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    • Meh ..... Roebuck works for State. I'd expect this to be released to the press by that den of thieves. Senior officials within State are notorious in their uniform dislike of Trump and his often erratic FP.

      There's actually more to this story. Mazloum reportedly told Roebuck this on Thursday and also told him that if the US didn't want to protect them to get out of the way so the Syrians or the Russians can take over the air-space.

      Look, I remain unconvinced that it was a good idea for the US to pull back from the area that the Turks have said they want to establish as a security zone and to resettle the 1/2 Million Syrian refugees that are now in Turkey. But neither am I convinced that it was a bad idea.

      I can see how this might precipitate this Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, as it it is called, to turn to the more practical issue of figuring out how to (1) Keep the Kurds and Turks from fighting (2) Find a way to stabilize the security situation in Syria and (3) Resettle the displaced Syrian civilians in secure areas of Syria.

      I don't see this as a US problem to deal with, frankly. Apparently, BO didn't either. It may be a dicey situation with the Russians in Syria but I can't confirm or deny that they are in love with the Kurds and willing to go to bat for them. I guess we'll see but meanwhile the US isn't placed in the position of being a policeman in the deserts of the ME where tribalism has prevailed for centuries and continues to be a major source of religious and sectarian fighting. Let them be.
      On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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      • It's heading where I said it would. It'll eventually become impossible to continue denying there was any quid pro quo and they'll change the story to "Yeah there was one, but that's not a bad thing"

        ********************

        Sondland is expected to say that for months before the Sept. 9 message, he worked at the direction of Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, to secure what he would call in another text message the “deliverable” sought by Trump: a public statement from Ukraine that it would investigate corruption, including mentioning Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, by name. In exchange for the statement, the president would grant Ukraine’s new president a coveted White House audience. “It was a quid pro quo, but not a corrupt one,” the person familiar with Sondland’s testimony said.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...859_story.html

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        • Pentagon announces a total withdrawal (aka a retreat) from Northern Syria. The Kurds are completely on their own. This is despicable and sad. And today there are reports that hundreds of ISIS prisoners have escaped from a major prison camp after the Kurds guarding them were attacked by Turkey



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          • Would encourage folks to listen to the interviews Sec of Defense Esper is giving this morning. Sounds pretty clear that Erdogan told Trump that was invading Syria, whether he liked it or not, and that Trump better get the Americans out of the way. The Russians are on the march with Assad's troops from the South as well.

            And because we have a transactional President, who believes loyalty is a one-way street, he caved to Erdogan's threats and ordered withdrawal. With no apparent planning or advance notice to the troops on the ground. Trump got cowed or goosed by Erdogan, however you want to put it.





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              • I'll note that the Trump Org has considerable business interests in Turkey. None in greater Kurdistan.

                Maybe that's irrelevant and doesn't impact his decision-making in any way. But can you ever be completely confident about that, knowing Trump?

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                • The past three administrations going back about 10 years and including W's were unwilling to intervene in Syria's civil war to the extent necessary to topple Assad. Lessons learned from the Iraq fiasco I guess. Let's keep that in perspective here.

                  Erdogan has one strategic goal: eradicate the threat to his hold on power that the Kurds have presented ever since he became a political force in Turkey. If that means he gets help from the Russians in doing that even though the Russians only have tangential strategic goals in the region - restore Assad and some degree of order in that sand box/replace the US as the primary military force there - fine. Neither of these three nations are going to allow ISIS to regroup and use Syria as a base to do that. As well, there are limits to what the Russians can do militarily in the ME as significant as that of the US. They can play in the sand to their hearts content and I'd argue their style of governance and political culture fits that tribal region way better than that of the US.

                  Let's look at US strategic interests in the ME: Isolate Iran economically and prevent their ascension as the predominant power in the region. Support Israel. Strengthen SA and the allied Gulf States as a back stop to Iranian adventurism, including exercising any control over sea lanes, in the region. History tells us that strong men, regardless of a lack of democratic principals or concern for human rights, have been the primary movers of stability and free movement in critical shipping lanes in the region. The policy of eliminating these types on the basis that they were brutal dictators has created the insecurity there and until just recently the vacuums in stable governments this policy created gave rise to world wide terror attacks by Islamofacist groups that filled that vacuum.

                  So, fuck that place. Let the Arabs figure this shit out and support their efforts to an appropriate extent in doing so. One can call this a humiliating rebuff - defeat if you will - of US policy in the region or you can call it a responsible strategic withdrawal or realignment of the strategic goals of the US.
                  On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                    • ...... and the second coming of Christ is near. Prepare for the end times.
                      On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                      • Originally posted by Jeff Buchanan View Post
                        ...... and the second coming of Christ is near. Prepare for the end times.
                        Which will make a LOT of the Religious Right very very happy.
                        2012 Detroit Lions Draft: 1) Cordy Glenn G , 2) Brandon Taylor S, 3) Sean Spence olb, 4) Joe Adams WR/KR, 5) Matt McCants OT, 7a) B.J. Coleman QB 7b) Kewshan Martin WR

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                        • I recommend that you ignore all the bull-shit coming from various quarters that imply the US has abandoned the Kurds, formerly imprisoned ISIS fighters and their families are escaping captivity, will regroup and threaten the world with increased terrorist attacks. Seems like their commander doesn't think that is what happened or will happen.

                          I also warned that this is a complicated mess; that stabilizing Syria might be the most important outcome of the US withdrawal and it will come from the treasuries and lost lives of the Russians and the Assad regime, not the US. From the mouth of the Kurd's CINC, Mazloum Abadi:

                          The forces that I command are now dedicated to protecting one-third of Syria against an invasion by Turkey and its jihadi mercenaries. The area of Syria we defend has been a safe refuge for people who survived genocides and ethnic cleansings committed by Turkey against the Kurds, Syriacs, Assyrians, and Armenians during the last two centuries.

                          We guard more than 12,000 Islamic State terrorist prisoners and bear the burden of their radicalized wives and children. We also protect this part of Syria from Iranian militias.

                          When the whole world failed to support us, the United States extended its hands. We shook hands and appreciated its generous support. At Washington’s request, we agreed to withdraw our heavy weapons from the border area with Turkey, destroy our defensive fortifications, and pull back our most seasoned fighters. Turkey would never attack us so long as the U.S. government was true to its word with us.

                          We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives.

                          President Donald Trump has been promising for a long time to withdraw U.S. troops. We understand and sympathize. Fathers want to see their children laughing on their laps, lovers want to hear the voices of their partners whispering to them, everyone wants to go back to their homes.

                          We, however, are not asking for American soldiers to be in combat. We know that the United States is not the world police. But we do want the United States to acknowledge its important role in achieving a political solution for Syria. We are sure that Washington has sufficient leverage to mediate a sustainable peace between us and Turkey.

                          We believe in democracy as a core concept, but in light of the invasion by Turkey and the existential threat its attack poses for our people, we may have to reconsider our alliances. The Russians and the Syrian regime have made proposals that could save the lives of millions of people who live under our protection. We do not trust their promises. To be honest, it is hard to know whom to trust.


                          https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/13...rkey-genocide/
                          On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                          • In other fully anticipated news, this sort of stuff started coming out yesterday. Trump's "Greatest Deal in the History of US Trade" - the one with China that is definitely not one- is being taken for the bull-shit it usually is (the link has more of the scant details of the agreement):

                            “There is not yet a viable path to existing tariffs declining, and tariff escalation remains a meaningful risk,” the bank wrote. “Thus, we do not yet expect a meaningful rebound in corporate behavior that would drive global growth expectations higher.”

                            https://www.marketwatch.com/story/do...=mw_quote_news
                            On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                            • Originally posted by Jeff Buchanan View Post
                              In other fully anticipated news, this sort of stuff started coming out yesterday. Trump's "Greatest Deal in the History of US Trade" - the one with China that is definitely not one- is being taken for the bull-shit it usually is (the link has more of the scant details of the agreement):

                              “There is not yet a viable path to existing tariffs declining, and tariff escalation remains a meaningful risk,” the bank wrote. “Thus, we do not yet expect a meaningful rebound in corporate behavior that would drive global growth expectations higher.”

                              https://www.marketwatch.com/story/do...=mw_quote_news
                              Yes, another article on this. "Phase 1" is having a lot of cold water thrown on it. China wants the December tariffs completely taken off the table before they will sign anything.

                              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...phase-one-deal

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                              • The video was shown at a conference attended by Donald Trump Jr. and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. They said they did not see it.

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