Trump did not betray the kurds

Discussion in 'Offtopic Lounge' started by basicstrategy777, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. basicstrategy777, Oct 13, 2019

    basicstrategy777

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    Trump did not betray the Kurds




    The near consensus view of President Donald Trump’s decision to remove US special forces from the Syrian border with Turkey is that Trump is enabling a Turkish invasion and double crossing the Syrian Kurds who have fought with the Americans for five years against ISIS. Trump’s move, the thinking goes, harms US credibility and undermines US power in the region and throughout the world.

    There are several problems with this narrative. The first is that it assumes that until this week, the US had power and influence in Syria when in fact, by design, the US went to great lengths to limit its ability to influence events in Syria.

    The war in Syria broke out in 2011 as a popular insurrection by Syrian Sunnis against the Iranian-sponsored regime of President Bashar al Assad. The Obama administration responded by declaring US support for Assad’s overthrow. But the declaration was empty. The administration sat on its thumbs as the regime’s atrocities mounted. They supported a feckless Turkish effort to raise a resistance army dominated by jihadist elements aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Obama infamously issued his “redline” regarding the use of chemical weapons against civilians by Assad, which he repudiated the moment it was crossed.

    As ISIS forces gathered in Iraq and Syria,

    shrugged them off as a “jayvee squad.” When the jayvees in ISIS took over a third of Iraqi and Syrian territory, Obama did nothing.

    As Lee Smith recalled in January in the New York Post, Obama only decided to do something about ISIS in late 2014 after the group beheaded a number of American journalists and posted their decapitations on social media.

    The timing was problematic for Obama.

    In 2014 Obama was negotiating his nuclear deal with Iran. The deal, falsely presented as a non-proliferation pact, actually enabled Iran — the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism — to develop both nuclear weapons and the missile systems required to deliver them. The true purpose of the deal was not to block Iran’s nuclear aspirations but to realign US Middle East policy away from the Sunnis and Israel and towards Iran.

    Given its goal of embracing Iran, the Obama administration had no interest in harming Assad, Iran’s Syrian factotum. It had no interest in blocking Iran’s ally Russia from using the war in Syria as a means to reassert Moscow’s power in the Middle East.

    As both Michael Doran, a former national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration and Smith argue, when Obama was finally compelled to act against ISIS, he structured the US campaign in a manner than would align it with Iran’s interests.

    Obama’s decided to work with the Kurdish-YPG militia in northern Syria because it was the only significant armed force outside the Iranian axis that enjoyed congenial relations with both Assad and Iran.

    Obama deployed around a thousand forces to Syria. Their limited numbers and radically constrained mandate made it impossible for the Americans to have a major effect on events in the country. They weren’t allowed to act against Assad or Iran. They were tasked solely with fighting ISIS. Obama instituted draconian rules of engagement that made achieving even that limited goal all but impossible.

    During his tenure as Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton hoped to revise the US mandate to enable US forces to be used against Iran in Syria. Bolton’s plan was strategically sound. Trump rejected it largely because it was a recipe for widening US involvement in Syria far beyond what the American public – and Trump himself — are willing to countenance.

    In other words, the claim that the US has major influence in Syria is wrong. It does not have such influence and is unwilling to pay the price of developing such influence.

    This brings us to the second flaw in the narrative about Trump’s removal of US forces from the Syrian border with Turkey.

    The underlying assumption of the criticism is that America has an interest in confronting Turkey to protect the Kurds.

    This misconception like the misconception regarding US power and influence in Syria is borne of a misunderstanding of Obama’s Middle East policies. Aside from ISIS’s direct victims, the major casualty of Obama’s deliberately feckless anti-ISIS campaign was the US alliance with Turkey. Whereas the US chose to work with the Kurds because they were supportive of Assad and Iran, the Turks view the Syrian Kurdish YPG as a sister militia to the Turkish PKK. The Marxist PKK has been fighting a guerilla war against Turkey for decades. The State Department designates the PKK as a terrorist organization responsible for the death of thousands of Turkish nationals. Not surprisingly then, the Turks viewed the US-Kurdish collaboration against ISIS as an anti-Turkish campaign.

    Throughout the years of US-Kurdish cooperation, many have made the case that the Kurds are a better ally to the US that Turkey. The case is compelling not merely because the Kurds have fought well.

    Under Erdogan, Turkey has stood against the US and its interests far more often than it has stood with it. Across a spectrum of issues, from Israel to human rights, Hamas and ISIS to Turkish aggression against Cyprus, Greece and Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean, to upholding US economic sanctions against Iran and beyond, for nearly twenty years, Erdogan’s Turkey has distinguished itself as a strategic threat to America’s core interests and policies and those of its closest allies in the Middle East.

    Despite the compelling, ever growing body of evidence that the time has come to reassess US-Turkish ties, the Pentagon refuses to engage the issue. The Pentagon has rejected the suggestion that the US remove its nuclear weapons from Incirlik air base in Turkey or diminish Incirlik’s centrality to US air operations in Central Asia and the Middle East. The same is true of US dependence on Turkish naval bases.

    Given the Pentagon’s position, there is no chance that US would consider entering an armed conflict with Turkey on behalf of the Kurds.

    The Kurds are a tragic people. The Kurds, who live as persecuted minorities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran have been denied the right of self-determination for the past hundred years. But then, the Kurds have squandered every opportunity they have had to assert independence. The closest they came to achieving self-determination was in Iraq in 2017. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurds have governed themselves effectively since 1992. In 2017, they overwhelmingly passed a referendum calling for Iraqi Kurdistan to secede from Iraq and form an independent state. Instead of joining forces to achieve their long-held dream, the Kurdish leaders in Iraq worked against one another. One faction, in alliance with Iran, blocked implementation of the referendum and then did nothing as Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk was overrun by Iraqi government forces.

    The Kurds in Iraq are far more capable of defending themselves than the Kurds of Syria. Taking on the defense of Syria’s Kurds would commit the US to an open-ended presence in Syria and justify Turkish antagonism. America’s interests would not be advanced. They would be harmed, particularly in light of the YPG’s selling trait for Obama – its warm ties to Assad and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    The hard truth is that the fifty US soldiers along the Syrian-Turkish border were a fake trip wire. Neither Trump nor the US military had any intention of sacrificing US forces to either block a Turkish invasion of Syria or foment deeper US involvement in the event of a Turkish invasion.

    Apparently in the course of his phone call with Trump on Sunday, Erdogan called Trump’s bluff. Trump’s announcement following the call made clear that the US would not sacrifice its soldiers to stop Erdogan’s planned invasion of the border zone.

    But Trump also made clear that the US did not support the Turkish move. In subsequent statements, Trump repeatedly pledged to destroy the Turkish economy if Turkey commits atrocities against the Kurds.

    If the Pentagon can be brought on board, Trump’s threats can easily be used as a means to formally diminish the long hollow US alliance with Turkey.

    Here it is critical to note that Trump did not remove US forces from Syria. They are still deployed along the border crossing between Jordan, Iraq and Syria to block Iran from moving forces and materiel to Syria and Lebanon. They are still blocking Russian and Syrian forces from taking over the oil fields along the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Aside from defeating ISIS, these missions are the principle strategic achievements of the US forces in Syria. For now, they are being maintained. Will Turkey’s invasion enable ISIS to reassert itself in Syria and beyond? Perhaps. But here too, as Trump made clear this week, it is not America’s job to serve as the permanent jailor of ISIS. European forces are just as capable of serving as guards as Americans are. America’s role is not to stay in Syria forever. It is to beat down threats to US and world security as they emerge and then let others – Turks, Kurds, Europeans, Russians, UN peacekeepers – maintain the new, safer status quo.

    The final assumption of the narrative regarding Trump’s moves in Syria is that by moving its forces away from the border ahead of the Turkish invasion, Trump harmed regional stability and America’s reputation as a trustworthy ally.

    On the latter issue, Trump has spent the better part of his term in office rebuilding America’s credibility as an ally after Obama effectively abandoned the Sunnis and Israel in favor of Iran. To the extent that Trump has harmed US credibility, he didn’t do it in Syria this week by rejecting war with Turkey. He did it last month by failing to retaliate militarily against Iran’s brazen military attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations. Whereasthe US has no commitment to protect the Kurds, the US’s central commitment in the Middle East for the past 70 years has been the protection of Saudi oil installations and maintaining the safety of maritime routes in and around the Persian Gulf.

    The best move Trump can make now in light of the fake narrative of his treachery towards the Kurds is to finally retaliate against Iran. A well-conceived, and limited US strike against Iranian missile and drone installations would restore America’s posture as the dominant power in the Persian Gulf and prevent the further destabilization of the Saudi regime and the backsliding of the UAE towards Iran.

    As for Syria, it is impossible to known what the future holds for the Kurds, the Turks, the Iranians, Assad or anyone else. But what is clear enough is that Trump avoided war with Turkey this week. And he began extracting America from an open-ended commitment to the Kurds it never made and never intended to fulfill.
    http://carolineglick.com/trump-did-n...ray-the-kurds/

    777
     
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  2. Dave G Ct, Oct 20, 2019

    Dave G Ct

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    Nice summary. Trump does look like a fool with his interactions with Turkeys P
    .M.. That letter of his got trashed and he comes off as weak. Would have been better to keep the no fly zone and Turkey would have done nothing.
     
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  3. basicstrategy777, Oct 20, 2019

    basicstrategy777

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    LET'S SEE HOW IT ENDS UP IN THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS.

    777
     
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  4. twodicebilly, Oct 21, 2019

    twodicebilly

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    Trump

    did desert the kurds...he got pissed off the impeachment was no going his way
    so he said screw you i am president....see what I can still do.

    This will cost us.....again


    TDB
     
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  5. Dave G Ct, Oct 21, 2019

    Dave G Ct

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    You cannot shoot from the hip on foreign policy. His team said he went off the script and made a decision that had not even been discussed. Then afterwards says Kurds no angels and Gen. Maddie overated. " Off the rails"
     
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  6. twodicebilly, Oct 22, 2019

    twodicebilly

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    Dave

    Today in the news Trump said I am trying to get out
    of wars and may even get into new ones. I am leaving
    a few troops there to protect the OIL fields, but I did not
    read where he put any value on the kurds that wanted
    to live where they have been living.

    I wish they would impeach the guy or not impeach the guy
    and get it over with. If we get closer to the election and he
    gets the notion ( finally) that he could lose because of his
    mouth, lord knows what he is capable of.

    LOOK at the good things he has done....talk about that
    24 hours a day stop making more enemies like Mc Cain
    that stopped legislation just to get back at Trump.

    If his tax returns hit the street, all hell is going to break out.

    TDB
     
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  7. Dave G Ct, Oct 22, 2019

    Dave G Ct

    Dave G Ct Member

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    Can we all say Russian money?
     
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  8. twodicebilly, Oct 22, 2019

    twodicebilly

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    Dave

    I dont know about that, but I think if the devil came out
    and said Trump is a great guy, Trump would tell the pope
    to go to hell.... I saw a quote by Trump this morning talking about
    kids and his kid....he said I like kids, now I wont do anything to raise
    them, but I will provide some funding...…..

    This guy is one sick puppy

    TDB
     
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  9. von duck, Oct 22, 2019

    von duck

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    By this you mean, "let's see how many Cirds, are left to bitch about it, in a few weeks". :confused:
     
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  10. von duck, Oct 23, 2019

    von duck

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    Trumps not lookin so "cock-y" anymore. I think he knows they got a noose around his balls. "Julie-auny" is lookin for some place to hide. Why do you think, such a "wonderful" guy like trump, would be hangin out with so many crooks. :confused: Maybe it's just for "contrast". :) :cool:
     
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  11. KokomoJoe4, Oct 23, 2019

    KokomoJoe4

    KokomoJoe4 Member

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    A Muslim expert I certainly am not, but the boldened words above tell you everything you need to know about this conflict, and is at the gist of many if not most of the world's problems:

    Sunnis and Shiites hate one another, always have, always will.

    They've been killing one another since the peaceful religion came into existence.
     
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  12. Bases loaded, Oct 23, 2019

    Bases loaded

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    You're seeing corruption in the DC swamp?

    Well knock me over with a feather.

    At least as president, Trump is acting as transparently as possible.

    Not sure what you are looking for?
     
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  13. von duck, Oct 23, 2019

    von duck

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    Transparency my ASS.
     
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  14. Bases loaded, Oct 23, 2019

    Bases loaded

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    Yes, Trump's ASS is on the line.

    Not your's, thank gosh.
     
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  15. twodicebilly, Oct 24, 2019

    twodicebilly

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    koko

    is that like the di and anti di crowd on this forum ????????

    The middle east is a mess, no one can fix it...ever

    Trump won when no other republican could, and he did some of the things
    he said he would and tried others....he had to know that a guy going against
    Washington insiders and ofcourse the dems was going to be hated and attacked, he
    had to know this, and he had to know that there was no room for mistakes, and yet
    over and over he has allowed his mouth to back him into a corner only to open it
    and make it worse.

    I feel sorry for the guy, he is in a way very special and yet at the same time incredibly
    flawed...but then again what leader has not been. I just hate to see a fight between the
    good he has done and the wounds he has applied to himself....there is no good ending for
    this because the good he has done is seen as good by only 50% of the country, that is
    the state of the country today, and his mouth is heard by 100% of the country. In the next month
    you will see him attack even his friends as this gets worse.
    You could frame this a fight
    between Donald Trump and Donald Trump with the election in the balance....but it is much
    more than that...this country can not survive under democratic control and be anything like
    the country we grew up in.

    TDB
     
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  16. KokomoJoe4, Oct 24, 2019

    KokomoJoe4

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    You know TDB, it took the disaster of 9/11/01 to pull this country's political poles together.

    Apparently, nothing short of a disaster brings the right and left together.

    Trump clearly likes the challenges of his job. I think he is doing well, but wish he would stay away from all the electronic communication bullshit.
     
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  17. twodicebilly, Oct 24, 2019

    twodicebilly

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    koko

    you mean sorta like us and crap tables ???

    TDB
     
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