Sunday, March 1, 2020

Has There Already Been A Coup?

If not, maybe it's time for President Trump to prove that he's still the president and makes policy--not Mike Pompeo.

I've made no secret of my view that Pompeo never should have been made part of the Trump administration in any capacity, any more than Bolton or McMaster or others of that ilk. What's Pompeo's latest offense? Flirting with World War Three in Syria--a follow on to his past attempts to force Trump into a major war.

Pompeo, through his mouthpiece, James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement, has been pressing to send Patriot missiles to help the Turks in Syria. To its credit, the Pentagon is pushing back. Politico explains:

Turkey, a fellow member of NATO, has asked the U.S. to deploy two Patriot batteries on its southern border. Jeffrey, who is also a former ambassador to Turkey, is urging the Pentagon to follow through with the request and potentially to establish a no-fly zone, one of the people familiar with the matter said. 
But senior leaders at the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense are resisting Jeffrey’s proposal, according to State Department and DoD officials and two additional people familiar with the discussion. Defense officials believe the move would set a bad precedent and would not change Russian or Syrian calculations in the conflict, the State Department official said. 
DoD officials are “resisting doing foolish things with real global ramifications,” the State Department official said.

Note that--below Pompeo, people at DoS agree with DoD that this would be a very stupid thing to do, like so many of Pompeo's harebrained and war mongering ideas. Geopolitical realities aside, Trump needs a war like he needs a hole in his head.

“This was and remains a bad idea,” said one of the people familiar with the discussions. 
A DoD spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for Jeffrey referred POLITICO to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on Friday condemned the attack and called on the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers to cease their assault on Idlib. He noted that the U.S. is “reviewing options to assist Turkey against this aggression.” 
“We stand by our NATO Ally Turkey in the aftermath of the despicable and brazen February 27 attack on Turkish forces in Idlib, which resulted in the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers,” Pompeo said. “The United States condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms.”

What, you say? We thought Turkey had purchased S400 systems from Russia? Are we really going to allow Erdogan to call the tune that we dance to? That was then. Pat Lang explains what's up:

Mike Pompeo, Jeffrey, his henchman, and all the neocons ... want the US to become directly involved in this battle by providing Turkish forces in Syria air defense from US manned Patriot missile batteries. The Turks could not man the systems themselves if we provided them. They also want the US to declare a "no-fly zone" over Idlib Governorate.  Such a zone would be a declaration that the US and little friends would shoot down any military aircraft flying over this piece of Syrian territory without US permission. This would be an act of war by the United States and would cause a de facto state of war to exist between the US and Russia.

Why would this cause a de facto state of war to exist between the US and Russia? Lang explains that, too:

Idlib Governorate is Syrian territory.  The Syrian government is a member state of the UN.  The Russians are assisting the Syrian government at the request of that government.   "Fatih" Sultan Erdogan has introduced thousands of Turkish Army troops into northern Syria in what amounts to a neo-Ottoman land grab.

In other words, Turkey is the aggressor, invading Syria.

Pompeo is following out Hillary's disastrous foreign policy. It was disastrous when Hillary was in charge and it's disastrous now. Trump ran against those policies in 2016 and he needs Pompeo to be gone yesterday. Trump needs to be in control of DoS just as much as he needs to be in control of ODNI--maybe more, because ODNI can't start a world war.

To make matters worse, Erdogan is trying to bully all NATO into joining his war in Syria by threatening to unleash another wave of millions upon millions of migrants upon Europe--just as the Middle East and Europe are grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. In what way is Pompeo serving real US interests? At some point Trump needs to assert himself against the Deep State instead of simply thwarting them at the last moment, as in his cancellation of an attack on Iran. Maybe he needs to up the ante on his FISA deal: Barr and McConnell get the FISA renewal, Trump gets Ratcliffe in and Pompeo out.


  1. NATO is not going to join any war. Nice words of Turkish Support from the US have zero worth. Turks just shot down 2 Syrian planes, and the Syrians have been shooting down Turkish Drones. Trumps doctrine is US first, and helping Turkey I see them as more anti US. The buying of the S400 systems was a huge blow to US relations, and very short sighted by Erdogan. not to mention his actions in Libya, and against Israel.

    Erdogan is using the refugees as leverage, but with Coronavirus it may just be the straw that broke the camels back, ie open borders in the EU. I remember reading 50% of the refugees Re from Afghanistan, some from Iran, and Syria.

    1. I think that a lot of DoD agrees with you--as do I. Pompeo is the problem.

  2. If Pompeo knew about this, he should be gone yesterday. If he didn’t, maybe the same answer. This is what I call egregious.

    President Trump was not told of the State Department plan to fly the infected Americans aboard the Diamond Princess back to the United States. The State Department functionary was a holdover from the Obama era. Head of something called " the Directorate of Operational Medicine within the Bureau of Medical Services". Read on:

    1. Pompeo probably figures when you're trying to start WW3 he can't be bothered with anything else.

    2. Was this an attempt by the Deep State to further spread the virus to the US homeland or just another case of incompetence/insubordination? In any case, it's being used to give Trump a black eye.

      I'm not sure what else we can expect with agencies filled with Obama-holdover, administrative state fools and traitors. Trump has got to work harder on clearing these people out.

    3. "I'm not sure what else we can expect with agencies filled with Obama-holdover...."

      Seeing the magnitude of the stakes (e.g. whether Barr/ Durham's probe continues into subsequent years), we can one way or the other, expect this year to be like no other in US history, I fear.