Are U.S. Mideast Wars Forever?

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Written by Patrick J. Buchanan; Originally appeared at buchanan.org

“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains,” is an old lament. Last week, it must have been very much on Kurdish minds.

As their U.S. allies watched, the Kurdish peshmerga fighters were run out of Kirkuk and all the territory they had captured fighting ISIS alongside the Americans. The Iraqi army that ran them out was trained and armed by the United States.

The U.S. had warned the Kurds against holding the referendum on independence on Sept. 25, which carried with 92 percent. Iran and Turkey had warned against an independent Kurdistan that could be a magnet for Kurdish minorities in their own countries.

But the Iraqi Kurds went ahead. Now they have lost Kirkuk and its oil, and their dream of independence is all but dead.

Are U.S. Mideast Wars Forever?

ISAF Photo by TSgt Laura K. Smith

More troubling for America is the new reality revealed by the rout of the peshmerga. Iraq, which George W. Bush and the neocons were going to fashion into a pro-Western democracy and American ally, appears to be as close to Iran as it is to the United States.

After 4,500 U.S. dead, scores of thousands wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, our 15-year war in Iraq could end with a Shiite-dominated Baghdad aligned with Tehran.

With that grim prospect in mind, Secretary Rex Tillerson said Sunday, “Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against … ISIS is coming to a close … need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”

Tillerson meant Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq should go home, and the Shiite militia in Iraq should be conscripted into the army.

But what if the Baghdad regime of Haider al-Abadi does not agree? What if the Quds Force does not go home to Iran and the Shiite militias that helped retake Kirkuk refuse to enlist in the Iraqi army?

Who then enforces Tillerson’s demands?

Consider what is happening in Syria.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, largely Kurdish, just annihilated ISIS in Raqqa and drove 60 miles to seize Syria’s largest oil field, al-Omar, from ISIS. The race is now on between the SDF and Bashar Assad’s army to secure the border with Iraq.

Bottom line: The U.S. goal of crushing the ISIS caliphate is almost attained. But if our victory in the war against ISIS leaves Iran in the catbird seat in Baghdad and Damascus, and its corridor from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut secure, is that really a victory?

Do we accept that outcome, pack up and go home? Or do we leave our forces in Syria and Iraq and defy any demand from Assad to vacate his country?

Sunday’s editorial in The Washington Post, “The Next Mideast Wars,” raises the crucial questions now before us.

Would President Trump be willing to fight a new war to keep Iran from consolidating its position in Iraq and Syria? Would the American people support such a war with U.S. troops?

Would Congress, apparently clueless to the presence of 800 U.S. troops in Niger, authorize a new U.S. war in Syria or Iraq?

If Trump and his generals felt our vital interests could not allow Syria and Iraq to drift into the orbit of Iran, where would we find allies for such a fight?

If we rely on the Kurds in Syria, we lose NATO ally Turkey, which regards Syria’s Kurds as collaborators of the PKK in Turkey, which even the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

The decision as to whether this country should engage in new post-ISIS wars in the Mideast, however, may be taken out of our hands.

Saturday, Israel launched new air strikes against gun positions in Syria in retaliation for shells fired into the Golan Heights.

Damascus claims that Israel’s “terrorist” allies inside Syria fired the shells, to give the IDF an excuse to attack.

Why would Israel wish to provoke a war with Syria?

Because the Israelis see the outcome of the six-year Syrian civil war as a strategic disaster.

Hezbollah, stronger than ever, was part of Assad’s victorious coalition. Iran may have secured its land corridor from Tehran to Beirut. Its presence in Syria could now be permanent.

And only one force in the region has the power to reverse the present outcome of Syria’s civil war — the United States.

Bibi Netanyahu knows that if war with Syria breaks out, a clamor will arise in Congress to have the U.S. rush to Israel’s aid.

Closing its Sunday editorial the Post instructed the president:

“A failure by the United States to defend its allies or promote new political arrangements for (Syria and Iraq) will lead only to more war, the rise of new terrorist threats, and, ultimately, the necessity of more U.S. intervention.”

The interventionist Post is saying: The situation is intolerable. Confront Assad and Iran now, or fight them later.

Trump is being led to the Rubicon. If he crosses, he joins Bush II in the history books.

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  • FlorianGeyer

    ” Bottom line: The U.S. goal of crushing the ISIS caliphate is almost attained. ”

    This is a shameful account by Patrick J. Buchanan. He is not an idiot and must know full well that the US/Israel have been fermenting terrorism and chaos in the Middle east for many decades.

    I can understand the fear that Patrick J. Buchanan has of standing up to the US/Israeli Deep State and perhaps he would have done better by saying nothing .

    • RamboDave

      You have it entirely backwards ! Buchanan has been warning that Israel
      is behind these endless wars for decades.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Why did he write “The U.S. goal of crushing the ISIS caliphate is almost attained ” then ?
        It was never a US goal, it was the direct opposite as are the majority of US Goals.
        The US was content with their ISIS brand of warlords initial successes to conquer the Assad government along with the re-branded Al Nusra warlords.

        • RamboDave

          It is true that the US and the Saudis attempted to do regime change by arming Jihadi groups back in 2011. But when al-Qaeda evolved into the monster ISIS in 2014 and invaded Iraq and began beheading journalists …. YES … the goal then became “crushing ISIS”. Thus, the goal has evolved ! Now, instead of regime change they have turned to plan B, which is to partition Syria and prevent a “Shia crescent” . In order to do this they now need to incorporate what remains of ISIS into the SDF for that purpose.

          Buchanan is merely pointing out that to accomplish this new plan B goal will require “forever war” …. which indeed is the title of the above article.

          But, Buchanan was correct …. “”crushing ISIS” was the goal (at one time).

          • FlorianGeyer

            US terrorist change as their successes ebb and flow. The US/Israel are the worst kind of despots , who have no honour at all and indeed much of their valour is fake or stolen.

            For example the Hollywood film that portrayed a US WW2 submarine capturing a German sub on the high seas and retrieving its Enigma Code machine that helped change the course of WW2.

            In reality it was a British Submarine.

  • Igor Dano

    This man is a neocon idiot.

  • Brad Isherwood

    Of course,…..The US Economy is driven by the Masonic Military Industrial Complex.
    US media is addicted to smash mouth and race guilt publish.
    The Orange Avatar that Rex Tillerson claims is a Moron**….is tweet threat China,Kim/NK,Iran,then
    Russia ….and that ….”We are ready, ….you’d be surprised…. just how ready We are”!

    America however does not like you fight an opponent on the even up,
    Usually….the opponent is sanctioned, bombed for a decade,…then a Coalition of the Willing
    Roll in to obliterate everything.
    Afterwards…Occupation,Politicians,…and pallets of USD $$ cash!

    Kurds are giddy with expectation Uncle Shlomo will V 22 Osprey in those pallets of Cash : )

    http://smoloko.com/wp-content/uploads/mccainZionistWarMeme.jpg

  • RamboDave

    Excellent article from Buchanan, who has been fighting the neocons and Zionists and “Israel first” crowd for decades. Buchanan is warning that the same people that brought us these endless wars are attempting to double down for yet more endless war.

    Here, for example, is Buchanan warning us back in 2003 (15 years ago) about what was about to happen:

    “A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interest.”

    Let’s listen to Buchanan this time !

  • as

    Bibi Netanyahu knows that if war with Syria breaks out, a clamor will arise in Congress to have the U.S. rush to Israel’s aid.

    This is true though how far it will go for that raises question. Will it do so even if it going to cost them more than previous Iraq and Afghanistan war ? What about their public dissent ?

  • Lazy Gamer

    Fuck the post. These people dont understand that situations are always dynamic. It is entirely possible that in the future, Syria and Iran could be allies. To destroy them now or to plan to destroy them with inevitability in mind, is sheer insanity. Load that guy onto the first plane that flies out to Syria. It’s like putting out fires by making more fires.

  • RichardD

    There will be no peace in the middle east or on our planet with Israel and US Jews constantly fabricating new conflicts with their British and French me too tag alongs on the UNSC. That’s visible now with the morphing of the Syria war to plan b, partition. And setting up Isralistan and the Kurds as the new kids on the block to go through the Jew meat grinder.

    The problem to be solved is in Washington, Tel Aviv, London and Paris. The solution is outlawing the Jew pedophile rape cult that rapes 1,000 cult babies every week, to create a better Jew free future for humanity. And preventing Jews from using wmd terrorism in an effort to prevent their demise in the process.