The Unraveling

The situation in Syria seems to be unraveling quickly, and I can’t say I understand it all. Here is something just published at WaPo:

Syrian government troops began moving into towns near the Turkish border Sunday night under a deal struck with Syrian Kurds, following a chaotic day that saw the unraveling of the U.S. mission in northeastern Syria.

Hundreds of Islamic State family members escaped a detention camp after Turkish shellfire hit the area, U.S. troops pulled out from another base and Turkish-backed forces consolidated their hold over a vital highway, cutting the main U.S. supply route into Syria.

By the time Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper appeared on Face the Nation to announce that President Trump had ordered the final withdrawal of the 1,000 U.S. troops in northeastern Syria, it was already clear that the U.S. presence had become unsustainable, U.S. officials said.

The announcement by the Syrian Democratic Forces that they had reached an agreement with the Iranian and Russian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad further undermined the prospect of any continued U.S. presence in the country. The deal brings forces loyal to Assad back into towns and cities that have been under Kurdish control for seven years.

It sounds as if everything that had been accomplished since about 2011 has been undone in a week, thanks to Trump’s cowardice and stupidity.

I understand the remaining U.S. troops had to be withdrawn quickly because they were in real danger from the Turkish assault. Trump, of course, is still making excuses. Last night he was interviewed by whackjob Jean Pirro on Fox News:

The interview, which aired around 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox News, featured the president saying the Kurds — Syria’s defensive fighters — have “some very good people and some very bad people” and “maybe they’ll get somebody else to go in and fight with them… but we want to get out of the endless wars.”

“It’s 7,000 miles away from the United States. I want to protect our borders,” Mr. Trump told Pirro. “We defeated 100% of the ISIS caliphate … we’re not going to stay in these areas forever.”

He added that if Turkey “does something out of line,” he will take action.

“It’s like some people go to lunch. They [Turkey] fight with the Kurds, it’s what [Turkey] does,” he said. “We spend a lot of money on the Kurds… but it’s time for us to go home.”

What he really meant to say was that it’s time to send another 1,800 troops to Saudi Arabia, which the Pentagon announced yesterday. Trump is still saying that he “might” slap some sanctions on Turkey if it gets out of line.

Be sure to read 12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia. in the New York Times.

The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times.

An analysis of previously unpublished Russian Air Force radio recordings, plane spotter logs and witness accounts allowed The Times to trace bombings of four hospitals in just 12 hours in May and tie Russian pilots to each one.

The 12-hour period beginning on May 5 represents a small slice of the air war in Syria, but it is a microcosm of Russia’s four-year military intervention in Syria’s civil war. A new front in the conflict opened this week, when Turkish forces crossed the border as part of a campaign against a Kurdish-led militia.

9 thoughts on “The Unraveling

  1. US forces weren't even fighting in the area, just holding a place as a tripwire. Turkey stayed away. US leaves, how many hours until the launched the attack? Much before we even actually left…

  2. I've got no idea of what's going on, but I have a gut feeling that Putin has his hand in this and it has something to do with disrupting the NATO alliance.

  3. Ultimately it comes down to this:

    "We cannot begin to assess US Middle East policy without knowing who's paying what to Trump."

    We shouldn't waste another millisecond of thought over "corruption in Ukraine"; we got all the corruption we can handle in our own thoroughly crooked president, his family and greedy henchmen.

  4. Why now are Republicans upset at Trump?  Is it that they cannot even hope to make excuses for what is going on in Syria and Turkey?  Or do they finally realize that the reputation of this country has been soiled.  No longer can any other country, especially one in the mid east, expect to deal with this country in an honest, open, and fair relationship.  The Republican party laid claim on foreign relations as their forte.  With Trump, foreign relations along with domestic relations is in chaos.  

    Putin, like a competent bridge player knows how to play Trump.  My guess is he can also play No Trump quite well.  Not the Trumpinistas but the old school  Republicans are finally waking up to the reality of his party takeover.  When Peggy Noonan, columnist to the WSJ, main stream news contributor, and former speech writer to Ronald Regan goes on national TV and states that Trump was rolled by Erdogan of Turkey this is not only a break in her priggish and stogey demeanor, but a schism from Trumpism.  Trump has become a rouge player that is out of the control of both political parties.  Trump is not just a problem for liberals and democrats.  He is a problem for both parties, this country and what remains of the civilized world. 

    • Indeed, he is a problem for both parties and the nation, as was just demonstrated in Syria.  However, as upset as some in the GOP appear to be, they have the deciding vote in ridding this nation of a president, of whom it is no exaggeration to say, is a singular national security threat to the nation.  And yet they won't act decisively.  Their sporadic expressions of outrage won't get it done, and until they show they are willing to put this country first instead of the interests of their party and wealthy donors, we will continue to be at risk of having to weather whatever disaster this president inflicts on us next.  

  5. The GOP exploited and promoted mindless rebellion by citizens against phantom enemies. Rush and the clown at Infowars are two of many players the GOP did not discourage regardless of how ridiculous their claims. Stupid people who are conditioned to ignore facts are easy to manipulate. Blind fanatic hatred of liberals was a gift from the heavens. So they thought.

    The energy raised wasn't directed to favor the GOP. CVoters were conditioned to distrust everything federal. The vast international conspiracy of the ROghchilds and the jews and the deep state that knows averything and controls everything pervades this mentality. The GOP expected to reap the rewards because the hared of Democrats burns so hot. Being "not the Democrats" the GOP expected to pull the strings and select the puppets that the zombie hoards will elect.

    Ooops. Along comes Donald Trump who pretends on TV to be a successful tycoon instead of the cheating huckster he has always been. Since the mindless hoards see it on Teevee on a reality showw, it's true. And he hates Obama. He hates Mexicans and multi-cultualism and people with different sexual orientation. He's a pathalogical liar who takes both sides of the same issue. Pick which Trump you want. That feature allowed Trump to pander to the KKK at the same time he pretended for moderates not to be a hateful bigot.

    Two factors created the slim margin of victory in 2016. Voters who wondered what would happen if a dynamic business leader brought his superb skills to politics. Now they know. Trump is underwater in a lot of swing sttates while Trump has never expanded his base. 

    Second, voters found HRC repulsive. I did and in 2016 I was arguing, "Hold your nose and vote for her anyway because the option is Trump." People who couldn't stand HRC didn't vote for Trump. They didn't vote. That added to Trump's margin.

    Last, Russia helped. Even the Senate concluded that last week in a report with NO dissensions. Trump on three occasions declared he's open to foreign help in the election. In a general statement to the press, in a specific statement to Ukraine's president and in a public appeal to China. Trump has been asked and he won't say the shout to China was a joke. 

    Collectively, these three factors don't exist for Trump in 2020. Voters who gave Trump the benefit of the doubt in 2016 have no doubt now. Social media was a free shot in 2016 – people online are shouting down the kinds of divisive ads and memes that Russia produced in 2016. That Trump is a tool of foreign governments will be proven to all but Trump's cultists. If the Senate doesn't remove Trump, the damage of the impeachment will be fatal.

    Trump cultists will be fewer in number but Trump will rally them to his defense as criminal charges are pressed in 2020. Even if Trump gets a pardon, NY state is poised. The GOP will abandon Trump and try to move on. The cultists won't move and Trump will turn them against the GOP (unless the GOP puts all their energy behind Trump the looser. They wont.) The GOP will split down the middle into two nearly equal-size factions. 

    To become politically relevent in elections, the GOP will have to pivot to the Independent voter who found the Trump philosophy repugnant. With a conservative philosophy, the GOP might become non-raicist, non-sexist, appelaing to conservative minorities – basicly what the Democratic Party Establishment is now. The Democrats, having put a progressive in the White House will have to endorse and support progressive politics.

    That's my prediction. There will be a downside. We will have domestic terrorism in the US like we haven't seen since the KKK was at it's height. A lot of conservative non-cultists will be victims, too. The result might be an alliance of tolerant values that covers two-thirds of the electorate. There is much cause for hope.

  6. Trump calls Tlaib a 'despicable human being' for considering detaining officials who don't comply with subpoenas

    This is our president. Isn't it nice to know we've chosen a man of such fine character to represent the best qualities in leadership that America has to offer. He makes me proud to be an American.

    Reading that headline above caused me to think of a passage from the scriptures. It was a passage where the Pharisees were condemning Jesus for not standing up to condemn those violated the Levitical dietary laws. In response to their condemnation, Jesus replied: It's not what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of a man's mouth that defiles him.

     I wonder what Jesus meant by that? For some reason I think Trump's rhetoric might provide a clue in understanding that passage.

  7. Conventional wisdom so far: Trump's gut's foreign policy will mean the return of ISIS and closer ties between Kurdish forces, Syria, Turkey and Russia. If true the main benefactor would be Russia. The US, Europe, other allies, and NATO are disadvantaged. No one should be surprised.

    Some Republicans, mostly the neocon and establishment types, are truly outraged by Trump's chaotic mismanagement. Others are protesting only to put on a show of not being the sycophants and cowards they actually are.

  8. Ergodan just told Pense to go shit in his hat for his truce fire proposal.. He said he isn't going to waste his time talking to an anemic little twerp. When Trump shows up in the flesh with his hat in his hand begging Ergodan to help him out the optics in correcting his blunder then he might consider giving Trump an audience. Ergodan ate Trump's lunch.

     Donny's mask is coming off at warp speed. Maybe he should lob a couple hundred cruise missiles out into the middle of the Atlantic ocean to show his strength and resolve.

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