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2019-10-15 The Grand Turk
Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast.
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Posted by Fred 2019-10-15 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [607 views ]  Top
 File under: Sublime Porte 

#1 This is really rich.

As if Zero was "well prepared" on anything in the Middle East or SW Asia or N Africa, or managed any crisis at all in those regions with anything approaching competence...
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 01:17||   2019-10-15 01:17|| Front Page Top

#2 ... or Zero's predecessor for that matter
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 01:18||   2019-10-15 01:18|| Front Page Top

#3 The Trump plan is now clear, and it's working.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-10-15 01:29||   2019-10-15 01:29|| Front Page Top

#4 ^ Absolutely fascinating, grim. Who is this guy? How did you find him?
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 01:59||   2019-10-15 01:59|| Front Page Top

#5 (a) Grom.
(b) h/t Instapundit
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-10-15 02:01||   2019-10-15 02:01|| Front Page Top

#6 From grom's link, a detailed explanation by Thomas Wictor that makes much sense and that cuts through all the noise and nonsense emitted by our pseudo-"journalists":

Thomas Wictor @ThomasWic@social.quodverum.com

So the Kurds and Assad are going to work it out.
The US can cripple the Turkish economy.
Finally the EU is on our side when it comes to Turkey.
The Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation--Islamist rebels--was totally destroyed by "al-Qaeda" in January of this year, so northwest Syria was cleared of jihadists.

This is the final battlefield of the Syrian Civil War.

Trump is ending the war without causing the same disaster that we caused in Iraq. ...

Remember: Trump is using economic leverage on all our enemies. Therefore we don't have to go to war.

Assad was a puppet of the Iranian mullahs, and now he's a figurehead. His army has not engaged in actual combat since late 2016.

Syria is full of GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] commandos posing as SAA and rebels. After the Turks are defeated, there will be kabuki that allows Assad to go to Russia in retirement.

This is the endgame for Syria. ...

Iran, the Houthis, and Hezbollah are still threats, but regime change in Iran has to begin with the Iranian people.

It can't be imposed from the outside. So Trump didn't "abandon" anyone. He simply said nobody is entitled to American lives.

So the Kurds stopped cutting bait and began fishing.


Thomas Wictor @ThomasWic@social.quodverum.com
@wziminer

There was a period in which Iranians, Hezbollah, the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigades, Iraqi militia, the Shi'ite Foreign Legion, and Russian mercenaries were doing all the fighting.

They were slaughtered.

The Russians were the last to stop, after we wiped out an entire Mobile Detachment Combat Group of 600 men on February 7, 2018.

Assad's Syrian Arab Army was reconstituted, but they're essentially actors.

The Gulf Cooperation Council does the fighting now.
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 02:05||   2019-10-15 02:05|| Front Page Top

#7 Thank you Mr G just what I was waiting for. All the static from the desk jockeys is just noise.
Posted by Dale 2019-10-15 04:35||   2019-10-15 04:35|| Front Page Top

#8 But, please, get the 50 nucs out of Turkey now!
Posted by boomerc 2019-10-15 05:01||   2019-10-15 05:01|| Front Page Top

#9 Or set them off?
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-10-15 05:24||   2019-10-15 05:24|| Front Page Top

#10 ..but first, fly in the command chain that insisted they be there.
Posted by Procopius2k 2019-10-15 08:18||   2019-10-15 08:18|| Front Page Top

#11 It's looking more and more like Trump made a good call and did not err. Everyone else was against his call. At last we got a leader and not some DS potted plant in the WH.
Posted by JohnQC 2019-10-15 09:04||   2019-10-15 09:04|| Front Page Top

#12 A lot of wishful thinking and just plain wrong info in #6.
Posted by Whavimp Grath4899 2019-10-15 09:47||   2019-10-15 09:47|| Front Page Top

#13 Go ahead, Whavimp, enlighten us.
Which info in #6 is wrong? What's your source?
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 09:53||   2019-10-15 09:53|| Front Page Top

#14 I think Trump made the best call he could in this. There are never any "good" calls when it comes to this area of the world. Letting them kill each other instead of us is the best for our side.
Posted by DarthVader 2019-10-15 09:55||   2019-10-15 09:55|| Front Page Top

#15 Granted no one knows where Assad will end up, and neither should we particularly care.

The main goal is to end the war and restore some stability while keeping Iran down and Turkey out. We have no other discernible interest in this war of all against all.

So the only point that really matters is whether Wictor, above, is correct that this is the endgame which will result in those key goals.

If someone has better evidence than his, let him bring it forth so we can see it and evaluate it.

None of our incompetent pseudo-journalists have done so.

Our intel community, when it's not searching for duct tape and rubber bands for its latest Wyle E. Coyote / ACME Palace CoupTM attempt, has been well-nigh useless in that region.

Again, let's see better info - if you have it.
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 10:05||   2019-10-15 10:05|| Front Page Top

#16 The Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation--Islamist rebels--was totally destroyed by "al-Qaeda" in January of this year, so northwest Syria was cleared of jihadists.

Al Qaeda ARE jihadists. NW Syria is where all the fighting was taking place. The NFL, SNA, FSA are all the same organization (Turkey's mercenaries, were America's money grabbing mercenaries). AQ kicked their ass, but for a destroyed force, they are grabbing a lot of territory from the Kurds.

This is the final battlefield of the Syrian Civil War.

AQ (al Nusra, TaS) and ISIS and other militias have yet to be defeated in NW Syria (Idlib, Aleppo governates). Probably around 20K+ fanatics embedding in 3 million civilians. The Syrian Army is not up to the job. So the stalemate.


Syria is full of GCC commandos posing as SAA and rebels.

The GCC wants Assad gone. They (w/ Turkey and the US under Obama) are the ones who have been arming and funding the "rebels".

After the Turks are defeated

You and whose Army? Certainly not the US army. Expect another standoff and proxy fighting.

Assad to go to Russia in retirement

Interesting. But that opens the Alawites to massacre. Not so brilliant a plan now.

Iran, the Houthis, and Hezbollah are still threats

Certainly not to the Syrians gov, which is what we are talking about. The regional threat has been diminished by US sanctions against Iran. They don't have the money to pay for mercenries and weapons as when the Iranians were flush with Barack's Billions. Israelis bomb when the Iranians stick their necks out.

So the Kurds stopped cutting bait and began fishing.

The Kurds are making the best of a desperate situation and submitting to the Syrians and Russians when Trump abandoned them to Turkish invasion and resettlement (ethnic cleansing). before, the Kurds could rebuff the Syrian control and negotiate for autonomy. That's gone.

There was a period in which Iranians ... They were slaughtered.

No. They won. It was the rebels who were slaughtered (often by other factions). The Syrian controlled areas have gone from less 20% to 60%. 30% was, until a few days ago, SDF controlled. Soon to be 90% Syrian gov control. What little exists under rebel control is really under Al Qaeda or Turkish proxy control. Both supplied by Turkey.

The Russians ... wiped out

The Russian contribution is air power. That never diminished. A few hundred Russian ground mercenaries didn't affect the course of the war. They were there primarily to seize economic assets for bosses to milk. They had a bad day when they tried to seize and oil field already occupied by the SDF and Americans.

Assad's Syrian Arab Army was reconstituted, but they're essentially actors.


Can agree on the fighting side. But they are now pouring into Kurd held areas. Think the Turks will take them on? I don't.

The Gulf Cooperation Council does the fighting now.

What's the author smoking? GCC Team A on Syrian side. GCC Team B on rebel side. GCC Team C on Kurd side. GCC Team D on Turk side. DOGPILE!
Posted by Whavimp Grath4899 2019-10-15 10:47||   2019-10-15 10:47|| Front Page Top

#17 I think Trump made the best call he could in this.

I don't. The situation a few days ago was advantageous to America. A thousand troops to keep the Turks and Syrians out and a few dollars to pay the SDF to keep the peace and hunt down ISIS remnants until a negotiated peace with the Syrians could be agreed to. That, and American credibility, is gone.
Posted by Whavimp Grath4899 2019-10-15 11:07||   2019-10-15 11:07|| Front Page Top

#18 You know who's word would be final for me on this whole sordid issue ? The American troops that were pulled out.

Nobody so far has given a shit for the grunt's opinion. I mean we're worried for his life, but don't care what he'd rather stake it on - Kurds or Afghans. He doesn't get a vote. Leaders and bloodthirsties can order him to and fro. He doesn't get to choose his allies or a say in the fucked-ness of a plan.

The clueless civ elected State's apathy and disregard for their soldiers' own views is the same anywhere I suppose.

That being said, I am willing to believe that Trump's economic sanctions and reducing Turkey to a desperate beggar might improve the lot of many disaffected.
Posted by Dron66046 2019-10-15 11:46||   2019-10-15 11:46|| Front Page Top

#19 Someone who I've been waiting to hear weigh in is Andrew Bacevich. He has been critical of all US involvement in Iraq and the extended activities in Afghanistan.
Posted by M. Murcek 2019-10-15 12:05||   2019-10-15 12:05|| Front Page Top

#20 You know who's word would be final for me on this whole sordid issue ? The American troops that were pulled out.

Word.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-10-15 12:13||   2019-10-15 12:13|| Front Page Top

#21 Thanks, Whavimp.
I'm not sure I understand how the previous situation was so advantageous. This statement in particular seems an example of, to coin a phrase, "wishful thinking":

A thousand troops to keep the Turks and Syrians out and a few dollars to pay the SDF to keep the peace and hunt down ISIS remnants until a negotiated peace with the Syrians could be agreed to.

You mean like that successfully negotiated peace with the Taliban that has brought stability to Afghanistan?

I raise this because - at least according to what I can find re our strategy - the goal is to "the U.S. partnership with the SDF was a model to follow in the future, like the partnership with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban." (Paraphrase of statements in April 2019 by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Mulroy. More: Mulraoy "[said he] expected the U.S. to be in Syria for the long haul with a very capable partner in the Syrian Democratic Forces. ..."

I have no doubt that your/DoD's logic is sound: the Kurds are excellent fighters who merit some measure of support.

The problem I, and probably most Americans who've watched our Mideast / Afghan follies for the last several decades, have us your assertion that PEACE will result from this support.

There is no peace in Afghanistan. That "model" -- if Mulroy is being fairly paraphrased by Wiki - is an antitype. Perhaps you know better, but based on not hope but EXPERIENCE, that more likely that our involvement in Syria will continue for many more years.

Enough. No more Afghan-style endless wars.

At some point we need to cut. There's never a good time to cut. But sooner or later, cut we must.

Anyway, that's my $0.02. I appreciate your detailed and overall sensible response.
- L
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 12:21||   2019-10-15 12:21|| Front Page Top

#22 Someone who I've been waiting to hear weigh in is Andrew Bacevich.

I am only reaching here, but I think he would say, we must empower forces that engender a pro-western sentiment while negating and trivializing islamist regression in the middle-east. That stable and disciplined states, even if oppressive were good for keeping the people there contained and 'out of trouble'.

Of course I'm only inferring on bases of what he's said so far.
Posted by Dron66046 2019-10-15 12:27||   2019-10-15 12:27|| Front Page Top

#23 A thousand troops to keep the Turks and Syrians out and a few dollars to pay the SDF to keep the peace and hunt down ISIS remnants until a negotiated peace with the Syrians could be agreed to.

This is not in the least little bit in the interest of the American people.

And if it's not in the interest of the American people then why are we doing it?/strong>

It's nice to see some sanity restored to our out-of-control foreign policy. Someone's finally making moves that benefit us.
Posted by Herb McCoy 2019-10-15 12:46||   2019-10-15 12:46|| Front Page Top

#24 Lex, although you're essentially dealing with the same animal, no two follies are alike.

Mulroy easily equates the Afghan Ice Cream to the Syrian trouble, but they are not the same. One began with an excessive zeal to teach democracy and bureaucratic aggrandizement to a bunch of fools. The other was a closet islamist president trying to help out his salafist buddies against alawites.

The former regressed into a nation building and heroin free-for-all for spooks with no oversight, the latter into a post-ISIS tinderbox. In both, only one thing was similar. You were dealing with muslims, and Americans unfortunately have still not understood the muslim animal. The problem is islam itself, and if islamism can be sheared away from the psyche of these people under a communist regime, good.

A stable, anti-islamist Kurdistan could actually prove a good petri-dish for an experiment into the gradual de-islamization of the raghead.

But it's true, sooner or later, cut you must. The presidency has enough trouble at home. I guess that is the unseen crux of the issue. Once power is consolidated and the US morale is flying high, the balance of power shall of course need to be weighed again. Enemies of the US shall not just retire in the mean time. They will keep coming, until rendered sans steam. Regional allies alone can get that done.
Posted by Dron66046 2019-10-15 12:58||   2019-10-15 12:58|| Front Page Top

#25 A stable, anti-islamist Kurdistan could actually prove a good petri-dish for an experiment into the gradual de-islamization of the raghead

But I thought we already achieved that--in northern Iraq? Why is it necessary to extend existing (Iraqi) Kurdistan to Syria?

Our Syrian adventure has brought us into the middle of a messy fight between a very different Kurdish faction-- the PKK and Turkey.-- to what end?

Isn't one successful, autonomous, stable, pro-US Kurdish enclave enough?

It's as if, having defeated German fascism we decided to send troops to intervene in the Northern Irish troubles in 1970, with nothing more than a vague notion that one side to what would be a 30 year war was "evil" and the other good.

Does this kind of endless tagging along to advance the interests of a small nation make any sense?
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 13:06||   2019-10-15 13:06|| Front Page Top

#26 You're right. It's this damn PKK that messes up the whole thing. Well, I hope the Russians are up to it then. I don't expect much from them though.
Posted by Dron66046 2019-10-15 13:16||   2019-10-15 13:16|| Front Page Top

#27 Nothing goes boys. Ah done told you - it's the carrying capacity of the habitat. If population exceeds the carrying capacity, there will be fighting.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-10-15 13:28||   2019-10-15 13:28|| Front Page Top

#28 Once power is consolidated and the US morale is flying high, the balance of power shall of course need to be weighed again. Enemies of the US shall not just retire in the mean time. They will keep coming, until rendered sans steam.

It's just so maddening how nobody questions his premises. "America must keep intervening in the Middle East and this will solve all our problems." No. No, this is entirely mistaken and is as false as stating the Sun revolves around the Earth.

We create problems by meddling. The more meddling, the more problems. We greenlighted the overthrow of the Shah that led to the Mullahs in Iran. We created the Taliban by meddling in Afghanistan. We created Al-Qaeda by occupying Saudi Arabia to defend against Iraq. We greenlighted Saddam's occupation of Kuwait. (Yes this happened.) You ever get the idea that the common factor in all these problems is US meddling?

If not, start thinking about it. It needs to become a major part of the strategic debate.

Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Posted by Herb McCoy 2019-10-15 14:14||   2019-10-15 14:14|| Front Page Top

#29 I'm sick of our piecemeal, both hands tied to our feet interventions anyway. If the US needs to fix Syria, then let's fix it. Go in, destroy the place down the ground so that if we decide to rebuild it, nobody there will dare even think of fighting the US. If we're not going to do that, it's not worth blood and treasure. Syria's been our enemy, we should have just leveled the place and left.
Posted by Silentbrick 2019-10-15 15:03||   2019-10-15 15:03|| Front Page Top

#30  Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Hardly the advice you carry to a knife fight with a pashtun, but anyway.

The specifics of how you got here are not relevant to the ones who shall continue to undermine your interests from without and within. As pan-islamism exceeds the considerable leeway given it by European states and the UN, you will see the very real enemy closing in. I am willing to hope in Trump's approach of financially crippling the enemy, making them anathema to trade or deal with in the world until they each element of theirs is rendered powerless, disenfranchised and rots in his own hell. But what was meddling in those times you speak of, has now become necessary aegis in many regions.

I believe a State has failed when it fails to protect its citizens from attacks perpetrated by outside influences. The infrastructure, the economic interests and the sense of justice of elevate thinkers is all for nought when a man arrives from Syria or Iraq, to build a bomb in NY or DC, killing even one citizen.

Is the profligate exceptionalism of past US administrations to blame for said sasquatch and his intentions, his training, his mission ? Verily so. I'm not denying that the hegemony-madness from Truman on down has resulted in mostly snafus that are still wasting taxpayer money. But it's like the African slaves, you meddled. That won't change. No need to be apologetic for it now, but you must control the aftermath that is visited on your current and future generations. I agree about the meddling.

You played with fire when you armed the jihadi bioweapon against the commies. You can kick the graves of the sods who did it, but the march of jihad won't be stopped by 'Uhh we realize it was just such a loss, sorry we won't play anymore'.

It's not chess. It's riding the tiger. Sooner or later you're going to have to get off and shoot it. And if the condition today is a gestalt of clusterfucks involving middle eastern power whores, it's only because the endeavour has been handled with kid gloves so far. Also, besides the US, no country has invested so deeply I won't mention Israel to you anymore, and it's also true that the WOT is a fight for their national security in a way. in the WOT, which is shameful and stupid of us all I know.
Posted by Dron66046 2019-10-15 15:30||   2019-10-15 15:30|| Front Page Top

#31 Hardly the advice you carry to a knife fight with a pashtun, but anyway.

More blinkered thinking. It's Zen, this new way. The secret is to not have a knife fight with a pashtun at all.

The infrastructure, the economic interests and the sense of justice of elevate thinkers is all for nought when a man arrives from Syria or Iraq, to build a bomb in NY or DC, killing even one citizen.

Lacking any grievance, he would not do so.

You've really got to think outside the box here. It's obvious a whole ton of people cannot think anything other than "we must militarily defeat them" when that's not only the wrong answer, it's answering the wrong question. You've really got to go back to the beginning and completely rethink things.
Posted by Herb McCoy 2019-10-15 15:58||   2019-10-15 15:58|| Front Page Top

#32 Perhaps a parable would help:

Master Foo once said to a visiting programmer: “There is more Unix-nature in one line of shell script than there is in ten thousand lines of C.”

The programmer, who was very proud of his mastery of C, said: “How can this be? C is the language in which the very kernel of Unix is implemented!”

Master Foo replied: “That is so. Nevertheless, there is more Unix-nature in one line of shell script than there is in ten thousand lines of C.”

The programmer grew distressed. “But through the C language we experience the enlightenment of the Patriarch Ritchie! We become as one with the operating system and the machine, reaping matchless performance!”

Master Foo replied: “All that you say is true. But there is still more Unix-nature in one line of shell script than there is in ten thousand lines of C.”

The programmer scoffed at Master Foo and rose to depart. But Master Foo nodded to his student Nubi, who wrote a line of shell script on a nearby whiteboard, and said: “Master programmer, consider this pipeline. Implemented in pure C, would it not span ten thousand lines?”

The programmer muttered through his beard, contemplating what Nubi had written. Finally he agreed that it was so.

“And how many hours would you require to implement and debug that C program?” asked Nubi.

“Many,” admitted the visiting programmer. “But only a fool would spend the time to do that when so many more worthy tasks await him.”

“And who better understands the Unix-nature?” Master Foo asked. “Is it he who writes the ten thousand lines, or he who, perceiving the emptiness of the task, gains merit by not coding?”

Upon hearing this, the programmer was enlightened.
Posted by Herb McCoy 2019-10-15 16:00||   2019-10-15 16:00|| Front Page Top

#33 They ARE right - anyone can be provoked enough to murder.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-10-15 16:04||   2019-10-15 16:04|| Front Page Top

#34 Very quaint. Took me a while.

May the islamists chance upon this 'eunuch's-nature' thingy too. Make it easier for us to kill them, rather than the other way round.
Posted by Dron66046 2019-10-15 16:12||   2019-10-15 16:12|| Front Page Top

#35 And then Abdul the H-2B said, "I pity the Foo bring a knife to a bombfight!" And as he kaboomed, all were extinguished.
Posted by Lumpy Graique6928 2019-10-15 16:16||   2019-10-15 16:16|| Front Page Top

#36 Herb McKoan: cute but off-target.

This vale of tears in which humans struggle for power is not an OS or other highly engineered closed system capable of being directed with lines of code. It's messy and interrelated in a thousand ways, with every action or inaction having multiple unintended consequences - always.

I'm with you about the need for restraint in Syria but your grand theory of international relations - stay out, everywhere - doesn't offer a good alternative. There has never been a foreign policy golden age. Every leader f---s up, sooner or later, in ways big and small.

The right attitude is to admit our ignorance, recognize there's no simple loan that will tell ya what to do, and set ourselves the goal of learning and evolving and adapting.

(Not directed at you personally, but it also helps not to cast aspersions on people's motives. We're on the same side here and want more or less the same thing: security for our nation.)
Posted by Lex 2019-10-15 16:42||   2019-10-15 16:42|| Front Page Top

#37 I'm generally on the side of staying out in Syria. There is nobody there (including the Kurds, who are moderates only the sub-standard standards of the region) worth fighting to protect. Israel would be, should they actually need it, but they don't need anybody's protection (except maybe help from us managing idiots in the EU and the theocracy in Iran on a larger scale). The idea that a stable, developed nation will ever emerge in the region looks increasingly like a foolish notion. Turkey came closer than anybody else ever has in the Islamic world, and they've essentially blown it now.
Posted by Vernal Hatrick 2019-10-15 21:48||   2019-10-15 21:48|| Front Page Top

22:40 Whitch Gray6108
22:15 Phaick Uneretle6310
21:50 Ebbusosh Splat4588
21:48 Vernal Hatrick
21:47 swksvolFF
20:03 swksvolFF
19:59 Crusolet Squank3064
19:55 jpal
19:11 trailing wife
19:09 Procopius2k
18:13 Elmerert Hupens2660
17:57 M. Murcek
17:56 Glenmore
17:50 swksvolFF
17:11 Warthog
16:58 Lex
16:53 Lex
16:53 Besoeker
16:50 Warthog
16:47 Besoeker
16:42 Lex
16:16 Dron66046
16:16 Lumpy Graique6928
16:12 Dron66046

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