The purged crazies were pushing for open warfare against Syria to "confront Iran"
Beloved of the establishment for all the predictable, horrible reasons the war criminal H.R. McMaster has nonetheless done at least something right. He has succeeded in throwing out two very dangerous Flynn-appointees from the National Security Council.
In mid-June Foreign Policy reported that two top National Security Council officials, Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey, were pushing for the US to broaden its war in Syria. The US was to go on an offensive against the Syrian army and allied militias in southern Syria as a way to "fight Iran".
This was at a time when US bombing attacks against the Syrian army in the south were almost a weekly occurrence, and therefore such an offensive seemed entirely within the realm of possibility, even though Foreign Policy also reported that Defense Secretary Mattis was fighting back against the idea.
A week later the Washington Post unveiled more details of the proposed Syria escalation. WaPo received this information from talking to "two senior White House officials" who favored the plan — very likely Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, or their deputies. The paper also reported the plan was "the subject of intense debate between the White House and the Pentagon" — in other words Mattis still hated the idea (even though it was the bombings and shoot-downs by his own men that had normalized the idea of open war against Syria).
Luckily Cohen-Watnick and Harvey are now out. McMaster had been trying to replace the former with his own man ever since he was appointed in February, but was reportedly thwarted by the fact the 31-year old Cohen-Watnick had endeared himself to key people in the White House including Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon. Last week he finally succeeded.
Last Thursday, Derek Harvey, senior director for the Middle East, was kicked off the NSC after complaints directly from Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a McMaster ally. Harvey was originally brought in to the NSC by Flynn. Two sources informed The Weekly Standard that Harvey was viewed as being too close with White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, which was a motivating factor in the purge.
July saw a marked decrease in the level of tension in Syria between the US on the one hand, and Russia and Syria on the other. It seems clear the US has for now stepped away from the May-June escalation (which saw three bombing attacks against the Syrian army, one Syrian Su-22 jet show down, and two Iranian-operated drones), albeit it continues to threaten Syrian forces not to approach its illegal southern Syrian bases.
The firing of Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey is another encouraging sign. I won't disagree with Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com that McMaster should (also) be fired, but in this case McMaster and Mattis getting their way against Bannon allies is a cause for celebration.
What's more we have great gloating material. The Daily Caller has published an attack on McMaster where "two former senior NSC officials" allege that “everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes.” And which two people we know have just been fired from the NSC and have every reason to be bitter?
Sounds like the Cohen-Watnick and Harvey have been reduced from plotting new wars, to complaining helplessly about what a meany McMaster is. Sounds like a win for humanity.