Syria

Donald Trump Calls For 'Big, Beautiful Safe Zones' in Syria, Wants Gulf States to Pay For Them

"Safe zones" are just "no-fly zones" by another name.

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This means war.
Narciso Contreras/Polaris/Newscom

Aleppo — the Syrian city that's been the center of the anti-Assad resistance for more than five years — appears to have finally fallen after a spectacularly brutal onslaught by Syrian government and Russian forces.

President-elect Donald Trump responded to the humanitarian disaster, which includes the indiscriminate bombing of civilians and other atrocities, by telling attendees of a Pennsylvania rally last week, "When I look at what's going on in Syria, it's so sad," adding, "we're going to help people."

Trump said he wants to build "safe zones" for civilians "so they can have a chance." In 2015, Trump also advocated for safe zones as a potential solution to the refugee crisis. Arguing that large numbers of refugees could "destroy all of Europe," Trump instead proposed building "a big beautiful safe zone and you have whatever it is so people can live, and they'll be happier."

Knowing that the creation of such safe zones will require both an enormous financial commitment but also military personnel, Trump called for the oil-rich Sunni Gulf states (presumably including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar), which have been supporting rebel forces, to band their resources together for this vaguely-defined humanitarian project.

During the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton had called for the imposition of "no-fly zones" in Syria, which Trump warned could "lead to World War 3." Indeed, no-fly zones are enforced with the threat of violence and with Russian fighter jets providing cover for Syria's Assad regime, any U.S. efforts to repel them would reasonably be seen as an act of war. One retired naval officer described no-fly zones as "the cocktail party military application of power of choice," but without an actual proposed end-game, they are potentially disastrous.

That's why Trump's call for "safe zones," while not in the Clinton mold of humanitarian war-making, should also be met with skepticism. Even if Trump is able to convince a regional power like Saudi Arabia to invest its cash and military in providing "safe" areas for civilians, they will inevitably be forced to face down hostile actors — be they Assad's military forces, Russian forces, or even ISIS. It's hard to imagine the Saudis sticking their necks out for Syrian civilians, especially after more than half a decade of civil war in Syria.

Besides, even if the Saudis did intervene at this late stage, they're bogged down with their own war in Yemen, where they've very likely committed war crimes against that country's civilian population backed by both U.S.-provided weapons and even U.S. tactical military support.

Trump's foreign policy — nearly always inscrutable during the campaign — is slowly being fleshed out. His opposition to military intervention in Syria won him plaudits from some anti-war libertarians, but "safe zones" are just "no-fly zones" by another name. And even if Trump is able to convince the U.S.' nominal allies in the Gulf to intervene on behalf of civilians, he should remember that they'll inevitably lean on the U.S. for support, and that's the kind of mission creep that inevitably drags a country into a war.

NEXT: Russian Ambassador to Turkey Shot Dead—Gunman Reportedly Yelled 'Revenge, Aleppo!'

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  1. I like posting before I read the article, so I’ll make no exception today:

    Donald Trump Calls For ‘Big, Beautiful Safe Zones’ in Syria, Wants Gulf States to Pay For Them

    On its face, this is an excellent foreign policy goal.

    1. Of course Trump knows the gulf states will never agree to this, and he will therefore not have to actually do anything.

      1. True, true…

        That being said Saudi refusal to build our demand of Big Beautiful Safe Zones would be an excellent pretense to drop all support with the country like the dumpsterfire it is.

      2. You can count Florida and Louisiana out.

      3. He’s playing two-dimensional chess!

  2. You know who else caused the eventual creation of a safe zone in the Middle East?

      1. …. dang. Thread over, man.

      2. well, it all started with a safe zone…then we had to go fuck it up

    1. I reject Citizen X’s othering of the Babylonians.

      Enlil?

    2. The U.N. 1948. Look it up.

      1. Don’t tell me what to do.

  3. Gold plated safe zones.

    1. It’ll be the best. It’s gonna make your head spin, you won’t believe it.

      1. YUGE safe zones. Protected by big-league surface to air missiles. So classy.

  4. “the cocktail party military application of power of choice,” but without an actual proposed end-game, they are potentially disastrous.

    I like this retired naval officer. We need more like him.

    1. Agreed. At least half of the military should retire tomorrow.

      1. Interesting how the pension crisis has made me actually want government employees to keep working. Dash clever of them.

    2. Imagine having to be the officers who have to deal with civilian representatives attempting to discuss military strategy on a regular basis. They probably have the facepalm equivalent of a zebibah.

  5. Look, sometimes Trump just says stuff.

    1. Very true. However, as we saw in the thread about Executive Orders, Obama “just says stuff” too. Somehow I don’t think the press is going to treat Trump’s bullshit like they treat Obama’s bullshit.

      1. And a damn good thing too.

  6. That’s why Trump’s call for “safe zones,” while not in the Clinton mold of humanitarian war-making, should also be met with skepticism.

    ANY proclamation by ANY politician should be met with skepticism.

  7. No fly zones are a lousy solution. They may however be the only solution available. The no fly zone over Kurdistan worked for 10 years. And doing that was a lot better than invading and occupying.

    1. Make everyone register their aircraft with the FAA.

      1. You shoot any aircraft down. If you set up areas for the various sides to get on with their lives without being bombed and terrorized, that would be an improvement. Of course you are going to have to get Asad and the Russians to agree to that or shoot down their planes if they don’t. Would they agree? I have no idea. But if they did, it would make matters better without having to get involved on the ground.

        1. Of course you are going to have to get Asad and the Russians to agree to that or shoot down their planes if they don’t. Would they agree?

          Why in God’s creation would they? What it does is provides a location for their opposition to go to fully aware that they won’t have the power to pursue. If you establish a “no-fly” or a “safe” zone in another country’s sovereign territory, you’re effectively breaking that territory off from the existing state and supporting the opposition to the government.

          1. Why would they agree? Assad would agree to whatever Putin told him to. So, the question is why would Putin agree to such a thing. And the answer to that is because we either made the consequences of him not doing so painful enough to make him decide to do it or we made the consequences of him agreeing good enough to make it worth his while. There are lots of ways to do that. It is just a question of whether we want to or not.

            1. Either involves a lot of either blood or (more likely) treasure on our part. My suggestion is that preventing Putin/Assad from winning aren’t really worth the sort of blood or treasure it would cost us.

            2. Russia has been willing to walk across every red line Obama laid out. I wouldn’t expect a no fly zone to be any different.

    2. Staying out of it because its none of our business isn’t a solution? Some type of intervention is the only solution?

      1. Sure. But the problem is that the refugee problem is making it our issue. Also, the existence of ISIS and its ability to inspire nuts in this country to do shit like Orlando makes it our issue. ISIS is at war with us, whether we want to admit it or not. So, it is in our interest to figure out a way to stabilize things such that we can get rid of ISIS without sparking a world war.

        1. Oh that’s easy!

          1) The U.S. should stop arming ISIS.

          2) The U.S. should exit the region and allow them to kill each other until a clear winner emerges.

          1. That would be okay but it wouldn’t stop the ISIS attacks here. IN fact it would make them worse as ISIS took credit for running the US out of the area. If we didn’t have any Muslims in this country, I would be all for your solution. Since we do, it isn’t a solution at all.

            1. but it wouldn’t stop the ISIS attacks here

              I think it would; Right now the U.S. is tamping down a huge Sunni/Shiite war. 6 months after the U.S. pulls out, you’d have the Saudis and the Iranians fighting it out. And ISIS would be a speedbump.

              My guess is that the Iranians would win and form an alliance with Russia. ISIS would be routed. and the Saudi’s would come hat in hand, humbly begging security guarantees.

              In the meantime, the focus of islamist rage would be Russia. Sure, there would be attacks in the U.S., but they would peter out to levels comparable to other non-involved places, like Argentina.

              1. Would restored the Ottoman Empire, but instead of continuing the modernization of Turkey, they decided to do the crazy instead.

              2. You don’t understand – unless we maintain a presence in the middle east with our military, and use our military to pick winners and losers in the internal affairs of those countries, some of them might want to commit terrorism against us.

            2. That would be okay but it wouldn’t stop the ISIS attacks here.

              Neither does a no-fly zone over Syria.

            3. nothing will stop those crazies here. there is no placating them.

              decentralized response to decentralized attacks. national reciprocity for conceal carry and abolishing federal gun-free zones.

            4. If we didn’t have any Muslims in this country, I would be all for your solution.

              So, what, every single Muslim is a threat and an ISIS member?

              We have a relatively small Muslim population in the US, the vast majority of whom don’t want any kind of attacks against the US at all.

              Do what tarran says and don’t take anymore refugees from that part of the world, and it’s a fine solution.

        2. As a practical matter, our willingness to support Assad’s opposition is what created the refugee crisis. A quick and decisive victory on one side or the other’s part (and Assad had the stronger hand) was what would have prevented a refugee problem.

          1. That is true. But that doesn’t change the options available now.

            1. Doesn’t it? Seems to me that, as awful as Assad’s behavior in Aleppo was, it’s given him a lot of momentum. If we sit back and let him and the Russians do their thing, the situation gets resolved and quiets down reasonably quickly.

              1. Sure it stabilizes things but it creates a bigger refugee problem. No one is going to go back to Syria as long as Assad is in power and the more of the country he rules the more refugees there will be.

                1. Assad not in power is something that was never more than a wishful delusion on our leadership’s (specifically, Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s) part in the first place. And, really, the only other possible outcome was and still remains, ISIS in power.
                  And I’m not sure I agree that “he more of the country he rules the more refugees there will be”. I’d say the longer the war persists, the more refugees there will be. If one side or the other (and as repulsive as I find him, Assad is a better bet for our interests than ISIS) gets control, the refugee problem abates.

                  1. I have been saying this for a couple years. Assad is a fucking butcher. But, so are the Islamists. And Assad is not part of an ideology that is constantly putting American lives in danger (or at least inspiring those who do). I still think at one point we could have leveraged some concessions out of Syria, and maybe even some cooperation out of Putin in other areas. But at the very least, arming the “good” rebels was stupid (hint: THERE ARE NO GOOD REBELS THERE). And Obama not trying at all to renegotiate the status of forces agreement with Iraq, and pulling our troops out further destabilized the entire area.

                    We didn’t have to support Assad, but we easily could have stayed the hell out of it.

                    1. And Obama not trying at all to renegotiate the status of forces agreement with Iraq

                      Would you really want American servicemen to be subject to Iraqi law?!? Because that was the sticking point. That would mean that if the Iraqi government decided to arrest the senior U.S. commander and charge him with murder, the U.S. would allow them to do that.

                      You might want to ponder what exactly you are criticizing Obama for not agreeing to.

                      It’s one of the few correct decisions to Obama admin made in the middle east.

                    2. I think the implication of “renegotiating” the SOFA was not to give the Iraqi government what it wanted, but to tell them what they’re going to “accept” regardless of what they want, although I’m not sure the end result would have changed all that much, except that we would never have played the game of “we’re totes leaving Iraq for good”.

                    3. No, I wouldn’t want that at all. But, that was what gave Obama the excuse he needed for “ending the war in Iraq”. The war was about over as it was. US military deaths were WAY down. I don’t know if the Iraqis miscalculated our reaction, or if they really wanted us out, but the fact is that we could have negotiated that to a much better position.

                      But hey, PEACE NOW! (Chaos later)

                    4. AND…… that comment was for tarran.

                      Do we have 8 year olds running this board???

                      Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

                    5. He DID try to renegotiate it though.

        3. But the problem is that the refugee problem is making it our issue.

          Europe’s issue isn’t our issue.

          Fuck Atlanticism.

          1. yes it is. You want Europe to turn into some Muslim shithole? You really think that would be good for business?

            The Muslims are the problem of every civilized country on earth. You are going to have to deal with them one way or another. Just figure on it.

            1. If only we could identify some sort of final solution for the Muslim problem.

              1. Some sort of work that would make them free?

                1. Something that would require a great deal of concentration, I suspect.

                  1. True, it is difficult to predict the whole cost of such an endeavor…

            2. You would likely want to set up a train system so as to make sure they had transportation.

  8. What is with this “safe space” bullshit? Doesn’t anybody fucking understand that you can’t make a space “safe” just by saying so?

    1. That does not seem to be common knowledge, no.

    2. What do mean?

      /College administrator

  9. Just like Hillary, but with different names for stuff.

  10. Knowing that the creation of such safe zones will require both an enormous financial commitment but also military personnel, Trump called for the oil-rich Sunni Gulf states (presumably including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar), which have been supporting rebel forces, to band their resources together for this vaguely-defined humanitarian project.

    I don’t know about the no-fly-zones part, but it costs 12 times more to help a refugee by importing him to the West than it would to house them in the Middle East. But optics are more important than cost in these social signalling exercises, even if the cost is the beating heart of Western civilization itself.

    1. *If* you believe that it’s a moral imperative to assist the “refugees” then it seems to follow that, if the stream of refugees keeps growing, it would make more sense to deal with the problem at its source rather than treat the symptoms.

      On the other hand, it is entirely consistent to say “fuck it, not our problem” both ways.

      1. I very much agree. Especially with implied lack of moral imperative.

        1. Our foreign policy of late seems to be “identify the least optimal solution, and execute it in the most expensive and convoluted way possible”.

          1. While selling it as “smart power” and the the “humane thing to do”.

  11. “Knowing that the creation of such safe zones will require both an enormous financial commitment but also military personnel, Trump called for the oil-rich Sunni Gulf states (presumably including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar), which have been supporting rebel forces, to band their resources together for this vaguely-defined humanitarian project.”

    Not seeing a problem here. The near east is a mess and those who occupy the near east ought to get together and straighten it out. At their expense.

    1. Did you read to the end of the post where most of those states rely on aid from the US in some form, so the US will inevitably end up being involved anyway?

      1. If only there were some way to deal with these foreign entanglements.

      2. “Did you read to the end of the post…”

        “And even if Trump is able to convince the U.S.’ nominal allies in the Gulf to intervene on behalf of civilians, he should remember that they’ll inevitably lean on the U.S. for support, and that’s the kind of mission creep that inevitably drags a country into a war.”
        You mean this, where the outcome is predicted by, uh, a writer who hopes his predictions convince people? Why, yes I did, and if you’ll notice, my condition was for them to pay for it themselves.

  12. I guess my first question is “safe from who?”

    If we’re saying “safe from ISIS”, well, the Russians and Assad have that fairly well covered.

    If we’re saying “safe from Assad”, isn’t that how we got in this mess in the first place?

    If we’re saying “safe from everybody”, doesn’t that make us an occupying power?

    1. I would say that 2 and 3 potentially make us an occupying power.

  13. This is a ridiculous proposal.

    One: the humanitarian crisis exists because most if not all the factions fighting in Syria have no humanitarian values whatsoever.

    Two: the victims of the crisis are primarily the ethnic groups that the Gulf Arabs view as apostates who should hurry up and die already.

    In other words, he is suggesting that some guys spend lots of money to preserve the lives of people they would rather see dead and out of the way.

    1. Shh. The proposal makes me feel good about myself.

    2. In other words, he is suggesting that some guys spend lots of money to preserve the lives of people they would rather see dead and out of the way.

      that just means you have to give them a good reason to do it. It does not mean they won’t necessarily do it.

    3. If they wanted to do this on their own, they would have already done it. So any solution is going to necessarily involve giving the various parties a reason to do things they don’t want to do.

    4. The only mistake is assuming Arabs would pay for the zones rather than the Europeans, who will be doublepluss fucked if this “refugee” shit continues.

      1. Maybe the Europeans can give the Arabs a reason to pay for it.

        1. Just start dumping boatloads of people on Saudi Arabia till they do something.

    5. “In other words, he is suggesting that some guys spend lots of money to preserve the lives of people they would rather see dead and out of the way.”

      Or, shut up about it and go ahead and kill each other. On their dime.

  14. “Take care of your own back yard” works for me. Not seeing any other proposal on the table I could say that about

    1. How about we offer to help somebody, anybody, rebuild their empire? It seems a strong hand is the only way these primitives can be kept from acting like barbarians.
      So, we’ve got a few choices: We offer to help Iran re-establish the Persian Empire, if they give up their nukes program and promised not to kill all the (((jews))).
      We could offer to help Turkey reestablish the Ottoman Empire. This is my personnel choice because then they could use the They Might Be Giants version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) as their national anthem.
      Then, there’s Italy. I understand that they are having money problems. Surely a reconstituted Roman Empire would help with that.
      Syria/Iraq could rebuild the Assyrian Empire and use David Gray’s Babylon for a national anthem.

  15. The proposal is just meant as compromise because if you don’t take in Syrian refugees you’re an uncaring monster. Something that for some reason this site agrees with. It’s far more practical to create a safe zone there than it is to import the people. Now maybe we should be doing neither, but when neither isn’t a political option that’s what you have.

    At the very least the pro refugee people will have to argue why this option isn’t far better than importing refugees, and that’s going to be a tough sell.

    1. How are those Syrians going to get phat welfare checks if they don’t move to Eurostan?

    2. At the very least the pro refugee people will have to argue why this option isn’t far better than importing refugees, and that’s going to be a tough sell.

      Are those people required to accept the premise that refugees are being “imported” like foreign-made televisions?

      1. No Hugh, they’re walking across the Atlantic bypassing customs. We’re helpless to stop them, so are the Europeans.

        1. Ah, so you don’t actually know what importing means. Got it.

      2. Well, if the shoe fits. Last I checked, the German tax payers were picking up the tab for all of the living costs for all but a minuscule handful of refugees. I realize that you personally don’t want to call it importing, leftists often don’t like to call things by the proper name.

        1. So something is imported if government pays for its upkeep and storage? That’s an odd definition.

          It’s certainly fair to say that some refugees are being imported. Most of the ones coming to the US, for example. But a lot of the ones in Europe seem to have made their own way.

          1. They couldn’t be there without some sort of patron. Yes, they made their own way, after being expressly invited by an old German woman with a face like a sack of potatoes, and then supported by the state. It’s not a natural movement of people. It’s a state-orchestrated movement of people. Looks like an import to me.

  16. So, some people are bombing some other people in some place that we only marginally care about, and Trump’s reaction is “we gotta do something to help” ? Oh joy……

  17. ‘Big, Beautiful Safe Zones’

    BBSZ? I think that’s a PornHub category.

  18. I am just hearing about another truck driving terrorist in Germany? A truck plowing into a crowd? anyone have any news on this?

    1. I’m just getting a Michelle Obama interview about “angry black woman”. Nothing on my end.

    2. BBC & Fox News both have alerts on their websites but no details. They’re both saying it was a Christmas market in Berlin.

      1. Fuck. How exactly do you have a free society with Muslims? I would sure like to know because “hey just put up with them occasionally going berserk and committing mass murder is not an answer.

        1. How exactly do you have a free society with Muslims?

          The way we do. Assimilation. Europeans can’t really do that, it’s not in their culture, which is why they have a significant problem and ours is barely a statistical blip.

          1. That is a nice thought but it isn’t true. The guy in Orlando and the ones in California were very assimilated. The people behind 911 were university trained. How exactly is someone supposed to be more assimilated than having a middle class job working for the county? And that is what the guy in California had. To say “we can just assimilate them” is to completely misunderstand the motivations behind these attacks. They don’t do this because they are poor or they are pissed off about US bombing int eh middle east. They do this because they don’t find assimilation to be worthy doing or enough if they do. They want to be a part of something bigger are drawn to dying and killing in an attempt to create a new Utopia.

            Was assimilation the cure to Communism? Fascism? No it wasn’t. And it isn’t going to solve this.

            1. More people were shot by Negroes on the south side of Chicago last month than have been killed by Muslim terrorists in the US during the past ten years. It’s a statistical nothingburger.

              Useful for job security for DHS hacks, though.

              1. Well then. We should expell all the south side negroes.

              2. *snorts, splutters on coffee*

                By Jove, sirrah! You may have something there.

                1. That was for (((Renegade))), BTW.

                  1. Yeah, right, Swiss.

                    We have our eye on you.

                    1. Or should we say “IRISH”?!? *looks at Clue board in satisfaction

          2. Why do you say Europe can’t assimilate? It’s far more likely the difference is the tiny population of Muslims here.

            1. Why do you say Europe can’t assimilate? It’s far more likely the difference is the tiny population of Muslims here.

              There’s about the same number of Muslims in the US as Jews. Not huge, but not tiny.

              An American Muslim will, on average, have more education and a higher income than an American Christian. And the crime and incarceration rate among American Muslims is lower than Christians. True in Europe? Nope.

              See, our culture has fundamental differences compared to Europe. If I move to Luxembourg and settle, my great great grandchildren will still be called “those Americans.”

                1. What does that matter. Besides the fact that we’ve seen false flags enough to not take that bullshit at face value it says nothing about whether polish immigrants assimilate.

                  1. The last time I saw such hand-waving was from this guy.

                    Congratulations!

                    1. Yeah brilliant. Let’s recap. Renegade says European Muslims are only so blow uppy because the stupid crackers over there can’t assimilate them (I guess they don’t have agency). I say no, they don’t assimilate anywhere, there’s just more there than here so more killing. You add a retarded non sequitor about someone painting something about the polish in the U.K. I point out it’s a retarded point that says nothing about Muslims and you declare yourself a winner and post two YouTube videos.

                    2. Renegade says European Muslims are only so blow uppy because the stupid crackers over there can’t assimilate them

                      No, he didn’t. That’s a mendacious over-simplification of his argument.

                      I say no, they don’t assimilate anywhere, there’s just more there than here so more killing.

                      No, you didn’t. You questioned the premise that it is harder to assimilate to European culture
                      than to American culture. That is what is being challenged here.

                      You add a retarded non sequitor sequitur

                      Sorry, but that bugged the hell out of me. Considering you don’t even understand what is being argued here, no wonder it seemed a non sequitur to you. But we can throw anecdotes at each other all day, or we can provide empirical data to support our theses:

                      Here is a report from the Manhattan Institute comparing immigrant assimilation in NA and EU.

                      Here is a working paper by the Institute for the Study of Labor detailing the assimilation and integration of immigrants in Europe.

                      Both reports spend sometime specifically examining the assimilation of MENA immigrants. The data don’t seem to favor your argument.

              1. There’s about the same number of Muslims in the US as Jews. Not huge, but not tiny.

                And they are not assimilated nearly as well as Jews, and Jews haven’t recently murdered people in the name if Allah.

                An American Muslim will, on average, have more education and a higher income than an American Christian. And the crime and incarceration rate among American Muslims is lower than Christians. True in Europe? Nope.

                As far as I’ve found this isn’t true among Americans. I have no idea what Christians have to do with this. Most every group has a higher standard of living in America. Regardless, American Muslims are the ones setting off bombs and committing mass murder in the name of Islam in America. Are you contending that if they have a 9-5 they’re assimilated.

                How would anyone in Luxembourg even know who thier grandfather is. Do you know everyone’s grandfather? I guess in the scenario you made up in your head I would be proven wrong. “In my make belief future I’m right so take that!”

                1. Dude, stop digging.

        2. Do you really want an answer to that?

        3. How exactly do you have a free society with DHS lawyers? I would sure like to know because “hey just put up with them saying you have to be rapescanned to travel” is not an answer.

        4. How exactly do you have a free society with Muslims?

          Same way we have a free society with anyone else. Arrest or kill the criminals and leave the rest alone.

          1. But due process is harrrrrd!

        5. hey just put up with them occasionally going berserk and committing mass murder is not an answer.

          Well, that’s what we do with people in general. So I don’t see why it’s not an answer with Muslims too.

          1. Yeah Zeb. You really are incapable of admitting that there could be any problem with Islam aren’t you? They really are sacred or something to you.

      2. So the Euros are shoving Christmas in the Muslim faces yet again?

        1. Yes. And the Berlin Muslim community was worried sick yesterday about the possible backlash from this.

    3. Its not coming up on any of the news feeds. Reason certainly won’t talk about it. Muslims don’t do those things according to reason.

      1. Thread jump: John, I read your comments about the Russian Revolution on the AM links but it was a dead thread by then. Although your overall point is well taken, I’d disagree that no one was willing to oppose the Bolsheviks. The Whites had about 2.4m men in arms with 175,000 killed during the Russian Civil War. They had the weapons and the will but they lost.

        1. They problem was they acted too late. If they had acted in the beginning and just shot the Bolsheviks when they had the chance, they would have been okay. They didn’t do that and played by the rules until it was too late.

    4. It is on Fox News, so has to be fake.

      1. had been radicalized

        This terminology seems to be very common but I don’t get it. It sounds so random and almost like the terrorist is a victim. “We’ve secretly switched Abdul’s ESPN news with ISIS propaganda, let’s see if he notices”

        1. Obnoxious people holding forth on ways to destroy Western civilization? Could go either way.

    5. Bailey is penning an article now on how we shouldn’t let this put a damper on our faith in driverless cars

      1. The future of driverless cars must not belong to those who kill in the name of Islam.

      2. Huh. Never thought of that. I imagine getting someone to program a route for a driverless car full of explosives might be just a bit easier than getting someone to actually drive the car himself.

        1. I imagine getting someone to program a route for a driverless car full of explosives might be just a bit easier than getting someone to actually drive the car himself

          The gates of Jannah do not open for programmers.

          1. But that’s okay, because he can totally program his own houri.

            1. Mohammed Longtorso?

              1. Mr. Universe looks… pretty Semitic.

              2. *rises to hand trophy to X*

                You. Win.

                1. Um… why is it sticky?

              1. Jesus. Watching that made me feel really, really sad.

                1. I know, right? I think it’s the pale skin and overall phlegmatic demeanor of the sarar?man that brings it to a whole new level of pathos.

                  1. He looks like he’s about a month or two out from a botched attempt at seppuku. I want to give him a hug and tell him it’s going to be okay.

  19. But will there be any safe zones in Chicago?

    1. The Gold Coast is probably still pretty safe. New Kamenski field since no one watches the Sox.

  20. Well that was quick, pissing away one of his clear advantages over Clinton.

    1. I think the vote is final now. He can activate attack plan “S” for statist.

    1. I love that little bit of smile at the end

    2. “No Pootin'”

      I also dislike a wanton-farter, but seriously dude, you don’t need to repeat it.

    3. Also off topic. Five faithless voters so far today — all refusing to vote for Clinton. 😉

  21. Knowing that the creation of such safe zones will require both an enormous financial commitment but also military personnel, Trump called for the oil-rich Sunni Gulf states (presumably including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar), which have been supporting rebel forces, to band their resources together for this vaguely-defined humanitarian project.

    That’s actually a perfectly reasonable humanitarian request and one that shouldn’t require American instigation.

  22. BREAKING: TRUCK ATTACK KILLS 9 AND WOUNDS 50 IN BERLIN

    Say what you will about the Soviet Union. If this had happened there the local Ummah would be out on his ass on a cargo train to Siberia.

    1. “Ummah” means “entire community of Muslims.” So… you’re not wrong.

      1. But still an idiot

        1. Well, yes. I mean, he’s trying to say that the forced relocation of entire populations to a place where most of them will likely die quickly is a good thing if done in the name of the proletariat, but descriptively speaking, he’s right.

      2. Sorry… Imam. What I’m happy about is that the CIA basically wiped out the Leftist opposition in the ME, that would have shown these guys the fucking door. USA USA USA!

        1. Oh, like the two socialist groups in Iran in 1979 that were too busy bickering among themselves to notice that their Islamist third wheel was hijacking their revolution? Iran is a proletarian paradise now, is it not?

        2. Did someone mess up the puppet’s programming or is this some sort of misbegotten attempt at being clever?

          1. Amsoc got pretty sassy over the course of the election season, but when Trump won it seems to have broken him, and now he’s stuck in third-rate-Colbert-knockoff-attempted-parody mode. Sad!

        3. american socialist|12.19.16 @ 3:34PM|#
          “…What I’m happy about is that the CIA basically wiped out the Leftist opposition in the ME, that would have shown these guys the fucking door….”

          Asswipe got a comic book for Christmas and he thinks it’s real!

        4. Right, Arab socialism was totally a tenable ideology. Just like Bolivarian socialism in Venezuela, it only failed because of the CIA.

          1. Maduro approves this message!

            1. And yet he still draws breath… the CIA must be slacking off.

        5. “CIA basically wiped out the Leftist opposition”?!

          Marxists of one stripe or another ran Algier, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Iraq during the Cold War. In addition, AKP in Turkey is a left-wing non-Marxist party (seriously, one reason Erdogan won was small pro-market reforms), and idiot Communists and Socialists worked hard to overthrow the Shah of Iran, only to get wiped out by Khomeini’s boys, who got in late but had the will to see it through.
          Oh, and Arafat was Moscow trained and financed to boot. And Israel was ran by socialists from founding till 1975.

          Only place where “leftist opposition” (in addition to rightist opposition, centrist opposition and any other kind) was wiped out was Saudi Arabia, and that needed no CIA whatsoever.

          1. Look, if amsoc wasn’t both historically AND economically illiterate, he wouldn’t call himself a socialist, okay?!?

          2. Does this include the cash payments made to people like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, or the matching funds it provided Saudi Secret Service that went into the pockets of Al Queda, or its coordination with ISI in Pakistan. Should we talk about how Mossad funded Hamas to discredit a largely secular and socialist Fatah Movement?

      3. Often used to mean “global community of Muslims”, which would be a tall order even for them.

      4. There go the Crimean Tatars ….again!

        *rumble of Soviet trains to GULAG*

    2. …And that would be wrong and tyrannical.

      You know, that part you left out as you masturbate furiously to the idea of Muslims dying in forced labour camps.

      1. Amsoc doesn’t have any problem with tyranny, slavery, or genocide, as long as it also results in wealthy people becoming not-wealthy.

        1. What is it about religious extremism that leads to children being run over by trucks that you find so compelling?

          1. Where did i say anything in defense of some shitty terrorist in Berlin, you complete moron?

          2. What is it about deportations and forced labour camps that you find so compelling?

          3. american socialist|12.19.16 @ 4:11PM|#
            “What is it about religious extremism that leads to children being run over by trucks that you find so compelling?”

            What is it about religious extremism that leads to children being starved by the millions? You seem to find that laudatory

    3. I never understand why exactly you whine about Vietnam so much when it is plainly evident that you not only love wars, you think they’re great ways to solve problems.

  23. Even if Trump is able to convince a regional power like Saudi Arabia to invest its cash and military in providing “safe” areas for civilians, they will inevitably be forced to face down hostile actors ? be they Assad’s military forces, Russian forces, or even ISIS

    Serious question: Why? According to Google Maps, it’s an 8 hour drive from Aleppo to the Saudi border (through Jordan). Probably that’s an underestimate, but it’s still closer than Europe.

    1. Probably that’s an underestimate, but it’s still closer than Europe.

      Because the Saudi’s want them dead…

      This is like proposing to deal with the problem of Polish anti-semitism by having Hitler provide safe zones in Germany for Polish Jews.

      On second thought, I can see the Saudis supporting this proposal. Such safe zones would help concentrate their enemies in a handful of places.

      1. OK, I lied, it wasn’t really a serious question. The point is that the West doesn’t have to be the only ones that care about civilians. I don’t really have a problem with lending financial and humanitarian support if done in the right way, but more people should be asking why the regional powers aren’t doing more.

        Or maybe they are and we just don’t hear about it. That’s possible.

        1. “I don’t really have a problem with lending financial and humanitarian support if done in the right way,”

          Is the ‘right way’ supporting one set of superstitions as opposed to the other? I have a problem supporting that sort of murderous stupidity at all.

          1. I’m talking about giving food and medical supplies or financing refugee camps for displaced civilians.

            1. I think that’s a fine idea for those who live in the near east and can make sure those supplies don’t end up supporting the other murderous side of the bleevers. There’s no lack of money in the near east; it can be put to good use.
              From here, I have no idea how that would be accomplished.

      2. “Because the Saudi’s want them dead…
        This is like proposing to deal with the problem of Polish anti-semitism by having Hitler provide safe zones in Germany for Polish Jews.
        On second thought, I can see the Saudis supporting this proposal. Such safe zones would help concentrate their enemies in a handful of places.”

        That may be true. I don’t know and really do not have a fuck to give. If those in the near east wish to kill each other until there are none left, it is fine by me.
        Stupid bleevers are welcome to off each other until the cows come home.

      3. On second thought, I can see the Saudis supporting this proposal. Such safe zones would help concentrate their enemies in a handful of places.

        Like getting people on to public transit!

      4. Aren’t most of the refugees Sunnis, since the forces of Assad are Shias? If so, what reason have the Saudis for wanting them dead? I can see the Saudis not wanting to help them due to the burden, and perhaps there are some Arabian vs Syrian racial issues there, but since the refugees and the Saudis share the same religious sect I don’t see why they would actively hate them. Maybe I’m missing something.

    2. I bet they’re loading up the station wagons already

  24. lots of people are calling for safe zones for refugees but since Trump mentioned is it is a bd idea now. it would be expensive but not as expensive as all other alternatives which includes whats not being done now.

    1. White Mexican.

      I don’t see roosters running around his backyard.

      1. Anyway, who wants to eat chiminichangas for lunch every day? Not me!

      1. I do admit that it would be interesting to see a high-level programming language use something like Chinese.

        1. If you can do symbolic algebra with chinese character, you can do programming. Once you realize that (most) of the words are just function names, it doesn’t really matter the language. I’ve read code that was written by a Spanish speaker, so most of his code used Spanish words (again function names and such) and I could translate it just fine.

  25. I’m for giving Trump a chance. If he doesn’t invade and occupy the wrong country for almost a decade leading to the absolute destruction of that wrong country’s infrastructure, government and cultural mores leading to the rise of nihilist Islamic crackpots who will inspire other crackpots to attack the West I’m prepared to give him a 3-out-of-10

    1. Fuck off, asswipe.

    2. Libya’s already been done

      1. Libya wasn’t invaded and occupied, and is therefore a NATO success story, not a foreign policy failure.

        /shreek

      2. ? I voted for Jill Stein for precisely this reason.

    3. I’m legitimately curious what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

    4. Amsoc’s just disappointed that they didn’t go for his plan of choice, mass starvation, imprisonment and executions in soundproof cells.

      1. You mean I didn’t give a shit about Saddam Hussein and couldn’t differentiate his level of cruelty from our “allies” in the region? Yes, correct.

        1. I’m just wondering if you dreamed of spending effort to complain about a president that hasn’t been in office for eight years to a bunch of people who don’t particularly like said president and yet still don’t respect you. And if not, what happened to your dreams?

          1. Why bitch about that then? Why not just say Bush’s war led to this debacle instead of screaming BOOSCH every time something correctly lays blame for the rise of Islamic extremism on his idiotic war? Trust me, they’ll be cheerleaders here for Trump’s future wars.

            1. Just trying to understand you, that’s all.

            2. american socialist|12.19.16 @ 4:15PM|#
              ‘Why not just say Obama;s war led to this debacle”
              Fixed is, asswipe

              “Trust me, they’ll be cheerleaders here for Trump’s future wars.”
              Trust me, slimy shits like you would be cheerleading for the hag’s future wars if we hadn’t been saved from that miserable piece of crap.

        2. I see asswipe seems to have lost the ability to read.
          Here, try again:
          “Amsoc’s just disappointed that they didn’t go for his plan of choice, mass starvation, imprisonment and executions in soundproof cells.”

        3. No, that’s actually not what I’m saying, but that’s your standard ‘argument’. Ignore actual statements said and go off on a tangent.

  26. Literal war on Christmas!

    1. Is it, though?

      1. Apparently there’s a manhunt for the driver.

        So we can put a line through “driver having a siezure” as a possible cause.

        1. They caught him several blocks from the scene.

        2. Whelp, you guys are further in than I am. But I still feel like we’re jumping to conclusions. Driver being “missing” is no guarantee of foul play. Remember, Ted Kennedy left the scene of his crash to check in with Dear old Mom and craft a press statement.

          1. Would make for one hell of a coincidental accident.

            And the guy who owned the truck reported it stolen this morning. So any remotely plausible doubt about what this is continues to unravel.

    2. From the BBC

      A British eyewitness, Mike Fox, told The Associated Press at the scene that the large lorry had missed him by only about 3m as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.
      “It was definitely deliberate,” said the tourist, visiting from Birmingham.
      He said he had helped people who appeared to have broken limbs, and that others were trapped under Christmas stands.

  27. “And even if Trump is able to convince the U.S.’ nominal allies in the Gulf to intervene on behalf of civilians, he should remember that they’ll inevitably lean on the U.S. for support, and that’s the kind of mission creep that inevitably drags a country into a war.”

    Looks like a slippery slope argument to me.

    I think one of the points of the policy might be to have an alternative to accepting thousands of Syrian refugees and bringing them here to the United States.

    We used to use the UN for this sort of thing, and we should probably use it for that again.

    1. We used to use the UN for this sort of thing, and we should probably use it for that again.

      There are two ways this goes.

      1. The U.S. does all the heavy lifting, so the whole thing is just “free training for otherwise atrophied Western European militaries”
      2. The U.S. stays out of it and the U.N. peacekeepers have a hard time differentiating between “help people” and “rape and pillage”

      1. “There are two ways this goes.
        1. The U.S. does all the heavy lifting, so the whole thing is just “free training for otherwise atrophied Western European militaries”
        2. The U.S. stays out of it and the U.N. peacekeepers have a hard time differentiating between “help people” and “rape and pillage””

        The UN is a fine idea and always will be.

      2. I didn’t say it would go all neat and tidy, but the world is full of choices between bad and worse options.

        If the options are between Clinton’s neocon wars of good faith, Obama’s let’s solve the problem by bringing them here to the U.S., or using the UN for something, I can see the option I like best quite clearly.

        The UN is only “good” for two things.

        1) Exit strategy for a quick war.

        Hey, it’s not a U.S. occupation. It’s the UN!

        2) Dealing with refugees.

        If we’re not going to use it for those two things, it really is useless–other than providing us the opportunity to use them for that in the future.

        P.S. We can handle nuclear non-proliferation from here without the broader UN.

        1. “The UN is only “good” for two things.
          1) Exit strategy for a quick war.
          2) Dealing with refugees.”

          Missing cites for #1, #2 tends to end up as rape and pillage.
          I’m saying the UN should be dismantled post haste. It is a haven for termed out politicos and never once has offered a solution which isn’t based on the enlargement of the state.

          1. I don’t understand what kind of citations you’re looking for.

            The UN has engaged in nation building in the aftermath of numerous wars, and they’ve dealt with myriad refugee crises all over the world.

            If using them as a proxy for direct U.S. involvement for those purposes has been ineffective or problematic in the past, it would have been even worse for the United States with our direct involvement.

            Again, sending the UN is so we don’t feel compelled to go. I’d rather we stayed out of these things entirely, but if that isn’t on the menu, then if sending a proxy means the United States doesn’t have to go, then every time the UN goes instead of the United States, it’s mission accomplished.

            . . . because the mission is for the U.S. to be involved as little as possible.

            The excellent use of proxies is as a proxy.

            1. Ken Shultz|12.19.16 @ 4:36PM|#
              “I don’t understand what kind of citations you’re looking for.”

              Ken, I don’t remember any “quick UN wars”. They tend to run on forever while people argue about who’s in charge and the US ends up providing taxi service for the French contribution of three guys and a pop gun.
              The UN needs to die.

              1. Exit strategy for a quick U.S. war.

                Imagine if the occupation of Iraq had been handled by the UN with the full support of the Security Council.

                That would have been better for the U.S. then taking on that burden themselves.

                France does that effectively sometimes. They get Security Council approval to go fix something in one of their former colonies, they show up, kick ass, and then let the UN take care of the aftermath.

                http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unoci/

                From memory, they got that approval from the UN for the Ivory Coast circa 2003–even as Bush the Lesser was burning bridges to the UN over Iraq. After 1) invading Iraq but before 3) disbanding the Iraqi military, 2) Bush giving the UN the finger was probably the second stupidest thing he did on foreign policy (no matter how much we hate the UN).

                P.S. I wouldn’t rank domestic policy on the same list, but that list would probably go 1) TARP, 2) Warrantless wiretapping, 3) Prescription drug benefit. Geez, Bush Jr. was a shitty President–no wonder people voted for an idiot like Obama!

                1. “Imagine if the occupation of Iraq had been handled by the UN with the full support of the Security Council.
                  That would have been better for the U.S. then taking on that burden themselves.”

                  Why? The Sec C would simply request the US stick around to provide transport for the Euro who can’t afford gas.

        2. neocon wars of good faith

          That is an oxymoron.

          1) Exit strategy for a quick war.

          Well that might get the U.S. off the hook but the ensuing U.N. occupation would be a disaster.

          2) Dealing with refugees.

          Yeah, that hasn’t worked out so well in places like the Gaza Strip.

          1. “Well that might get the U.S. off the hook “

            That’s the point.

            I care about the interests of the United States.

            “Yeah, that hasn’t worked out so well in places like the Gaza Strip.”

            If it kept the U.S. out of the Gaza strip, then it worked great.

            1. Well, I suppose that is one approach. I’m not too keen on subjecting any poor souls to the U.N.’s loving touch, though.

              1. When we libertarians get to write the menu, things will be different.

                For now, however, between the shit sandwich, the piss soup, or the UN, I’ll take the UN.

  28. Also, you know what isn’t a safe zone?

    Germany

    “Truck Rams Berlin Christmas Market, Killing Nine and Injuring at Least 50”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/mu…..1482177633

    And what with Germany’s official New Year’s Rape Day right around the corner, now’s a great time to come up with alternatives to Obama’s plan of bringing refugees to the U.S. by the tens of thousands.

    1. You see, LP, every instance of Islamic terrorism leads back to how shitty Obama is.

      1. No, asswipe. Every bit of how shitty Obo is leads back to how shitty Obo was.
        Almost as pathetic as you.

        1. When Trump uses drones to kill Islamic trrrorists will guys like you still be equating that to sending hundreds of thousands of U.S. Troops to Iraq?

          Why do some libertarians get so touchy about Bush? I’m a libertarian, fucking hate him, and think he should Spend his geriatric years in some fucking European cave to be periodically anally raped by Serbian and Rwandan war criminals. They’re in the same league as he in terms of sheer numbers so there would be some poetic justice, no?

          1. How did you feel about Obama killing innocent children with drone strikes?

            Here, they are broken down by country–with children detailed.

            https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/ category/projects/drones/drones-graphs/

            Obama has killed more children than Adam Lanza!

            How do you feel about the hundreds of children Barack Obama has killed with drone strikes?

          2. Bush has been out of office for 8 years. Whatever his failings were, and they are certainly worth debating, they don’t “cancel out” Obama’s failures. Why are you so touchy about admitting Obama has been a terrible President too?

          3. american socialist|12.19.16 @ 4:57PM|#
            “When Trump uses drones to kill Islamic trrrorists will guys like you still be equating that to sending hundreds of thousands of U.S. Troops to Iraq?”

            Asswipe, if and when he does that, get back to us. Until then, I don’t see you upset about that lying POS in the WH pulling that crap.
            Of course that’s result of both you and he being fucking hypocrites.

      2. Obama’s unilateral decision to bring Syrian refugees here to the U.S. by the thousands certainly is evidence of how shitty Obama is.

        If he wants to run the country for the benefit of Syrians, then he should have campaigned to be the President of Syria.

        Do you have any ideas about why it’s in the interests of American security to bring refugees from a hotbed of anti-American terrorism here by the thousands, or are you just trolling?

          1. “The Obama administration plans to raise the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. to 110,000 in the 2017 fiscal year starting Oct. 1, from 85,000 this fiscal year, according to an annual refugee report to Congress obtained by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

            President Barack Obama was widely expected to announce an increase in the U.S. commitment ahead of a summit on refugees that he is convening next week during the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

            The 110,000 target for 2017 for individuals fleeing persecution and conflict around the world represents a nearly 30% increase over this fiscal year and an almost 60% increase over the 70,000 admitted in 2015.

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/pr…..1473818352

            To what benefit is this to the United States?

        1. You mean like Christians from Iraq or Kurds from Konkani?

          1. “The number of Syrian arrivals has accelerated in recent months, and the U.S. has exceeded its goal of admitting 10,000 in fiscal 2016.

            It aims to admit “a significantly higher number” in fiscal 2017, according to the report, which didn’t cite a figure. The report said 40,000 refugees would be authorized from the Near East/South Asia, which includes Syria, the most of any region. The second-largest number, 35,000, would come from Africa.

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/pr…..1473818352

            These are refugees fleeing conflict, so presumably we’re talking about those numbers coming from Syria and Libya.

            Of what benefit is this to the United States?

            1. You mean besides having people who will probably work harder than you and I and who absolutely despise Islamic terrorism?

              1. I don’t think working harder than you is any particular feat.

              2. I’m an open borders guy myself–in terms of the Mexican and Canadian borders. I think we should have an addition to the NAFTA treaty that says any citizen of Mexico or Canada can come across our border to find work, live, etc.–so long as Mexico develops an ID system so our border crossings can verify that they aren’t a convicted felon, they have certain immunizations, they aren’t terrorists.

                The difference is that Mexico isn’t a hotbed of anti-American terrorism.

                People wonder why white, blue collar workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin feel like progressives don’t care about them, and yet is it really that hard for you to articulate the benefits to American security of Obama’s refugee policy–without showing contempt for average Americans and their work ethic?

  29. A safe zone would have to be more than a no fly zone. Smalll arms fire and such. Something more like Green Zone setup in Iraq. That would take boots on the ground.

  30. And even if Trump is able to convince the U.S.’ nominal allies in the Gulf to intervene on behalf of civilians, he should remember that they’ll inevitably lean on the U.S. for support, and that’s the kind of mission creep that inevitably drags a country into a war.

    “Inevitably lean”? Sure.

    That doesn’t mean that the U.S.’s response has to inevitably be “sure, we’ll just pop right over and prop you up.” Perhaps The Donald’ll actually have the balls to tell the House of Saud to go pound sand if they can’t do it themselves after having agreed to it. (Which assumes that the HoS would even agree to it in the first place, an extremely unlikely possibility.)

    Get the Hell out of there, Trump. The U.S. has tried all kinds of interventions, and they’ve been miserable failures.

  31. There isn’t and end game to either a no-fly zone, or putting them in host nations as Australia tried. With cultures generally incompatible with 1st world countries, their presence a recipe for man made disaster as Europe has discovered.Trump pointing a finger a the Saudis who spread Wahhabi radicalism doesn’t hurt. Putting them on uninhabited islands in the Mediterranean Sea where they will isolated, and easier to contain and control is a little better.

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