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Why The U.S. is Refusing to End The Illegal Occupation of Syria
The House rejected a resolution to end the illegal U.S. occupation of Syria... that they never voted for in the first place.
Trump made it clear back in 2019 that the remaining troops are there to steal Syria's oil—not to fight ISIS—and Biden isn't bringing them home anytime soon.
The United States never officially declared war on Syria, and Congress never voted to send American soldiers to fight and die in Syria… But they did just vote to ensure that the illegal U.S. occupation of the country continues for as long as the military industrial complex desires.
The House of Representatives rejected a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a vote of 321 to 103.
While some members of Congress argued that the remaining forces—which consist of less than 1,000 troops, who are in petroleum-rich region in north-eastern Syria—should stay there in order to counter threats from ISIS… well, we all know their real purpose, and Donald Trump made that abundantly clear when he chose NOT to put an end to the illegal occupation back in 2019 and said, “We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil.”
Absolutely no one is expecting Joe Biden to do anything different… because while he may be completely and totally obsessed with Ukraine, he still hasn’t gotten over the fact that despite his best efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad during his time as Obama’s Vice President, Assad is still in power, and is working with Russia to contain ISIS.
In fact, as the sponsor of the resolution noted, if the U.S. Government is actually concerned about the threat of ISIS—then they should listen to their own inspector generals.
“Much of the discussion today has revolved around whether withdrawing from Syria will ignite some new ISIS caliphate. We pointed out time and again, inspector generals’ report saying that that is unlikely. But I’m not exactly sure that us having troops in Syria deters ISIS more than it is a recruiting took for ISIS,” Rep. Matt Gaetz said.
As Gaetz rightfully noted, from the power vacuum created by the illegal occupation, to programs to train and equip anti-Assad rebels, to repeated claims that aid and supplies somehow fell into the hands of extremists, the U.S. presence in the region has served to benefit ISIS.
"Syria and Iraq are the two countries on the planet Earth where we have done the most to fund ISIS. We give weapons to these so-called ‘moderate rebels,’ which I actually thought was an oxy-moron, and it turns out, they’re not that moderate," Gaetz said.
Now, I will note that a number of the Republican who spoke out in support of withdrawing troops from Syria get weirdly hawkish on China—so they clearly don’t have foreign policy fully figured. However, I believe in giving credit where credit is due, especially when that includes showing the true hypocrisy of Congress, regarding the illegal occupation of Syria.
I will also acknowledge the point made by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, when she noted something EVERY member of Congress should be admitting, which is that they constituents are not calling them and asking for war with Syria:
“No one in my district ever demands, Marjorie, we must go to war in Syria. I never hear that request from anyone that voted for me. As a matter of fact, the veterans in my district say ‘we are sick and tired of foreign wars. We are fed up with it, and too many of our American Military have died in foreign lands serving their foreign borders,” Greene said.
As for the way in which the U.S. justifies its actions, Rep. Andy Biggs noted that they were still using the Authorization for Use of Military Force that was passed one week after the 9/11 attacks, to claim that everyone they don’t like is a suspected terrorist and therefore deserves to be targeted.
“There is no legal authority for the U.S. to be involved in the Syrian Civil War … that 2001 AUMF says ‘those who aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. It doesn’t say ISIS. It doesn’t say Syria,” Biggs said.
As for those who opposed the resolution, multiple members of Congress claimed that if the U.S. Military isn’t in Syria—again, illegally occupying territory and stealing the country’s oil—then the presence of ISIS will grow and will surely, eventually become direct threat on U.S. soil
“A complete withdrawal of U.S. forces, however, will have the same disastrous consequences as our rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan … Without U.S. forces in Syria, our enemies will return, they will regrow, and they will come after our allies, and potentially the United States,” Rep. Mike Lawler said.
But we have to remember that the rapid U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan came at a time when the Taliban already had more power in the country than they had at any time since the U.S. first invaded. It came after 20 years of the U.S. Government lying to the public and claiming that there was ever a chance of “winning” the war in Afghanistan, or that the BILLIONS of Dollars in aid Congress was approving for the country ever year wasn’t fueling rampant corruption.
The difference with Syria is that the Syrian Government is still standing, despite every attempt by the U.S. to overthrow them, and to make life a living hell for the Syrian people. It shouldn’t take another 20 years for the U.S. to learn the same lessons in Syria that they should have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan. But not everyone understands that…
“We should ask the hard question: What’s the path to victory? What are the resources that are being spent, and are they being spent in the right spot? Is there a clear path to victory, and what are the interests of the United States?” Rep. Ryan Zinke said.
Zinke, who noted his opposition to the resolution and warned we could end up fighting ISIS on the streets in the U.S. didn’t provide answers to his questions, so I will…
There is no such thing as a “path to victory.” Not in Afghanistan. Not in Iraq. Not in Libya. Not in Syria. Not in Ukraine. Not in any country where the U.S. has supported a government overthrow in the name of ‘Freedom and Democracy,’ has there ever been a path to victory.
As for the resources that are being spent—it’s not just about the TRILLIONS of Dollars Congress has approved to fund endless wars over the years. It’s about the people that have lost their lives and the communities that have been destroyed by U.S. Foreign Policy, as warmongers like the ones who just voted to KEEP troops in Syria continue to show that they have don’t care about the people—and that’s something everyone should be talking about.