Trump’s Obscene Syria Stupidity
Well, now I prefer the guy who didnt know what Aleppo is.In the second presidential debate, during which Hillary Clinton looked as if she could profit from her own no-fly zone against her menacingly hovering opponent, Donald Trump made a series of assertions about the five-year-old humanitarian catastrophe in Syria that no one with access to Google, much less classified intelligence, ever ought to make. That he managed to do this while both deferring to a theocraticexcuse me, Islamic terroristregime he claims to reprehend and also humiliate his own running-mate in the process was a masterstroke of Trumpist illogic and megalomania.By way of reaffirming his faith in a better working relationship with the Kremlin (whose hacking of the Democratic National Committee he again doubted), Trump stated that Assad, Iran and Russia are all killing ISIS. He sees this as proof of absent American leadership, and is quite comfortable being on their side in a civilizational struggle, even though he hates the fact that Iran is richer and only able to war against the Sunni extremists thanks to Obamas nuclear deal.In point of fact, none of the parties Trump rattled off has demonstrated much of a keenness or willingness to fight ISIS in Syria, as a bevy of U.S. officials and independent monitors have repeatedly pointed out.The Assad regime has actually traded in oil, natural gas and weaponry with its alleged nemesis, as have Iranian-built militias, which have borne the brunt of the fighting for Damascus in recent monthsfighting that has been directed against non-ISIS rebel groups, in the main.Assad regime officials have even admitted that fighting ISIS is not a first priority; rather, it behooves the regime to see the terror army devour other rebel groups, which constitute the gravest security challenge to Assads strategic heartland, or in symbolically more important cities, such as Aleppo.Russias Defense Ministry has serially falsified the timing and location of much of its footage of supposed airstrikes against the jihadists, as open-source resources have documented in painstaking detail.The Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has also chronicled Vladimir Putins intervention in the conflict since its inception in late September 2015. With the exception of areas under imminent threat by ISIS to Syrian regime military positions, or to strategically vital gas fields, the vast majority of Russian sorties have deliberately targeted Free Syrian Army factions, including and especially those backed by the United States or Turkey.In June, Russian Su-34 jet fighters conducted a brazen double tap bombing raid against the New Syrian Army, an American and British-trained contingent of anti-ISIS counterterrorists, at al-Tanf near the Jordanian-Syrian border.The consequence of this proxy annihilation strategy has often be a boon to the caliphates expansionism. In the first week of Moscows intervention, for instance, ISW found that Russian airstrikes coincided with ISISs largest advance against rebels in northern Aleppo since August 2015 and that Russias involvement in Syria is facilitating ISISs territorial gains, while also strengthening Assad.ISIS is benefiting from Russias strikes on the Syrian opposition.True, Russia helped the regime retake the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS last March, drawing largely on fascistic mercenary ground forces with experience in the Balkans and now Ukraine, but Sky News has reported, drawing on leaked ISIS documents, that there was direct evidence of collusion between the Syrian regime and Islamic State chiefs whereby some of the jihadists arsenal was withdrawn well in advance of that battle.Next, Trump claimed that Syrias once most populous city, Aleppo, had basically fallen to the regime. Tell that to the 275,000 civilians and host of rebel forces trapped in a city reduced to rubble and ruin, thanks to a remorseless siege and combined aerial campaign, which continued as Trump was sniffling and circling his prey this evening in St. Louis. But perhaps most bizarre in Trumps performance was how thoroughly he repudiated his vice presidential pick, Gov. Mike Pence, who must now be as irate as his wife about his choice of professional associations. Here is what Pence said just days ago in his own debate with rival Tim Kaine:I truly do believe that what America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones so that families, and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real-time, right now, to make that happen, and secondly, I just have to tell you that the provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue, I should say, to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime, to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo.Which sounds, and is, very much like Hillary Clintons own prescription for Syria, as she elaborated well this evening while Trump said this: She talks in favor of the rebels. She doesnt even know who they are. Every time we take rebels, whether its in Iraq or anywhere else, were arming people, and you know what happens? They end up being worse than the people.What rebels did we arm in Iraq? They end up being worse than the people What people? What the fuck is he talking about? Perhaps out of sheer spite for his selected number twos echoing the opinion of a woman he has vowed to imprison if elected, Trump admitted that he hasnt spoken to Pence and disagrees with this policy. Here, I think, is a historic confession from a major party candidate for the highest office in the world. The lonely man in the tower at Columbus Circle knows more than the generals and will listen to the best people on so many issues (itll make your head spin), but he doesnt even talk to his own running-mate. Tonight we saw a shortcoming of Donald Trump that may eclipse eeven his casual racism, xenophobia, misogyny and thuggishness. When it comes to what he believes will make America great again, he is a complete and utter moron.