“I Am Ashamed”: U.S. Special Forces Watch As Turks Overwhelm Former Kurdish Allies

A U.S. Special Forces members in Syria told Fox News on the abandonment of our Kurdish allies has left left him “ashamed for the first time” in his career. He also says that the Turks have committed war atrocities after President Donald Trump overruled his military and state departments in suddenly pulling back troops. Trump responded on Thursday to the threat of thousands of extremist ISIS fighters escaping from prisons, including sites bombed by Turkey. When reporters pressed Trump on the widespread condemnation for the betrayal of the Kurds, Trump downplayed the alliance with the Kurds, 11,000 of whom died fighting to help the US mission against ISIS. “They didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy for example,” Trump said. “They’re there to help us with their land, and that’s a different thing.” Normandy is an area of France, not the US.”>Trump triggered further outrage by dismissing the Kurds (who lost 11,000 in fighting with the U.S. in Syria) by saying “They didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy for example.” It is a bizarre comment since Turkey was far from a reliable ally in World War II. Indeed, it signed a treaty with Germany and was accused of assisting the Nazis in critical ways, including chromite exports that kept the Nazi war machine going.

Notably, after getting Trump to back away from the protection of the Kurds, President Tayyip Erdogan is threatening Europe by pledging to send millions of refugees (including extremists) into their countries if they criticize his scorched earth invasion into Syria.

The Special Forces soldier who served along side of the Kurds expressed both shame and disbelief at Trump’s action (which was done without forewarning to our allies or even his own key officials). The soldier noted that Wednesday that “Turkey is not doing what it agreed to. It’s horrible. We met every single security agreement. The Kurds met every single agreement [with the Turks]. There was no threat to the Turks — none — from this side of the border.”  

Republican and Democratic leaders have expressed rare unity in condemning Trump’s move. In the meantime, Turkey is shelling civilian areas in its Orwellian named Operation Peace Spring.

The decision to pull back the U.S. troops (and insulting dismissal of the Kurds as allies) is indeed a shameful moment for this country. I can only imagine the emotions of our personnel who had to abandon their comrades in arms to make way for the Turkish invasion.

280 thoughts on ““I Am Ashamed”: U.S. Special Forces Watch As Turks Overwhelm Former Kurdish Allies”

  1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-five weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – David, have you recovered from the Sun Devils kicking the Cougars butts?

    BTW, glad to see you back, I was getting concerned.

  2. Trumpers Turn Intelectual Somersaults Defending Trump on Kurds

    Trump supporters deny the Arab Spring; a chain of spontaneous uprisings that swept North Africa in 2011. Apparently it isn’t cool for conservative to recognize the uprisings. Official conservative doctrine says Obama and Hilary orchestrated the Arab Spring.

    This narrative ignores the regimes that ruled North Africa. Ben Ali, Mubarak, Quadaffi and Assad had all been in power for at least a generation. The people of North Africa had known the same despots most of their lives.

    None of those despots ruled with any real legitimacy. That’s the problem with despots: ‘they lack legitimacy’. And that becomes a problem when Despots hang around too long. People start to ask if the despot is really legit?

    Any one of those despots could have taken exile. Assad could have gone to Russia and Quaddaffi was totally welcome in neighboring Black countries. Quaddaffe and his whole family only had to move a couple hundred miles.

    But when despots do down, their whole regime goes down with them. Which gives them all an incentive to fiercely quash the uprising. Regimes can be like a gangs of criminals shooting it out with police.

    Members of a crumbling regimes can wind up poor refugees. That alone is an incentive to suppress the uprising. That’s why Libya and Syria ignited like hay stacks: the regimes fought back tenaciously provoking a bloodbath.

    But none of these dynamics are recognized by Trumpers in relation Egypt, Libya and Syria. Trumpers pretend those regime were established governments with mandates to rule. And again this narrative only exists to accommodate conspiracy theories.

    Conservaties must believe that Obama and Hillary were plotting regime changes. Like they didn’t have enough to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. So they ‘manufactured’ The Arab Spring and used Hollywood effects to create crowds of 100,000 jamming public squares.

    From that false narrative Trump supporters claim Syria blew up because Obama attempted a regime change. Therefore The Kurds shouldn’t expect to benefit from Obama’s folly. This is the narrative Trumpers are coming from in response to The Turkish Invasion.

    1. Hill: “Trump supporters deny the Arab Spring.”

      I stopped at your first sentence. Who’s denying the Arab Spring? Where do you see this? Who says Obama and Hillary started the Arab Spring? What on earth are you talking about?

      1. Ivan, several here have tried to equate Libya and Syria with the Iraq war, as if we began these civil wars as we did the Iraq War. Of course that is false.

        1. PS Several have also tried to lay Egypt at the feet of the US. All three of these were popular uprisings against dictators.

          1. When you have an extended bombing campaign to take out an existing government, that is “at your feet”.
            The leverage used to help ease Mubarak out was economic and diplomatic.
            There was also encouragement for those trying to over throw the Assad regime in Syria.
            That “encouragement” extended to directly or indirectly arm various factions involved in the uprising.
            It’s true that none of these regime changes involved the level of direct U.S. military involvement of taking down the Saddam regime.
            It’s also true that you have to be an idiot if you fail to recognize to the consequences of taking out a government.
            And while we are on the lookout for and object to signs of foreign influences in our own government, we have no problem taking out the leadership of other countries.

            1. In Libya, the US acted with our European allies under a UN authorization. to avert a pending slaughter of Libyans by Qaddafi.

              I understand that all the lying surrounding Iraq fosters cynicism about US motives, but try to look at each situation as it occurs. Dick Cheney is out of office, though unfortunately not in jail.

              1. Yeah, a “no-fly zone” to “protect civilians”. That’s how the plan to decimate the government forces was sold.
                So once the “no-fly zone” was put into place and the air Force destroyed or grounded, the bombing targeted government troops and artillery and government infrastructure.
                The objective of this mission to “protect civilians” was to defeat the government’s military.
                And for good measure, our surveillance and intel tracked the movement of the convey with the remnants of the Khaddaffi regime and passed that info along to “the rebels” , so they could “capture” Khaddaffi.

              2. Anon, when the Arab Spring swept into Libya, Obama couldn’t possibly support Momar Qaddafi. Qaddafi has been widely described as one of the world’s craziest leaders during his 40 years in power. Scarcely any world leaders supported Qaddafi when the uprisings began.

                Yet again and again I have seen commenters on this blog insisting that Obama and Hillary ‘turned’ on our ‘ally’ Qaddafi. That talking point is so nonsensical it should be dismissed out of hand. But amazingly that talking point keeps resurfacing here.

                1. Who said anything about supporting Khaddaffi?
                  The issue is whether it’s wise to take out existing regimes.
                  Are we “supporting” every dictatorship on the planet if we don’t go in and overthrow it?
                  Another problem with our actions in Libya is that Khaddaffi had dismantled his nuclear program, renounced terrorism, and was actually cooperating in the war on terror.
                  That is supposedly a pathway that a rogue nation takes to become a legimate member if the international community.
                  So after 7-8 years of cleaning up his act, at least internationally, we become key participants in a military campaign to take him out.
                  One reason that Assad is not playing ball with the West, or hasn’t negotiated a way for himself to exit, may be that he looked at what happened to toppled dictators like Saddam and Khaddaffi, and found that prospect unappealing.
                  So he dug in. I think some of our past actions are going to make it even more difficult to convince dictators to modify their repressive methods, or to abandon nuclear programs.

                2. Hill, you and Anon have no credibility. This has been shown over and over again with proven fact. You two run away whenever solid proof is presented. Why? Because you guys will never admit you are wrong even after the proof comes in and you guys tailor your information to meet your ideological requirements. Neither of you demonstrate consistency or the truth.

                  Even where one of you has a point that sounds reasonable, no one can take that point seriously because one never knows if by accident one of you happened to hit on the truth. It’s a sad state of affairs that you guys created.

                  Ghadaffi did our bidding and we ended up killing him. Suddenly both of you talk about abandoning our allies. Turkey is an ally at least if you think NATO represents an agreement between nations. The Kurds and the US had common interests but those interests didn’t extend to the US indefinitely protecting the Kurds or providing a state for them no matter how one feels about the Kurds. Neither have you had spoken about having Congress act within its war powers.

                  I am not saying whether Trump’s decision was right or wrong. I am only disputing the so called facts you guys bring to the table.

          2. I’m glad you bring up Egypt which the US backed dictator Mubarak was forced to flee. Who won the election afterwards? The Muslim Brotherhood(sunni fundamentalists) lead by the dictator Morsi. And then he had to be overthrown via a military coup lead by the dictator al-Sisi.

            The reality in virtually every Arab country is that they almost have to be ruled by despots so that muslim fundamentalist despots don’t come into power. No one cares for ANY of these despots, but to get rid of them doesn’t help either.

            1. Ivan, the fact that there may be no good choices in some ME countries does not mean we can wash our hands of any involvement and not have that come back on us also. These are difficult situations with difficult choices, but walking away will not insulate us from consequences.

              1. PS I also believe our foreign policy should weigh humanitarian concerns as in our long term and enlightened self interest as humans favoring self rule and human rights. Of course action in that effort should – like any other – be subject to risk/benefit analysis as we cannot solve all problems.

            2. The other problem, Ivan, is that we had nothing to do with placing either Khaddaffi or Mubarek in power.
              It’s one thing to have bad, dictatorial regimes in the region which we did not create.
              It’s another thing to take down these regimes with our fingerprints all over displacing these regimes, and our role in creating the mess that follows.

                1. Was that claim made?
                  Of course there were internal uprisings in Egypt and Libya.
                  The issue is whether we should actively side with that opposition in pressuring or bombing the existing regime,( which poses no threat to the U.S. or it’s allies), to make it disappear

                  1. Always a valid question. When the existing regime is involved in or preparing for a slaughter of it’s citizens, and in one case those citizens represented a democratic uprising, and we have options which do not require the kind of national sacrifice which Iraq imposed on us, I would favor pursuing them.

                    1. #1. I think it’s virtually impossible to state with any degree of certainty how much of the uprising was by “democratic” insurgents.
                      I know a fair amount about Lybia and its history, and I also “know what I don’t know”.
                      Which is a lot. So a confident claim that the uprising was largely Democratic, or largely jihadist, or tribal……there’s no real way of knowing that.
                      The media interviewing opposition leaders who were saying ” all the right things” at the time of the uprising doesn’t really tell us very much.
                      #2. I watched the progress of the uprising, and it looked like the assault on the insurgents last bastion, Benghazi, was imminent.
                      Khaddaffi’s forces had regained control over most if the country, and what was left of the opposition was largely holed up in Benghazi.
                      That’s when the West stepped in and went to the U. N. for the “no fly zone, humanitarian” resolution.
                      Leaving aside the fact that the NATO bombing campaign went far beyond the stated humanitarian concerns, I saw no attempt to use other methods to prevent widespread civilian slaughter.
                      Now Khaddaffi claimed that be would accept a surrender and even suggested of hinted at amnesty.
                      Given his history, I wouldn’t bet a lot on that. But I was expecting some international involvement, at least an effort, to broker a negotiated settlement to avoid the inevitable assault on Benghazi.
                      I saw no evidence of that. That’s one if the things that made me wonder how much of a factor the “humanitarian concerns” really was.
                      The follow-up, the intense bombing campaign that demolished much of Khaddaffi’s military, made it pretty clear that this was about overthrowing Khaddaffi.

                    2. That the revolution was primarily democratic is not really contestable and includes the type of government that resulted. Dismissing this as unknowable is as much an active decision with real results as accepting what is most obvious.

                      Similarly, ending the assault on Qaddafi’s troops after the immediate threat could have led to more death through a protracted civil war. Sure, you could argue that one, but without knowing fully what would happen.

                      These situations are difficult and with drastic consequences no matter what path is chosen, including abstaining from action.

        2. There’s very good reason to equate the wars in Libya and Syria to the Iraq war despite the obvious differences.

          The Iraq war was a straight up invasion with massive military might. In Libya and Syria we took advantage of the Arab Spring to help jihadis in both countries overthrow their respective governments. All three are regime change wars, but the methods have been different.

          We didn’t start the protests, but we took full advantage of them and provided the jihadis with all kinds of support because we also wanted their leaders gone. So, we didn’t begin the conflict, but we allied ourselves with the head-choppers who themselves were also taking advantage of the Arab Spring. Our(and our allies) role in the Syrian war has been massive. Libya is similar.

          Your knowledge, and Hill’s, is sorely lacking and it’s painfully obvious. When the jihadis saw that the dentists were protesting they were ready to act, as was our CIA(and others) to take advantage of the situation to start a much larger conflict for their own ends: regime change.

          1. That is false Ivan. The majority of those involved in the Libyan uprising were democratic and managed to put together a pro-American elected government which became unraveled later as tribal forces with religious affiliations created destabilizing chaos which goes on still, though the UN recognizes a democartic goevrnment still there. Obama said his worst mistake as president was in not pushing for more aid and support for Libya. I suggest you read more, and not from the usual conspiracy mongerers so popular here.

            In Syria, the only available opposition to Assad – besides the Kurds – were various tribal and religious groups who we tried to sort into jihadists and non-jihadist sympathizers with mixed success. The reason for our involvement was humanitarian and the proof of it’s necessity was the killing of civilians by Assad which I showed in a post above.

            The only connection between these events and Iraq is ISIS, which was begun by Sunni Iraqis displaced by the Shiite majority after our war.

            1. I didn’t say that the those involved in the uprising weren’t normal everyday citizens. I said that the jihadi groups took advantage of the protests to start their war. Some reading comprehension courses are in order.

              Where is this democratic pro-American government started by the protestors in Syria that you speak of? You don’t even give it a name because it never existed.

              The main participants in the war against Assad are all jihadis.These jihadis took advantage of the protests to start their war and we helped them every step of the way. But you say: “The reason for our involvement was humanitarian.” Is that why we allied ourselves with the head-choppers? For humanitarian reasons, not to take down Assad. That’s pretty funny.

              1. Ivan, for a guy constantly trying to bolster your argument by denouncing othjers’ lack of information, you don’t seem to know much about Libya. Jihadi groups did not “start their war”. It was a popular uprising later taken advantage of in the western areas by tribal forces, some of whom are jihadi.

                On Syria, look at the stats on civilian deaths and decide where the most effective humanitarian action should be focused I posted them for you once. Here they are again.

                Perpetrator Number of killed civilians Men Women Children
                Syrian government forces 199,411 164,213 11,854 22,733
                Russian forces 6,514 3,717 908 1,928
                Islamic State 5,004 3,454 584 952
                Other unnamed parties 5,239 3,156 734 1,164
                Other rebel forces 4,131 2,451 873 981
                International Coalition Forces 3,037 1,455 656 924
                Syrian Democratic Forces 1,157 768 152 203
                Hayat Tahrir al Sham 455 301 74 64
                TOTAL 224,948 180,165 15,835 28,948

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War#cite_note-shuhadanationality-95

              2. Libyan society and culture is not well- understood enough to claim that these were mostly “pro-democracy” rebels. And the historic tribalism and tribal rivalies and regional conflicts means that a lot of the country is not populated by everyday people, at least as we picture everyday people.

                1. Correction. We do know that the Libyan Civil War was led by pro-democracy forces and in fact they established an elected government when victorious. Further, many of the western Libyan tribal forces sowing chaos later were pro-Qaddafi before his death.

                  What;s his name should buy the program so he knows the players.

                  Here’s an expert voice speaking to the civil war victors. He not only lived in N Africa since the 1980s but was our envoy to LIbya during the Civil War.

            2. So outside of rhe fact that displacing these regimes was a boost to terrorist organizations, that it unleased massive sectarian and tribal conflict, etc., they were great developments.
              Do you even bother to follow the news, say, in Libya?
              That’s right, I forgot. There’s “a democratic government” there as one of the factions.
              Barely hanging on the Tripoli, let alone the other regions of the country.
              And we now have ISIS and AQAP there since we took out Khaddaffi.
              Great outcomes.

              1. Indeed, it is a cluster f..k, but hardly worse than Qaddafi murdering his own citizens and in fact civilian deaths are down. The sin was not that we ended his murderous advancements on his own people and supported the revolution, but the world’s – and our – failure to offer more support to the democratic government that followed.

            3. Obama regrets not giving “more support” to Libya in the aftermath of the destruction if the Khaddaffi regime.
              How much support did he continue to give Iraq when he pulled the plug, militarily and diplomatically, in Iraq in 2011?
              That set the stage for another massive outbreak of choas and violence in Iraq
              We can say “well, if it were not for the jihadis and others inferring, the pro-democratic Iraqi faction would have had an easier time of it”
              Well, duh! That is what you’re likely to unleash when you topple a Middle East dictatorship, and it’s a strong argument against toppling existing regimes.

          2. I don’t know if their knowledge is lacking or not, Ivan.
            It seems more likely that since these were Obama/ Hillary foreign policy blunders, they must be “good blunders” in the view of a couple of people commenting here.
            Anyone paying any attention to what followed the overthrow of Khaddaffi or the ouster of Mubarek should be able to recognize the hazards of promoting regime changes.
            What you’re arguing against here is 2 people who will never admit that “their” politicians made some terrible decisions.

            1. I already quoted Obama as saying not providing more support for Libya’s revolution was among his worst errors as president and of course he should not have said the “red line” statement in Syria, though not saying that would not have changed much.

              These are very difficult situations and no doubt Obama’s actions can be legitimately criticized there. That’s what we are doing here, right? Let’s just drop the false history and stick to facts. Qaddafi was a murderer poised to murder thousands more, and the civil war there was largely one of legitimate opposition which ended in the near term at a democratic government.

              Chrs Stephens had lived in that region for several years and was very upbeat on that revolution. You may remember he insisted on jogging alone through the streets as he had that much trust in most of it’s citizens. After his death there were marches in the streets in his support.

              https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/does-not-represent-us-moving-photos-pro-american-rallies-libya/323645/

              Watch this video which Stevens produced as he was about to become our ambassador there to see his hope, based on his full knowledge of the revolution and the people:

              1. You drop the false, revisionist history.
                You not only fail to recognize what is still going on in Libya, you pretend that “more support” would have made things right.
                We already had our hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to keep things from totally falling apart there, and supposedly we were supposed to into a country with a multi faceted civil war to take in more “nation building”?
                Great idea.

                1. I am citing history and you are not, aor lets just say you have the wrong country. As to what we should have done or should do now, we are all welcome to our opinions. Yours is based on a lazy and cynical equivalency for situations which are not equal and is dully noted.

                  1. I have accurately described the consequences of overthrowing Khaddaffi.
                    If you are confused or disturb by those facts, too bad.
                    If every structures in Libya had been leveled and half the population had perished after we got rid of Khaddaffi, you would still be defending our role in this.
                    Because it was an Obama/Hillary fiasco, your total lack of objectivity would not permit you to concede that this was a disaster.
                    You are as dishonest as any two-bit hyperpartisan hack I’ve ever seen, “anon1”.

                    1. Actually you have not accurately described the consequences of overthrowing Qaddafi, or those preceding that event. Your ignorance on the subject is apparently willful and part of your vendetta against the demons and villains you need to keep your story straight.

                      Get lost.

                    2. Anon1,
                      The odds of you being anywhere near correct about anything to do with foreign policy after being wrong for 3 years regarding domestic affairs is beyond reasonable. In fact, building inspectors should take a closer look at anything requiring your expertise.

                    3. You have not contested anything I have posted, you fool.
                      Easier for you to just make vacuous general statements when you can’t argue the facts, you clown.
                      It might be better to not read things that don’t neatly fit into your narrow little mind, anon1.

                    4. Olly, surely you have something better to do than spending time adding nothing to the discussion.

              2. Unfortunately, there has always been friction between Western Libya……let’s say “the Tripoli Libyans”…..and “the Benghazi Libyans” in Eastern Libya.
                The U.N. the Red Cross, the U.K., and others had withdrawn their people from the Benghazi region well before the attack on our compound there.
                That area had become known as particularly dangerous for Western interests, and a threat from a growing terrorist movement.
                Probably not the best place to go jogging, in view of previous attacks and other evidence of a growing radicalized movement.
                It’s unfortunate that we didn’t either pull up stakes there or better prepare for serious assault; the signs were there that this was becoming, had become, a bad neighborhood.

                1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-24472322
                  There was some previous discussion of the Libyan economy during and subsequent to the Khaddaffi regime.
                  The standard of living had in fact greatly improved under the years if the Khaddaffi regime, and the economic uoheaval that follow his ouster.
                  There are a number of reliable, established publications and economic statistics that cover this.
                  It was not emphasized during the uprising against Khaddaffi, and probably not mentioned at all by the countries bombing him.
                  But that economic progress was one reason that he had a level of support among the Libyans population.

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I wish the Kurds the best, but I just don’t want us involved in the fight for a Kurdish state. I’m not into sponsoring the Kurds in a war against Syria(backed by Russia) and Turkey(our NATO ally). And then we would have to fight for the Kurdish lands against Iraq(third times the charm), and Iran. Seems foolhardy.

      1. https://www.tc-america.org/issues-information/pkk-terrorism-30.htm
        “Moderate”, perhaps, by Hill’s standards or the standards of the region.
        Turkey views the PKK and the YPG as being joined at the hip.
        The YPG is an offshoot of the PKK. The exact degree of their support for and alliance with the PKK is uncertain, but it may be a “good cop, bad cop” type of game, with both of them on the same team.
        Anyway, it would be wise to think twice about claiming that “the Kurds are moderate Muslims”.

  4. “U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-attack-drones/u-s-drone-strike-kills-30-pine-nut-farm-workers-in-afghanistan-idUSKBN1W40NW

    A few highlights:

    —JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) – A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day’s labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday.

    The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.

    —“Such mistakes cannot be justified. American forces must realize (they) will never win the war by killing innocent civilians,” said Javed Mansur, a resident of Jalalabad city.

    —Hundreds of civilians have been killed in fighting across Afghanistan after the collapse of U.S.-Taliban peace talks this month. The Taliban has warned U.S. President Donald Trump will regret his decision to abruptly call off talks that could have led to a political settlement to end the 18-year-old war.

    The United Nations says nearly 4,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of the year. That included a big increase in casualties inflicted by government and U.S.-led foreign forces. -Reuters

    1. Olesmithy, The video is excellent and if one looks at what Trump has been doing they can see an underlying logic that is what Trump has been doing all along, creating a balance of power where regional powers have to handle their own problems. We can nudge from afar but getting too close can have devastating results.

      Now let’s hear the logic from the Anon’s and Peter Hills and let us hear how many troops they are willing to send into the middle east to back up their macho. Let us hear how much money they are willing to spend and how many of their own children they are willing to lose.

  5. This one got me interested having been in the same unit and considering LBJ”s War just as Obama’s War was ended the same way with the far left suddenly switching sides. Personally I’m pro Ukrainian but not their government and the same with Vietnam. But exactly what was the agreement and timeline and the rest of the factual information or is this just another badly holed political football. Where’s the proofs? Surely not NYT, CNN, CBS, NBC and the DNC. Surely there is more to the story?

  6. I am ashamed that there are humans, that actually believe the US is the worlds police. That somehow, God thrust upon America the responsibility to interject into other countries affairs without prior consent. That Americans be forced (among other things), to foot the bill for such police actions.

    1. There is no other reason for us to have the size military we have, something which Trump brags about boosting all the time. He should make up his mind and so should you. If we have it we should use it’s threat for good purposes with low costs which is exactly what our presence in Syria and Iraq has been over the last 6 years.

      1. ” If we have it we should use it’s…”

        Anon looks at a strong military as something to be used when some people fancy a use where the enemy is not clear. He doesn’t look at a strong military as a defensive protective posture.

        Just like on this blog, Anon is an agressor.

  7. (CNN)The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces told a senior US diplomat, “You are leaving us to be slaughtered,” demanding to know whether the US is going to do anything to protect Syrian Kurds as Turkey continues its military operation targeting America’s Kurdish allies in Syria.

    “You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered,” Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi told the Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, William Roebuck, in a meeting Thursday, according to an internal US government readout that has been obtained exclusively by CNN.

    “You are not willing to protect the people, but you do not want another force to come and protect us. You have sold us. This is immoral,” Mazloum added.

    He insisted the US either help stop the Turkish attack or allow the Syrian Democratic Forces to strike a deal with the Assad regime in Damascus and their Russian backers, allowing Russian warplanes to enforce a no-fly zone over northeast Syria, thereby denying Turkey the ability to carry out airstrikes. The US does not want the Kurds turning to the Russians, administration officials say.

    “I need to know if you are capable of protecting my people, of stopping these bombs falling on us or not. I need to know, because if you’re not, I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region,” Mazloum said.

    1. And so, after much ado, reality sets in:

      “I need to know, because if you’re not, I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region…”

      The truth is staring you in the face: the Kurds were USING the US to try and establish their own state. This is not something the Congress voted for, nor was it ever stated as the reason for sending troops into Syria in the first place. And we were USING them to keep Syrian land away from the Syrian government…especially the oil in the southeast which isn’t even Kurdish territory. Oh, and never mind the fact that we backed the jihadis in the civil war against Assad. Now the very FSA we funded are being used by Erdogan to attack the Kurds. This dirty war needs to end now.

      1. Survival will force actions not otherwise desirable. The change here is not Kurdish aggression but Turkey getting a green light to wipe them out by a fool with zero understanding or care for the region and our interests.

        The Kurds are indigenous to Turkey, Iran, and Iraq and lost out on the West’s carve up of the region after WWI. They are not interlopers or aggressors.

        1. They are not interlopers, but they have engaged in a civil war in Turkey for a few decades and the PKK is a designated terrorist group. And the YPG in northern Syria is right across the border from the Kurds in Turkey. The last thing the Turks will allow is a Kurdish state to emerge on their border right next to the Kurds in Turkey’s own territory.

          We could choose to kick Turkey out of NATO and sanction them if they go too far. We could even start world war 3. For me, the right thing to do is to stop this regime change war and let Syria reconstitute itself. Turkey would have to leave else face war with Syria, Russia, and Iran. I’m not obsessed with removing the Assad family from power…they’ve ruled for forty years now. Likewise I’m not obsessed with removing the House of Saud. However, I would have been happy to see an election where Assad is allowed to run. The establishment doesn’t want this because they fear he would win.

          Yes, the Kurds lost out in the Sykes-Picot treaty in 1916. I guess we could just declare those borders unjust and set-off a free for all across the entire Arab world just to please the Kurds. Seems foolish to me.

        2. “The Kurds are indigenous to Turkey, Iran, and Iraq and lost out on the West’s carve up of the region after WWI. They are not interlopers or aggressors.”

          Should we send in troops to permit the Basque people to have their own country seperate from either Spain or France? Remember there were Basque allies during WW2. Do we owe them their independence?

  8. Wall Street Journal

    The Editorial Board
    BIOGRAPHY
    @WSJOPINION
    WSJOPINION
    Oct. 11, 2019 6:52 pm ET

    President Trump prides himself on one-on-one diplomacy, but too often it results in rash and damaging decisions like his abrupt order Sunday for U.S. troops to retreat from northern Syria. Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now dictating terms to the American President, and the consequences are likely to be felt far beyond Syria and Turkey.

    Mr. Trump made his decision after a phone call with Mr. Erdogan in which we now know the Turk said he wanted to follow through on his threat to invade. U.S. officials had been negotiating…

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-turk-and-the-president-11570834334

    1. Well, it’s “abrupt” in the sense that he’s been talking about pulling our troops out for years now. The lies are coming fast and furious from the warmongers.

      1. “coming fast and furious from the warmongers.”

        Ivan, The Democrats control the House. They can pass a resolution calling for war if Turkey doesn’t restrain itself, but they don’t. Instead they hamper foreign policy by lying about a conversation between Trump and the President of Ukraine making him weaker in Turkey’s eyes. The Democrats spend their time encouraging us to abandon the second amendment but don’t think about the killing that can occur when Turkey is moving forward in a direction where our troops lay. If one of them got killed by Turkish bombs do we retaliate and fight a war against Turkey the 9th strongest military in the world? I don’t have enough facts to draw a definitive conclusion but placing troops in an area surrounded by enemies, Syria and Iran supported by Russia without definitive guidelines or adequate troops seems to be a bit crazy.

        I ask those that puff up their chests what they are willing to do if despite American troops the Turks refuse to stop advancing to what is assumed to be a 20 mile incursion? What do we do when the Kurds fire artillary into Turkey? Should we be considering why the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 was so important? If you guys say you are willing to go to war with Turkey and then Syria and Iran (despite their present disagreements) and with possible support from the Soviet Union let us hear your plans.

  9. U.S. TROOPS SHELLED BY TURKEY

    NO INJURIES BUT AMERICANS FORCED TO WITHDRAW

    U.S. troops in the vicinity of Kobani, Syria, came under artillery fire from Turkish positions Friday, according to a Pentagon spokesman.

    “The explosion occurred within a few hundred meters of a location outside the Security Mechanism zone and in an area known by the Turks to have U.S. forces present,” Navy Capt. Brook DeWalt said in a statement. “All U.S. troops are accounted for with no injuries. U.S. Forces have not withdrawn from Kobani.”

    Earlier a U.S. official had told NPR’s Tom Bowman that American forces had “departed that outpost” because the Turkish strikes were “too close for comfort,” and the troops “may go back tomorrow.”

    U.S. defense officials have decried Turkey’s incursion into Kurdish-dominated northern Syria, several days after President Trump cleared the way for the attack by withdrawing U.S. forces from the border.

    “We oppose and are greatly disappointed by Turkey’s decision to launch a unilateral military incursion into northern Syria,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday.

    DeWalt’s statement said, “The U.S. demands that Turkey avoid actions [in areas where U.S. forces are present] that could result in immediate defensive action.”

    Kobani is located very close to the Turkish border, about 40 miles east of where Turkish attacks had been focused. One U.S. official tells NPR it is “the heart of the Kurds.”

    Esper said he has spoken to Turkey’s defense minister “and reiterated the damage this is doing to our bilateral relationship.”

    The U.N. warns that at least 100,000 people have been displaced since the incursion began two days ago. Christian Cardon de Lichtbuer from the International Committee of the Red Cross says, “We have there all the ingredients for unfortunately yet another humanitarian crisis in Syria.”

    Edited from: “Pentagon Says U.S. Troop Position In Syria Came Under Fire From Turkish Incursion”

    Today’s NPR
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    It’s reassuring to know that Trump’s a ‘genius’. Had Trump been a stupid man, Americans probably would have been killed by now. Instead only our allies are getting killed while 100,000 people have been displaced.

    Reliably Trump has Putin’s back on this whole operation. Putin client Assad now stands a chance of recovering his whole ‘kingdom’. Trump always comes through for Putin but The Mueller Probe was a ‘witch hunt’.

    1. Hill:

      “Reliably Trump has Putin’s back on this whole operation. Putin client Assad now stands a chance of recovering his whole ‘kingdom’.”

      Here we see the truth: The reason why US forces are in Syria is because we want to take down Assad and split Syria into various pieces. So who’s next? Iran? How about the KINGDOM of Saudi Arabia? How did the war in Iraq to take down Saddam go? How much has this madness cost us already?

      The bill is already over $10T a little less than half all our debt. And the geniuses keep pushing us to more regime change wars. On some level it’s humorous…in a Greek tragedy sort of way.

      1. We’ve spent about $60 billion on Syria so far.

        We are there for humanitarian reasons and because of ISIS.

        1. Our regime change wars(Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria) have cost us over 10T. A war to establish a Kurdish state would send that total skyrocketing.

          “Anonymous” would have you believe we aren’t there to take down Assad and that we haven’t funded, armed, and trained the jihadis throughout the civil war. These are documented lies.

          1. Our regime change wars(Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria) have cost us over 10T.

            I think you’ve misplaced a decimal point there.

            1. Back it up.

              “I think you’ve misplaced a decimal point there.”

              1T, 100T? It’s still a lot of wasted treasure.

              1. Ah, Ivan, you can’t count the trillions we wasted on Iraq toward Syria or do you want to add in our campaign against Gen Rommel too?

          2. Ivan, explain why we want Assad back?? Is your name Ivan because you’re Russian? I’m serious! Neither the U.S. nor Israel has any interest in seeing Assad restore his hold on Syria.

            All those rockets Hezbollah fires at Israel come from Iran via Syria courtesy of Assad. We don’t have any interest in restoring that pipeline. Only an idiot could think that’s a good thing. Assad’s regime was responsible for waves of violence in Lebanon. Assad should be hanged for those crimes alone.

            1. No, I’m not Russian or anything even close to it.

              “explain why we want Assad back?”

              Because “regime change wars” and “nation building” in countries that are very different than ours causes our own nation tremendous damage(economic, political, social) and doesn’t produce the result we want while destroying the country. It’s both stupid and immoral. Look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria.

              Because taking down Assad is part of a plan(Project for a New American Century) formed in 1998 by Cheney, Rumsfeld Wolfowitz, etc. That plan involved overthrowing every Arab state that had been aligned with the old Soviet Union: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. The goal being to secure American global hegemony. It’s funny to think that the modern left is following Cheney’s plan…even Reagan’s and Bush Snr’s top officials considered Cheney and his gang to be out of control.

              Check out General Wesley Clarke:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw

              Because I’m educated in American and world history. We are going down the path of the late Roman Republic. Some wise General from WW1 once said “war is a racket.”

        2. We are not there for either, unless you mean supplying ISIS. We are there for regime change because Assad wouldn’t be our puppet, and, the Saudis wanted an oil pipeline to go through Syria and Assad said no.

          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-us-saudi-arabia-arms-fighters-jihadis-military-capability-enhanced-weapons-syria-terrorism-a8112076.html

          https://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/is-the-fight-over-a-gas-pipeline-fuelling-the-worlds-bloodiest-conflict/news-story/74efcba9554c10bd35e280b63a9afb74

          1. Prairie, from your articles:

            “While most weapons in Isis’ arsenal were captured from the Syrian and Iraqi armies, Conflict Armament Research (CAR)’s report, published on Thursday, found that the number of US and Saudi supplied weapons in Isis’ arsenal goes “far beyond those that would have been available through battle capture alone”…..

            The analysis of more than 40,000 items found that in total, however, about 90 per cent of the weapons and ammunition overall were made in Russia, China and Eastern Europe….”

            After noting that the US has our own plans for supplying gas to Europe – and thus as the main supplier of military aid to opposition to Assad, fighting against our own economic interests – the source of the information in a very good article finishes on

            …”But despite fears that the world is facing a new Cold War, Prof Orenstein believes it’s more of a “free for all”, with the fight over natural gas acting as just another fuel.”

          2. Prairie, your opening sentence is not supported by the facts of our fight against ISIS or by the statistics shown at:

            https://jonathanturley.org/2019/10/11/i-am-ashamed-u-s-special-forces-watch-as-turks-overwhelm-former-kurdish-allies/comment-page-2/#comment-1890667

            By the way, NBC reports this morning, with phone videos, that Turkey has hired ex-AL Qaeda and other jihadists to fight the Kurds and are executing captured opponents in typical gusto.

      2. Ivan, the 500 troops we had in Northern Syria were relatively cheap. Yet they were holding back the Turkish invasion. That was money well spent! It allowed the Kurds to focus on ISIS while living in relative peace.

        But now that Turkey’s invaded, Syria blows up again. And whatever happens there could spill into Iraq. In other words, Trump ripped the bandage off a still festering wound. No logic whatsoever. This will undoubtedly cost us billions more in longterm expenses. What’s more we’re now squandering everything we spent so far.
        Only Putin sympathizers could want Assad or Turkey to benefit from this.

        Assad has no legitimate claims to Syria’s leadership. His lack of legitimacy fueled a popular uprising. Assad was also responsible for destabilizing Lebanon during years of occupation. Assad served as a conduit between Iran and Hezbollah.

        Meanwhile Turkey has no legitimate business invading northern Syria. Their main goal is destroying the Kurdish people. Hardly positive. Turkey, in fact, is widely accused of giving ISIS fighters passage to Syria. So we have no reason to believe that Turkey will stabilize the region. It’s actually quite unlikely.

        1. So our troops are there to secure a new country for the Kurds carved out of the Syrian state without any sort of vote or even a statement saying that’s why we’re there? All this while Turkey has vowed to crush any such quasi-state else risk encouraging it’s own Kurds towards civil war.

          Your arguments about Assad were made about Qadaafi and Saddam. Such arguments would put us at war with Saudi Arabia and much of the world. You are doing Dick Cheney’s bidding.

          Turkey is a huge problem. They have eyed Syrian territory for a long time and Erdogan thinks of Turkey as the rightful heir of the Ottoman Empire. They backed the jihadis just like we have. The way to stop them from stealing Syrian land is to get the SDF to rejoin Syria.

          The only solution that works is for the Kurds to accept that they are part of Syria and that’s where this is headed.

          I have been clear that Trump should have first made peace with Assad and negotiated an amicable settlement with the Kurds where they rejoin Syria prior to withdrawal. However, the Kurds have dragged their feet due to the presence of our forces. The Kurds know exactly what they were doing: using the US to establish their state. That charade is now over, hopefully.

      3. Part of the reason we are there are humanitarian and Assad has been murdering his own people for years now. The other reason is for our self interest in defeating ISIS. We have spent relatively little in dollars and almost nothing in lives (3 Americans and I don;t think – could be wrong – any were military). Here are the civillian deaths and perps. Note who is in 1st place:

        Perpetrator Number of killed civilians Men Women Children
        Syrian government forces 199,411 164,213 11,854 22,733
        Russian forces 6,514 3,717 908 1,928
        Islamic State 5,004 3,454 584 952
        Other unnamed parties 5,239 3,156 734 1,164
        Other rebel forces 4,131 2,451 873 981
        International Coalition Forces 3,037 1,455 656 924
        Syrian Democratic Forces 1,157 768 152 203
        Hayat Tahrir al Sham 455 301 74 64
        TOTAL 224,948 180,165 15,835 28,948

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War#cite_note-shuhadanationality-95

      1. But close

        Here’s the definition

        What is danger close for artillery?
        Danger-close information is included when applicable. FA and mortars—Danger-close target is within 600 meters of friendly troops. Naval gunfire-Danger—close target is within 750 meters when using 5-inch or smaller guns (1,000 meters for larger naval guns).

  10. I have to admit that I am very sceptical about this move by Trump. This just doesn’t seem like the right move at the right time.

    1. The right move was to make peace with Assad first and then tell the Kurds to invite the government back in. The Kurds have not been at war with the government…they’ve been fighting the jihadis just like Assad has.

      Are you aware that the US and our sunni allies were backing the jihadis in their war against Assad?

      1. ivan you see how they always ignore that truth. which is the source of a lot of trouble for us. it’s on level with our witness protection program which makes use of murderers and the worst sort of criminals to make cases the government can’t make any other way, and then cuts these wolves loose into society under fake identities to live right next door to peaceful sheep.

    1. Such foolishness. This is not saying that there aren’t two valid positions on the subject, rather just commenting on the foolish way the writer wrote his opinion.

  11. I wonder how the soldier feels about the Vietnamese and Hmong people who fought with the US after the US hung them out to dry. Protecting the Kurds should be a UN or a EU problem.

    1. I wonder where you got your education. The Kurds have not been fighting the Syrian government. The Syrian government has been fighting the jihadis…just like the Kurds have.

      1. If this is directed to me I don;t know why. I have not ventured anything about the Kurds and Syria. Their critical problem is with Turkey. Did you mean Turkey?

  12. Do you think you could prevent the law firms from telling them, and giving them the number for the “legal hotline” to call?

  13. KURDS SUSPEND OPERATIONS AGAINST ISIS

    FIGHTERS DIVERTED BY TURKISH INVASION

    The Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria has forced the U.S. military and its Syrian Kurdish allies to significantly curtail their shared military operations against the Islamic State at a critical moment in the ongoing fight to stamp out the group’s residual presence, ­creating an opening for the militants’ comeback, U.S. and Kurdish officials say.

    Hundreds of fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been relocated to the front lines with Turkey and away from areas where the anti-Islamic State operations were focused, drawing manpower and resources away from the daily raids and missions that have thwarted an Islamic State revival.

    Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said on Friday that the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies and that the 1,000 troops deployed there would continue hunting down the remnants of the Islamic State. The militant group lost territorial control of its self-proclaimed caliphate earlier this year but is making strenuous efforts to resuscitate its organizational structures across Syria and Iraq.

    “We will continue to work with the 80 members of the Defeat-ISIS coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces to ensure the defeat of ISIS,” he said, using the acronym for the Islamic State.

    U.S. officials privately acknowledged, however, that the tempo of operations by the Kurds, Washington’s main partner in Syria, against the Islamic State has “significantly tapered off” since the Turkish offensive began, according to one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

    The most immediate concern is that Islamic State fighters and their families will escape from any of the 20 or so prisons and camps dotted around SDF-held territory. Only about 1,500 of the 10,000 fighters, including foreigners, Iraqis and Syrians, are detained in prisons in the border area. The SDF continues to guard all the prisons and camps where Islamic State fighters or family members are being held, it said.

    In the first instance of a prisoner escape since the invasion began, five Islamic State detainees managed to flee Friday during the panic triggered by a mortar strike on a prison on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Qamishli, according to SDF officials and CCTV video. Tensions have also been rising at the al-Hol camp near the Iraqi border, which houses 70,000 women and children displaced by the fighting.

    There are also thousands of Islamic State fighters still on the run. They have managed to blend in among the Arab communities they once ruled or are camped out in desert hideouts, officials say.

    The most worrisome pockets are hundreds of miles to the south of the front lines with Turkey, in the province of Deir al-Zour and along the Euphrates River valley leading to the Islamic State’s former capital of Raqqa — overwhelmingly Arab areas that were already chafing under the rule of the Kurdish-dominated SDF.

    Edited from: “Turkey’s Invasion Of Syria Puts Islamic State Fight On Hold At Critical Moment”

    This evening’s Washington Post

  14. “I Am Ashamed”: U.S. Special Forces Watch As Turks Overwhelm Former Kurdish Allies

    Our Former Kurdish Allies knew exactly what they were doing – in search of statehood – being used as light infantry in the US’s illegal occupation of eastern Syria basically all the land east of the Euphrates River.

    US soldiers were illegally deployed in Syria b

    Kurdish leaders very well know that if you play with fire you may get burned.

    This isn’t the first time Uncle Sam has gotten cold feet and spurned our Former Kurdish Allies at the altar.

    The US and the Kurd’s are Allies of convenience nothing more.

    The US and Turkey do have an actual alliance (NATO) that has lasted almost 70 years.

    The US is directly responsible for Turkey’s invasion of Syria when if helped stir-up a jihadi hornets nest there these past 6 years.

    If the US was truly concerned for the well-being of it’s Former Kurdish Allies from Turkish attack it would have pushed them back into the arms of Syria.

  15. The Kurds are getting what they asked for. Rather than call Syria and invite the government back in they have chosen to be martyred by the Turks. That’s their choice and definitely not our problem.

      1. So you want our troops there to fight for an independent Kurdish state against Syria and Turkey? And no declaration of war to boot for what would clearly be an illegal war with profound consequences. Pure genius.

        1. I want our 1000 troops there to continue maintaining stability and a president who does not go on a swoon every time he gets on the phone with another strong man .

          Just say no.

        2. Ivan,

          when Anon1 appeals to morality we know she is reaching.

          Next she will advocating for DNC delegates to be church goers and Dem presidential candidates to be in stable monogamous marriages with a net worth under $500k

      2. Rest assured that an objective fellow like anon1 would have lauded Trump’s moral decision to keep the American troops in the path of a Turkish invasion.
        Right.
        And if American troops had been caught up in and killed as a consequence, anon1 would then tell us “he was against” keeping them there all along.

        1. Yeah, but none of that happened and there is no reason to think there would be a Syrian invasion without Trump green lighting it or folding at the 1st threat. This happened in one phone call.

          1. What type of VPN plan do you use? With all of the different email addresses / avatar colors you use, one wonders how Darren can ever block your IP

          2. It looks like the Turks were prepared to do what they are doing now whether we remained or not. We had relatively few Americans in the specific area where there is conflict. (I believe <400 and possibly only 50 or so in the specific areas. The entire area is quite large and I think we had 1,000 troops comitted. Total military of Turkey over 700,000. Turkey fits between Germany and Great Britain as one of the most powerful armies in the world. ) The question is would Anon stop the Turks and commit troops or not? Does Anon think a telephone call was likely to stop the Turks since their troops have been doing similar things for quite awhile? If accidentally Americans had been killed would that mean Anon would have the US declare war on the Turks?

          3. you are totally wrong about that anon1 but you just keep on saying whatever pleases you. orange man bad.

            Syria’s a sovereign nation and our belligerents there have been tolerated. couple weeks ago they said clearly

            GET OUT

            staying means undeclared war and possible conflict with a country firmly still in the Russian sphere

            sorry but some people aren’t on board with you for world war III

  16. If not the Kurds, who?

    If not now, when?
    ______________

    Israel.

    2020.
    _____

    Mossad conducted 9/11 to permeate the Middle East with American military forces.

    https://www.ae911truth.org/

    That happened.
    _____________

    What did America gain?

    Answer: Nothing.

    What did America lose?

    Answer: 6,000 KIA and $6 trillion
    _____________

    Who will end endless war?

  17. “Why doesn’t Congress declare war, if they want one so badly?” sounds facile and even cynical, if even just one part of Jennifer Griffin’s anonymous phone call is the truth.

    But the writers of our Constitution insisted on Congress’s right to declare war (Article 1, sec. 8) because war is a horrible thing – people die during it – and should be debated publicly before we embark on it.

    Congress, instead, has usually allowed sitting Presidents to do their war-making for them; the most assertive they’ve gotten on their exclusive right to declare war is the War Powers Resolution, which only requires regular reports on how the Executive branch has usurped Congress’ power (and obligation) to declare war.

    This time, what we really have, if it had been conscientiously reported, is a NATO ally pursuing an enemy who have committed terrorist acts, and having found them, is attacking them. Perhaps if we’d gotten a veto on the Kurds’ activity within Turkey in support of their compatriots’ struggle for freedom from Turkish domination… but we didn’t.

    So, who is ready for us to engage Turkish forces doing to Kurdish separatists what we are in Syria doing to ISIS (after the Obama administration funded ISIS during its formation)?

    THAT is why Trump stepped aside. Because that decision is above his pay grade, according to the Constitution. If we’re going to make a mistake that results in war against a member of NATO, it’s the sort of large-gauge, incredibly dangerous decision that Trump would predictably be condemned for no matter what he did.

    That the Senate leadership chimed in along with Democrats in criticizing Trump’s decision just shows that they’re brave enough with someone else’s job on the line, but won’t stand up where they work and argue for war openly and on the record. With friends like that….

    1. That the Senate leadership chimed in along with Democrats in criticizing Trump’s decision just shows that they’re brave enough with someone else’s job on the line, but won’t stand up where they work and argue for war openly and on the record.

      Cynical? Accurate. Truthful.

      Has the President publicly stated it is up to congress to make the case for war and then declare war it?

      1. Not that I am aware. Nor does he have to. He simply limited his war-making to that which Congress has tacitly supported, then muddied the waters as only he can with Tweets about Kurds not having lent us a hand during WW2.

        But what if he’d been the stand-up guy for the Kurds everyone says they wish he’d been? Turkey’s in NATO, so they probably know what our forces are doing in Southwest Asia, and how crucial Incirlik Air Base inside Turkey is to those operations.

        Turkey could very easily cripple all of those operations and a lot of intelligence-gathering as well, just by closing Incirlik or kicking US and UK tenant organizations off-base. We’d be limited to what we could do (not nearly as much) at the RAF bases on Cyprus, and possibly have to become formal tenants in Israeli military bases, which would be more trouble than it’s worth.

        Worse than that, Turkey could roll over that 1,000 man force we have advising the Kurds and expose how powerless we were to prevent what was happening if we’d forbidden them to move into Syria.

        I have no love for Turkey under its present leadership at all. But our chances of getting them expelled from NATO are slim, and of replacing the capabilities we now enjoy at Incirlik Air Base even slimmer.

        Our only clear alternative there would involve complicating our foreign policy with an open military alliance with Israel, because we just don’t have any other country in the area willing to replace what we’d lose in Incirlik Air Base if we ceased being Turkey’s ally and instead made war on them.

        1. Loupg.,
          If this Turkish offensive goes on, beyond a limited operation and a quick pullback, we’ll see if the U.S. and the EU make good on the threat of economic sanctions.
          The Turkish economy isn’t in the best of shape to begin with, and IF Trump follows through on the threatened damctions, Turkey has a lot to lose.
          I don’t see a quick end to the Turkish offensive in Syria, so I think we’ll see pretty soon how and if the U.S. and EU react.

          1. It’s a mess in many ways. Erdogan may think he’s got an unscrewable pooch in their response to their Kurdish problem. After all, aren’t we in Syria blowing up terrorists? He doesn’t have to convince us or Europe it’s not a false equivalence. Just his own people, who are now feeling the bite from the sanctions now in place from their choice to buy Russian SAMs, and are about to feel even worse sanctions for (if Griffin’s phone caller is truthful) shelling Kurdish civilians.

            I was once critical of the EU for being as reluctant as they were about admitting Turkey to their superstate. I still believe that the decision took power from Turkish moderates and gave it to Erdogan, who clearly is a despot who plays to Islamists in a country which hasn’t been Islamist since the takeover by Kemal Ataturk and the Young Turks.

            But the Europeans probably are feeling vindcated now, and I can’t blame them. It’s difficult enough having to deal with issues such as the Spanish response to Catalunyan separatism and ripples from Brexit without all of Turkey’s baggage.

        2. Nor does he have to.

          Given what we’ve seen over the last 3 years, he should. We don’t have an electorate that fancies civics literacy enough to know when they are being played by congress. So when these asshats in congress want to announce to the public that the president is at fault, he should take the opportunity in a news conference, to explain how this process is supposed to work.

          1. And invite a Constitutional law professor to do the explaining. Jonathan Turley has been independent enough of both the White House and Congress to give an honest explanation. Laurence Tribe could do the color commentary for CNN.

          2. Olly,
            All the elected on the Hill presumably took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, so they should know what their job entails.

            I suspect Trump is making people look up for themselves how it is supposed to work. The lazy won’t do it anyway, barely accepting being spoonfed the information. People who are mad enough might just look up who’s supposed to declare war, or, recognize the contradiction in themselves what they are demanding of him and the government.

            1. Yes Prairie because obviously Trump is playing 3 dimensional hop skotch – wait, that is a 3 d game – while Ertogen is playing bridge.

              Please, what gives you the idea Trump has the slightest clue that he knows what he’s doing.

            2. Prairie Rose,
              Have you noticed they only cite the constitution when they are working a narrative? It means as much to them as a press pass means to most of the MSM.

            1. Give you a break? Stop whining and I’ll consider it. You’re on an unprecedented losing streak. You’ll have a decision to make once Durham and the IG release their findings. You can keep losing on strictly partisan lines, or you can join the ranks of those living in objective truth. Trust me, truth doesn’t go begging for a break.

        3. exactly exactly exactly

          these points were made many times (perhaps not as clearly as you did) and they just ignore them

          just like the FAKE NEWS does too

      2. Not every foreign situation is a war, and in this one, where the 2 primary actors are our allies, there’s no one to declare it on. Alliances are not easy, or Trump would have something to show for even one. He is busy trashing many that took decades to build.

        1. What if Turkey, who being inside the NATO intel and logistics networks, knows what we have in theater, said “we’re going in. You can move your troops or not, we don’t care?”

          Trump didn’t trash the NATO alliance in that way. That took Obama and Bush before him, to make a tacit alliance with a group which is on another NATO aliy’s list of terrorists (and our own list, for that matter). At least be honest about who did that.

          1. But Turkey didn’t do that, or if they did, Trump caved immediately. The Kurds are an ethnic minority who are feared and hated by the majorities in several countries, and while no angels – who there is? – are not aggressors who don’t belong on their corner of the world. They have been our allies in tough going now for almost 20 years and we seem to be selling them out for ………What are we selling them out for? Did Erdogen threaten Trump? Probably not. Did he sugar coat something and promise something? Who knows. It makes no sense and is damaging to our position in the region and with other allies across the globe and threatens the victory over ISIS pursued by both Obama and Trump and won in large part by the Kurds.

            1. “Who knows.”

              Precisely the issue. Since this involves stresses within the NATO alliance, the only rational security classification a truthful answer to that would carry would be “SECRET” or above.

              The press know that, so they’re having fun with our foreign policiy woes just because they also happen to be Trump’s woes at the moment. Really stand-up guys, and they’re doing it not to defend democracy but to sell eyetracks and 30-second TV ads.

              But the Kurds aren’t fools and they weren’t hoodwinked. They are separatists in every inch of the land they occupy. We took advantage of that troubling issue in our diplomacy with the countries they have carved out a homeland in, and they took advantage of their central location where we happened to need an ally. We gave them weapons, air support, local special forces support, and intelligence during all that time.

              Be honest, though. Did we at, any time, support a free Kurdistan? Doing that would have involved us immediately in war with Iraq, Syria and Turkey. And forbidding Turkey to move into Syrian Kurdistan would have the same effect.

              Just because the Turks waited until the US had a president who faced open hostility on a broad base from his own press doesn’t mean this is Trump’s fault. After all, Erdogan watches CNN, too.

              1. The press – and therefore we ourselves – will of course speculate and seek to understand what happened. We don’t need the secrets. Just make sense of this otherwise nonsensical action which is a lose, lose, win, with us and the Kurds at the front end of that.

                We don’t need a pure as snow reason to help the Kurds. They helped us with common foes and they are legitimate residents of the area. We don’t want to pick a side and in the position of power, we have occupied there, we haven’t had to.

                Ultimately the administration owes us an explanation for what they are doing and why. If saving American lives is the reason – how many have we lost in Syria over the last 6 years? – does that mean we’re pulling up everywhere? If not, why here? Why did we just increase military spending again if we’re not getting anything for it? Peace in the region and stifling Islamic militants is a just goal.

              2. Loup said:

                “Be honest, though. Did we at, any time, support a free Kurdistan? Doing that would have involved us immediately in war with Iraq, Syria and Turkey. And forbidding Turkey to move into Syrian Kurdistan would have the same effect.”

                EXACTLY
                and every single Kurdish militiaman from the top to the bottom knew exactly that, too.

                And anybody else with basic familiarity with the facts

                Which includes the lying fake newspapermen

          2. “But Turkey didn’t do that”

            You don’t know that. What Loup posed is very much possible. We can’t know, they would never release that information. Oh i got news for you. Turkey’s already inside Syria with the Turkomen militias. This is very much their sphere of influence and their immediate security concern not ours. You guys don’t get it.

            “or if they did, Trump caved immediately.”

            YEAH IMMEDIATELY LETS GET THOSE GUYS OUT OF THERE FAST! ok by me. rear guard security for 50 guys in that situation? I wouldnt’ want that job — safe withdrawal accomplished, God bless them for a successful extraction. It could have been too late if Congress was in command. Or the NYT editorial board.

            Which they aren’t.

  18. Republican and Democratic leaders have expressed rare unity in condemning Trump’s move.

    Good. They should have no problems taking that unified condemnation (wokeness) and vote to declare war on…our NATO ally? Anyone killing the Kurds we like? Mean people?

    1. Competent US leaders able to actually make deals without getting rolled, leverage our power to the advantage of ourselves and our allies without declaring war. That we have left the kurds to be ravaged by Erdogan – both allies – speaks to the weakness of mind, vision, and character of your cult leader.

      1. actually it’s comparable to Reagan pulling the troops out of the intractable Lebanon conflict. wise choice.

          1. These guys want us to wait around with our troops like sitting ducks between the hammer and the anvil Ivan. Because why? These second guessers believe the presence of US troops as human shields can keep the peace! That’s why. They’re fools! They were fools in Lebanon and they’re fools not far away decades later in Syria. That’s my point and it is very comparable, if you open your eyes.

            Trump is CIC but he can’t pull 50 guys out of harms way without the US media nitpicking it? Preposterous situation with the “Orange Man Bad” crowd! This is all fake. They don’t care about these details, it’s all a red herring.

            fake news in short.

        1. The world’s largest economy and military – the latter by far. Why do you think Turkey has sat on their hands this long?

          1. The world’s largest economy and military – the latter by far.

            That doesn’t answer the question. You identified how we would leverage. Now explain what we and our allies would gain (to what end).

            1. We would maintain our two crucial alliances in the area, one of whom is a NATO partner – which elsewhere is doing what he can to wreck – and the other who fought ISIS for us and now holds them captive. Turkey would benefit by not pissing us off and the Kurds by not pissing us off and mainating our protection.

              It’s not like this balance has not held up for years now until s..t for brains “got rolled” as one WH advisor put it who heard his call with Erdogen.

              1. and the other who fought ISIS for us

                So the only reason the Kurds fought against ISIS is because we asked them too? I see you bought that narrative.

                  1. and the other who fought ISIS for us
                    Their self interest dovetailed with ours.

                    Two completely different meanings. The 2nd is more accurate.

                1. The Kurds were targets of ISIS which is probably one reason Obama extended the amount that could seek asylum but blocked others.

              2. Syria demanded the extraction of foreign forces from Syria. Syria is a foreign nation and we have not declared war on it. We have no treaties with Syria. “Kurds” are actually not a state and so our obligations to Syria and Turkey supersede those owed to our former local partners among the Kurds.

                Sorry guys but war was not the choice Trump made, i know you’re disappointed. Funny Democrats who always want war, these past few years!

                I also know you would criticize him no matter what he chose.

                Some wise words at the beginning of this clip from JFK about the limitations of the presidency in foreign affairs:

              3. I think we need to hear from that White House advisor who listened in on Trump’s exchange with Erdogan.
                Somewhere down the road, there will probably be declassified documents, etc. that shed light on who said what in that phone call.
                Maybe years or decades down the road, but why wait when this “White House advisor” can come forward and tell us all about it now?

                1. So you are shoving your responsibility to provide backup to your statement down the road. You got to be an extreme left wing socialist But as for the part of Republican and Democrat congressional why did you not state DINOs and RINOs since they are both on the same socialist side of their phantom socialist party.

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