnt.
On its face, President Donald Trumps announcement that he is pulling US forces out of Syria seems like an unfriendly act towards Israel. But it isnt. Trumps decision to pull US forces out of Syria is of a piece with outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haleys address on Tuesday to the UN Security Council regarding the Palestinian conflict with Israel. Both statements reflect the depths of the administrations friendship and support for the State of Israel.
In Haleys speech at the Security Councils monthly meeting concerning the Palestinians conflict with Israel she decried the UNs obsession with Israel. ADVERTISING
Haley noted that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has failed for 50 years. And she said that it is time to try something new. She enjoined her Arab and European brothers and sisters to move beyond the failed talking points that formed the basis of the failed peace plans of the past half century.
Haleys address intuited a key point that has never been raised by a senior US official. The peace process which has been ongoing between Israel and the PLO since 1993 is antithetical to actual peace.
Consequently, any effort to achieve actual peace between Israel and the Palestinians requires the abandonment of the peace process.
Haley made this clear by acknowledging that Israel has far less to gain and much more to lose from the peace process than the Palestinians do.
In her words, Israel wants a peace agreement, but it doesnt need one.
Both sides would benefit tremendously from a peace agreement. But the Palestinians would benefit more and the Israelis would risk more, Haley said.
She added that if efforts to achieve peace were to fail, Israel would continue to grow and prosper.
The Palestinians on the other hand, would continue to suffer.
Haleys insight puts paid the popular claim that Israels survival depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and northern, eastern and southern Jerusalem. For years, pro-Palestinian forces have insisted that their demand that Israel surrender its capital and its heartland to the PLO is actually a pro-Israel position. Indeed, they say, anyone who rejects it is anti-Israel.
Haley exposed their conceit. It would be foolish for [Israel] to make a deal that weakened its security, she insisted.
The ambassador argued in favor of the administrations still unpublished peace plan based on the plans rejection of the peace processs unspecific and unimaginative guidelines. The administrations plan is promising she said, because it is based on reality or in her words, because it recognizes [that] the realities on the ground in the Middle East have changed... in very powerful and important ways.
HALEY ENCOURAGED the Europeans and Arabs to make a choice between a hopeful future that sheds the tired, old and unrealistic demands of the past or a darker future that sticks with the proven-failed talking points of the past.
That is, she told them to abandon the catechisms of the peace process in favor of a path that is based on the realities she outlined in her speech: Israel doesnt need peace and it wont sacrifice its security to achieve one. The Palestinians need peace more than Israel does and they should be willing to make sacrifices to achieve it.
The European response to Haleys speech showed just how stark a departure her speech and the Trump administrations general vision for resolving the Palestinian conflict with Israel is from everything we have experienced since 1993.
The eight European members of the Security Council France, Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement rebuking her. They warned the administration that any peace plan that would disregard internationally agreed parameters would risk being condemned to failure.
The European statement continued, The EU is truly convinced that the achievement of the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both States that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation and resolves all final status issues in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2234 and previous agreements is the only viable and realistic way to end the conflict and to achieve a just and lasting peace.
They then enjoined the US to get back to the business of putting the screws on Israel to agree to these parameters, stating that the EU will continue to work towards that end with both parties and its regional and international partners.
Trump and his advisers are unlikely to be swayed by the European threats. After all, if they had been trying to make the Europeans like them, they would have just continued the foreign policy of their predecessors. The EUs rebuke of Haley was important not because it impacted the administrations determination to abandon a quarter century of failure in favor of reality-based success it was important because it showed just how far away the Trump administration has walked from the failures of its predecessors.
THIS BRINGS us to Syria and Trumps sudden announcement that he is pulling all US forces out of the embattled country. How are we to understand a move that seems to advance the interests of all of the USs worst enemies at the expense of its closest allies? Recommended videos Powered by AnyClip Now Playing
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US forces were first deployed to Syria in 2014 as part of an international anti-Islamic-State coalition. At the time, then president Barack Obama was engaged in negotiations with the Iranian regime toward the nuclear deal.
Obamas embrace of Iran was part of an overall strategic realignment of the US away from its traditional Sunni Arab allies and Israel toward Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. As Obamas deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told an audience of pro-Obama activists at the time, Obama viewed his embrace of Iran through nuclear talks as the central policy of his second term.
Since Sunni ISIS was perceived as hostile to Shiite Iran, by fighting ISIS, Obama was achieving two goals: He was helping Iran by getting rid of a powerful adversary in Iraq and Syria, and he was selling the idea to the American public that Iran was their ally in a common war against ISIS.
US forces in Syria were given a very narrow mandate. They were prohibited from taking any action against Iran or Iranian-backed forces.
For the past two years, the Trump administration has continued implementing Obamas pro-Iran policy in Syria. Efforts to change the US mission have failed, largely due to Pentagon opposition. During his visit to Israel in August, National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the mission of US forces had been expanded to block Iran from asserting control over Syria. But since the administration didnt request a new mandate from Congress, the mission remained officially what it has been since 2014.
It is true that on the ground, the US forces in Syria do far more than fight ISIS. They block Iran from controlling the Syrian border with Iraq and so prevent Iran from controlling a land route from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.
US forces also have blocked Turkey from taking over Syrian Kurdistan and have prevented Turkish President Recep Erdogan from carrying out his pledge to destroy the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces. If the US chooses not to arm and supply the SDF, once the Americans leave, Syrias Kurds Americas only loyal allies there will either have to cut a deal with Russia and Iran or face Turkey alone.
US forces in Syria also block Russia from taking over Syrias oil fields. On February 7, forty US Special Forces troops blocked hundreds of Russian mercenaries from seizing the Conoco oil field on the eastern side of the Euphrates.
Finally, US forces in Syria act as a deterrent against Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah aggression against Israel. With US forces on the ground, they fear that provoking a war with Israel will be tantamount to going to war against America. With US forces out of Syria, their fear of attacking Israel will diminish.
BUT THERE ARE two significant upsides to the US move which together outweigh the downside, at least as far as Israel is concerned.
First, by leaving Syria, the US is abandoning Obamas pro-Iranian policy once and for all. Further indication that this is part of a far-reaching strategic shift rather than a dangerous move by an impulsive president came with a Hadashot News report Wednesday night that senior US officials told Israel this week that Washington will align its policy towards Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with Israels position if Hezbollah receives a larger role in the next Lebanese government than it enjoyed in the previous one.
Hezbollah and its allies won a majority of the seats in Mays parliamentary elections. Negotiations towards a new government have been deadlocked over Hezbollahs demands for expanded portfolios.
Obamas Lebanon policy to support the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and the LAF was part of his overall policy to empower Iran at the expense of Israel and the Sunni Arab states. Until now, guided by the Pentagon, the Trump administration has maintained this policy, much to Israels distress.
The advantage Israel gains from US abandonment of the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and the LAF far outweighs the blow it takes from the withdrawal of US forces from Syria. If the US abandons its support for the LAF and the Lebanese government, Israel will be able to defeat Hezbollah in war.
PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahus statement Thursday morning revealed the second upside of Trumps decision.
Netanyahu said: We will continue to act in Syria to prevent Irans effort to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not reducing our efforts; we will increase our efforts.
He added that, I know that we do so with the full support and backing of the US.
If the US backs Israel in war against Iran and Hezbollah by, among other things, deterring Russia and Turkey from getting involved; defending Israel at the UN; and supplying it with the weapons and other indirect support it needs to succeed and it gives Israel a green light to attack the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and military then Trumps move represents a full abandonment of Obamas anti-Israel, pro-Iranian policies.
Haley explained on Tuesday that, The world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support of Israel, its people and its security. That is an unshakable bond between our two peoples. And it is that bond more than anything else that makes peace possible.
By abandoning the anti-Israel fake peace process and striking out on a new path based on reality, and by walking away from Obamas pro-Iran policies in Syria and Lebanon and backing Israel in its efforts to defeat its enemies, the Trump administration is demonstrating what pro-Israel really means. So long as it is true to its word, Israel is safer and stronger for it.
Trump is right. It’s almost laughable to hear talking heads criticize Trump for his Syria decision telling us that it’s in our “national interest” to keep our troops there when we have people trying to storm our borders.
I think the correct attitude to have is that we will only be a ‘police-force’ if someone pays us do that kind of work. Beyond that, we storm enemies at war, and deliver massive relief to disaster victims for a limited period of time. That should be our core beliefs. I’m sorry that Bush and Obama dragged us into so many police-actions but it’s not our business.
This presumes we were in Syria to help Israel. We were not.
No, we weren’t. But that’s one basis the left is criticizing the withdrawl on.
At some future date, maybe not long from now, I believe the Muslim governments and the Europeans will FORCE Israel back to the 1967 borders and then “guarantee” peace. Maybe the treaty itself will last 7 years?
But it would hail the End Times.
That’s what I see in the EU statement in the text.
The biggest single impediment to getting the peace process—as they envision—done, is to force Israel out of the greater part of Judea, the Golan, and half of Jerusalem.
This means pushing her back to way it was in 1967 before the 6-day War.
History being revealed.
Who will lead the coalition to make this happen?
The Anti Christ.
Abive sentence should read:
The biggest single impediment to getting the peace processas they envisiondone, is Israel. They will to force Israel out of the greater part of Judea, the Golan, and half of Jerusalem.
In addition Saudi Arabia,no doubt thanks to MBS I would presume, has also agreed to invest over 1 billion dollars into the Kurdish areas which over lap into Syria,Turkey Iraq and one other country I forget which one.
So as usual Trump has all the bases covered even though the drivebys will never admit it.They just keep taking cheap shots and him.
It is hilarious that the lefties have turned hawkish.
I know. I feel like I am living in another universe at times.
I'm deeply concerned with some messages we are sending to relatively new allies in the Middle East.
In the words of Donald Rumsfeld it was the least-worst option.
Aside from a full-on occupation, which absolutely NOBODY is willing to do, he did not have a lot of other choices.
It looks like Mattis was a significant part of that oppostion.
Interesting. Thanks. I’ll read it again soon.
outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley... decried the UNs obsession with Israel.... has failed for 50 years... enjoined her Arab and European brothers and sisters to move beyond the failed talking points ...The peace process which has been ongoing between Israel and the PLO since 1993 is antithetical to actual peace... any effort to achieve actual peace between Israel and the Palestinians requires the abandonment of the peace process. Haley made this clear by acknowledging that Israel has far less to gain and much more to lose from the peace process than the Palestinians do. In her words, Israel wants a peace agreement, but it doesnt need one. Both sides would benefit tremendously from a peace agreement. But the Palestinians would benefit more and the Israelis would risk more, Haley said. She added that if efforts to achieve peace were to fail, Israel would continue to grow and prosper. The Palestinians on the other hand, would continue to suffer.
By "suffer" is meant, live off the rest of the world, or at least those gubmints which foolishly give them billions every year. Thanks SJackson.
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