Trumpelot

Is Donald J. Trump the heir to Robert F. Kennedy, the beloved hawk-become-dove who turned against the Vietnam War in the few years before his assassination in 1968? His unapologetic decision to draw down still further America’s military role in Syria – and this in the broader context of a longstanding opposition to “endless wars” – suggests he is. More so, oddly, than any Democrat. We’ll put to one side the debate about the merits of the later RFK. To many he was an electrifying champion, to others a melancholy demagogue.

Both scions of overbearing tycoons, both notorious for making enemies and refusing to back down, both at odds with the bellicose wings of their own parties, the biggest difference between Kennedy and Trump, foreign policy-wise, is that only Trump has been permitted by history and circumstance to act. As both men learned, there are also limits to what can be done, though the Kennedys tended to learn the bloody way – which cannot, to his credit, be said of Trump. Yes, he lost face (and John Bolton lost his job) over the botched and probably sabotaged Afghanistan withdrawal but the Kennedy brothers only cottoned on to what a military-industrial complex was capable of after a botched invasion. Allen Dulles walked the plank for that one.

Under the obnoxious Tayipp Erdogan, Turkey may be a ratbag state but it is a paper NATO ally and is as entitled to control its borders, and those seen to be assailing them, as the United States. The Kurds have rightly won praise and admiration for combating ISIS but they are not America’s Gurkhas, oathing on the Stars and Stripes and philosophically devoted to freedom’s cause. Far from it. At organisational root, they are self-interested, PKK-aligned communists in search of real estate. They use the US and the US has used them. The arrangement has worked passably well but it has a shelf life.

What Trump is chipping away at – as relentlessly as Kennedy did on the campaign trail in 1968 – is the idea that America can or should garrison every miserable bolthole where potential enemies gather and scheme. You don’t have to be an isolationist, an appeaser or a starry-eyed peacenik to support that. It’s an idea whose time has come. What is truly remarkable is that Trump has cornered his 2020 Democrat rivals into a Lyndon Johnson impersonation contest. Not even old Joe Kennedy could have rigged that for his boys. The President’s off-the-cuff address yesterday on this subject may be his finest; it was certainly his most Bobbyish. (Watch).

This entry was posted in American politics, War and peace. Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to Trumpelot

  1. Infidel Tiger

    Trump is returning the Republican Party to its roots.

    The endless wars and madness of outsourcing your middle class to China is over.

    Thank God.

  2. C.L.

    I apologise for a disappeared first attempt at this post.
    I messed up the formatting and couldn’t solve it.

  3. Yes, he lost face (and John Bolton lost his job) over the botched and probably sabotaged Afghanistan withdrawal but the Kennedy brothers only cottoned on to what a military-industrial complex was capable of after a botched invasion. Allen Dulles walked the plank for that one.

    General Eisenhower did warn us all about that one.

    Trump’s greatest fiscal move there was his mean tweet to “price up” a souped up Super Hornet as an F-35 alternative.

  4. Iampeter

    Trump is returning the Republican Party to its roots.

    The endless wars and madness of outsourcing your middle class to China is over.

    Turning the Republican Party into the Democratic Party is not returning it to it’s roots.

  5. cohenite

    And I’ve bookmarked that speech by Trump.

  6. Iampeter

    Is Donald J. Trump the heir to Robert F. Kennedy, the beloved hawk-become-dove who turned against the Vietnam War in the few years before his assassination in 1968?

    No. Trump is a blustering buffoon who was played like a sucker by a pathetic Kleptocrat like Erdogan for all the world to see.

    His unapologetic decision to draw down still further America’s military role in Syria – and this in the broader context of a longstanding opposition to “endless wars” – suggests he is.

    Doubling down on your disastrous mistakes should not be confused with “unapologetic.”
    And talk of “endless wars” is like talk of “globalism” and “open borders.” Just nonsense package deals that don’t have any clear meaning.
    America needs a foreign policy that includes total war. Until this happens it’ll constantly be mired in conflicts. Trump is not doing anything to change that. Likely his actions of cowardly appeasement of every dictator he can find and outright idiocy like the Syria pull-out, will lead to more conflicts that will end up pulling us back in.

    Yes, he lost face (and John Bolton lost his job) over the botched and probably sabotaged Afghanistan withdrawal

    Any withdrawl from Afghanistan without defeating the Taliban would be victory for the Taliban. You should think about what you’re supporting here.

    Under the obnoxious Tayipp Erdogan, Turkey may be a ratbag state but it is a paper NATO ally and is as entitled to control its borders, and those seen to be assailing them, as the United States.

    That’s a great way to totally evade everything.
    Damn Mexicans at Turkeys border, grrr!

    At organisational root, they are self-interested, PKK-aligned communists in search of real estate. They use the US and the US has used them. The arrangement has worked passably well but it has a shelf life.

    Yea. They made the same arguments re the state of Israel when they were fighting for survival against a half dozen Arab armies at it’s inception and Americans were helping the Arabs by blockading the Israeli’s at sea.

    What Trump is chipping away at – as relentlessly as Kennedy did on the campaign trail in 1968 – is the idea that America can or should garrison every miserable bolthole where potential enemies gather and scheme.

    Trump isn’t chipping at anything. There’s no plan here. No policy. This was basically whim and decided on a phone call. No one in the administration knew he was about to do this.
    Nor is anyone advocating the straw man you’ve erected.

    What is truly remarkable is that Trump has cornered his 2020 Democrat rivals into a Lyndon Johnson impersonation contest.

    Trump ran, got elected and is running a more left wing government than anything we’ve seen from recent Democrats. All he has done is shifted politics further left. So much so that we now have actual socialists openly running in elections in a mainstream political party.
    By supporting Trump and his leftist policies conservatives can’t really oppose them now and maintain any kind of consistency.

    In short, I think there’s a massive gap between reality and what Trump supporters think is going on.

  7. cohenite

    The only gap with reality is between your mouth and your arse.

  8. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    CL, I am really enjoying your posts here. Keep ’em coming. The parallels between Trump and Kennedy may seem weird at first but that’s because of the pre-conceptions we hold. Strip some of those back and an all-American hero resides in them both in terms of both patriotism and a concentration on American domestic policies and fundamental values rather than the world policeman schtick. Kennedy had to do some of that latter world policing against Communism of course; Trump has a better playing field now for withdrawal to home ground.

    Australia might sit a little uneasily if we think too much about what this could mean for us. The Yanks hauled in here during WW2 but, depending on what China actually does in military terms and in which direction they rattle their economic sabres, we could be left a little lonely if a lesser threat such as Indonesia gets antsy with us and America yawns and says no, fix that one yourselves.

  9. Beachcomber

    The USA steps back and the Mozlem Turks and the Mozlem Kurds continue killing each other. Where is the down side to that?

  10. Any withdrawl from Afghanistan without defeating the Taliban would be victory for the Taliban. You should think about what you’re supporting here.

    So should you – the Taliban originate in Pakistan, young Grasshopper.

    Nuclear armed, US “ally” Pakistan, that is.

  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Iampeter, largely you do not ‘plan’ these things, you game them, prior if you can, and on the hop if you can’t.
    Planning, involving many moves yourself in manoeuvring within comprehending large inchoate systems, is something communists and climate un-scientists believe in. Foreign policy is always 4-way chess, you might better say.

  12. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Change from within, not creating or lengthening military conflicts that result in the siphoning off any nascent middle classes from areas of chaos, is the only way forward in the Middle East and Africa.

  13. Ellie

    Although I don’t concur with everything you write about, I think you’re a very good essayist, CL. A pleasure to read. Thank you.

  14. Tom

    CL, that is the finest 400 words I have read this century on war and peace in our time.

    The US military-industrial complex is a legitimate force only with strong democratic political leadership, not an unaccountable coterie of generals and bomb-makers feeding the sausage machine of war with American bodies and taxpayer dollars.

  15. jupes

    Any withdrawl from Afghanistan without defeating the Taliban would be victory for the Taliban.

    Of course it will be.

    The thing is, the US is not prepared to do what is necessary to defeat the Taliban. Therefore they can continue to delay the inevitable Taliban victory at the cost of more US lives, or they can leave now and save those lives.

  16. jupes

    The USA steps back and the Mozlem Turks and the Mozlem Kurds continue killing each other. Where is the down side to that?

    There is none.

  17. miltonf

    Yep endless wars like Oceania versus Eurasia in 1984. Trying to keep the populace distracted from what their rulers are doing to them.

    I had forgotten that the Clintons bombed Khartoum when the impeachment heat was on them and what the hell where they trying to achieve in Somalia?

  18. Delcon

    …Turkey … is as entitled to control its borders, and those seen to be assailing them, as the United States.

    No one said it isn’t.

    The Kurds … are self-interested, PKK-aligned communists in search of real estate.

    Yes, they are.

    What Trump is chipping away at – as relentlessly as Kennedy did on the campaign trail in 1968 – is the idea that America can or should garrison every miserable bolthole where potential enemies gather and scheme. You don’t have to be an isolationaist, an appeaser or a starry-eyed peacenik to support that.

    America was already in Syria. Whether it should have gone there in the first place or not is another question. With it having been there, you don’t just run away. Had Trump kept his troops there, Erdogan would not have invaded Syria. Therefore, your emotional clip about how hard it is for parents to accepts their son was killed is entirely irrelevant. No American would have been killed had Trump had the courage to say to Erdogan: “we will decide when we leave Syria, not you.”

    It’s an idea whose time has come. What is truly remarkable is that Trump has cornered his 2020 Democrat rivals into a Lyndon Johnson impersonation contest.

    The Democrats is a filthy sewer of morons and scumbags.
    If Trump will make serious error of judgement, nonetheless, people will give the Democrats a second look.

  19. jupes

    With it having been there, you don’t just run away.

    Your analysis of current events is pathetic.

    The US went to Syria to defeat IS. They have achieved their mission and should now return home. That is not “running away”. I don’t know if you have been paying attention over the last 18 years but hanging around after the main combat phase is over has been a complete waste of time, money and lives.

    Why do you care if Turks kill Kurds or vise-versa?

  20. Delcon

    jupes
    #3181576, posted on October 11, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    With it having been there, you don’t just run away.

    Your analysis of current events is pathetic.

    The US went to Syria to defeat IS. They have achieved their mission and should now return home. That is not “running away”. I don’t know if you have been paying attention over the last 18 years but hanging around after the main combat phase is over has been a complete waste of time, money and lives.

    Why do you care if Turks kill Kurds or vise-versa?

    When Trump’s predecessor, Obama, whose footsteps he now seems to follow, withdrew from Iraq, he bragged about how he was keeping an election promise. Except he did it too hastily, driven by politics rather than guided by military nous. That gave the world ISIS. Had there been no Obama presidency, there had been no ISIS.
    ISIS gave us the Bataclan massacre in Paris, and, here, the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney. Not to mention the sickening atrocities in the ME.
    All things being equal, I prefer people not to kill each other in general because it looks bad on my TV screen, and, additionally, because this madness tends to spread far and wide.
    What should Trump have done: he should have followed the US, not Erdogan’s calendar. If he wants to withdraw from Syria, he should do it in a way which is optimal to *his* agenda, not Erdogan. This will project American power to Erdogan, which will inhibit this Islamofascist a bit, but, importantly, to others around the world. Iran is watching. China is watching. Other enemies of America are watching.
    What the Obama disastrous presidency should have taught us, is that there are only two options in our crazy world: either the good guys are on top, or the bad guys are. Choose one.

  21. max

    America’s Wars and America’s Textbooks
    Gary North – December 27, 2018

    “The victors write the textbooks.” In the field of historiography, there is no more universally acknowledged rule.
    When children are required by law to attend tax-funded schools and read state-approved textbooks, these textbooks establish the terms of discussion. History textbooks have long served as the State’s primary means of establishing public opinion. This was true in Prussia before it was true in the United States. The Prussian educational model, for kindergarten through graduate school, became the model for the American public schools, beginning as early as the 1840’s. (The best study of the history of America’s public school philosophy is R. J. Rushdoony’s 1963 book, The Messianic Character of American Education.)
    The classroom study of American history was used by the founders of American public education as a substitute for instruction in Christianity, meaning Protestantism. From the experiment’s beginning in New England in the late 1830’s, this substitution was deceptive. It was the substitution of a different religion: the religion of nationalism.
    The battle for the hearts and minds of the voters begins in the history textbooks.

    A SERIES OF WARS
    The textbook story of America’s expansion has been the story of a series of wars, beginning with the Pequot War (1637-38) in New England. King Philip’s War, an Indian uprising in 1676 in western Massachusetts, was paralleled by a minor Indian rebellion in Virginia in the same year. In both wars, the biggest losers were peaceful Indians who had settled in their own towns and had been trading with the colonists.
    The French and Indian War of 1756-63, sometimes called the Seven Years War, had begun in North America in 1754, and had produced Braddock’s famous defeat by the French and their Indian allies in 1755. A young Virginia militia officer, George Washington, had been part of Braddock’s ill-fated troops. The British Navy won the Seven Years War, which led to the transfer of French territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain. It also led to Parliament’s post-war attempt to tax the colonies to help pay for the war’s debts and also expenses connected with British troops stationed in North America. The Stamp Act of 1765 led to a tax revolt and political resistance by colonists that was to evolve into a war of independence a decade later.
    It is revealing that in case after case, until after 1815, every time America got into a war, there was an invasion of Canada. This is rarely mentioned in the textbooks, mainly because we lost every war with Canada, and also because these invasions look too much like land grabs.
    America as a nation has been involved in a series of full-scale wars ever since 1775: the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and its immediate aftermath, the Philippine War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War.
    The Philippine War (1899—1902) was not put into high school American history textbooks because it was a war against Filipinos who wanted independence. The United States had officially entered the war against Spain in 1898 on behalf of the Cubans, who also wanted independence. Spain had ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1899. Our brutal suppression of Filipinos, who suffered an insurgent military death toll of 20,000 and a civilian death toll of possibly 200,000, was never considered consistent with the American democratic tradition, so it was not discussed in the pre-Vietnam War history textbooks. There is no better example in American history textbooks of the memory hole process in action.
    Until Korea, the United States won all of its wars. Korea was technically a victory because the United States rolled back North Korea’s invasion of South Korea, but the war was perceived by the voters as a stalemate. Eisenhower’s famous campaign promise, “I shall go to Korea” to get the hated stalemate settled, assured him of victory in 1952. Legally, the Korean War was never settled. A signed truce exists; no peace treaty was ever signed.
    Vietnam was a defeat. That defeat began to re-shape some American voters’ attitudes toward the wisdom of foreign wars. Duplicity by Johnson and Nixon led, briefly, to a consideration of Roosevelt’s duplicity in 1941 in trying to get the United States into the European war. Such an accusation had been dismissed as nonsense by most historians prior to the early 1970’s. This brief reconsideration did not find its way into the textbooks.
    A victory against tiny Panama in 1989, followed by Gulf I in 1991, restored Americans’ confidence in the use of military action to solve problems — problems that had not been taken seriously by politicians or the public prior to both wars.
    This brings us to Afghanistan and Iraq. Our seeming victory in Afghanistan, which has cost American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, and which has led to the full recovery of the poppy-heroin trade, which the Taliban had suppressed, receives little attention. “Out of sight, out of mind” is the rule. Iraq is front-page news and will continue to be until President Bush announces a victory and withdraws our troops.
    The American public was strongly in favor of the war in Iraq in April 2003. “Mission Accomplished” had validated it. Opinion has changed as the cost in American blood has increased, day by day. American voters care nothing about the 100,000 civilian deaths that the war has inflicted, any more than they cared about the deaths of at least 225,000 Iraqi children that the embargo inflicted under Clinton. The U.S. Government does not report such figures, any more than it reported the figures during the Philippine War.
    American voters do care about deaths of American troops. They seem not to care about the extra billion dollars or so that the war is costing them each week. Because the federal government spends $2.4 trillion a year, the costs of the Iraq War are perceived by voters as marginal, which in fact is the case. The immensity of the peacetime welfare-warfare State is so enormous today that the Iraq War is regarded as a mere fiscal annoyance.

  22. max

    OVER THERE

    The textbook account of the history of the United States is the history of successful territorial expansion, which has often involved wars. An exception was the Louisiana Purchase, assuming that the ratifying wars against the Indians were not really wars, which of course they were.

    This expansion of territory is presented as the story of the spread of democracy. The unique combination of cheap land, mobile families, the ballot box, and tax-funded education was the theme of American history textbooks until the multiculturalists took over in the 1970’s. What was never a theme was the combination of private ownership, property rights, low taxation, and voluntary contract as the basis of America’s wealth. The bureaucrats who were legally in charge of training America’s youth, with salaries, buildings, and textbooks funded by taxpayers, never showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the story of America as the story of the spread of the free market.

    The story that comes through is this one: Americans marched across the continent, defeating by war any group that resisted this expansion. Then, when they reached the Pacific, they sailed across the Pacific to liberate the Filipinos from Spanish-speaking tyrants. Then, when Europe got itself into a quagmire, Americans marched over there to straighten out that continent.

    Basically, the textbook story of America for over a century was a George M. Cohan musical without the music. Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the fourth of July, marched over there, waving the grand old flag. The history of America boils down to this: “Johnny get your gun, get your gun, get your gun. Take it on the run, on the run, on the run.”

    What has bothered political liberals about this textbook account is that Johnny has always owned his gun. They have spent half a century trying to reinterpret the second amendment to mean that the gun belongs to the State, as does Johnny.

    Johnny always had a gun. Historian Carroll Quigley was correct when he argued that eighteenth-century democracy was established because the common man owned a weapon equal in firepower to what the typical soldier carried.

    It was taking this gun on the run, at the beck and call of the State, that has long constituted Johnny’s problem. It got Johnny into bad habits early.

    BANGING HEADS FOR FUN AND PROFIT

    The division between conservatives and libertarians over the issue of war did not begin with Vietnam. It began in 1796. The Jeffersonians had tried to avoid getting into the war between France and England. The Federalists, good conservatives all, wanted the country to oppose France whenever possible. New England traders wanted close economic ties with Great Britain. Their political goal was a veiled neutrality, but with profits from trade with England.

    The Jeffersonians were compromised from the beginning. They had supported armed revolution against Great Britain in 1775. The original conservatives had not. They lost that argument. They either left the country or moved into new regions where their loyalty to Great Britain would not be known. Post-war libertarians and conservatives were united in their commitment to war as a means of national self-determination and annexation.

    In the Constitutional debate of 1787, the libertarians were on the side of the Articles of Confederation: a weak central government, no strong executive, no national tariffs, and no standing Army. As President, George Washington opposed all four views. By the time the nation divided politically under John Adams, the original libertarians were out of the picture. Their fallen flag was being carried by the Jeffersonians.

    In 1803, Jefferson bought Louisiana, despite the fact that the Constitution did not authorize this. In 1812, his colleague and successor James Madison took the nation into war with Great Britain. Immediately, he ordered General Hull to invade Canada. Hull surrendered Detroit in August without firing a shot. Two other invasion attempts failed that summer when New York militiamen refused to cross the border: Lake Champlain and the Niagara Frontier.

    The wars of expansion continued. Americans got used to the idea that free land was available for the taking. Wars, treaties with the Indians — invariably broken by Washington — and more wars followed.

    The Southern states seceded in 1861, but within the South, there had long been politicians who publicly spoke of conquering Mexico, Cuba, and Central America as slave territories. These were the “filibusters.” The lust for land prevailed, and the means of expansion, when push came to shove, was force of arms.

    This is the story of America in the textbooks. This is the lesson that Americans have taught their children for two centuries: “Land stolen by force of military arms is not stolen property. It is the lawful fruit of the march of democracy.”

    The story of the triumph of a well-armed State has not been confined to international relations. It has spread to domestic relations. This tradition was the heart of the Whig Party and was extended by its successor, the Republican Party. William Jennings Bryan appropriated it for the Democrats in his 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech. Franklin Roosevelt is still said to have saved capitalism from the capitalists. This is a domestic version of the presumption, although never explicitly stated in the textbooks, that McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt saved the Filipinos from the Filipinos.

    CONCLUSION

    Anti-war libertarians face an uphill battle. The libertarian political tradition has always been compromised by a willingness to call Johnny to get his gun and take it on the run. The anti-imperial position never got much of a hearing after 1901. Non-intervention in Europe failed politically when Wilson and Roosevelt showed how easy it was to win the Presidency with a campaign promise of not going to war and then taking the country into war within a year of their inauguration — Wilson, within a month. The cheering was deafening when Johnny got his gun.

    The Cold War was a series of miniwars, hot and cold, to secure American military supremacy in the name of resisting Communism. Preemptive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq reveal the continuing popularity of head-banging among the electorate, at least until the victims bang back. Kerry campaigned on a platform of banging heads even harder with help from Europe.

    Fox News openly articulates a position that the other networks and big city newspapers assented to and profited from in March of 2003. The popularity of the idea of securing American national objectives through force of arms did not start with Fox News. It started when Congress in 1775 ordered Benedict Arnold to invade Canada. If he had won, he probably would have been named Governor-general of Canada and would not have switched sides. We would speak glowingly of General Arnold and General Washington, the two great heroes of the American Revolution.

    When Johnny is ready and able to get his gun in defense of his own property, liberty expands. When he is handed a gun by the United States government and is told to take it on the run, liberty shrinks, beginning with Johnny and Johnny’s neighbors, who must finance Johnny’s adventure. In the name of extending liberty abroad, beginning with Benedict Arnold, Johnny has marched over there. When he returns — if he returns — he finds less liberty over here.

  23. jupes

    We live in very strange times indeed.

    Social justice warriors and wannabe human rights lawyers have replaced warriors as leaders in the western world’s military forces. The US has the most powerful military in the world, however it limits its effectiveness by stupid rules and a reluctance to do what is necessary to win wars.

    War is all about death and destruction and when conducted properly there will always be innocent victims. Trying to win wars without killing people is a flawed strategy. If one side is prepared to kill and the other isn’t, then they will win regardless of the weapons superiority of the other side.

    Hanging around just delays the inevitable.

  24. Infidel Tiger

    Nation building in Afghanistan? Give it another 2 Millenia and they may have indoor plumbing.

    Get the hell out of that shithole ASAP.

  25. lotocoti

    Any withdrawl from Afghanistan without defeating the Taliban would be victory for the Taliban. You should think about what you’re supporting here.

    And what do you support?
    Make a desert and call it peace?

  26. miltonf

    Soros’s Marxist street fighters now attacking Trump supporters in Minneapolis.

  27. Squirrel

    The idiots who cheer on the decline of the US might have cause now to reflect on a world with an isolationist US – but that would mean taking time out from criticising the US for not doing what they were criticising it for doing until a couple of days ago…..

  28. RobK

    I think Trumps priority is containing nuclear proliferation, namely Iran and NK.
    Getting caught in syria is an unwanted distraction. Turkey hasa massive standing army and likely will send trade to the US. Trump has indicated NATO needs to lift its game.
    I see his foreign policy as being pretty consistent, contained and generally in the best interest in overall peace from a rogue operator being a nuclear force.
    Comparing with Kennedy is interesting but limited in usefulness.

  29. sfw

    We need nuclear weapons and the means to send them accurately on long distance trips. To do that we need ICBMs, nuclear subs and long range bombers. We have none of those things, if the US cuts us loose we are doomed. On top we keep admitting more and more third column Chinese residents, this is not a recipe for long term independence.

  30. mh

    Agreed with what Trump promised before his election, and satisfied with what he has delivered so far.

    Politics will have to adjust to the reality of Trump and the paradigm shift. There’s no going home.

    People’s President
    #MAGA 🇺🇸

  31. Tel

    America was already in Syria. Whether it should have gone there in the first place or not is another question. With it having been there, you don’t just run away.

    That would appear to create a disastrous perverse incentive.

    Anyone who can illegally start an illegal war, gets to later on say, “Well, who knows how we got into this mess, but hey, can’t run away now, right? Right?”

    Suppose we had a rule that anyone caught driving a stolen car could keep that car, provided they say, “National Interest” five times in 10 seconds. Would that lead to more cars being stolen, or fewer … what do you think?

  32. sfw
    #3181704, posted on October 11, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    We need nuclear weapons and the means to send them accurately on long distance trips. To do that we need ICBMs, nuclear subs and long range bombers. We have none of those things, if the US cuts us loose we are doomed. On top we keep admitting more and more third column Chinese residents, this is not a recipe for long term independence.

    Correct.

    What if the end up with Pocahontas in 2024 and their national debt explodes?

  33. Gab

    And just like that, the Left decides it’s a bad thing to withdraw troops from anywhere in the world.

  34. Gab

    I am thoroughly enjoying your contributions to the Cat, CL. You’re the rock star of writing – be prepared to have ladies throw their nickers at you!!

  35. mh

    Expect to see Don Lemon in a ‘These Colors Don’t Run’ Stars and Stripes shirt any day now.

  36. Oh come on

    With it having been there, you don’t just run away.

    For what purpose? What’s the objective? If you don’t have one, you don’t run, you withdraw. Perfectly reasonable.

    Had Trump kept his troops there, Erdogan would not have invaded Syria.

    Who gives a shit? It’s a matter between Syria and Turkey.

  37. Bruce of Newcastle

    Trump is someone new. He is a charismatic successful businessman who is using wheeler-dealer skills developed over half a century (in Democrat cities!) in the office of President of the United States.

    Hitherto all Presidents have not been businessmen of this particular variety. (Most CEOs are more like Tillerson – ego the size of a planet but very much the elite insider.) Trump is an outsider using techniques which work in getting tower blocks built in Atlanta, which is not unlike getting a Wall built against hysterical opposition.

    The ME and Afghanistan things are interesting since the underlying issue is Is lam. Which is antagonistic to everyone and is unable to come to a reasonable peace, since by Koranic definition non-mu slims are of Dar Al-Harb the “territory of war”.

    So Trump’s business technique is to offer a deal, which is rejected by and large, then having done that to cut his losses. We are now in the ‘cut the losses’ phase. But in doing deals in Atlanta cutting your losses also means waterproofing yourself against unpleasant follow on effects. So he’s now also doing that in Afghanistan and Syria. And especially Iran, where sanctions are biting bitingly. How successful he will be in disengaging and coffer-damming his exit I don’t know. But that is the business way. I’ve seen in many times in my career working in companies.

    As a method of governing it is a breath of fresh air. The swamp will have no idea because none of them have ever worked in rude smelly profit-and-loss business.

  38. Delcon

    Tel
    #3181716, posted on October 11, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    America was already in Syria. Whether it should have gone there in the first place or not is another question. With it having been there, you don’t just run away.

    That would appear to create a disastrous perverse incentive.

    Anyone who can illegally start an illegal war, gets to later on say, “Well, who knows how we got into this mess, but hey, can’t run away now, right? Right?”

    Suppose we had a rule that anyone caught driving a stolen car could keep that car, provided they say, “National Interest” five times in 10 seconds. Would that lead to more cars being stolen, or fewer … what do you think?

    You sound like an intelligent guy.
    What I meant was not: “since America is already there, it might as well stay there”.
    If Trump wants to withdraw America from there, I never said he should not.
    All I said, is that it is pretty obvious that he is doing it, in the way and timing he is doing it, at the behest of Erdogan. That’s not on. Trump was president for three years, had plenty of time to do it and, for whatever reasons, hadn’t done it, until Erdogan asked him to do it.

    It is fine for people to be isolationists, and to say: “in my opinion America should keep out of foreign wars such as the Turkish-Kurdish one”.
    But people do not seem to understand the difference between not sending troops to an area, which is one thing, and quickly evacuating them in view of an army approaching to that area, which is quite another thing.
    Had America not had troops there, I, who object vehemently to this move by Trump, would *not* have said necessarily, “America must send troops there to stop the fighting”.
    Had I had reasons to believe that America was planning *anyway* a troop withdrawal from that area, I would not have said, “No, that’s wrong. They should stay there as a buffer between the Turks and Kurds”.
    My point is that what happened was not a decision made in Washington, but in Ankara.
    Washington is entitled to have full control over where its troops are and where not.
    I have issue with Washington subcontracting this decision to Ankara.
    It projects weakness. And, for what end? Allowing the Turks, of the Armenian Massacre fame, to massacre Kurds?
    If you don’t understand my point, it is probably because you are doing an Iampeter on me, which is to pretend you don’t undertand an argument so you can spin it your way. I have tried to explain my position on this many times in this and other threads, and am starting to tire of this toing and froing.
    this does not

  39. Oh come on

    Trump was president for three years, had plenty of time to do it and, for whatever reasons, hadn’t done it, until Erdogan asked him to do it.

    No. The US presence in northern Syria has been drawn down ever since Trump took over. It had to be yanked sooner or later.

    We don’t know what discussions took place behind the scenes. The US force in northern Syria was tiny. If Erdogan was stubborn enough, the choice the Americans would have been faced with was running a risk of military confrontation with a NATO ally, withdrawing altogether or piling tens of thousands more soldiers into northern Syria to deter the Turks.

    Of course the perpetual war types in DC and the Ben Shapiros of the world would all have hard-ons for the latter option, but if that isn’t your bag, then withdrawal is obviously the most responsible option on the table.

  40. jupes

    I have tried to explain my position on this many times in this and other threads, and am starting to tire of this toing and froing.

    There is no toing and froing. You are getting smashed from pillar to post.

    America is not “cutting and running”. America is withdrawing its troops after they completed their mission. They owe nothing to the Kurds, in fact the Kurds owe them.

  41. Delcon

    Oh come on
    #3181789, posted on October 11, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    We don’t know what discussions took place behind the scenes. The US force in northern Syria was tiny. If Erdogan was stubborn enough, the choice the Americans would have been faced with was running a risk of military confrontation with a NATO ally, withdrawing altogether or piling tens of thousands more soldiers into northern Syria to deter the Turks.

    Why is that any crazier than the choice the Turks would have been faced with, running a risk of military confrontation with a NATO ally, dummkopff?!
    After all, it wasn’t about the US troops attacking Turkey, right?
    it was the Turks who would the agressor.
    What’s the point of having the strongest military in the world if you are running away from an attack? And for the umpteenth time, dummkopff: no, Erdogan is not stupid enough to attack American troops. That’s exactly why he informed Trump prior to his attack that he is about to attack, because he never had any intention to attack if the American troops remained there. He knew that they could, as you said yourself, bring reinforcement and that would have been game over for his invasion, more or less before he began.
    Erdogan needed Trump to evacuate to be able to attack.
    Trump complied. It’s as simple as that.

  42. Oh come on

    Let’s not forget that Trump tried to fully withdraw from Syria earlier this year (prompting Mattis to resign, IIRC), but he ultimately backed down in the face of the DC establishment and the evergreen Kurds Betrayed!!1! narrative, and agreed to let a handful of US troops remain in Syria. It’s this tiny remaining garrison that is being withdrawn.

    I imagine the Europeans are (predictably) up in arms over this. Well, let them station their forces in northern Syria.

  43. candy

    Trump is not a war monger and his election campaign showed that. He’s a leader based on trade deals and economic progress and more futuristic type thinking. War would seem useless to him because it is destruction and loss, not gains and positive outcomes. Unless it’s a Hitler 2nd version but that would be extremely unlikely in the Turkey situation.

  44. Oh come on

    Why is that any crazier than the choice the Turks would have been faced with,

    Because a battle-hardened YPG is a major threat to Turkey. Bottom line – the Turks were never going to leave the YPG/PKK Kurds to go about their business in northern Syria.

  45. Delcon

    jupes
    #3181799, posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    There is no toing and froing. You are getting smashed from pillar to post.

    America is not “cutting and running”. America is withdrawing its troops after they completed their mission.

    Repeat the above to yourself ten times please, just to make sure you believe it.

  46. mh

    Candy, he did bomb the shit out of ISIS. Like he promised.

    Mission accomplished.

  47. Delcon

    Oh come on
    #3181821, posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Why is that any crazier than the choice the Turks would have been faced with,

    Because a battle-hardened YPG is a major threat to Turkey.

    More, presumably, than US air power.
    OK, then.

  48. Tel

    You sound like an intelligent guy.

    Thanks, you too.

    What I meant was not: “since America is already there, it might as well stay there”.
    If Trump wants to withdraw America from there, I never said he should not.
    All I said, is that it is pretty obvious that he is doing it, in the way and timing he is doing it, at the behest of Erdogan. That’s not on. Trump was president for three years, had plenty of time to do it and, for whatever reasons, hadn’t done it, until Erdogan asked him to do it.

    Given as how we are all intelligent guys round here, we would all remember Trump campaigning back in 2016 that wars in the Middle East are a bad idea, and it’s time to call it quits and come home. Do you think that was because Erdogan asked him to do it? Back in 2016 Erdogan was running the Trump campaign?

    And then the people of the USA supported Trump in both the primaries, and the actual election itself, based on his campaign to bring those troops home … because you know Erdogan asked those US citizens to vote for Trump.

    Then there was Trump’s announcement in 2018 … intelligent people remember that, and even those who don’t remember, are intelligent enough to look it up (March 30, 2018) …

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-syria/trump-tells-advisers-he-wants-u-s-out-of-syria-senior-officials-idUSKBN1H61J0

    Trump called for the freeze after reading a news report that the U.S. had recently committed an additional $200 million to stabilize areas recaptured from Islamic State, the paper said.

    The funding was announced by departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February at a meeting in Kuwait of the global coalition against Islamic State.

    The decision to freeze the funds was in line with Trump’s declaration during a speech in Richfield, Ohio, on Thursday, where he said it was time for America to exit Syria.

    As we all know, Erdogan asked Reuters to write that news article.

  49. candy

    Candy, he did bomb the shit out of ISIS. Like he promised.
    Mission accomplished.

    Yes, mh, he promised and he did. But that is not like taking sides in a Middle East conflict between tribes/states and ending up like Iraq. I just don’t think people want America to go down that kind of path again.

  50. Oh come on

    Um yes. The YPG is a much greater threat to Turkey than US air power. US air power protects Turkey.

  51. C.L.

    Trump is not a war monger and his election campaign showed that. He’s a leader based on trade deals and economic progress and more futuristic type thinking. War would seem useless to him because it is destruction and loss, not gains and positive outcomes. Unless it’s a Hitler 2nd version but that would be extremely unlikely in the Turkey situation.

    That’s an accurate summary, Candy.

  52. C.L.

    I’m glad you didn’t say “panties,” Gab.
    You know how IT feels about that word. 🙂

    You’re too kind.

  53. Alan

    Two interesting stories that may add context:
    #1: Far-left foreign fighters training with the Kurds
    #2: A self-described Antifa platoon
    Surely, given the very public antics of Antifa over the past 3 years, any insurgent combat training or combat experience would be a recipe for disaster for any western country, let alone the US.

  54. Delcon

    The Turks and the Kurds were at each other’s throats for decades.
    Nothing new about that they want to kick each other’s arse.
    For Turkey to attack US positions would be a new ball game.
    No effing way any national leader, including Erdogan, would have attacked US positions. No effing way.
    The decision whether it is a good idea that this attack will go ahead was entirely Trump’s.
    He made his decision, and the rest is history.
    Trump can tweet from now until the cows come home about how the attack by Turkey is a “bad idea”. He may fool you, but not me. Trump knew all along that will happen as soon as he evacuates.

  55. Bruce of Newcastle

    The Kurds are interesting because they are Sunnis but otherwise are hated by pretty much every other mu slim. They also have a strong streak of Marxism-Leninism. How they mesh the one with the other I have no idea.

    That makes them fine enemy-of-my-enemy material. Trump and Obama before him have been sending them lots of nice gear. Hopefully they’ll now use some of it on unhappy Turkish conscripts rather than sell it on to AQ or whoever has money this week.

  56. Tel

    No effing way any national leader, including Erdogan, would have attacked US positions. No effing way.

    He already attacked both Syria and Northern Iraq back in 2017, both of which were nominally territory supervised by US troops.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_2017_Turkish_airstrikes_in_Syria_and_Iraq

    The US generals told him not to do it, but he did anyway. Didn’t hit any US troops directly, but that was largely good fortune.

  57. Oh come on

    Delcon, it seems to me that your only decent argument against Trump’s decision to withdraw completely from Syria is the perception of US weakness. It is a valid concern if this is the take-home of the US’s rivals and enemies. Taking a small number of men out of harm’s way today could easily mean many more must be committed in the future because of how US opponents act if they believe US resolve to be weak. During the Obama years, I think this definitely was a factor. In the Trump era, not nearly as much. Opponents may view Trump as erratic, unpredictable, capricious even. But weak? I don’t think so. No, maintaining a US presence in northern Syria is no longer worth the risk that US blood could be shed doing so.

  58. Delcon

    Tel
    #3181844, posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    No effing way any national leader, including Erdogan, would have attacked US positions. No effing way.

    He already attacked both Syria and Northern Iraq back in 2017, both of which were nominally territory supervised by US troops.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_2017_Turkish_airstrikes_in_Syria_and_Iraq

    The US generals told him not to do it, but he did anyway. Didn’t hit any US troops directly, but that was largely good fortune.

    So, Turkey sent its planes to bomb in Syria and Iraq?
    Wow, that means, um, what, exactly? Israel did the same.
    What’s your point, besides tiring me with arguing without making any point?

  59. Oh come on

    No effing way any national leader, including Erdogan, would have attacked US positions. No effing way.

    No, of course not. Particularly the leader of a NATO ally. But that was never threatened. Turkey would have more or less said the following to the Americans: howdy. We want to go in to northern Syria to build accommodation for 3+ million Syrian refugees so they can be settled in their homeland. That’s a tough neighbourhood for us so we’re sending in the big guns. We see you still have a couple of hundred personnel still garrisoned there. Your boys might want to hop out of the way while we’re doing our thing. Just thought we’d let you know.

  60. Tel

    What’s your point, besides tiring me with arguing without making any point?

    Ahh having US troops in the local region did not seem to discourage him.

    That’s the point. We are after all intelligent people around here.

  61. Delcon

    Oh come on
    #3181847, posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Delcon, it seems to me that your only decent argument against Trump’s decision to withdraw completely from Syria is the perception of US weakness.

    Yes, you are not a complete dumkopff.
    It projects weakness. For which end? To allow Erdogan to slaughter a few more Kurds in an endless war?

    Taking a small number of men out of harm’s way today could easily mean many more must be committed in the future because of how US opponents act if they believe US resolve to be weak.

    But you are still a serious dumkopff nonetheless.
    There is no “harm”. None of the US troops would have sustained as much of a scratch because Erdogan would have only proceeded with his plans if Trump cooperated with him, and withdrawn his troops first.
    (Please let me know when I tell you that for the tenth time. I promised myself to buy myself an icecream to celebrate the tenth time that I explain this concept to you.)

  62. Oh come on

    Who’s framing this as Trump backing down in the face of a belligerent Erdogan’s threats? Oh it’s the Trump hating media and the perpetual warsters in DC. It’s not as though they have any reason to misrepresent the situation.

  63. Oh come on

    Please let me know when I tell you that for the tenth time. I promised myself to buy myself an icecream to celebrate the tenth time that I explain this concept to you

    Delcon, you are confused. You haven’t “explained” it to me more than once, and I don’t find your explanation sufficiently compelling to change my opinion. Also, I have refrained from insulting you, but I’m quite happy to start if you wish to go there.

  64. Delcon

    Oh come on
    #3181865, posted on October 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Who’s framing this as Trump backing down in the face of a belligerent Erdogan’s threats? Oh it’s the Trump hating media and the perpetual warsters in DC.

    Well, he is giving them a free kick: there is no “framing” by the Left of this move by Trump as a poor move. It is a poor move. This previously-rusted on Trump supporter also thinks it is, and, for the first time since Trump’s triumph in 2016, questioned himself if Trump is the right man for the job.

  65. feelthebern

    Far too kind to JFK.
    He knew what he was doing getting into Vietnam.

  66. jupes

    He knew what he was doing getting into Vietnam.

    “Getting into Vietnam” was the right thing to do. The west had to confront the commies at some point.

    The problem was they fucked up the execution.

  67. jupes

    This previously-rusted on Trump supporter also thinks it is, and, for the first time since Trump’s triumph in 2016, questioned himself if Trump is the right man for the job.

    Give it a rest Delcon. You are embarrassing yourself.

  68. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    “Getting into Vietnam” was the right thing to do. The west had to confront the commies at some point.

    The problem was they fucked up the execution.

    Anything written in the past twenty years, with access to the North Vietnamese archives, bears that out.The North Vietnamese decided on war as an instrument of policy before the ink was even dry on the Geneva Accords.

  69. Oh come on

    Give it a rest Delcon. You are embarrassing yourself.

    Trolls can’t resist laying it on just a little too thick and they blow their cover.

  70. Muddy

    Alan
    #3181837, posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Two interesting stories that may add context:
    #1: Far-left foreign fighters training with the Kurds
    #2: A self-described Antifa platoon

    Thanks for the link. I read about half of the second story (I normally wouldn’t touch Rolling Stone unless drowning), and felt that the author was quite over-egging the ‘Antifa Platoon’ bit. Firstly, I’d call them a section, and secondly … if I was the Kurds, I’d ‘accidentally’ shoot the feckers, just to get them out of the way. They sound like a liability, which was perhaps why the Kurds gave them slight autonomy.

  71. Delcon

    Let me get this straight: I am lying by saying that I am a Trump supporter because I questioned his decision, as in: no real Trump supporter would question this decision.
    Now that my cover is all blown by the duo “jupes and Oh come on geniuses are us”, and my trolliness has been exposed for all to see (presumably, as anyone who attacks Trump over his decision on this must be really a Leftie-in-disguise), I am calling on my fellow Hi-Alanist-Leftie-masquerating-as-Trump-supporter to come clean:
    Nicky Haley, the geniuses in Catallaxy has now fully exposed us. No point in hiding anymore!
    Good job in detecting trolls like me, geniuses.

  72. Oh come on

    I am lying by saying that I am a Trump supporter because I questioned his decision, as in: no real Trump supporter would question this decision.

    No. It’s not that. Disagree all you like. Here’s where you over-egged the pudding:

    This previously-rusted on Trump supporter also thinks it is, and, for the first time since Trump’s triumph in 2016, questioned himself if Trump is the right man for the job

    The Syria withdrawal really isn’t that big of a deal in the great scheme of things. Your whole “I was a rock-ribbed Trump supporter until this” shtick smacks of insincerity. Trump has been signalling this move for a long time. It’s not a significant move in any case. I mean, departing from the Six Party Talks and holding bilateral summits with Kim Jong-un – that’s a big move. Inviting the Taliban to Camp David – that’s a big move. Walking away from the JCPOA – a big move. Walking away from New START – a very big move. It’s plausible that a Trump supporter could lose faith over a foreign policy shift of some magnitude. Yet you toss your toys out of the pram over a few hundred soldiers being withdrawn from Syria. No, you’re not sincere.

    Nicky Haley

    If you’re going to use a lame appeal to authority, you probably should ensure you know how to spell your authority’s name correctly.

  73. Knuckle Dragger

    OK,

    I must have missed the bit in this whole business where Erdogan said to Trump, ‘We’re going to invade Syria and kick some Kurdish arse. Get your people out of the way so we can do it’, and DJT said ‘No worries. Give me a week and they’re all yours’.

    Delcon, surely your whole shriekery over this isn’t down to a conversation you assume just had to have happened? Because it certainly looks that way.

  74. NuThink

    ‘No worries. Give me a week and they’re all yours’.

    And where was Erdogan last week? A hint. At the UN talk fest in New York.
    Coincidence? I think not. Easy to have had discussions with the USA. Others may think differently.

  75. Herodotus

    Out of Syria and hey presto – into Saudi Arabia.

  76. Iampeter

    Good job in detecting trolls like me, geniuses.

    Oh delcon. Poor, poor summer child.
    Are you under the impression that the raving crackpots here are able to even gently discuss their shallow and emotionally held positions?

  77. struth

    And talk of “endless wars” is like talk of “globalism” and “open borders.” Just nonsense package deals that don’t have any clear meaning.

    Lot’s of things have no clear meaning to you.
    Everyone else gets it.
    You may wish to ponder that for a while, like, at least until you become an adult.

  78. Your whole “I was a rock-ribbed Trump supporter until this” shtick smacks of insincerity. Trump has been signalling this move for a long time. It’s not a significant move in any case.

    Yes.

    Delcon, surely your whole shriekery over this isn’t down to a conversation you assume just had to have happened? Because it certainly looks that way.

    Out of Syria and hey presto – into Saudi Arabia.

    Please, god no.

  79. Iampeter

    I must have missed the bit in this whole business where Erdogan said to Trump, ‘We’re going to invade Syria and kick some Kurdish arse. Get your people out of the way so we can do it’, and DJT said ‘No worries. Give me a week and they’re all yours’.
    Delcon, surely your whole shriekery over this isn’t down to a conversation you assume just had to have happened? Because it certainly looks that way.

    But that’s exactly what happened.
    Trump administration even officially announced as much:

    “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces . . . having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”

    And Trump decided this on a random phone call with Erdogan. His own administration had no clue until after.

    Trump’s abrupt and stunning act of dereliction startled everyone he should have consulted beforehand: our State Department, Pentagon, intelligence community, allies, key members of Congress—and the Kurds themselves. He discussed this only with the Turkey’s authoritarian

    Trump supporters are in a pickle. You had to be truly stupid to support him in the first place, but given the shit-show of his administration you have to be even stupider to continue supporting this. Either way, there’s no out. This is what happens when a political movement hits rock bottom.
    So the option is either conservatives concede they are so bankrupt as a political movement that they led to Trump and end as a political movement OR conservatives double down on Trump and end as a political movement.

    Either way the left keeps winning by default.

  80. Trump campaigned to pull out, he did so and the PPK, a communist organisation starts losing their decadal long war of “national liberation”. The Kurds still exist as an entity in Iraq where they cannot legally be harassed by the Iraqi Federal Army (and they are protected by the Peshmerga).

    How is the left “automatically winning”?

  81. mh

    This has been going on for months.

    Trump berated John Bolton while on a phone call with Erdogan. Trump was persuaded to leave a few troops in that area, now he’s rightly said enough time, the sovereign nations in the region can sort things out in Syria.

    America First 🇺🇸

  82. Delcon

    Iampeter
    #3182011, posted on October 12, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I must have missed the bit in this whole business where Erdogan said to Trump, ‘We’re going to invade Syria and kick some Kurdish arse. Get your people out of the way so we can do it’, and DJT said ‘No worries. Give me a week and they’re all yours’.
    Delcon, surely your whole shriekery over this isn’t down to a conversation you assume just had to have happened? Because it certainly looks that way.

    But that’s exactly what happened.

    Hey Knucklehead, when you are being owned even by Iampeter, it’s time to stop blogging and get out for some fresh air. Same goes for the other “if Trump did it it must be the right thing to do” sheeple here.
    Trump did it, and it was a disgraceful decision. You would have acknowledged as much if it was Obama who did it.
    Yes, I was a genuine Trump supporter. Saying Trump was stupid to do what he did here does not necessarily contradict this, you fuckhead.
    Now, maybe time to get out for some fresh air, geniuses; or, you can continue your echo-chamber circle jerking with your unmatched logic and knowledge, for all I care. Just try to leave me alone with your deperate, pathetic nonsense argumentation about how Trump must always be right, and anyone who disputes that must invariably be a troll.

  83. Oh come on

    Hi Alan, again. Bugger off, Delcon. You’re not worth the bother.

  84. Delcon

    Oh come on
    #3182250, posted on October 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    Hi Alan, again. Bugger off, Delcon. You’re not worth the bother.

    Another post full of logic and facts.
    Having said that, based on the level of argument you demonstrated so far, maybe posts like these, consisting of abusive personal attacks with zero facts and logic to back them up, is what you should stick to. You still come across as less dumb than you do when you try to back your personal attacks with logic.
    Fuck off, Oh come on, you pathetic moronic sheeple.

  85. Zatara

    No effing way any national leader, including Erdogan, would have attacked US positions. No effing way.

    And yet they did.

    There are thousands of square miles where those bombs/shells could have landed “by mistake” and yet they just happened to find a US compound.

    So no, more likely a message than a mistake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.