Analysis, Asia, Side Feature

Views on the News – 23 Feb 2019


  • Trump’s New Decision to Leave Small but Critical Force in Syria
  • Saudi Crown Prince on China Visit Justifies Use of Concentration Camps for Muslims
  • Sudan Declares State of Emergency to Last a Year

Trump’s New Decision to Leave Small but Critical Force in Syria

As fully expected (and discussed here previously) US President Donald Trump has reversed his decision to completely withdraw from Syria, deciding now to maintain a small but vital force at two American bases, as explained in an article in the National Review:

It looks like Donald Trump has changed his mind again. The White House announced yesterday that the U.S. would leave “a small peacekeeping group” of roughly 200 soldiers in Syria even after the bulk of American forces withdraw. They’ll be roughly evenly split between a base in northeast Syria and a base in southeast Syria.

…While a small American force may not have significant combat power on its own, it can call on immense firepower if in distress, and the very act of attacking American troops on the ground would trigger a much larger confrontation. Even this small presence should grant the American people at least a degree of hope that we do not intend to either squander hard-won battlefield gains or abandon allies who paid for those gains in blood…

Advocates of American withdrawal sometimes fail to understand how few troops it often takes to secure American gains — or at least to prevent catastrophic losses. When Obama decided to pull out all American troops in Iraq, for example, he was deciding against leaving a relatively small force behind (small certainly compared to the large deployments at the height of the Iraq War), but it was a force more than strong enough to stop the ISIS blitzkrieg in 2014.

If Trump’s 200 can reassure American allies, incentivize allied deployments, and help keep a military boot on ISIS’s neck, then it will be one of the more cost-effective and wise decisions of his presidency. Trump’s mercurial nature is often a liability. When he changes his mind to reverse a mistake, it’s an asset. Let’s hope he doesn’t change his mind again.

Meanwhile, other reports suggest the number of US troops will be 400, with about 200 at each base.

America is the preeminent modern-day empire, with nearly a thousand military bases spread across the world. It is not conceivable that, after America’s deep involvement in Syria, it would leave without the prize of further bases to guard its interests and support its agent rulers throughout the region.


Saudi Crown Prince on China Visit Justifies Use of Concentration Camps for Muslims

According to Newsweek:

As he faces criticism from Western countries over the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s young crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is forming new alliances.

On Friday, the leader colloquially known as MBS arrived in China, another country accused of authoritarianism, to meet with officials there. He was greeted by China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng and signed key agreements with Beijing related to energy production and the chemical industry. During his visit, he also appeared to defend China’s use of re-education camps for its country’s Muslim population.

“China has the right to carry out anti-terrorism and de-extremization work for its national security,” the crown prince was quoted as saying on Chinese television.

China has detained an estimated 1 million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps, where they are undergoing re-education programs allegedly intended to combat extremism. The Uighur are an ethnic Turkic group that practices Islam and lives in Western China and parts of Central Asia. Beijing has accused the Uighur in its Western Xinjiang region of supporting terrorism and implemented a surveillance regime. Millions of Muslims are also allegedly being forced to study communist doctrine in the camps.

The reason for these statements is the partnership that Saudi wishes to forge with China. According to Reuters:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman cemented a $10 billion deal for a refining and petrochemical complex in China on Friday, meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping who urged joint efforts to counter extremism and terror.

The Saudi delegation, including top executives from state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, arrived on Thursday on an Asia tour that has already seen the kingdom pledge investment of $20 billion in Pakistan and seek to make additional investments in India’s refining industry.

Saudi Arabia signed 35 economic cooperation agreements with China worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum during the visit, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

“China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia,” President Xi Jinping told the crown prince in front of reporters.

The Saudi Prince is not alone; virtually the entire Muslim ruling class has carefully ignored the inhuman oppression of Uighur Muslims because of the significant economic and strategic benefits they crave from the emerging Chinese power.


Sudan Declares State of Emergency to Last a Year

According to the New York Times:

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan imposed a yearlong state of emergency and dissolved the federal and state governments on Friday, in an attempt to end months of nationwide street protests that have shaken his authority after three decades of rule.

In a televised address broadcast live from the presidential palace in Khartoum, Mr. al-Bashir declared the state of emergency, disbanded the federal government, and replaced the state governors with military generals.

Mr. al-Bashir also said he was pausing, if not ending, his effort to amend Sudan’s constitution so he could run for a third term of office when the current one ends in 2020.

Reuters, citing a presidential statement, reported Friday night that Mr. al-Bashir had appointed a caretaker administration, leaving the current defense, foreign and justice ministers in place…

The demonstrations first began on Dec. 19 in the town of Atbara, and were focused on the soaring bread prices. They quickly grew into a movement calling for the ouster of the president, with near daily protests spreading to cities across the country.

The protesters come from across Sudanese society, including sections of a shrinking upper middle class that has withered with the country’s precipitous economic slide. Soaring fuel prices have caused factories to close, and youth employment stands at about 27 percent, according to World Bank estimates.

“Our country is passing through a difficult and complicated phase in our national history,” Mr. al-Bashir said in his speech on Friday.

He has blamed external factors for the collapse, but protesters say it stems from decades of kleptocratic, incompetent rule. Their frequent chant during marches — before riot police arrive with tear gas and sometimes bullets — is, “Just fall, that is all!”

Protest leaders say that more than 1,000 people have been arrested in a crackdown led by the feared National Intelligence and Security Service. Internet access has been restricted in an effort to block social media posts used by the mostly young protesters to organize demonstrations.

The government has said that 31 people have died in protest-related violence. Human Rights Watch has put the toll at 51 people killed since mid-December.

It is not surprising to find a Muslim country resorting to emergency rule, as these present day countries despite achieving formal independence from Western imperial states are in reality continuations of colonial rule. The systems of law and government are all Western, and the agent ruling class continue to be beholden to their disbelieving Western masters. The entire Muslim Ummah is experiencing an historic revival, its emergence from unconsciousness sometimes marked by haphazard and chaotic movements. But with Allah’s permission, the Ummah shall soon reach full consciousness under capable, sincere, indigenous leadership that shall restore the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet ﷺ, implementing the Deen that agrees fully with what is contained in the hearts and minds of Muslims and carrying its call to the entire world.