Header Image (book)

aowheader.3.2.gif

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Syria


Silverfiddle Rant!
Our political discourse is a bedlam of concern trolls, ignorami, partisan rage addicts, and yellow journalists with tankers of gasoline fanning the flames.

President Trump's precipitous withdrawal from Syria was a blotch-stained end to ten years of US policy incoherence.  Our strategery, such as it is, was a congeries of mutually-exclusive goals and conflicting aspirations sitting heavily on a shoddy framework of criminal ignorance, venal Do-Something-ism, and cynical, fatalistic diplomatic puffery and posturing.

We wanted to topple Assad, while also protecting the minorities he was protecting, while also defeating the jihadis who were trying to topple him, while keeping the Russians and Iranians out (who were already in), while being buddies with both the Kurds (our fighting partners) and Turkey (a NATO ally), despite the fact they have a hateful, murderous feud going back centuries.

Anyway, here is a good article on the subject. If you're interested, please read it and tell us what you think. Despite the title, the authors do not like President Trump and make no defense of his actions.

What Trump Actually Gets Right About Syria

95 comments:

  1. Having just returned from Iraq and Syria last month, I can confidently say that this is the best open source article that I have read, and one that captures the different dynamics at play very well for the layman reader. The authors are pretty spot on, and correctly alluded to the fact that we have quite enough on our hands trying to compel the Iraqi Security Forces to attain a moderate level of competence, and take the fight to ISIS.

    On a personal note, not rising to the level of national policy and reasons to stay in Syria - damn the Kurds can fight. I was and will remain in awe of their courage and tenacity (though their internal politics is a hot mess). The Kurds and our forces in Syria formed bonds of Brotherhood and camaraderie utterly unseen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CI,
      Glad to know my spidey senses are still somewhat attuned after being many years removed from all this stuff. I waded through tons of crap on Syria to find this.

      Delete
    2. And, the saddest fact for the Kurds is, Syria, Russia, Iraq, Iran, and most importantly Turkey, among many others are dead-set against the Kurds ever having their own nation. It's a pipe dream.

      The Iraqi Kurds have carved out a modus operandi, and Turkey is their principle trading partner.

      Delete
    3. TWO QUESTIONS:

      1. What might it be ABOUT the Kurds that makes their neighbors feel that way?

      2. Also, if what you say about their having created a workable modus operandi is true, WHY then are the Furies of the MIC and the Anti-Trump Movement expressing sucg GRAVE CONCERN about the presumably hideous fate to which President Trump's withdrawal policy has abandoned them?

      I'm just ASKING, because I don't know, and I imagine I have a LOT of company.

      Delete
    4. Franco,

      Everybody hates everybody else in that region + No nation, most especially Turkey, wants a bite taken out of their territory to give to someone else to form a nation.

      PKK have carried out terrorist attacks in Turkey, so that affects the dynamic. Having said that, Turkey has a stable economic relationship with Iraqi Kurdistan, I think in exchange for the Iraqi Kurdistan government repudiating PKK and not giving them save harbor.

      Delete
    5. Franco #2: Partisan rage. All sides engage in it. I ignore it.

      Delete
    6. I don't see how it's possible to ignore Partisan Rage, because in truth we are currently GOVERNED almost entirely by it.

      But good for you if you can avoid darting into that particular fray. You must be a rare person, indeed, if you can remain detached and non-commital regarding the wanton attempt by notably corrupt, venal, mendacious, irrational, possibly demonic forces to destablize the nation by ousting President Trump before he can complete his first term in office.

      Trump's first term has achieved many notable successes, despite the torrent of incessant abusive negativity, personal harassment and outright persecution the president has been forced to endure since even BEFORE he was ELECTED.

      I wish I had your capacity for sangfroid, but I find the ever-mounting sense of outrage at the vicious unfairness and sheer stupidity of the situation impossible to observe dispassionately.

      Delete
    7. Well, I can't tune out the partisan rage, and it does make me mad, but what I meant was, I avoid consuming propaganda churned out by raging partisans.

      The pro-Trump apologists happily trashing the Kurds and calling them all terrorists and communists are just as bad as the Trump-haters spilling out pure hogwash just to trash the president.

      The Syrian Kurds took their chance hoping they had earned the good graces of enough powerful nations sufficient to carve themselves out a homeland. They seized the moment, but it was not to be.

      Like others, I don't disagree with us getting out, but Trump managed it badly.

      Delete
    8. Poor Trump! He just can't do ANYTHNG right, can he? Forever damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't –– no matter what.

      (/sarcasm)

      I do agree wth you about the infuriating idiocy of bigotted ignoramuses on ALL sides of tis and every other issue.

      I know your time is far more limited than mine, but if you shouldhappen to tune in to C-Span's Washingtin Journal (7:00 AM Eastern Time) you would quickly discover how incredibly ignorant, irrational, painfully inarticulate and bone STOOPID Americans are today.

      It frightens me that people of this abysmally low quality are permitted to VOTE.

      }}}}}}}}}}}}}SHUDDER{{{{{{{{{{{{{{

      Delete
    9. SF typed:

      I don't disagree with us getting out, but Trump managed it badly.

      I find myself in that same camp -- and joylessly so.

      IMO, there are no winners in these Middle East perpetual feuds.

      Delete
    10. As I've tried –– almost desperately to say, but to no avail for many years –– EVERY MILITARY ACtION WE'VE TAKEN SINCE THE END OF WWII HAS BEEN AN ILL-ADVISED, UNMITIGATED DISASTER.

      Eisenhower DID try to warn us about the looming THREAT of the Military-Industrial Complex, but too many were too busy bent upon profiteering to pay him any heed.

      The REST of us were too slap happy drunk with an ebullient sense of our own greatness and invincibility to listen too.

      As always WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.

      Delete
    11. That I completely agree with......though I place fairly equal blame between the MIC and the political establishment. Wars aren't always initiated for defense industry profits, sometimes they stem from political machinations.

      Delete
    12. @ AOW: "IMO, there are no winners in these Middle East perpetual feuds."

      + + +


      Delete
  2. ...but, but, but.... Assad gassed his own people....

    ...and hates America!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regime change in Syria was always a dangerously idiotic goal. Assad is a bastard, but apparently that is what it takes over there to keep everybody from slaughtering one another.

      A great historical irony: George Bush, great evangelical Christian, is responsible for the rape, murder, persecution and eventual eradication from Iraq of Iraqi Christians.

      Delete
    2. Please take a look at what I said immediately below at 8:32 AM, EDT.

      Delete
    3. Turkey under this nutjob is no friend of ours. America should pull out of NATO and form partnerships with worthy countries like the UK and Poland.

      The criminal leader of Turkey is Diet Saddam.

      Let us not forget the extortion during the Iraq war

      Delete
    4. Amen. The Turks are not to be trusted. Unfortunately, they’ve been part of the CJTF (coalition), and weren’t being very good partners for the last few months, as their current operation was being planned.

      Delete
    5. In my never humble opinion NO Middle Eastern nation should EVER be admitted to NATO –– the NORTH ATLANTIC Treaty Organization.

      I'm sure many individual Moslems are very nice people, and a joy to know,personally, but COLLECTIVELY those who labor under the Yoke of Islam are virtual BARBARIANS.

      Yes, they –– like the Hottentots, the Hutus, the Tootsies and the Wootsies, et al. –– are fully HUMAN, but it seems to me that they are LESS EVOLVED than we of Anglo-European descent.

      I feel the same way about ASIANS –– not the sweet little Japanese War Brides who came to us in the 1940's –– but the Chinese who've been capable of eating the brain of LIVE monkey, which they cnsider a delicacy, or the horrifying cruelty of japanese soldiers described by Iris Chang in The Rape of Nanking, or the Japs who ran the POW camp where they inserted slivers of bamboo unde my Uncle Bob's fingernails, then set them ablaze before they finally killed him just two weeks bofre VJ-Day, or the North Koreans who tortured poor blameless young Otto Warmbier unmercifully then sent his barely-living body home so his parents could see him DIE as soon as he reached the USA.

      Then there are the sub-Saharan African tribes who hunt each other down for God knows what reason, rape women and children and sodomize captured men and smash each others brains out with clubs or hack each other to pieces with machetes, etc. etc. etc.

      Whether it's beause of NATURE or NURTURE I don't care. I just don't want people of that sort of barbarous, irrational disposition to have ANY say whatsoever in how WE run OUR affairs. And I refuse to ACCEPT, RESPECT or HONOR their brutal, markedly INFERIOR cultures.

      If that sounds "RASCISTIC,"* so be it.

      Frankly, my dears, I don't give a Damn.

      ];^}>


      _______________________
      *"RACIST" will forever be a NOUN to my well-educated, acutely sensitive ear. I find it deplorable, as is the custom today, to use "RACIST" as an adjective. Ergo, I'm using RACISTIC instead, and I don't care a fig whether YOU like it or not. So there! ;-)

      Delete
  3. Since my dseased, worn-out old eyes will no lo ger permit me to read in depth with any pleasure I must plead ignorance of this favored analysis of the current situation involving the Turks, Kurds, Syrians and other factors in the "hot mess" that does now, –– and apparently always HAS –– dominated and defned the Middle East.

    What I feel is of no moment, of course, but I wish with all my heart that the United States had never ACCEPTED the role thrust upon her by her decisive victory over the Axis Powers in World War II.

    At that time we were the only nation who had atomic weaponry in her arsenal. That automatically made us "Top Dog" and thus the Natural Choice to become Policemen to the World.

    The long term result has been dismal –– for us. Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq-Iran and attendant "trouble spots."

    I'm not precesely an "isolationist," but I am most emphatically "Anti-Busybody."

    I mean who the hell are WE that we feel we have both a RIGHT and a DUTY to INTERFERE in the internal affairs of OTHER nations?

    The COSt to us –– and those we have attempted to dominate –– has been horrific. The RESULTS poor –– to put it mildly.

    We seem to have an inordinate talent for making BAD situations WORSE, which works primarily to OUR detriment.

    The history of our post-WWII foreign policy should be published under the title How to Lose Friends and Diminish Your Influence Worldwide.

    IF, as I tend to believe, we really ARE on a Wrong Road, is it truly IMPERATIVE that we adopt a quasi-SUICIDAL policy of "There's No Turning back?"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Trump's hasty withdrawal was a gift to Putin at the request of Erdoğan. Even Mitt Romney knows this. To hang an ally out to dry like this will damage our standing in the world for a long, long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What ally did we hang out to dry?

      Turkey is by law and treaty a NATO ally.

      Delete
    2. We may not have hung any ally out to dry but I'm guessing the Kurds, who lost over 11,000 with over 22,000 wounded fighting against ISIS (a mutual enemy) may not agree.

      I agree we made mistakes regarding Syria (as well as in other Middle East hot spots). The problem with the withdrawal is not that we left. Rather it is the way it went down. Trump was and is right about the "never ending" wars, but he was wrong the manner he went about it. IMO.

      Delete
    3. There was definitely timing issues that could have better served the Kurds. In our dialogue with Mazloum, he made that plain.

      Delete
    4. Wow. I am in rare agreement with Les.

      Delete
    5. Knowing what we know could it possibly be advisable to ADMIT such a thing, Silver?

      Let's just attribute it to Broken Clock Theory, and move on. That's my recommendation.

      I, personally, don't believe it wise EVER to concede ANYTHING to the Forces of Darkness.

      You know, I hope, what the Devil does with those who think they can appease him, don't you?

      ];^}>

      Delete
    6. Trump gave in to Putin and gave him the Kurds. And Syria.

      Delete
    7. I didn't know President Trump owned the Kurds and Syria...

      But I guess you mean that in the sense that Obama allowed Assad to launch chemical weapons attacks, and Obama gave Crimea to Putin.

      Like that?

      Delete
    8. SF. Eggs ackley.
      As to the Kurds, who helped who to defeat ISIS?
      We helped them. As they helped us.

      Delete
    9. You're right Silver, Putin owns Trump.

      Delete
    10. Don't you now a leftist troll when you see one?

      I can always tell by the smell, myself.

      Not all leftists are trolls; not all trolls are leftists, BUT Leftist Ttrolls are separate and distinct from the other kinds. The Leftists exude an unmistakable foul odor, a hideous phohorescent aura, and are pathologically mendacious.

      Delete
  5. True to form, Trump got out his foreign policy slide rule and micrometer, calculated the absolute worst policy he could implement in Syria, and doubled down on that. Those of us who wistfully remember when the GOP gave a damn about foreign policy probably won't content ourselves with "at least he snot Hillary" on this one either. Regardless, curiously missing from lil daisy Trump's bending over and taking it rough and ungreased prison style from Erdogan is an explanation of how this helps America and doesn't help Russia and Iran.

    For those of us who rationally dismissed the idea of voting for Trump after 0.37 second of serious thought, this one particular bungle among the hundreds stands out as a validation we didn't really want to have. Somewhat akin to dipping our tongue into an open light socket and not having a damned Cultural Marxist Democrat conspiracy theory to blame for the shock.

    Gnash your teeth and lash out if you must, but this betrayal of the Kurds is right up there in the annals of stupid with Bill Clinton's betrayal of Ahmad Shah Massoud's Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan. Which as everyone should know, didn't particularly work out well for America on September 11, 2001.

    Flight 93 election? You bastards just handed out box cutters to every passenger that hates America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You speak as though the US was in a position to grant the Kurds their own autonomous region in Syria. Please explain how that would have worked.

      Delete
    2. Our “betrayal” of the Kurds (writ large) began directly after the first Gulf War.....albeit the Iraqi Kurds; fairly distinct from the Syrian Kurds.

      An independent Kurdistan is not viable in the current era. Such an entity would be reliant entirely on an air bridge, as Iraq, Turkey and Iran all oppress their Kurdish minorities and have no desire to see a Kurdish State.

      And although Turkey is a NATO partner, though undependable at best, the current situation is playing directly into Russia’s goal of co-opting Ankara and it’s influence in the region.

      Delete
    3. HERE"S an IDEA that would surely help us to atone for our sins against the Kurds.

      Why not GIVE THEM CALIFORNIA to use as their homeland, since The Golden State has allowed itself to be transformed into a HOSTILE FOREIGN COUNTRY anyway? The name could easly be changed to KURDISTANIA,

      I wouldn't miss California at all, would you?

      Delete
    4. TC: How would you like to choose which American soldiers would have been sacrificed to satisfy you?

      Delete
  6. Russia-Turkey deal shatters Syria Kurd dreams of self-rule

    Welcome to the world of Global Realpolitik.

    Russia and Turkey have always had more influence in Syria than the US, and rightly so. Russia has bases there and Turkey is concerned with terrorist insurgents entering Turkey and killing people in terrorist attacks.

    It's a crapwich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a friend killed on the streets of Turkey by PKK.
      not long after I had walked that street.

      Delete
    2. AOW: PKK I think bill themselves as communist. They see themselves as freedom fighters, Turkey sees them as terrorists, since they have carried out many terrorist attacks in Turkey.

      I have heard some rightwingers smear all Kurds as communist terrorists. Those rightwingers are pin-head morons.

      Delete
    3. No matter WHAT they "call" themselves, or HOW they "see" themselves Communists are in fact TERRORISTS because of the pernicious, deadly destructive nature of their quasi-religius belief system.

      The same is true of Islamic Fundamentalists.

      And it has now BECOME true of our so-called "Liberal Democrats."

      ""By their FRUITS ye shall know them."

      Delete
  7. The article gets much right, including the very important point that the Kurds supported us for their own purposes. They were not "bring loyal to the US," they were using us in being loyal to themselves.

    One even more important point the article does not make is that we were never supposed to be in Syria. Obama's made repeated promises to the American for "no boots on the ground" in Syria, even is he was inserting thousands of troops into Syria. When caught in the act, his response was that "they will not be in combat roles." He was not, and is not being called to account for either blatant lie, or for the consequences of his failed action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many of our troops have died in combat as the Kurds have "fought alongside us" in Syria? How many have been wounded? According to the media the answer is zero to both. Fighting alongside the Kurds with zero dead and zero wounded.

      That paints an interesting picture. Either we are "leading from the rear," hardly a heroic posture, or our media is lying to us.

      Delete
    2. I don’t have the exact number handy, but the number of US KIA has been a small handful. All of which have been reported in the media.

      Delete
    3. Jayhawk,

      We were in a supporting role, and IMO these are the best missions. We support people with noble goals who do the fighting for themselves. Its a classic mission for Special Forces and Special Ops Forces.

      Delete
    4. Jayhawk,
      They were not "bring loyal to the US," they were using us in being loyal to themselves.

      Tribals.

      Delete
  8. As usual EVERYONE SPEAKS, but NO ONE LISTENS!

    Very frustrating to those eager to engage in genuine CONVERSATION!

    Jus' sayin.' I know there's no remedy for it –– more's the pity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of us have JOBS, and can only PEEK IN periodically.

      Please see my answers to your question above.

      Delete
    2. The point seems to be that intentionally or not, Trump has probably don the right thing.
      The Kurds probably sensed that an autonomous slice of Syria wasn't in the cards.
      They have a tragic history which we weren't going to change. As soon as Turkey and Russia hooked up, this chapter was over.

      Delete
    3. Franco,

      Look at this comment thread. It is obvious that CI, Farmer and I are listening and RESPONDING, thereby creating conversation.

      Delete
    4. Ducky,

      Good summary. The Kurds do have a tragic history. The US official establishment, including the Obama and Trump administrations, knew "an autonomous slice of Syria wasn't in the cards" for the Kurds. Turkey would never allow it.

      We also have to keep in mind that Turkey and Russia are not BFFs. They cooperate where it is mutually beneficial.

      Delete
    5. Silver,

      I suspect it's a matter of either being on the same wavelength or NOT being on th sme wavelength.

      Not to worry. I should have learned long ago what I could and could not expect.

      The blogosphere more closely resembles the Middle East, as you accurately described it above, than it does the United States of America as it was in days of yore when I first rose to consciousness, and was able to enjoy a happy, optimistic, buoyant childhood filled with bright promise, a great sense of imminent adventure, and unlimited horizons.

      All that disappeared, as if in a thunderclap, after the JFK assassination. ner to return again.

      No one born after 1960 could possibly understand what I mean, because like Ozymandias that world in which we had such confidence and pride was swept away –– never to return again.

      The leftists –– and the moronic, limp-wristed RINOS always too eager to comprmise capitulate to the Devil in order maintain a counterfeit semblance of comity –– have succeeded in virtually obliterating all understanding, appreciatiin and knowledge of our vanished past.

      Alexander Tyler's CYCLE made manifest –– yet again.

      Delete
    6. PS: In reference to my original plaintive observation: I attribute the basis of why we mostly talk AT instead of WITH each other to a woeful Lack of CURIOSITY.

      Delete
    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  9. If you're saying America lost its innocense (sense of optimism)
    after JFK's assassination I agree Franco.

    Perhaps it's not so much a loss of curiosity as it is a deterioration in the level of respect.

    Also, and you hit the nail on its head, people have STOPPED listening to understand. And you'll have to forgive me but ALL sides are guilty of the above.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I note that Reagan was able to restore a sense of optimism for a brief period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. President Reagan did not have the 24/7 "news" cycle with which to contend.

      Delete
    2. True, AOW, but the ENEMEDIA of that sorry era sure pounded the hell out of the ginned up "Iran Contra Scandal," didn't they? The objective THERE, of course was to do a reprise of WATERGATE and thereby eject President Reagan from office.

      Ever since the journalistic coup d'état atrocity we call "Watergate," the ENEMEDIA has gotten far too big for its breeches –– or should i say "panties" now that so many shrill, Marxified WOMEN, miseducated by the Poisn Ivy League, have joined the ranks of the ENEMEDIA?

      I see it as a tragedy for our nation that the LEFTIST-ELITIST ENEMEDIA ESTABLISHMENT has taken it upon itself to OVERTURN ELECTIONS, if they don't happen to admire or approve of the victor.

      If that iasn't ANTI-AMERICAN I can't imagine what would be, can you?

      The absolutely shameless DISINGENUOUSNESS of the ENEMEDIA –– and the LEFT in general –– is enough to make honest, decent, right-thinking persons BITE their NAILS down to the second set of K_N_U_C_K_L_E_S.

      (:-o

      Delete
  11. A PERTINENT BIT OF GOOD CHEER

    Military Leader of Syrian Kurds Thanks [President] Trump for Cease-Fire

    Breitbart

    by Joel B. Pollak

    General Mazloum Abdi, the pre-eminent military leader of the Syrian Kurds, thanked President Donald Trump on Wednesday for his efforts in stopping a Turkish offensive and negotiating a cease-fire. General Mazloum, who leads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), issued his statement shortly after the president announced the U.S. was lifting economic sanctions on Turkey in return for its commitment to a “permanent” cease-fire. That commitment had been announced the day before, when Russia and Turkey agreed to joint patrols within 10 km of the Syria-Turkey border, and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) agreed to withdraw 30 km south of the border. ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mazloum is a class act.....which makes it all the more difficult to leave them in a lurch.

      Delete
    2. But they are back in the Syrian fold. Assad is a bastardly butcher, but that is the best path for them.

      Delete
  12. Well, to be honest, we need a President with a spine, and we don't have one. Someone that offers Russia a tangible deal. Like okay, Assad stays in power in Syria, but we get to test neutron bombs on Moscow. Oh, Assad can go to hell now? Thanks. Bring me some of that sour cream beef noodle crap and some vodka and STFU.

    But instead we'll watch others take extreme measures to achieve their goals and we'll badmouth them at the UN a bit and that'll that. God help us should anyone ever badmouth Trump. The wailing would be endless.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Better the dastardly butcher you know than the foreign tyrant I suppose.

    If the Kurds are good with the situation now as it stands, well, all is well that ends well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the Kurds are good with the situation now as it stands...

      They're decidedly not good with it; but with the Putin-Erdogan agreement to push them well out of the SMZ...they have zero choice but to take their chances with Assad.

      Delete
  14. However I question whether allies still have the same trust in America's commitment (word) that they once had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't, nor should they. America's word has been good for nothing for about fifty years now.

      Delete
  15. I would venture that the betrayal of the Kurds happened a century ago and was perpetrated by the British and French after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The air bridge the you mention is necessitated by arbitrary lines drawn on a map by the Allies of WW1. They have no more legitimacy than the line drawn through two/thirds of Ulster that separate it from the rest of Ireland. Our modern day troubles in the ME are largely of our own making, but rooted in the mistakes of our ancestors. By attempting to preserve their entirely artificial status quo we are forever going to be sucked in to conflicts that date back millennia. Which leaves us with naught but undesirable options. 1. Spend our blood and treasure to impose a solution. Which BTW replicates the original mistake. 2. Walk away and let God sort it out. 3 Arm our friends and hope for the best, accepting and dealing with whatever outcome arises. Defending our own freedoms is a full time job. Let the rest of the world see to it's own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Les, This should have appeared under CI's remarks above.

      Delete
    2. I’m not in disagreement with any of that, beyond pointing out that we have been and still are, propping up artificial national constructs the world over.

      Delete
    3. Viburnum,
      Thank you for that history lesson -- and for stating the three undesirable options:

      1. Spend our blood and treasure to impose a solution. Which BTW replicates the original mistake. 2. Walk away and let God sort it out. 3 Arm our friends and hope for the best, accepting and dealing with whatever outcome arises.

      Furthermore, no good answer is often the situation with many matters -- even those unrelated to politics.

      Delete
  16. A good quote from a former CIA CT Director:

    Ever since the invasion of Iraq and the Washington-encouraged Arab Spring, almost all regional powers have become increasingly willing to essentially freelance greater amounts of what they perceive to be their own security interests. Turkey’s actions squarely fit into this larger pattern. It is also not lost on Middle Eastern powers of all persuasions that outside of the professional national security establishment, the American appetite for risking its blood and treasure in the Middle East has been on the decline for many years. This is especially true at a time of great disunity within the American political system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting observation. Makes me wonder how they would sort themselves out over there without us butting in all the time.

      All those factions know how to punk us/fool us/scare us into taking action to their benefit.

      Delete
    2. I’d wager that we’d see Russia in our current position. Great powers seem to be insistent on proving their power.....to their detriment.

      Delete

  17. Here's a timely article...

    Alliances are a Means, not an End

    SPOILER: President George Washington "betrayed" our French "allies" just a few years after they helped us defeat the British.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Then there's the corollary of escaped/released ISIS prisoners and the uptick of ISIS attacks in NE Syria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our civility is a threat to our civilization's survival.

      We wouldn't have that problem if all terrorists captured on the battlefield were summarily tried, convicted and executed, including all adults with them, and the children adopted into western families and assimilated into western culture.

      That sounds harsh, and it is against Geneva Conventions, but I haven't heard any feasible alternatives, other than to jail them forever in Guantanamo.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely, once we’ve sucked them dry for intelligence value.

      Delete
    3. I couldn't agree more Though as I recall in order to claim the protections of the Geneva convention one is required to be in at least some semblance of a uniform allowing the opposition to easily separate the sheep from the goats. While that occasionally makes life somewhat harder on the goats, it's intention was to protect the sheep. Otherwise the only prudent course is to kill them all and let God sort them out. Phil Sheridan had the best solution for irregulars when he said "Bring none of them to my headquarters except for interment"

      Delete
  19. Everyone is a Russian asset. Hillary is completely insane

    I am extremely upset over the Kurds. It is long past time where we leave NATO in favor of agreements with worthy countries like the UK and Poland.

    Turkey is an adversary and should be treated harshly. End diplomatic relationships and begin real sanctions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its probably their strategic geographic location that keeps them from getting kicked out of NATO.

      Delete
    2. By leaps and bounds, that is the prevailing reason why NATO will continue courting Turkey, even as they thumb their nose at the west. Turkey and access to the Med and warm water ports, in the sphere of the bear, is the greatest strategic goal of Moscow since the mid-19th century.

      Delete
    3. Eh. I think the overall strategic value of Turkey is back there in the mid-19th Century as well, where horses were a threat.

      Delete
  20. There is but one person who is clearly no agent of Russia. It is the great Mr Beamish.
    Farmer John writes under so many aliases he confuses Putin and his other personas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comment all you want, but please leave me out of this, beak. Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    2. Yall had your chance to avoid the Apocalypse of 2022. Now you get to eat it. I'm hopping into my time machine and changing something else.

      Delete
  21. Considering the morons we have (now, and in the past) ensconced in our state and defense departments, what I find surprising is that we aren’t in bigger trouble than we are today. Mr. Washington was correct. Our only motivating interests should be our national interests. The problem, or so it seems, is how we define those national interests. The American taxpayer should not be forced to fund bribes paid to people who couldn’t care less about the United States or its people. We could start by employing a more sophisticated dictionary of terms. No one outside the United States is “our friend.” What we do have are temporary arrangements that fulfill mutual needs and wants. For far too long (and Trump is right about this), the United States has come out on the short end of the stick ... not the fault of the countries we negotiate with; the deficiency is ours. There ARE consequences to presidential and congressional elections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Incompetence and arrogance are a dangerous combination, and DC is spilling over with both.

      Our overwhelming military might and our ability to print money are all that's saving us.

      Delete
    2. I think the French used to say of themselves "We have no allies, only interests."

      I don't even know what the current game show host in chief is interested in, but it has nothing to do with making America great.

      Delete
  22. Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What trenchant commentary!

      Delete

We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective