That doesn't mean I wasn't completely ticked off at Republicans for voting en masse against Trump on Syria--that was stupid and wrong. It was stupid on the issue for any number of reasons. One is the idea that the Kurds are our "allies". That's just silly. Another is that Trump's move makes Russia the leader of the Middle East--maybe, if herding cats is your idea of leadership. A final reason is enunciated in today's WSJ by neocon Ray Takeyh--As America Leaves Syria, Iran Isn’t as Happy as You Think: Tehran finds itself at cross-purposes with Damascus and Ankara as Baghdad slips away. Yes, Teheran at cross purposes with Damascus and Ankara--not to mention Moscow. As Takeyh goes on to explain, US involvement was actually working for Iran, and Trump's move leaves them scrambling to realign.
To put this in the simplest of terms, the three major players not name Israel are Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Anyone who thinks any of those three countries will cooperate with another of those three on anything other than a very temporary basis has not been paying attention to history. Any scenario in which one of those three countries gains what looks like a permanent regional advantage will be unacceptable to the other two. And that's just for starters. Sooner or later, and probably sooner, critics of Trump's step back will realize that a step back was desperately needed--to gain strategic perspective and determine our true interests in this morass, as well as the type and degree of involvement that will best further those interests. The last thing our country needs is generals or neocon amateurs conducting foreign policy.
Yesterday I expressed the view that Impeachment Theater--including statements by Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham--may be part of an ongoing struggle to defend institutional interests. The GOPe, having been complicit to varying degrees in the Russia Hoax, may now see the Barr/Durham investigation potentially providing Trump a decisive advantage. Impeachment, in that context could become a bargaining chip, not just for Democrats but also for the GOPe. They understand Barr's determination to defend the Executive Branch against Congressional encroachments and may use Impeachment Theater as a means for reaching some accommodation. Hopefully I'll be able to offer a few more thoughts on this later today.
Every day, first thing in the morning, Don Surber publishes Highlights of the News. Today, way down the list, he offers a quote from Rush Limbaugh, which fits in with the considerations I've outlined above:
ITEM 12: Rush Limbaugh said, "I’m getting some emails. 'Rush, you don’t seem to be taking impeachment seriously enough. I think you’re wrong. I think the House is gonna impeach Trump. They’re gonna do it. I think there’s gonna be a trial. I’m really worried. Why aren’t you?'
"I’ll go through it again, but let me give you a very simple reason why I think they aren’t going to actually have an official vote and transfer all this to a trial in the Senate.
"That’s why they’re not gonna do it. They’re not gonna turn this over to the Senate — and not even because the Senate would acquit. They’re not gonna give the politics of this away. They want to be able to talk about impeachment, and Pelosi and Schiff and the Democrats want to be seen as the people running it, in charge of it — the politics of it.
"The minute they have a vote and hand this over to the Senate, the Senate is in control of impeachment, not the House. The Senate is run by Republicans. They’re not gonna do that. It’s real simple. They are not going to let go of their control of all the narratives attached to impeachment, and that would happen if they go to the Senate with it."
Limbaugh gets what is going on. He knows American politics better than anyone not named Donald Trump. They ain't worried. I ain't worried. Remember, in DC, where there's smoke, there's a smoke machine.
Naturally, Rush and Surber aren't infallible, but theirs are opinions one would be a fool to ignore or even take lightly.
UPDATE 1: For anyone disposed to argue about Trump's Middle East step back, consider this:
Mexico is in a state of collapse, and Americans need to realize that the crisis underway south of the Rio Grande won’t stop at the border.
Consider these paragraphs, but read it all:
In other words, it’s fair to say that Mexico is now on a trajectory to become a vast gangland governed more by warlordism than by the state. The last time this happened was a century ago, during the decade-long Mexican Revolution, which eventually triggered the invasion and occupation of northern Mexico in 1916 by the U.S. Army, including the mobilization of the entire National Guard and a call for volunteers. Before it was over, U.S. forces attacked and occupied Nogales, Sonora, in 1918 and Ciudad Juarez in 1919.
The idea that a nation of 120 million people with whom the United States shares a 2,000-mile border and ever-increasing economic ties might spiral into collapse has not seriously occurred to the American people. We’ve had a century of relative peace on our southwest border, and aside from dealing with an occasional surge of illegal immigration, we have assumed that it will continue. It will not.
Culiacan should be a wake-up call that the war now underway in Mexico will not stay there, and that we’d better start thinking about what that will mean for America.
Does this guarantee Trump's reelection? It should, and not only should it allow him to manhandle the open border Dems--it should also give him the whip hand over the recalcitrant GOPe.
Put that in your impeachment pipe and smoke it!
UPDATE 2: Mickey Kaus points out the absurdity of the Impeachment Theater:
"The revenge of the State Department" https://t.co/wsFrY2waEr Unelected bureaucrats demand the right to control US foreign policy no matter who is elected president. This is now an explicit theme of impeachment.— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) October 21, 2019