• NOS4A2
    1.1k


    I was asking rhetorically, given the title of this thread and the fact that all conversation about Trump is ostensibly restricted to this single thread. How long before it's no longer taboo to point out that Trump just betrayed our allies and left them for dead?

    Trump and the pentagon have been providing the Kurds, manly the SDF, with weapons, training, support and money since the beginning of his presidency. The caliphate is done. The operation is over. Time to bring the Troops home.
  • praxis
    1.6k
    There is also a majority support in America for many "left wing" policies such as public healthcare or increased gun control. Yet not only do republicans succeed in blocking such efforts, they also get re-elected regardless.Echarmion

    Obamacare wasn’t blocked. It also wasn’t repealed and replaced, despite a republican administration and a majority in both the house and senate. Granted the work to dismantle it continues.
  • praxis
    1.6k

    Another empty threat?
  • Echarmion
    855
    Obamacare wasn’t blocked.praxis

    Parts of it were, and the result was a system that never quite worked correctly.

    It also wasn’t repealed and replaced, despite a republican administration and a majority in both the house and senate. Granted the work to dismantle it continues.praxis

    Nevertheless, republicans managed to get elected on a promise of dismantling Obamacare despite the fact that public healthcare has majority support in America. Polling indicates the core Republican voter base has been shrinking for years, yet they are still firmly in power.

    It's not a coincidence that repubilcans are at the forefront of efforts like gerrymandering and voter suppression.
  • Echarmion
    855
    Trump and the pentagon have been providing the Kurds, manly the SDF, with weapons, training, support and money since the beginning of his presidency. The caliphate is done. The operation is over. Time to bring the Troops home.NOS4A2

    The Kurds received funds and supplies because they were useful. It was not an act of generosity. Now that the Kurds are no longer useful, they are being discarded. Nothing new in the history of armed conflict, but is it that the way the US wants to be perceived by potential allies?

    Contrast this behavior with Russia's stance towards it's Syrian allies. They made a massive military effort to safe the Assad regime and managed to turn the civil war around. Putin is sending a clear message with Syria and Ukraine. Get on my good side and I'll have your back. Get on my bad side and I cannot guarantee for your safety. What message is Trump sending with his foreign policy? "Whoever I talked to last is correct"?
  • ssu
    1.6k
    The caliphate is done. The operation is over. Time to bring the Troops home.NOS4A2
    Seems that someone believes here Trump's line. :grin:
    Who cares what the military on the ground say. Who cares what the former secretary for defence said. Believe in Trump: snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, just like Obama did.

    Contrast this behavior with Russia's stance towards it's Syrian allies. They made a massive military effort to safe the Assad regime and managed to turn the civil war around.Echarmion
    Actually the Russian effort shouldn't be described as massive, it was (is) a small but effective force which worked. And don't forget Iran's military assistance. Russia has also used the occasion to train it's flight crews and test it's new equipment.

    Yet the real lesson is about being consistent with your allies. And to be patient and consistent in your foreign politicy and it's objectives, without haphazard changes. Russian Turkish relations are a great example of this. Earlier Turkey shot down a Russian fighter bomber and relations deteriorated for a while. Now Turkey and Russia are friends again. The relationship the US has with Turkey is mildly starting to resemble US-Pakistani relations. Some years ago everyone in the West was looking at Assad collapsing. Not anymore.

    Americans on the other don't give a shit at all about their allies. And Israel? To put it bluntly: Israel isn't an ally of the US, the US is a loyal ally of Israel.

    Talk of knowing how to handle Trump...
    fc5b80fa-624f-4359-a979-54e127454551-IMG_3697_2.jpg?width=540&height=&fit=bounds&auto=webp
  • praxis
    1.6k
    Obamacare wasn’t blocked.
    — praxis

    Parts of it were, and the result was a system that never quite worked correctly.
    Echarmion

    Millions more Americans with health insurance was a correct result.

    It's not a coincidence that repubilcans are at the forefront of efforts like gerrymandering and voter suppression.Echarmion

    It seems to me that both parties have their strengths and weaknesses, or perhaps access to power based on their unique characteristics.
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    Seems that someone believes here Trump's line.

    It was also the SDF’s line.

    “Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and %100 territorial defeat of ISIS," Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF press office, said on Twitter. "On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/syrian-kurdish-forces-declare-victory-isis-syria/story?id=61564565
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    The Kurds received funds and supplies because they were useful. It was not an act of generosity. Now that the Kurds are no longer useful, they are being discarded. Nothing new in the history of armed conflict, but is it that the way the US wants to be perceived by potential allies?

    Contrast this behavior with Russia's stance towards it's Syrian allies. They made a massive military effort to safe the Assad regime and managed to turn the civil war around. Putin is sending a clear message with Syria and Ukraine. Get on my good side and I'll have your back. Get on my bad side and I cannot guarantee for your safety. What message is Trump sending with his foreign policy? "Whoever I talked to last is correct"?

    His view is mainly that the US is no longer a police force and that an indefinite military campaign is very expensive. He wants to end endless wars.
  • Echarmion
    855
    His view is mainly that the US is no longer a police force and that an indefinite military campaign is very expensive. He wants to end endless wars.NOS4A2

    Invading Afghanistan and Iraq (the endless wars you are referring to) wasn't a police action. But the criticism isn't really about withdrawing troops, it's about how the troops were withdrawn. You don't think this will reflect badly on the US?
  • Wayfarer
    8.6k
    The White House has signalled that it’s going to fight the impeachment hearing tooth and nail, as expected. If the worst happens - and we can always expect the worst from Trump - the House convicts, and the Senate acquits, and Trump wins a second term, he will then be enabled to break the law with impunity, and to ignore any attempts by Congress to rein him in. In other words, he will have succeeded in his aim of becoming dictator and effectively overthrowing democratic government in the USA. That is what is at stake right now.
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    Invading Afghanistan and Iraq (the endless wars you are referring to) wasn't a police action. But the criticism isn't really about withdrawing troops, it's about how the troops were withdrawn. You don't think this will reflect badly on the US?

    Why should it? If anything the spin of anti-Trumpists and war-hawks will reflect badly on the US.

    How long do you suggest the US military remain in that area?
  • Echarmion
    855
    Why should it?NOS4A2

    Previous posts have explained this, and you aren't that stupid.

    How long do you suggest the US military remain in that area?NOS4A2

    Until an agreement has been brokered between Turkey and the Kurds or, failing that, until the Kurds have had time to make arrangements for their defense or withdrawal.
  • ssu
    1.6k
    It was also the SDF’s line.NOS4A2
    Wow. A 100% defeat. As if insurgencies go away like that.

    Just like Obama declared victory over Al Qaeda (in Iraq).

    May I remind you of a time when Obama pulled the troops out of Iraq:

    The president said the last US troops will leave in the coming days, travelling south across the desert by much the same route that American, British and coalition forces attacked Iraq in 2003.

    Obama hinted at the military and diplomatic quagmire he inherited from a Bush administration that had promised Americans a quick and easy war that would see Iraqis scattering flowers at the feet of US soldiers. Instead, the American invasion unleashed a conflict - part civil war, part anti-occupation - that dragged on for years.

    But the president, who came to power promising to end the war, said that for all the suffering, the result was success.

    "We knew this day would come. We've known it for some time. But still there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long," said Obama. "It's harder to end a war than begin one. Everything that American troops have done in Iraq - all the fighting, all the dying, the bleeding and the building and the training and the partnering, all of it has landed to this moment of success."

    That was 2011. Al Qaeda in Iraq had then already morphed into the present ISIS. And in a few years it would overwhelm large parts of Iraq. Of course now it's nearly beaten, but quickly now withdraw away to snatch that defeat in the long run (again).

    He wants to end endless wars.NOS4A2
    Yeah, just like... Obama.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    That the Kurds don't have their own independent state shows just how divided they are. That the states with Kurdish minorities (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria) have been able to keep the Kurds in separate camps is quite astonishing.

    Besides, in truth they have had a semi-independent state in Iraq, even if they officially have been part of the post-Saddam Iraq.

    Hence VagabondSpectre, it's not true that they haven't never held form political power in these countries: Jalal Talabani, head of the Patrioitic Union of Kurdistan, was the President of Iraq for 9 years during 2005 - 2014. Just to give one example.
    ssu

    That's farther than I knew! I'm quite ignorant about many details of middle eastern politics, but as long as I got the gist of it right I'll be content.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    There is no taboo. It's just totally weird to me that your take away is what a failure for trump this is. As if that's what's important.Benkei

    This is a thread for general Trump conservation, I wasn't aware I should be limiting myself to "what's important". I already gave my take-away: "In one fell move, Trump may have just completely dashed what would have been the culminating victory of a struggle for freedom that has taken a century to unfold.".

    I'm still trying to understand what centrism has to do with my posts, and why you think they're centrism of the worst kind. Is it that by saying "This is Trump's biggest failure", I'm somehow making his other failures seem less grave? As if to say "Trump is A-O-K apart from this one thing"? Should I have used a swear word?

    Even if this thread was about the Turkish invasion of Kurdish controlled Syria (as opposed to being explicitly about Trump), I still don't see anything wrong or suspect in pointing out who or what is to blame.

    Why are former GOP allies distancing themselves from him? Are they really concerned about Kurds? Or are they in the pocket of defense contractors? What does this mean for the Kurds?Benkei

    So, instead of pointing out that this is a direct Trump effect, you would rather I point out that his cronies and sycophants are the guilty ones? I should have blamed the industrial-military complex? If you want my speculation about the future of the Kurds you should probably look elsewhere. I've placed three bets over the last three years that they would have a Kurdistan by new-year's. I know too little about it; maybe this betrayal will get the Kurds enough international recognition to get their nation-ball rolling (Turkey will definitely need to be pressured). I'm just guessing though...

    The GOP allies are distancing themselves because the outcome is an unambiguous betrayal of epic magnitude. Yes they have donations to worry about, but they also have a reputation to defend, and not all of their constituents are utterly without scruples (is suggesting that #not all republicans and conservatives are amoral, unprincipled,and idiotic bigots also an example of the worst kind of centrism?). Maybe I've read your posts wrong, but it seems like the moral rebuke you're leveraging against me hinges on the fact that I've mentioned Trump in the Trump thread.

    All things you could've raised in relation to Trump's decision but easily ignored because, my, my, what a (bloody predictable) failure for him. So yeah, the sole focus on him is misplaced from my point of viewBenkei

    I would really appreciate it if you would explain to me in simple and clear terms how my focus has been misplaced. What sort of things should I have brought up? This is a serious question. If I don't understand how and why you've taken issue, how can I possibly update my understanding or behavior?
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    Trump and the pentagon have been providing the Kurds, manly the SDF, with weapons, training, support and money since the beginning of his presidency. The caliphate is done. The operation is over. Time to bring the Troops home.NOS4A2

    My friend, think about this for a minute (it's pretty important stuff so please take a deep breath and give it some honest focus). The Kurds fought ISIS for us. Traditionally, the bonds of individuals and nations that are formed in war are sacred. This is literally an example of one soldier leaving another to die.

    So now imagine that America is that cowardly backstabbing soldier. How do you think the rest of the world (let alone the Kurds) are going to feel about this?

    Who in their right mind is going to think of America as trustworthy and competent when they're willing to throw their allies to the wolves in sudden bouts of supreme tactical stupidity?

    "Bring the troops home" is really fun to say, but when we bring them home too soon or unpredictably, chaos ensues, and then we'll just have to go back 10 years from now. Why keep repeating the exact same mistake? Hype?

    Do you really want to make America out to be the evil one by giving Turkey the nod to genocide our allies?
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    The US has been tentatively withdrawing for nearly a year, during which time the administration has repeatedly called on France and Germany to replace American soldiers. They’ve also worked with actors in the area to take over the operation.

    So where are the Europeans? Why have they abandoned the Kurds?
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Trump and the pentagon have been providing the Kurds, manly the SDF, with weapons, training, support and money since the beginning of his presidency. The caliphate is done. The operation is over. Time to bring the Troops home.NOS4A2

    A disgraceful, shallow, and facile history. Trump welshes on his contracts in New York and workmen are cheated of their pay. He welshes on his obligations as President and people die. The "excuse" betrays everyone and everything; that's what he does. What makes you think you're safe?
  • Wayfarer
    8.6k
    Trump bows before strongmen. Erdogan told him to do it, and Trump did as he was told.

    Everyone associated - State Dept, Defense, Congressional Republicans - all slammed it as a disgraceful abandonment of a beleaguered ally. But President I Alone can Solve always knows better than anyone, takes no advice, reads nothing but thinks he knows more than all of them.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    The EU, for all their bluster, have a small fraction of the military might that America has. And the EU didn't start this cluster-fuck...

    Military_Expenditures_2018_SIPRI.png

    It's neither economic, nor strategic, nor moral to retreat from Syria (let alone to give Erdogan the nod to start bombing innocent people). It means prolonged chaos that eventually America will be pulled back into dealing with in around 10 years time, or sooner. Remember Afghanistan and Iraq? What's the idea behind collapsing sovereign "enemy" nations through expensive wars, only to then abandon them before they can be stabilized?

    The real issue here though is not pulling out of Syria in and of itself, it is having allowed Turkey to murder our allies. If America cannot protect its allies then it really is good for nothing. Isolationism is not tenable in the globalized world (unless you want to do some farming), so why even pretend that the fates of nations are not intertwined?
  • Monitor
    99
    It was also the SDF’s line.

    “Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and %100 territorial defeat of ISIS," Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF press office, said on Twitter. "On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/syrian-kurdish-forces-declare-victory-isis-syria/story?id=61564565
    NOS4A2

    So ABC news is not fake?
  • creativesoul
    6.2k
    It's Trump's responsibility as president to investigate corruption. He said so himself. That's what the phone call was about... that's it! He said so himself.

    Interesting thing is that he has not investigated Russian interference any further. Not a dime into that, or stopping that from happening again.

    It is an alternate universe.
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    Turkey is our ally, a member of NATO. They also share a border with Syria. America will be pulled into it only if our troops or interests are threatened.
  • StreetlightX
    4.2k
    Turkey is our allyNOS4A2

    This doesn't appear to mean all that much.
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    Perhaps. All the more reason for them to behave,
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.1k
    I suppose Trump's pulling the troops from Syria was just the fulfilling of an election promise - one made to the Russians.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.5k
    So a couple things:
    1) When is a republican democracy (or any lip service to that) considered completely dead?

    a) When a president can ask for dirt on a political candidate from a foreign country?
    b) When a president can cover this up in classified servers?
    c) When a president can openly say it in media interviews?
    d) When a president refuses to allow key witnesses to testify to Congress?

    2) What SHOULD this impeachment hinge on (if political party wasn't a factor)?

    a) Proof of intent of inquiry into Bidens?
    b) Quid-pro-quo?
    c) Asking foreign country for information on Bidens' affairs in Ukraine?
    d) Something else

    @Bitter Crank
  • Benkei
    2.1k
    Why are you spending so many words on this? Your first reaction on pulling troops was in my view misguided as it solely concerned what a failure it constituted for Trump. If that's your first primary point in relation to what happened then I don't think that's the right order of priorities, eg. misguided. It's not such a big deal as you now seem to think it is. That's what I reacted to not the posts after that that you are now bringing up.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    Your first reaction on pulling troops was in my view misguided as it solely concerned what a failure it constituted for Trump.Benkei

    What's wrong with pointing out Trump failure? I still don't get how it is misguided. There is no order-of-priority in a Trump mega-thread.

    Did you imply that I subscribe to the worst kind of misguided centrism because I didn't offer thoughts and prayers? I thought "Apparently Turkey has begun bombing of the Kurds in northern Syria, after Erdogan got the go-ahead from Trump..." spoke for itself.

    If that's your first primary point in relation to what happened then I don't think that's the right order of priorities, eg. misguided. It's not such a big deal as you now seem to think it is. That's what I reacted to not the posts after that that you are now bringing up.Benkei

    I think your reaction was misguided...

    What would you have me do differently?
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