Yemeni officials concede that they aren’t really sure what the objective of the new US airstrikes is, though President Donald Trump makes vague reference to threats of Al-Qaeda launch attacks abroad from central Yemen. The Yemeni officials, however, say they believe the US strikes are “open-ended”.
Exactly what the US is hitting in the strikes is totally clear to everyone, with strikes mostly hitting civilian areas, where the Pentagon regime claims are Al-Qaeda camps and weapons depots. The Trump White House is making the same strategic claims in Syria, sending more troops and seeking regime change in Damascus with several negative and terrible objectives and consequences:
1- The US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of Endless War on Islam. The Trump White House, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered crippling blows to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, are now openly declaring this to be so. With the US massing a large number of combat troops in the region, and with a nervous Europe on the verge of mental breakdown over new terrorist threats, it is clear that the Trump White House is spreading the War on Islam.
2- The military escalation in Syria and Yemen have no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. It is also its own fuel. This endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of ISIL and Al-Qaeda – is the single greatest cause of that threat.
3- Admitedly, the war is designed by its very terms to be permanent, incapable of ending, since the war itself ironically ensures that there will never come a time when people stop wanting to bring violence back to the US, and the nation’s most powerful political and economic factions, mainly the Military-Industrial Complex and the Pentagon regime, reap a bonanza of benefits from its continuation (think of oil, arms race, and weapons sales).
4- Ending this war is the last thing on the mind of the man who has issued an executive order to ban Muslim immigrants and refugees from ever entering the United States. Trapped in a world without accountability, Trump’s Muslim ban makes that clearer beyond declaring that the War on Islam will continue “for at least another 10-20 years”.
5- The costs are nonetheless gargantuan. The genius of Trump’s war policy is that, learning from the bankruptcy of the past 16 years, he has asked the vassals of the Middle East to pay for it. That will be accomplished by heaping all of the war burden on Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab monarchies by using political, mechanized instruments to force them to pay, and by suppressing any real discussion at the United Nations and the worldwide anti-American rage that generates.
6- Trump’s military escalation is not just an illegal and moral catastrophe. It’s a failure by any measure. It is the politics of the worst. It will provoke and get the Muslim world to overreact. It will kill many more innocent civilians, increase terrorism threats and attacks in the West, increase the number of jihadist groups, and more than double the membership in ISIL and Al-Qaeda. It will also generate a massive counterterrorism bureaucracy in the broader West that has no reason to ramp up the politics of fear, Islamophobia, and Muslim ban.
7- It is a sad but immutable fact that the War Party’s direct intervention in Syria and Yemen has paradoxically elevated the stature and support for terrorists and extremists while diminishing support for the United States and its bogus anti-terror coalition. Trump lies when he claims “Muslims do hate our freedoms”. Muslims hate his policies, including his administration’s controversial Muslim ban and support for Israel and for tyrannies in the Arab world.
Without question, the failed wars on Yemen and Syria offer stark examples why Trump’s desperate push to build a new Levant – under the pretext of fighting Al-Qaeda and ISIL militants – will similarly reach a dead end. The evidence so far that Trump will be more successful than Obama is not encouraging. Moreover, the talk of fighting terror and bringing democracy to Syria and Yemen is self-serving hypocrisy. The war and the subsequent occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan hasn’t brought any democracy to those countries, only terrorism, chaos and destruction.
The Trump White House and the Pentagon regime are only right in one thing: Ultimately, the terrorist group of ISIL will be contained, degraded, and defeated. In both the Syrian and Iraqi battlefields, however, it is the national armies, Iranian military advisors, Shiite-Sunni volunteer forces, and Russian airpower that are retaking territories and liberating cities and towns. It is also the Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni peoples – and not the regime-changing US-led coalition forces – who will address the future of the region, pending final defeat of Saudis in Yemen and collapse of ISIL in Mosul and Raqqa.