Mattis resigned over Trump’s Syria pullout announcement

Of the many resignations from the Trump administration Defence Secretary Jim Mattis walking away seems to have caused the most consternation.

It is claimed that Mattis resigned ij protest and on principle over Trump’s announcement that the US would withdraw troops from Syria.

Fox News: Behind the scenes of the Mattis bombshell: More resignations expected after ‘protest’ exit

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation, which shocked Washington’s national security establishment and rattled America’s allies, was sealed in a fateful 18-hour period that saw President Trump resolve to withdraw troops from Syria – alarming Pentagon officials who see America’s role in the region as crucial.

“Make no mistake – Jim Mattis is resigning in protest over the president’s national security policies,” a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.

Fox News is told more resignations at the Pentagon could be coming in Mattis’ wake.

Trump has stood by his Syria decision, telling detractors that the pullout should come as “no surprise” given his 2016 campaign promises and arguing that America’s role as “Policeman of the Middle East” is not worth the sacrifice.

But Mattis could not abide the call. Fox News has learned new details of the final moments that led the hardened Pentagon leader to march his resignation letter to the White House, setting off speculation – and bipartisan concern – about the direction Trump’s foreign policy will take in the new year, especially with John Kelly leaving as White House chief of staff.

Before leaving for the White House, Mattis watched the president’s video explaining his decision to pull out of Syria. In the video, Trump declared, “We have won against ISIS … and now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”

According to those familiar with the secretary’s decision, it was a resignation based on principle.

Fox News is told that Mattis believes pulling out of Syria is a betrayal to the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces – U.S. allies whom military leaders believe will be slaughtered once the U.S. leaves Syria.

In Washington, what comes next may be another seminal debate that will define the principles of the Republican Party for years to come.  In his military drawdown effort, Trump has found allies in lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who adamantly oppose U.S. intervention overseas.

But for now, they are overwhelmed by hawkish Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham who consider such pullouts a grave and strategic mistake.

The Syria pullout was coupled with news that the Pentagon is being told to consider withdrawing up to 7,000 troops from Afghanistan – or half the U.S. presence – against the advice of senior military leaders.

“If we continue on our present course we are setting in motion the loss of all our gains and paving the way toward a second 9/11,” Graham said, regarding Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, Mattis was asked by Fox News’ Bret Baier at the Reagan National Defense Forum whether he was being pressured to pull out of Afghanistan. Mattis warned of the consequences of doing so:

“If we leave, 20-odd of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world centered in that region, and we walk out of there, then we know what will happen. Our intelligence services are very specific that we will be under attack in a number of years.”

There are risks whatever is done in the Middle East, in particular at the moment regarding Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The US withdrawing must give Russia significantly more influence.

Much may now depend on who Trump appoints in place of Mattis, but the sudden resignation may create an immediate problem – unless a new Defence Secretary is appointed soon that may give Trump a free hand to do as he wants less restrained. That will worry a quite a few people – and more than a few countries.

Mattis to Depart in February After Clash With Trump Over Syria

So Mattis will remain in the job for two months, but his influence is likely to be significantly reduced in that time.

Graham: Afghanistan Withdrawal Paves Way Toward 2nd 9/11

Trump’s Decision Ends Policy That Found Lukewarm Support in U.S.

 

 

 

 

89 Comments

    • David

       /  December 22, 2018

      Are you really quoting the unhinged Rob Reiner.

    • Pink David

       /  December 22, 2018

      Technically, he is doing the thing he said he would to those who voted for him. The US is not at war with Russia and it;s hard to make a case that ISIS isn’t a state that war can be made upon. It’s not clear that the US withdraw is really to Russian advantage either, it most likely tips the balance to Turkey if anything.

      I don’t recall Obama being tried for treason when he made his various fuck up’s in the region, and it is hard to see what the ongoing US interest is there. A case for treason seems somewhat lacking.

  1. Gezza

     /  December 22, 2018

    Think I’ll just repeat my comment made elsewhere earlier:

    Gezza / December 22, 2018
    Best just to watch & wait. Commentary from various Aljaz tv reporters has been interesting. They have surprisingly good access to the bureaucracy & Congress.

    Trump has thrown the US Defence & State Departments, Congress, Republicans & Democrats, probably Bolton & Pompeo, who have this same week being continuing to talk of the need for continued US engagement, & allies (who the US sucked in to the mess they created in the Middle East & Afganistan) into chaos.

    There are several different scenarios for what might happen next – but the overriding caution from them all is – remember though, it’s Trump. Who knows what he’ll do or say 2 days later, a week later, a month or a year later?

    Has anything been happening that is causing Trump problems back home at this time?

  2. artcroft

     /  December 22, 2018

    By all accounts turkey is going after the Kurds and Trump is just getting out of the way.

    • Gezza

       /  December 22, 2018

      Erdogan had an unscheduled summit meeting with Iranian President Rouhani who flew to Ankara immediately following Trump’s announcement. In the subsequent Press Conference, at which they took no questions, carried live by Aljazeera tv, as is often the case, Erdogan referred Rouhani as “my brother” and said they had pledged to work together on resolving various matters including the Syrian problem. We didn’t get to hear what Rouhani said because they had technical problems with hearing the translator.

      Yesterday Erdogan gave a press conference, excerpts of which I have seen, probably carried live as well earlier, in which he said that Turkey has no territorial ambitions in Syria, that Trump and he had been speaking to each other and that they had reached agreement on many matters in relation to Turkey’s wish to resolve matters of concern with the YPG, and the wider future of Syria.

      The SDF and the YPG are interlinked and Turkey sees the YPG as an arm of the PKK. He was at pains to stress that Ankaras concern is with protecting Turkish domestic security and preventing the Kurds from seeking an autonomous region state in – the suspicion that the SDF holding on to 30% of non-strategic Northern Syrian territory is likely to lead to.

      Coverage also included mention of the fact that Kurdish forces have taken territory from Sunni Arabs, forced them out, and that they are refusing to let them come back. I think Erdogan is a Sunni Muslim, So quite likely this is another factor that will ensure support for Turkey taking on the Kurds. Turkey I suspect will be prepared to negotiate with the Assad regime.

      So there are some very complex things happening – including that Iran may be getting more influence in the region with Turkey’s support than Bibi and Kushner want.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  December 22, 2018

        Erdogan has spent the last two months embarrassing trump, kushner, and the corrupt Mohammed bin Salman whose crackdown trump has enthusiastically backed, by releasing details of how MbS lulled an American resident dissident to a third country so he could be chopped up with a bone saw while still breathing.

        And even while Erdogan was embarrassing trump with those details about Khashoggi’s assassination, he was pressuring trump to extend the same favour to him by extraditing Fethullah Gulen so he could be chopped up as well.

        It is a mistake to think peace will come from men who dismember dissidents alive.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 22, 2018

          Most of the political participants don’t want peace. That’s why it is what it is.

        • Gezza

           /  December 22, 2018

          There have been several versions of how Khashoggi was killed, only one of which – early on – said he had been dismembered alive. So far nobody in the public, or possibly even in the US Intelligence Services has seen or heard concrete evidence that he was murdered alive.

          While being super-careful to always acknowledge King Salman respectfully as the protector of Islam’s Holy Sites Erdogan continues to play the Saudis and to utterly destroy MBS’s & Saudi Arabia’s credibility and reputation by still not releasing what actual recorded evidence they do actually have (they let state-sponsored media outlets cite unnamed sources) his objective seems pretty clearly to re-assume Turkish authority & influence among ME Muslim countries and to thwart Saudi Arabia’s ambitions and military buildup.

          Even Aljazeera tv has recently noted that while Khashoggi has been presented as some kind of liberal martyr, he was in fact only an opponent of MBS, and has actually always been a strong supporter of and advocate for the Saudi Regime – including its repressive nature and various human rights misdeeds – up until MBS seized power and he was sidelined.

        • Pink David

           /  December 22, 2018

          In the war between Turkey and Saudi, most Americans will just be wondering why they are involved at all, just let them butcher each other and have the Europeans sort it out if they feel the need.

          • Gezza

             /  December 22, 2018

            A century of Europeans sorting out the Middle East has led to more butchering of each other over there than if they’d never got involved at all with either Israel or any of the Arab countries.

            It’s been an intractable problem area as long as the west has been involved in the place. Might even be time to see what the Russians can do with it? I doubt they could do worse.

            The West’s involvement has finally come back to haunt them big time; all around the world billions have to be spent to protect their people from Islamic terrorists and Muslims are flooding into Europe where they definitely don’t belong.

            As long as they’re locked respectively into Islam and Zionism in that place it’s always going to be a powder keg.

  3. David

     /  December 22, 2018

    All those people who bemoan America inserting itself in the middle east now bitching they are pulling out.
    Everyone should pull out of the middle east and leave the whole lot of them to their pre historic ways.

    • Blazer

       /  December 22, 2018

      yes David Dubai looks like something out of the….Flinstones..where is the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’…anyway?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 22, 2018

      … as Gezza was saying until yesterday.

      • Gezza

         /  December 22, 2018

        Do you mind not trying to speak for me?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 22, 2018

          Does it seem like it?

          • Gezza

             /  December 22, 2018

            If you could just focus on your own stupid opinion and don’t comment on my stupid opinion, that would be good. 👍

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              I haven’t commented on your opinions, merely noted them. But since you asked I will also note you have changed your mind in order to complain about Trump changing his mind.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              No I haven’t, I have adjusted my view, which essentially remains the same, to deal with the changed circumstances in the ME, & how a Western Pullout is now a more tricky prospect, shouldn’t be done chaotically a la Trump, and that I don’t believe he will actually pull out because he is likely as they do to continue funding proxy wars.

              Because your opinions are nearly always rigid positions, you see my fundamental opinion as having changed. It hasn’t, but I take account of factors you don’t because Trump is always right and knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              I see. Trump is wrong because he is flexible and you are right because you are flexible.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              Stop roberting please. I’m not interested in continuing with correcting your misunderstandings.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              The M.E. has plenty of misunderstandings to share around. Trump doesn’t want to waste any more money and lives on it. US voters will probably agree. Fracking has made the US self-sufficient in oil so why bother?

            • Duker

               /  December 22, 2018

              ” has made the US self-sufficient in oil ”

              No it hasnt. While its reliance on imported oil has greatly reduced, you are confusing ‘energy’ which includes natural gas with oil.
              ‘Although the U.S. could become a net exporter of energy in a few short years, this just means that – when measured per BTU or per unit of energy produced across all sources – America will be producing more energy than it consumes. But this is not the same thing as being self-sufficient in oil. Even in this net energy export scenario, the U.S. will still be consuming more oil than it produces, and will need to secure that oil from some other country. ”
              https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-10-19/u-s-needs-saudi-oil-despite-talk-of-energy-independence
              Even if the US only needs to import 10% of its oil, thats still a huge amount by international standards
              perhaps thats why Trump was talking about invading Venezuela as if US oil imports doesnt come from there they have to come from ME.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              Fair comments, Duker.

            • The Consultant

               /  December 22, 2018

              as if US oil imports doesnt come from there they have to come from ME.
              The whole idea that the USA is dependent on ME oil has not been true for two decades, even before fracking…

              Canada
              Mexico

              Yet 3 out of 4 Americans think that Saudi Arabia still provides about 60%. The 7.4% from Venezuela has certainly reduced further from those 2014 numbers, given their socialist production problems, and I’d bet that domestic fracking has completely replaced it in 2018.

    • Gezza

       /  December 22, 2018

      Yes that’s true, but it would have been nice to have had a quiet talk about it first with all the “allies” the US has sucked in to the melee and who have spent time money and energy building trust and relationships he’s just screwed up. Trump’s capacity to make everybody look stupid and like liars is prodigous.

      And the other problem is that Trump’s America won’t be getting out of there. In all likelihood they will continue to arm and support regimes who are likely to cause major conflicts in the region. Following which they will go back in.

      I have said for some time that the West – not just the US, unilaterally – should get right out of the place and let them all sort their shit out any way they want to. Iran and Iraq eventually exhausted each other, for example.

      Backing Israel which has now become emboldened to start down the road of stealing even more Palestinian land and pushing Palestinians into occupied ghetto regions, and to become an official apartheid state – not just practicing apartheid in practice, under the radar – was a mistake in my view.

      Israel under Bibi and the Zionist faction in ascendancy in their government is very likely to take precipitate action against Iran that could suck the US (and everybody else Trump can economically or militarily bludgeon into joining the US’s gang) back in there.

      Who knows? Trump’s not one for having much knowledge of anything. He even backed the Saudi blockade & attempted blackmail of Qatar, apparently oblivious to the fact they are allies who are hosting the US’s biggest military base in the US (because the Saudi people will not put up with infidel American and Western troops on their holy soil).

      Mattis & others had to tell him what the situation was after his several stupid, ignorant tweets.

      • Duker

         /  December 22, 2018

        Mattis is the 1st Secretary of Defence to resign over differences with the President on national security grounds. Essentially Trump didnt take his advice.
        For once Trump was right.
        Syria was just another war the US couldnt win, ( Trump also halved the troop numbers in Afghanistan too) for the same reasons.
        In practice US proxies like Jordan, UAE ( maybe Egypt) will fill the shoes of US in Syria, whose airpower will remain.

        • Gezza

           /  December 22, 2018

          whose airpower will remain

          Yes, and that they are backing and arming various (possibly often-changing) favourites among these squabbling backward, Muslim countries, and their warring factions and sects, will also continue to be well-know, so the US will still be widely hated as continuing its policy of anti-Islamic mischief-making in support of the Israeli mischief makers and its own interests.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 22, 2018

    It will be interesting to see whether the Dems tactics of blocking Trump’s wall in the Senate will lead to them losing their right to filibuster there as they already did for judicial appointments.

    • Griff.

       /  December 22, 2018

      Alan
      I know its hard when you are a blind follower of the Orange one.
      Trump had plenty of opportunity to fund his idiotic wall when the Republicans had a majority in both the house and the senate.
      You can not blame the Democrats for the failure to get funding for Trumps brain fart when the Republicans blocked funding before the midterms.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 22, 2018

        Trump will. Dems thought they were the only ones who could play hard ball. Will be an interesting new year.

        • Duker

           /  December 22, 2018

          Democrats offered a deal for Trump some time back to fund the wall. In return , the ‘Dreamers’ those migrants already in US and under some threat of deportation- which previous presidents had stayed- would be allowed to stay.

          • Pink David

             /  December 22, 2018

            The only reason they offed that deal is because they knew it was toxic to those who voted Trump in. Don’t go pretending it was any kind of attempt at bi-partisanship;

            • Duker

               /  December 22, 2018

              Well it was bi partisan – something for both sides- and would have had votes from both sides
              Do you even know what bi partisan means?

              Pelosi got bounced on this one as she claimed a vote couldnt even get out of the House. Well it did. The Dems were relying on a big group of defeated Republicans not coming back to DC in the last days to vote.
              Numbers I saw had GOP with 9 NV while the democrats had 20 NV.
              She was out played as the media was saying a week ago that Trump had folded on trying to get his wall in the last week before Xmas

            • Pink David

               /  December 22, 2018

              “Well it was bi partisan – something for both sides- and would have had votes from both sides
              Do you even know what bi partisan means?”

              To get bi partisan you need a deal that both sides can agree on. Throwing something on the table that is a non-starter is just a game to claim the attempt at ‘bi partisan’.

              Now maybe it was the beginning of a negation made in good faith, but to me it was simply made to enable the line ‘we offered a deal’….

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  December 22, 2018

      trump on the government shut-down:

      “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down,”

      Controls the House, the Senate, the White House – but can’t keep government running. Was offered $25billion for his wall in return for protecting DACA but turned it down… and now McConnell says no to the nuclear option… trump’s nothing but a weak, corrupt loser.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 22, 2018

        McConnell said no to the judicial nuclear option too so best don’t set your hopes too high, Joe.

        • Duker

           /  December 22, 2018

          McConnell needs his caucus behind him for that, remember this is still the pre election senate, so doesnt have the votes to change it. There could be 4 or 5 swing senators in his caucus who would oppose it and some of those werent running for
          re-election -Flake , Corker etc
          Come january any legislation that hasnt passed is dead and has to start again- in the House where spending bill originate, which the democrats will then control

  5. Zedd

     /  December 22, 2018

    MrT is sounding more like GWB, who announced to the world ‘The USA has prevailed’ shortly after invading Iraq.. but most sane folks knew, he was just ‘blowing his own trumpet’.. to a different tune.

    MrT exists for 5sec. sound bites/tweets.. for the same reason; he seriously seems to ‘believe’ he is the ultimate authority on ALL things.. military & otherwise, by surrounding himself by YES-men/women. BUT it seems the ranks of these folks are getting thinner.. by the day ! His credibility is about as believable as his hairdo 😀

    “WAR.. what is it good for.. absolutely NOTHING.. say it again..”

    • Gezza

       /  December 22, 2018

      Working for Trump is volunteering to be abused and have your reputation destroyed. All that is uncertain is at what point you will eventually be fired or have to step down to try and restore what is left of your shredded reputation & try to figure out what the hell you were thinking when you said yes.

      • Zedd

         /  December 22, 2018

        Well said.. Sir Gezza
        The only ‘positive’, being they all likely ‘retire’ with large bags full of cash ?!
        So do they really care ?? :/

        • Gezza

           /  December 22, 2018

          I guess on the plus side you will always make fortune from your inevitable book and it no longer matters what he says if he doesn’t like it because your reputation has been wrecked anyway & it does no harm if your book makes him look bad because he IS bad,

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 22, 2018

        Really? I don’t see Mattis leaving with any damage to his reputation.

        • Griff.

           /  December 22, 2018

          Yes but you think the sun shines out of Trump’s arse so are not a judge of such things.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 22, 2018

            No, I just think 90% of the criticism Trump gets is pretty thoughtless like the comment I just queried.

          • The Consultant

             /  December 22, 2018

            you think the sun shines out of Trump’s arse…
            Perhaps this can be resolved with the following test:

            Alan Wilkinson lists the things where he disagrees with Trump.

            Griff lists the things where he agrees with Trump.

            That should sort out who is a Trumpophile, a crank who thinks he can do no wrong and defends him one everything he says and does – and a Trumpophobe, a crank who thinks he can do nothing right and attacks him on everything he says and does.

            • Griff.

               /  December 22, 2018

              Yeah whatever
              I guess swallowing that orange tinted dead rat has some long term side effects Tom.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              Disagree with Trump: abortion, support of Saudi scum, free trade(? because Trump’s long game is unclear) come to mind.

        • Gezza

           /  December 22, 2018

          Really? I don’t see Mattis leaving with any damage to his reputation.
          No, you wouldn’t. Because your view is so US-centric and Trump-centric.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 22, 2018

            No, it’s because I am sensible and you just like to peck at everything, Sir Gerald.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              Oh, I see. Fair enuf.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              You can go back to sleep now, Sir Alan.
              It’s a perfect day down here at Pookden Manor. Sunny, warm, barely a breeze, happy pooks, happy sparrows, happy blackbirds, 1 happy eel (Elvira Longfin) and one not so happy eel (Granville Shortfin). He’s a bit slow on the uptake.

              He just had to ride around the water in her moosh, struggling, for 30 whole seconds because she’s made it clear before he’s not welcome when she’s dining after he bit her tail and held on for no reason week ago. He can nip her, but if she wanted to she could blimmin swallow him. He fits right inside her mouth when she bites him.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              A busy morning between trying to keep you on the straight and narrow, Sir Gerald. Walked the dogs, two visits into the Xmas madhouse formerly known as our little town centre, unjammed the lid and changed a pool filter, cleared the water feature pump, did some last minute vacuuming Mrs W suddenly made inevitable by sprinkling carpet cleaner everywhere and then had to deal with the dead vacuum cleaner that resulted. Thank heavens Trumpy provided some Xmas cheer..

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              🙄

              did some last minute vacuuming Mrs W suddenly made inevitable by sprinkling carpet cleaner everywhere and then had to deal with the dead vacuum cleaner that resulted

              She’ll have to go 😡

              Who else have you got? 😳

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              Dunno. Stepdaughter is out cleaning the cabins she left till the last minute and it’s hosing down now and she’s got all the dogs. Expecting a very wet and grumpy return.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              Might have to take Mrs Al aside and explain if she’s going to continue to have this effect on the household appliances she may become a luxury you can no longer afford?

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              Then run for your life 😀

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              I did induce her to read the instructions post-disaster so we now what we should have done. Anyway, after a thorough cleanout, filter change and cooling of it and us, the vacuum is going again.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  December 22, 2018

          Before we go too far praising Mattis, remember he was a key board member of Theranos and tried very hard to get the fraudulent company government defense contracts. That is pretty reprehensible.

          And having “working for an orange shit-gibbon” as his last job on his cv won’t help any.

          • Gezza

             /  December 22, 2018

            A further observation by an Aljaz tv reporter last night was that Trump had given Mattis the ok to ramp up the attacks on ISIS on his own volition as he saw fit and while he happily went ahead and did that, to the satisfaction of Trump’s base and many Trumpophiles, innocent civilian casualties skyrocketed – something that is not mentioned in the US.

          • Gezza

             /  December 22, 2018

            They also featured a couple of man in the street interviews with residents of Kabul asked for their opinion on a US withdrawal from Afghanistan. I don’t know how selective they were in presenting the ones they showed but the two probably 30-something men they did show said it would be great to see them gone.

            The current Afghani regime might want them to stay but I don’t think the people do. They’ve brought nothing but death and misery.

            They also showed a clip of Trump holding forth at a cabinet meeting a year ago, saying emphatically “There will be no talking with the Taliban” he intended to defeat them utterly. However, right at the moment the US, the Saudis, the Pakistanis (I forget who else, maybe Turkey) are talking with the Taliban in the UAE about their entering into some kind of power sharing arrangement or participation in the current Afghani government in return for a US withdrawal.

            The US is offering a draw down, a reduction in the US presence. The Taliban however are insisting, as always, on a complete US withdrawal and maintain that this is non-negotiable.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              PS: I’ve heard & read about this before but the presenter also noted that despite the US presence the Kabul regime is steadily losing ground in Afghanistan and the Taliban now control more territory than the US-backed Ghani regime. Kabul and other major cities are dangerous places at all times.

    • Duker

       /  December 22, 2018

      Just refused a stay on the lower courts ruling. Only a procedural outcome, and not an actual ruling.

  6. Patzcuaro

     /  December 22, 2018

  7. The Consultant

     /  December 22, 2018

    • Duker

       /  December 22, 2018

      Wheres is Maddows deep anger ? Some direct quotes ? perhaps she had some people on her show who opposed Trumps move .
      Its seems shes just highlighting Trumps impulse driven policy shifts

  8. The Consultant

     /  December 22, 2018

    • Griff.

       /  December 22, 2018

      Has the withdrawal been well thought out and planed?
      Or is it just another brain fart from the chief twitter ?
      I go with number two as do many others.
      Its just a brain fart to distract from all his problems at home .

  9. Pink David

     /  December 22, 2018

    Why is the US there?
    What are the criteria for success?
    What it the timeline to achieve that success?

    I’d suggest that if there are no clear answers to those questions, the withdraw is well planned.

    • Gezza

       /  December 22, 2018

      Withdrawal might be well-advised but I certainly wouldn’t accuse the US of it being well-planned. It’s another Trump brain fart. There could be another one effectively reversing it one way or another any time.

  10. Pink David

     /  December 22, 2018

    I hear the EU will be deploying it’s army now to fill the void left by the US.

    This will be interesting to watch.

    • Gezza

       /  December 22, 2018

      The good thing about Trump is that he is making it clearer than any other post-Korean War US President to all countries that, no matter how wary & distrustful you must always be about Russia and China, you are a fool to believe that, conversely, the US is your friend & can be trusted.

      • Pink David

         /  December 22, 2018

        “The US is toothless as an enemy and treacherous as an ally.”

        A quote from someone I dealt with a couple of decades ago.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 22, 2018

        Same goes for any politician or elected government, Sir Gerald.

        • Gezza

           /  December 22, 2018

          Your bag of excuses for the US and Trump is a large one, Sir Alan.

          • Gezza

             /  December 22, 2018

            Anyway must get on with other things here. I’m processing a movie for Kitty of her godpook being funny & cute, and I’m still hoping to get Sweety on video knocking on the back door. These matters take priority today over the everlasting, ongoing Trump Circus, I’m afraid.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 22, 2018

            Merely the wisdom of age, Sir Gerald. Trust any politician at your peril. Ask Winston’s mates.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 22, 2018

              Actually, just look at Winston’s mates. Political consistency, reliability and trustworthiness depends on their votes and those like them – which are about as random as tossing dice.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2018

              Yes, I’ve had a look. Certainly seem to be a lot of tossers among them.

  11. The Consultant

     /  December 22, 2018

    We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.

    Henry John Temple Palmerston, Remarks in the House of Commons, March 1, 1848

  12. Why bother about allies and how decisions might be implemented.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 22, 2018

      Jacinda didn’t get the inside word from her mate, Justin? Perhaps Trump thinks he doesn’t owe her much after her snide insults.

      • Gezza

         /  December 22, 2018

        Probably news to Justin as well? Was news to just about everybody in the US government. Certainly news to all their allies who’ve they’ve sucked in to their mess. The French are in for a hiding if they stay.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 22, 2018

          French had hundreds enlist with ISIS so are front line in the terrorism threat department. Macron has another problem to add to his climate taxes.