Well, just what the hell do they expect?

So President Trump, after a long conversation with President Erdogan of Turkey, decided to pull US troops back from the area of Syria where Turkey wants to establish a “buffer zone” or “neutral zone”.  In doing so, it may expose some elements of Kurdish forces – elements already recognized by the USA as terrorists – to Turkish retaliation or aggression or whatever you want to call it.  Now, neocons and other right-wing voices are raised in righteous condemnation, calling President Trump’s decision a “betrayal” or a “mistake” or a “blunder” or whatever.

Just what the hell did they expect?

Would somebody please tell me what, in that part of the world, is worth one more US life?  What is the compelling reason driving the United States to get involved in yet another shooting war, thousands of miles beyond its borders?  Which of our national security interests are involved there?  For the life of me, I can’t see even one.

I think President Trump’s explanation summed it up succinctly.

Trump defended his decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

There’s more at the link.

Commander Salamander, with his usual clarity of thought, puts it in perspective.

I can argue both sides, but if the option is to garrison N. Syria until the crack of doom, or let Turks, Persians, Babylonians, Israelis, Kurds, and Arabs do with each other what they have been doing since the dawn of civilization in that area without our help, I’ll go with the latter.

. . .

Syria has never been in the USA’s sphere of influence. The Kurds cannot hide behind the USA forever and we cannot house and feed the European based captured ISIS fighters forever.

Unless you support our forces there indefinitely, then accept that there will never be a good time to leave. If there is never a good time, then the best time is now.

. . .

I know empire is a habit, time to start breaking it.

Again, more at the link.

The United States can no longer afford the burden of being the world’s policeman, and it certainly can’t afford to impose its will on everyone around the globe.  Those days are long gone.  “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best“, as Bismarck pointed out.  It was no longer possible to maintain the status quo in Syria;  therefore, President Trump made the judgment call to pull our forces back, rather than risk their lives in yet another war that cannot be won.

I’ve been on the front lines of a war like that – a war that the political masters on both sides kept going for years longer than it need have lasted, solely because of their intransigence and blinkered vision.  Many paid for those shortcomings in blood;  but it was never the politicians who paid.  It was always the men in uniform.  I don’t want to see any more American service personnel have to pay such a futile, pointless, yet permanent and irreversible price.

I think President Trump made the right call.



  1. Peter
    I served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam in a war we were not allowed to win. Our own politicians prevented us from fighting this war to win.
    The same holds true today in the middle east. Not just Syria, the entire middle east.
    We could have easily won in Iraq etc
    and just left. Not staying to rebuild. Just told them don’t poke the bear or we will come back.
    I am sure they would no longer support terrorism against the USA along with the rest of the countries in the middle east.
    Paul in Texas

  2. This is a good thing. The Good Kurds will have a chance to get rid of the Bad Kurds and will be able to consolidate their positions in northern Iraq and Iran, and hopefully carving out their own nation, finally, from those two failing states.

    Let Turkey attempt to wipe out the Bad Kurds, as they have been trying for over a thousand years.

    It’s been time to pull out of Syria and other failed states. We gave them the time to try nationalism, and all they want over there is tribalism. If we’re not there to focus their attention on us, they’ll just transfer their attention onto each other. Win-Win for us, especially now that we’ve drilled and fracked our way to energy independence.

    Speaking of which, Trump’s Administration opened up oil and gas leases on Federal Lands in California. Muhahahahahahahahahahaa… How perfect. Califrutopiastan is trying to crack down on petroleum and nat gas, and Trump et al does a friggin endrun around them, for the win. Now do oil and gas leases more than 3 miles off the Cali Coast, and watch more heads explode. Please? Pretty Please? With petroleum products on top!!!

  3. Pull out of the ME, Afghanistan, and Germany for a start. We don’t need an advanced medical facility in the EU if we aren’t in places we shouldn’t be getting shot or blown up.

    Let the Muslims continue their 1000-year old civil war without out us in the way.

  4. It is embarrassing to admit, but I was just plain duped by Bush & Company on Iraq. In retrospect, they used the national rage over 9/11 to sell us on a war that made everything worse that it was already.

    And why are we in Afghanistan?

    “God grant me the serenity to accept…” and all that follows.
    The endless battles in the mid-east fall squarely into the realm of “things we cannot change.”

    And it doesn’t take much in the way of wisdom to see that.

  5. Hey all these cuckservatives who want Americans fighting in Syia can hop on a plane, fly over, and join the Kurdish forces. But none of them are willing to put their own asses on the line.

  6. Joe McCarthy wad right. The State Department is the enemy. They have a long track record of declaring allies to be terrorists and enemies.

    We helped murder an entire Brigade of allies (men and women) in Iraq 15 year ago, just because the State Department had declared them to be “terrorists” on behalf of the Iranian government. It was a shameful stain on our honor.

  7. McChuck – Joe McCarthy’s list of commies and commie friends in the State Department came from… the State Department’s own internal investigations.

    Yet Joe got slammed for using their own info against them.

  8. Trump has asked the Pentagon for their recommendation on how to win, they didn’t give him an option (or at lest not one not of the ‘desert called peace’ variety) and so rather than staying in place without a clear way to win, he’s pulling out

    this shouldn’t be a surprise. Unlike other presidents pulling out, he hasn’t crippled the military with insane rules of engagement or other limits. He has shown elsewhere that he is willing to back the troops.

    But if there isn’t a clear way to win, why should we have troops there?

    Now, not having troops there doesn’t mean not having airpower in the area, and it doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to be monitoring what happens there. I fully expect that Turkey is going to go too far and get slapped back a few times.

    But peace cannot be enforced by outsiders, peace only happens when _both_ sides in a fight decide to end it.

    I think that there is a valid case for creating a Kurdestan, but that’s not something that the US can do on it’s own (let alone the President on his own without the ability to get treaties through congress)

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