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The Syrian stupidity

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    Pelosi and her delegation also visited Afghanistan, although this part of the trip was kept secret for security reasons. Don't know if Trump knew about it. Last time he got wind of Pelosi going to Afghanistan he cancelled her military airplane telling her to fly commercial.

    Anyway, from the Washington Post: "Pelosi and congressional delegation make unannounced trip to Afghanistan in outreach to allies after Trump’s decision on Syria"

    "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led an unannounced congressional visit to Afghanistan and Jordan over the weekend, highlighting her sharp disagreement with President Trump over his abrupt removal of U.S. troops from northern Syria and Turkey’s subsequent attacks on Kurdish enclaves.

    "In Afghanistan, the delegation met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, top U.S. military commanders and diplomats, senior Afghan government officials and civil society leaders. The delegation also traveled to Camp Morehead to meet with Resolute Support Mission troops."

    Don't know if these fact finding trips will have any effect on influencing Trump's antics in the Middle East. He claims to be smarter than the generals.

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    Guess what? Erdogan is visiting Putin right now. Also the few days of "delay" of fighting is over by today. Furthermore the Hungarian President (an big friend of Putin) meddled in the Ukrainian affair and coached Trump. Thus an big win for Putin. The US is now seen as an "has been" country, which is easy to manipulate; especially if you put an 8 year old in charge.
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    The situation in Syria is very complex.

    This morning's Al Jazeera published a lengthy article that discusses more of the issues. Of particularly interest is the map that shows who controls the various parts of the country.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/russia-turkey-partners-opponents-syria-191022111531956.html

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    To put the current conflicts in perspective, sometimes it requires stepping back and looking at the history of Syrian conflicts.

    Syrian Arab Republic History Timeline

    They've been fighting for over 2000 years. Alexander the Great conquered Syria in 332 BC and they have been fighting ever since. It must be in their DNA.

    Take a look at the timeline. It stops at 2014 but you can fill in the rest.

    It will be interesting to see the impact on history of the United States withdrawal from the area and letting Erdogan, Putin and Assad write the next chapter.

    We'll see what happens.

    Oh and that map is mind boggling. It says it all. Thanks for sharing.

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    Schmidt, Yes you see it the way it is. However if you place an "spoiled baby" in the W.H. who knows nothing of the world, then the result with everything he touches should be known. Even Hitler had an hard time to concur the middle east. My guess is that the "birthplace" of most religions started there and still creates more shit in this world until now than anything else.

    You will also see that reflected in our elections (as well the candidates) that especially in the middle part of this country that they know nothing at all what the rest of the world is all about. Trump is the "result" of that, because the people here are not "educated" at all related to those things, so they will likely elect again someone who has to learn (the hard way) what the world is about, all over again.

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    The United States first sent troops to Syria in October of 2015 to push back ISIS.

    Fifty American advisers were initially sent to Syria. That number grew to more than 500, according to the Pentagon, before officials acknowledged there were approximately 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

    The role of the U.S. troops has been to advise and assist the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) -- a Kurdish-led force that now numbers more than 50,000 and is about 40 percent Arab. The U.S. is not involved in direct combat unless it is for self-defense. **

    The SDF (which we just abandoned) has become America’s main fighting force against ISIS.

    "While ISIS has certainly been degraded over the past two years, its leadership remains intact, and many of its fighters have dispersed ready to reform," said ABC News contributor John Cohen, the former acting undersecretary for intelligence and a former counter-terrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security. "How the organization reconstitutes itself is of great concern to national security experts."

    "While ISIS has certainly been degraded over the past two years, its leadership remains intact, and many of its fighters have dispersed ready to reform," said ABC News contributor John Cohen, the former acting undersecretary for intelligence and a former counter-terrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security. "How the organization reconstitutes itself is of great concern to national security experts."

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-military-involvement-syria-trump-orders-withdrawal/story?id=59930250

    ** Not all of our troops still in Syria are going to protect the oil fields. Yesterday, Unites States Special Operations commandos apparently terminated the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A senior administration official said that the president had approved the mission. (To quote a line from "Apocalypse Now", the leader became a victim of "extreme prejudice".

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/us/politics/special-operations-raid-terrorist-syria.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

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    According to Al Jazeera, the demise of the ISIS leader was due, not to direct action by U.S. forces, but the fact that he blew up himself and his 3 children by detonating an explosive vest after running into a dead end tunnel to avoid our forces.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/isil-chief-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-killed-syria-confirms-trump-191027132540524.html

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    Anyway the stupid media made a big deal out of it and all the stations showed Trumps ugly face and horrible speech.

    People didn't seem to get it that it was pure self promotion; he even went as far to set up the same "war room" picture as Obama did with the killing of Bin Laden. The guy is absolutely sick; he even said that this event was much more important than what Obama did. But yeah the "deplorables" must have loved it.

    He's looking for "things" to be able to shake the "impeachment" cloud above his head, which ever way; he probably will announce an deal with China etc. shortly to raise his ratings for the "dumb" part of the country.

    I'm very afraid that he indeed via every trick and lies may succeed in getting an second term. The electoral college will certainly help him, as well the dumb part of the country.

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    Although Trump wants to be given credit for the raid that killed the ISIS leader, it actually was successful IN SPITE OF his actions rather than because of them.

    ********************************

    This is what Joe Biden had to say:

    " I’m glad President Trump ordered the mission," former Vice President Joe Biden said. "But as more details of the raid emerge, it’s clear that this victory was not due to Donald Trump’s leadership. It happened despite his ineptitude as commander-in-chief. His erratic behavior made it harder and more dangerous for the special forces carrying it out. And they had to fly through territory that is now hostile to the US, taking fire along the way—including territory we controlled just weeks ago."

    ***************************

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/us/politics/trump-baghdadi-raid-strategy.html?action=click&auth=login-facebook&login=facebook&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    The death of the Islamic State’s leader in a daring nighttime raid vindicated the value of three traditional American strengths: robust alliances, faith in intelligence agencies and the projection of military power around the world.

    (The reason that it was a daring nighttime raid is that Trump's withdrawal of troops forced the operation to take place quicker than had been planned).

    But President Trump has regularly derided the first two. And even as he claimed a significant national security victory on Sunday, the outcome of the raid did little to quell doubts about the wisdom of his push to reduce the United States military presence in Syria at a time when terrorist threats continue to develop in the region.

    “The irony of the successful operation against al-Baghdadi is that it could not have happened without U.S. forces on the ground that have been pulled out, help from Syrian Kurds who have been betrayed, and support of a U.S. intelligence community that has so often been disparaged,” Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said on Sunday.

    The truly exasperating thing about the raid was that he did not advise congressional leaders in Congress about it - but he told Russia what was planned. When the president announced Baghdadi’s death, he thanked the Russians for their help while explaining that he kept Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the dark because he was afraid of leaks. Trump said he kept Democrats in the dark about the ISIS raid because he was afraid of sensitive leaks. Ironically, he then blurted out all kinds of sensitive information about the raid for no reason."

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/after-decrying-leaks-trump-shares-sensitive-details-baghdadi-raid?cid=sm_fb_maddow&fbclid=IwAR3LmzfABzYbV0K6QLJZVg41B5eSn7lT1aIm10QB4Dz9x5I7NSFp8ggdzfE

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    Trump is considering releasing footage of the raid, something that Obama did NOT do after Bin Laden was killed "due to national security concerns".

    “It’s important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool,” Obama said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/10/28/why-obama-didnt-release-footage-raid-that-killed-osama-bin-laden/

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    By allowing Turkey to move its troops into Stria, Trump is likely repeating one of the worst foreign policy blunders in history.

    Two weeks ago, in remarks eerily reminiscent of claims British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made after the disastrous Munich conference in 1938, President Trump hailed the “cease-fire agreement” that Vice President Pence brokered between the Turks and the Kurds as an “incredible outcome” and a “great day for civilization.”

    In late September 1938, Chamberlain made a similar claim about his negotiations with Adolf Hitler. The German dictator wanted to annex the area of Czechoslovakia that bordered Germany known as the Sudetenland. The results directly precipitated World War II, revealing the fallacies of appeasement and the dangers present today.

    At Munich, Chamberlain, who, like Trump, had little experience in foreign policy, agreed to Hitler’s demands to hand over the Sudetenland, despite not consulting with the Czechs or their allies in Soviet Russia.

    A disgusted Winston Churchill — whom Trump claims to admire — bluntly confronted Chamberlain in the House of Commons “You were given the choice between war and dishonor,” Churchill declared. “You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

    Less than six months after Munich, Germany took over the rest of Czechoslovakia, and Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement was dead.

    Chamberlain’s lack of diplomatic experience and determination to fashion his own foreign policy was his downfall. He often refused to listen to his top foreign policy advisers (sounds like Trump, doesn't it? ) — as evidenced by the resignation of British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden over Chamberlain’s headlong pursuit of the appeasement of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini six months before the Munich agreements were signed.

    Today, Trump is repeating not only Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement but also the mistakes that underlay that policy. He ignores counsel from his military and diplomatic advisers and takes dictators such as Putin and Erdogan — whom he referred to as a “good friend” and “great leader” — at their word

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/10/28/is-trump-repeating-one-worst-foreign-policy-blunders-history/

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    This morning's Al Jazeera compared Trump's withdrawal from Syria to Obama's withdrawal from Iraq, and the article actually make sense.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/trump-making-mistake-obama-191030123450491.html

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    The Daily Mail in the UK is running with this story. The US media is not touching it.

    Jared Kushner gave Saudi Prince PERMISSION to arrest Jamal Khashoggi before he was killed - but Turkey intercepted the call and used it to force Trump to leave Syria, report claims

    • New report claims more whistleblowers have come forward to Democrat-led House of Representatives with claims of wrongdoing by Trump officials
    • Report says one whistleblower is alleging that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, approved Saudi plans to arrest Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi
    • According to Spectator, Turkey intercepted call between Kushner and Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and then used it to gain leverage over Trump
    • Trump agreed to remove American troops from northern Syria after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    You can read more at the Daily Mail link above, but if true it would have devastating implications. The final nail in the coffin. However, it would need to be corroborated, and thus far it probably better fits the category of "unproven conspiracy theory".

    Kudos to the US media for not touching it. I wonder though if there is a transcript of Trump's infamous phone conversation with Erdogan stashed away in the vault.

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    Schmidt, I already mentioned the same thing a while ago; indeed Trump (via Kussner) had Khashoggi killed. The same with Epstein. Only with Epstein, I'm surprised that the FBI did not investigate this murder in detail, probably Barr/Trump stopped them from doing so; I bet he had a lot of real dirt on Trump.

    I bet your and my story are true.

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    The new twist on the story is that the Turk's had intercepted the phone call between Kushner and the Saudis, and that Erdogan used that leverage to force Trump's hand to withdraw troops from Kurdish Syria. In effect Kushner was compromised and that meant that Trump was compromised ( form of blackmail). Family before country..."the Family First" doctrine.

    I had not seen that particular Trump - Erdogan phone call accusation (revelation) from a whistle blower before today. Thus far we have speculated on what the Trump-Erdogan "quid pro quo" was all about because Trump appeared to get nothing in return from Erdogan for withdrawing troops. Nothing. Nada. Now we have something to talk about even though it likely cannot be corroborated very easily.