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Thursday, May 21, 2015 10:32 PM

Another US Foreign Policy Success: Isis Controls Half of Syria after Palmyra Seizure

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Congratulations are in order for team Bush and team Obama for another stunning US foreign policy success: Isis Controls Half of Syria after Palmyra Seizure.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) have seized the Syrian city of Palmyra, home to a Unesco world heritage site, putting nearly half of Syrian territory in the jihadi group’s hands and sparking fears that treasured antiquities may be destroyed.

Isis announced it had “complete control” of the city on Thursday, and state television said President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had withdrawn from the city, which is known to most Syrians by its Arabic name Tadmur.

Ancient Palmyra is known to the world for its iconic avenue of Roman columns, and was a cultural crossroad of the ancient world. The city dates back to the 1st century, when it was an oasis on a trade route linking eastern civilisations with the Roman empire. Its ruins lie to the southwest of modern Tadmur.

“Palmyra is an extraordinary World Heritage site in the desert and any destruction to Palmyra [would be] not just a war crime but . . . an enormous loss to humanity,” Unesco head Irina Bokova said in a video.

Isis has developed a reputation for destroying or selling cultural treasures. Earlier this year it filmed its fighters smashing Assyrian artefacts at sites in northwestern Iraq.
Moderate Rebels Defect

In case you are wondering how this happened, please consider this IBTimes report from March 7, 2015: US-Backed Moderate Syrian Rebels In North Defect; Obama Strategy Set Back.
It was supposed to be a crucial instrument of the Obama administration's aims in Syria, an ostensibly moderate rebel fighting force that would keep the pressure on the authoritarian regime in Damascus without aiding the ruthless jihadist forces that have captured much of the country. But the soldiers of Harakat Hazzm -- the first Syrian rebel group to receive arms from the CIA -- disbanded this week.

As a result, much of northern Syria is in the hands of the extremists, and the United States is left with no palatable ally in the area in the midst of a regional conflict that continues to spiral out of control.
Hillary Backs Moderates

Please recall that Hillary was in favor of backing "moderate" rebels.

But it is not just Democrats who want to back "moderates". Chief warmonger, Republican Senator John McCain, does as well.

Has anyone bothered to question if we are even backing the right person?

Iran is actually our ally here. Iran wants to help the US fight ISIS. The only problem is Iran backs Syrian president Assad, while the goal of the US is to overthrow Assad to alleged "moderates".

Roots of Crisis

This is exactly the kind of idiocy one can expect when you think you can "nation build".

Without a doubt the roots of this crisis date back to the inane decision by George Bush to invade Iraq. But please recall that Hillary was in favor of invading Iraq as well.

The non-amusing fact in this mess is the policies of George Bush, Obama, and Hillary Clinton are similar if not identical. Yet, Republicans blame Obama and Democrats blame Republicans.

The only candidate who has an alternative plan to this mess is Senator Rand Paul.

Contemplating Success

Some may ask "Mish, how the hell can you call this disaster a success?"

The answer is simple: In spite of what they may say, the goal of mainstream Republicans and Democrats is obviously perpetual war.

A destruction of a major historic site in Palmyra will have even some peacemongers clamoring for retaliation.

Make no bones about it, the takeover of Palmyra was a major US foreign policy success, provided you understand the goal.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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