US House condemn Trump over Syria, Pence in Turkey

MSN: House condemns Trump’s Syria withdrawal

In a stinging bipartisan rebuke, the House on Wednesday condemned President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria.

Voting 354 to 60, lawmakers approved a non-binding resolution opposing the move, which set the stage for Turkey’s military assault against Kurdish forces in Syria that the U.S. partnered with to beat back Islamic State terrorists.

“What kind of message does this send to the world? How can America be trusted to keep its word when we betray one of our close partners?” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) asked on the House floor. “Congress must speak out against this disgrace.”

The top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, said he understood Trump’s “legitimate concerns” about committing troops overseas, but said the president’s Syria pullout had damaged U.S. interests in the region.

“I, too, want to wind down our overseas conflicts and bring our troops home,” McCaul said. “But leaving [northeast] Syria now does not resolve the problem that brought us there in the first place. It only creates more.”

“We need a residual force in place,” he added. “The consequences of this decision have already unfolded before our very eyes.”

The resolution is non-binding and doesn’t condemn Trump by name. It calls on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to halt Turkey’s military campaign in Syria and urges humanitarian support to displaced Syrian Kurds and calls on the U.S. to ensure Turkey “acts with restraint and respects existing agreements related to Syria.”

The resolution also urges the Trump administration to outline “a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

Reuters: Pence to urge Turkey to halt Syria offensive as threat of further sanctions loom

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will urge Turkey on Thursday to halt its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria, a day after President Donald Trump threatened heavy sanctions over the operation.

Turkey’s week-long assault has created a new humanitarian crisis in Syria with 160,000 civilians taking flight, a security alert over thousands of Islamic State fighters abandoned in Kurdish jails, and a political maelstrom at home for Trump.

Trump has been accused of abandoning Kurdish fighters, who were Washington’s main partners in the battle to dismantle Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria, by withdrawing troops from the border as Turkey launched its offensive on Oct. 9.

Trump defended his move on Wednesday and called it “strategically brilliant”.

Trump is one of very few who have praised how he has handled this.

Pence will meet Erdogan around 1130 GMT, while Pompeo and other officials are expected to hold talks with counterparts. A top aide to Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, met National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Wednesday and said he conveyed Turkey’s position.

On Wednesday, Trump said he thought Pence and Erdogan would have a “successful meeting”, but warned of sanctions and tariffs that “will be devastating to Turkey’s economy” otherwise. Kalin said that Turkey’s foreign ministry was preparing to retaliate to the U.S. sanctions.

Erdogan has dismissed the sanctions and rejected a global chorus of calls to halt the offensive, which Turkey says will create a “safe zone” extending 20 miles (32 km) into northeast Syria to ensure the return of millions of Syrian refugees and clear the area of Kurdish fighters Ankara views as terrorists.

Trump’s decision to withhold protection from Syrian Kurds upended five years of U.S. policy.

It has also created a land-rush between Turkey and Russia – now the undisputed foreign powers in the area – to partition the Kurdish areas that were formerly under U.S protection.

Russia, Assad’s most powerful ally, has called the offensive “unacceptable” and said it must be limited in time and scale. In a rare criticism of Turkish policy on Syria, Moscow said Turkish troops had the right to temporarily go up to a maximum of 10 km into Syria, under a 1998 agreement between Damascus and Ankara.

Syrian troops, accompanied by Russian forces, have meanwhile entered Kobani, a strategic border city and a potential flashpoint for a wider conflict, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war.

The White House tried to talk tough (-ish):

The White House, fighting the domestic political damage and perhaps trying to demonstrate the president’s efforts to stop the offensive, released a Trump letter to Erdogan from Oct. 9 that said: “Don’t be a tough guy” and “Don’t be a fool!”

But Erdogan is acting unmoved.

Turkish broadcaster CNN Turk, quoting sources, said Turkey had rejected Trump’s appeal to reach a deal to avoid conflict, saying the letter was “thrown in the trash”.

Think: Trump’s letter to Turkey’s Erdogan shows the U.S. is struggling to keep up with Ankara

President Donald Trump’s letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urging him not to go after an enemy Kurdish military group in neighboring Syria as U.S. troops depart the war-torn country, indicates that the U.S. president wants to corner his Turkish counterpart. But Erdogan, who has run Turkey for nearly two decades, may well be smarter than to let himself be trapped.

So far, the Turkish president shows no sign of stopping his relentless advance despite the threat of American sanctions Trump delivered in his missive, made public Wednesday but penned last week. Erdogan has calculated that even if the sanctions come, they won’t be sufficient to disrupt the Turkish military strategy; he figures that what Trump wants most is to bring U.S. troops home, and he won’t do much more to prevent the offensive against the Kurds.

The BBC is just reporting: Turkey to suspend Syria offensive, US says

Turkey agrees to pause operation in northern Syria to let Kurdish-led forces withdraw – US Vice-President Mike Pence

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92 Comments

  1. David

     /  18th October 2019

    Good news, ceasefire has happened and there is a deal that suits the Kurds, Turkey and Syria. Trump ran on withdrawing particularly from the ME and bringing US troops home and he appears at this stage to have furthered that promise. And lets drop this myth that the all the Kurds are peace loving allies who supported the US in defeating ISIS…the US stopped ISIS annihilating the Kurds and they were saving their own skin and of course no mention of the PKK.
    Where are the Europeans on this ? Its their citizens who joined ISIS and its on their doorstep and they cop any fallout but they are totally absent and once again rely on the US taxpayer funded military to do all the heavy lifting.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th October 2019

      The US provided air support & military training to the Kurds. As with Iraq. The Kurds are the ones who went into the towns and cleared them out of IS fighters, who were holed up everywhere, terrorising the residents & preventing them from leaving, making them human shields, setting booby traps, ambushes, and fighting by moving house to house, via tunnels & holes through adjoining.

      The US is responsible for the existence of IS (and all the destruction in Iraq – they could not just expect to fuck off out of there without taking responsibility for the decisions of their respective governments.

      The US lost bugger all troops fighting IS. The Kurds did the hard yards. They lost 11,000 men & women fighters. The US defeated IS ? Get a grip on reality, David

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  18th October 2019

    Al Jazeera tv Breaking News

    Mike Pence announcing:

    1. Turkey has agreed to suspend all attacks on the Kurds for 72 hours
    2. the YPG have agreed to withdraw the 30 kilometre safe zone
    3. Turkey has stated it will cease its Operation Peace Spring entirely if & when the YPG withdrawal is complete.

    Trump also shown in Texas somewhere taking credit & stating that this was what he hoped would happen, the situation required an unconventional solution, that he had taken a lot of heat, but that if he hadn’t done whay he had done the two sides would have carried on killing each for who know how long – this has forced them to talk to each other & make a deal.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th October 2019

    So Trump wins again.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th October 2019

      We’ll see, maybe, in 72 hours.

      Reply
    • Far to soon to tell if the damage caused this week has been paused or stopped.

      Reply
    • You can’t be serious, Alan.

      – Turkey has invaded Syria and occupies Syrian territory
      – over 300,000 Syrians have been displaced, triggering a humanitarian crisis
      – over 230 have been killed
      – Turkish airstrikes have destroyed civilian hospital facilities in Syria
      – US bases are now in Russian and Syrian hands
      – US tactical nuclear weapons are now in Turkish hands
      – more than 800 ISIS detainees have escaped Kurdish prisons and roam at will
      – the US withdrawal has given Putin free rein to deploy Russian main battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers, helicopters, and other military equipment into Syria, to strengthen the Assad regime, and to initiate direct Russo-Iranian military operations

      the list goes on. And none of it would have happened if President Trump hadn’t abruptly ordered an immediate withdrawal of US support. None of it would have happened.

      This isn’t a win for Trump in any way, shape, or form. It’s a shameful act of betrayal, cowardice, and incompetence on his part… a colossal diplomatic, military, and humanitarian blunder… which is why 130 Republicans crossed the floor to join with the Deomcrats to condemn Trump’s actions.

      Trump wins again? What blinkered twaddle!

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th October 2019

        Of course it is a win. The M.E. will go on hating and killing each other as they always have without costing US lives or dollars.

        Russia will do what it has to to keep its borders and internal factions under control. US politicians will posture vai ly and impotently and US voters will reelect Trump.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th October 2019

          vainly

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  18th October 2019

          Btw – why are you ignoring the glaring inconsistency in Trump’s self-congratulatory claim today, Al?

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  18th October 2019

          Those US troops that were effectively peacekeepers in Iraq with the Kurds ( fighting ISIS , the reason they were there) has long ended.
          Trump just moved his ‘Syrian Troops’ over to Iraq. So much for the idea of getting out of the ME. perhaps Wilko can explain why Trump is keeping them in Iraq.
          He cant. Nothing Trump does has any logic.
          The ‘Grand design’ of sorting out the ME problems AND leaving all troops was Obamas too. Where is the Grand Plan of Trumps for the Israel Palestinian conflict now .
          You know the Trumpanzees has no answers left when they just say ‘winning’

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th October 2019

            The Grand Plan for Palestine/Israel is Bibi Netanyahu’s,

            I’m not sure whether it’s all bern explained to Jared yet.

            If so, he is likely under instructions to drag it out to make it look like it’s his & Trump’s & has taken time to figure out.

            If not, then Bibi is making them wait for the details until he judges the time is right.

            Imo.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              Hang on, I’ll have a look. Sometimes you miss things. 😐

            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              The US should get out of Syria as it must leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

              Well, he’s not getting out of the ME is he? Trump’s just put truppen into Saudi Arabia to help his murdering rich arms-buying mate MBS fight off some goat herders with drones, seeing MBS’s military, under his woefully inept command, is so bloody useless.

              Nothing in the modern history of the Middle East – not the Taliban or the Saddam or Assad regimes – has equalled the horror unleashed by the US’s “wars of 9/11”. They have come to seem as interminable as they are unspeakable.

              He gets that right – but you never hear Trump admitting the US should be prosecuted for war crimes or that they owe everybody there for repairing the effing damage and havoc they’ve been responsible for creating. He’s just looking for a cheap way out, not taking any responsibility for repaying their moral and actual debts.

              His (Trump’s) desertion of the Kurds and his licence to Turkey to invade Syria must rank high in the annals of diplomatic treachery – but for realpolitik they are hard to fault.

              Yeah, right. But hang on – Trump says he didn’t give Turkey licence to invade Syria and take a 30 x 400 km piece of territory that has been Erdogan’s explicitly stated plan since he rejected Trump’s offensive letter and embarked on his campaign to seize that territory. .

              And Trump immediately imposed sanctions on Turkey for doing so, And now he’s claiming that the Kurds effectively surrendering, being thrown into the arms of the execrable Assad, and making an agreement with Turkey that green lights Turkey seizing the very territory Trump sanctioned them for invading was his plan all along? Sounds like typical Trump double-talk & bs.

              When Trump pulls his all troops out the ME instead of just shifting them around is when we’ll know he means what he says.

        • As a result of all that “winning”, the United States is now sanctioning a NATO member-state in support of efforts by Russia and the Syrian government to consolidate control in a region formerly protected by the US.

          Reply
      • duperez

         /  18th October 2019

        It is a win for Trump – his followers will be lapping up his trumpeting of his triumph and will themselves further trumpet that he is the greatest leader in history, not only of the USA but the whole world. It’s a great, great day for Trump.

        300,000 Syrians displaced, civilian hospital facilities destroyed, over 230 killed, the Russians given legs and bases to stand on? All mere bagatelle.

        Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th October 2019

    God knows why anyone thinks Trump should be polite to Dems who are trying to impeach him?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th October 2019

      I don’t think anyone expects him to be polite to the Dems. He never has, why would he start now?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th October 2019

        The MSM has been touting this Trump meltdown b s. story for the Dems. God they are thick.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  18th October 2019

          Well, why not? He loathes & bullshits about them so they simply return the compliment. Trump gets back what he dishes out.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th October 2019

            So why do idiots take it seriously? Should be printed with a large warning: “This story is stupid. Read at your own risk.”

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              Same reason Trumpophile idiots take every stupid, bullshit, or fake news thing Trump says seriously.

              Duh.

              Because they’re idiots. 😐

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th October 2019

              It’s the Trump haters who take everything he says seriously. So yes, they are idiots.

            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              Oh, you obviously haven’t watched any of his rallies. Always a lot of sycophantic high-enders & educationally sub par half-wits in MAGA caps who really do believe the same old repeated long-debunked self-congratulatory memes & newly invented crap he spouts.

            • MaureenW

               /  18th October 2019

              @ Gezza
              Have a lie down

            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              😀

              Actually, I just did, Maureen. It’s a shitty overcast and rainy day here & I can’t do anything outside so I lay down on the sofa to watch the midday news – and not long ago woke up, at 4 pm!

              So … anyway now you can get me restarted, if you want ? 😐

    • It’s delightfully ironic that all the rules Schiff is following in his impeachment inquiry were written by the Republicans during the Clinton years.

      Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  18th October 2019

    PS: Just something no one has mentioned yet except AlJazeera’s longtime, Erdogan-leaning female reporter thru the night here: Erdogan was having joint, but separate, meeting with bith the Pence delegation & a Russian delegation – so we have yet to hear who should be getting credit for any deal, if it holds up. Deals in Syria have had a bad history of collapsing in days in the Assad wars.

    Reply
    • There have been suggestions that the talks between Erdogan and Putin in Sochi on the 22nd will also include Assad – i.e. a trilateral working session between Russia, Turkey, and Syria.

      Bear in mind that Iran is also a staunch ally of Syria (and Russia) so it would be no surpise if Rouhani were sniffing the air around Sochi as well.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  18th October 2019

        Hang on Ishmael, I’ll just give a companion pansy to the pansy who downtickrd me.
        🌸

        Yes, well, Putin has been boxing clever in that region for several years.

        Surprisingly perhaps, for someone happy to assist Assad to murder heaps of civilians because Al Qaeda related Muslim fundamentalist rebels insist on embedding themselves in towns and cities, & neither Assad nor Putin let that stop them bombing the shit out of wherever the rebels are, heedless of civilian collateral damage & terror – Putin has good diplomatic relations with pretty well everybody there, including the Kurds, Israel, Iraq, Iran, & just this was feted like Trump on a state visit to Saudi Arabia.

        Plus, their compatible arms are cheaper. Xi I think is also well regarded, & they have an F-35 steakth fighter/attack knock off in development. Probably also cheaper.

        Where I do agree with Trump is that the Western allies made arseholes of themselves wreaking havoc on Iraq in 2003 & then in cleaning out IS from the air & the pricks won’t cough up the $88 bn required to repair the damage they’re responsible for. It’s interesting that Trump’s out troops into Saudi Arabia. They got the arse card from there after Kuwait because the population was so resentful of the arrogant infidels. MBS must be calculating that public sentiment has changed, or that he has terrorised the mullahs & the local population into voicing no objections to their presence this time.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  18th October 2019

          sht! I wonder if I’ll manage to post at least one comment today with some cock up.

          * Putin…just this week was feted etc.
          * stealth fighter
          * Trump’s put troops in Saudi Arabia

          & Trump’s right, the Americans have caused enough havoc in the ME & after paying for the cleanup should piss off out of there – but when push comes to shove , they won’t. As soon as Trump’s gone, they’ll be back there – there’s too much money in the place forvtheir corporations to walk away, & the oil-rich nations will be orepared to pay for US protection, like the Saudis are doing now.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th October 2019

            🙄 *without some cock up (it’s not looking good) 😕

            Reply
            • 🤣 I’m not a spelling nazi Gezza – you made perfect sense the first time round 🤘

              Yes the Western allies HAVE cocked things up from the start. I guess that’s the nature (and the legacy) of the greed/need for oil.

              But even though he “recognises” that fact, President Trump has also reproduced it. He’s made an arsehole of himself (and the US), he’s caused havoc on Syria’s northern border, and he’s significantly destabilised an already unstable region of the world. Or rather, handed the region over to Russia. That’s just nuts.

              And it’s not a withdrawal from the ME either as he’s redeployed the military to KSA who are paying like the US Military is a bunch of mercenaries for hire.

              Did you see the photo of Pelosi standing up to Trump? The men sitting on the President’s right were utterly ashamed to be there with Trump. Heads bowed so low! They couldn’t look Pelosi or Schumer in the eye. They know it was a monumentally stupid call to pull out.

            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              That’s just Trump childishly trolling Pelosi Al. she turned his trolling around on him.
              https://yournz.org/2019/10/14/open-forum-8/#comment-380383

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th October 2019

              No, it’s Pelosi and her Dem mates getting roasted by Trump before the MSM could rush to her rescue.

            • Gezza

               /  18th October 2019

              Er … no, that’s only the Trumpophile’s and Trump human megaphones’ interpretation.

            • Duker

               /  18th October 2019

              Pelosi roasted?
              Tell us again how many house seats the Republicans lost in 2018, was that another Trump win. Aren’t coat tails supposed to increase the numbers?

            • Sitting next to Trump is Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff – the highest-ranking officer in the US military. I don’t know what he was thinking in the moment, but he is looking down at his hands and his face is fixed.

              Milley may not have the luxury to emote that his retired four-star equivalents enjoy. But his expression speaks volumes.

  6. More Trump bulls**t. Check out his “Brilliant Trade Deal” with China that dismisses as an agreement to agree – eventually. In Syria the immediate heat is out of the situation but as soon as the world’s eyes are averted Turkey will finish the job. More war to come. Well done trump.

    Reply
  7. Duker

     /  18th October 2019

    Robert Fisk writes his background story
    “Contrary to the Hollywood version of history, the Roman empire did not collapse in a couple of days. The Goths, Ostrogoths and Visigoths did not just gobble up Italy over a weekend. The fall of the empire came slowly, over years, in small incremental pieces: legions forgotten, tribal allies unpaid – and then betrayed.

    One of Rome’s most troublesome provinces was Cilicia. It was always changing hands. Its people allied themselves to Rome – and were then abandoned when legions left or taxes ran out. Cilicia, by extraordinary mischance, lay almost exactly along the western border of what is today the Turkish-Syrian (Kurdish) frontier.

    There are still a few Roman ruins in that ancient province to remind its present-day armies of what – they should have surely realised – would be their fate. I doubt if there is a single US soldier in Syria – who must, of course, negotiate their own way out of that equally ancient country – who knows of this. Institutional memory, let alone historical memory, has long ago been erased by the internet.”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-putin-middle-east-syria-turkey-empire-washington-rome-a9159756.html

    Reply
  8. Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu just now: “We will suspend the Peace Spring operation for 120 hours for the PKK/YPG to withdraw. This is not a ceasefire.”

    Reply
  9. Reply
  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th October 2019

    NYT: US troops pulled out of Syria will go to Iraq, Jordan or US. So not true Trump is just moving them to Iraq or Saudi.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  18th October 2019

      ” will go to Iraq, Jordan” Thats in the ME. I thought he was pulling them out ? individual battalions move back to US and are swapped for new ones.
      The numbers in all the ME countries is likely to increase not decrease.
      Check out the map of ‘bases’. theres even more ‘stationed’ there in other sites
      https://www.americansecurityproject.org/national-security-strategy/u-s-bases-in-the-middle-east/

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th October 2019

        Presumably they have to transit through adjacent country. But could well be a conflict between Trump wanting them out and generals wanting them to stay. Bureaucrats like empires.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th October 2019

      @ Al

      Dunno about anyone else but I haven’t said Trump’s redeploying the troops he’s yanking from Northern Syria to Saudi. His decision to send thousands of truppen to Saudi predates his go ahead to Turkey to attack their allies the Kurds in Syria.

      Do try & keep up with all that the Tump’s administration is up to. I know it’s not easy, seeing he’s all over the fecking place, with contradictory moves & claimes, but you do need to keep two eyes open with that BSing PoS. 😐

      11 October 2019
      The Pentagon has announced the deployment of thousands of additional troops to “enhance the defence of Saudi Arabia”.

      US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper says he has authorised the deployment of additional forces, including fighter jets and a defence system.

      He said it was in response to “threats in the region”, amid efforts to protect the kingdom from “Iranian aggression”.

      The move comes after an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities in September.

      “Taken together with other deployments, this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorised within the last month,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50021138

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th October 2019

        I have the impression you did contrast his pullout from Syria with buildup in Saudi. Whether the same troops or different doesn’t matter.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th October 2019

          When Trump continually spouts fake news & BS, & the easily-deluded just buy it, it does matter.

          BBC Correspondent, Gary O’Donoghue – from that link.

          You would be forgiven for feeling confused about President Trump’s attitude to US military deployments in the Middle East.

          At one point in the past few days he was tweeting about the “trillions of dollars” that America had wasted on “endless wars” in the region and vowing that the US would “back out” of Middle East conflicts.

          Yet here we are with a further 3,000 service personnel and a bunch of hardware heading for Saudi Arabia and the region – making a net 17,000 increase in troop numbers since May.

          So unquestionably the rhetoric and the reality are in conflict.
          President Trump is not the first incumbent of the White House to face these contradictory pressures.

          President Barack Obama had to reverse his pledge in 2015 to bring all American troops, bar a handful, home from Afghanistan. There are 14,000 of them there to this day.

          And the 2011 withdrawal of troops from Iraq had to be revisited when the vacuum left created space for al-Qaeda and then the Islamic State group.

          The truth is that as a world superpower, America’s national interest cannot be contained within the bounds of the two shining seas that many of the early political pioneers thought would protect it from foreign entanglements.

          Yet the president, in similar fashion to some of his predecessors, has to persist in the assertion that troops are always on the verge of coming home. He and they do it for sound political reasons: that’s what the American people, in general, want to hear.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th October 2019

          (And I know Mrs Al’s got a few clues, so I can only assume she disapproves of you being on here nearly every day embarrassing yourself with all this pro-Trump nonsense.)

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  19th October 2019

            She knows when I am winding you up by the grin on my face. We’re all down with a viral flu at present so getting you excited is a small consolation.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  19th October 2019

              Eh? Did you get your flu shot this year?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th October 2019

              Yep. First bug I’ve had for ages. Must be a different strain but seems to be a lot around at present.

            • Gezza

               /  19th October 2019

              Bugger. Have you at least managed to identify some horrible bug-ridden individual to blame it on? I used to find that helped. A bit. o_O

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th October 2019

              No, only thing we can think of to blame was a meal out. Just starting to feel a bit better now.

  11. Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  18th October 2019

      CNN is a poor source for any Trump reporting, they are deliberately biased as exposed by Project Veritas earlier this week.

      Reply
      • Funny thing quoting Project Veritas as a source for claiming other media is biased.

        The person who runs it:

        James Edward O’Keefe III is an American conservative political activist. He produces secretly recorded undercover audio and video encounters with figures and workers in academic, governmental, and social service organizations, purporting to show abusive or allegedly illegal behavior by employees and/or representatives of those organizations. He has selectively edited videos to misrepresent the context of the conversations and the subjects’ responses, creating the false impression that people said or did things they did not.

        O’Keefe has gained support from right-wing and conservative media and interest groups. In 2009, Andrew Breitbart commissioned him for the option to publish new videos exclusively on BigGovernment.com. In June 2010, O’Keefe formed a 501(c)(3) organization, Project Veritas.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe

        Try an unbiased (if you can) critique of the news item rather than using a lame and arguably very biased attack on the medium.

        Oh, and:

        Much of the funding for Project Veritas comes from anonymous donations through Donors Trust, a conservative, American nonprofit donor-advised fund, which according to its promotional materials, says that it will “keep your charitable giving private, especially gifts funding sensitive or controversial issues.” Prominent donors include the Trump Foundation, which, in May 2015, donated $10,000

        Trump used his foundation to fund guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th October 2019

          Quoting opinions as though they mean something is tedious nonsense. You can find an opinion to support anything you want to promote, which is exactly what the media has been doing incessantly for the past three years at least.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th October 2019

            Lol. Says the man famous here for doing precisely this, by trawling finding blatant Trumpohiles’ articles and posting them here as though, because they support his biases, they’re obviously the only truth. 😀

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th October 2019

              Merely demonstrating the fatuity of quoting opinions where diametrically opposed ones exist.

        • Duker

           /  18th October 2019

          Opinions? Aren’t there a lot of facts there

          Reply
  12. Gezza

     /  18th October 2019

    Some background information on the Kurds, to contrast the Trumpophilisitic Blue David’s anti-Kurd spew & somewhat warped, simplistic history he gave for them earlier today
    https://yournz.org/2019/10/18/us-house-condemn-trump-over-syria-pence-in-turkey/#comment-380407:

    Interesting to note, in complete contradiction to Trump’s bullshit that the Kurds never supported the US in WW2, the following. (To be fair, Trump possibly has no fucking idea the British were US allies in the war against Nazi Germany. Fox TV may not have mentioned this recently.)

    During World War Two, the Kurds formed 10 companies in the Iraq Levies that the British had recruited in Iraq. Kurds supported the British in the defeating the pro-Nazi 1941 Iraqi coup d’état.[79] Twenty-five percent of the Iraq Levies’ 1st Parachute Company was Kurdish. The Parachute Company was attached to the Royal Marine Commando and was active in Albania, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Kurds

    Also, the YPG:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Protection_Units

    Reply
    • David

       /  18th October 2019

      I guess that the UN, the EU and the US have the Kurdish PKK as a terrorist organisation should be ignored because one doesnt like the Turkish president and Trump.
      A no go zone perhaps may diffuse decades of violence, the no go zone enforced by the US getting out of the way ? If you were a Turk perhaps you could sleep a little safer knowing a terrorist organisation determined to redraw the map is a long long way away with a big no go zone in between…regardless of if you voted for Erodgan

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  18th October 2019

        1. The claims the YPG is a terrorist organisation come from Turkey, whose treatment of the Kurds has historically not been exemplary . Read the background info. Also the claims of the SDF being only Kurds is not true, & claims of their carrying out ethnic cleansing have been investigated & didn’t stack up.

        2. Almost the entire current map of the ME was largely drawn up by the French & British, who carved up the former Ottoman Empire’s ME provinces after WW1 & were given the LoN Mandates to administer them. They paid no regard to ethnic, religious & tribal divisions & didn’t consult the locals as to whether or not they wanted their own states.

        3. Now none of those administrations in power in these current states eith significant Murdish minoritiesx will countenance the Kurds getting their own state (tho the Iraqis have allowed them a substantially autonomous region to prevent conflicts), often because the land they occupy is so resource-rich the current governments simply want or need their riches themselves.

        4. No go zones in the ME require constant patrolling. And in Syria they hsven’t been worth the paper maps they’ve been drawn up on. They were steadily reduced to one – Idlib – by Assad & Putin, & now Idlib is under assault as was always obviously going to happen. As was also to be expected, once Assad’s forces take control, the local population suffers disappearances & punishment for actual or suspicion of sympathising with the former anti-Assad rebels.

        The majority of remaining anti-Assad rebels are a variety of (often fraternally fractious) Muslim fundamentalists mostly formerly, or allied to, Al Qaeda/ Al Nusra.

        Reply
      • A no-go zone is another way of labelling the clearing of thousands of Kurds from their homes and homelands.

        Trump may think this is brilliant, but others have referred to it as US sanctioned ethnic cleansing.

        Reply
    • Pink David

       /  24th October 2019

      This is the [deleted, no it isn’t – PG], written by one of the US soldiers who had to deal with them directly….

      “A voice without a hint of shame
      Cries, “It’s all your fault; you’re all to blame.
      We must be clothed, we must be fed
      And when that’s done build our homesteads”

      Chorus:

      A Kurd can have no greater love
      Than his brand new Kalashnikov;
      O Kurdestan, my Kurdestan,
      Do what you want; grab what you can.

      You gave us shelter overhead
      Doctors and blankets for our beds.
      You’ve saved us from Iraqi raids,
      Now tell us when do we get paid?

      Chorus

      We fought the Turks, we fought Iran
      We fought Iraq for Kurdestan.
      And now you’ve made us free and strong,
      We’ll kill the Christians when you’re gone.”

      Ask the Assyrians exactly how noble your mighty Kurdish friends are. Doesn’t it give you any pause that there has not been any discussion at any point from the Kurds about a peace with Turkey? They want that fight, I’m all for letting them have it.

      Reply
      • Information on what is regarded as the Kurdish national anthem: ئهٔ ره‌قیب (Ey Reqîb)

        The Kurdish national anthem is from a poem by the revolutionary poet Yunis Rauf, who wrote under the name Dildar, written in 1938. The title has been said to be written about the guards in the prison where Rauf was imprisoned at the time for his political beliefs. It was originally written in the Kuridsh dialect of Soranî, but was later translated into the Kurmancî dialect for those Kurds living in the areas (eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, Armenia) that speak that dialect.

        Its use as an anthem for the Kurdish people started soon after its original composition, and was a natural choice for the national anthem of the short-lived Kurdish Republic of Mahabad (a self-proclaimed Kurdish nation in western Iran; created in early 1946, but forcibly incorporated back into Iran later the same year.) Upon the close of the Gulf War in 1991, the Kurds in Iraq were given greater autonomy and use of “Ey Reqîb” grew in those areas of Iraq; the Kurdistan Regional Government of the area has proclaimed it the official anthem of the Kurdish areas in northern Iraq that it controls. Both of these areas use the original Soranî words.

        http://www.nationalanthems.info/krd.htm

        English translation: Hey Enemy (alternative Hey Guard)

        1. Hey enemy, the nation whose language is Kurdish is alive
        It cannot be defeated by makers of weapons of any time
        Let no one say the Kurds are dead, the Kurds are alive
        The Kurds are alive and their flag will never fall

        2. We are the sons of the red color of revolution
        Our history is one filled with blood
        Let no one say the Kurds are dead, the Kurds are alive
        The Kurds are alive and our flag will never fall

        3. We are the sons of the Medes and Keykhosrow
        Our homeland is our faith and religion
        Let no one say the Kurds are dead, the Kurds are alive
        The Kurds are alive and our flag will never fall

        4. The Kurdish youth has risen like noble warriors
        To draw the crown of life with blood
        Let no one say the Kurds are dead, the Kurds are alive
        The Kurds are alive and our flag will never fall

        5. The Kurdish youth are always prepared to sacrifice their lives
        To sacrifice their lives, to sacrifice their lives.
        Let no one say the Kurds are dead, the Kurds are alive
        The Kurds are alive and our flag will never fall

        Reply
  13. Fighting continues on Turkey-Syria border despite U.S.-led cease-fire

    The agreement announced by Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara requires Turkey to suspend its military operations in northeast Syria for five days to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone.

    NBC News staff could see and hear mortars, grenades, machine-gun and rifle fire in Ras al-Ayn — although it remains unclear who was responsible.

    The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — allies of the U.S. during the fight against the Islamic State militant group — claimed Friday that Turkish forces were not slowing down their assault.

    “Despite the agreement to halt the fighting, air and artillery attacks continue to target the positions of fighters, civilian settlements and the hospital Serêkaniyê/Ras al-Ayn,” Mustafa Bali, spokesman for the SDF, said in a tweet.

    But at a press conference Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied attacks were ongoing. “There is no question of clashes. This is all speculation, disinformation,” he said.

    Turkish forces are remaining in the area, in accordance with Thursday’s agreement, in order to ensure Kurdish forces withdraw, he added.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, also claimed Turkish forces had renewed their bombardment of Ras al-Ayn early Friday, disrupting the brief “cautious calm” achieved immediately after the cease-fire was called.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fighting-continues-turkey-syria-border-despite-u-s-led-cease-n1068516

    Turkey sid it wasn’t a ceasefire, it was just a temporary pause in military action giving Kurds a chance too leave places that they live in. Turkey wants to clear Kurds from a wide strip along their border with Syria.

    Reply
  14. Another example of Trump dumping on someone who has been critical of him.

    Trump has praised Mattis in the past.

    Donald Trump nominates James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as secretary of defense

    “I don’t want to tell you to this, I refuse to tell you, don’t let it outside of this room. I will not tell you that one of our great great generals, don’t let it outside, we are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense and we’re not announcing it until Monday so don’t tell it to anybody.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/01/james-mattis-secretary-of-defense-donald-trump
    </blockquote.

    Two years ago:

    Trump praises Mattis, takes credit for military gains against Islamic State

    President Trump thanked the military on Wednesday, for ”doing such a great job with respect to ISIS,” but told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, ”of course I’ve made it possible with what I’ve allowed them to do.”

    https://www.reuters.com/video/2017/12/06/trump-praises-mattis-takes-credit-for-mi?videoId=373137584

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  19th October 2019

      I posted on this in OF yesterday. Mattis responded.
      … … …
      Gezza / 18th October 2019
      Ex-defence secretary responds to US president calling him ‘the world’s most overrated general’

      Speaking at a New York charity event on Thursday, the day after the US president demeaned him as “the world’s most overrated general”, Mattis joked that he took it as a compliment.

      “I’m not just an overrated general. I’m the greatest, the world’s most overrated,” he told diners at the annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation dinner.

      “I’m honoured to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” he said. “So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me.”

      Trump lashed out at his former defence secretary on Wednesday during a contentious White House meeting with members of Congress. The meeting was intended to be a bipartisan discussion of Trump’s decision to pull US forces from northern Syria, but it broke up after a testy exchange between Trump and Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker.

      Before the walkout, Trump disparaged Mattis, who had argued as defence secretary that US troops were needed in Syria to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State fighters. Trump said Mattis was “the world’s most overrated general. You know why? He wasn’t tough enough.”

      “I captured Isis,” Trump went on to say. 🙄

      Mattis resigned last December after Trump said he intended to pull 2,000 American troops out of Syria. In his resignation letter, the retired Marine general told Trump he had “the right to have a secretary of defence whose views are better aligned with yours”. Since then, he has largely refrained from publicly criticising the administration, saying he owed the commander-in-chief “a duty of silence”.

      But he did save an insult for Trump at the gala.

      “I earned my spurs on the battlefield … and Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor,” Mattis said.
      – The Guardian

      Mattis also reportedly said:

      “I think the only person in the military Donald Trump doesn’t think is overrated… is Colonel Sanders,” 😀

      Reply
  15. NOEL

     /  19th October 2019

    I guess deploying the troops away from the capital might also be a security measure.

    Reply
  16. Patzcuaro

     /  19th October 2019

    Erdogan and Putin enjoy an early thanksgiving.

    Reply
  17. Patzcuaro

     /  19th October 2019

    No repeat of Spassy v Fischer.

    Reply
  18. I sense some angst in the air over President Trump’s incompetence, so perhaps a little light relief is needed:

    Reply

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