Roaming Charges: Que Syria, Syria

+ You believe pronouncements from this White House at your own peril. Two weeks ago it all seemed so clear. Trump announced out-of-the-blue that he was pulling US troops out of Syria immediately. Having “destroyed” ISIS (and killed several thousand innocent bystanders), the military’s role was finished. It was time for the US troops to leave and redeploy to the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. Jim Mattis objected and tendered his resignation, effective in February. Mattis’ terse resignation letter, a read-between-the-lines rebuke of Trump and his abrupt withdrawal plan, sparked a rallying cry among the neocons and their new pro-war allies on MSDNC. But Trump held firm and responded by evicting Mattis from his post immediately. Wonderful! The most honorable move Trump has made during his presidency.

But hold on. Was it all a just put-on to distract from Trump being outfoxed on live TV by Chuck and Nancy? Did anyone check with John Bolton? Apparently not, because Bolton reassured an anxious Bibi Netanyahu that the US was going to be staying in Syria until all remnants of ISIS were crushed into the dust (along many more innocent bystanders), US-backed Kurdish fighters in Rojava were protected from any assaults by Turkey or Assad and Iran pulled its fighters out of Syria. Notably, Trump didn’t fire Bolton for his apparent impertinence. Instead, he seemed to wilt, saying “I never said, we were leaving now.” But whenever Trump says “I never said,” you…

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