Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Trump Announces Removal of Troops From Northern Syria, Paves Way for Turkish Offensive

Trump Announces Removal of Troops From Northern Syria, Paves Way for Turkish Offensive

The Kurds promised “to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-9sPwS0FDo

President Donald Trump received major backlash on Monday morning after the White House announced late Sunday night it will remove troops in northern Syria. This will allow Turkey to start its offensive, effectively leaving the Kurds unprotected.

Officials told Fox News that Trump’s decision “completely blindsided” those at the Pentagon. Others said the move betrayed the Kurds because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not hide his hatred of the Kurds.

America has 1,000 troops in Syria. They have worked with the Kurds to prevent another ISIS uprising.

Trump first made his intentions known last December to withdraw from Syria. This led to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s resignation and condemnation from his security team. Trump withdrew his idea and allowed some troops to remain in Syria.

America and Turkey tried to negotiate “a kind of buffer zone along the Turkey-Syria border.” They eventually came to an agreement to push the Kurds “away from the border,” but they could not agree on the distance. Turkey wanted to move them 19 miles from the border, but America wanted the Kurds placed at nine miles.

Erdogan promised Turkey will begin an “‘air and ground military operation’ east of the Euphrates River in northeastern Syria.”

However, Erdogan’s government also said America has not done “enough to expel Syrian Kurdish fighters from the border region, and could take matters into their own hands ‘as soon as today or tomorrow.'”

Erdogan does not keep his hatred of Kurds a secret from anyone. He considers the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian Kurds helping to defeat ISIS, “as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.”

Many nations, including America, have listed PKK as a terrorist group. Turkey declared YPG a terrorist group in 2018.

YPG changed its name to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) back in 2017. Special Operations Command Head U.S. Army General Raymond Thomas encouraged the group to do this due to Turkish concerns that YPG has a connection to PKK.

SDF swore it would do anything to protect itself if Turkey attacks the group.

The SDF and Kurds have pulled more than its fair share to expel ISIS from Syria.

During the height of the ISIS caliphate, evidence came out that Turkey acted as a safe haven for fighters. ISIS hopefuls used Turkey as a gateway to Syria.

In 2014, one ISIS fighter told The Jerusalem Post that “Turkey paved the way for us” and without Turkey, ISIS “would not be in its current place.” He even noted that ISIS fighters received medical treatment in the NATO country.

A nurse came out a few months later confirming the fighter’s latter statement. A woman only know as E.G. said she was “sick of treating wounded ISIL militants.” She explained the men check into the hospital under fake names, including a few leaders.

A year later in 2015 one western official told The Guardian a USB found at the compound of Abu Sayyaf, an ISIS leader, provided evidence that linked Turkey to ISIS.

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | October 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm

HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Obama bros literally had US Special Forces escorting Turkish troops into Syria. Now they want to protest?”

https://twitter.com/pspoole/status/1181197274220769282

The Kurds have been one of the most stable and reliable allies we have had in the Middle East. The Turks have been one of the most genocidal, for hundreds of years, and are now becoming enemies of both the US and Israel. We need to stand by our allies, not give in to Turkish genocidal demands.

    Tiki in reply to ray. | October 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Seconded. One caveat. The Syrian Kurds are full-on Marxists. The Peshmerga are the faction most of us think of, and support, when talking about the Kurdish people.

    Also – I support the Kurds on one condition only. They must form a unity government. Unity before actual independence or they end up in civil war.

    MattMusson in reply to ray. | October 7, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    I like the Kurds too. But, what are our options? War with Turkey is not winnable. And, it would be costly and bloody.

    Long term, Turkey and Russia are going to fight this out. And, the Kurds need to pull out of the way, because right now they are in the middle.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MattMusson. | October 7, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Patrick Poole
      ‏ @pspoole

      Obama bros said *nothing* as Erdogan pounded our Kurdish allies in NE Syria during the closing hours of his administration

      72 Turkish Jets Bomb U.S.-Backed Kurdish Militias in Syria Image Plumes of smoke rise after airstrikes in northwest Syria on Saturday, as seen from the the border town of Kilis, Turkey. Plumes of smoke rise after airstrikes in northwest Syria on Saturday, as seen from the the border town of Kilis, Turkey. – New York Times

      https://twitter.com/pspoole/status/1181197274220769282

    brightlights in reply to ray. | October 7, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I feel for the Kurds. If there is one group that deserves their own country its them.

    However…

    They aren’t a united people. You have different groups/clans/whatever. They fight each other as much as they do outsiders. Back in the 90’s one warlord in Iraq had a falling out with the others and invited Saddam’s troops back in. I’ve seen a video of a couple CIA guys stations in the Kurd territory watching in horror as the Iraqi tanks were rolling closer and closer before they got out of there.

    fast182 in reply to ray. | October 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I am sympathetic to the YPG/SDF, but the US cannot fix this. Same with Afghanistan. This fight has been going on forever, and will continue with or without direct American involvement.

    Look at Iran. Thanks to US oil production, China, Europe, Japan, and South Korea are far more dependent on Persian Gulf oil. But the moment Iran starts trouble, maybe with Chinese encouragement, everyone automatically expects the US to spend blood and treasure in response. HELL NO! China has lots of shiny new ships, so let them patrol the Gulf. Anyone want to bet a $1000 that the Iranians wouldn’t dare shoot down a Chinese drone, or seize a tanker headed to China?

No matter how Trump addresses this mess he’ll be skewered.

He’s made it clear his strategy is to keep his powder dry.

Perhaps no one believes him?

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to DuxRedux. | October 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Interesting analysis from around the web.

    BlackKnightRides says:
    October 7, 2019

    IMPLICATIONS 1.0: Domestic Politics

    POTUS will NOT intervene again in the Mideast …

    Unless Congress DECLARES WAR.

    Watch POTUS call on Congress to decide what to do.
    • It’s time for Congressional Leadership to rise to the occasion.
    • Let those Senators running for the Presidency “weigh in”.
    • Along with Romney and his Neocon RINO Warmongers.
    • The Public has a RIGHT to KNOW.
    • Transparency is CRITICAL.

    Guess what Presidential Powers are triggered by a Declaration of War.

    Wartime National Security is where TREASON comes into play.

    The Last Refuge

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | October 7, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      Ibib.

      BlackKnightRides says:

      IMPLICATIONS 2.0: Regional Security “Ownership”

      Completely obscured by M$M is President Trump’s International Security Policy:

      Establish Regional Nations’ “Ownership” for their OWN Neighborhood Security.

      • The Gulf Cooperation Council of Mideast nations will UNITE for SURVIVAL
      … or PERISH.

      • They’d better ARM UP for the fight ahead with USA Weaponry that’s the BEST.
      … or invite Russia and China into their tents with COMMUNIST Weaponry they CONTROL.

      • The EU will now OWN the CONSEQUENCES of their FECKLESSNESS
      … after multiplying Islamists in their midst to cultivate Radical Mosques & ISIS Terrorists.

      • NATO Countries can now REARM themselves for the Islamist Invasion through Turkey
      … or HOPE for that EU Army that will CHANGE everything for them.

      1. An AUMF is a declaration of war. It’s silly to imagine that a declaration, to be valid, must include the magic words “we declare war”.

      2. The president has no powers related to treason. Nor does treason require a declaration of war.

1. Trump promised to withdraw in his campaign. So don’t be surprised he is keeping his promise (and that we may be out of Afghanistan before the election).

2. Turkey is a member of NATO and we have nuclear weapons at the airbase there. Pity if something were to happen to them. Who ARE we recruiting for the Military today?

Washington warned against entangling alliances. But the warmongers wanted to keep Nato and “Invade the world to turn the Muslim countries into western democracies”.

How about Making America Great Again?

https://mobile.twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1181232251390042118

    Firewatch in reply to tz. | October 7, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    President Trump’s way of thinking is so much better that previous office holders.

    justaguy in reply to tz. | October 7, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    The US has nuclear weapons at a base in Turkey? Really.

      Relax, they can be removed. Trump is rearranging our military footprint to reflect American interests, not those of globalists using the US military to defend their own personal empires. The current arrangement is like fighting a war on a checkerboard battlefield with black being the enemy and we are red. Put them all in one place behind a line and we can fight them more efficiently. Let the locals battle out their ancient disputes. Too bad for the Kurds but who are the Kurds anyway? I can’t figure them out would certainly not be willing to fight for them.

      Ukraine’s main resource is oil. We are defending Russia’s oil interests there on behalf of oil drillers like Baker Hughes and Schlumberger etal. People never understood that WE are OPEC. But now that Trump is re-establishing our pre-1973 energy independence, these massive US investments in OPEC need to end, especially our insane military entanglements with its insane rules and phony sensitivities to ancient local concerns.

      The American international oil companies need to choose whose side they are on. That will redefine our relationship with Turkey as well as with the Middle East itself. The stars and planets will finally align again with our national interests and we can be stronger with our military at home.

Turkey is an awful ally.

Nevertheless, it is an ally, and—like it or not—that imposes certain obligations on the US.

The big question re. the Kurds is the establishment of Greater Kurdistan as a real country. Everything else is just noise and minor maneuvering around the edges of the problem. Kurdistan would include the western edge of Iran, the northern parts of Syria and Iraq, and a very substantial chunk of eastern Turkey. The problem is that nobody supports creation of such an entity (aside from the Kurds, of course). The politics of the situation has proven intractable since Saladin (a particularly famous Kurd) fought the Crusaders, and it would be rash to expect a breakthrough any day now.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 8, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Turkey forfeited the right to call itself a US ally when it blocked GWB’s plan to invade Iraq from the north. That was the day Bush should have made it US policy to establish Kurdistan.

Why, oh why, do I think that, if the Turks go after the Kurds, there may be some surprises in store for them?

I have no facts to cite, just an odd feeling about the situation.

I agree this appears to be a stab in the Kurd’s back. But with only one thousand troops, just how many years are we to keep them there? Turkey will still be Turkey and their view will be the same.

Did you notice not a peep out of the EU/NATO? They had ample time and notice to deal with this and they didn’t. Trump is doing what he said he would if you recall. People don’t listen to what he says!!! HE ALWAYS MEANS IT!!!!!!!!

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Mark. | October 7, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    And especially don’t believe anything the FAKE MEDIA has to say.

    President and First Lady Trump tower over
    Hillary Clinton Media SUCKA!

    https://imgur.com/E8H4cbQ

    Arminius in reply to Mark. | October 7, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    And we won’t hear a peep out of them. The German Luftwaffe has 128 Eurofighters in it’s inventory. In all of 2018 only 39 (30%) were fully or even partially mission capable (FMC/PMC). Of their older Tornado fighter bombers only 26 of 93 (28%) were either FMC or PMC.

    Transports, trainers, rotary wing aircraft suffer similar low availability rates. Which means pilots can’t train. The NATO goal is 180 flight hours per year. Barely over half of Luftwaffe pilots can meet the NATO standard. In contrast, to compare apples to apples, in FY2017 USAF fighter pilots averaged 196 hours/year, Air Mobility Command (transport) pilots averaged 208 hours/year, and bomber pilots averaged 236 hours/year (transport and bomber aircraft fly much longer sorties than fighters). These kind of flight hours are sufficient to maintain a pilot’s current skills, but to train in new skills a pilot would need to fly an extra weekly flight every month, so for example that would bring annual flight time for a fighter pilot up to 240 hours.

    To put that in perspective, the NATO standard of 180 hours per year by U.S. standards isn’t even adequate to keep a pilot’s current skills sharp, and only just over half of Luftwaffe pilots even get that.

    I don’t know which year I read this interesting factoid; it could have been as late as March of this year. German ground troops were in Afghanistan as late as that month. The Luftwaffe was tasked with either rotating ground troops in and out or retrieving the last batch of soldiers.

    And the Luftwaffe had no available long range transports that could make the flight. All were down for maintenance. The German government had to charter an aircraft for the mission.

    Trump is 100% right when he says our NATO allies need to spend much more than they’re spending on their armed forces. US defense spending amounts to 60% of all NATO spending. As of 2017 only Greece, Estonia, the UK, and Poland were also meeting their NATO commitment. And I’d take the Greek defense spending with a grain of salt because when their economy tanked we learned the Greeks are really, really good at, uh, creative accounting. German armed forces are considered one of the best funded militaries in the world even though they only spend 1.3% of GDP on their armed forces, for below the 2% their NATO commitment requires. Other NATO forces are in even worse shape. As far as I’m concerned most NATO countries have armed forces that are really only good for providing ceremonial units for visiting heads of state to review.

    If you knew your armed forces were only good enough for that, would you make a peep?

      stevewhitemd in reply to Arminius. | October 8, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Excellent point about the German military capability. The rest of Europe isn’t any better. The French expeditionary forces are committed to security in West Africa, the Brits are busy with Brexit, and the Spanish and Italian militaries are in worse shape than the Germans.

      Add to this the need for Germany to play nice with the Turks given the large Turkish minority in Germany, and the reasons for Chancellor Merkel’s lack of public comment become clear.

American Human | October 7, 2019 at 4:22 pm

I expect the Kurds would do more to Turkey than Erdogan thinks they would.
Also, I don’t believe the U.S. has any vital interests in Syria. We could have but Obama let that evaporate into the hot desert sun.

This article is incomplete without reporting Trump’s response to critics about this decision.

He has a huge economic hammer to use on Turkey to keep them in line and will use it if/when Turkey goes rogue in Syria.

Trump is not selling out the Kurds. Far from it.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to VotingFemale. | October 7, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Right.

    President Trump tweeted again today about the economic tools for use against Turkey.

    Let me see if I can find the tweet.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | October 7, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      Donald J. Trump
      ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
      5h5 hours ago – Oct. 7, 2019

      As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over…

      https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1181232249821388801

      His plan better also include providing air support and resupply to the Kurdish forces. We at least owe them that much. When we pulled all our ground forces out of Vietnam we had signed agreements with the Republic of Vietnam to provide air support and resupply.

      We did not live up to our agreements. The ARVN had demonstrated they could go toe to toe with the NVA and defeat them. When the NVA made their final push toward Saigon they were very well equipped with everything they needed. The ARVN were out of almost everything. No matter how good a soldier you are you can’t do much with out ammo for your rifle or artillery. They had very little fuel for their own aircraft, armor, or transport.

      Resistance collapsed pretty quickly. If we let the Kurds find themselves in a similar scenario, they won’t have the time to wait for DJT to destroy the Turkish economy.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | October 8, 2019 at 2:59 am

        Don’t forget who was responsible for our betrayal. President Ford asked Congress to appropriate the necessary funds, but the Democrat-controlled Congress said no. They understood and intended the consequences. They wanted our allies to fall and be slaughtered and enslaved. It was one of the most dishonorable episodes in US history, and it was all the Democrats’ doing.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | October 7, 2019 at 4:40 pm

OH MY!

DC Congress Critters should start calling for the Mountains to Fall on Top of them.

This action is un-masking all the remaining Uni-Party traitors.

Gee this Hilton seems to have a lot more facts on the foreign money taking of Schumer, Pelosi, etc….

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1181249853801877508

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1181249853801877508

The weenies in the Pentagon who say they were blindsided weren’t listening.

The people at the very top of the chain of command apparently weren’t surprised.

The Kurds are not, and have never been our friends – they’ve been the enemy of our enemy. I suspect the GCC has some surprises in store for the Turks. Provided the Kurds are willing to work with them.

The real trouble in dealing with anything in the Middle East is – there are no real nations there, there are clans and tribes, each fighting to be on top.

And there’s this little excerpt on the GCC. There’s been a lot of stuff going on over there, and only a few people analyzing it.
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1181053379365265408.html

either declare war and fight to win using all tools (including tactical nukes) needed to save OUR service members lives.
or get the hell out.
been over in germany as part of a “roadblock” if needed and knowing US politicians will not fight to win kills morale.

I have to call balls and strikes as I see them. Trump has made an incredibly stupid decision on a number of levels.

This is the same criticism I leveled at Obama. He kept talking about “ending wars. As in, “I ended the war in Iraq.” We all know he didn’t because your enemies have something to say about it. Wars don’t just “end;” you have to utterly defeat your enemy. And I hate to tell you this but just because we, with a great deal of help from the Kurds, drove the Islamic State out of Syria does not mean we defeated them. They’ve simply moved on to seize territory in other areas.

Now they’re looking at this and laughing at us. Once more we didn’t finish the job. What are we doing? We’re doing the same thing that Obama did when he pulled all US forces out of Iraq. It’s an ancient concept, and if you know history then you know no good can come of it. It’s called “abandoning your allies in the field.”

Then there is the incredibly stupid idea of making the Turks responsible for captured IS fighters. As far as Erdogan is concerned IS fighters are his natural allies while the Kurds are his enemies. Read the articles. Turkey was facilitating entry for wannabe IS fighters into Syria. Wounded IS fighters could go back into Turkey for medical care.

Erdogan was buying oil at discount prices from the Islamic State, ffs.

Erdogan isn’t going to consider the captured IS fighters prisoners if his forces can throw open the EPW camp gates. He’ll arm them as allies. Then he’ll arm them and he’ll have even more help killing Kurds.

The only problem he had with the Islamic State was when they declared themselves the Caliphate, and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi their Caliph. Erdogan has dreams of rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, with himself as the Sultan/Caliph.

I was going to say that this betrayal will rank up there with how we abandoned Eastern and Central Europe to the tender mercies of the USSR and the puppet governments the Soviets set up. Both groups knew that the pro-Western resistance forces, which remained loyal to their governments in exile in the West, would have to be exterminated. To use their word. And we, the Allies, knew it too but we shrugged and turned our backs on them. Half a million anti-communist Poles fighting with the British refused to return to Poland.

But this could easily turn out worse. There is a school of thought that the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek genocides at the Hands of the Turks in the WWI era served as the model or at least the inspiration for the later Nazi Holocaust of the Jews (and lest we forget other despised groups like the Gypsies). The Turks weren’t as efficient as the Nazis given the technology available at the time. But they killed at least 800,000 Armenians alone (possibly up to 1.5 million) by forced death marches into the Syrian desert, starvation, mass burnings, mass drownings (they’d take barges out into the Black Sea with as many victims they could carry then capsize them), and individual murder. Some victims were gassed, and others were killed by lethal medical experimentation, and those are probably the greatest similarities to the Nazi murder methods. When you consider the Assyrians and the Greeks these genocides had to number in the millions. But nobody really knows; the Turks weren’t as meticulous record keepers as the Germans.

Apparently many Jews during WWII also saw a great deal of similarities between their situation and that of the Armenians. In the 1930s an author from what is now the Czech Republic, Franz Werfel, wrote a novel based on one historic instance of Armenian resistance. The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. In the Warsaw ghetto the Jews passed it from hand to hand before the uprising as a call to resistance.

I can’t really recommend the book because the English translation is too melodramatic for me. But Musa Dagh means mountain of Moses in Turkish. About five years ago when Arab Christians and the Yazidis fled to Mt. Sinjar to escape the Islamic State, I thought of the book. “Here we go again,” I thought, “almost an exact replay of events from 100 years ago.”

Now we’re apparently abandoning the Kurds to both the Turks and the Islamic State. I say apparently because I can only hope we have some secret plan to protect the Kurds from suffering the same fate as the Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Yazidis, and Arab Christians. This is going to sound brutal, but the Kurds better have a plan to kill all their IS prisoners. It’s an act of pure self-defense. There’s no way they can afford to turn them over to Erdogan, who is just as much as an Islamist as their IS prisoners, and whose government did business with them and let them freely pass across the border in and out of Syria.

The Kurds will only end up fighting their former prisoners again.

    Tom Servo in reply to Arminius. | October 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I sympathize with the Kurds, but what are we supposed to do with the IS prisoners? They should never have been taken, they should all have been machine gunned 30 seconds after they surrendered, but they weren’t. (same mistake as those clowns that are STILL in Guantanomo) We can’t be the Middle East’s jailors!

    Now if Turkey crosses the border and tries to to into Iraqi Kurdistan, that will be a big deal that we need to oppose. But Eastern Syria is a no mans land filled with fighting forces, and as long as Turkey’s activities are confined to that area, I don’t think it will be all that significant.

    Barry in reply to Arminius. | October 7, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Geez, Arminius, of all the people posting on here, having read you for several years, you should know:

    We are, collectively, tired of sending our kids to fight wars, die, and be maimed, for – nothing. We get nothing in return. Even when we have a reasonable legitimate interest worth spilling blood for, we will not fight a war, we will just let the boys die while we pretend to do something. We haven’t fought a war to win since 1945.

    So, no. Stop. Get our troops out of the ME and let those dependent on ME oil go there. Let the Germans, the French, the Italians, and the Dutch spill their blood. Or die from starvation. I no longer care which.

      Arminius in reply to Barry. | October 8, 2019 at 9:09 am

      With the utmost respect, Barry, I’ve never understood this formulation.

      “We are, collectively, tired of sending our kids to fight wars, die, and be maimed, for – nothing.”

      We as a nation don’t send kids to fight wars. We send adults to fight wars. Adults who are old enough understand what they are getting into to legally sign an enlistment contract.

      In my case I knew exactly what I was getting into. I was a Coast Guard brat. Which meant through my dad my family received Navy benefits, including medical care. As a child of the sixties some of my earliest memories are of what I saw at the Navy hospital during the height of the Vietnam war. Passageways lined with Sailors and Marines in wheelchairs, horribly burned and maimed. I also remember the prosthetics shop.

      When I joined the Navy nobody “sent” Nobody “sent” this guy, either.

      https://www.blackfive.net/main/2005/08/army_specialist.html

      ” Army Specialist Casey Sheehan – Someone You Should (Have) Know(n)

      Casey Sheehan grew up in a devout Catholic home. He served as an altar boy and then as a key member of his church’s youth group for years.

      ”’He enlisted in the Army when he was twenty years old. He decided to be a mechanic. He would undergo Combat Lifesaver training – a class on how to give IVs and treat trauma only second in intense learning to combat medic training. He was also certified to assist with giving communion to soldiers while in the field.

      Specialist Sheehan re-enlisted in the Army in 2004 knowing full well that he could be sent into a combat zone.

      Casey Sheehan was a Humvee mechanic with the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment.

      … A battle raged across Sadr City. Insurgents assaulted American troops while looters and mobs formed and stormed through the streets. Word spread quickly across the American FOBs that there was trouble.”

      If you’re not familiar with the term FOB stands for Forward Operating Base. In the below paras QRF stands for Quick Reaction Force intended to go in and rescue the pinned down, wounded, and if possible the dead Soldiers.

      “…Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment were ambushed with RPGs and pinned down and dying.

      … Casey Sheehan’s Sergeant asked for volunteers. Sheehan had just returned from Mass. After Sheehan volunteered once, the Sergeant asked Sheehan again if he wanted to go on the mission. According to many reports (and according to his own mother), Casey responded, ‘Where my Chief goes, I go.’

      The QRF was launched. Not long after entering the Mahdi area, the QRF was channeled onto a dead-end street where the roofs were lined with snipers, RPGs, and even some militia throwing burning tires onto the vehicles. The Mahdi blocked the exit and let loose with everything they had.

      Sheehan’s vehicle was hit with multiple RPGs and automatic-weapons fire.

      Specialist Casey Sheehan and Corporal Forest J. Jostes were killed.

      A second QRF was formed – all volunteers – to go rescue the first…”

      Seven men were killed along with Specialist Casey that Palm Sunday, 4 APR 2004.

      The reason I’m bringing up Casey Sheehan is that he joined at 21, not a kid but a grown adult, sometime during the year 2000 when Bill Clinton was still President. Nobody made him do it. Just like nobody made him reenlist when he was 25 either. And when it came to this obviously dangerous mission, his final mission that killed him, not even his own Sergeant “sent” him. He asked for volunteers. Casey volunteered. His Sergeant asked him a second time if he was SURE he wanted to volunteer and Casey Sheehan let him know in no uncertain terms he wanted to volunteer. Even his own mother knows this.

      His own mother is Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist. And after her son was killed she refused to pay her taxes. A few years later she got sued by the IRS and she refused to comply. She would say words to the effect that she gave her son to this country and she would pay her taxes when they can giver her son back to her.

      No, she didn’t give her son to anybody. Her son wasn’t hers to give. It isn’t like he was a six month old puppy. He was fully grown man of twenty one when he made his own mature decision and enlisted the first time, twenty five when he reenlisted the second time, and twenty five on the morning he volunteered TWICE to go on that fatal mission.

      Is it that we should “avoid foreign entanglements?” That’s what the founders originally thought. The Continental Navy had been almost entirely ineffective during the Revolutionary war. Most ships were converted merchant ships. The Continental Congress did authorize a number of purpose built warships. Frigates, which were completely outmatched by the Royal Navy. The mission was to protect American shipping from the RN, and disrupt British shipping. After the war ended the last ship of the Continental Navy was auctioned off by 1785, for years before the Constitution had been ratified.

      But within a few years the founders realized a nation that depended so heavily on maritime trade needed a navy to protect it’s merchant shipping so Congress passed, and President Washington signed into law the Naval Act of 1794 authorizing six heavy frigates (these would not be outclassed by anything in the Royal Navy; they would prove capable of taking on and defeating two RN frigates, and they were fast enough to outrun the battle ships of the day or ships of the line).

      These intent from the start was that these would operate in trouble spots far from the US. Specifically the Mediterranean where the Arab states of Barbary Coast of North Africa were seizing American merchant ships along with their cargos, enslaving their crews, and the only way to get these men back was to bay extortionate ransoms.

      The American merchant ships were flying a different flag and the Barbary pirates realized the ships were no longer under the protection of the RN. The alternative was to pay tribute and the pirates would leave American merchantmen alone but their demands were so high it would have bankrupted the federal treasury. We had to deal with a little nuisance called the Quasi-War with France (quasi because it was undeclared) which isn’t very interesting, but by 1801 the six frigates had been built; the USS President, USS Congress, USS United States, USS Chesapeake, USS Constellation, and USS Constitution, we had that nuisance war with France out of the way, and an American fleet in the Med to teach those pirates those pirates a lesson they’d never forget. It took us four years as it was a steep learning curve. And we had to land a force of Marines, Sailors, and some local forces combined with a seaward assault to take the fortified port city of Derna in the regency of Tripoli (the most stubborn of the Barbary coast states) to get the job done if only temporarily. Sometimes the lesson doesn’t sink in the first time.

      As an aside, Marine 1LT Pressley O’Bannon became the first American fighting man to raise the flag of the United States over a captured fortress in the Old World. Hence the line “…to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Corps Hymn. The American led force repulsed several counterattacks, then a spirited bayonet charge broke the back of the city’s resistance. Apparently it really impressed the locals. For years the women would sing about it using words like, “Din din Mohamed U Ryas Melekan manhandi,” which means “Mohamed for religion and the Americans for stubbornness.”

      The USN is still operating globally conducting Freedom of Navigation Operations so, say the Chinese don’t get cocky and think they can claim the entire South China Sea. And of course still fighting pirates. We hate pirates. Here’s one example why, although it’s technically not piracy as if it takes place in a nations territorial waters it’s robbery. But our Amphibious Readiness Group was transiting the Malacca Straight at night. I’m riding in USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3). Around midnight we get a mayday from a USN fast attack sub that’s not with us but near us. It’s transiting on the surface but it’s too shallow to dive. Pirates are attacking it because, believe it, or not they think it’s a merchant vessel. Fast attack subs have very little in the way to defend themselves with when they’re on the surface. So we launch a few USMC AH-1 Cobras that were armed and ready on deck and, problem solved. If any of them lived I’ll bet they were more careful about making sure to identify the ship before attacking it.

      In 2009 pirates seized the American flagged M/V Maersk Alabama was seized by Somali pirates, and they ended up taking the captain hostage. In 2013 Tom Hanks starred in a movie about it called Captain Phillips. But here’s a short documentary about the real event.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMvGIqa-ZlM

      “The Real Maersk Alabama/Somali Pirate story (Never seen before footage)”

      I believe you misdiagnose the problem. We don’t actually have long wars. We have poor quality generals advising clueless politicians. Maybe you remember, maybe you don’t, but during Desert Storm 1 Colin Powell kept talking about his “Pottery Barn” rule; if you break it, you bought it.

      Always fire a general if they ever mentions the Pottery Barn in any context other than their wife dragged them there over the weekend. No, we are not obligated to stay for years and do nation building.

      In fact, one reason our general and flag officers were so much better in WWII is that anyone in a combat command and they didn’t measure up in just a couple of months they were fired and sent back to the states. It wasn’t career ending; they were given another assignment back home and they might even make it back into combat later. But firing general and flag officers makes the ones you keep more effective.

      Define a military objective that marks an end point so you know when the job is done. Then leave. May I mention again, NO nation building.

      David Petraeus I put in the same category as Colin Powell. He put together the counter insurgency manual and everyone praised it to high heaven. My counter insurgency manual would have been one sentence long. “If you know what victory looks like, if you define your ultimate objective correctly and leave when you achieve it, our forces won’t be in this sh*thole long enough for these people to organize an insurgency.”

      I’m not saying go it alone, but coalition warfare is for is for prostitutes. In Desert Storm 1 we had something like 40 countries. So George H.W. Bush’s objective was to keep the coalition together. How do you make sure you can’t define a sensible military objective? Have Syria in your coalition, who only wants to be in the coalition to work against you. Keep your coalition small, limit it to only countries you know share the same goal.

      May I mention again, no nation building? Also don’t put together a laundry list of conditions on a ceasefire. After desert storm we had troops squatting the in Saudi desert for twelve years. That, like nation building, just makes you a target. Khobar Towers, anyone? Preferably skip the ceasefire and just go straight tor the unconditional surrender.

      In this case, since the Kurds have essentially been our infantry since we really only had a very few advisers in Syria, I recommend that we make sure the Kurds and especially Erdogan not only know that we’ll destroy Turkey’s economy to protect the Kurds. But that we will provide air and land attack missile support as well as resupply. Because the world needs to see we didn’t just use them and throw them away. Because that’s going to convince other locals that we are unreliable allies. And we won’t have locals willing to be our infantry if we need ground forces. So we’ll have only our Army and Marines to turn to. In other words we’ll have to over rely on our own “kids” and I think we can all agree that’s a bad thing. If we can get the locals who are fighting for their own homes to ally with us that’s better.

I remember how Democrats castigated Bush for going into Iraq. They called Iraq the “bad war” while demanding we get more deeply involved in Afghanistan. Then under Obama Democrat’s flip-flopped and demanded unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan. So much for “the good war”!

So Trump is making the best of a bad situation by cutting and running. Let’s not bandy words here: as bad as Islamofascism is, the Democrat Party’s push to turn the US into a communist hellhole is a MUCH more pressing issue. I don’t think for one second that Democrats and Establishment Republicans give a flying f**k about the Kurds, but they DO care about bashing Trump.

Here is the Kurdish problem in a nutshell. The Kurds are not a national entity, they are a loose confederation of tribes, which inhabit, or have inhabited, territory in the existing nations of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey. And, the ultimate ambition of these tribes is to create the independent state of Kurdistan which would encompass territory now belonging to these established nations. Is the US prepared to use military force against these four nations in order to establish a tribal nation in the middle east?

The interesting thing about the outrage at withdrawing troops from Syria is the history of the people in DC pushing for the US to remain there. The US directly and indirectly supported the Syrian rebels, many of whom were Al Qaeda, Hamas and people who would become high ranking figures in ISIS/L. John McCain was actually photographed with known members of these groups in Syria. The US financed Civil War result in the loss of control of the Eastern Syria, by the Assad government. This allowed for the split between ISIS/L and the other Islamic radical organizations which made up a significant portion of the rebel movement. As ISIS/L grew, it took control of most of the eastern areas of Syria and it was able to expand into Iraq, which the US had abandoned. The US was forced to return to Iraq to stop ISIS. Now, the hawks are screaming for continued stationing of troops in Afghanistan, which has NO strategic value for the US and which we should have been out of in 2005, when it was determined, for sure, that Osama Bin Ladin was not in the country any longer, or was possibly dead. They are screaming for US troops to be stationed on the territory of the sovereign nation of Syria, which has ordered all foreign troops out of its territory. If Syria wishes to invite the US to station troops inside its territory, it can do that. Can anyone imagine the uproar, if Cuba landed a battalion of troops in Miami to protect Cuban refugees?

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | October 8, 2019 at 3:12 am

    There you go again. Bashir Assad is not a legitimate ruler and has no right to any say whatsoever over the territory in question. He has no rights that we ought to take into account.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | October 8, 2019 at 9:44 am

      “Bashir Assad is not a legitimate ruler…”

      Outside of Israel, what ruler in the ME do you consider legitimate?

      Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | October 8, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      LOL. I love it when you channel HRC.

      Syria IS a sovereign nation. It is recognized by the international community as such. And Assad is most certainly the “legitimate” head of state. And, that means that Syria enjoys all of the rights and privileges enjoyed by every other nation in the world. This idea that the US is somehow an Uber-Nation which gets to make its own rules is insane.

nobody seems to have noticed that what he is proposing is a three front war in Syria, Iraq, and Iran which each have a Kurdish population plus there are many Kurds in Turkey.

Look the Kurds did not get a blank check until they took over lands belonging to other countries and formed their own. We have been protecting the Kurds for several decades. Decades– longer than too many here have been born. There is a point where they have to compromise and solve their issues and settle– the Kurds haven’t. As mentioned above– they are a bunch of different ethnic tribes, and have very different goals– some are outright enemies.

Trump basically said time is up. Trump is making a play to keep Turkey on Europe’s side– and if anyone isn’t seeing the Turkey slide against us– they aren’t looking— the Russian Bear isa different Bear than he was 30 years ago.

With this move, Trump has made Turkey a barrier between Iran and its interests in Lebanon. Additionally, I am sure the Kurds are now well trained and well supplied…and Trump has threatened Turkey with economic warfare if it goes “off limits”.

Turkey can ask Iran how that feels.

But, almost as brilliantly as ending an engagement that should have been limited in the first place, and bringing Americans back home…the move removed Impeachment Inquiry Theater off the media today nearly entirely.

Best. President. Ever.

    Besides, it’s not about the Kurds. It’s about major oil pipelines. It’s Europe’s problem. One of those pipelines is Russian and competes against the other pipeline. Europe can’t expect us to fight for their muddied interests. They can buy our oil directly or Israeli natgas but they choose to waffle. Unwilling to fight and unwilling to use available alternatives.

    Too bad for the Kurds but if it wasn’t for the oil, no one would even know who the Kurds are. Typical neocon cover for the true underlying reason. That’s why we don’t fight to “win”.

Trump pulled back, what, 50 people and relocated them elsewhere but nearby.

Trump has put Syria, Kurdish Syria, Turkey, Russia and Iran in charge of their own mess.

Trump has also said that, NATO alliance not withstanding, the USA will not be part of warring for a region that hates us.

Trump has also handed back to Europe the fruits of their own decisions They don’t want captured ISIS fighters from their own countries back?

Fine. They are not our problem. Live with the consequences of their own policy.

The Left go crazy because Orange Man bad.

Neocons are furious because they are not getting another war.

Solution? Anybody that wants a fight, suit up.

Win, Win.

Trump is a change agent. His refusal to play word games and instead state the blunt truth has ripped the mask off so many hypocrites and left them standing bare.

I would like to know the real and entire story. Is it really one of “Trump paving the way for Turkey to invade the Kurds in Syria” or is it a case of Turkey was going to invade and there was nothing Trump could do to stop the invasion so Trump is removing our troops to avoid casualties from a fight where we could not make any real difference. Given Erdogan’s temperament, his lack of respect towards America, his hatred towards the Kurds, and his bullheadedness, I would suspect that this case is more of the latter than anything else, but the media wants to paint Trump is the worst possible light. How esle to better cause dissension within conservative ranks than to bring up something as an appearance of military/defense policy malfeasance?

For decades a group has been making the case for WHY we should back the Kurds (or engage in middle east wars). But after decades they haven’t proposed a viable plan for HOW to do it. The onus should be on them to explain how to win. At the moment, they don’t have an answer so they keep arguing that we need to continue the failed policy because that’s the way we always did it before.

There’s what we want. There’s what we want the kurds to want (or delude ourselves into believing they want). Then there’s what the kurds actually want. The middle east has always been very good at helping you believe your fantasies while they live their reality.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 8, 2019 at 10:32 am

Syria is a start. Now, move our European bases to countries worthy of our help, or, bring them home. And enough of Afghanistan.

I live in rural Michigan and suspect this will play much better in the areas that actually supply the troops. Let the mideast fight among themselves and only retaliate if they strike at us.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend