The re-establishment of American power is the first priority

Donald Trump is the president for our times, and in many ways the last hope for our Western Civilisation and our way of life. But it’s not as if I have never been critical of his approach to issues, and I am not here discussing interest rates but foreign policy. Let me take you to a post I wrote on April 17, 2017: Now what and where does it go from here? This post was also related to the war in Syria which followed Trump bombing Syria after it had used poison gas on children:

It reminds me how lacking in common sense the foreign policy of democratic nations have become. If the same people who support this kind of action are the same as those who put up “Refugees Welcome” signs then the ability to reason about consequences is severely impaired. We are dealing with national interests and protecting our borders and way of life. This is as stupid as “the war on terror” when it is, as Trump used to say, a war on radical Islamic terrorism. Now we are in the midst of a battle to remove chemical weapons from battles. That’s fine as a tenth level issue. There are plenty of ways to kill people, even children. To wallow in how awful it is to see people die this way rather than in some other way is ridiculous. The Allied bombing of Germany killed many many children. It is not a primary war aim, or even secondary, to start worrying about the particular way one side is attacking and killing the other. The aim should be to win or get out. What exactly was Trump trying to do? Completely lost on me.

I had the same sense of loss in the President’s speech in Minnesota the other day when he went on about how awful it is to greet the return of soldiers who have died in the field and to meet with their families. I have no doubt it is, but this is a real war with real consequences if we do not win. There are many things to weigh up in deciding what to do in the Middle East, but the one that is a bottom rung issue, as awful as it no doubt is, is to get bogged down in the emotionalism of the death of our soldiers.

America can now be portrayed as failing to protect its allies, as diminishing its determination to eradicate ISIS, as siding with Turkey against our own genuine allies and as being vulnerable to forms of blackmail that the Islamic State specialises in. To quote again from that previous post.

So let me put it like this: just exactly what are America’s war aims in Syria? And how will I be able to tell when those war aims have been achieved? Here the issue is stated in the way I think of it and the kind of questions that need to be answered before sending the military into conflict:

The outstanding politico-military lesson is an old one: that one clarify one’s aim before one embarks upon a military operation; ruthlessly and objectively dissect and analyse where it will lead, what is to be gained from it, and what one will be faced with when it is over.

If Donald Trump is not prepared to fight this one out, and if a relative handful of soldiers sitting in Syria is an issue in any way, then this is something to really worry about. I not only wrote on this once before, but I did so twice: America’s war aims. I will end this post the same as I did that one.

Let me give the last word to Tom Cotton, who is destined to succeed Donald Trump in 2024.

The world now sees that President Trump does not share his predecessor’s reluctance to use force. And that’s why nations across the world have rallied to our side, while Russia and Iran are among the few to have condemned the attack.

The threat of the use of force — and its actual use when necessary — is an essential foundation for effective diplomacy. Mr. Obama’s lack of credibility is one reason the United States watched in isolation as Russia and Iran took the lead at recent Syrian peace conferences. It’s also why Iran got the better of us in the nuclear negotiations and North Korea has defied us for years.

With our credibility restored, the United States can get back on offense around the world. In Syria, Mr. Assad knows that we have many more Tomahawk missiles than he has airfields. So do his supporters in Moscow and Tehran.

You will notice if you read the article, other than a passing reference at the start to poison gas in Syria, the rest is about the re-establishment of American power. And there is nothing sentimental about that.

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78 Responses to The re-establishment of American power is the first priority

  1. stackja

    Europe created the Syrian problem. Why should DT send US troops into harms way to help Europeans?
    As has been noted by others, Turkey is in NATO. Why does not NATO tell Turkey to pull back?

  2. Roger

    America can now be portrayed as failing to protect its allies…

    Have you been watching the ABC, Steve?

    Turkey is an American ally (for better or worse, but it’s there in the NATO treaty).

    This particular group of Kurds are not allies but Marxists whom the US (Obama & Hillary, to be more precise) used as proxies in the fight against IS (for better or worse). The Kurds who’ve had to leave the area and seek refuge elsewhere, including in Turkey, welcome the Turkish initiative to create a safe zone for them to return home.

    Turkey can claim UN support for its clearance operation as it is recognised in international law that they have a right to stage an incursion into Syria for the limited purpose of securing their border.

    Trump was right not to leave c. 1000 US troops in the middle of this.

  3. C.L.

    … but this is a real war …

    That’s the trouble, though, isn’t it?
    It’s not a real war and never has been; not as WW II was a real war. Which is to say, a war declared, with every man, woman and child called on to fight (or work + sacrifice for those doing the fighting).

    The moral conundrum for the right regarding this war is the same as the one that undermines the left regarding the climate. We talk about it in dire existential terms but – just like leftists who fly around the world and own five houses – we’re not seriously involved personally and have no wish to be. In WW II, you were involved alright (in battle or essential industry), else you were thrown in jail.

  4. Iampeter

    Donald Trump is the president for our times, and in many ways the last hope for our Western Civilisation and our way of life.

    That’s right! If you keep doubling down on a mistake that will make you a laughingstock than somehow everything will work out for the better. Right?

    America can now be portrayed as failing to protect its allies, as diminishing its determination to eradicate ISIS, as siding with Turkey against our own genuine allies and as being vulnerable to forms of blackmail that the Islamic State specialises in.

    Yea Trump is God-King! What a great decision! The Kurds didn’t help in the war against the British so…wait a minute…what did I just read? *Double checks to make sure it’s a Steve Kates post*

    If Donald Trump is not prepared to fight this one out, and if a relative hanfful of soldiers sitting in Syria is an issue in any way, then this is something to really worry about.

    Not to mention that there are over a hundred other places he could and should actually be bringing American troops home from, that would not be causing the disaster that is unfolding now.

    Well, well. If even Kates can maybe start to see the light…

    Wonder what responses this relatively mildest-of-mild criticisms of Trump is going to get from the cultists? *Gets popcorn*

  5. With our credibility restored, the United States can get back on offense around the world.

    Ah, if only Hillary had won.

  6. Iampeter

    I wonder how long this even tiny about-face will last from Steve in the fact of the peer pressure he is about to face.

    If I recall the back-down on Syria was pretty quick and this post already starts with a lot of wishful thinking in the very first sentence.

  7. C.L.

    There is no “about-face” from Steve.

  8. A Lurker

    The truth of the matter is that whatever President Trump does or says – good, bad, indifferent or nothing – will be portrayed as horrendously bad by his ideological enemies in the media and everywhere else.

  9. Iampeter

    There is no “about-face” from Steve.

    Yea, I know. Once you’ve gone all in on something so stupid as his support for Trump I can’t imagine how one can do an about-face without losing ALL face anyway. All Trump supporters can do now is keep doubling down. It’s basically the end for conservatism at this point.

    That’s why I stressed “tiny” aspect of the “about-face.” But you can call it what you want. Either way my point stands.

  10. Kurds ain’t Kurds sol.
    These particular Kurds are the PKK, the YPG and PYD. ALL OF THEM are designated terrorist orgs.
    The PKK and PYD have been cited for human rights abuses as bad as any committed by ISIS.

    When Trump decided enough was enough with ISIS, he smashed them with the help of these groups WHO THEMSELVES BENEFITED. These Kurds were being smashed by ISIS.
    Trump helping them to achieve a particular goal doesn’t make these Kurds “allies.”

    Furthermore, Erdogan has been saying for over 4 years that he wanted to establish a 20 mile (32 Km) safe zone to relocate up to 2.6 million of the 3.6 million refugees living within Turkish borders.
    After not getting enough help from the reprehensible Europeans, Erdogan had enough and stated he will go ahead whether the Europeans like it or not.
    This put Trump in a tight situation. what happens if a stray bullet or shell kills one of the Americans on the ground?

    As far as the Kurds themselves are concerned, are we aware that if large sections of Syria, Turkey and Iraq were somehow to be annexed as Kurdish homelands (which is what the Kurds want and have been fighting for forever) then almost immediately the Kurds would get into a civil war among 3 or 4 factions?
    WHY THE HELL SHOULD TRUMP COMMIT TO ANOTHER QUAGMIRE?

    The only situation we should be watching for closely is if the Turks commit war crimes. Trump can’t be held responsible for the actions of A NATO MEMBER AND ALLY.
    If Turkey does behave badly, then action should be taken against them. Actions such as solid sanctions and expulsion from NATO.
    That would be the end of Erdogan and good riddance to an arsehole.

    Disclosure: I am a Turkish born Australian.

  11. Trump helping them to achieve a particular goal doesn’t make these Kurds “allies.”

    That should read “Trump helping them in order to achieve a particular goal of his own, doesn’t make them allies.”
    The goal was to smash ISIS. It was not to help the PKK or YPG.

  12. JC

    Yea, I know. Once you’ve gone all in on something so stupid as his support for Trump I can’t imagine how one can do an about-face without losing ALL face anyway.

    Dickhead, I support the good things he does and don’t support what I don’t like. For instance, there’s no secret to the fact t I’m really skeptical of his trade position.

    All Trump supporters can do now is keep doubling down. It’s basically the end for conservatism at this point.

    And the alternative is what eggsactly…. President Chief High Cheeks who actually is a communist? Fuck off.

    That’s why I stressed “tiny” aspect of the “about-face.” But you can call it what you want. Either way my point stands.

    You have zero standing, because you’re a dickhead who dissembles, refuses to answer questions, ping people with dubious slogans and debate in bad faith.

    You were caught out either lying or not understanding the difference between free association and collectivism. Ever since then you been on the back foot lying.

    As I said, you’re done here. Fuck off.

  13. struth

    I have no doubt it is, but this is a real war with real consequences if we do not win. There are many things to weigh up in deciding what to do in the Middle East, but the one that is a bottom rung issue, as awful as it no doubt is, is to get bogged down in the emotionalism of the death of our soldiers.

    “We and “our” are not appropriate here, Steve, I believe you are an Australian citizen of Canadian Birth.

    Everyone has an opinion on what the States should do , while their people die and we, Europe and the UN sit on our arses and only ever offer the US token support at best.
    Maybe it’s somebody else’s turn?

    FMD.

  14. People shouldn’t shouldn’t get angry and/or acknowledge the dickhead, it only fuels their ego and gives them a feeling of relevance. That’s why an ignore button would be great.

  15. struth

    I wonder how long this even tiny about-face will last from Steve in the fact of the peer pressure he is about to face.

    The collectivist mind sees argument as peer pressure and that all.
    The collectivist mind sees all belonging to set clubs and groups who all think the same.

    All conservatives are Christians, for example.
    Simplistic , well, completely moronic, but I point this out as again, this guy is a left wing troll pretending to be something he is not.

  16. struth

    People shouldn’t shouldn’t get angry and/or acknowledge the dickhead, it only fuels their ego and gives them a feeling of relevance. That’s why an ignore button would be great.

    And making statements like that, that they can read, is absurd and defeatist.

  17. Iampeter

    Dickhead, I support the good things he does and don’t support what I don’t like. For instance, there’s no secret to the fact t I’m really skeptical of his trade position.

    If that were true then you would’ve spoken up accordingly on numerous threads on the subject. You just know that you were wrong on this and are trying to quietly change your position after the fact, resentful of being forced to do it. You’re not going to pull that off with me though. You’re a rat that’s not going to get off the ship.

    And the alternative is what eggsactly…. President Chief High Cheeks who actually is a communist? Fuck off.

    Less confused leftists, yes.
    This is what YOU idiots brought about. It’s conservatives that need to “fuck off.”

    Then the real fight against the left can begin.

    You have zero standing, because you’re a dickhead who dissembles, refuses to answer questions, ping people with dubious slogans and debate in bad faith.

    No, I have zero standing precisely because I do not do any of these things.
    Unlike you and the others here.
    You are routinely exposed as cringe-inducing idiots that make teenage marxists look smart by comparison.
    You know this is true. That’s why all your responses are so unhinged and angry.

    People who know what they are talking about wouldn’t resort to the raving lunacy that you do.

  18. struth

    So much written.
    Nothing said,
    No point to make at all.
    Just bitterness and name calling.

  19. Iampeter

    So much written.
    Nothing said,
    No point to make at all.
    Just bitterness and name calling

    That’s a good summary of exactly what I’m saying, yes.

  20. Jo

    Erdogan will resettle war refugees in the 30km zone. Syria will extend its territory with the help of Russia and the Kurds will make peace of sorts with the Syrians. Together there will be a major return the a status quo that existed before IS. And the US will have reached a strategic resolution.

  21. Why establish power other than to protect your interests?

    What? A boom bust cycle of war and peace?

    That still sounds like a shitty deal. A Keynesian shitty deal.

  22. And making statements like that, that they can read, is absurd and defeatist.

    Ignoring shit that you don’t want to see, hear or read is absurd and defeatist? Does that mean because I don’t watch Q&A etc that I’m absurd and defeatist?

  23. Iampeter

    If you don’t want to read or see capitalist and right wing view points then don’t spend time on a capitalist and right wing blog.

  24. struth

    Ignoring shit that you don’t want to see, hear or read is absurd and defeatist? Does that mean because I don’t watch Q&A etc that I’m absurd and defeatist?

    No, but if you rang up Snowcone to tell him, yes it would be.
    That just let’s them know they are getting to you, and you’ve got nothing, and they win.
    I ignore the total ABC, as I hope you would, but letting Ita know she’s getting up my nose, would give her regrets?
    Not likely
    She’d love it.

  25. struth

    If you don’t want to read or see capitalist and right wing view points then don’t spend time on a capitalist and right wing blog.

    That’s a good summary of exactly what I’m saying, yes.

  26. Sean

    Trump is no dummy. He’s talking about lives lost for no good reason, not that it takes precedence over defeating enemies.

    He’s into financial wars, not invasions. Turkey’s economy will be sunk if they go beyond their limits.

    It’s also laughable to call a terrorist group an ally. A quick look through a history book shows how loyal these groups are to the US once a common interest is over. The US is not going to broker a deal to create a new nation for the Kurds. It’s none of their business.

  27. That just let’s them know they are getting to you, and you’ve got nothing, and they win.

    A Leftists worst fear is to be ignored. Nothing strikes at their heart more than that. I’ve done so on forums where it’s possible to ignore someone and the vitriol that apparently has followed (as related by someone else) is hilarious. Why do you fear an ‘ignore’ button?

  28. struth

    I don’t fear an ignore button.
    I have one.
    Well, it’s a little wheel thingy on my mouse.

  29. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3183930, posted on October 14, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Poor old Iamashiteater has ludicrously beclowned himself yet again, and is now furiously backpedalling.

    He consistently fails to distinguish between his fantasy blind Trump worshipping bogeymen and the reality on this blog of people who (a) express support for many of Trump’s actions, and (b) express relative support for Trump against the available alternatives.

    Thus, when Steve consistently supports Trump’s projection of American power, and now criticises (rightly or wrongly) Trump’s perceived retraction of American power, Iamashiteater goes into hysterics about an “about face” that exists only in his febrile masturbatory “mind”.

    When JC calls him out on his confusion, all he’s got is tantrum throwing and megalomania.

  30. Iampeter

    Poor old Iamashiteater has ludicrously beclowned himself yet again, and is now furiously backpedalling.

    Except that’s the exact opposite of what’s happened, as you know, which is why you’re so triggered.

    He consistently fails to distinguish between his fantasy blind Trump worshipping bogeymen and the reality on this blog of people who (a) express support for many of Trump’s actions, and (b) express relative support for Trump against the available alternatives.

    Um no. There are none of these groups here. There are only mindless, cult-like supporters.
    You’re a posting this on a thread where the first sentence is “Donald Trump is the president for our times, and in many ways the last hope for our Western Civilisation and our way of life.”
    This is way beyond even “support for many of Trump’s actions.” This is nuts.

    You know all this of course. That’s why you mad.

  31. min

    According to Prof. John Mearsheimer ‘s Liberal Dreams and International Realities , American foreign policy was based on liberal hegemony . That is , simply put, because the powerful nation goes in and wins and the other nation then becomes democratic . Just where has this happened in any of America’s wars? In fact since 2006 the number of democratic countries has decreased .
    Different values and culture means they prefer their way ,the same reason why bringing in migrants from certain places will not work because they will not assimilate. Globalisation , no borders etc is against human nature as we are finding out with the totalitarian thinking of socialists Remainers, extinction rebellion . The only way you get people to behave like you want them to is force,shout them down sue them all the methods used now until the general public wake up.

  32. Bruce of Newcastle

    That is , simply put, because the powerful nation goes in and wins and the other nation then becomes democratic .

    That was the doctrine behind the second Gulf War. The idea was that Iraq could be democratized once Hussein was gone for good, and then a domino effect would spread out converting other countries in the region into democracies.

    Didn’t quite work out as hoped.

    The good thing is there seems to be an increased consciousness that only strong horse authoritarianism (eg. Egypt) or theocracy (eg. Iran) are stable forms of government for mu slims. So there’s more support for undemocratic tyrants lately, who are the least worst option.

    Now when they rediscover the them-and-us isolationist doctrine of the period 1492-1798 we’ll be in business. Israel has, mostly.

  33. lotocoti

    Didn’t quite work out as hoped.

    To be fair, Gaddafi had a come-to-Jesus moment, but then St Barry of the Peace Prize entered the fray.

  34. Oh come on

    Thoughts:

    The Turks *are* US allies. They are in a formal, long-standing, historically durable alliance. The YPG/PKK Kurds are not US allies (BIRM). Say what you like about Erdogan (and I’d probably agree with you) but the above is still true. We aren’t throwing anyone under the bus by withdrawing whatever support we may have been providing to the Kurds.

    The Kurdish struggle against the Turks is *not* our fight. We should not be taking sides – we should have nothing to do with it at all. If we do have something to do with it, we should extricate ourselves ASAP.

    It is high time that US foreign policy reflected the fact that Assad is the least worst option to rule Syria. Unfortunately, Obama completely bungled the US position in Syria beyond any recovery. That boat has sailed. But it’s crazy to continue as though the US might gain some leverage in Syria by propping up potential alternative governments or opposition movements.

  35. Tel

    People shouldn’t shouldn’t get angry and/or acknowledge the dickhead, it only fuels their ego and gives them a feeling of relevance. That’s why an ignore button would be great.

    I posted some greasemonkey script a while back, which isn’t too difficult to install.

    You need to install greasemonkey first, and then get a basic handle on how to use that. Then you can install user scripts into there which mangle around websites as they load. I’ve found my scroll wheel is getting less of a workout and avoiding the time wasters after they have become less than amusing.

  36. Tel

    That was the doctrine behind the second Gulf War. The idea was that Iraq could be democratized once Hussein was gone for good, and then a domino effect would spread out converting other countries in the region into democracies.

    Didn’t quite work out as hoped.

    But it did work out exactly as you would expect for a democracy: rule by the majority. The Shiites centered around Baghdad were the majority, so they took power (democratically) and used their power to plunder the minority Sunnis, many of whom ran away to join ISIS or take refuge on the periphery somewhere. This is precisely the standard Libertarian model of democratic government.

    Since there are also scores to settle, and besides that the Sunnis are kicking up a fuss … now those Shiite majority are working their way outwards, beating shit out of anyone they don’t like the look of. Democratically of course.

  37. Roger

    To be fair, Gaddafi had a come-to-Jesus moment, but then St Barry of the Peace Prize entered the fray.

    It was the plan of a madman—or an arrogant, officious, ignorant social engineer with no understanding of human nature, the Middle East, or America.

    And I doubt he had the moral integrity to give the prize money back or donate it to charity.

  38. I posted some greasemonkey script a while back, which isn’t too difficult to install.

    I’m fairly certain that the forum software has the ability to add these options. It would be nice and, as you say, reduce the scrolling.

  39. mh

    America can now be portrayed as failing to protect its allies

    Hahaha.

    This post is wrong on so many levels. Beware the sycophant! I expect Kates did not really ‘get’ Trump in the first place.

  40. mh

    I have no doubt it is, but this is a real war with real consequences if we do not win.

    Who is the USA at war with in Syria? There is a geo political tussle between Putin and Erdogan.

  41. Bruce of Newcastle

    But it did work out exactly as you would expect for a democracy: rule by the majority.

    Tel – Democracy is defined by the existence of a loyal opposition.
    By definition the opposition are apostates in MENA, except in Israel, so they can never be loyal ones.

  42. Tel

    Bruce, I think you are coming up with your own definition of democracy, and then calling it “The Definition”.

    No mention of any “Loyal Opposition” in the standard dictionary definition of democracy … nor in any Constitution of a Western power.

  43. Bruce of Newcastle

    One man one vote once is hardly a democracy Tel.

  44. NuThink

    Remember who your friends really are. It is best to remember history. I try to learn from history but I am not an historian. Human nature does not change.

    So what are the benefits of helping the PKK and the YPG?

    The West helped the Soviet Union with the Arctic convoys, many allied lives lost. Russia was our friend in need. But that did not survive very long.

    The Arctic convoys of World War II were ocean going convoys which sailed from the United Kingdom, Iceland, and North America to northern ports in the Soviet Union – primarily Arkhangelsk (Archangel) and Murmansk in Russia. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945,[1]

    https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13518046.2017.1377013?src=recsys&journalCode=fslv20

    ABSTRACT
    During World War II the Soviet Union received large amounts of aid from the Western world in the form of supplies and military intervention, both of which were declared to have been irrelevant for the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany by Soviet historians. This article examines the claim made by Soviet historiography, and it comes to the conclusion that both Western supplies and military intervention were far more helpful than claimed by the Soviets. Without this aid the Red Army would not have been able to perform as well as it did historically, tilting the balance in Germany’s favor. Soviet claims about the irrelevance of Western aid can thus be dismissed as propaganda and inaccurate.

    Then in 1948 the Soviets blockaded Berlin for nearly a year. 24 Jun 1948 – 12 May 1949. So much for unnatural friends.

    The west had the Berlin airlift flying in everything (even coal). Stalin then gave up on the blockade.
    The pilots also complained that the East Germans used to shine bright lights in their eyes on landing.

    http://www.dc3history.org/russianli2.html
    The Soviets bought the rights to manufacture the venerable DC3.

    Stalin and Hitler had a non aggression pack. That did not last.

    So why trust the PKK and other groups that do not have similar to our cultures. So judging other cultures by one’s own is not such a good idea.

    Curtiss Hawk II and the Stuka dive bomber,
    Though not interested in politics, Udet joined the Nazi party in 1933 when Hermann Göring promised to buy him two new U.S.-built Curtiss Hawk II biplanes (export designation of the F11C-2 Goshawk Helldiver). The planes were used for evaluation purposes and thus indirectly influenced the German idea of dive bombing aeroplanes, such as the Junkers Ju 87 (Stuka) dive bombers. They were also used for aerobatic shows held during the 1936 Summer Olympics. Udet piloted one of them, which survived the war and is now on display in the Polish Aviation Museum.

    I trust Trump more than any politician, probably because he is not a politician by nature.

  45. Sean

    Schumer is fucking nuts.

    The Dems are going to nominate a socialist as their candidate and at the same time try and force troops to go back to a war zone. Great 2020 strategy.

  46. Tim Neilson

    Poor old Iamashiteater, projecting frenetically to deflect from his humiliating logical error.

  47. max

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war.

    The President, meanwhile, derives the power to direct the military after a Congressional declaration of war from Article II, Section 2, which names the President Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

    The last time Congress declared war was on December 11, 1941, against Germany in response to its formal declaration of war against the United States.

    Empires are easily manipulated by enemies. Japan learned that lesson, 1941-45.
    Empires substitute war for peace in gaining their objectives.

  48. BorisG

    ALL OF THEM are designated terrorist orgs.

    By whom, apart from Erdogan?

  49. BorisG

    The Kurds who’ve had to leave the area and seek refuge elsewhere, including in Turkey, welcome the Turkish initiative to create a safe zone for them to return home.

    Evidence ?

    The YPG May be marxists etc but is the only faction in Syria who are not Islamists. This is the reason that Americans both under Obama and Trump were happy to cooperate with them.

  50. BorisG

    A NATO MEMBER AND ALLY.

    That this Islamofaschist regime trying to recreate an Ottoman Empire and who buy weapons from Russia is still a NATO member is absurd to the extreme.

    That Trump calls Islamofascist Erdogan his friend shows his true colors.

  51. BorisG

    Turkey’s economy will be sunk if they go beyond their limits.

    What are these limits exactly? Erdogan will not stop due to empty threats from trump. He initially was talking 30 km zone but now aiming at about 70. The only thing that can stop him is military force, and Assad is now marching towards the border. Of course Assad’s forces are no match for the Turkish military but Erdogan must consider increased casualties as well as Russians and Iranians. The Russians will not confront the Turks directly but will soon emerge to broker a deal…

  52. BorisG

    It is high time that US foreign policy reflected the fact that Assad is the least worst option to rule Syria.

    Assad is an Iranian proxy and Iran is a declared US enemy number one in the Middle East, with nuclear ambition and declared genocidal ambitions.

  53. BorisG

    And let’s not forget that rbis US ally aided ISIS for a long time. Ask Tel about that.

  54. Delcon

    Trump has:
    1. Thrown to the dogs US allies of up to 24 hours prior. It will be noticed by many.
    2. Demonstrated cowardly leadership. It, too, will be noticed by many.
    3. Paved way for foreign powers, some of whom sworn enemies of the US, to gain more control and power.
    4. Facilitated mayhen, destruction and death on a large scale.
    5. Achieved absolutely nothing.

  55. Win

    I always wondered in my ignorance why St Barry of the Peace Prize would arm rebel groups who were wiping out ancient non Muslim and minority Muslim communities in Syria who had existed pre and post Asard. Pity there was no Margaret Thatcher who at least allowed people to defend themselves.

  56. struth

    Trump has:
    1. Thrown to the dogs US allies of up to 24 hours prior. It will be noticed by many.

    They of course would have stood by the USA in wars in other parts of the globe, especially against commos.

    2

    . Demonstrated cowardly leadership. It, too, will be noticed by many.

    It will be noticed by the rest of the world’s cowards who should have been there already.

    3. Paved way for foreign powers, some of whom sworn enemies of the US, to gain more control and power.

    ubbish.
    The main threat to world peace is China and the UN, which he is dealing with nearly as forcefully as I’d hoped, and tribal middle eastern violence is on going, so none of them get a foot up, and Turkey is manageable.
    The one thing you can’t call Trump is a coward.
    If you think he’s pulling his forces out because he is scared, you demonstrate hysteria clouding your judgement.

    4. Facilitated mayhen, destruction and death on a large scale.

    No, the warring parties are doing that.
    Trump is not to blame for any of it.

    5. Achieved absolutely nothing

    Americans coming home to their loved ones instead of fucking around with the never ending bullshit from the sand monkeys.

    And the worst of it is the lazy , stand back and do nothing arm chair critics from lazy, stand back and do nothing countries who have the gall to “blame Trump”

  57. Sean

    The Wars have cost the US 2.4 trillion dollars. Trump has a pretty clear policy. Get out of the mess and rebuild America which is what got him elected.

  58. Cynic of Ayr

    Jeez Steve, that’s a lot of bollocks.
    To be rude, it’s all very well for you to demand that young men and women be sent off to a foreign country that hates them, to be maimed and killed, just as long as you don’t have to do it yourself, eh?
    Freaking arm-chair warriors!
    Trump is correct. There is no way that it can be assumed that the countries of the Middle East – all of them- are hell bent on becoming Democracies, just like the U.S. or Australia.
    About Seven Thousand U.S. Military deaths and probably at least five times that wounded, many unrecoverable.
    For what?
    Is Iraq any better today? Is Syria any better today? Is Afghanistan any better today? No.
    Has it lessened the chance of another 9/11? No fucking way has it!
    I reckon you should go to Iraq yourself, and teach them economics. They’d like that. It’d be nice to know the value of the different types of camel shit they burn to cook.

  59. Mak Siccar

    I repost this from the other day. Another perspective.

    October 12, 2019
    Missing the Bigger Picture in Kurdish Syria
    By Lt. Col. Robert L. Maginnis, US Army Ret.
    President Trump’s decision to withdraw our few troops from the Syria-Turkey border area earned him considerable criticism from allies. Senator Lindsey Graham said the decision is “a catastrophe in the making.” Representative Lin Cheney said it’s “a catastrophic mistake.” Former UN Secretary Nikki Haley said, “We must always have the backs of our allies.”

    President Trump has answered these critics. The Kurds were engaged in a contractual relationship fighting the Is_lamic State (IS_IS). They were well paid and equipped for their fighting, much like any mercenary group. Further, they were given three years to consolidate eastern Syria to feed their long-held desire to form an independent Kurdistan with other Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They failed.

    The Kurds’ problem, and by association that of the U.S., is that regional powers like Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran and Syria have long held the Kurds in disdain. In fact, Turkey considers the Syrian Kurds to be allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or (PKK), which are Turkish Kurds and terrorists fighting for independence for the last 35 years.

    Basically, the Kurds hijacked our fight with IS_IS to feed their regional civil war to earn independence.

    President Trump is aware of that agenda and is also trying to constrain American hawks who want to use our military willy-nilly across the world. Remember that Trump frequently said during his 2016 campaign that he wants to escape from endless wars and bring our fighters home.

    Also, we need to ask ourselves whether the withdrawal of a few American troops really matters in the conflict either against IS_IS, and did it really grant the Turkish government the “green light” to attack “terrorist” Kurds? Perhaps. The Syrian civil war which led to the rise of IS_IS is over and the bloody dictator in Damascus won, thanks to the Russians and Iranians. We can blame Obama for that outcome, not Trump. And yes, the Turks have permission from Damascus to cross into Syria and they will now consolidate a buffer zone along the Syrian border to control terrorist actions fostered by the independence-minded Kurds and allow for millions of refugees to return home. I bet the U.S. would do the same if we had a similar problem on either of our borders with Mexico or Canada.

    The pregnant question that Trump’s critics don’t answer is: Will IS_IS return to fight another day? Not necessarily. Keep in mind that al Qa eda and IS_IS are in many more places today than when U.S. forces first pursued them in the mountains of Afghanistan and in the northern plains of Iraq. Also, what remains of IS_IS is trapped in a small area in Syria and if they make a ruckus that can be easily handled by Turkish and Russian airstrikes, and they won’t bother with concerns about collateral damage.

    Another point about all the fake news about the Kurdish plight is evidence of a basic misunderstanding about the Middle East, which is locked in a constant cycle of war in part because of the English and French fools that redrew the maps after World War I.

    Trump’s critics can learn about Middle Eastern culture by watching Lawrence of Arabia. Remember the first time that Lawrence goes into the desert his guide stops at some oasis. As the guide drinks from the well, a dark figure on a camel rides fast towards them and then shoots dead Lawrence’s guide. Lawrence is stunned and asks why the Arab killed the guide. The Arab responds, “He is Hazzami. He is nothing. He knew that he could not drink from our well.”

    Yes, much of the region is locked in tribal wars and they don’t want democracy. Further, and in part because of those tribal wars, we do not need to stay there another day, much less a century. Rather, let the regional players handle these problems and leave the larger security challenges like China and Russia to the United States.

    Why must America get involved in every conflict around the world that is, unless you believe as some of the Trump critics do, that we are indeed the world’s policeman and like former American leaders, believe in promoting democracy at the pointy end of the bayonet?

    Finally, I’m a security cooperation expert helping the Pentagon work with land forces across the world. Our allies and foreign partners like us because we are ready to fight for them and more often than not give them training and equipment to settle their own challenges. I dare say the American taxpayer ought to ask whether there ought to be a limit on how much of this fighting really supports our national interests.

    I’m reminded of what English statesman and General Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) said to his troops: “Put your trust in God, but mind to keep your powder dry.” That’s an apropos view in the Syria account. America has too many fights ongoing now and much bigger ones ahead. For our national interests, we too must “mind to keep” our powder dry and not squander our resources on others’ wars. Let’s put Syria in the rearview mirror.

    Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and is an instructor at the Army War College. He oversees a team of national security experts in the Pentagon and has more than 800 published articles on national security and geopolitical issues. His most recent books are Progressive Evil (2019), and Alliance of Evil (2018).

    Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/10/missing_the_bigger_picture_in_kurdish_syria.html#ixzz62N9IgWI2

  60. There is no doubt that the withdrawal has upset many Republicans and Democrats because the Defence industry is upset. The Defence industry is a big supporter of politicians and even if many (R) might agree with Trump, they cannot say so without incurring the wrath and removal of money from said industry.

    Without constant wars, how will the Defence industry keep making money. There’s not a lot of difference between the Defence industry and the Climate industry, both depend on a constant flow of money from government.

  61. BorisG

    you to demand that young men and women be sent off to a foreign country that hates them, to be maimed and killed, just as long as you don’t have to do it yourself, eh?
    Freaking arm-chair warriors!

    Rubbish. These people have volunteered to be soldiers for a salary. It is their job. No one forced them to take that job. And they were not fighting in syria in the last year or so. their chances of been killed in Syria were not much higher than at their US bases.

    No one is suggesting the US forces should have fought Kurds’ war in Syria or engage the Turkish army (or esstablsih democracy etc). All that rational people demand is that they keep a small contingent there to prevent Kurds slaughter, prevent establishment of a land corridor that would allow Iranians to reach Israel by land, and prevent complete domination of the Middle East by Russia and China. That was a small price to pay.

    Even if they were determined to take all troops out, they could have prevented Turkish invasion by threatening severe economic measures the moment the Turks crossed the border. Or other such measures.

  62. BorisG

    Without constant wars, how will the Defence industry keep making money.

    US forces in Syria were not fighting a war, not since defeat of the regular khalifate anyway.

  63. BorisG

    The underlying thing is whether what happens in the world, e.g, in ME, affects US interests. I think it does. Time will tell.

  64. BorisG

    And yes, the Turks have permission from Damascus to cross into Syria and they will now consolidate a buffer zone along the Syrian border to control terrorist actions fostered by the independence-minded Kurds

    Well, as todays events show, not exactly. Assad’s forces are marching towards the border. This just shows how informed these so called experts are.

  65. Tel

    Rubbish. These people have volunteered to be soldiers for a salary.

    Wrong. They volunteered to defend their country because they saw that as an honourable profession, and they get rewarded commensurate based on their expectations of the risk vs reward involved in defense of the nation. They also swore that the US Constitution would be the ultimate authority.

    They never agreed to be general purpose worldwide thugs for whatever whim their commanders might come up with … even going well beyond any Constitutional authority (unless you can site the Congressional vote and declaration of war against Syria and/or Turkey).

  66. Roger

    Assad’s forces are marching towards the border.

    So Syrian troops will now guard their border with Turkey instead of American troops.

    Sounds like a good outcome to me.

  67. mh

    And just like that the Left want sovereign borders protected.

  68. Sean

    The grand chess board!

    The media is 1 dimensional ‘orange man bad’ and he’s playing 4d chess. It’s a war zone, infinitely volatile and it could all blow up in his face, but there’s a strategy at play.

  69. carol kavanagh

    Sundance at the Conservative Tree House reports that Erdogan is now asking for the US to mediate peace negotiations almost immediately after President Trump signed an Executive Order triggering the sanctions authority of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Erdogan called the White House requesting an urgent phone call with President Trump who then talked to Kurdish General Mazloaum Kobani Ani, Commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian forces and then discussed the options available to Erdogan with him. Erdogan then requested the US to mediate negotiations.

  70. Roger

    And just like that the Left want sovereign borders protected.

    Garrisoned in perpetuity by American troops, no less!

  71. Zatara

    PKK, the YPG and PYD. ALL OF THEM are designated terrorist orgs.

    By whom, apart from Erdogan?

    The United States.

    The Bureau of Counterterrorism in the State Department designated the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, aka Kongra-Gel) a terrorist org on 10/8/1997.

    The YPG and PYD are subsets of the PKK.

    CIA officially recognizes PYD as terror group PKK’s Syrian wing

  72. Tel

    So Syrian troops will now guard their border with Turkey instead of American troops.

    As Trump explained to us, a country that cannot guard its borders is no country at all.

    And just like that the Left want sovereign borders protected.

    But never the border of a Western nation. Using Western soldiers to get between one crappy third world nation and another crappy third world nation is ever so important … but people protecting their own homeland is frowned upon. It’s almost like … borders really have nothing to do with their objective and everything they say is merely a ruse to distract from what they are doing.

  73. Iampeter

    Wrong. They volunteered to defend their country because they saw that as an honourable profession, and they get rewarded commensurate based on their expectations of the risk vs reward involved in defense of the nation. They also swore that the US Constitution would be the ultimate authority.

    So they volunteered to be soldiers for a salary.

    They never agreed to be general purpose worldwide thugs for whatever whim their commanders might come up with … even going well beyond any Constitutional authority (unless you can site the Congressional vote and declaration of war against Syria and/or Turkey).

    Nor is anyone advocating for such a thing.

    Gotta love tel’s posts.

  74. mh

    Antifa say it best

    No Trump No Wall
    No USA at all!

  75. Sean

    #ShillforHill

    Let’s kill children for profit. Sad when a businessman has to undo the work of corrupt politicians

  76. BorisG

    After a lot of mixed signals, Trump indeed apparently moving to sanction Turkey. Not sure it is for real or just to placate some of his supporters, but if true, better late than never. Of course it would have been much better if he made clear to erdogan discretely about the consequences before he withdrew the troops. Now a lot of damage has been done.

    If reports of the request for mediation are correct, this is also good news. I expected him to ask Putin instead.

  77. mh

    Just realised I got that slogan wrong ⬆️

    No border
    No wall
    No USA at all!

  78. BorisG

    Lots of people are saying it is not right to use US troops to resolve regional conflicts or establish democracy. I agree, American troops can however be used, very wisely, to defend American interests abroad.

    But once the troops are there, the withdrawal needs to be very well thought through. The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by Obama led directly to the takeover of most of Iraq by ISIS, so that US troops needed to be send in again.

    The same can happen in Syria.

    The title of the post is very correct.

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