Donald Trump tweeted some rare truth last month about the horrible cost of Washington’s “endless wars” in Southwest Asia (“the Middle East”): “Millions dead, $8 trillion spent, entire countries devastated.”
Then he lied big time: He said he would “bring the troops home.”
The Trump regime is not abandoning Washington’s long war to corner the world’s energy markets for U.S. monopolies. It is not ending the bloody war against Syria. The prize is too great, the profits too big.
The White House has made a tactical shift in an effort to pull Turkey back into the U.S./NATO orbit. This has become an issue in the factional struggle raging in Washington between the Trump regime and its rivals.
The shift follows the victories of Syria and its allies in eight years of war over invading mercenary forces armed and paid by the U.S., Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey and Israel.
Trump lies, children die …
While the Liar-in-Chief tweeted, the Pentagon poured more troops into Syria and the region.
Days after several hundred U.S. troops were transferred out of northern Syria, a U.S. armored brigade invaded eastern Syria and seized the country’s oilfields. Private U.S. military contractors–mercenaries–have also been seen in the area.
“We are leaving soldiers to secure the oil,” Trump said at an Oct. 27 press conference. He was speaking of Syria’s estimated 2.5-billion-barrel oil reserves.
“We’re going to secure the oil,” he went on. “And we may have to fight for the oil. It’s okay. Maybe somebody else wants the oil, in which case they have a hell of a fight.
“But there’s massive amounts of oil. … What I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with Exxon Mobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly.”
On Oct. 28, Defense Secretary Mark Esper threatened to use “overwhelming force” to keep Syria from using its own oil fields. Esper is a former lobbyist for Raytheon, a leading Pentagon contractor with big interests in Saudi Arabia.
On Nov. 1, a U.S. B52 strategic bomber took off from Britain and circled a Russian base in Syria.
On Nov. 6, at a White House meeting, Trump and Pentagon officials agreed to “expand the U.S. military mission in Syria.”
… in Syria
Meanwhile, U.S.-armed and -trained terrorist militias that had been driven from Syria returned under the protection of invading NATO Turkish troops. They have attacked villages, murdered civilians and soldiers, planted bombs and mines, and destroyed schools, a hospital and a power station.
Trump encouraged the invasion, inviting Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the White House on Nov. 13. Turkey launched its offensive on Oct. 9. On Oct. 10, the U.S. vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Turkey’s invasion.
On Oct. 17, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien traveled to Ankara to meet Erdoğan. A war between Turkey and Syria, which could draw in Iran, would be a dream scenario for the fracking interests that dominate the Trump White House.
The Syrian city of Idlib is still occupied by an alliance of Saudi, UAE and Turkey-funded bandit armies from outside Syria. The largest is Jabhat Al Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, which now calls itself Hayat Tahrir Al Shams (HTS).
Nusra-HTS is armed with U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles supplied by Turkey with U.S. permission. HTS is on the U.S. “terror list,” but the White House approved a big shipment of missiles to the group in May. On Oct. 22, the White House gave $4.5 million to the White Helmets, the HTS “civil defense” arm.
On Nov. 12, speaking at the Paris Peace Forum, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the U.S. of continued support to Nusra-HTS and of blocking Syria’s efforts to rebuild.
On Nov. 1, HTS launched a new offensive in northern Latakia, which was repelled by the Syrian Arab Army. On Nov. 6 and Nov. 8, the group shelled the city of Aleppo, injuring civilians.
As the fighting raged in Syria, the Pentagon deployed 1,800 more troops, two fighter jet squadrons, a THAAD missile battery and four B1B strategic bombers to Saudi Arabia.
The troops landed as Saudi ARAMCO, the world’s biggest oil company, prepared to launch what Bloomberg.com calls the “world’s biggest public offering.” The $100 billion stock sale is being underwritten by JPMorganChase and other major U.S. banks. Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell market ARAMCO’s production.
There are now 3,000 U.S. troops in the Saudi kingdom and 70,000 in the region. Fourteen thousand U.S. troops have been sent to Southwest Asia since May.
… in Yemen
In April, Trump vetoed a Senate bill restricting U.S. involvement in Saudi genocide in Yemen. One hundred thousand Yemenis have been killed since 2015, when the U.S.-armed Saudi Kingdom began bombing their country.
Many more, mostly children, have died from famine and disease inflicted by the U.S.-Saudi blockade and deliberate destruction of Yemen’s agriculture. UNICEF reports that 360,000 children under age 5 suffer from acute malnutrition. All of the country’s hospitals are now closed due to lack of fuel.
At a Sept. 16 press conference with Prince Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain, Trump bragged that the House of Saud had spent $400 billion on U.S. arms in recent years. “Saudi Arabia pays cash,” he said. On Nov. 6, CNN reported new U.S. armored vehicles being unloaded in Yemen’s Saudi-occupied port of Aden.
Saudi troops keep Bahrain’s brutal Prince Salman on his throne. He is also a big U.S. arms client. General Dynamics keeps the F16 fighter in production under a Bahraini contract. Bahrain is home base for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
… and in Palestine
The figures on U.S. troop strength in West Asia don’t include the 1.5-million-strong Israeli occupation army in Palestine, armed and paid for by the U.S.
On Nov. 12-14, U.S.-made Israeli planes flown by U.S.-trained Israeli pilots again rained U.S.-made missiles on the nearly 2 million Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza Strip. Thirty-five Palestinians, six of them children, died in the latest U.S.-Israeli attacks.
In Deir Al Balah, eight members of the Al Sawarka family were murdered when U.S.-Israeli planes targeted their house. Twelve more are in critical condition. Fifteen schools were hit by U.S.-Israeli missiles.
The latest attack began when Israel assassinated Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) military commander Badar Abu Ata and his spouse. Israel forces struck when they knew Abu Ata would be home, on his daughter’s birthday. The same night, an Israeli strike in Damascus, Syria, missed PIJ commander Akram Al Ajouri but murdered one of his sons.
One million Palestinian children live in the giant open-air prison called the Gaza Strip, where 97 percent of the water is poisoned with sewage and salt, 52 percent of adults cannot find work, hospitals are without medicine and there is electricity for only a couple hours a day.
Israeli snipers shot 94 children in the last two weeks of October. Israeli troops shoot Gaza fishers for working their own waters. Meanwhile, U.S. energy companies plunder gas off the shores of occupied Palestine.
In September, Trump proposed a mutual defense pact between the U.S. and the racist Israeli settler state. Last year, he signed the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Act, which codifies $38 billion of U.S. military aid into law. In March, he signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s “sovereignty” over Syria’s Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump “Israel’s best friend ever.”