Shortforbob

Immediate withdrawal from Syria

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1 hour ago, BrickTopHarry said:

Oh I just can't wait for the tweets!  Donny's gonna have a special day today.

It's called "crying over spilt milk".

It's all over. Assad has won and Putin is the hero.

The US has withdrawn from Syria and thus no longer have any influence there.

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10 minutes ago, dorydude said:

It's called "crying over spilt milk".

It's all over. Assad has won and Putin is the hero.

The US has withdrawn from Syria and thus no longer have any influence there.

Russia has just helpfully offered to mediate a solution in Syria.

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21 minutes ago, Fakenews said:

Russia has just helpfully offered to mediate a solution in Syria.

Trumps been a good pet of the PootyPoot

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32 minutes ago, dorydude said:

It's called "crying over spilt milk".

It's all over. Assad has won and Putin is the hero.

The US has withdrawn from Syria and thus no longer have any influence there.

Pretty much. Maybe it will be the nail in the coffin of the Trump *residency.

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1 hour ago, Fakenews said:

Trump has sent a very beautiful letter to Ergodan and it’s all over Twitter.

LOL

https://twitter.com/search?q=trump+letter+to+erdogan&ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^search

He is the best deal maker in the GOP.  His steadfast leadership provides The Party with a steady hand on the tiller. 

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27 minutes ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

He is the best deal maker in the GOP.  His steadfast leadership provides The Party with a steady hand on the tiller. 

Maybe not all that steady...

EHBu6irUEAAvsmG.png

This a joke, but sadly, not a joke.

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1 hour ago, Left Shift said:

Maybe not all that steady...

EHBu6irUEAAvsmG.png

This a joke, but sadly, not a joke.

Ergodan had a good laugh.  Probably read it twice and wiped his ass with it given that it was written on the ninth and Turkey’s been pillaging the Kurds for more than a week.

Today Trump meekly said Turkey in Syria is not our problem so I guess the bit about ruining their economy was pure BS

Ergodan moved like a BOSS on Trump.

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Trump is the most majestic, and wise being on earth. He knows how the stars work, and why the sky is blue. He's the smartest man he knows, and believe me, he has known lots of men....

 

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1 hour ago, Navig8tor said:

Reads like it was written by a car salesman with a deal for you.

Only on an exploding Ford Pinto.  

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2 hours ago, Navig8tor said:

Reads like it was written by a car salesman with a deal for you.

Like an evil Joe Isuzu.

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Surely if the withdrawal is such a big problem Congress could just vote to send the boys back in. I was under the impression that war type things were their job, so instead of looking for sound bites and photo ops, why doesn't congress step up to the plate.

Or is this the real problem, Congress has abdicated it's responsibilities for so long it has forgotten them. Well as a quick note, whining is not one of them and making decisions is.

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5 hours ago, Gissie said:

Surely if the withdrawal is such a big problem Congress could just vote to send the boys back in. I was under the impression that war type things were their job, so instead of looking for sound bites and photo ops, why doesn't congress step up to the plate.

Or is this the real problem, Congress has abdicated it's responsibilities for so long it has forgotten them. Well as a quick note, whining is not one of them and making decisions is.

 

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8 hours ago, Gissie said:

Surely if the withdrawal is such a big problem Congress could just vote to send the boys back in. I was under the impression that war type things were their job, so instead of looking for sound bites and photo ops, why doesn't congress step up to the plate.

Or is this the real problem, Congress has abdicated it's responsibilities for so long it has forgotten them. Well as a quick note, whining is not one of them and making decisions is.

Surely, it would be unconstitutional for Congress to declare war.

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15 hours ago, Saorsa said:

Surely, it would be unconstitutional for Congress to declare war.

Depends on which constitution you use.

If it that most exceptional document devised by some Americans years ago, then the answer would appear to be no.

If you use the one that the present Congress seems to use, then the answer would be yes.

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Bring the troops home? Not so much. More like a retreat -

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/defense-chief-us-troops-leaving-syria-western-iraq-66398846

Excerpt -

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under current plans all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. But he said those details will be worked out over time.

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I do not support Trump. I think he is terrible. I did not vote for him. But bringing the troops home from Syria is the right thing to do and he promised to do it. Bringing the troops home is key.   Wait. What I meant to say was moving the troops from Syria to Iraq is the right thing to do. 

I would be more flexible about it if I supported Trump, but I don’t.

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6 hours ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

I do not support Trump. I think he is terrible. I did not vote for him. But bringing the troops home from Syria is the right thing to do and he promised to do it. Bringing the troops home is key.   Wait. What I meant to say was moving the troops from Syria to Iraq is the right thing to do. 

I would be more flexible about it if I supported Trump, but I don’t.

We apparently still have troops in Syria, just on the other side of Syria. Try to incorporate that next time.

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I'm sick about this whole Syria debacle thing.  On the one hand, abandoning the kurds to die was/is absolutely shameful.  They've been stalwart allies since the beginning of the whole Daesh thing.  If we made promises to them to stick with them to finish the job, then we should have honored that.  

OTOH, at some point - this is not our fight alone.  I suspect that in the absence of the Turk invasion - we were likely going to be engaged there for many more years.  Likely another decade.  It doesn't have to always be our fight.  I am not aware of any EU or other NATO ground forces of any significance on the ground there yet Europe is the biggest target for Daesh terrorist attacks.  Why are we doing all their dirty work for them?

I do absolutely think Turkey should be kicked out of NATO.  Fuck them.  They are not our friends and haven't been for a while.  

 

I have said before that this required diplomacy, but our diplomatic Corp is currently on loan to the Committee to ReElect the President.

I agree about Turkey. They are not our friends. When the day comes when we do not have a President with a personal stake in staying in their strongman’s good graces, we can stop nuzzling his cinnamon ring. 

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2 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I'm sick about this whole Syria debacle thing.  On the one hand, abandoning the kurds to die was/is absolutely shameful.  They've been stalwart allies since the beginning of the whole Daesh thing.  If we made promises to them to stick with them to finish the job, then we should have honored that.  

I'm sick of the whole meddling thing, which has gone on far longer.

Speaking of which, I dimly recall Bush's war in Iraq (H, not W) and some encouragement given to Kurds to overthrow him just after we smashed all his tanks and stuff. They had a go at it and then we kinda gave that whole idea the "nevermind" treatment, after which it was even less fun to be a Kurd under Saddam's rule.

Then Trump campaigned on leaving Syria. Then, ten months ago, he immediately withdrew. Then, finally, a partial withdrawal occurred, though we remain in Syria. Then everyone acted YUGELY surprised by this development.

I admit that it's a pretty serious break with tradition for an American President who has campaigned on less meddling to actually take a half-hearted, blundering step in the direction of actually keeping that campaign promise. But Trump did it. In a halfassed Trump way, but the idea that Kurds are shocked, shocked I tell you, by this "sudden" development is nonsense.

We look around for groups who are at odds with their government when we want to meddle. Kurds have fit the bill since H was President.

As for the noble Kurds vs deplorable Turks narrative, our noble Kurdish allies have, or at least had, thousands of women and kids in concentration camps. That's sometimes bad, you know. It also sometimes results in another generation of terrorists who have a beef with the US.

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Trump does what he always does. He lies.

 "We're bringing our troops home from Syria!"

 "Well no, actually, we're just putting them in a more dangerous place, fighting the same people, but w/o our Kurdish allies to get our back......"

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2 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I am not aware of any EU or other NATO ground forces of any significance on the ground there yet Europe is the biggest target for Daesh terrorist attacks.  Why are we doing all their dirty work for them?

The only people who wanted america stirring up terrorists in Syria was america. They would rather you weren't doing dirty work either, but unfortunately it seems to be a bit of a hobby.

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1 minute ago, Battlecheese said:

The only people who wanted america stirring up terrorists in Syria was america. They would rather you weren't doing dirty work either, but unfortunately it seems to be a bit of a hobby.

Since when do you need to be related to the little old lady getting beat up by the thugs outside the grocery store?

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2 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

Since when do you need to be related to the little old lady getting beat up by the thugs outside the grocery store?

Where the little old lady is the Syrian population and the thugs are all the loonies paid by america?

In this picture america is also beating up on the little old lady.

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This is a credible source. 

 https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/10/16/fearing-us-abandonment-kurds-kept-back-channels-wide-open/

The Russians started setting this up some time ago. Get the Kurds to accept Syrian rule, because the US would abandon them. 

 

 I'd say the quick reaction of the Syrian Army to move to where they did this week shows they too have been creating contingency plans. 

They are drawing the line at Kobani: 

 https://www.wwnytv.com/2019/10/19/trump-touts-turkey-cease-fire-even-it-appears-shaky/

 
Quote

 

By MEHMET GUZEL and SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press | October 19, 2019 at 1:00 AM EDT - Updated October 20 at 1:47 AM

By KARL RITTER and SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Syrian government forces to move out of areas near the Turkish border so he can resettle up to 2 million refugees there, his spokesman told The Associated Press on Saturday. The request will top Erdogan's talks next week with Syria's ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Arrangements along the Syrian-Turkish border were thrown into disarray after the U.S. pulled its troops out of the area, opening the door to Turkey's invasion aiming to drive out Kurdish-led fighters it considers terrorists.

Abandoned by their American allies, the Kurds — with Russia's mediation — invited Damascus to send troops into northeastern Syria as protection from Turkish forces. That has complicated Turkey's plan to create a "safe zone" along the border, where it can resettle Syrian refugees now in Turkey. Most of those refugees fled Syria's government.

Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara does not want either Syrian forces nor Kurdish fighters in the border area because refugees would not go back to areas under their control.

Turkey has said it wants to oversee that area.

"This is one of the topics that we will discuss with the Russians, because, again, we are not going to force any refugees to go to anywhere they don't want to go," he said. "We want to create conditions that will be suitable for them to return where they will feel safe."

Turkey has taken in about 3.6 million Syrians fleeing the conflict in their homeland but now wants most of them to return. So far, very few have returned to an enclave Turkey already took over and has controlled since 2017.

Under an agreement made by the U.S. and Turkey Thursday, a five-day cease-fire has been in place. Turkey expects the Kurdish fighters to pull back from a border area.

A senior Syrian Kurdish official acknowledged for the first time that the Kurdish-led forces agreed to the pull-back, stating that his forces will move 30-kilometer (19 miles) south of the border.

Redur Khalil, a senior Syrian Democratic Forces official, told the AP that the withdrawal will take place once Turkey allows the Kurdish-led force to evacuate its fighters and civilians from Ras al-Ayn, a border town under siege by Turkish-backed forces. He said that Kurdish-led force was preparing plans to conduct that evacuation on Sunday, if there are no further delays.

Khalil said Kurdish-led fighters would pull back from a 120-kilometer (75-mile) stretch along the border from Ras al-Ayn to Tal Abyad, moving past the international highway.

"We are only committed to the U.S. version not the Turkish one," Khalil said.

A previous agreement between the U.S. and Turkey over a "safe zone" along the Syria-Turkish border floundered over the diverging definitions of the area.

Erdogan has said the Kurdish fighters must withdraw from a far larger length of the border from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border — more than 440 kilometers (260 miles) — or else the Turkish offensive will resume on Tuesday.

But U.S. officials say the agreement pertains to the smaller section between the two towns. Kalin confirmed that is the area affected by the pause in fighting, but said Turkey still wants the larger zone.

Two days into the cease-fire, the border town of Ras al-Ayn has been the sticking point in moving forward.

"We hope that as of tonight or tomorrow, they will stick to this agreement and leave the area," Kalin said.

The Kurdish official meanwhile said his force had negotiated with the Americans the details of its pull-back from the border, starting with the Ras al-Ayn evacuation. But he said the evacuation stalled for 48 hours because Turkish-backed forces continued their siege of the town.

A partial evacuation took place Saturday. Medical convoys were let into part of the town still in Kurdish hands, evacuating 30 wounded and four bodies from a hospital. Khalil said the plan to complete the evacuation from Ras al-Ayn is now set for Sunday.

Turkish officials denied violating the cease-fire or impeding the fighters' withdrawal, blaming the continued violence on the Kurds.

If Kurdish fighters then pull back from the 120-kilometers (75 miles) border area, it is uncertain what the arrangement would be along the rest of the northeastern border, most of which remains solely in the hands of Kurdish-led fighters.

Last week, Syrian forces began deploying into Kurdish areas, moving only into one location directly on the border, the town of Kobani, and a few positions further south.

Khalil said the Syrian government and its ally Russia did not want to deploy more extensively in the area, apparently to avoid frictions with Turkey.

"We noticed there was no desire (from the Russians and Syria) to have the Syrian military on the dividing line between us and the Turks except in Kobani," he said.

 

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Maybe we can invade Mexico and carve out a 20 mile safe zone so we can resettle all of our Honduran and Salvadoran refugees.  :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Maybe we can invade Mexico and carve out a 20 mile safe zone so we can resettle all of our Honduran and Salvadoran refugees.  :ph34r:

Mexicans will be pissed when they hear they need to pay for another wall.

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This incompetent maniacal move by the Gropenfuhrer should be unifying decent Americans behind whoever runs against him in the primaries and,  if he manages to gain his party’s nomination,  his opponent in the general election. 
 

The slaughter of the Kurds and the genocide of any who remain in a twenty mile wide swath of their homeland is entirely the fault of Donald Trump. 
 

Anyone who for any reason still continues to offer support for the Gropenfuhrer should find his political career is over. 

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2 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

This is the most perfect example of his unsuitability for any responsibility that requires a focus beyond his immediate personal profitability.   

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3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

There could NEVER come a time for withdrawal when Duopoly warmongers wouldn't say it was a bad idea, a betrayal of our sacred role as world police, yadayadayada. If getting out is to be done, it's going to come with that kind of heat no matter when it's done.

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Now Erdo is demanding Nuclear weapons....... Think Trump'll just hand over those that are already there?...... I do.

 

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4 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

Now Erdo is demanding Nuclear weapons....... Think Trump'll just hand over those that are already there?...... I do.

 

Fuck no. Trump has a few in a warehouse somewhere he'll sell cheap because they are past their best-before. No questions asked, no serial numbers, no registration with the Federal Bureau of Personal Nuclear Weapons.

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On 10/14/2019 at 5:50 PM, Mark K said:

August, 1990 actually.  We didn't give a shit about Kuwait..not really.  

 Soreass has a point though. A Kurdish state carved out of the northern part of Syria might have been a very bad idea. We will never know. 

We officially didn't give a shit about Kuwait. We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts.

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2 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Fuck no. Trump has a few in a warehouse somewhere he'll sell cheap because they are past their best-before. No questions asked, no serial numbers, no registration with the Federal Bureau of Personal Nuclear Weapons.

Donnies way of exploding the deficit, literally. Scorched earth....... but winning..........

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9 hours ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

There could NEVER come a time for withdrawal when Duopoly warmongers wouldn't say it was a bad idea, a betrayal of our sacred role as world police, yadayadayada. If getting out is to be done, it's going to come with that kind of heat no matter when it's done.

Apparently we've vowed to protect S Korea, Japan and Europe forever - despite their having fairly capable militaries of their own.

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9 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Apparently we've vowed to protect S Korea, Japan and Europe forever - despite their having fairly capable militaries of their own.

70 years and counting. No plans on ending the occupation anytime soon. 

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19 hours ago, Olsonist said:

We officially didn't give a shit about Kuwait. We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts.

We most definite gave a shit about Saudi Arabia. Everybody knew what the inevitable result would be if Saddam took a notion to take them out too. IMO had Saddam just re-arraigned the Kuwaiti princelings and stepped out nothing would have happened. However he tossed the entire batch of royals out and to the Saudis that was a death threat. They no likey Baathism. Feared it they did. Still do. That's why they want Assad gone.  

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4 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Shoot - the brief looks like a good article, but, behind the paywall.  Anybody able to post the text?   

I'll be in trouble with Waffles but ..here.

Apologies if it's a bit untidy. long piece . I've taken the pics and links out.

SOCHI, Russia — His jets patrol Syrian skies. His military is expanding operations at the main naval base in Syria. He is forging closer ties to Turkey. He and his Syrian allies are moving into territory vacated by the United States.

And on Tuesday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia played host to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for more than six hours of talks on how they and other regional players will divide control of Syria, devastated by eight years of civil war.

The negotiations cemented Mr. Putin’s strategic advantage: Russian and Turkish troops will take joint control over a vast swath of formerly Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria. The change strengthens the rapid expansion of Russian influence in Syria at the expense of the United States and its Kurdish former allies.

Under terms of the agreement, Syrian Kurdish forces have six days to retreat more than 20 miles from the border, abandoning land that they had controlled uncontested until earlier this month — when their protector, the American military, suddenly began to withdraw from the region. The Syrian Kurdish leadership did not immediately respond to the demand.

Mr. Erdogan also got most of what he wanted — a buffer zone free of a militia that Turkey regards as a terrorist threat — but it came at the expense of sharing control of the area with Mr. Putin and the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, whose rule Mr. Erdogan has long opposed.

“Only if Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is respected can a long-lasting and solid stabilization in Syria be achieved,” Mr. Putin said alongside Mr. Erdogan after the meeting.

“It is important that our Turkish partners share this approach,” Mr. Putin added. “The Turks will have to defend peace and calm on the border together with the Syrians. This can only be done in the atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation.”

Mr. Putin has emerged as the dominant force in Syria and a major power broker in the broader Middle East — a status showcased by Mr. Erdogan’s hastily arranged trip to the Russian president’s summer home in Sochi. And it looks increasingly clear that Russia, which rescued the government of President al-Assad with airstrikes over the last four years, will be the arbiter of the power balance there.

As President Trump questions American alliances and troop deployments around the world, Russia, like China, has been flexing its muscles, eager to fill the power vacuum left by a more isolationist United States. In Syria, both Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan have seized opportunities created by Mr. Trump’s sudden withdrawal.

 
 

Mr. Erdogan had long wanted go to war against the Kurdish-led forces that control northeast Syria but he dared not, as long as the Kurds’ American allies were stationed there. After Mr. Trump agreed to withdraw American forces from the area, Mr. Erdogan launched an invasion.

The Sochi meeting began a few hours before the end of an American-brokered truce between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria, where Mr. Erdogan says his troops have seized more than 900 square miles of territory since invading on Oct. 6.

“The U.S. is still the 500-pound gorilla,” said Howard Eissenstat, a professor of Middle East history at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. “If the U.S. decided that ‘issue X’ was a primary concern to its national security, there would be very little that anybody in the region could do about it.”

But with the United States increasingly removing itself from the picture — as symbolized in the Russian news media by the images of abandoned washing machines and unopened cans of Coca-Cola left behind in the chaotic withdrawal — it was Russia’s consent Mr. Erdogan needed on Tuesday to solidify and extend his gains.

“Before, Turkey could play the U.S. against Russia and Russia against the U.S.,” said Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, an Istanbul-based research group. “Now that’s no longer the case, and Russia has shaped up to be Turkey’s only real counterpart in Syria.”

 

The Sochi meeting looked to be a culmination of Mr. Putin’s yearslong strategy of taking advantage of Western divisions to build closer ties with Turkey, a NATO member and long a key United States ally, and to increase Moscow’s influence in the Middle East.

 
 

As the United States and Western Europe vacillated in their approach to Syria — to the frustration of Turkey and other Middle Eastern powers — Russia chose to protect its ally, Mr. al-Assad, and stuck with him despite fierce criticism from the West that the Syrian ruler was a brutal despot.

The upshot, Russians now say, is that while their country lacks the West’s economic might, it can be counted on to keep its word.

“Some people are furious again, some people are jealous and some people are drawn to power,” Dmitri Kiselyov, the prominent host of a news program on state-controlled Russian television, told viewers Sunday night. “Whatever the case, Erdogan is flying to Russia to meet with Putin.”

Russian television showed Mr. Putin looking relaxed as he delivered his opening remarks in Sochi, leaning back with his hands clasped easily over an armrest. Mr. Erdogan, by contrast, sat up straight as he eyed his Russian counterpart.

Mr. Putin, who relishes chances to drive wedges into Western alliances, has drawn closer to Mr. Erdogan, whose relations with Europe and the United States have been rocky. They have met eight times this year, according to Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin foreign policy adviser.

 

In July, Turkey defied Western warnings and began taking delivery of a Russian antiaircraft missile system, prompting the United States to cancel Turkey’s purchase of American-made fighter jets. NATO had warned that the purchase could reveal Western technological secrets to Russia, and that the Russian weapons were incompatible with the alliance’s systems.

 
 

Mr. Putin has also cultivated ties with the United States’ closest ally in the region, Israel, and its bitterest adversary, Iran, another supporter of Mr. al-Assad.

Russia “doesn’t have the economic or military capabilities the U.S. has,” Mr. Eissenstat said, “but it has been very savvy about using its power in limited and effective means.”

 

Until this month, Kurdish fighters had managed to carve out their own autonomous region in northeast Syria, free of government control, amid the chaos of the war. They greatly expanded their territory from 2015 onward, when they became the principal Syrian partner of an American-led coalition working to defeat militants from the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS.

As Kurdish fighters won ISIS-held land, they took over its governance, eventually establishing control over roughly a quarter of Syria.

 
 
 
But Mr. Erdogan viewed the Kurdish militia, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, as a threat to Turkish national security, since the group is an offshoot of a guerrilla movement that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.

As a result, Mr. Erdogan sought to create a buffer zone along the entire length of the Turkish-Syrian border, roughly 20 miles deep, to keep Kurdish fighters from getting within mortar range of Turkey.

 
 

 

On Tuesday, Mr. Erdogan got Mr. Putin to agree to parts of this plan: Under the agreement, Russian and Turkish troops will jointly patrol most of the Syrian-Turkish border, a stretch roughly 260 miles long and six miles deep. Kurdish forces will have to withdraw even further — to an area 20 miles from the border.

The Turkish government and its Syrian Arab proxies will also get to keep control of a deeper area of borderland, roughly 75 miles long and 20 miles deep, captured from Kurdish forces this month.

But in exchange, Mr. Erdogan has had to give up hopes of exerting greater control over a much wider territory — and agree to allow Mr. al-Assad’s forces back to a border they abandoned several years ago.

Mr. Erdogan was also rebuked by Mr. Putin for risking a revival of the Islamic State. Distracted by the invasion, Kurdish fighters have been unable to carry out anti-ISIS operations, and several ISIS militants have escaped Kurdish-run jails.

“It is important to make sure,” Mr. Putin said as Mr. Erdogan stood beside him, “that members of terrorist organizations, including ISIS, whose militants are kept by Kurdish armed formations and are trying to escape, would not use the opportunity created by the actions of Turkish forces.”

Mr. Putin also called Mr. al-Assad after the meeting to fill the Syrian leader in, the Kremlin said in a statement, and the Syrian leader “supported the decisions made.”

 
 

 

 

As American troops crossed the border from Syria into Iraq this week, the Iraqi government faced questions about whether the withdrawal was camouflage for an American buildup in Iraq. The United States military has a large camp in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the troops are going there until arrangements are made for them to move on.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper seemed mindful of the Iraqis’ concerns on Tuesday when he said, on a stop in Saudi Arabia, “The aim isn’t to stay in Iraq interminably. The aim is to pull our soldiers out and eventually get them back home.” Mr. Esper also said he will discuss the matter with Iraqi officials when he visits Baghdad on Wednesday.

 

Anton Troianovski reported from Sochi, and Patrick Kingsley from Istanbul. Reporting was contributed by Alissa J. Rubin from Baghdad, Eric Schmitt from Washington, Ben Hubbard from Qamishli, Syria, Ivan Nechepurenko from Moscow, and Carlotta Gall from Akcakale, Turkey.

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10 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Mr. Erdogan also got most of what he wanted — a buffer zone free of a militia that Turkey regards as a terrorist threat

That's just silly. Turkey is a NATO ally with a real military. There's no way some ragtag militia can present any kind of threat. Read more gun threads and you'll learn important info like that.

Meanwhile, the "immediate" withdrawal that was announced most of a year ago turns out NOT to be about bringing troops home.
 

Quote

 

In a Sunday morning tweet that was, at first glance, most notable for how President Donald Trump had misspelled his defense secretary's last name, the president proclaimed that "USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!"

About two hours later, that tweet was deleted and replaced with a new tweet that corrected the secretary's name—Mark Esper, not Mark Esperanto—and also made another, less noticed change. Trump removed the original last three words and replaced them with "ending endless wars!"

A noble goal, to be sure. But that change is noteworthy, since it seemingly reveals how the strategy behind Trump's hasty and haphazard withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria is evolving in real-time, even within the president's own mind. Trump has spent the past two weeks facing down intense criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over his decision—announced on Twitter, naturally—to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria and to give a green light to a Turkish military assault. In the face of that criticism, Trump has steadfastly argued that there is no compelling reason to have U.S. troops on the ground in Syria and that he withdrew those forces in order to bring them home.

The first part of that argument is true. The second part is absolutely false.

In fact, Esper's Sunday morning press conference—the one that seems to have prompted Trump's tweets—confirmed that U.S. troops aren't coming home. Instead, Esper said, the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops that have pulled back from northern Syria in recent weeks will be re-positioned across the border in Iraq to protect oil fields and monitor the situation in Syria. The Associated Press reported that the troops moved out of Syria will be used to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State, amid concerns that Turkey's attack on Kurdistan may have resulted in the release of imprisoned ISIS fighters.

"It's pretty clear that he's not bringing home the troops. He's moving troops back into Iraq. He's moving other troops into Saudi Arabia," Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) said Sunday during an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press. The former Republican and frequent Trump critic said he did not think American troops should have been deployed in Syria to begin with and believes Trump should have brought them home along ago. Still, this isn't that, Amash said.

"When you withdraw troops," observed Amash, "you have to plan in advance how to handle it."

 

 

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Turkey needs to be treated like Pakistan - I sincerely doubt that if a NATO article 5 issue arose, that they would honor their obligations to NATO if the aggressor was a nation allied with Russian.  IMHO - time to ditch them and bring in Ukraine and Hungary.   We can torch the bases in Incirlik and Izmir on our way out. 

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1 hour ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

That's just silly. Turkey is a NATO ally with a real military. There's no way some ragtag militia can present any kind of threat. Read more gun threads and you'll learn important info like that.

Meanwhile, the "immediate" withdrawal that was announced most of a year ago turns out NOT to be about bringing troops home.
 

 

A terrorist threat Tom.  Or are you suggesting that we #1 don't have a real military or #2 aren't threatened by terrorism.  

While your argument is invalid, I agree with the premise.  The 'buffer' zone is bullshit.  See the Berlin Wall, or the Mexico Border for reference.  That buffer zone won't stop the terrorism.

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1 hour ago, Grrr... said:

A terrorist threat Tom.  Or are you suggesting that we #1 don't have a real military or #2 aren't threatened by terrorism.  

While your argument is invalid, I agree with the premise.  The 'buffer' zone is bullshit.  See the Berlin Wall, or the Mexico Border for reference.  That buffer zone won't stop the terrorism.

Sudetenland

 

1 hour ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Turkey needs to be treated like Pakistan - I sincerely doubt that if a NATO article 5 issue arose, that they would honor their obligations to NATO if the aggressor was a nation allied with Russian.  IMHO - time to ditch them and bring in Ukraine and Hungary.   We can torch the bases in Incirlik and Izmir on our way out. 

Interesting times. I cannot think of a period in history when the Turks were not deadly enemies with Russia. Would you explain a little more about the implications of NATO Art.5, as I'm not sure I understand it.

Up until last week, I'd have said that the Turks are among our best allies especially in that area. Now.... seems like Erdo has gone past a tipping point. Which is good for him, as a dictator rather than national leader, but bad for everybody else.

- DSK

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1 hour ago, Grrr... said:

A terrorist threat Tom.  Or are you suggesting that we #1 don't have a real military or #2 aren't threatened by terrorism.  

Neither, I'm suggesting that these militias are a threat to a real military, even ours and certainly Turkey's.

Do you think they're a threat?

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sudetenland

 

Interesting times. I cannot think of a period in history when the Turks were not deadly enemies with Russia. Would you explain a little more about the implications of NATO Art.5, as I'm not sure I understand it.

Up until last week, I'd have said that the Turks are among our best allies especially in that area. Now.... seems like Erdo has gone past a tipping point. Which is good for him, as a dictator rather than national leader, but bad for everybody else.

- DSK

Thanks for the question - happy to explain.   I think that Erdogan has decided that his local best interests lie with an alliance to Russia - they have just given him what he's always wanted, and that's support in his desire to eradicate Kurds from the Southern Turkey/northern Syria region.   Additionally - Turkey is "surrounded" by Russian nations, and knows that US support for Turkey against Russia would be very unlikely.  Turkey also imports most of its oil from Russia.  That, coupled w/the ultimatum given to the US "We're coming in no matter what"  makes me think that Turkey's recent behavior indicates a move to favor Russia over NATO allies.  

Other thoughts? 

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8 minutes ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

Neither, I'm suggesting that these militias are a threat to a real military, even ours and certainly Turkey's.

Do you think they're a threat?

No

They're a threat to the local population, and a deployed military can only defend that local population within limits, and at a high cost... and the cost goes way way up when they're at the far end of a logistical tail.

So, does the 2nd Amendment entail ownership of weapons within the context of a militia, even if that militia might be defined by some other leadership group as "terrorists," or not?

You seem to want it both ways.

- DSK

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4 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Thanks for the question - happy to explain.   I think that Erdogan has decided that his local best interests lie with an alliance to Russia - they have just given him what he's always wanted, and that's support in his desire to eradicate Kurds from the Southern Turkey/northern Syria region.   Additionally - Turkey is "surrounded" by Russian nations, and knows that US support for Turkey against Russia would be very unlikely.  Turkey also imports most of its oil from Russia.  That, coupled w/the ultimatum given to the US "We're coming in no matter what"  makes me think that Turkey's recent behavior indicates a move to favor Russia over NATO allies.  

Other thoughts? 

Well, I'd -like- to think that Turkey, as a full NATO ally, would be defended by NATO... which mean primarily the US, especially in the opening stages of a theater-wide action... with the full strength and resources that NATO would bring for defense of any others. In reality, I'm not sure that's true and given the recent political do-ings in Turkey, Erdo would not see it in the best interest of his personal power, to be bailed out by the exact same secular Western gov'ts he's been demonizing to his people.

He's certainly certainly crossed the threshold of being "leader of Turkey" under parliamentary procedure to being "Turkey's leader" whether they want him or not, making decisions best for himself rather than the country, and with an identity at least somewhat seperated from his country's.

- DSK

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57 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

which mean primarily the US, especially in the opening stages of a theater-wide action

Yup, it'll be just like going to the Theater. Godzilla vs. Gargantua! Shock and awe and blood literally boiling. Trump, Hillary, Obama, the bush and Buffet moved to a safe space while you piss yourself over AGW and gender-free toilets.:lol:

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Heh. People trying a bit to hard to find lies:

Quote

Mr Trump’s address was littered with easily disprovable falsehoods. He claimed that US military had been deployed in the region for 10 years (soldiers arrived on the ground in 2015).

This one looks like he accidentally told to truth to me...

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19 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:
19 hours ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

Neither, I'm suggesting that these militias are a threat to a real military, even ours and certainly Turkey's.

Do you think they're a threat?

No

They're a threat to the local population, and a deployed military can only defend that local population within limits, and at a high cost... and the cost goes way way up when they're at the far end of a logistical tail.

So, does the 2nd Amendment entail ownership of weapons within the context of a militia, even if that militia might be defined by some other leadership group as "terrorists," or not?

You seem to want it both ways.

- DSK

Seems to me that they are the local population, both in our current foreign meddling and in our own colonial history. The British govt viewed rebellious colonists as terrorists.

Here's a militia question that never seems to be answered, care to take a shot?

On 5/13/2015 at 3:25 PM, Hypercapnic Tom said:

If you call the militia to service, would you hope they came with Dick Heller's 9 round (censored) caliber revolver (which we already know is protected) or an AR-15? I think an AR-15 is the obvious answer.

 

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1 hour ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:
20 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:
21 hours ago, Hypercapnic Tom said:

Neither, I'm suggesting that these militias are a threat to a real military, even ours and certainly Turkey's.

Do you think they're a threat?

No

They're a threat to the local population, and a deployed military can only defend that local population within limits, and at a high cost... and the cost goes way way up when they're at the far end of a logistical tail.

....

Seems to me that they are the local population, both in our current foreign meddling and in our own colonial history. The British govt viewed rebellious colonists as terrorists.

 

1- not an answer

2- and totally incorrect, ISIS is not "the local population." None of them were local/native to the area they ruled. They were Iraqi Shias supported by int'l recruits

Are you ignorant (and determined to remain so) or just trying to distract?

- DSK

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4 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

1- not an answer

2- and totally incorrect, ISIS is not "the local population." None of them were local/native to the area they ruled. They were Iraqi Shias supported by int'l recruits

Are you ignorant (and determined to remain so) or just trying to distract?

- DSK

Context matters, see the post that started this branch. It should be pretty obvious I was talking about Kurdish militias and how they threaten (or don't) Turkey's military. Twisting it to pretend I was talking about their opponents is a cute trick but won't work on readers. So will probably work pretty well here.

BTW, that's

1. not an answer

to this:

If you call the militia to service, would you hope they came with Dick Heller's 9 round (censored) caliber revolver (which we already know is protected) or an AR-15? I think an AR-15 is the obvious answer.

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Unbefuckingleivable 

The Oil Fields discussed in my speech on Turkey/Kurds yesterday were held by ISIS until the United States took them over with the help of the Kurds. We will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields!

I really enjoyed my conversation with General @MazloumAbdi. He appreciates what we have done, and I appreciate what the Kurds have done. Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region!

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3 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Unbefuckingleivable 

The Oil Fields discussed in my speech on Turkey/Kurds yesterday were held by ISIS until the United States took them over with the help of the Kurds. We will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields!

I really enjoyed my conversation with General @MazloumAbdi. He appreciates what we have done, and I appreciate what the Kurds have done. Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region!

 That's a bit more than word salad. The YPG and associates have been folded into the Syrian Arab Army. They won't be Kurds coming for the oil they will be Syrians, and the sooner they get there the sooner we can pull our guys off the oil fields. Good, but I suspect it will be awhile before they get there, IMO they will concentrate on other things for a bit. The oil isn't going anywhere, and there are still some bad guys that need rounding up, and are in no rush to please The Donald, I reckon.  

 They Syrian Army is happy to have the help. They are still trying to clean up Idib, btw. This is actually working out pretty well. I would rate this as one of Putin's masterpieces, if things keep going the way they seem to be. 

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13 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Mark, I'm sure you have a reason to think things are going well, would you mind sharing that perspective? 

The perspective is that of the Syrians, not the warmongers in Washington.

It is all horribly obvious once you realise that you are not the goody in this picture.

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2 hours ago, Mark K said:

 That's a bit more than word salad. The YPG and associates have been folded into the Syrian Arab Army. They won't be Kurds coming for the oil they will be Syrians, and the sooner they get there the sooner we can pull our guys off the oil fields. Good, but I suspect it will be awhile before they get there, IMO they will concentrate on other things for a bit. The oil isn't going anywhere, and there are still some bad guys that need rounding up, and are in no rush to please The Donald, I reckon.  

 They Syrian Army is happy to have the help. They are still trying to clean up Idib, btw. This is actually working out pretty well. I would rate this as one of Putin's masterpieces, if things keep going the way they seem to be. 

I think you miss the point of Trumps tweet.

Hi Kurds, so sorry you lost 11,000 in our last little joint venture (to our 4 or 8) and we know you're a little disappointed that we stabbed you in the back and helped the Turks drive you off the land you fought so hard for..but hey..wanna come and protect some oil fields for us? 

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On 10/24/2019 at 5:47 PM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Mark, I'm sure you have a reason to think things are going well, would you mind sharing that perspective? 

Could well be going as well as it could (for the Kurds) isn't necessarily going "well". There's a lot wrong with all this. 

  The reason I think this might be the Kurds best shot is looking at the map. This imagined Kurdish state would be a carve-out of Syria, and it includes a significant portion of Syria's meager oil reserves. If such a state were to become real they would be a state with absolutely no friends on all sides. I've always felt their best shot was to become Syrians. Assad will probably grant them limited autonomy within that NE province. They will still be detested by everybody else, of course, but the Syrians know those Kurds are some of the best fighters around, specifically against jihadis and other religious monkey business...such as the Saudis like to play. The Sauds and their Gulfies are now known to be dedicated enemies of Syria...The Sauds still dream of Wahhabizing the entire Levant (al-Sham) so why would Assad not make accommodations for the Kurds? 

 I think most of the Kurds have known this was coming. Putin warned them, and the speed with which they folded into the SAA indicates this has been a contingency plan for both for some time now. 

  

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7 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Well, that and the fact that Il Cheetolini said he was pulling out all troops a year ago.  Can't have come as too big of a surprise.

Pooty poot couldn’t be that devious. We had a fella here who looked into his eyes and saw his soul, or looked into his ass and saw his hole, guaranteeing six more weeks of winter. I can’t be sure. 

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6 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Well, that and the fact that Il Cheetolini said he was pulling out all troops a year ago.  Can't have come as too big of a surprise.

In theory the US could have negotiated this same deal out. But that theoretical US no longer exists. We no longer have the competence necessary. All the Arabists were run out of town in the 90's and aughts.

  Now we have neo-cons and their kissing cousins on the left, the "democracy must be everywhere" Sam Powers. Susan Rice gang. Saw them on the tube the other night agreeing with some cunt from the American Enterprise Institute that Tulsi Gabbard is absolutely insane to think that Assad has strong support within Syria.

 Who the hell are they thinking fought with him for all these years??  

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9 hours ago, Mark K said:

Could well be going as well as it could (for the Kurds) isn't necessarily going "well". There's a lot wrong with all this. 

  The reason I think this might be the Kurds best shot is looking at the map. This imagined Kurdish state would be a carve-out of Syria, and it includes a significant portion of Syria's meager oil reserves. If such a state were to become real they would be a state with absolutely no friends on all sides. I've always felt their best shot was to become Syrians. Assad will probably grant them limited autonomy within that NE province. They will still be detested by everybody else, of course, but the Syrians know those Kurds are some of the best fighters around, specifically against jihadis and other religious monkey business...such as the Saudis like to play. The Sauds and their Gulfies are now known to be dedicated enemies of Syria...The Sauds still dream of Wahhabizing the entire Levant (al-Sham) so why would Assad not make accommodations for the Kurds? 

 I think most of the Kurds have known this was coming. Putin warned them, and the speed with which they folded into the SAA indicates this has been a contingency plan for both for some time now. 

  

Thanks - I was thinking about a few perspectives, and I think you're right.  The Kurds in N Iraq are generally doing OK,  and while I dont think they'll ever have a country, the few I have spoken with in Erbil seem to be OK being left alone as citizens of their historic country.  Those conversations were superficial, and with every day folks, not policy makers, so I'm certain that there is a broad spectrum of thought.  

In N Syria?  I think that the objective could have easily been achieved with a few more months of diplomacy and with much less fallout than we are going to have to deal with in the coming decade.  I'm sick thinking about how our govt has acted in this situation, and dont see any way to mitigate it, that our credibility and influence have been greatly diminished.   To the positive?  Aside from the fact that we broke it, I think it's an OK thing for the national neighbors to work this out - I worry for the western Stans, the Kurds and Ukraine when Putin starts flexing in those directions, no regional player will want to oppose.  

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I think this situation is why Eisenhower wanted to dump the Truman doctrine; he foresaw the slow bleeding out of US resources  by getting involved in multiple small unwinnable conflicts. Perhaps abandoning the neo-Truman Doctrine of sending in the troops whenever someone yells "terrorism" and turning to a combination of containment/diplomacy/Marshall Plan would be more effective in the long run.

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28 minutes ago, learningJ24 said:

I think this situation is why Eisenhower wanted to dump the Truman doctrine; he foresaw the slow bleeding out of US resources  by getting involved in multiple small unwinnable conflicts. Perhaps abandoning the neo-Truman Doctrine of sending in the troops whenever someone yells "terrorism" and turning to a combination of containment/diplomacy/Marshall Plan would be more effective in the long run.

Perhaps but there are a couple of yuge bigly problems there. We don’t have coherent diplomacy at the moment. We have an all-hands-on-deck for the re-election campaign. 

Anything like the Marshall Plan would cost money and if we are going to borrow that to spend overseas, we will need a way to ensure that it is safely laundered and redistributed to the Best Americans. Otherwise it will be a Fiscal Responsibility outrage. 

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We certainly have an overall coherency issue at present even without the re-election campaigns. As for the Marshall Plan, the original by intention and accident benefited the American economy by "encouraging" the return of the dollars given/loaned. Part of the prosperity of the 50's and 60's came from the stimulus provided by 90% tax bracket dollars coming back in the form of machinery orders. That and the establishment of the dollar as a reserve currency/petrol currency. People forget that the Marshall plan had a rebuilding effect on us as well as Europe.

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6 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Thanks - I was thinking about a few perspectives, and I think you're right.  The Kurds in N Iraq are generally doing OK,  and while I dont think they'll ever have a country, the few I have spoken with in Erbil seem to be OK being left alone as citizens of their historic country.  Those conversations were superficial, and with every day folks, not policy makers, so I'm certain that there is a broad spectrum of thought.  

In N Syria?  I think that the objective could have easily been achieved with a few more months of diplomacy and with much less fallout than we are going to have to deal with in the coming decade.  I'm sick thinking about how our govt has acted in this situation, and dont see any way to mitigate it, that our credibility and influence have been greatly diminished.   To the positive?  Aside from the fact that we broke it, I think it's an OK thing for the national neighbors to work this out - I worry for the western Stans, the Kurds and Ukraine when Putin starts flexing in those directions, no regional player will want to oppose.  

What is stunning to me is the utter competence of Putin and Lavrov in all this. It's a bit mind-boggling to picture anyone imagining an orchestrating this sudden US rug-yanking from under the Kurds. Lots of moving parts here. They had to have confidence in exactly what Erdo would and wouldn't do, Trump, Assad, even the Iraqis The risks appear huge. I suspect Putin was prompted by the deep unpopularity of the cost of supporting Syria within Russia, and while Putin's popularity remains very high it's not invulnerable to erosion. They must have viewed complete stabilization, regardless of the nature of that stabilization, as very important prior to getting the eff out of there.  

  Putin is guiding our FP in this area, and for the locals that might be for the best. We are currently like children compared to them.  Still dreaming of overturning Assad at this stage, as our neocons and Jacobin libereal interventionists are??  Damn silly.  

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

What is stunning to me is the utter competence of Putin and Lavrov in all this. It's a bit mind-boggling to picture anyone imagining an orchestrating this sudden US rug-yanking from under the Kurds. Lots of moving parts here. They had to have confidence in exactly what Erdo would and wouldn't do, Trump, Assad, even the Iraqis The risks appear huge. I suspect Putin was prompted by the deep unpopularity of the cost of supporting Syria within Russia, and while Putin's popularity remains very high it's not invulnerable to erosion. They must have viewed complete stabilization, regardless of the nature of that stabilization, as very important prior to getting the eff out of there.  

  Putin is guiding our FP in this area, and for the locals that might be for the best. We are currently like children compared to them.  Still dreaming of overturning Assad at this stage, as our neocons and Jacobin libereal interventionists are??  Damn silly.  

Wasn't Putin guiding our foreign policy when we went in?  That was FUCKING STUPID!

Do you ever wonder how an East German student ended up as chancellor of Germany and how that cosy alliance with Russia came about?  Seems almost magical.

 

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13 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

Wasn't Putin guiding our foreign policy when we went in?  That was FUCKING STUPID!

Do you ever wonder how an East German student ended up as chancellor of Germany and how that cosy alliance with Russia came about?  Seems almost magical.

 

Have you forgotten about ISIL? Or are you saying it was FUCKING STUPID to help fight ISIL? 

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9 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Have you forgotten about ISIL? Or are you saying it was FUCKING STUPID to help fight ISIL? 

No, it was FUCKING STUPID to enter Syria.  Groups like ISIL just fade away and reform with a new name in a new location.  Have you forgotten Al Qaeda?

Chasing groups around like that is pointless.  We are a greater threat to stability than they are unless you are fighting to install our form of government everywhere.

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11 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

No, it was FUCKING STUPID to enter Syria.  Groups like ISIL just fade away and reform with a new name in a new location.  Have you forgotten Al Qaeda?

Chasing groups around like that is pointless.  We are a greater threat to stability than they are unless you are fighting to install our form of government everywhere.

I think the Iraqis and the Kurds might beg to differ on that, but am pretty sure the Yazidies will. Along with any Christians, Jews, Shiites, and Zoroastrians in the area.

 I suppose that the Nazis would have melted away too at some point though.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Mark K said:

I think the Iraqis and the Kurds might beg to differ on that, but am pretty sure the Yazidies will. Along with any Christians, Jews, Shiites, and Zoroastrians in the area.

 I suppose that the Nazis would have melted away too at some point though.

 

 

It’s not like they were taking territory, including territory that yielded The Precious. 

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4 hours ago, Mark K said:

It's a bit mind-boggling to picture anyone imagining an orchestrating this sudden US rug-yanking from under the Kurds.

It would have been funny if this thread had been titled "Sudden Withdrawal from Syria" ten months ago.

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1 hour ago, Sol Rosenberg said:
Quote

 

“I want to get out of the endless wars, too. The problem is, the other side, even if we wanted to surrender, will not take our surrender. They hate us because of who we are, the way we live our lives, the way we worship our God,” Kelly said Saturday at a political conference hosted by the Washington Examiner.

“What was working in Syria was that for very little investment, the Kurds were doing all the fighting, the vast majority of the dying, and we were providing intelligence and fire support assistance. And we were winning,” added the retired four-star Marine general.

 

I wonder what we were winning and what the catastrophe will look like?

I think we were incubating Al Queda D'ouche ISIL ISIS by supporting mass imprisonment of women and kids in concentration camps through our proxies, not defeating them. They might care less about how we live our lives than about how our proxies abused them, assuming they agree that putting women and kids in concentration camps is sometimes bad.

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