- Peggy Noonan would make policy out of an anecdote
- There are Kurds, and there are Kurds
Yesterday our DLH raised the matter of the usual suspects clutching pearls or being hypocrites in their criticisms of Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. Below are commentaries and links from terrorism and military analysts that support Trump. The particular choices includes commentaries from individuals who have also “been there” which is appropriate given that so much mileage has been given by Trump critics to comments of a Special Forces soldier including knee-jerk Trump critic Peggy Noonan. She was the focus of the DLH’s article. Noonan wrote:
. . . compelling is what Jennifer Griffin, the respected national-security correspondent for Fox News, reported Wednesday night. She spoke to a “distraught” U.S. Special Forces soldier on the ground alongside the Kurdish forces that were about to be abandoned. “It was one of the hardest phone calls I have ever taken,” she tweeted. The soldier told her “I am ashamed for the first time in my career.” He said, “There was no threat to the Turks—none—from this side of the border.” The Kurds, who are guarding thousands of ISIS prisoners, had just prevented a prison break and were pleading for U.S. support. Without it, the soldier said, those detainees would likely soon be free. Of the president: “He doesn’t understand the problem. He doesn’t understand the repercussions to this.” “It’s a shame,” he added. “The Kurds are standing by us. No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us.”
I believe every word of this.
Noonan, she of the speech writing “Read my lips – no new taxes” fame which GHW Bush promised and abandoned, just can’t seem to get her head around the idea of 1) a president keeping a promise and 2) that Trump’s policy is certainly defensible and 3) why everyone doesn’t believe everything she thinks she knows.
Andrew McCarthy has written much that is helpful in understanding Trump’s decision which we link to below. But first the comments of a person known to this publication – HP an Army Lt Colonel (ret) (Special Forces) “Green Beret” who introduces and endorses the comments of John Tubin, an Army Colonel (ret) (Special Forces) who also served in Iraq and writes frequently in his Facebook pages about war and foreign policy.
HP served in Iraq in the Mosul area as an advisor to an Iraqi general. The area is near the Syria, Kurd and Turkish operating area Noonan seems to be so sure of herself about. HP follows events in the Middle East and has experience with the issues involved. He wrote in his direct manner regarding Col. John Tubin’s comments::
Please read, because this the way it really is. Any congress critters from both sides of the aisle crying about pulling out a small detachment of Americans need to have this jammed squarely up their noses. HP
October 10th post by John Tubin
OK Folks, “Plickee” everybody is going nuts over the removal of about 100 US Troops from Prison Camp Guard duty in northeast Syria and to bring them and their support units home. Folks before you touch the Zippo to the gas soaked scalp, let us cut the BS from the Congressional Employees of the Military Industrial complex.
You can’t tell the players without a scorecard, the map below shows the area occupied by the Kurds over the centuries. Now if you look at the Syrian/Turkey/Iraq border area, that southeast area of Turkey is now mostly flooded by the Ataturk Dam Project, you will see few roads, few towns. Few areas to stage a campaign against the Kurds in Iraq.(comments continue below map)
Now there are four different Kurdish groups, we will work on two, the Peshmerga, our allies, over 60,000 strong well equipped, extremely well led, and superbly trained by the “Quiet Professionals” of the US Army Special Forces, and who President Trump will continue to supply and support, even with air cover, if necessary. They are allied with the Syrian Defense Force, and they will probably work together, surrendering Syrian land, if necessary, and moving East back to their homeland.
The other group, mostly concentrated in eastern and southeastern Turkey are the PKK, a Marxist/ Maoist group who have been on the US and world Terrorist list since at least the mid 1980s, they have been the PROVOS, Bader-Meinhof, Japanese Red Army, Black September like group of Turkey blowing up civilians, murdering etc. They are not our friends and allies. They are the Turkish target, oh and the Syrians are also in that area, so if Turks and Syrians murder each other off, don’t cry for me Argentina.
Now if the Congress want to do the right thing and establish a formidable ally, who would gladly work with our Israeli, Jordanian, Azerbijanis and other allies in the area, they will petition the UN, ok, you have to check the box, and help the Kurds establish, Kurdistan, and announce to all comers that they are our friends and allies, Iran would go berserk, but then again how many more times can they scream “Death to America.”
Ike warned of the “Military Industrial Complex” (MIC), he led millions of troops and freed millions of people. Lindsay Graham, a USAFR JAG officer, and the other Congresscitters only claim to military fame is how much money the MIC had bribed, I mean donated to their accounts.
Tubin also has a Kabuki Dance theory:
October 11 post
Now that you are convinced that my recent medical event involved a frontal lobotomy, or that I have always been dumber than an anvil, this is the Part B of my last post, is it just a thought or a Bayer Aspirin Fantasy.
Is this the beginning of steps to establish Kurdistan?
1. How many times have you heard everybody saying POTUS didn’t consult with the (fill in the blank), the (fill in the blank) were blindsided, even the (fill in the blank) wasn ‘t told. Hey folks, what you don’t know, you can’t LEAK.
Now who has been silent, and who probably knew, GEN Mark Millet, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Designate Chairman, Joint Chiefs, and career Special Forces Officer.
You have heard from a lot of retired guys, but did you hear from SF Command, USASOC, NO.
You hear second and third hand “well a buddy of mine in Special Forces said he has never been so ashamed”, understand his feeling, but if no one knows except those that need to know, NO LEAKS.
The USAF units and support troops were told they are going to Saudi Arabia, and they are, are they staying there or are they going to be the new Air Cover, who knows, but it got them to theater, NO LEAKS.
2. Allowing the screes and screams of the FASCISTS, who hate the military and deployments, rise to a fever pitch, the INFONAZIS and FASCISTs have given the Kurds near sacred status since he “abandoned” them. They have been screaming war cries and want investigations into why he didn’t consult with his military leaders. He now has the ability to pull off this Kabuki dance, or they will have to do a 180 degree overnight, and NO LEAKS.
Bonchie writing at RedState refers us to ‘Andrew McCarthy Pens a Must Read Reality Check On the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict
McCarthy writes: (Read the entire article not just these excerpts as his arguments are found in every paragraph
Turkey and the Kurds: It’s More Complicated Than You Think
. . .
Where to begin? Perhaps with the basic fact that there is no Kurdish territory. There is Syrian territory on Turkey’s border that the Kurds are occupying — a situation that itself serves to “inflame and complicate” the region for reasons I shall come to. Ethnic Kurds do not have a state. They live in contiguous parts of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Most are integrated into these countries, but many are separatists.
The Kurds have been our allies against ISIS, but it is not for us that they have fought. They fight ISIS for themselves, with our help. They are seeking an autonomous zone and, ultimately, statehood. The editorial fails to note that the Kurds we have backed, led by the YPG (People’s Protection Units), are the Syrian branch of the PKK (the Kurdistan Worker’s Party) in Turkey. The PKK is a militant separatist organization with Marxist-Leninist roots. Although such informed observers as Michael Rubin contend that the PKK has “evolved,” it remains a formally designated foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. While our government materially supports the PKK’s confederates, ordinary Americans have been prosecuted for materially supporting the PKK.
The PKK has a long history of conducting terrorist attacks, but their quarrel is not with us. So why has our government designated them as terrorists? Because they have been fighting an insurgent war against Turkey for over 30 years. Turkey remains our NATO ally, even though the Erdogan government is one of the more duplicitous and anti-Western actors in a region that teems with them — as I’ve detailed over the years (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and in my 2012 book, Spring Fever). The Erdogan problem complicates but does not change the fact that Turkey is of great strategic significance to our security.
While it is a longer discussion, I would be open to considering the removal of both the PKK from the terrorist list and Turkey from NATO. For now, though, the blunt facts are that the PKK is a terrorist organization and Turkey is our ally. These are not mere technicalities. Contrary to the editorial’s suggestion, our government’s machinations in Syria have not put just one of our allies in a bind. There are two allies in this equation, and our support for one has already vexed the other. The ramifications are serious, not least Turkey’s continued lurch away from NATO and toward Moscow.
Without any public debate, the Obama administration in 2014 insinuated our nation into the Kurdish–Turk conflict by arming the YPG. To be sure, our intentions were good. ISIS had besieged the city of Kobani in northern Syria; but Turkey understandably regards the YPG as a terrorist organization, complicit in the PKK insurgency.
That brings us to another non-technicality that the editors mention only in passing: Our intervention in Syria has never been authorized by Congress. Those of us who opposed intervention maintained that congressional authorization was necessary because there was no imminent threat to our nation. Contrary to the editorial’s suggestion, having U.S. forces “deter further genocidal bloodshed in northern Syria” is not a mission for which Americans support committing our men and women in uniform. Such bloodlettings are the Muslim Middle East’s default condition, so the missions would never end.
A congressional debate should have been mandatory before we jumped into a multi-layered war, featuring anti-American actors and shifting loyalties on both sides. In fact, so complex is the situation that President Obama’s initial goal was to oust Syria’s Assad regime; only later came the pivot to fighting terrorists, which helped Assad. That is Syria: Opposing one set of America’s enemies only empowers another. More clear than what intervention would accomplish was the likelihood of becoming enmeshed, inadvertently or otherwise, in vicious conflicts of which we wanted no part — such as the notorious and longstanding conflict between Turks and Kurds. . . .