The American conundrum. President Trump has clearly taken a liking to Putin and the Russian government and politics. I am not including ANY reference to election tampering, just to keep things simple for this discussion. Putin, however, has been only sharing rare praise of the US President, and more importantly, has taken heavy-handed actions that are in direct conflict with American interests.
Russian forces have been very busy in Syria to fight terrorism and extremist forces, in an effort to assist long-time and proven ally and economic partner Bashar al-Assad, to keep Syria pro-Russian. Conversely, that means anti-American, as we view Assad’s power un-democratic and oppressive to its people. Our foreign policy mandate is to topple Assad’s government by assisting local and regional freedom fighters, similar to the Cold War playbook of US/Russia proxy war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
And therein lies the conundrum. The US-backed rebel forces cleverly routed the far superior Soviet army, or at the very least, wore them down until the Kremlin lost interest. But, in doing so, the rebel forces that defeated Russian forces, took their American CIA funding, resources, training and intel and turned against us, giving us two new enemies. A newly anti-American Taliban (they were pro-American, and have been guests of President Reagan and then-Governor of Texas George W Bush), and American war hero Osama bin Laden rebranded al-Queda to become the first globally-capable extremist group.
We forget, bin Laden was the darling of the CIA shadow network, proof that we can assist in shaping regional conflict outcomes without loss of American lives. But in the wake of turning tides, we lost grip of Afghanistan to local tribal lords and their insurgencies, heroin became expensively scarce (probably the only good thing out of all this), and we now had to fight terror on a global scale, and no longer in isolated proxy wars. Now, the United States of America was a bonafide target from a non-state entity. Our victory in Afghanistan ultimately gave us (among many other tragically fatal examples) the bombing of the USS Cole and 9/11. We also got the irony of both Al Queda and Taliban forces generating deep pockets of cash by producing and exporting Afghan opium and black market petroleum to it’s Western Enemies. Profiting from poisoning our people to pay for weapons and tech to kill our troops. One as to wonder how a global terrorist organization can import billions of dollars worth of narcotic products into one of the most secure nations in the world, without government assistance. But that’s another topic for another day.
Today, I’m asking, if proxy wars in Afghanistan got us Osama bin Laden, al Queda and 9/11, then what is a proxy war in Syria going to get us in the future? As of right now, we are suspicious that US tax dollars are being spent to arm and train known ISIS fighters, in a desperate gamble to take down Putin-backed Assad.
How is this NOT a win-win for Vlad? How is this not going to be more treasonous than Iran-Contra (if you believe it was treasonous at all to smuggle South American drugs into the US to pay for Israeli weapons to Iran, on the US taxpayers’ dime)?
I don’t care if the President’s name is Trump, or Obama. I don’t care if he’s a Republican, or Democrat. I care that some really fucked up shit is going down, and we won’t seriously chew on it because of partisan politics and ideological stakes. We are literally funding the war on terror against our own country, with drugs that are being sold on our street corners, provided by the very people who want to kill us anyway. Should it not bother us that our enemies are both literally and figuratively “making a killing” off of American lives? Should it not matter that our “strategic partner” who has the admiration of our own President is not only allowing this to happen, but using it to his advantage?