US Defeat in Syria is a Crisis of Empire

by | Jan 2, 2019


The US lost in Syria. Donald Trump finally had the courage to admit that to the world when he ordered the pull out of all US troops there.

Syria was to be the sparkling jewel in the Empire of Chaos’ Crown. A masterstroke of realpolitik which would advance every major US, Israeli, and Saudi objective while thoroughly destabilizing the Levant and setting the stage for wiping out Iran and eventually Russia.

If the Assad government fell Syria would become something worse than Libya. It would become a source of abject chaos for decades to come. And the formation of greater Kurdistan would put advanced US and Israeli military assets on Iran’s doorstep.

Carving up Syria, Iraq and possibly even Turkey, once Erdogan was removed from power, would put the US and Israel in control of the oil assets to fund a jihadist-led insurgency across all of central Asia.

Moreover, the chaos would ensure a steady stream of refugees into Europe to destabilize it. That chaos would lead to further political integration of Europe under EU control.

You can see the remnants of this plan all around you today. In fact, a great deal of it is still on auto-pilot. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron’s tag-team calls for ceding national sovereignty to the EU are a perfect example of this.

They can all feel the project slipping away from them. Despite their failing political power they are pushing their legislatures to ignore the people, calling them traitors.

Orwell would be proud of Macron for saying, “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism [because] nationalism is treason.”

The generals Trump just fired over his decision are another example. They still believe they can win a balkanization of Syria and Iraq. They just need more assets and more time.

Israel’s childish and disgusting antics sending missiles at the Damascus airport using civilians as human shields is the most damning.

If you look around the game board right now all of the people who were the architects of the Syrian war are either out of power or losing it rapidly — Hillary Clinton, Obama, Merkel, Macron, Netanyahu, David Cameron.

Russian Rescue

This is why Russia’s entrance into Syria was so important. It was a moment the entire geopolitical narrative turned. Someone stood up to the US successfully.

Institutional confidence is based on the perception of invulnerability. And Putin moving air assets into Syria to assist the Syrian Arab Army was a declaration that Russia had reached its limit, just like with Crimea, with US meddling in its long-term goals.

Remember, in 2015 the narrative was ISIS just sprang up out of the desert. And they would need a full invasion to defeat.

Then the Russians send in some 30 planes and change everything about the conflict within six weeks.

All of a sudden ISIS was beatable. All the US could do was attack Putin for going after Al-Qaeda, not ISIS.

But, why were we protecting Al-Qaeda? Didn’t they blow up the Twin Towers?

Trump will never admit this in public but in some ways he does owe his election to Putin. By forcing open the truth, Putin set the stage to blow up the Syria narrative in late 2015/early 2016.

Trump used that to catapult himself to the Presidency. And that is truly what has everyone in The Swamp angry; the reality that the rubes aren’t buying their lies anymore.

And the wars need to end.

As the losses for Al-Qaeda and ISIS mounted thanks to a Russian air campaign they will write military logistics textbooks about, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia all got cold feet.

The Russian intervention prompted the Saudi King to change the line of succession as it became obvious they would never get their spoils from Syria — a gas pipeline into Turkey.

Turkey quit the moment Erdogan realized he was being set up to take the blame for the entire mess. After all, he and his son were selling the oil ISIS was smuggling in plain sight across the Syrian desert to Turkey.

And somehow an all-powerful US military and surveillance system which can read license plates from space couldn’t find convoys of Toyota pickup trucks ferrying tons of oil to Turkey.

Imperial Retreat

Once someone stands up to the Empire successfully once it creates the opportunity for someone to do it again. Putin’s interventions in Syria, both in 2013 diplomatically and in 2015 militarily, told the world Russia was no longer afraid of the US’s ability to project power around the world.

And that’s what truly changed the narrative. And that’s why we’re where we are today with Trump rightly acknowledging the Empire is bankrupting not only the US but, truly, the rest of the world.

His challenge will be surviving the backlash from the entrenched powers in D.C. and Europe. They will push for his head, literally and figuratively.

By declaring victory over ISIS and leaving Syria Trump puts a period on the end of a shameful period of US history. And the loss to the empire will not be easily overcome.

Syria represented the worst kind of imperial over reach. And in some ways it was a quagmire the US and its allies could never win because the assets needed to take it were never available.

And those assets were political. The appetite for endless war had been spent with Obama’s election, no less Trump’s. So, absent a casus belli which could make Americans feel good about intervening in Syria, we were never going to give either President the mandate for a full-blown NATO intervention.

The only question surrounding it in hindsight was whether those that stood to lose the most — Russia, Iran, Lebanon — would stand together and convince China to support them in saving Syria, and, by extension, themselves.

Once it became clear that they would, with Russia’s intervention and China’s tacit approval and financial support, the end was then written in the sand, as long as they would keep their eyes on the big prize.

Winning by surviving. Syria was a war of attrition in which the pro-Syria coalition, step-by-step, made US occupation more untenable. Eventually, that plus deft diplomatic maneuvers to advance a political solution led to this point.

This loss will beget others. Unbridled US aggression has successfully been countered with mostly passive resistance. Afghanistan and Ukraine are on deck.

Reprinted with permission from


  • Tom Luongo

    Tom Luongo a Former Research Chemist, Amateur Dairy Goat Farmer, Anarcho-Libertarian and Obstreperous Austrian Economist who now contributes to a variety of publications including but not limited to Seeking Alpha, Russia Insider, Halsey News and Newsmax Media.

    View all posts