In December, President Trump announced that he was finally ordering an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria. Almost immediately, under pressure from the interventionist crowd, including the national-security branch of the U.S. government, Trump reversed course and announced that he intended to delay the pullout by another four months. Today, it’s not clear that he even intends to abide by that deadline.
Meanwhile, while Trump dawdled with the withdrawal, four more Americans were killed in a suicide-bombing attack carried out by ISIS in Syria. They included two U.S. soldiers, a former U.S. soldier serving as a contractor, and an interpreter. Three other Americans were wounded in the attack.
What did those Americans die for? Nothing. All four died for nothing.
They died for nothing because the U.S. government has no business being in Syria. It never has had any business being in Syria. Those 2,000 U.S. troops don’t belong in Syria. Those four Americans deserve to be alive today. So do all other Americans who are killed in Syria the longer that Trump delays the pullout of all U.S. troops from the country.
Interventionists, not surprisingly, are saying that the ISIS attack instead shows that Trump needs to keep U.S. troops in Syria. They’re saying that the attack shows that ISIS hasn’t really been “defeated,” as Trump claimed when he was justifying his original withdrawal order.
But whether ISIS has been defeated or not is quite besides the point. The point is that the U.S., government has no business in Syria, ISIS or no ISIS.
Moreover, let’s not forget something important: It is interventionists who are responsible for the rise of ISIS. The organization did not exist prior to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Never mind that Iraq had never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. What mattered was that interventionists felt that Iraq’s dictator, who had partnered with the U.S. government in the 1980s, now had to go and be replaced with another pro-U.S. dictator.
Interventionists cheered as U.S. forces were invading and occupying the country for many years. But while they were celebrating the destruction of Iraq and the killing and torturing of tens of thousands of Iraqis (none of whom had ever attacked the United States), interventionists were refusing to take personal responsibility for what their interventionism had brought into existence — ISIS, which consisted largely of people who opposed the U.S. interventionist war against Iraq.
So, ISIS, which was a direct result of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, become the new official enemy, which now, interventionists said, required even more interventionism. The idea was that if the U.S. government didn’t now stop ISIS , ISIS would supposedly establish a worldwide Muslim caliphate that would end up conquering the United States and taking over the federal government, much like Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, with whom U.S. officials had partnered in the 1980s, was supposedly going to do if the U.S. government didn’t intervene against him.
The notion was ridiculous from the get-go. ISIS was never coming to get us, any more than Saddam was coming to get us. It was just one more of a series of official bugaboos that interventionists have used to justify their forever foreign interventions and ever-increasing tax-funded largess for the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA.
Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment have used ISIS to justify the stationing of those 2000 troops in Syria. But it’s been a lie from the beginning. The real reason those troops are there is to attempt to achieve regime change in Syria, just like they got regime change in Iraq. That’s ultimately what those four Americans died for—regime change, which is the same thing as dying for nothing. That’s because the U.S. government has no business engaging in the business of regime change. It is not a legitimate role of the U.S. government to be deciding who should be in power in foreign countries and engaging in actions to buttress or remove foreign regimes.
Of course, that’s not the mindset of interventionists, including those who pressured Trump into immediately modifying his withdrawal order on Syria. What we hear from them is classic imperialism. “If we get out, there will be a power vacuum that will be filled by Russia, which is our rival.” “We need to counterbalance Iran.” “We need to block our NATO ally Turkey.” “ISIS could become a regional hegemon.”
All that is Empire Talk 101. After all, do you see Switzerland, a country whose government is limited to defense of the country, talking like that? Do you see Swiss officials referring to rivals, counterbalancing, blocking, or the rise of regional hegemons?
Meanwhile, while Trump dawdles with his withdrawal from Syria, he’s now stating that US. military intervention is a possibility for Venezuela, on top of the interventionist sanctions that Trump has already imposed on that country. Just more interventionism from America’s interventionist-in-chief.