Written by Caitlin Johnstone; Originally appeared at her blog
A suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria has reportedly killed 19 people including four Americans, two of whom were US soldiers and two of whom worked with the US military. ISIS, which has an extensive history of falsely claiming responsibility for attacks it had nothing to do with, has claimed responsibilityfor the attack. Despite the fact that ISIS would claim responsibility for a housewife stepping on a Lego block, and despite the complete absence of evidence that it had anything to do with the deadly explosion, all the usual cheerleaders of endless war are pointing to the Manbij suicide bombing and shrieking “See?? Trump said ISIS is defeated and it’s not!”
“ISIS is still a very real threat here,” CNN international corespondent Clarissa Ward told Jake Tapper from northern Syria. “And the real concern that we are hearing over and over again on the ground, Jake, is that when US troops withdraw, a power vacuum is created, and that only gives them more strength.”
Virulent Syria war pundit Charles Lister, who is notorious for praising Al Qaeda and is a senior fellow at the Gulf state-funded neoconservative think tank Middle East Institute, told AFP that this attack invalidates Donald Trump’s order last month to withdraw troops from Syria.
“Trump’s order was reckless and driven far more by domestic political concerns than it was by facts on the ground,” Lister said, adding, “To suggest ISIS is ‘defeated’ because it no longer controls territory is to fundamentally misunderstand how ISIS and similar organizations seek to operate.”
Former John McCain ventriloquism dummy Lindsey Graham pounced like a rat on a cheese doodle on the opportunity to call for continued US troop presence within hours of the attack, interrupting the confirmation hearing of Attorney General nominee William Barr with an ejaculation about Trump’s Syria withdrawal.
— Kevin Bishop (@KevinDBishop) January 16, 2019
“I would hope the President would look long and hard at where he’s headed in Syria,” Graham said after repeating the baseless claim that the attack was perpetrated by ISIS. “I know people are frustrated, but we’re never going to be safe here unless we’re willing to help people over there who will stand up against this radical ideology.”
Not to be left out when there are moronic war agendas to be sold, Fox News leapt into the fray with a quote from an anonymous foreign diplomat saying “This attack today is a direct result of the announcement made by President Trump that U.S. forces are pulling out. These troops had a bullseye on them when the president telegraphed that he was ordering a pullout.”
“ISIS has already claimed responsibility for today’s suicide attack, a reminder that the group is not defeated,” added Fox’s Jennifer Griffin.
MSNBC’s deranged intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance topped everyone as usual with a babbling nonsensical post about how US troops were killed in Manbij because there were no US troops in Manbij, proving that Assad and Putin may have allowed the attack to happen, which proves Trump is a Russian asset.
“The moment Russia and Assad took over patrolling Manbij on Trumps go ahead we get hit with suicide bombers for the first time. It’s possible Russia/Assad let the attack happen. Trump’s treachery on this matter now kills our special operators. #RussianAsset,” Nance tweeted between huffs of paint thinner.
The moment Russia and Assad took over patrolling Manbij on Trumps go ahead we get hit with suicide bombers for the first time. It’s possible Russia/Assad let the attack happen. Trump’s treachery on this matter now kills our special operators. #RussianAsset. https://t.co/Sa0tGrM12g
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) January 16, 2019
Other voices are treating the reports about the bombing with a little more skepticism.
“If ISIS were smart it would hold its fire especially against Americans,” tweetedprofessor and author Max Abrahms. “The main justification for leaving Syria is the (contested) assessment ISIS is defeated. ISIS attacks convey the opposite, weakening the strategic rationale of withdrawal while making it politically harder.”
“Ok, so Trump announces that the U.S. will begin a phased withdrawal from Syria, which according to his critics, would only benefit ISIS who they say is still operational and would welcome a U.S. pull out. But not waiting for pull out ISIS then targets U.S. troops! Yeah right,” tweeted former Green Party vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka.
These are interesting points. If ISIS is indeed responsible for the bombing, as war pundits are unquestioningly asserting is the case, then they’re either really, really stupid or they really want US troops to remain in Syria. Or perhaps the attack was engineered by someone else who has a vested interest in keeping a US military presence in Syria, either using ISIS as a patsy or completely separate from ISIS. Wouldn’t be the first time a suspicious attack took place in Syria while the Trump administration was working to withdraw troops.
Of course, this whole debate ignores the most obvious point of all: that if there was no US military presence in Syria, there would be no US military personnel being killed in Syria. The fight against the terrorist forces who nearly overtook the nation with the help of the western power alliance’s imperialist support have been beaten to the brink of total defeat not by the US, but by the Syrian government and its allies. If US troops were removed Damascus would quickly restore stability to the region and continue rebuilding the war-ravaged nation. But this is precisely what these war whores do not want.
Syria is a strategically crucial geopolitical nation for reasons having to do with natural resources and the power dynamics of Israel, Iran, and the empire-aligned Gulf states. It is not a coincidence that so much energy gets poured into this small stretch of land and its surrounding nations by the western military alliance and its propaganda machine, and it’s unlikely that the global dominators will lose interest in Syria any time soon. Stay skeptical.