Patterico's Pontifications

10/15/2019

Russia Takes Over Abandoned U.S. Army Base as Russian Trolls America

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am



Business Insider:

A video shows the inside of a US military camp overtaken by Russian mercenaries working with Syrian forces, shortly after American troops abandoned it.

US forces left the Manbij camp in northern Syria early Tuesday following an October 6 directive from President Donald Trump to leave a coalition with the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIS. A spokesman for the US operation confirmed the departure on Tuesday.

The US’ decision to pull out gave Turkish forces the green light to invade Syria and drive out the SDF, which contains Kurdish fighters. Turkey considers the Kurds terrorists and has long vowed to destroy them. Over the weekend the SDF joined a pact with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s government to fight the Turkish offensive.

Here is video of a Russian speaker supposedly entering the camp:

The Yankee ballcap is a nice touch.

I have not independently verified the translation or where this guy is, so take it with that grain of salt. The fact that Russians are taking over one of our bases, however, seems solid.

It’s good that you did that, Anthony Donald. It’s a Very Good Thing that you did.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

130 Responses to “Russia Takes Over Abandoned U.S. Army Base as Russian Trolls America”

  1. Are we great again yet?

    Dave (1bb933)

  2. Remember when people used to justify Trump’s bad decision-making because he wasn’t really a politician? You know, how can a businessman be expected to know who might benefit the most from pulling our troops out of a region like Northern Syria, and stuff like that…

    Dana (05f22b)

  3. Remember when people used to justify Trump’s bad decision-making because he wasn’t really a politician?

    No, I don’t remember that.

    who might benefit the most from pulling our troops out of a region like Northern Syria

    My money is on the US Soldier that survived the Syrian quagmire as one who might have benefited the most. Has NeverTrump pinpointed the exact winning strategy where everyone benefits the most?

    BuDuh (f0cd3e)

  4. I am not NeverTrump but I think the security mechanism (scuttled by Trump) could have created a demilitarized zone between Turkey and Syria which the U.N. could have taken over for humanitarian reasons, thus letting us leave. Maybe it would not have worked but it seems like a better option than this highly destabilizing approach.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. Demilitarized zones have many disadvantages but often the alternatives have more.

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. DRJ, here is a link I posted on another thread. It is from 2018. I found it to be informative on the situation over there. I can’t fathom a guess on how the UN would properly insert themselves in this mess

    https://warontherocks.com/2018/06/the-roadmap-to-nowhere-manbij-turkey-and-americas-dilemma-in-syria/

    BuDuh (f0cd3e)

  7. Δεν ειναι η ζημια της προβατινας, ειναι η ντροπη του λυκου. — Traditional Greek saying

    If I were Putin, I would not be proud. I would be kind of embarrassed. Like a professional boxer stepping into the ring against a little old lady. An orange-skinned little old lady.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. That is a helpful link, BuDuh. Thank you. I wonder if the section about Erdogan’s desire for a specific timeline may explain why he called Trump now in an effort to undermine the agreement?

    I think the U.N. comes in when the estimated 3+ million Syrian refugees (currently in Turkey) start flooding back into the zone created by the security mechanism. Part of the reason Erdogan is being pressured domestically comes from the presence of those refugees. I suspect that moving the refugees out of Turkey and back into Syria was his goal for entering into the agreement.

    Creating a security zone bordered by Turkey, the Kurds in NE Syria, and Syria gives them a place to go but there will be humanitarian concerns. I see that as something for the U.N. to handle. The US’s role would have been to establish the zone and borders — no small feat but IMO doable.

    DRJ (15874d)

  9. List of current demilitarized zones.

    DRJ (15874d)

  10. Of course, this will not happen now unless Trump backtracks and everyone agrees to resume the status quo — which seems unlikely.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. same place where they tried to bomb a conference of Iranian opposition leaders, after john Kerry met with three senior Iranian spies,

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. Thanks, DRJ. We differ on whether it is doable or not, and as long as Turkey considers factions of the Kurds to be terrorists, I think the hurdle is too large.

    nk expressed that as many US Soldiers as necessary can be sacrificed to protect the so-called safe zone. If we are just throwing bodies at the situation I think a plan to abolish our partnership with Turkey, using people who desire the territory, should be at the forefront. If we went to war with Turkey it would be an absolute disaster, but if we let Turkey go on a reckless rampage, the UN and the NATO members are forced to address the situation.

    I think that since our congress clearly will not authorize a war with Turkey, the small amount of troops never had the staying power to protect the region. So now, instead of nk’s necessary US Soldier deaths, the Turks equally unmask themselves by taking Kurdish lives.

    If we were to stay in the middle, trying to delay the inevitable, we would have less opportunity to publicly call out, and distance ourselves from, Turkey.

    BuDuh (f0cd3e)

  13. The Turks live with Israel in their region, in part because there are clear borders. Turkey would not be happy with a Kurdish region but a DMZ between them might help.

    As for what US sacrifice it would take to create such a zone, I don’t know either. But this was working for over 2 months.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. And, yes, Kurdish lives (and others) are being lost now. I think those are unnecessary deaths at this time.

    DRJ (15874d)

  15. Erdogan supports hamas, remember the flotilla in 2010, also khashoggi apparently did as recently as 2014, they support islamist militias in Libya, and Syria, along with the qataris,

    there was a time the uae gave free birth to hamas as recently as the mabhouh judgement, but they have learned some lessons,

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. “Has NeverTrump pinpointed the exact winning strategy where everyone benefits the most?”

    Not that I’ve seen. Too busy hurling insults and poncing.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. I think those are unnecessary deaths at this time.

    Do we agree that this situation would not ever be resolved without necessary deaths? Or do you believe that a DMZ could be created on ancient tribal territories without any loss of life?

    BuDuh (f0cd3e)

  18. The subtext here seems to be pride. Hasn’t one of the arguments against Trumpers been that they’re making decisions out of some false sense of pride in America’s imagined greatness and that DJT is awful for playing on that sense of pride, i.e. @1. Is this same pride now supposed to make them turn on Trump because he’s letting Russian mercenaries stomp around in a former US military camp, sorry I mean base?

    What was that thing where someone takes a position they used to denounce? Does it get a different name when it’s being denounced and also used in the same conversation?

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97)

  19. “Has NeverTrump pinpointed the exact winning strategy where everyone benefits the most?”

    Has Trump? Not that I’ve seen. Too busy hurling insults and poncing. Literally poncing which is w**re-mongering, in his case.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. Hasn’t one of the arguments against Trumpers been that they’re making decisions out of some false sense of pride in America’s imagined greatness and that DJT is awful for playing on that sense of pride, i.e. @1.

    Nope. Just the opposite. The only thing you got right is the word “false”. Trump is a thing of shame not of pride; he is making America small not great; and it is an embarrassment that he got even one vote.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Has Trump? 

    Whataboutism is allowed again?

    I was asking what detailed plan NeverTrump provided.

    BuDuh (f0cd3e)

  22. And if I cared what you asked, I’d get myself elected President and show you.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. “I was asking what detailed plan NeverTrump provided.”

    You don’t have to be a director to be a movie critic.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  24. #20 — You beat me to the punch, nk, but that response was perfectly set up, wasn’t it?
    Somehow the burden can’t be on the president to act in a rational way, with a coherent plan and a steady hand. No, it’s everyone who criticizes him that’s to blame for not having solved the problem themselves.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  25. You don’t have to be a director to be a movie critic.

    You don’t have to put up with Trumpian word games, either.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. #13
    Thanks, DRJ. We differ on whether it is doable or not, and as long as Turkey considers factions of the Kurds to be terrorists, I think the hurdle is too large.

    BuDuh (f0cd3e) — 10/15/2019 @ 9:32 am
    It’s not just Turkey who considers factions of the Kurds to be terrorist…but, also the United States.

    The PKK is literally on the US terrorist list.

    The Syrian branch of the PKK is the Syrian Defense Force (SDF).

    Its one big furball of a mess with no clear lines.

    whembly (51f28e)

  27. I’ve been popping over to a website I used to read daily, as it seemed to be run by serious, thinking people. Now the dominant theme is: Our country is being destroyed by Trump-haters! The writers can’t bring themselves to scrutinize Trump himself, or even open their eyes to his glaringly obvious defects and misdeeds. And the one writer who has ventured gently into “maybe Trump wasn’t entirely right here” has always been met by a volley of invective: “RINO NeverTrumper!” “Your TDS is showing!”

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  28. 20… walks in his footsteps… literally.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  29. ponce
    /päns/
    noun
    1.
    INFORMAL•DEROGATORY
    an effeminate man.
    2.
    INFORMAL•BRITISH
    a man who lives off a prostitute’s earnings.
    verb
    1.
    INFORMAL•BRITISH
    ask for or obtain (something to which one is not strictly entitled).
    “I ponced a cigarette off her”
    2.
    INFORMAL•BRITISH
    live off a prostitute’s earnings.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. @22 You’re mistake is with allowed again.

    The rules of whataboutism are that it’s a perfect defense to protect a NeverTrump position from criticism and it’s a perfect criticism of anything not within the approved NeverTrump doctrine.

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97)

  31. and the mek was for a time, like I said I don’t think that’s really dispositive, if you’re a kurd, or even half kurd like Ocalan, what’s your alternative,

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. “Has NeverTrump pinpointed the exact winning strategy where everyone benefits the most?”

    Not that I’ve seen. Too busy hurling insults and poncing.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 10/15/2019 @ 9:56 am

    Sure. Last week we would have NOT PULLED OUT WITH ZERO NOTICE to the people who were our allies.

    There you go, by not doing the stupid thing Trump did this week is already better.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  33. 33… yes… your offering is on the fly and haven’t heard or read anything else from Bill Kristol, but yes, that’s a very good start!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. Trump has effed up big time here, vacuum is on…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. ‘Let’s see how they lived and what they ate…’

    Probably better than grade school kids in Detroit. What– a Rooskie’s never been to a surplus store, seen a MRE– or pizza commercials on ESPN?

    One of the gems today was a NBC report that the top Kurd general suggested a sense of betrayal as in a call w/Trump, he had a ‘guarantee’ that his ‘hometown’ would be ‘protected’ but it’s now surrounded. [Franklin, help protect Blenheim Palace and to hell with London and Coventry!]

    “Love For Sale”– two weeks ago these ‘characters’ were ‘allies,’ bought and paid for — today they’re cutting deals w/Al-Assad. Cats would make for better ‘allies’– as long as you keep feeding’em.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. 33… yes… your offering is on the fly and haven’t heard or read anything else from Bill Kristol, but yes, that’s a very good start!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 10/15/2019 @ 11:51 am

    I’m not sure if you’re saying I haven’t thought about this enough or mocking me for agreeing with Bill Kristol.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t follow his writing and it’s not for any good reason. I just find his stuff to be boring so I don’t read it.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  37. It is endlessly fascinating how no matter what Trump does, the same pundits will offer the same smokescreen defense. Trump literally made a situation drastically and instantly worse, and we’re asked of we had a better plan. Doing nothing was a much better plan, and we all can see this. His actions were a deeply dishonest betrayal, and we’re asked why the USA was obligated to behave morally.

    Had Trump done the exact opposite, and dumped another 2000 troops in, we’d be hearing from the very same people saying how critical it is to save the troops from war that it’s critical we send the troops to war.

    Probably better than grade school kids in Detroit. What– a Rooskie’s never been to a surplus store, seen a MRE– or pizza commercials on ESPN?

    You’re right. Our logistics are incredible. No other military can come close. That’s why we’ll beat any other Army, even if they superficially seem to have the same basic stuff (tanks, planes, etc). We can keep our troops fed and armed and even happy to some extent. I had a new MRE last week… they were good 20 years ago when I served but they are even better now.

    a NBC report that the top Kurd general suggested a sense of betrayal as in a call w/Trump, he had a ‘guarantee’ that his ‘hometown’ would be ‘protected’ but it’s now surrounded

    Who knows if this is true. In fact, I bet it’s a lie. But this is the new folklore of the Kurdish people. We just made an enemy that we’ve been relying heavily upon for quite a few years now. There’s no way around it: Trump made us weaker for reasons that make no sense, but in a way that benefits Russia tremendously. We can wave our arms about how Code Pink was right all along, and say fake news, and complain about Hillary Clinton, but if we pay attention, Trump keeps making America weaker and Russia stronger. It’s a clear and predictable trend.

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  38. Sure. Last week we would have NOT PULLED OUT WITH ZERO NOTICE to the people who were our allies.

    There you go, by not doing the stupid thing Trump did this week is already better.

    Time123 (ca85c9) — 10/15/2019 @ 11:46 am

    DRJ elegantly made this point at least twice in the previous thread. I made it too but certainly angrily and sloppily. It’s not a bumper sticker talking point. It’s common sense.

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  39. 37… no, I’m not mocking you. I’m agreeing that’s an obvious good start. Kristol is just an easy NeverTrump target, the ponce.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. “Has Trump? ”

    Whataboutism is allowed again?

    Cruz Supporter/BuDuh/Not sure who else,

    Trump is the current president. Asking what he’s doing or not doing at his current job is not a whatabout. Trump took this action that he was told would free ISIS, harm our allies, and help our enemies. Has he explained what he’s doing beyond your Code Pink argument that troops must not be over there? Has he explained why he’s sending more troops over to this part of the world? Have you criticized his doing so? Are you just going to play games to defend him, no matter what he does?

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  41. Kristol is just an easy NeverTrump target, the ponce.

    that’s true

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  42. @38 It is endlessly fascinating how no matter what Trump does, the same pundits will offer the same criticism. Trump literally could not have made a situation drastically and instantly worse.

    Had Trump done the exact opposite, and dumped another 2000 troops in, we’d be hearing from the very same people saying how he’s played into Putin’s plan/done something obviously impeachable/morally bankrupted the entire nation/etc.

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97)

  43. The base doesn’t bother me.
    Its been clear for some time that Assad was going to come out on top in the cival war due to the help he got from Russia. So the russians sooner or later were going to go to the forts, bases, outposts, airstrips we left behind and occupy them, sift through the rubble.

    I’m not embarrassed at all. US Soldiers should not be staked out like goats between the Kurds and the Turks. We can’t fight a NATO member. All we can do is sanction them

    steveg (354706)

  44. Jonah Goldberg-In his unconscionable betrayal of the Kurds, Trump was winging it — again
    …… Trump and the handful of surrogates willing to defend this grotesquerie are quite comfortable arguing about “endless wars” and “Trump’s mandate” as an abstract matter. I think they’re wrong in nearly every particular. But even engaging in debate on those terms is a gift to the president.

    Talk of “realism,” “America First” and “endless war” is a rhetorical safe harbor that works well on Twitter and cable news because it gives the impression that this is a serious conflict of philosophical perspectives. It overlooks the fact that even if you agree with all of that stuff, the fact remains this was a scandalously incompetent and reckless action. Fighting about the “policy” lets Trump off the hook for the bungled implementation. It’s like Democrats defending the botched Bay of Pigs operation by invoking the Monroe Doctrine……

    Rip Murdock (657d44)

  45. Had Trump done the exact opposite, and dumped another 2000 troops in, we’d be hearing from the very same people saying how he’s played into Putin’s plan/done something obviously impeachable/morally bankrupted the entire nation/etc.

    No we wouldn’t, at least not from the conservatives who post here.

    Dave (eaca7e)

  46. If Trump were a brave man who doesn’t appease and capitulate to Islamist dictators, there’s a good case for taking the PKK off the list of FTO’s and SDGT’s

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  47. The base doesn’t bother me.

    Of course it doesn’t.

    I’m not embarrassed at all.

    Of course you’re not.

    Dave (eaca7e)

  48. Had Trump done the exact opposite, and dumped another 2000 troops in, we’d be hearing from the very same people saying how he’s played into Putin’s plan/done something obviously impeachable/morally bankrupted the entire nation/etc.

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97) — 10/15/2019 @ 1:23 pm

    this is obviously not true. Trump actually happens to be really bad at what he’s doing. It’s not just that people are critical of him for no reason and he’s a victim in all things in his life. I’ve given Trump credit when he’s done a good job a few times. But on this, the way he abandoned friends after tricking them into being vulnerable so badly plays into Russia’s hands that it’s not defensible by honest people.

    I firmly believe Trump should fight ISIS. I have said so here many, many times and it’s easily searchable. I’ve criticized him for not doing enough, and recognized that there was a lot of success when there was, though his airstrike was very embarrassing (and also played by Russia’s rules more than ours).

    the idea that a stronger American presence allied with the Kurds would be called ‘pro-russia’ is absolutely bonkers. I suspect you don’t really understand Russia’s involvement in the region.

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  49. We can’t fight a NATO member. All we can do is sanction them

    steveg (354706) — 10/15/2019 @ 1:42 pm

    Why did our troops consider firing on the Turkish a few days ago when the Turkish fired ‘near’ them with artillery if self defense is impossible?

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  50. Trump literally made a situation drastically and instantly worse, and we’re asked of we had a better plan. Doing nothing was a much better plan, and we all can see this.

    True, it’s his typical, cackhanded style of non-consultation.

    It’s also worth noting that this “abandonment” of PKK fellow-travellers has been a long time coming, though.

    On a related note that Russian journalist/PMC might want to scoot. An area about 4 km away has been hit by Turkish artillery.

    It looks like there have been clashes between SNA and Assad loyalists throughout the northeast. Would think that there will be some sort of territorial settlement being hashed out – but wouldn’t be surprised if this fighting takes on a life of its own.

    JP (24566b)

  51. It’s also worth noting that this “abandonment” of PKK fellow-travellers has been a long time coming, though.

    Not an unfair point. And the Russians are probably being foolish. This place is a mess, and they really want it to be a mess so they can screw around, but now it’s their mess. They don’t have a good track record in the Middle East (not that we do).

    But there’s a way to exit that doesn’t burn bridges. You can’t please them all or be perfect, but no effort was made to treat our allies with gratitude or respect. In fact, we treated them like we want the worst for them, and that’s hardly going to help us when we ask for help.

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  52. I had a new MRE last week… they were good 20 years ago when I served but they are even better now.

    I based on a couple Canadian MoD bases after 9-11 and I was frankly flaberghasted in how tasty their IMP’s are. The Australian’s are pretty decent too, way better than ours. A nice little trade happened between the coalition in Afghanistan if you weren’t on a base with one of the contractor caf’s, which were poor, but sometimes you’d get some pizza, which was fine. Except if you were trading with the Scandinavians or the former Soviet republics, gross jellied fish paste in a tube.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  53. There is no you in we being great

    steveg (354706)

  54. This place is a mess, and they really want it to be a mess so they can screw around, but now it’s their mess.

    Apparently the departing Americans left Coke and some whiteboard trash talk in Cyrillic script.

    Russian contractors and Turkish regulars probably have a sense of humour about that.

    … but no effort was made to treat our allies with gratitude or respect.

    Par for the course, under both Obama and Trump. This particular move being particularly dismal even by Trump’s coarse standards.

    JP (24566b)

  55. the Russians have a long standing relationship with Syria, since hafez assad in 1970, the Iranians became the key proxy after the revolution,

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. Dave

    I’ve been clear I am unhappy Trump left the Kurds to the Turks, but once the invasion began, I don’t think US troops you be ordered to stay between the two warring parties.
    The US has intervened between Kurds and Russian mercenaries, its warned off the Syrians.
    The Turks are a NATO ahem ally and once Trumps bluff was called he had to fold and wait for a new hand.
    Trump screwed this up.
    I agree we should get out of the region, but this is an example of how not to.

    But the base? Meh. Propaganda value only. The close Assad allies in Russian were always going to be able to access our old positions within the sovereign nation of Syria.
    It happened sooner than I’d have liked and under worse circumstances, but its not like we were overrun by Cossacks.
    They probably have already taken over some old British stuff as well

    steveg (354706)

  57. history didn’t begin this week:

    https://twitter.com/JordanSchachtel/status/1184185615035916296

    narciso (d1f714)

  58. Do we agree that this situation would not ever be resolved without necessary deaths? Or do you believe that a DMZ could be created on ancient tribal territories without any loss of life?

    BuDuh (f0cd3e) — 10/15/2019 @ 10:11 am

    I am not a military strategist, historian or expert but our military did amazing things in Kuwait-Iraq. Nevertheless, I agree it is likely that this or any significant military action in the Middle East will involve deaths.

    DRJ (15874d)

  59. so maybe there was something else about the presentation,

    https://theothermccain.com/2019/10/15/things-go-badly-after-ivy-league-author-lectures-about-white-privilege/

    I’ve become jaundiced about the gulf war, since Kuwait and the kingdom were the lead beneficiaries, we know how the kingdom repayed us, but ksm and ramzi Yousef were Kuwaiti nationals

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. Another likely unintended consequence to consider after leaving the Kurds, is happens now when we need allies in the ME, or anywhere else? Who is going to put any value or trust in the US, let alone fight proxy wars? This all seems so short-sighted and impulsive, and so like Trump.

    Dana (05f22b)

  61. Breaking:
    Appeals court revives emoluments suit against Trump
    A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland brought against President Donald Trump in which they alleged that he violated the Constitution’s ban on federal officials profiting from dealings with foreign and state governments.

    The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Va., announced on Tuesday that the full bench of the court would hear arguments Dec. 12 on Trump’s effort to stymie the litigation filed in a federal court in Maryland in 2017 and focused largely on patronage of his luxury Trump International Hotel in the nation’s capital.

    The announcement of the “en banc” rehearing effectively set aside a ruling that a three-judge panel of the same appeals court had issued in July. …..

    Rip Murdock (657d44)

  62. Just keep repeating:

    Things are bad because of Trump. He did (or didn’t) take the experts/Liberal/Never-Trumper advice and now everything is screwed up. If only he had listened to us, or some anonymous internet guy, it would’ve been OK. Of course, we’ve been busy, so we only give our opinions AFTER the fact, and we’re always right, because no one remembers when we’re wrong or reports it.

    Anyway, Orange man bad and if the country is prosperous and at peace – Trump had ZERO to do with it. Please listen to Erick Erickson or Senator Lindsey Graham next time – Trump.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  63. Why does the State of MD have standing to sue the POTUS for violating the emoluments clause?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  64. Sorry ignore #64. Basically, the Federal Judiciary can do anything it wants. I forgot that.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  65. Or, alternatively, Trump could participate in, be prepared, and pay attention to military briefings, instead of winging it on calls with foreign leaders.

    DRJ (15874d)

  66. The difference between @47 and @50 seems, at least to me, worth noting.

    @47 Is basically the response I’ve given when an overbroad brush is applied to me. And it has the benefit of being accurate. There are conservatives here who aren’t NeverTrump. The overbroad brush is the risk of using very same people instead of going with NeverTrump or finding a more careful way to word it.

    @50 The comment you are replying to wasn’t about Russia or the Kurds. It was about NeverTrump. There’s no reason to suggest I’m ignorant of Russian involvement in Syria because I could be completely ignorant about the entire issue and still correctly predict responses. You say it is obvious that a NeverTrumper couldn’t find a way to criticize Trump for staying in Syria. Are you sure about that? Before this recent issue, a post about US forces in Syria would have gotten at least one post about Trump breaking his promise to get us out. A post about a troop increase certainly would have. I think one of the comments about putting troops in SA did get something to that effect.

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97)

  67. Maryland and DC claim hotels in the DC area had been harmed by foreign government officials spending money at the Trump International Hotel and by having to compete with a hotel that could unfairly benefit from access to Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  68. Who is going to put any value or trust in the US, let alone fight proxy wars?

    A key takeaway is that the US probably shouldn’t associate with non-state proxies categorized as terror organisations by US law, and if so, only at arm’s length.

    It doesn’t help that US policy in the region seems to be hopelessly muddled and bedeviled by a general lack of strategic thinking.

    Things are bad because of Trump.

    Don’t encourage him.

    JP (24566b)

  69. @38. Dustin, everybody in the Middle East is the ‘enemy.’ America has no ‘friends’ there; no “allies” – only interests; chiefly business interests. They’ll all turn on a dime– especially when the dimes and dollars stop coming their way. Hell, we sell them all arms to fight– then they hustle us to pay them not to fight. The tribes and carpet bazaar clans have been scoring that scam on empires and assorted nations that come and go there for centuries; they’ve been squabbling over the rocks and sand for 2,000 years. These days their chief export is terror; they’re only manufactured product: rubble. And the corporate armies of the past 100 years or so are mainly interested only in what’s under it: petroleum. If I had a dollar for every time my late old man came back from a month away trying to do deals w/those scumbags I could buy the internet. It’s the only time in my life I ever saw him, a mature, sensible, senior oil executive, come home and literally throw his battered, grey American Tourister briefcase across the living room and b-tch for an about the exasperation of trying to talk and deal w/all those b-stards. If the place had noting but feldspar and granite beneath it, America wouldn’t give a damn– or waste a dollar or life over the place. And they know it. Like I said: cats would make for better “allies” — as long as you keep feeding them.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. It was about NeverTrump.

    Frosty, that’s a group that only exists in your head. The entire concept is intended to explain why people criticize Trump when Trump does nothing wrong. Trump’s critics on the right have super reasons to criticize him. He spends a lot. He has really messed up ethically. He is helping our nation’s enemies. He ruined immigration reform for a generation. He failed on his promises on spending and Obamacare. His economic policies are big government interventions that many conservatives believe get in the way of prosperity in the long term, but that’s a globalist view that not all conservatives share.

    On the plus, he definitely appointed terrific judges. And that’s a really big plus.

    But if Trump were ethical and honest, and balanced the budget, and didn’t help Russia, and actually made some of these ‘great deals’ he promised to get even a kinda OK deal on immigration, I would vote for him. hell, I’d vote for him if he did two of the above list and was running against any plausible democrat.

    You say it is obvious that a NeverTrumper couldn’t find a way to criticize Trump for staying in Syria.

    No I didn’t say that. In fact, many of the people criticizing Trump for pulling out the way he did, would support pulling out in a less idiotic fashion (and of course, Trump IS STAYING IN SYRIA NOW BECAUSE HE FLIP FLOPS A LOT). Of course, as Dave noted, now that he’s made everyone in the area really mad at us, the troops staying in Syria are in a much more dangerous situation. Bu Duh’s concerns justifying the withdrawal are now a somewhat fair criticism of Trump (not that I expect Buduh to criticize Trump for keeping all these troops in syria).

    Doing A or the opposite of A is usually better than trying to do both because you are basing decisions on what tucker Carlson is saying on the TEEVEE.

    but I absolutely and sincerely pray for Donald Trump to be successful as our president. I want to say he’s doing a good job. I want to say I was wrong. I love my country very much.

    Dustin (b7f1c1)

  71. well lets consider what came before,

    It became known on 4 September 2015 that ISIL had destroyed three of the best preserved tower tombs including the Tower of Elahbel.[144] On 5 October 2015, news media reported that ISIL was destroying buildings with no religious meaning, including the monumental arch.[145] On 20 January 2017, news emerged that the militants had destroyed the tetrapylon and part of the theater.[146] Following the March 2017 capture of Palmyra by the Syrian Army, Maamoun Abdulkarim, director of antiquities and museums at the Syrian Ministry of Culture, stated that the damage to ancient monuments may be lesser than earlier believed and preliminary pictures showed almost no further damage than what was already known.[147] Antiquities official Wael Hafyan stated that the Tetrapylon was badly damaged while the damage to the facade of the Roman theatre was less serious.[148]

    narciso (d1f714)

  72. how about the main event,

    In March 2013, during the Syrian Civil War, Islamist jihadist militants from Al-Nusra Front and other groups (including the Free Syrian Army[3]) overran the government loyalists in the city during the Battle of Raqqa and declared it under their control after they had taken the central square and pulled down the statue of the former president of Syria, Hafez al-Assad.[14]

    narciso (d1f714)

  73. 67… they’re just winning hearts and minds… or at least their version of it. It’s a calling.

    68… but they would claim that, wouldn’t they. Death by a thousand ten thousand cuts.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  74. if the Clinton’s owned a hotel, they would strongly suggest they participate, we saw what the Clinton foundation, and who funded it, we know the overlap between them and the atlantic council, you remember the atlantic council during the hagel follies,

    narciso (d1f714)

  75. no, you don’t you would rather cut your tongue out, I’m not crazy about this particular stratagem, as I’ve made clear, but I don’t see anyone seriously having put forth an alternative, my file on Erdogan is very long, he has sheltered al queda financiers like yasin, he has used gulen’s network not only to take over the Turkish military, but control the diaspora in places like germany, and has considerable influence in this country, through the educational system, his erstwhile salafi associate, has a very strong base in this congress,

    narciso (d1f714)

  76. They’ll all turn on a dime– especially when the dimes and dollars stop coming their way. Hell, we sell them all arms to fight– then they hustle us to pay them not to fight. The tribes and carpet bazaar clans have been scoring that scam on empires and assorted nations that come and go there for centuries; they’ve been squabbling over the rocks and sand for 2,000 years.

    The Desert Irish are indeed specimens of savage cunning and bestial aspect

    It is said that they lay grenades by the litter and cannot breed in the absence of cardamom

    Why some of them have even fallen so low as to move near Jews, in MIAMI

    Habibi I tell you their turpitude knows no bounds

    JP (24566b)

  77. Pence, Giuliani will not cooperate with impeachment inquiry

    We’ll soon see how fake these subpoenas are.

    Rip Murdock (657d44)

  78. #66 neither you nor I are “in the military briefings” on Syria and neither of us have the slightest read idea what Trump is told or not told.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  79. Of course, as Dave noted, now that he’s made everyone in the area really mad at us, the troops staying in Syria are in a much more dangerous situation.

    Turkey, Russia, Assad, and ISIS were ALREADY mad at us. The only people who are added to the list are the Kurds who wanted to use us to keep their conflict with Turkey going. You need to understand that Trump is REACTING to what Turkey is doing. He’s not OK’d sanctions, so the balls in Turkey’s court. And they can do anything they want – if they want to pay the economic price. We are NOT going to war with Turkey over syria.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  80. He’s not OK’d sanctions – should be “He just OK’d sanctions.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  81. All this never Trumper stuff like Erickson’s recent remarks is just childish Romper-room stuff. We’re not God, Syria is complicated, there are no good options, and the choices aren’t binary. All these neo-cons shooting their mouths off like Kristol, Erickson, and Bulwark Boys just increases my contempt for them. No adult analysis, no desire to inform, no long range thinking, no interest in what’s good for America. Susan Rice’s comments were just as bad.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  82. Too much talk.
    Trump is yellow.
    Trump is a double-crosser.
    That’s all.

    PS Impeach the mother-figure!

    nk (dbc370)

  83. there are no good options

    I can think of good options. For example, we keep supporting our friends who are doing all the heavy lifting to stop an incredible threat, and when we need to stop doing that, which is not right now but someday, we leave as nicely as we can, but with a firm and clear explanation of when and how, instead of saying we’ll establish a safe zone and immeadiately after defenses are lowered giving the green light to islamists turning that into a kill zone. That was a good option.

    Impeaching a president proven to be colluding with Russia, so our executive is not betraying the American people is also a good option.

    So there’s two for the price of one!

    Dustin (6d7686)

  84. I think it is likely Trump was told in his military briefings that it would not be good to let Turkey invade Syria. It probably went something like this:

    We oppose Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria because it puts our SDF partners in harm’s way. It risks the security of ISIS prison camps, and will further destabilize the region.

    It is true I don’t know what was said, nor do you, but I think this is a good guess.

    DRJ (15874d)

  85. “ Impeaching a president proven to be colluding with Russia”

    Never gets old!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  86. I suspect that Trump assumes he is being given flawed information, massaged to support the Establishment position, and discounts it accordingly.

    Kishnevi (2009b0)

  87. “ Impeaching a president proven to be colluding with Russia”

    Never gets old!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 10/15/2019 @ 5:40 pm

    He did it on national TV, and the investigation was very clear. I know Ace of Spades and AG Barr lied that ‘no collusion’ was a proven result, but they were lying as usual.

    And you are right. It never gets old.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  88. Oh yeah, and then he attempted to do the same thing in this election. Only an absolute hack would deny it at this point. Everyone who covered for the last round is complicit in the second round.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  89. DRJ

    I think Trump said something along the lines of:
    “There will always be reasons to stay and whether we leave now or leave later there will be problems. I say we leave now and deal with it now” But he didn’t see Erdogan calling his bluff.
    Erdogan showed his true colors (if they were ever in doubt) and Trump has one more person on his “I hate you list”.
    Trump will probably try to push this all onto Europe, repeating we are 7000 miles away over and over until Snopes finally gives up and measures it to the meter, giving Trump a “false” on the fact check

    steveg (354706)

  90. whether we leave now or leave later there will be problems.

    He had literally just promised the Kurds they would be safe. “Safe” is literally the word he used. They took down defenses. Trump’s timing is obviously intended to get as many Kurds wiped out as possible. You don’t promise someone’s safe to get them to drop their guard, and then get your buddy to sucker punch them, unless those ideas were related.

    So any interpretation of this that is just ‘we had to leave and that’s that’ without considering it as an action against the Kurds is inherently unreasonable.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  91. Dave
    Just for you
    Its 6,323 miles
    Of course Trump rounded up 10%… what did you expect him to do?

    steveg (354706)

  92. Trump will probably try to push this all onto Europe, repeating we are 7000 miles away over and over until Snopes finally gives up and measures it to the meter, giving Trump a “false” on the fact check

    It’s not an actual falsehood. DC to Damascus is about 5800 miles. So anyplace 1200 miles west of DC, meaning the West Coast and several western states, would be 7000 miles distant from Syria.
    When he said 7000, he was probably remembering what he had heard about Afghanistan, which is 7000 miles away (DC to Kabul is just over 6900 miles).

    Kishnevi (2009b0)

  93. I suspect that Trump assumes he is being given flawed information, massaged to support the Establishment position, and discounts it accordingly.

    I think you’re making it too complicated. Mr. “I alone can fix it” “I know more than the generals do” simply believes that whatever comes out of his own brain or gut is smarter than what anyone else can tell him. Former military officers have said that Trump really isn’t interested in hearing advice.

    Many people try to explain (or explain away) Trump’s bizarre statements and chaotic actions in terms of what a normal, rational person would do. And that requires intellectual contortion and contradiction. Everything is clearer when one acknowledges that Trump is a textbook case of narcissistic psychopathology — as actual psychiatrists have been saying for years, but a reasonably perceptive person without any psychiatric expertise can see that there’s something really messed up in his psychology.

    Radegunda (d2a4ef)

  94. It was about NeverTrump.

    Frosty, that’s a group that only exists in your head. The entire concept is intended to explain why people criticize Trump when Trump does nothing wrong.

    Frosty, NeverTrump is real, they’re the “true conservative” folks who constantly yammer about collusion and repeatedly ask “when are you going to turn on Trump!?!?”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  95. The defense force stands ready to defend dear leader from the nevertrump menace in their minds, 24/7/365.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  96. Pelosi just declared ‘oakland’ there is nothing there.

    narciso (d1f714)

  97. I think that he gave the Kurds promises and when Erdogan called his bluff, he could not keep the promises he made.
    I’m not saying its not on Trump. It is absolutely on him. If you want out of an endless war and take an action, good, bad, ugly, you own it. He should have made sure that Erdogan was absolutely onboard. As it sits now, like I said before, Trumps bluff was called and Trump lost the hand. The only thing Trump can do now is have a new hand dealt and put leverage on the dealer to get him a royal flush pronto. That said, and to mix up metaphors, the problem with getting the genie back into the bottle, is you let it out of the bottle. Who the F lets the genie out? Everyone knows you never let the genie out of the bottle.
    Like I said before, Trump has about a week to get this back on track.

    steveg (354706)

  98. Dustin

    Mattis said this about Biden on Iraq, Syria and ISIS; “‘He was past the point where he was willing to entertain a ‘good idea.’ He didn’t want to hear more; he wanted our forces out of Iraq. Whatever path led there fastest, he favored. He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly.’”
    I think it sounds I lot like Trump as well. In some ways Biden and Trump are two peas from the opposite end of the same pod

    steveg (354706)

  99. The Defense Dept is trying to undo the damage:

    Turkey’s invasion has upended one of the only success stories in the Middle East: the defeat of the ISIS physical caliphate. It also makes any resolution to the long-running Syrian civil war more problematic.

    “What we’re trying to do now is … restore the situation as best we can via ceasefire, by a reconciliation of the various interests that are in play at this time in the Northeast,” one administration official said.

    The players in northeastern Syria include the mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been allied with the United States; Turkish regular forces; Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces; Russian forces; Iranian-backed militias; and American forces, who are being withdrawn.

    The GOP would be united about this if Obama had done it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  100. The GOP would be united about this if Obama had done it.

    What do you mean, “if”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  101. True.

    DRJ (15874d)

  102. It does seem familiar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  103. Dustin

    Tulsi Gabbard says it well

    Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war,” Gabbard added.

    The key part right now is Trumps hands and the blood on them. Trump is the only person who can undo the mess he made, but my guess is he tries to pawn it off on Europe, to see if they can fix it without him (then it turns into their hot potato)

    steveg (354706)

  104. Maybe she should stay in indonesia, there have been airstrikes against syria, but ot aiming toward regime change.

    narciso (d1f714)

  105. Greenfield tweeted during the Dem debate… https://twitter.com/greenfield64/status/1184279687872180225

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  106. Oh.
    If perchance Europe does step in an do well?
    Trump will take credit saying he knew they could handle it all along.
    He’ll toss the hot potato to them and then claim the credit for giving them the opportunity to succeed.
    That said I’d still vote for Trump over Biden or Warren or Sanders or Beto or Mayor Pete or Hillary, or Harris

    steveg (354706)

  107. I mentioned what happen in #74 and #75, when we pulled out iraq entirely, so the predators moved to syria.

    narciso (d1f714)

  108. #105
    I know, but I didn’t want to strip the quote of overall context

    steveg (354706)

  109. No excuses for Trump’s eff-up move – having a week to correct things may be optimistic – but an untenable situation can’t be easy to deal with.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  110. Some great comments, steveg. You’re right that Trump alone is not at fault for much that I care about. Obama did a poor job. I think Bush did a great job and it’s not really recognized properly because of how poor his successors are.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  111. Oh crap, nk. Jeez this administration’s planning is on par with a sharknado plot.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  112. No excuses for Trump’s eff-up move – having a week to correct things may be optimistic – but an untenable situation can’t be easy to deal with.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 10/15/2019 @ 8:07 pm

    Every complicated problem has a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong. If there we an easy fix, it would have been fixed already. In some cases the best you can do is not make it any worse.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  113. This is what the Dems are doing on health care. A simple obvious solution (Medicare For All) that will have a thousand new problems. Since most people have a status quo bias in their decision making the dems are going to get blasted if they actually do it.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  114. #114

    Trump may be a short-sighted buffoon, but this is [probably] not a credible threat. It may even give credence to American versions of the “deep state” conspiracist thinking that dominates much of Turkey’s political conversation.

    First, the US and UK militaries have dealt with this same issue under far worse circumstances in 1974, in both Turkey and Greece. To the best of my knowledge neither Athens nor Ankara made any real logistical effort towards obtaining these weapons, and in any event, the respective nuclear weapons were quickly secured by both 6th Fleet and British forces at Akotiri.

    Second, one has to ask if certain components for these weapons, or the weapons themselves, have been left in place following the 2016 coup attempt. I would think this is a crucial thing to establish.

    Third, assuming those crucial components and the relevant nuclear weapons are in fact in place, US forces have the capacity to deny access to those facilities.

    Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, any party that managed to get access to these weapons would have to get around the B61 Permissive Action Link. The PAL is a coded limited try system; too many incorrect attempts to access the PAL render the weapon incapable of arming.

    JP (24566b)

  115. Perhaps if there was conflict in western turkey

    https://mobile.twitter.com/trish_regan/status/1184262506593828866

    narciso (d1f714)

  116. @114 The comments on some of those “news” articles are priceless. They’re usually much more informative and entertaining than the article.

    Frosty, Fp (f27e97)

  117. He was a popular source last year:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ragipsoylu/status/1184436830361530369

    narciso (d1f714)

  118. You’re right, of course. We have nothing to worry about. If Turkey seizes our nuclear weapons, Mr. Trump the President who is Donald will destroy its economy.

    nk (dbc370)

  119. BuDuh,

    Following up on my comment 59, there is an argument that Trump’s actions will cost American lives:

    “I can’t even look at the atrocities,” an Army officer who served in Syria last year said of videos posted online of Turkish-backed fighters executing Kurdish civilians. “The ISIS mission is going to stop, ISIS is going to have a resurgence, and we’re going to have to go back in five years and do it all again.”

    He added that while he was in the Middle East, military officials at the Pentagon sometimes discussed with officers in the field how they could craft a compelling case for Trump to stay longer while a thoughtful exit strategy could be designed.

    “I remember hearing, ‘How are we going to phrase terms to convince Trump not to go off a cliff?’ ” the officer said. “It’s like, ‘How do you steer him to the right decision and not where he wants to go?’”

    It is a good thing to have the determination to follow through on promises, but it is bad to do it in a foolhardy way.

    DRJ (15874d)

  120. DRJ (15874d) — 10/15/2019 @ 8:45 am

    I think the security mechanism (scuttled by Trump) could have created a demilitarized zone between Turkey and Syria which the U.N. could have taken over for humanitarian reasons,

    The UN only works when the principal (sp?) parties agree.

    The status quo, with U.S. troops acting asa tripwire, was working.

    What Erdogan wanted – a “safe zone: within Syria into which to deport hundreds of thoussands of Syrian refugees, is probably not going to happen, and it wouldn’t be safe, nor economically viable because nobody is going to locate factories there.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  121. The problem is that nternational law, and even U.S. law, is on the side of the murderers and the torturers. From one pint of view, the U.S. troops there in Syria are illegitimate.

    Trump tried to stick to pretend principles – that the U.S. troops should only be used to fight ISIS.

    It’s a little like Abraham Lincoln saying he on;y wanted to preserve the Union – and anything he did agains slaverym was only if and when it could help protect the Union. That didn’t work then and this isn’t working either.

    In order to do destroy ISIS, people at lower ranks, had to promise the Kurds they would protect them ad in retrn the Kurds would not attack Turkey or anything in Turkey. So they are persona;; compromised. The mistake perhaps was in getting ahead of the president.

    In the meantime, if the Kurds are on;y helped while they are of some use in fighting ISIS, t is not in their interest to utterly destroy ISIS, so they didn’t habdn over all the high value prisoners the U.S. wanted, and let some ISIS prisoners escape (although at first apparently releasing common criminals, which isn’t good either)

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  122. “Mr. Trump the President who is Donald will destroy its economy.”

    When he said this, I think he was reminiscing back to the time he ate a whole turkey.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  123. 123. The lower ranking people got ahead of the president of the United States and made promises that he was not committed to. They really did expect to stay longer; therefore the abandoned base.

    Sammy Finkelman (3ce3e5)

  124. If Turkey seizes our nuclear weapons, Mr. Trump the President who is Donald will destroy its economy.

    Only Nixon could go to China

    Only Recep could golf at Trump’s

    Wait

    JP (24566b)

  125. To put a nice point on Trump’s moronic thought process, here’s his letter from last week from Trump to Erdogan, you know, right after he OK’d Turkish incursions into Syria. He’s incapable of understanding the duty’s of the presidency, he’s unfit for office, purely on his lack of mental capacity.

    Oh, we bombed our own base today to keep it from adversaries hands.

    His Excellency
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    President of the Republic of Turkey
    Ankara
    Dear Mr. President:

    Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. I’ve already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson.

    I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.

    History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!

    I will call you later.

    Sincerely,

    A complete moron (DonnieJ)

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5418 secs.