Sunday morning, President Trump announced that the world's worst terrorist, the head of the ISIS caliphate who had raped an American woman, had received justice.

About to be captured and carried off in a helicopter by U.S. special forces, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up with an explosive vest in a compound in northwest Syria. The long search for the sadist and fanatic had ended in triumph. No U.S. troops were lost.

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s2smodern

"Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand," said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these "endless wars."

Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly.

Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S. soldiers will stay in Syria to guard oil wells that we and the Kurds captured in the war with ISIS. Another 150 U.S. troops will remain in al-Tanf to guard Syria's border with Iraq, at the request of Jordan and Israel.

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s2smodern

What happens when democracy fails to deliver? What happens when people give up on democracy?

What happens when a majority or militant minority decide that the constitutional rights of free speech, free elections, peaceful assembly and petition are inadequate and take to the streets to force democracy to submit to their demands?

Our world may be about to find out.

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s2smodern

"Russia Assumes Mantle of Supreme Power Broker in the Middle East," proclaimed Britain's Telegraph. The article began:

"Russia's status as the undisputed power-broker in the Middle East was cemented as Vladimir Putin continued a triumphant tour of capitals traditionally allied to the US."

"Donald Trump Has Handed Putin the Middle East on a Plate" was the title of a Telegraph column. "Putin Seizes on Trump's Syria Retreat to Cement Middle East Role," said the Financial Times.

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s2smodern

President Donald Trump could have been more deft and diplomatic in how he engineered that immediate pullout from northeastern Syria.

Yet that withdrawal was as inevitable as were its consequences.

A thousand U.S. troops and their Kurdish allies were not going to dominate indefinitely the entire northeast quadrant of a country the size of Syria against the will of the Damascus regime and army.

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s2smodern
Mike Scruggs