Sunday, June 25, 2017

Moon of Alabama — Locked Into Al-Tanf U.S. Military Concedes It Lost The Race To Occupy South-East Syria

NEWSFLASH: The Pentagon and, even more important, the U.S. commanders in the Middle East, have finally recognized the basic facts of life.
There is no way the Syrian government and its allies will let the U.S. have south-east Syria or let it occupy the country including the Syrian army garrison in Deir Ezzor which is currently surrounded by Islamic State forces. The Syrian army and its allies will liberate Deir Ezzor and the whole Euphrates valley. The U.S. military has now conceded that.
There will be some huffing and puffing from the neoconservative corners but I doubt very much that this that this decision will be overturned or that this is a ruse. There is simply no strategic value for the U.S. in occupying south-east Syria and no will to defend it against determined resistance of capable opposing forces.
My congratulations to Syria and its allies. This battle is, for now, won.
Game (almost) over. But no doubt John McCain and various neocons won't be taking Sunday off after this news abut their plans being foiled.

Lesson: You can't bluff an invasion when Russia is in the game. 

But apparently it's all the military had in its toolbox, since for more direct action that might have led to direct conflict with Russia, the generals would have had to get permission from the politicians and president, and that would either have been a dead-end or else taken so much time as to scuttle the operation.

Moon of Alabama
Locked Into Al-Tanf U.S. Military Concedes It Lost The Race To Occupy South-East Syria


Peter Pan said...

There was no invasion. Unless...

Peter Pan said...

So much Russophobia going around... yet there is no support for going into Syria and kicking Russia's ass. And less than zero support for going after Iran.

Tom Hickey said...

There was no invasion

Occupying territory and holding it through force is an invasion.

Peter Pan said...

Hence, there was no invasion.

Peter Pan said...

What is the purpose of your rhetoric?

Tom Hickey said...

What is the purpose of your rhetoric?

I have given a rebuttal to your claim based on evidence. You just keep repeating your assertion with no substantiation.

Peter Pan said...

There has been no invasion of Syria by the US. What they are doing is supporting an insurrection, in violation of international law. But I suppose that doesn't have the same shock value.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob, you don't seem to understand the basic terms so your answers are beside the point.

It has to do with borders of sovereign nations, of which Syria is one.

Crossing international borders without permission of the sovereign and without a UN mandate is illegal.

To cross a border militarily without permission for a mandate constitutes an incursion. It is seriously against international law and could be deemed at act of war.

Whether it constitutes illegal aggression depends on circumstances. While the US raid on Bin Laden was certainly an illegal incursion, based on reports of Pakistan not even knowing about it in advance, let alone permitting, it did not not constitute an invasion.

To cross a border militarily without permission of the sovereign and against the express wishes of the sovereign and occupy territory and attempt to hold it by force, including the introduction of artillery, constitutes an invasion rather than only an incursion.

This is pretty much prime facie evidence of illegal aggression against a sovereign state, the most serious of war crimes.

Peter Pan said...

Take it up with the UN, Tom. The US has not been accused of invading Syria, as such a charge would be ludicrous.

The artillery you mentioned is to be used against ISIS. Syria can object to unauthorized activities on its soil, but they know such protests are futile. If this is a prelude to something else, we'll hear about it.

No disagreement with the other charges, which are serious, but old hat.

Tom Hickey said...

Have your read the link I recently posted, A Baseless Justification for War in Syria — Dennis J. Bernstein interviews Francis Boyle.

Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law: "Clearly the U.S. invasion, which we have done, and now repeated military attacks against Syria constitutes a Nuremberg crime against peace, and in violation of the Nuremberg charter, judgment and principles, and, of course, a violation of the United Nations’ charter."

Peter Pan said...

You don't change the definition of words because it suits your rhetoric. Incursion, aggression, act of war, are possible charges, but "invasion" is not.

Peter Pan said...

He compared it to Nicaragua, where the term used was aggression. You said it yourself, he 'unloads' in that interview.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob,Your critical thinking skills seem to be deficient in this area. I will give you your best response and rebut it.

Not all invasions are illegal aggression. D-Day was an invasion but it was not an illegal aggression since it was in the context of a declared war to repeal an illegal invasion of France by Germany. Those found responsible that survive the war were convicted at Nuremberg and hung.

The legal definition of invasion is an incursion on the rights of others, as in invasion of privacy, invasive surgery, and home invasion. Invasion of privacy and home invasion are illegal without permission. Invasive surgery is not illegal since permission was given. Anyone that has had elective invasive surgery knows that legal forms are signed beforehand.

The legal definition of military invasion is more specific. A military invasion is a large-scale cross border incursion on another state’s territory.

Your best response is to argue against this invasion of Syrian territory by the US military is not large-scale enough to quality as an invasion.

My rebuttal is that when a incursion involves the introduction of artillery and its use, it is large-scale.

Marine Times
New Marine artillery unit arrives in Syria ahead of Raqqa offensive
Jeff Schogol, May 16, 2017

Business Insider
7 crazy photos of US Marines in Syria shelling ISIS with artillery
Task & Purpose
James Clark, Task & Purpose
Jun. 23, 2017

Middle East Eye
US rocket artillery deployed to southern Syria for first time

The HIMARS was deployed close to the Al-Tanf coalition training base, a hotspot for clashes between the US and Syrian government forces

Peter Pan said...

It isn't large scale enough to qualify as an invasion. As it stands, the claim is being made that the artillery is targeting ISIS. Operations to capture Raqqa will be carried out by Syrian rebels, aka the SDF. As it stands, this can be considered an incursion by the US.

Further conclusions will have to wait until ISIS is defeated in that area. Will the artillery be withdrawn, 'donated' to the SDF, or turned around to face the SAA?

Will Raqqa be caotured, then handed over to Assad as a gift?

The natural tendency would be to assume the worst. This is Washington after all.

A partitioned Syria would make invasion claims moot. The charge would be that parts of Syria are under illegal occupation. This however, only applies to foreign troops. The US would try to claim that the SDF is in charge, and that it is comprised of Syrian nationals.

The legal definition of military invasion is specific and there is no way for Washington to disguise it. This is not the method being used to subjugate Syria. What we have seen is a long proxy war, followed by a putative land grab.

Tom Hickey said...

I'll believe the law professor.

Kaivey said...

Amazing, Syria has won. But how many dead because of this US instigated war to put through a gas lumber to Europe from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to Europe.

I did fear for the Syrians if ISIS had won. There would have been a massacre and it would have been Washington's fault, and it was all for money. The MSM says nothing.

Matt Franko said...

Well remember Russia shut the gas off back in 2006 which caused this whole thing in the first place....

Peter Pan said...

Washington will never be held legally accountable for what they have done. The professor says this is an impeachable offense, a 'slam dunk', yet if Trump is impeached it won't be for that reason. Syria has lost a great deal while Washington maintains its impunity.