First “Vietnamization”. Then “Iraqization”. Now it's "Arabization"

There was a surprisingly good ABC News article about Syria recently, concerning the likely upcoming Syrian government offensive against the remaining rebel enclaves.
The article focuses on Iranian-backed militias coming closer to the Israeli border, and how dangerous that is.

Rebels in southern Syria who were once backed by the United States fear a new offensive by President Bashar Assad's forces, one that risks igniting a wider conflict.
For years, rebel forces known as the Southern Front received covert U.S. arms, funding and training to help them fight both the Syrian government and IS. But President Donald Trump ended the CIA program last year to try and extricate the U.S. from the civil war, an effort that was again thrown into doubt when an alleged chemical attack this month prompted U.S. and allied airstrikes against Assad's forces.

So the CIA armed Syrian rebels, but Trump stopped it. That's different from the normal narrative, in which we did nothing. There's no mention that those Syrian rebels were also head-chopping jihadists, but I'll take what I can get.
However, the interesting part is buried deep in the article.

The Eastern Lions Brigade, a rebel group that received covert U.S. support until late last year, fears a similar scenario in the south. In recent months, the group has retreated from attacks by government forces as well as IS militants, and is now largely confined to an area further east near the rebel-held al-Tanf military base, where U.S. special operations forces are housed.
"It will be an easy bite for the regime. There is no protection. They are exposed," said the rebel group's spokesman, Younis Salameh.
At the al-Tanf base, near Syria's borders with Iraq and Jordan, a separate Pentagon-funded effort to aid the rebels is still underway. The U.S. presence there is seen as crucial to preventing the completion of an overland route linking Iranian-backed forces from Tehran all the way to southern Lebanon — and Israel's doorstep.

Wait a second. A "separate Pentagon-funded effort to aid the rebels"?
How many pro-rebel efforts do we have? And why is this almost never reported in the American media?
When I did a search for Younis Salameh, I found this.

The Syrian military said on Tuesday that one of its jets crashed in southern Syria, state television reported, hours after Western-backed rebels said they had shot it down and captured the pilot.
...“The pilot is being treated for wounds and we are interrogating him,” said Younis al-Salameh, another official from Osoud al Sharqiya, one of two major rebel groups operating in the area.

As I mentioned before, the rebel forces around al-Tanf are being protected by U.S. forces directly.
I've been thinking about when we've done this in the past. Bay of Pigs comes to mind.
Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. The Contras against Nicaragua.

It's from al-Tanf that the next step in our effort to overthrow Assad will come from.

officials told the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration hopes to patch together an Arab contingent that would replace the U.S. military presence in Syria following the conclusion of the United States’ counter-ISIS mission.
According to these sources, U.S. officials such as new National Security Adviser John Bolton have reached out to officials in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to ask that they pledge billions of dollars and military contributions to the stabilization of the country following the defeat of the extremist group.
The new Trump proposal resembles past U.S. strategies for reducing its troop presence in foreign conflicts while shifting military duties to handpicked local surrogates. The strategy was known as “Vietnamization” during the war on Vietnam and “Iraqization” during the occupation of Iraq. In both cases, however, the U.S. largely footed the bill and the outcomes were panned as failures.

Well, why the Hell not?
"Pentagon" and "failure" go hand-in-hand, along with "killing civilians".
It's never stopped them.
In fact, the bigger the failure, the bigger the pay-off.

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Pricknick's picture

The enemy of my enemy is my friend unless the enemy attacks my enemy therefore creating a friend who was my enemy but is now my friend.
Sounds about right to me.
As much as it hurts me to make fun of an awful situation, todays fairytales are absolutely hilarious.
Thanks for the sober reminder gjohn.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

dervish's picture

Thank God there's been no Shia militias near Israel for the last few decades...

Wait, who lives in southern Lebanon again?

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

EdMass's picture

It's not the US sponsored rebels, its the real rebels and they are now consolidating their position in the NW of Syria.

As Islamic State Fades in Syria, Another Militant Group Takes Root Idlib extremists vow to conquer Damascus and impose Shariah as U.S. weighs quick pullout

A new and dangerous extremist group spawned from al Qaeda is consolidating power in northwestern Syria, while the U.S. has focused on fighting remnants of Islamic State elsewhere in the country and striking the Assad regime’s chemical-weapons facilities.

Since surfacing as the country’s most potent militant group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has battled Western-backed rebel groups to extend its control across Idlib province, enforcing its version of Shariah and raising funds by taxing flows of people and goods.

Thousands of fighters with the group—an offshoot of the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate—have dug in around Idlib, analysts say, as the U.S. concentrates on Syria’s other battles and moves toward what President Donald Trump has said would be a quick exit from Syria.

“The area seems to be out of focus for Western powers,” said Hassan Hassan, a Washington-based analyst with the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, a think tank. “The jihadis are having a honeymoon there.”

Compounding the anarchy in Idlib has been the recent arrival of nearly 50,000 people, including rebels, from Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus, the scene of a brutal crackdown by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Syrians evacuated from the formerly rebel-held town of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta loading their belongings into a truck at a camp for displaced people in rebel-held Idlib province late last month.
Syrians evacuated from the formerly rebel-held town of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta loading their belongings into a truck at a camp for displaced people in rebel-held Idlib province late last month.

The new arrivals have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in Idlib, already home to about a million internally displaced Syrians. The poor conditions and lack of jobs has proved fertile ground for the recruiting efforts of extremist groups, which promise to pay anyone willing to fight for a living wage.

U.S. troops in Syria are mostly focused on eastern Syria, joining Kurdish and other fighters battling the shrinking pockets of Islamic State militants. Turkey has been fixated on preventing a Kurdish militia that it considers terrorists from expanding on its southern border.

The recent airstrikes against the Syrian regime, in response to a suspected poison gas attack, underscore the West's shift from pursuing a diplomatic solution to a militaristic one. Will this approach work? WSJ's Niki Blasina explains the complicated history of chemical-weapons use in Syria and the international community's response.

As a result, a hodgepodge of armed groups, many with extremist agendas, have thrived in Idlib, to the detriment of other forces opposing the Assad regime. “The space for moderate opposition continues to close in the northwest,” said a senior Western official who tracks Syria closely.

Bashir still has a lot to deal with but not the Iranian push for hegemony, didn't Syria occupy Lebanon for a decade or more? My friend is my friend or something like that.

Do we?

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Prof: Nancy! I’m going to Greece!
Nancy: And swim the English Channel?
Prof: No. No. To ancient Greece where burning Sapho stood beside the wine dark sea. Wa de do da! Nancy, I’ve invented a time machine!

Firesign Theater

Stop the War!

al-Qaeda controlled Idlib, plus allies in Turkish-controlled Afrin and Aleppo.

Eventually there will be a showdown there, but Damascus will take care of the other rebel enclaves in the southeast and Homs first. Assad is still consolidating his position.

I believe Syria and Turkey will eventually come to an understanding.
I think Damascus and the Kurds will come to an understanding as well.

The question is the U.S. and Israel.

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