Monday, October 14, 2019

Grim Sums Up the Mess in Syria

It's fair to say that Grim disapproves of Trump's troop-withdrawal.  Strongly disapproves.  And Grim (not his real name, friends) has spent plenty of time in the Middle East in the employ of the United States--not all of which time was spent in uniform, either.  Read between the lines.  And read his whole post; there's a lot there beyond the pull-quote I have here.

So what does he have to say?

...The root of this failure -- which may turn out to be the biggest American strategic loss since Vietnam or Korea -- is the failure of our institutions to come to grip with the drift of Turkey and the failure of NATO. The President, foolishly, is selling this as a choice he made for reasons of his own. The truth is he didn't have any choice. It's ugly, and in the medium to long term we could turn it around if we start putting the pieces in place now. But right now, today, there's not a thing we can do to stop the Turks that doesn't do more harm than good.
None of that cuts against Mr. McCarthy's point, though. Almost none of our elected leadership or class of journalists understands any of that. They all think this is happening because Donald Trump 'greenlit' the invasion. To some degree it's his fault for talking as if that were so. Nevertheless if you understand how this works, you quickly see that there wasn't a choice to be made. There were only orders to be issued, and obeyed, in spite of the massive human tragedy they entail....
Out of respect for Grim, I'll leave that up there with only the observation that IMHO, the United States is not now, and never should be, a beat-cop for the world.  This was dumped into Trump's lap by his predecessor(s). 

As to Viet Nam, one of the reasons that the US was involved (certainly not the ONLY one, and maybe not in the 'top three') was that a big player in the Military-Industrial Complex was concerned that if South Viet Nam fell, "market share" would be lost.  I know that because I had that conversation one Sunday afternoon with an EVP of that companyIke was right.

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