Buhleemee or bulee your lying eyes

Buhleemee or bulee your lying eyes

by digby

He's insisting
that he never announced a precipitous withdrawal from Syria:

President Trump on Monday pushed back against media reports that he had altered the timeline for removing U.S. troops from Syria, denying his administration had issued a series of contradictory statements about plans for ending America’s role in the war.

“We will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!” the president said in a message on Twitter, referring to the Pentagon’s ongoing operation to defeat the Islamic State.

His comment, which differed from earlier promises of a swift departure for the more than 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria, was the latest iteration of an envolving roadmap for concluding the military mission there.

Trump’s statement came a day after national security adviser John Bolton, speaking to reporters during a tour of the Middle East, said the troop departure would occur only after Islamic State militants are fully routed.

Both his comments and Trump’s conflict with officials’ initial statements following the president’s unexpected Dec. 19 announcement that all troops would come home in short order. Trump also declared victory against the Islamic State, contradicting military assessments.

“Our boys, our young women, our men, they’re all coming back and they’re coming back now. We won,” Trump said in a video message on Twitter.

That abrupt pronouncement upended plans for a continued presence in Syria, where U.S. troops work with Syrian Kurdish forces battling militants in the eastern part of the country.

The unexpected move shocked allies, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned after clashing with Trump over the plans.

While officials said Trump had initially ordered a 30-day departure, the White House later agreed to an exit within 120 days, which would permit troops more time to break down bases and safely remove equipment and personnel.

In recent days, White House and State Department officials have appeared to back away from plans for an immediate departure and from assertions that the battle against the militants was over.

Instead they have suggested the drawdown would be conditioned on the conclusion of fighting with the Islamic State and on a promise from Turkey, a NATO ally, that it would not attack Syrian partner forces, which Ankara views as an offshoot of a terrorist group.

This is a total walkback which I would normally find alarming but since Trump made this decision on the fly wihtout any discussion with allies and others, against theadvice of virtually everyone, perhaps a "pause" is at least in order so that the world can figure out what the hell is going on.