Thiessen’s column finally takes the regime to task

https://www.pilotonline.com/opinion/vp-ed-column-thiessen-1012-20191010-bebanx4gxng4jij3fmbssvlzoq-story.html

Trump’s sudden withdrawal per Erdogan’s demands is setting up for disaster.

Not just the Kurds losses, but the ISIS prisoner SNAFU. Some say it is not our problem. ISIS is, in my opinion, our problem. And, as Thiessen notes, who is going to help fight the resurgence as thousands of prisoners rejoin their groups?

Bush the Elder quipped that if we break Iraq, we own it. Well, we did and we do. And Iraq was the fuse for the whole “shootin’ match Tonto”.

We can’t fix the Middle East by ourselves. Perhaps no one can. But setting up our allies for slaughter to soothe a dictator’s demands is a back stabbing worthy only of our president. He has shown the underside of many busses to staffers, appointees and long time associates. Why not the Kurds?

They’re just a bunch of Muslims anyway. And Trump was pretty clear about his feelings towards them during his campaign and tenure.

IMHO

23 thoughts on “Thiessen’s column finally takes the regime to task

  1. While the foreign policy situation in Syria is complicated and our relationship with the Kurds was not going to be permanent, the thoughtless “rip the bandaid off” approach taken by trump has made a bad situation worse.

    Trump has once again undermined the security of Our country and betrayed his oath of office.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed. Already detainees have fled and the ISIS flag was raised in some part of the territory. Of course Trump has fired anyone who knows anything about foreign policy and military strategies.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Let’s strip away the romanticism about the Kurds and look at the situation from the ground up.

    First, they are not our allies because they support Truth, Justice and the American Way. They want a homeland consisting of parts of Iraq,Syria, Iran and Turkey. They probably should have gotten it when the Ottoman Empire collapsed 100 years ago, but that’s not how the British divided it up. They were our allies against Saddam and the Bathists because they wanted the northern 3rd of Iraq as the first piece of their desired homeland. For all practical purposes, they have that.

    But the fly in the ointment was that ISIS wants pretty much the same territory as the start of their Caliphate. ISIS is a problem only because of the arms they got from Libya when Obama decided to overthrow Gadahfi in favor of the Islamist Muslin Brotherhood and then tried to overthrow Asaad in favor of Islamist rebels there. The Kurds are our allies there not because they are anti-terrorist but because they want the same Turf as ISIS and needed our help to take if from both ISIS and Asaad.

    But the Russians only naval base in the Med is in Syria and they were not going to let Asaad fall. So, with ISIS defeated, Syria winds up partly under Asaad ‘s control and partly held by the Kurds and partly held by assorted other groups.

    But the Kurds are also fomenting rebellion in Turkey, with active terrorist activities in Turkey that has taken 2000 lives in the last 2 years.

    They are not ‘on our side’ they are using us to further their quest to unite “Kurdistan’

    So, how is it our obligation to help them take over part of Turkey by shielding them on the Syrian side of the border?

    Our common interests ended with the fall of ISIS. What is our national interest in continuing to bail them out in their aggression against Turkey? It is not our fight.

    If we continue to back them, what is the end game? How do we know when to have a parade and come home? Do we stick with them in a war with Turkey, and perhaps later, Iran?

    When does it stop? How many American soldiers are we willing to lose to win the Kurds a homeland?

    Because now, that’s what it is about.

    The Turks are being brutal about it, but that’s how the Muslim world works.

    When is it enough? When do we come home and stop meddling in other peoples fights?

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      1. There will always be repercussions for pulling out.

        I originally supported taking Saddam out, but I was wrong,

        Occupying Iraq was a mistake and got us mired there. Meddling in Libya and the Syria only got us in deeper. Everything we do and every day we stay just makes it worse.

        This mess is a sunk cost and pursuing sunk costs is always a mistake.

        What national interest is at stake now and in the future?

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    1. @Tabor
      So, the thrust of your argument is that the Kurds have been our allies because, gee, it has been in their interests to be our allies. Stop the presses!

      Whatever, their motive, they HAVE been our allies and their betrayal by Trump is a national disgrace. He did not consult with them or anyone else, did not have a plan to carefully extricate us from the region and gave them literally zero warning that he had green lighted a Turkish assault on them and their families.

      BTW, if memory serves, you have stated that Russia seizing Crimea because there were ethnic Russians living there was natural and just. So how are the Kurds different? Their aspirations are legitimate and we could back them with respect to lands in Iraq and Syria if not Turkey for the moment. No good reason to throw them under the Turkish tank.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have said that I am sympathetic with their desires and that the British should have left them with a homeland, but that doesn’t mean we have to help them get it, any more than we should help the Russian retake the Crimea.

        I wish them well, but it is not our fight. If you feel compelled to help them, send your children, not someone elses’.

        Trump promised to get us out of these endless wars, and that is what he is doing. But any time we step away from one of these quagmires, someone is going to get hurt. That goes for Iraq and Afghanistan too. When we leave those places, people who sided with us will be at risk, The alternative is to keep feeding the problems our best young people forever.

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  3. So we have set a precedence by permitting Turkey, a NATO member, to invade and take possession of land in a sovereign nation.

    ISIS was our creation as the stepchild of extremism unleashed in Iraq. So it was not only in our interest to get them out of their claimed caliphate, it was our obligation. It may have been in the Kurd’s interest also, but we were fortunate to have them do all the heavy lifting instead of incurring 10,000 American casualties in lieu of their fighters.

    We also know that the Kurds are detaining 10,000 ISIS fighters, some of whom have already escaped. If the Turkish slaughter continues, the rest will escape also. That is beyond stupid by our president. Not only is he disregarding the Kurds’ sacrifices, but some of ours and billions of dollars to boot. Not to mention how we will deal with the new waves of terrorism.

    Now do you see our national interest in this?

    We should be looking out for our interest in the great benefit of having Kurds in Northern Syria and Iraq to keep a close eye on ISIS. They have a huge incentive, they are there and they are trained. Then we can minimize our presence to just enough to keep Erdogan inside his own border.

    We shouldn’t give a crap about Erdogan’s political future since he has no interest in policing ISIS.

    Trump is posturing to look decisive only he picked the wrong time and place…as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “So we have set a precedence by permitting Turkey, a NATO member, to invade and take possession of land in a sovereign nation.”

      The sovereign nation in question is Syria, not Kurdistan.

      And we, along with our allies, the Kurds, are also invaders there.

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      1. And the thousands of ISIS prisoners? Who is going to prevent a resurgence of those folks once the Kurds are slaughtered?

        You consider that a better outcome?

        Syria is exhausted. Iraq is weak. Turkey doesn’t give a crap. Without the Kurds and our assistance, minimal as it may be, the threat will return. And there is no doubt that the US is on their list of preferred targets.

        It is not a matter of sunk costs, but rather protecting our considerable investment in keeping the prime terrorist organization in the world on the defensive.

        And for now, the cost for us guaranteeing the Kurds safety for mop ups and detaining ISIS is zip compared to having to recreate an offensive alone.

        This is a win win for us and the Kurds and a good stopgap for terror that have already paid for.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That might be arguable but for the fact that the Kurds are committing acts of terrorism inside Turkey. We cannot defend that behavior.

          We need to get our troops out of the mid east and let them work out their boundaries.

          It is one thing for us to support an ally with arms and funds, but we need to get our people out of there.

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          1. And ISIS? Just a lost cause I suppose.

            PKK may be a problem in eastern Turkey, but they are not the ones fighting in Syria. We are not defending them.

            We can get out if Turkey does too.

            Think about it. For the freed ISIS fighters, Turkey is now their ally.

            “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That is a pretty well established mantra in that part of the world.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. ISIS?

            The Kurds are already making peace with Asaad and the Russians, and will get an autonomous zone in Eastern Syria similar to what they have in Iraq, Asaad, the Kurds, and the Russians will deal with ISIS, which is what we should have let happen in the first place.

            Quite simply, the Russians understand how to deal with such groups better than we do, or have the stomach for.

            It would have been better, sooner, had we never gone there, and will be better for our leaving.

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      2. The Kurds are invaders? I thought they should have gotten a sovereign state of their own when the Brits started drawing lines in the sand 100 years ago? Didn’t you say that? Kind of pretzel logic thinking again on your part. Saying one thing and then saying the opposite.

        While getting out of endless wars is a noble thing, it needs to be done in a manner that protects others, especially those who stood, not side by side, but in front of us in the fight against ISIS. Leaving the Kurds to their own devices, including turning to Syria and Russia, to defend themselves is a poor way of thanking those who saved a metric butt ton of American lives.

        And how did Russia do in Afghanistan? Seems to me they don’t understand the ME any more than you or Trump, or ANYONE for that matter.

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        1. The Russians were doing just fine in Afghanistan until we started providing the Taliban with antiaircraft missiles.

          Yes, I said the British should have carved up the Ottoman Empire differently, 100 YEARS AGO. Right now, the Kurds are fomenting rebellion inside Turkey and sending terrorists across the border. We can’t be a party to that.

          It’s not our job to correct mistakes the British made a century ago. But if you think that is justified, you are welcome to volunteer the fight with the Kurds, or send YOUR children, but not other people’s children.

          It is not our fight.

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          1. I’ll remember you said that when ISIS comes knocking at your compound gates.

            Even our military, who served and fought side by side with the Kurds are absolutely heartbroken over what is happening. This is akin to the feelings Marines had over Falujah when we pulled out of there. And several foreign policy experts have said this country has lot all credibility with our allies by Trump’s misguided, Erdogan driven decision.

            …”the Kurds are fomenting rebellion inside Turkey and sending terrorists across the border. ” You are repeating Erdogan’s BS. Just as bad as repeating Trump’s BS. Only this time it is costing actual lives. Are there extremists acting as terrorists in Turkey that claim to represent all of the Kurds? Probably. But it is only Turkey that claims ALL of the Kurds are terrorists. Akin to Trump’s ranting about Muslims. And Mexicans. And anybody else that isn’t blonde haired, blue eyed and orange skinned.

            Like

    1. How many lives have we lost standing with the Kurds? Not in fighting ISIS, but in defending the Kurds from Turkish aggression? And there was no threat as long as our troops were in place. Your hypothesis is misplaced and inaccurate in this instance.

      Like

        1. Doesn’t matter. Any time you stop supporting an ally, the other allies will question the commitment. Our international integrity has been severely hampered by this president. I have the feeling you are a bit of an isolationist, but that is not the way the world is today.

          America first can translate to America alone and that ain’t good for the country. -IMHO

          Like

          1. When Japan attacked the US, bringing us into WW2, we crushed the Nazis and Japan in 3 1/2 years.

            We have been fighting the Taliban, which has no industrial base, for 14 years. We’re not doing it right.

            Same for ISIS, either go to war, or don’t.

            I went to my 1st grade grandchild’s Fun Run last week, and one of the children was surprised by the unexpected return of her father from his 4th deployment to Afghanistan. Most of that child’s life her father was on the other side of the world in peril defending people who hate us.

            That is unacceptable.

            Like

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