TRUMP: "WE'RE GOING TO BOMB THE SHIT OUT OF ISIS"
NOTE: Just like what I used to call the "Limousine Diplomats" who got us entangled in Iraq, another Administration, another bungle. Why? Because all the blowhards in the Bush Administration apparently did not have a clue about what the fallout of a U.S. invasion would be. We are now 14 years on and Iraq is not only still a mess but is still an incubator for ISIS and other terrorist groups. Trump's bluster about "bombing the shit out of ISIS" and "we're gonna crush ISIS" reveals the same hubris and ignorance about what's actually happening - not in some secure situation room or command center here in Washington - but what's actually going on in Syria on the ground. But there are folks closer to the "action" like Israel, Jordan and Lebanon who, one assumes, have a much clearer idea of what's really happening on the ground. Here's a Politico article about what the Israeli's think about the Trump "doctrine."
By: Bryan Bender
May 22, 2017
ASSANIA MOUNTAIN, ON THE ISRAEL-SYRIAN BORDER—The Israeli military is not too impressed with President Donald Trump’s escalation against the Islamic State.
That, at least, is the distinct impression I got on a recent trip to Israel, including a visit to the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights that offered a unique vantage point on the hopelessly entangled anarchy that is the Syrian civil war, now in its sixth year.
From atop a network of underground bunkers dating to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, my Israeli Army escort pointed northeast to Al Quneitra, the largely abandoned Syrian city in the distance where forces of President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah are trading mortar fire with rebel fighters who control two nearby villages.
A short drive south, past cherry and apple orchards, an abandoned United Nations outpost just over the fortified border now flies the flag of the Al Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al Qaeda. Farther south, past a remote Israeli drone base, nestled atop a craggy slope across the valley below is a training base for the Islamic State, which is making new inroads far from its capital of Raqqa, more than 300 miles across the desert.
But some Israeli commanders, who agreed to share their assessments of the Syria conflict on the condition they not be identified, went as far as saying that the American actions in Syria and Iraq, where U.S.-backed Iraqi forces recently liberated the city of Mosul, could be turning ISIS and its affiliates elsewhere in the region into an even bigger threat to the West.
“The worst is yet to come,” one intelligence official said.
In eastern Syria, where ISIS is believed to be strongest, “the population is relatively favorable to the Islamic cause—the tribes and so forth,” he added. “When you bring a Western logic into an eastern Arab mentality it doesn’t usually work out. A Western mind doesn’t really understand the nuances of Arab tribal society anywhere in the Middle East.”
During the campaign, Trump promised to “bomb the shit out of ISIS.” But the American-led military campaign against the group—like the brutal attacks committed by Assad’s forces and its Russian military allies—may simply be radicalizing a new generation of terrorists bent on attacking Western countries.
What they agree on is that Assad is now unquestionably winning. And he owes Hezbollah, the radical Shia Muslim proxy of Iran, “big time” for it.
The so-called Army of God, which has gone to war with Israel twice and constitutes a state within a state in neighboring Lebanon, has lost an estimated 1,700 fighters bleeding for the Syrian dictator and as payback is now seeking to expand its new base of operations in Syria—which also means a new sphere of influence for the mullahs in Tehran.
I asked an IDF official peering out into the Syrian frontier a similar question—about the consequences of America’s war against ISIS in the region.
“There is no lack of Islamic militant groups here,” he said, clutching a machine gun in one hand and a pineapple popsicle in another. “You just haven’t heard of them yet.”
NOTE: There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that if Trump gets his way ("I'm smarter than all the generals") it will make the situation even worse in the Middle East and probably here too.