We Never Learn

I’ve been a Trump skeptic since Day 1. I’m about 60-40 positive on his administration so far…

..but this move is really, really awful:

Kurdish-led forces have until now been a key US ally in Syria, where they helped defeat the Islamic State group, but Turkey regards them as terrorists.
The main Kurdish-led group called the surprise US move a “stab in the back”.
But President Donald Trump defended the withdrawal, saying it was time “to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars”.

I’m all for bringing the troops home.

But this is Obama-level shortsightedness.

The next time some embattled ethnic group is deciding whether to side with us in some vital area, or whether they might be better served casting their lot with Iran, China or Russia, this sort of betrayal is going to cross peoples’ minds.

37 thoughts on “We Never Learn

  1. I’d say it’s the Kurds own fault for trusting the US again. Back in the 90’s, we supported them and encouraged them to rise up in Iraq. They did. We didn’t continue support, and they got swacked. Turkey, Iran, and Iraq all hate the Kurds.

    Now, having worked some with Peshmerga, those are some hard warriors. They may not always be the best trained, but their discipline and ferocity are impressive.

  2. Unlike a lot of neocons out there I 100% support this move, it is not our job to be the police force. If it gets really bad start dropping bombs again. Let them sort out their own insane religious differences.

  3. he US is not good at fighting these kinds of wars. There is no end point. If we imposed the government on Syria or Afghanistan that we wanted, it would be colonialism.
    The only thing that is more stupid is taking sides in a civil war, and then allowing the enemies of your faction into the US as “war refugees.” That’s really,really dumb.
    The federal government has been operating outside of its zone of competence since the First World War.

  4. The Middle East has been a mess since Europeans divided up the region a century ago, further complicated because Turkey is in NATO and Obama invaded Syria and ISIS was our enemy but it’s been conquered so in the end, that means the United States must . . . damned if I know.

    Sometimes it’s instructive to see who is against an idea to know if I support it.

    David French (New York Times)

    Senator Mitt Romney (RINO, Utah) https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/464642-romney-calls-trumps-syria-decision-a-betrayal-of-kurds

    Washington Post, New Republic, CNN, they all insist the United States must stay to protect and serve the Kurds until . . . well, basically, forever.

    And in President Trump’s corner, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson: ” . . . peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”

  5. MP I agree, not to mention we havent had a official decleration of war by Congress since December 8th 1941. And I do believe the founders said that the executive branch could not unilaterally send troops to a foreign land without congressional approval. Or at minimum had a 3-6 month limit and then they were reqired to come home to get approval from Congress to go back.

  6. If you really believe the US should keep troops in Syria to protect the Kurds, tell me under what conditions US troops should be withdrawn, and then tell me how the US will create those conditions.
    The idiots should have done this before they put one foot on the ground.

  7. I’d say it’s the Kurds own fault for trusting the US

    he US is not good at fighting these kinds of wars.

    Both of these statements expose a real problem with waging war when “allied” with a representative democracy (not just the US).

    As we saw after 9/11, the Democrats were all gung-ho patriots ready to go to war and support their Commander-in-Chief until they detected a looming political advantage and then it was daily body counts and a concern for peace. You can’t build a cohesive, long-term *national* foreign policy when the Democrats will sabotage it they think it’s politically advantageous to do so.

    Sending young people off to die for little or no achievable objective and no support from home is evil. Bring the troops home. All of them.

  8. I think Obama had a great idea. Leave all the weapons there, except this time not for the America hating muzzy head choppers.

  9. Never forget the Dream Team of geopolitical experts who convinced President Obama it was a good idea to commit the United States to endless war in the Middle East: Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice.

    I feel like Quincy Adams Wagstaff: whatever those three want, I’m against it.

  10. For a more scholarly look at the situation, here’s Richard Fernandez writing at The Belmont Club. https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/the-fate-of-the-kurds/

    He briefly touches on an interesting point. Ergodan, saddled with thousands of refugees who fled the war in Syria, has been feeding them and he’s sick of it. He wants Europe to pitch in but they’re too cheap so he’s threatening to release the refugees in to Europe, another flood of migrants who would head for France, England, Germany and Sweden, where the welfare is generous.

    Trump signaling that he’s staying out of it and NATO should step up, may be less a move to throw the Kurds overboard and more a move to put pressure on Europe to get involved to prevent Turkey from flooding them with Syrians (and also from killing the Kurds).

    Yes, it’s three-dimensional chess. No, the media can’t think that way. I’m not sure Trump does, but if Fernandez and I can figure it out, surely there must be some clever people in the administration who can see it, too? And notice who’s Not falling all over themselves to jump into the fray – France, England, Germany and Sweden are conspicuously quiet about the troops they’ll be sending to pick up the slack when we leave.

    I’m beginning to wonder if we shouldn’t apply Berg’s Eighteenth Law of Media Latency to all news reports about President Trump.

  11. its all good my man, our timestamps were literally a minute apart. Great minds think alike 😉

  12. I listened to a podcast where Jonah Goldberg and Steven Hayes discuss Trump’s decision for a good fifteen minutes. They never once mentioned the appropriate conditions that would lead to a withdrawal of troops. They honestly see to believe that only the withdrawal of American troops, and never their insertion, can cause a disaster.

  13. Goldberg is good — except on the topic of Trump. Then he goes mad!
    Surprising no one, Steven Hayes has developed a “strange, new respect” for Mitt Romney.
    I am disappointed in Goldberg. He should be better than this. I suppose that he has painted himself into a corner, his new media venture (“The Dispatch”) seem to have been funded by #nevertrumper, US chamber of commerce types, who demand trump-bashing for their money. Goldberg & Hayes have policy differences with their DC neighbors that are hard-core socialists; but they hate Trump.
    There is something sad about Steven Hayes saying that Romney’s choice of Ryan for a running mate redeemed Romney. Ryan, at least, knows that he no longer had any part to play in conservative politics.
    This is where you hear the podcast: https://ricochet.com/podcast/remnant-jonah-goldberg/dispatched/

  14. Trump’s failure isn’t his decision to withdraw troops — that must happen at some point — it is his complete failure to broker a diplomatic solution that protects his Kurdish allies from Turkish repression, and Turkey from attacks by Kurdish separatists.

    The message to all US allies is that Trump couldn’t care less about your security interests — he’ll throw you under a bus as soon as it suits him. The conclusion is that US allies need to look elsewhere for their security. This not only makes for a more unstable and dangerous world, but also weakens US power. Trump really is a fool.

  15. Emery – FINALLY, you begin to understand the proper role of the United States in the world.

    Important message to everyone else in the world:

    The United States is not your Big Brother. We won’t beat up other people to get you out of a fight.

    The United States is not your Mommy. We won’t wipe your nose every time you get an owie from, for instance, a natural disaster.

    The United States is not your Daddy. We won’t give you an allowance.

    The United States is not your Home. You’re not entitled to live here; we choose who gets to live here.

    The United States is your peer, one of 187 equal nation-states. You don’t owe us anything and we don’t owe you anything. We offer ” . . . peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” If that’s not good enough for you, tough rocks, you’re on your own.

  16. Have to disagree with you on one point, Joe.

    IMO, those other countries, more specifically the NATO members, owe the U.S. back pay for the greater share of their defense that we paid for their defense over the past 50 years. I would also add that we should make every country that is a member of the UN, to pay more for their share of the costs of hosting the majority of the meetings.

  17. I agree with you, Boss, but I’m afraid those are “sunk costs.” It would be like trying to get the slacker kid living in your basement to pay up. Not worth the effort: better for everybody if you Tough Love him out to the streets.

    Say, speaking of which, maybe Emery has a solution to this conundrum: the United States sends troops to protect Kurds from Turks, mistakes are made, shots are fired, and two NATO members end up in a shooting war with each other. Aside from Putin wetting his pants laughing, what happens next?

  18. I am disappointed in Goldberg. He should be better than this.

    For many, including Goldberg, this state of affairs is not merely politics anymore, it’s personal.

  19. Maybe we shouldn’t let the guy who had to be talked out of nuking a hurricane decide what we do in Syria.

  20. Emery may be right – we shouldn’t let the President decide, we should convene a focus group of the smartest Washington establishment to decide.

    They all agree we should send troops to protect the Kurds from the Turks.

    And if mistakes are made, shots are fired, and the United States ends up in a shooting war with our NATO ally, Turkey, the Unites States should . . . withdraw from NATO, leaving the worthless Europeans to fund their own damned defense.


  21. the smartest Washington establishment

    Will this determination be made on a scale of relative smartness or actual?

  22. we should convene a focus group of the smartest Washington establishment

    You’d do better grabbing 100 people off the street of… well not DC that town is so messed up on multiple levels, some midwestern flyover town. And you’d also get a hell of a lot more common sense too.

  23. Emery is the classic leftist who thinks Trump is 100% serious when he’s just trolling to get a reaction for fun.

  24. Maybe you’re one of many Americans who suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Maybe it’s bad today. I just want to remind you: there’s always hope, even when you can’t see it. Talk to someone and ask for help. Check in. Don’t suffer in silence. You’re worth helping.

  25. POD,

    I agree. For instance, I loved his trolling of Kristen Gillibrand when she dropped out of the presidential race. He Tweeted, “Wait until the Democrats find out that she was the candidate I was most afraid of.” Classic!

  26. I get that the Trump base doesn’t care about foreign policy. Heck, the average American doesn’t.

    But this really exceeds normal standards of stupidity.

    NEW: Asked about the Kurds, President Trump says they “didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy” and that they’re fighting for “their land.”~ Yahoo


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