Trump Orders U.S. Troops To Pull Back In Syria. . . Leaving Kurdish Allies To Mercy of The Turks

In a move that reportedly shocked U.S. military and diplomatic officials, President Donald Trump suddenly caved to Turkish demands and ordered U.S. troops to pull back from the areas held by our Kurdish allies. The move is being widely denounced by both Democrats and Republicans as an abandonment of allies who have fought along side with us for years. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., denounced the “impulsive decision” by Trump and said that this could be “a disaster in the making.” The authoritarian president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is of course delighted and is expected to invade Syria now that U.S. troops are pulling back. Nikki Haley, Trump’s former United Nation ambassador, put it bluntly in saying that Trump was leaving our Kurdish allies “to die.” Likewise, Senate Majority Leader denounced the move and declared that it “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

Fox news has reported that top Pentagon officials were “completely blindsided” and “shocked.” Once again, the White House seems to be running foreign policy by tweet with little preparation or consultation with its own “constituent” federal agencies.

It is hard not to see how this is not a betrayal to our allies and a further erosion of the faith in U.S. commitments. The Kurds have been a reliable and effective ally for the United States in defeating ISIS. The image of U.S. troops pulling back as Turks ready an invasion will not be forgotten by them or many others who are weighing alliances with the United States.

Trump however insists that times up: “The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate.”

The problem is that we are not pulling out of Syria. We are pulling back to free areas specifically targeted by Turkey and its notorious leader.

The United States will also be handing over prisoners to Turkey, which now has a green light to wipe out the Kurdish forces.

185 thoughts on “Trump Orders U.S. Troops To Pull Back In Syria. . . Leaving Kurdish Allies To Mercy of The Turks”

  1. I respect Tulsi Gabbard (would not vote for her) but her recent set of tweets seen below seem to be geared more to improving her ratings so she can remain a player in the Democratic nomination saga than to reveal what is actually on the table from her perspective.

    The players are:

    The Kurds
    The Turks
    The Syrians
    The Iranians

    Which of those is the good guy wearing a white hat and riding a white horse?

    She says that Trump wants regime change in Syria as if Trump’s actions are pointed in that direction. They aren’t at least from what I can see. He will do what is good for America and if regime change occurs or if the regime changes its attitudes is a consequence of protecting America, so be it. Regime change can lead to more chaos but the linking of Syria to Iran is dangerous. Regime change in Iran is a more likely desire of Trump’s. That solves a major portion of the Syrian problem without regime change in Syria.

    The Turks likely would have placed pressure on a small number of American troops with the Iranians responding as they have. The US would be caught in the middle and the Iranians or the Turks might have gotten the US involved in a war with Iran which the US is staying clear of at the present. Based on this assessment one could call Tulsi a war monger based on her tweets so she should be more careful with her words and not push for instability when the object is for the US to stay out of a war.

    1. Allan,
      To say this is a complex situation is an understatement. I believe the net effect of our foreign policy, for decades, has not been much different than that of our domestic policies; especially our welfare programs. We’ve spent trillions of taxpayer dollars propping up regimes and we’ve become the sugar daddy of the world. It’s high time we stop giving them fish and instead teach them to fish. At the very least, the EU and other nations, especially those in or near the region, need to do more.

      Another thing that has bothered me is the claim the U.S. has abandoned the Kurds. They make the statement the Kurds helped us in the fight against ISIS. That’s like saying I helped my out-of-state friend who came over to fight home invaders at my home.

      1. I think you are right Olly. When we went into that area Trump stated it was for a limited time frame and to get rid of ISIS. It had nothing to do with the Kurds “war” against the Turks which has been going on for years. The Kurds had similar interests so we were “allies” much like we were “allies” with Stalin during WW2. There are a lot of people with opinions in this world but few that base their opinions based on a reasonably broad view of what is happening.

        This series of tweets by Tulsi causes harm to her image as one that thinks before taking action.

      2. We’ve spent trillions of taxpayer dollars propping up regimes and we’ve become the sugar daddy of the world. It’s high time we stop giving them fish and instead teach them to fish. At the very least, the EU and other nations, especially those in or near the region, need to do more.

        Throughout the post-war period, American troops posted abroad have in number varied between 13% and 30% of total manpower, with a secular decline in every corner of the world except the Near East and points adjacent. The vast bulk of our overseas deployments in the last decade have been in one of about nine countries (Japan, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Britain, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain). We hardly have enough troops in any other country to securely occupy a single 2d tier city. The affluent countries on this list don’t need any instruction in ‘how to fish’ and four of them haven’t received any economic aid since war reconstruction was completed. As for overseas development and relief, annual expenditure is currently running at about $35 bn a year. That’s a tiny portion of the world’s investment capital (maybe 0.25%). At current rates, it would require a generation before you got to $1 tn in nominal terms.

        About 97 countries receive overseas development aid (from all sources, not just the United States) in excess of 1% of their gross national income. Of these, 27 are tiny (typically insular) countries with five and six digit populations, many of them quite poor. Another 40 are 4th and 5th tier economies in tropical Africa, where some modest expenditures on primary schooling and agricultural extension (ie teaching a man to fish) can be quite helpful. Eight other recipients are in miscellaneous parts of the world, but have African living standards. Several others (e.g. Jordan) are proximate to civil wars and are harboring large refugee camps.

        1. DSS, you are as reliable as ever providing statistical data to break down the $49,000,000,000 in U.S. taxpayer financing to foreign entities. I’m not as interested in the actual numbers as I am in your description of these expenditures as tiny, insular, nominal, 4th and 5th tier, modest, quite helpful, African living standards.

          How do you describe our nearly $23,000,000,000,000 in national debt? What is the tangible net benefit of our foreign expenditures toward our national security?

          1. Again, the budgets of various overseas development and relief programs sum to about $35 bn. The security assistance programs are run by the military and undertaken for reasons of state.

            How do you describe our nearly $23,000,000,000,000 in national debt?

            As $23 tn in outstanding Treasury issues. Is there some other way to describe it?

            You want to stop accumulating debt, you arrange to equate expenditures with taxation. The menu of ways you could do that are just endless. Personally, I wouldn’t make a priority of cutting overseas aid, which is a modest portion of the federal budget and a uniquely federal function. I would be concerned to address granular questions of what programs we’re running, where, and with what initial motivation. You have spot relief, which is in response to crises, and you have development aid, which is in response to abiding conditions. Personally, I’d like to see programs which work on improving human capital in these overseas loci: primary schooling, agricultural extension, trade schooling; training programs for tax collectors, land surveyors, land registrars, court personnel, and police officers. Game ways to generate simple public works which can be maintained locally. Such programs would emphasize Tropical Africa and some other places equally destitute, as most of the world can take care of itself if it cares to.

            What is the tangible net benefit of our foreign expenditures toward our national security?

            Depends on what you’re up to where, and what the facts on the ground are in that particular place.

            1. You want to address the budget deficit, you might try ending the federal patronage mill. If you look at the Appendix to the Budget of the United States Government., you’ll see the character string ‘grants, subsidies, and contributions’. You can start by erasing all of these bar those which pertain to welfare benefits for individual households and those which are subsidies to state and local government (as opposed to affiliated corporations of such governments, like state universities, which you’ll be cutting off). To get from here to there, you set up an agency to supervise the wind-down of these relationships. Every government grant recipient has an account and the accounts are sorted into three piles according to the term of the extant grant and the temporal dimension of the weaning grant. Some you simply don’t renew, some have a 2-3 year wean, some a 6 year wean. The franchise to federal agencies other than this one to offer such grants expires when the account is transferred.

            2. Another thing you can do is restructure subventions to state and local government. As an interim measure, retain distributions to finance Medicaid, unemployment compensation, a residue of the highway program, disaster relief, and an indemnity program for local governments who have been injured by changes in federal regulations. To this you’d add general revenue sharing to state and territorial (not local) governments. The global amount distributed would be set by Congress and the check cut to each state or territory would be determined by formula. You’d give the impecunious states a riser to stand on while the affluent states (Connecticut, New Jersey, DC) would rely on their local revenues. You’d have a couple of small sources of unrestricted funds: contractual rental payments from the federal government and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes to local governments in re federal property. In this way, you transfer discretion over public expenditure to state and local bodies.

            3. A third thing you can do is restructure federal welfare spending. Organize welfare programs into five departments: overseas development and relief, civil defense (which incorporates domestic disaster relief), veterans benefits, the Big Five (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment compensation, and SSI), and a final department incorporating the Job Corps and small programs for specialty clientele not well ensconced in state and local communities (i.e. a selection of Americans living abroad, residents of the insular dependencies, reservation Indians, military families, people in itinerant occupations, a selection of people living in remote areas like Eastern Oregon, and people facing actions in federal court). This last department would have a modest budget and (except for the Job Corps), no more than about 2% of the population would be eligible for any of its programs at any one time. In re veterans benefits, some simplification is in order, scraping away some barnacles like loans for home purchases. An incremental program to replace public agency provision with the provision of vouchers, insurance, and allowances would also be in order.

            4. In regard to the above, any subvention to individual households not named would be discontinued in favor of an elaboration on the EITC program. To wit, one’s general income tax liability would be calculated about as follows: 0.21 u + 0.4 b – f x c, where ‘u’ is your taxable income up to a certain threshold, ‘b’ is any income you have beyond that threshold, ‘f’ is the size of your family (yourself, spouse, dependent children, and fractional values for children for which you have partial custody or pay support), and ‘c’ is a general credit. The dollar value of the general credit and of the income threshold would be adjusted each year according to the change in nominal personal income per capita in the U.S. Now, using this formula, a great many people will have a negative liability. Their net rebate would be capped at a certain % of their earned income, a cap which could be partially relaxed when the household contains an elderly or disabled person and fully relaxed when there are only such persons. The purpose of the federal income tax would be to finance a few transfer programs not intended to be actuarially sound. (That would be Medicaid, SSI, cash veterans benefits and insurance, and transitional payments to repair federal pension programs). The rest would be rebated to individual households and function as ‘matching funds’ for their earned income. For this year, lets posit ‘u’ is equal to about $132,000 and ‘c’ is equal to about $8,600. ‘Taxable income’ would mean what the Bureau of Economic Analysis defines as income less Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, SSI, and unemployment compensation.

            5. Given that, you could liquidate all federal welfare programs not named above. That would be the nutrition programs, subsidies to utility bills, TANF, housing subsidies, and sundries.

            6. End federal subventions for higher education. Again, you’d have a temporary agency whose job it was to wind down the student loan programs and miscellaneous grant programs. Going forward, student loans would be offered by banks and finance companies without government guarantees and with just enough creditor protection in bankruptcy (no more) to allow a market to emerge at non-usurious rates. As an addendum, you’d also discontinue job training programs not appended to the Job Corps.

            7. Work to make Social Security and Medicare more actuarially sound. One is to institute cohort-specific retirement ages, as in the 1960 cohort retires at 67, the 1964 cohort at 68, the 1969 cohort at 69 and so forth. The idea here would be to maintain the ratio of beneficiaries to the working population at a fixed value.

            8. Amend standards and practices for awarding disability benefits. We’ve suffered ever more relaxed definitions of disability in recent decades and that should be reversed.

            9. Revise federal fringe benefits and retirement programs. Ideally, we’d phase out defined-benefit pensions in favor of defined-contribution accounts and contain expenditures on medical and l/t care benefits by introducing deductibles which would be adjusted annually, so that the payout per beneficiary per year would be a fixed % of nominal personal income per capita.

            10. Contain expenditures on Medicare and Medicaid by introducing deductibles, the value of which would be adjusted annually in the manner described above.

            11. Restructure payroll taxes. Those for unemployment compensation would be largely paid by the employer. Those for Social Security and Medicare would be levied on the employee’s total compensation (cash and benefits), with the dollar value of the levy not to exceed (say) x% of mean nominal compensation per worker in this country a given year. (A levy of 19% of total compensation, not to exceed $25,000 this year. might do for this year to get Social Security and Medicare on a secure footing).

            12. Institute a value-added tax to finance the federal government, making it (as much as possible) non-descriminatory between sectors. A flat-assessment of 17% on value-added would be more than enough. You’ll have to phase this in, and tolerate deficits in the interim. You could restructure the small taxes while you’re at it, eliminating some of them.

            The implications of this for the architecture of the federal government would include the following:

            1. Power-washing every federal agency to eliminate small grant programs.

            2. A 90% cut in the budget of the Department of Agriculture consequent to the elimination of the Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm Security Agency (in favor of new counter-valing tariffs), the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency and its portfolio of insurance policies, the rural development apparat (pork) and the National Institute on Food and Agriculture (professor pork).

            3. Elimination of the Economic Development Admnistration

            4. Scraping away at the Department of Health and Human Services: eliminating the Administration on Aging, eliminating most of the components of the Administration on Children and Families (retaining the Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, but little else), making large cuts in the budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Heath as their grant programs are terminated, shutting down SAMHSA and components of the HRSA and some of the shizzier components of NIH.

            5. Fishing out of HUD the small agency which regulates lead paint exposure (appending it to the EPA) and shutting the remainder down.

            6. In regard to the Education Department, transfer the survey and statistics wing to the Labor Department and set up two new stand alone agencies, one to wind down the student loan program and one to enforce consumer protection law on higher education. Shut the rest of the department down.

            7. In regard to the Energy Department, end it’s loan program and liquidate the promissory notes. Also, end the grant programs of the National Laboratories.

            8. In regard to the Transportation department, large budget cuts as grant programs are eliminated. You’d leave the air traffick control system, what there is of a maritime traffick control system, the safety inspectorates and other regulatory services, and the federal sub agency which builds roads on public lands. In re U.S. Routes and short-haul Interstates, the department would define the routes and distribute the signage. In re the long-haul Interstates, the feds would finance all maintenance through toll collections, which would be distributed to dedicated funds in each state according to acres of Macadam therein. Otherwise, the federal highway program would end.

            9. In regard to stand-alone agencies, a number would be eliminated or have a small office fished out and the rest eliminated. Among them: the Small Business Administration, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the components of the Corporation for National and Community Service (bar the Peace Corps), &c. Also eliminated would be the telecom subsidies which make up 85% of the budget of the Federal Communications Commission, the EPA’s grant programs (about 1/4 of their budget, I think), scholarship programs named after members of Congress, &c.

  2. Tulsi Gabbard on the situation in Syria:

    @realdonaldtrump isn’t removing our troops from Syria. He’s just moving them from the northern Syrian border, allowing Turkey to invade Syria & slaughter the Kurds. Trump lied to the Kurds, promising them our support while simultaneously preventing them … (1/5)

    … from reconciling with the Syrian government and coordinating a common defense against Turkish invasion. The impending slaughter & ethnic cleansing of the Syrian by Turkey is happening because Trump refuses to end our efforts to overthrow the Syrian government. (2/5)

    The Kurds are just another casualty of this regime change war which is supported by war-mongering Republicans, Democrats, and corporate media. (3/5)

    The hypocrisy of war-mongers like Nikki Haley, Senator Graham & others who have demanded that we continue our regime change war in Syria, who are now crying crocodile tears for the Kurds, is nauseating. Starving the Syrian people through draconian sanctions … (4/5)

    … strengthening terrorists like AQ and ISIS, wasting billions of dollars, creating a refugee crisis, & now this impending genocide & ethnic cleansing of the Kurds — the warmongers consider these costs to be a small price to pay in their effort to change the Syrian regime. (5/5)

  3. Here are Trump’s tweets on the subject. They make sense.

    “Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East. Moved our 50 soldiers out. Turkey MUST take over captured ISIS fighters that Europe refused to have returned. The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!”

    “The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE………IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!”

  4. Just as our “stable genius” planned:

    “(CNN)Turkey has launched a planned military offensive into northeastern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday, just days after the Trump administration announced it was pulling US troops back from the border area….

    Shortly after Erdogan announced the offensive, the spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — a key US ally in northern Syria — claimed that warplanes had begun carrying out airstrikes on civilian areas. “There is huge panic among people in the region,” spokesman Mustafa Bali wrote.

    A US official familiar with operations in Syria confirmed that Turkey conducted strikes in Tal Abyad in northern Syria and the border town of Ras al-Ayn.
    Witnesses and two fighters for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) told CNN that hundreds of civilians in northern Syria had fled areas on the border with Turkey. The fighters also said Turkey had used heavy artillery and conducted airstrikes on Ras al-Ayn….”

  5. Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution reserves the right to

    “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    . Take it up with them. In this case, the Prssident isn’t violating the will of Congress, because this conflict was never explicitly authorized by Congress.

  6. If people in Congress want us to go to war over this, then they should declare war.

    Perhaps everyone forgot that Congress actually has that authority.

    As for the President’s decision to pull back I recall that a couple of years ago he said we should not get involved in conflicts over there EXCEPT that we had to take down ISIS after which we would leave.

    Does it really surprise anyone that this president keeps his promises?

    1. Another question: Assume that the President had done what Prof. Turley and “both Democrats and Republicans” in Congress wanted and left US troops between the Kurds and Turks. If the Turks attacked those positions, what then?

      Any attack by Kurdish forces on Turkey could be construed under Article V of the North Atlantic Charter (a treaty which all NATO members agree to follow) to require the US to defend Turkey. Congress doesn’t seem to have explicitly authorized Trump to order US forces to defend the Kurds against another NATO member. Nor have they declared a state of war to exist between the US and any party to the Syrian conflict.

      Congress has declined to exercise its right to “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water” since 1941.

      In that time US forces have come very close to prosecuting a thermonuclear war over missiles aimed at us from Cuba, fought two bloody wars in Asia, countless shorter actions, and allowed 5,000 US troops to die in Iraq (including my younger son), then thrown away their sacrifice as the US first armed ISIS then allowed it to occupy much of Iraq during the Obama administration.

      All without a declaration of war by Congress. If Congress were worth what we pay them, they would shoulder the responsibility of declaring wars again, and not leave their responsibity to the Executive branch. As it stands, President Trump doesn’t seem to have an alternative than to wirhdraw US troops.

      Turkey, as a fellow NATO member, has to know what US troop dispositions in Europe and Southwest Asia are. They know that a pivot of land forces to defend the Kurds isn’t in the cards logistically or politically. Were Trump to leave those troops there and state that an attack on Kurdish positions hosting US troops would result in retaliation would justly be treated by the Turks as a vain and empty threat.

      The decision to change our diplomacy with Turkey that radically and possibly abrogate the North Atlantic Charter isn’t the President’s job. It’s Congress’s job,

      1. Loupgarous, sorry about your son but such a mention is important. These are our children we are sending out to fight and die. In the meantime we have a Congress that is more interested in protecting their seats than in protecting those children. We have allies that talk a game but don’t seem willing to put any skin in it. All of this is being left to the President of the United
        States alone.

        I am not a supporter of Obama, but he was President as well and some of his ideas regarding the use of American might were agreeable to me and I supported those ideas openly, however his actions proved he was not up to his job and was more interested in the politics than actually making the world safer and better for Americans.

        We now have Trump. I won’t say I agree with everything he does, but here we have a President who sticks to what he promised the American people. He seems unconcerned with politics when making the important decisions and makes them despite the pressures placed on him by those that do not respect democracy. Instead of helping America move forward with either military force or removing military force Congress is engaged in in creating an atmosphere to invalidate the Presidential election. If Congress is not there to support or fight against military action then they have invalidated the reason for them to be members of that body.

        1. I agree. Congress cannot with any justice abdicate their Constitutional responsbility and their reserved role to make war, then criticize the President for not doing what he has no Constitutional authority to do.

          Congress didn’t tell Trump to start a war with a NATO ally, which is what Turkey, like it or not, is. I think Turkey’s recent actions make them a very equivocal ally and that NATO ought to revisit their role in the alliance, but that is not a thing Trump’s allowed to take into consideration now.

          Now, he’s the commander-in-chief and responsible for the lives of American military at those Kurdish positions. He’s going to be held responsible for their deaths if fighting breaks out between the Turks and Kurds and they’re still there.

          Every time we lose Americans in overseas conflict, the government promises us we won’t go into open-ended wars like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq – that our military deployments will be for discrete purposes, that they will have a starting point, a set of clear objectives, and a point at which they end.

          The Democrats were critical of George W. Bush for not wanting to withdraw troops from Iraq precipitously. Now they are criticizing Trump for doing what they say Bush ought to have done – declare victory, pack up our troops, and bring them home. I believe that they don’t sincerely object to Trump’s leavng the Kurds alone. If they were,they would specifically order him to protect them. They have that power.

          But against whom does Congress declare war in Syria? Syria itself? That places us at war not just with Syria but their ally Rissia. Against Turkey? There’s no cause of war, yet, unless we ally with the Kurds. Presidens don’t get to make those calls. That’s Congress’ job.

          1. “I think Turkey’s recent actions make them a very equivocal ally and that NATO ought to revisit their role in the alliance, but that is not a thing Trump’s allowed to take into consideration now.”

            Loup, True, true and true. Turkey’s position in the world has been undervalued by too many. They are not of like mind but they are the regional power that is geographically and ethnically very important. They can be used as a counterbalance but I don’t think we concentrated on Turkey’s demographics in the decades before Erdogan. There was the citified Istanbul where fertility rates were lower than that of Anatolia, the western part of Turkey leading to a shift in mindset from the time Turkey became a NATO ally to the present. They control a major entryway into the Mediterranean and can fit into two different worlds. They are a defining regional military power as well as a regional economic power.

            “But against whom does Congress declare war in Syria?”

            Let’s see. After Trump was legally elected President the Democrats have been trying to invalidate the election. They sacrificed our foreign policy to this objective. Russia might be an enemy but we have always dealt with our enemies especially when we have significant things in common. Unfortunately the Democrats used Russia as a tool and Trump couldn’t deal with Russia potentially avoiding many of the problems we are facing today.

            When the Berlin Wall fell the politicians used that event to garner votes with their constituents. They announced a “peace dividend” which was nuts at the time since now the world would be more complex. We did not manage our super power status appropriately when not facing a substantial enemy and at the same time helped to create another potentially dangerous enemy China. It was nice buying all those meaningless trinkets while our children went out to fight wars that need never have existed.

      2. “a pivot of land forces to defend the Kurds isn’t in the cards logistically or politically. Were Trump to leave those troops there and state that an attack on Kurdish positions hosting US troops would result in retaliation would justly be treated by the Turks as a vain and empty threat.

        The decision to change our diplomacy with Turkey that radically and possibly abrogate the North Atlantic Charter isn’t the President’s job. It’s Congress’s job,”

        WELL SAID.

        1– logistically impossible to do anything else besides sit there and invite harm from Turkey, Syria, or both
        2– vain threat to do anything makes US look weak
        3– further dithering makes US look weak
        4– NATO allegiance takes strategic precedence
        5– socalled “abandoning” the Kurdish militias to fight their own battle against our NATO ally is obviously the only possible choice hence it should have been taken already against the bad advice of “military planners” urging the POTUS to leave the 50 guys in harms way.

        Ergo, Trump is acting like the wise boss that he is. And no thanks for it from the usual naysayers, of course!

  7. The U.S. should offer asylum to any Kurds wishing to come to the United States as it did with the Hmong people who assisted U.S. forces during the Vietnam War.

    And since the good professor is troubled (again!) he should volunteer to help the president by offering to write all of the condolence letters to the families of soldiers KIA in northern Syria. And since the Turks have been fighting the Kurds since before anyone reading this was born, perhaps the professor can let us know exactly when would be a good time to bring our troops home.

      1. I see that i posted this yesterday and none of the YPG apologists wants to say why the Obama administrations to block the Kurd Parlak’s asylum bid was wrong. Ok. duly noted. And Parlak put on a swell case btw that he was not affiliated with the PKK.

        So go explain that Democrats. Or just keep ignoring it since you have no credibility in this discussion anyways.

  8. The neocons are their ilk are out in full force today. “We must remove Assad” they say. Why? “because there can be no meaningful peace with him.” That’s nonsense. The Syrians, Kurds, and Russians can easily control the entire country and prevent the jihadis from ever coming back. The jihadis can only succeed when there is instability.

    Each Arab country has been dealing with their own internal jihadist movements for a century now. The only way to combat this never ending problem is by stopping the funding of the ideology itself. By far, the biggest proponent of this destructive ideology is Saudi Arabia. Regime change wars have already destroyed our nation and the locos want more of it. We must all stand against this madness.

    1. Ivan, I agree that Saudi Arabia is a proponent of destructive ideology. But Assad is a different animal all together.

      Had Bashar Assad been popular and competent, Syria never would have exploded the way it did. Assad essentially inherited the regime from his father who had gained power in a military coup. Syria will never be a united country again with Assad as its leader. Assad should be sent to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes. He was bombing his own cities with total disregard for civilian lives.

      1. peter let me educate you on your most recent darlings. here, look, bbc, you said you read it. let’s go back a few years! 13 October 2015

        Kurdish forces have carried out a wave of forced displacement and mass house demolitions – amounting to war crimes – in northern Syria, a rights group says.

        A report by Amnesty International accuses the Popular Protection Units (YPG) of razing entire villages after capturing them from Islamic State (IS).

        This appeared to be in retaliation for residents’ perceived sympathies with or links to the jihadist group, it says.

        The YPG has consistently denied accusations of forced displacements.

        However, the YPG – a key ally of the US-led international coalition against IS – and its political parent the PYD have admitted to some “isolated incidents”.

        Coalition air strikes, as well as air drops of weapons and ammunition, have helped the militia to drive IS out of large parts of northern Syria this year.

        The Amnesty report came as the US said it had dropped more than 45 tonnes of ammunition to rebels in north-western Syria.

        Civilians ‘caught in middle’
        On Tuesday, Amnesty said its researchers had uncovered evidence of “alarming abuses” carried out by the YPG – the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) – in towns and villages controlled by the Kurdish Autonomous Administration in Hassakeh and Raqqa provinces.

        Its report quoted one witness in the village of Husseiniya, in Hassakeh province, as saying: “They pulled us out of our homes and began burning the home… they brought the bulldozers… They demolished home after home until the entire village was destroyed.”

        Satellite images illustrated the scale of the demolitions in Husseiniya, Amnesty said. Of 225 buildings visible in June 2014, only 14 were still standing by June 2015.

        Image copyrightPLEIADES / AIRBUS
        Image caption
        This satellite image shows buildings in Husseiniya in June 2014
        Image copyrightPLEIADES / AIRBUS
        Image caption
        A year later, only a few properties are left standing, the Amnesty report says
        Meanwhile, in villages south of the town of Suluk, some residents told Amnesty’s researchers that YPG fighters had accused them of supporting IS and threatened to shoot them if they did not leave.

        While in some cases residents acknowledged that there had been a handful of IS supporters in their villages, the majority did not back the jihadist group, Amnesty concluded.

        In other cases, residents alleged that YPG fighters had ordered them to leave, threatening them with air strikes if they failed to comply.

        “They told us we had to leave or they would tell the US coalition that we were terrorists and their planes would hit us and our families,” one person told Amnesty’s researchers.


        1. Today as usual Peter ignores my responsive comment. Relevant information, ignored by Democrat fanboys.

          But, he’ll be back this afternoon selling more empty copy from the WAPO, its faithful paperboy!

      2. Who is the Assad government fighting? The jihadis- that’s all. Who has funded and armed the jihadis- the US(CIA), SA, Turkey, and the other sunni gulf states.

        These are basic facts that much of the US population is obvious to. Just take a look at the current situation in Idlib province: the Syrian govt wants to regain control of the land, but whenever they start to move, the US threatens annihilation. Well, who are we protecting? Who controls Idlib? Al-Qaeda.

        Assad isn’t on his way to the Hague. The blame for all the death and destruction falls on the shoulders of those who started and funded the war: us and our allies, sadly. The critical part of the war is over and the Syrian government and the Russians won, the CIA lost. No amount of pretend thinking can change that.

        1. buh buh but Ivan, it’s called “al Nusra front” not al queda! Democrats don’t want to know however….

          “Formed in 2012, in November of that year The Washington Post described al-Nusra as “the most aggressive and successful” of the rebel forces.[43] In December 2012, the United States Department of State designated it a foreign terrorist organization,[44] and in November 2013, it became the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda.[45]”


          1. Kurtz, what strikes me is in that part of the world we are always fighting the same people under different names and different banners. At the same time we are praising people under different names and different banners. The problem is they are like a deck of cards that are divided into different groups then put back together, shuffled and once again divided into different groups where the groups have different names.

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