Headline! “Trump betrays Kurds!” It’s what we do!


"U.S. troops have begun pulling out of positions in northern Syria, The Associated Press reported on Monday, citing U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also reportedly said American troops have started to withdraw from the area. 

The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey will soon be launching a military operation in the region and that U.S. troops will no longer be “in the immediate area” when it happens. 

The Kurdish-led forces denounced the move as a “stab in the back," according to Reuters.

“We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” Panos Moumtis, the U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told reporters in Geneva, the news service noted.

The U.S. had more than 1,000 troops deployed in northern Syria, working closely with the Kurdish-led forces. "  The Hill


AND … Turkey will henceforth hold and deal with IS and AQ prisoners.  Erdogan does not want these rival Islamists wandering around, so … his "dealing" with them is going to be strenuous from their point of view.  Good!

And then, pilgrims, the US has a long history of betraying warfighting allies when they are no longer needed or useful .  The Apache Scouts in the Geronimo War come to mind.  As soon as Geronimo and his unmerry men were in the bag, the US disarmed and arrested its own Indian scouts and shipped them to the same prison camp in Florida that Geronimo's men were held in.

And, throughout my life of service I have seen this tendency on our part displayed many times.  The most spectacular was, of course, our abandonment of the Republic of Vietnam.  Another triumph for the US Congress!

IMO this decision is a specific rejection by Trump of the advice of the neocons led by Pompeo and L. Graham as well as the habit and inertia opinion of the Borg (the foreign policy establishment).

This is Trump being Trump.  pl


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98 Responses to Headline! “Trump betrays Kurds!” It’s what we do!

  1. luke8929 says:

    The US is only pulling back from the border, the Kurds can still remain in the US Syrian protectorate further to the South, their dreams of an independent Kurdish homeland with its own borders was never going to materialize. I think the recognition of that is what has them upset.
    You can dislike Erdogan but he is pretty smart playing the Russian’s off against the US to get what he wants in Northern Syria, its not even a country any more just a carved up piece of land where everyone gets a piece of the pie, Russian naval base, Turkish border zone, US buffer against the Iranians and Shiite. I think the Syrians must be realizing they have been played by Putin and the Russians at this point and they were never going to get their country back.
    Trump is right in the longer term, get out and let the Jihadi’s go back to operating in southern Russia and eastern China and let them deal with it. Not sure Trump can pull that off but anything that annoys Graham, Clinton, Rubio and Hailey is a good thing.

  2. akaPatience says:

    I admire the POTUS’ gutsy and principled stance, especially in light of the status of the never-ending Impeachment Saga. While his base will be heartened and supportive, this puts his political viability in DC at risk. I have to admit I’m in awe of Trump’s courage.

  3. JJackson says:

    If the US force is not leaving and are not guarding the prisoners or fighting IS what are they going to do, watch their allies being slaughtered. Do they expect the SDF Kurds to remain in south east and do their biding? I would expect them to take all their US supplied kit and head back to NW and defend their home land in which case I would not want to be an American in Syria as there aren’t enough of them to fight the the jihadis who must still be in the area let alone the Kurds if the decide to take revenge for their betrayal. If they had had adequate warning they could have negotiated terms with the Syrian government but it seems too late now. Time to cross the Euphrates and take back the east?

  4. turcopolier says:

    jjackson As I understand this, the US is leaving the SDF area.

  5. Eliot says:

    “throughout my life of service I have seen this tendency on our part displayed many times”
    Col. Lang,
    Where does this tendency come from in your opinion?
    – Eliot

  6. d74 says:

    PYD (made of YPG/YPJ) says they want to fight turk invasion.
    The fighting in Afrin has shown that Kurdish forces, like many other guerrillas in the Middle East, are unable to protect themselves from air forces. This is the main cause of Kurdish casualties (about 820 dead, YPG/YPJ women and men and about 1200 civilians) in 1 month. This intolerable rate explains their defeat.
    I dream that some Colonel, at the Pentagon or the National Security Council, shows a little pity towards these loyal and effective allies and gives them alms for some Manpad (portable anti-aircraft weapons). A few shot down F16s should calm the fury of flying killers….
    Controlling their use should not be difficult.
    PR wise, they could say that these weapons were stolen and paid by Israel.

  7. Barbara Ann says:

    Exeunt DEVILS with FAUSTUS.

  8. JamesT says:

    I have been saying to anyone who would listen that Trump has sold out to the neocons. This event makes me think that I have been completely wrong.
    What if Putin and Erdogan have a secret alliance? They have convergent interests – the US tried to depose Erdogan and arguably Russia has more to offer Turkey than the US does. If R+6 becomes R+6+Turkey … they can build an energy corridor through Turkey and together have a monopoly/oligopoly on hydrocarbons pipelined into Europe. Everyone who can feed natural gas to Turkey (from the east) is allied with R+6. Putin has a good track record of not betraying his partners. Turkey knows it is never going to get into the EU.
    Turkey gets control of Kurdish areas long enough to cleanse them, Assad gets the rest of Syria, and the USA’s reputation as a partner is further degraded.

  9. Fred says:

    You mean all those oceans that separate the US from Iran aren’t a buffer but we need ground forces in Syria, which is not adjacent to Iran at all, to serve as a buffer. That’s even worse map reading than most Americans accomplish.

  10. Jim Ticehurst says:

    Strange timing I think..On This Date..October 7…2001……The Bush League Invaded Afghanistan..Killed all the Bad guys..Stabilized the whole Region..Let Iraq and Iran solve their own Problems..Our Troops came home..and Every American President since then have made Wise Decisions after good Council from their Security Advisors..The IC.. and Cabinets..Leaving The United States Happy…Secure..and Free of Corruption..and the Most Stable Government and Society in the World..Im ready For Thanksgiving..There are no Shortages of “TURKEYS”.. “Gravy” or “”Greasy Palms.””.in America..’

  11. JP Billen says:

    Erdogan will enlist ISIS into his TFSA to use against the Kurds and then later against Assad.
    And nothing was said about a withdrawal of the 200 US troops at al-Tanf. Will they stay and continue blocking the al-Waleed border crossing on the Damascus-Baghdad Highway? Or will Trump keep them there to appease Israel. That road may have less importance now due to the opening of the northern route at the al-Qaim crossing, but that route is much longer and still needs major rebuilding in some areas.
    If Trump was serious about rejecting neocon advice, he would get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

  12. JohnH says:

    Could this withdrawal be a sign that Israel be losing its grip on Trump? In the past the Kurds were supported and trained by Israel, mostly, I suspect, to make mischief against Iraq, Iraq, and probably even Turkey.
    With the Israeli government in turmoil for the foreseeable future, this would be an ideal moment for a course correction and would be much welcomed … though the usual suspects (neocons) must be apoplectic!

  13. elaine says:

    akaPatience, Say what??? Abandoning a proxy force & genuflecting to an
    Islamist is “gutsy and principled”? Please consider me neither “heartened”
    nor “supportive” & I’m trying to remain part of Trump’s base primarily
    because the alternatives are completely unacceptable @ this time.

  14. Jim S says:

    The SDF might have taken a hint the last time this was threatened, more than half a year ago. Then again my understanding is that the leadership we’ve been dealing with is more on the gangster side of things (please correct any misapprehension) and may not have such foresight. Damascus will have taken the hint and Moscow will not have needed it; perhaps the SDF is not blind, or perhaps it has had help reading the tea leaves.
    Would a relatively bloodless incursion be a weak or a strong indicator of a tacit agreement, sir? Violent clashes would indicate surprise, or at least that the US has isolated the Kurds from meaningful communication with Damascus.

  15. turcopolier says:

    I think that the Puritan culture brought with it a disdain of anyone different and now we are all infected with that It is easy to betray the “little people.”

  16. Jim Ticehurst says:

    Colonel..Typo..Correction…Its EASY..to Betray….

  17. fredw says:

    At this point the Kurds have physical possession of the ISIS fighters. Can they just march them over to Syrian government territory and give them to Assad?

  18. Jim Ticehurst says:

    the best Readout I Have read today for some Background on The Syria Story..was to go to the AP Website..Posted One Hour ago..Heading…”trump sends Strong ,Conflicting Signals on Syria..”..By Lita Balder..Matthew Lee…and Robert Burn..

  19. Leith says:

    That Kurd/Israel BS is Arab propaganda. Israel in the past helped Turkey against the Kurdish PKK. And in 1982 the Kurds went to Lebanon to fight alongside the Palestinian Resistance against the Israeli occupation.

  20. Barbara Ann says:

    Actually you are right, this is very much Trump being Trump. He has at a stroke trashed the Borg’s Rojava nation-building plans. A betrayal? I see it more as tough love. Perhaps Trump finally figured out (probably with help) that the only way he’d be able to extricate US forces from Syria was if the Kurds reconciled with Damascus. And the only way they were going to do that was under threat of extermination from Turkey.
    From all the hyperbole in the more rabidly pro-Erdogan Turkish press over a ‘terror corridor’ on the southern border, it is clear that Erdogan sees the ongoing US presence in Syria as the real threat. I think it quite possible he and Trump have agreed a mutually beneficial arrangement. If the Kurds do now finally reconcile with Damascus how long before the SAA cross the Euphrates?

  21. Sbin says:

    Just because President Trump tweeted
    this does not mean it will happen.
    Seems as he is surrounded by people intent on carrying out agenda other than what President Trump has specified.

  22. The Kurds are weak in part of that area and are having to suppress an increasingly restive Arab population. There was earlier a suggestion that they might reconcile with the SAA in such circumstances as these. Is this still possible?

  23. catherine says:

    ”Could this withdrawal be a sign that Israel be losing its grip on Trump? In the past the Kurds were supported and trained by Israel, mostly, I suspect, to make mischief against Iraq, Iraq, and probably even Turkey.”
    I don’t know but the Israelis are howling that this means America has deserted Israel.
    Graham,Schumer and Pelosi also howling, Jewish Israeli think tanks like FDD also howling betrayal of Kurds and Israel.

  24. akaPatience says:

    Sorry elaine but I disagree and don’t see why we should remain in Syria. Trump was elected in part by those of us who are fed up with perpetual wars.

  25. JamesT says:

    As for this being an ideal moment – it is also Yom Kippur.

  26. Diana C says:

    I keep as informed–using this site as a great source as well as other–about the world situation. I became disillusioned with the neocon thinking about what our role should be in regard to foreign problems. We have spent so much in money, but sadly as much in the death and maiming and psychological strain in our young fighters.
    That said, I have no idea myself about what we should be doing.
    What I wish is that our young men (and women) could be devoting themselves to fixing some things in our own country. We have to do much in regard to improving our highways and roads, to fixing our bridges and rebuilding our great cities that are have problems with horrible slums and homelessness, gangs and drugs.
    I like that Trump has tried to put emphasis on protecting our borders and on keeping bad actors out of our country. I don’t think he is doing that with any real racist bias, as the left assumes.
    I know we need allies in this world; and I don’t deny that there are groups who view our country as the source of all that is wrong in the world. But I would rather fight those people by keeping them away from our country and by working to make the civil discourse less divided and working together for making our country a more comfortable place to to live.
    And wouldn’t it be great to spend far more in projects now to build the Space Force?
    I will admit it IF I see that what Trump has done by making this decision was wrong.
    However, as a retired high school, community college, and college teacher, I remember so many young men in my classes who did not finish their courses and went off to the military–and possibly to the ME. I am sure many came back and were stronger for having gone to serve in the military, but many also came back physically and psychologically damaged.
    Sometimes it’s good to take a break and re-think our goals and the way to achieve them.

  27. JJackson says:

    I thought the Kurds made up the bulk of the SDF forces which enforce order in all the areas E of the river. Raqqah and much else is predominately arab and not necessarily US friendly. Which leaves the SDF’s arab component’s loyalty, in light of recent events, an important factor. The actual US personal numbers are a small part of the SDF and heavily skewed to artillery & SF.
    pl – or anyone else.
    Is that about right, or have I misunderstood some part of whatever is going on?

  28. John_Frank says:

    In case people have forgotten, the President made the decision to withdraw US forces from Syria last September.
    He reiterated that position last night by way of a press release, earlier today on twitter, then again during a Q & A after the signing of two trade agreements this afternoon and following brief remarks to the press while meeting with the Secretary of Defense, the Chair of Joint Chiefs and other senior military officials.
    The withdrawal has been taking place over a period of time. Since last night’s announcement, 50 US special forces were withdrawn from the border area, but remain in Syria. At the same time, the Coalition supplied more military aid to the SDF.
    For additional details read the following thread by .@mutludc starting with this tweet:
    Will Turkish forces actually invade northern Syria? Maybe, although State and Defense continue to reiterate to the Turks that such an invasion would be a mistake.
    As the President made clear, and reiterated by spokespeople for the Defense and State Departments, the US will not provide any support to Turkey should they invade; and if the Turkish forces do step out of line, the President has stated the US will impose sanctions which will destroy the Turkish economy.

  29. Unhinged Citizen says:

    What is the concern with the ISIS prisoners? Why not just solve the issue by pulverizing the carcasses with high explosive howitzer shells?
    Morally speaking, there is of course no concern with the destruction of this pathological strain of creatures, as it was their publicly manifested desire.
    You can’t be accused of committing war crimes if there are no remains…

  30. John_Frank says:

    After the signing of the US – Japan Trade Agreement and the US – Japan Digital Trade Agreement, the President answered questions from the media, during the course of which the topic of Syria came up. Worth reading his answers:
    Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement
    Also, following his public briefing with the military leaders, the President answered a few questions. The topic of the Syria came up. Again worth reading his answers.
    Remarks by President Trump in Briefing with Military Leaders

  31. Stephanie says:

    The Kurds? Turning U.S. troops into prison guards? We’re in “We came, we saw, he died–giggle giggle,” la la land.
    Drain the swamp: McConnell, Rubio, Graham, Romney… Trump sees they are going to stab him in the back on impeachment, so he doesn’t need them anymore. Not a single person in the Republican establishment helped him get the nomination.
    Now, if he would only kick Brutus Pence off the ticket and replace him with Tulsi, he’ll win a second term. And that is coming from someone who would never vote for him in a million years.

  32. johnf says:

    Two or three weeks ago I partly attributed the lessening of tension in the Iran/Saudi stand off to the seeming paralysis of the Israeli state with their hung elections.
    Netanyahu, the lynch pin of Middle Eastern turmoil, is fighting for his life and to stay out of jail. I have read descriptions of him being an exhausted shadow of his former self.
    Now this move out of Syria and a slap in the face for the neocons and Israeli-firsters in Washington.
    When the cats away the mice do play.

  33. johnf says:

    This would be very bad optics for the Kurds among a certain crowd.
    But the world seems to be trying on a new pair of glasses.

  34. johnf says:

    It would be interesting to hear from the experts on this site on who they think is running Israel at the moment.
    Probably not the politicians. Would it be the intelligence services and military? Aren’t they considered to be more cautious and “realist” than the politicians?

  35. Cee says:

    Let us pray.
    The Jerusalem Post is interesting reading now.

  36. Procopius says:

    I could swear I saw a post here that included news that the Kurds had contacted Damascus and were discussing alliance as part of Syria with some limited autonomy. I don’t know what happened to those talks, if they ever occurred. I have no idea if the Turks would be willing to attack SAA troops as well as Kurds, but I don’t think Assad is going to be happy with Turkey taking a swath of Syrian territory along their border.

  37. CK says:

    Moving 20 men a few miles down the road sure does expose who are the friends of the USA and who its enemies.
    Also shows who the President can trust and who he can’t(Graham).
    The Israeli press and the Israel firsters in the US govt and media are screaming betrayal. The Russians and the Syrians have so far said nada.
    The Kurds are just being the Kurds always ready to sell out to the next higher bidder. Been this way since the beginning of recorded history won’t change in the foreseeable future.
    I expect that Russian and Syrian diplomacy will eventuate in a solution acceptable to all but the Israeli and American Neo-cons.

  38. d74 says:

    ” suppress an increasingly restive Arab population”
    Your sources? What’s origin? Who? When? Examples?
    All ethnies in North-East Syria (more than Rojava. 1/5 of Syria) are exclude from talks about new constitution but compromises are likely.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang
    Do Puritan have a transactional view of human interactions and relations?

  40. Fred says:

    So we get rid of the Republicans and leave Pelosi, Schumer and Schiff and company in place?

  41. Procopius says:

    Sanctions seem to work pretty well at imposing suffering on the lower economic strata of a country’s population. They don’t seem to have much success at changing the behavior of targeted governments. I have no understanding of why they are so beloved of the neocons. Kind of gradually escalating bombing campaigns. The sanctions against Iran seem to be creating a more powerful alliance between Russia and China, which is supporting Iran and creating an alternative financial channel. So I don’t really think imposing further sanctions on Turkey will have the effect Trump hopes for. The last few years Erdogan has gone to Moscow several times a year, and Putin has gone to Ankara. You never see mention of this in the American MSM, though. Same with Netanyahu’s several trips a year to Moscow. There’s a lot of dealing going on that Americans never hear about.

  42. Leith says:

    I share your enthusiasm for Tulsi. But a Trump/Tulsi ticket will never happen. She called him despicable when he sent troops to Saudi Arabia. And reportedly she now supports his impeachment.

  43. fredw says:

    Yes, it would create terrible optics. But the benefits of good optics seem to have expired. This is about the only leverage that I can see for the Kurds. I have no idea how practical it would be. That is why I asked the question. But I don’t see much benefit to the Kurds from letting Turkey have those guys. Or from exhibiting any great concern over their fate in Assad’s hands.

  44. Terence Gore says:

    John tees it up for Tulsi, and gives her the wind speed, direction, and relative humidity.
    I still liked it

  45. turcopolier says:

    Recommend to you the book “Albion’s Seed” for information on Puritan folkways.

  46. Linda says:

    My mouth is still agape. With “we can’t be accused of war crimes if there are no remains”, but I’ll move on from there. Erdogan has said that he wants to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire and announced yesterday that he will send two million refugees back to Syria. Also I cannot see how ISIS prisoners will not have the opportunity to bleed back into the population. So I can’t imagine the US allowing Turkey to occupy a piece of Syria is a good thing.

  47. Babak Makkinejad,
    I have, unfortunately, not read ‘Albion’s Seed’, but looking at the ‘Wikipedia’ entry, the basic argument sounds extremely plausible.
    I am slightly concerned at the apparent description of the Welsh and even more the Scots as ‘satellite’ peoples – particularly given that the British Empire was to a substantial extent run by the latter.
    You might also usefully read an introduction which the historian C. Vann Woodward wrote in 1959 to a republication of George Fitzhugh’s 1857 polemic ‘Cannibals All! or, Slaves Without Masters.’
    (See http://www.ditext.com/woodward/fitzhugh.html .)
    There are parts of Peter Laslett’s account of the roots of the ideas of the royalist polemicist Sir Robert Filmer in the sociological reality of the society of the gentry of Kent, on which Vann Woodward relies, which may need to be revised in the light of subsequent scholarship.
    But the basic point that Laslett makes, that this society replicated itself in Virginia – a world created by younger sons, one might say – I think stands.
    When I read the first novel in our host’s Civil War trilogy, I was forcibly reminded of Vann Woodward’s argument.
    But, matters get even more complex.
    Among the few British films which I think are works of genius are some of those which resulted from the collaboration of Michael Powell – who was actually a gentleman of Kent – and Emeric Pressburger, an Hungarian Jewish refugee.
    These include two classic treatments of British military cultures, in both of which the ‘male lead’ is played by the great Roger Livesey.
    The 1943 film ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ is a complex reflection on ends and means in warfare.
    Although produced in the middle of the war, it is also the story of a friendship between an Englishman and a German.
    In the 1945 film ‘I Know Where I’m Going’, ironically, we see a portrayal of a Scots society which is still recognisably similar to the society of the Kentish gentry.
    So the character Livesey plays, a Royal Navy officer on leave, is at once very ‘modern’ – industrial war was a central concern of the Navy, much more than the Army – and also a Scottish laird.

  48. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    I think that you forget that, after the Turkish shoot-down (ambush, actually) of a Russian warplane, Russia imposed strong sanctions. This got results double quick.

  49. Sbin says:

    Trump’s handlers already walking back his policy.
    By next week a few troops will be moved around and convoys of arms and munitions will be headed that way.

  50. Negotiations between the Rojava Kurds and Damascus haver been on and on for well over a year. Now there’s talk about an immediate alliance of sorts to confront the Turkish threat. We’ll see.

  51. Mark Logan says:

    John Frank,
    His statement was he would destroy the Turkish economy if they did something which Trump, “…in my great and unmatched wisdom” judged wrong.
    The phrasing covers a heck of a lot of territory, to say the least, but if Trump is not anticipating invasion why the specific order that those 50 SF near the border be moved?

  52. Apologies. Mistyped SAA for SAG.

  53. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    IMO he thinks he made a deal with Erdo over the patrol strip on the Syrian side of the border but as is his way he backs that up with a threat if the Atrak
    (plural in Arabic for Turk) make serious move on the SDF. He doesn’t understand the ME at all. That is exactly what the irredentist Turks want to do. He just wants to get out of the ME. The neocons and Zionists are howling.

  54. turcopolier says:

    Who said that?

  55. Stephanie says:

    Give me a hundred Tulsi’s in place of all three of them. I have an idee fixe, and it’s “We came, we saw, he died… giggle, giggle.” If I’m not mistaken all three supported Clinton… through the primary process, when it counted.
    PL is correct. The attack an KSA’s oil infrastructure is a game changer.
    What changed is America’s military might well be able to defend the U.S. from foreign attack. What it can’t do any more is imperialism. But the “establishment” will give up their imperialist fantasies very reluctantly. It was ever thus, cf. Germany before WWI.

  56. Stephanie says:

    She sounds so, so, so much better than the rest of what’s out there. Legalizing heroin is Libertarian weirdness, but she would never be able to do it.

  57. catherine says:

    I don’t think he said that exactly.
    According to the NYT Erdogan has for some years demanded a buffer zone along Turkey’s border with Syria. Erdogan wants the zone to be 20 miles deep and run for 300 miles along the Turkish-Syrian border east of the Euphrates. Ankara has promised them newly built homes and land to farm but Syria does not want to have its territory appropriated for Ankara’s resettlement plans.
    I see Erdogan’s plan as probably the best and fair considering Turkey didn’t create the 4 million refugees Turkey has taken in
    and Syria needs to take some responsibility for the Syrian refugees.
    The security problems associated with it for both Turkey and Syria are about even in terms of what kind refuges, potential terrorist would be included in that buffer but Syria needs to cooperate with it imo.
    Turkey took on a daring political experiment from 2011 onward that made it home to the world’s largest refugee population—about 4 million registered and more than a million off the books—in the space of a few years.

  58. Barbara Ann says:

    The Turkish parliament has just extended their version of an AUMF for Syria and Iraq until 30 October 2020. That is plenty of time for Erdogan to try and reconstitute some of the vilayets of Aleppo and even Mosul in time for the centenary of the Ottoman Parliament’s declaration of the National Pact early next year. Note the map in the wiki, this is the irredentism much in vogue with the neo-Ottoman crowd.
    My guess is the neocons would rather see Turkey advance right down to the Euphrates than allow Assad to regain control. It will be very interesting to see what happens when the SAA try to cross the river.

  59. Terence Gore says:

    “…that while the United States has spent the last two decades squandering trillions of dollars fighting insurgents in the Middle East, Beijing was singularly focused on overcoming American military superiority in the Pacific. If the capabilities of these new weapons are taken at face value, China will have succeeded on this front. ”

  60. turcopolier says:

    Elora Danan
    McGurk? A bureaucrat non-entity.

  61. Norumbega says:

    There was a small demonstration (tires burning) said to be in Raqqa city and a large procession said to be along the highway west of Raqqa city, both on April 16, 2018. featuring among other things a very large Syrian (official) flag. This was just a couple days after Trump’s second cruise missile strike. This was documented on the same day on Facebook links that no longer exist, but was preserved for reference a couple of weeks later on Wardiary.net/ R & U Videos.
    Since then I have heard a few reports of demonstrations against the SDF, and of agreements between Arab tribal leaders from NE Syria and the Syrian government, and recently of an anti-Syrian government demonstration in Deir Ezzor province.
    Sorry to rely on memory for both the parts where I can be specific and the part where my memory is only sketchy, but this is what I’ve got for now.

  62. turcopolier says:

    I doubt that you know more about the history of the German Army than I do. They (the Heer as opposed to the Nazi SS) WERE NOT enthusiastic supporters of Hitler and the Nazis. They just did their duty to their country. Was the record spotless everywhere? It was not. It NEVER IS in war.

  63. The Puritans viewed all aspects of life through God. Everything they did and thought was done in His service. They worked from sun up to sun down all in the name of God. The New England Puritans felt the battle between good and evil was all around them all the time. Both angels and demons were amongst them. One of their goals was to evangelize all of humanity through their example of Godly living, starting with the Anglican Church and including the heathen savages of the New England forests. This fanatical zealotry eventually softened into the typical New England Yankee.
    I suggest a study of one Puritan in particular to get a fuller view of the New England Puritans in all their glory and gore… Cotton Mather. One of his fire and brimstone sermons was the first reading in my 6th grade American Literature textbook.

  64. Norumbega says:

    Here’s video from the April 16, 2018 Raqqa province/city demonstrations I referred to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci0pFmT-7Gc

  65. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Pay heed to what the Colonel says. Might I recommend that you read “Hammerstein oder Der Eigensinn – Eine deutsche Geschichte” by Enzensberger. It was translated into English as “The Silences of Hammerstein”. This is a somewhat complicated issue.
    Ishmael Zechariah
    P.s: Hammerstein was the originator of the Hammerstein matrix:

    “I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities.
    Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.”
    ― Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

  66. turcopolier says:

    Cotton Mather? Really? How sad. My ancestors sat and listened to all that business about “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, ” but at least they did not like it and kept moving away from it. You left out all the business of their persecution of anyone who did not agree with the Cambridge educated puritan divines. The Indians? One of my 9th great grandfathers was Major John Mason, the fervently puritan colonial commander in the Pequot War in the 1630s. He and his anti-Pequot Indian allies killed 500 Pequots in one village by penning them up and burning the place. They shot those who ran out of the flames. Was that evangelizing the savages? The puritans hated nature and wanted to destroy it. The Indians were part of nature.

  67. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    The Turks were doing everything they could to support the jihadis, transiting, provisioning, buying stolen oil. This had EVERYTHING to do with the refugees. Reward them for this?

  68. You left out Cotton’s part in the Salem witch trials. And they did view the forest as the domain of Satan. I’m not saying these people were fun. Their bringing the bible to the Indians was often heavy-handed, but it was earnest in their own zealous way. It would be a toss up whether an evening with a Puritan would be any better than an evening with a jihadi. I still say Cotton is a good example of what it was to be a New England Puritan.

  69. VietnamVet says:

    The Empire’s end is in sight. The Coup against the President Trump by corporate media and the democrat aligned praetorian guard continues. Israel does not have a government. Saudi Arabia is ruled by a malignant prince and is completely vulnerable to further destruction by missile and UAV attack by Houthis and Iraqi Shiite militia. Saudis must make peace with their neighbors or be destroyed and take down the world economy. The US occupation of Iraq and Eastern Syria is untenable. The regime change campaign against Syria in 2011 and the Cold War restarted by Joe Biden in Ukraine in 2014 have come to a disastrous end. The simple ending is to give eastern Syria back to the national government. Let the Syrians settle it themselves. The same with Iraq. The question is there any one left in Washington DC who is sane enough to get the troops and contractors out safely. Leon Panetta on NewsHour last night was the definition of insanity; keep doing the same thing over and over again with the same result.

  70. Barbara Ann says:

    When did Syria turn into Palestine? I am surprised at your support for Erdogan’s plan for settlements in the neo-Ottomans’ equivalent of Judea and Samaria. Priority will doubtless be given to Mr & Mrs Al Qaeda Free Syrian Army as thanks for helping to remove the indigenous. Several commentators have mocked the Sultan’s $27 billion housing scheme (unveiled at the UN GA) as being so good most Turks will want to move there. Would you agree to Mexico settling (and policing) a 20 mile wide strip of land along the border inside Texas or Arizona?
    Syria may cooperate and offer an amnesty to returnees when the war is over. With its support for Daesh and the Idlib jihadis Turkey has helped destroy Syria and prolong the war. It has no right to play victim when it comes to the refugees.

  71. TS says:

    No we need a NO FLY ZONE to begin Syria’s partition, and to protect Israel. That is all that matters. America is simply the zionists’ slush fund.

  72. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Puritans must have specially hated Saint Francis then; he would preach to birds and trees, from what I have read.

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you.

  74. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you.

  75. turcopolier says:

    Glad you brought Salem up. One of my woman relatives had been condemned to death for witchcraft and was awaiting execution when the Puritans seekers for salvation changed their minds about hanging any more women for that.

  76. d74 says:

    Thank you for your efforts, but not convinced.
    A -small- demonstration is not an indication of “suppression”.
    That there are antagonisms between Kurds and Arabs is certain. The local Arabs are probably inclined towards the SAR. For now,it remains manageable peacefully.

  77. fredw says:

    Presumably legalizing heroin or other drugs counts as weirdness because of the fantastically successful track record of prohibiting it? This is how I tell real libertarians from people who just dislike the idea of being told what to do. Tulsi passes? Good! What possible justification could a real libertarian find for government intervention in such intensely personal decisions? None. So the criteria have to be practical. And practical criteria have to be evaluated in terms of practical results, especially including the accompanying corruption of the police. (I once found myself living down the street from some people dealing drugs. Everybody in the universe seemed to know what was going on . Except the police. It has to be that way. Like any other large scale business, the dealers depend on their equivalent of advertising. Actual secrecy is not an option for them.)

  78. Barbara Ann says:

    So Newsweek, quoting of course an unnamed NSC official, just confirmed Turkey’s suspicions and worst fears, all in an attempt to get at Trump:

    “To be honest with you, it would be better for the United States to support a Kurdish nation across Turkey, Syria and Iraq,” said the National Security Council official. “It would be another Israel in the region.”

    Is this a deliberate attempt to provoke Turkey or just more monumental stupidity from the Borg?

  79. The Beaver says:

    Erdowan has started his bombing
    Turkish F-16s hit targets in Syria’s Ras Al-ayn, the Syria operation has begun — Turkish media reports

  80. Babak, Saint Francis was a Papist so he surely was in league with the Devil as far as the Puritans were concerned. I’m not sure they or any Calvinist types recognized traditional Christian saints. They, as believers in predestination, did believe in living saints, those among them who were “certain” they were among those chosen by God to go to Heaven.
    Of more modern interest, a conservative Cardinal has characterized Pope Francis’ use of the term mother earth to be pagan. Surely the Cardinal has no use for Saint Francis, either.
    “Laudato si, mi Signore, per sora nostra matre Terra” Francis of Assisi 1224
    “Praised be you, my Lord,
    through our Sister, Mother Earth,
    who sustains us and directs us
    bringing forth all kinds of fruits
    and colored flowers and herbs.”

  81. turcopolier says:

    Unfortunately the 17th Century English Puritans judged who among them were pre-destined to be saved by how well they had done here on earth in terms of business, honors, etc. Having been saturated with their writings as an English major, I find them despicable. You might find Ann(e) Norton’s book, “Alternative Americas” interesting.

  82. Ah yes. According to Max Weber, that Calvinist proclivity for proving their “God’s chosen” status by wealth accumulation was the birth of modern capitalism. Reminds me of all these prosperity Christians we see today.

  83. prawnik says:

    We shouldn’t be in Syria, granted. However, Trump is not withdrawing the troops from Syria but retreating to a smaller zone of control, and he is doing so only under duress.
    Some guts.

  84. prawnik says:

    Trump hasn’t withdrawn any troops from Syria, simply to a smaller zone of control.
    A victory lap would be premature.

  85. prawnik says:

    Albion’s Seed is long, but there is not a dull page in it.

  86. Serge says:

    ISIS prisoners were already bleeding back on a regular basis through SDF agreements with various tribes to repatriate both men and women under guarantees. Thousands have gone through this process since March.

  87. j says:

    Live feed from Northern Syria where Turkey has begun their military operations. The feed is the Russian RUPTLY media outlet:
    LIVE: Turkey begins military operation in northeastern Syria

  88. Serge says:

    “Unhinged Citizen” in a comment earlier up

  89. Leith says:

    J and Beaver:
    “never get into a well with an American rope”

  90. catherine says:

    I accept your more informed view. I gave up following all the details re Syria …so I have to plead ignorance of the real deal re Turkey.

  91. srw says:

    I’m glad my ancestors, including Roger Williams, left, or were kicked out of Mass., and settled down in Rhode Island. His “government should be separate from religion” was the best idea to come out of the Puritan/Rhode Island experience.

  92. TS says:

    Well there will be soon, if certain parties get their way. Safe Zone is a handy euphemism for the same thing. Syrian occupied territory, seized to “help the refugees” of course.

  93. flite says:

    Reminiscent of our abandonment of the Hmong who had fought and died with us in Southeast Asia. Another cut and run.

  94. TS says:

    Well it is claimed that Calvin was a marrano jew, who anglicized his name from Cohen. That would synch with the ‘Chosen’ doctrine and certainly the apostate “materialism and temporal wealth as a mark of God’s favor”. Interesting to find a direct faux theological link to today’s “prosperity gospel” preached by zionist funded TV evangelists.

  95. Barbara Ann says:

    Hey hey, DJT just called his ‘deal’ involving the Kurds “tough love”. I expect there are many folk in Kabul now wondering whether a deal involving them is on the horizon.

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