There’ve been a lot of people adding to the cacophony of voices bellowing endlessly about Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria. As I said the other day, many of those bellowing voices don’t know what in the hell they’re talking about. And rather than simply admit that, or, (heaven forbid!) do some research, they just burp out uninformed opinions based on inferences made by other equally uninformed pundits.
And the stupid casserole is complete.
But here’s the thing. There are people who actually have knowledge of the Syria situation that dates back to before Sunday. These folks have a deeper understanding of all the moving parts — far deeper than those who didn’t give a crap about the Kurds or Turkey just a week ago.
Mike Doran is one of those with a deeper understanding.
Yesterday, Doran wrote an op-ed in the New York Post titled “How Obama’s team set up Trump’s Syrian dilemma” that is worth reading.
What is happening in Syria didn’t spring up out of nowhere four days ago. And having a better understanding of how we got to this point might be helpful, don’t you think?
Certainly more helpful than a bunch of breathless, pearl-clutching tweets from people who couldn’t find Syria on a map if their lives depended on it.
Here’s a bit of what Doran says in his op-ed:
Over the last few days, a host of former Obama officials have been repeating this story, which is highly misleading, to say the least. Rice and her colleagues would have us believe that Team Obama created a highly effective plan for stabilizing the Middle East by working through groups like the YPG, and Trump, mercurial and impulsive, is throwing it all away by seeking a rapprochement with Ankara. That’s nonsense.
In fact, the close relationship with the YPG was a quick fix that bequeathed to Trump profound strategic dilemmas. Trump inherited from Obama a dysfunctional strategy for countering ISIS, one that ensured ever-greater turmoil in the region and placed American forces in an impossible position.
To be sure, the YPG are good fighters, and the American soldiers who have fought alongside them hold them in very high esteem. But the decision to make them the primary ally for defeating ISIS came at a hidden cost: the alienation of one of America’s closest allies. The YPG is the Syrian wing of the PKK, the Kurdish separatist group in Turkey.
Designated as a terrorist group by the State Department, the PKK has prosecuted a long war against the Turkish Republic, resulting in the death of some 40,000 people.
The Turks beseeched the Obama administration not to align with their sworn enemy, but the Obamaians told them, in effect, to sit down and shut up. Why? The American relationship with the YPG was a direct outgrowth of the greatest blunder of the Obama administration: the effort to reach a strategic accommodation with Iran.
You’ll want to read the rest. But suffice it to say, much of Obama’s Syria policy was determined by his ongoing negotiations with Iran. In fact, much of Obama’s Middle East policy in general was run through the filter of the Iran deal.
The Obama Administration wanted to placate Iran so they chose the one Kurdish group Iran would approve of – even if that meant causing friction with a fellow NATO member.
It was all about Iran.
And now President Trump is left with the mess.
Or, to borrow a bit on the words of Obama’s former pastor, “Obama’s Syria policy is coming home to roost.”
Doran’s column is worth reading in full.
But also check out this interview with Mike Doran on The Hill’s Rising. He lays it all out very well – despite host Krystal Ball’s attempt to once again boil the whole Syria situation down to this silly quote: “We’re going to stand back and tell Turkey you have the go ahead to go in and crush these people” (which is not in any way, shape, manner or form what the White House did).
This is an extremely helpful interview with Doran – even with that dippy Krystal Ball looking into her crystal ball and making inferences from the White House statement that are completely bogus.
But in a way, I’m glad there was a host who played the role of “Breathless pundit making accusations not supported by facts.” It gave Doran a real-time witless foil to play off.
Though, I really did want to smack that dummy in the mouth, to be honest.
Any old how. I hope this information helps give you a more rounded understanding of the Syria situation. As I said the other day, I certainly didn’t know much. And I found Doran’s input extremely valuable.
There is always more to the story than the mainstream news media tells you. They don’t want you to do any research or look beyond their breathless hysterics or misleading headlines. I appreciate Mike Doran cutting through that. I hope you did too.
You can follow Mike Doran on Twitter at @Doranimated.
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