Articles > > Cleaning up the Mess

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2019-10-09
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

In the U.S., the deep state institutions are trying to clean up the mess left by President Donald Trump's abrupt decision, against the recommendations of those closest to him, to withdraw from Northeastern Syria and abandon Washington's Kurdish allies and 'tools', as some call them, to Turkey's voracious appetite for the destruction of any Kurdish state in Turkey or neighboring countries.
 
As the concerned party, the Pentagon confirmed that U.S. forces are being moved elsewhere in the area instead of withdrawn, as President Trump claimed, and only from two positions, overlooking Tal Abyad and Ras al-'Ain, instead of fifty sites with over 2,000 U.S. troops. The Pentagon petitioned Turkey after it embarked on its escapade to invade broad swathes of Syrian territory, taking a step back from its statement that it does not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria and that U.S. troops would not be involved. 
 
The outrage brewing among the administration, security and military institutions, Congress, and even among Republican party leaders prompted President Trump to post his now-infamous Tweet: 'If Turkey does anything that I consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey'. (Nobody knows what these limits are, and I believe not even Trump himself does). What is worse, he said he has done it before and will not hesitate to do it again, but no one can recall a time in the last three years when Trump 'destroyed' the Turkish economy... unless he considers imposing tariffs on Turkish aluminum imports to have 'destroyed' its economy and national currency.

The administration's hawks and doves alike and both main party leaderships are unanimous in rejecting the president's hasty, sudden decision, albeit for different reasons and motives. With each passing day and Tweet, he proves how unqualified he is to lead the greatest country in the world. The consensus was that this decision will play right into the hands of Russia, Iran, and Turkey (the Astana trio) as well as Damascus and the countries and non-state actors allied to it.
Regardless of conflicts and differences, the international community was united in its shock and rejection of the decision. From Britain to France, Germany, and the EU, all agree on rejecting the resolution and warning of its consequences. Even Russia and Iran (and, presumably, China), despite repeatedly calling for U.S. withdrawal, are concerned about Washington giving the green light to Ankara's invasion of Northern Syria, and so have kept silent and are cautious about welcoming President Trump's change, of course.

All this international fear and reckoning does not stem from sympathy for the Kurds of Syria or for the success of their national cause. The Kurds would be fools to make the same mistake twice. But another pressing source of concern has to do with Washington's possible withdrawal from the Middle East as a whole, leaving its allies to fend for themselves, whether in confronting Iran and its allies, or contending with Russia's creeping influence across the region. Even Israel, the Trump administration's pampered ally, seems concerned about his decision for two reasons: First, it was not consulted or informed in advance, and second, because this decision destroys a cornerstone of its strategy to build an alliance with the 'moderate' Arabs for a confrontation with Iran under U.S. command.

Regardless of the extent to which it will be translated on the ground, Trump's decision has implications that extend beyond East of Euphrates to the Eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf, Iran, and Moscow... That may the explain the silence prevailing in Damascus, Tehran, and Moscow; these parties are well aware that they will top the list of winners under his decision.

Meanwhile, it is Washington's allies who are agonizing over the fluctuations in its foreign policy and will pay the price of this president's 'great and unmatched wisdom', as he described himself to glorify his decision.