Reason Roundup

Trump Changes His Mind About Turkey and Hopes Steel Tariffs Will Stop the Slaughter

Plus: Snowden warns about encryption threats, Libertarians fight for ballot access, and more...

|

The president has declared a national emergency over the crisis he helped create in Syria. In a letter to Congress on Monday, Donald Trump announced the issue of an executive order declaring a national emergency "due to the situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the recent actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria."

The same Turkish actions that got Trump's go-ahead last week are now described by him as "an unusual and extraordinary threat" to national security.

Last week, Trump seemed unconcerned about how Turkish actions would affect Kurdish people living there (they didn't help us during World War II, Trump told reporters).

This week, he says the Turkish invasion of Syria will "undermine the campaign to defeat" ISIS, put civilians in danger, and threaten the whole region's peace and stability.

But Kurds whose homes are being destroyed and whose families are being displaced and slaughtered can rest assured that Trump will tax Turkish steel! The president promised to raise the tariff back up to 50 percent, which is where it was before getting reduced in May.

Trump also said the government had stopped negotiations on a trade deal with Turkey, and that it would impose sanctions "against current and former officials" in the Turkish government.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said more sanctions were possible if Turkey is not willing "to embrace a ceasefire" and "come to the negotiating table" to "end the violence." Trump himself put it less delicately, saying:

I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey's economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.

Meanwhile, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken to The Wall Street Journal to argue that Turkey has "stepped up" where European countries failed. "The international community missed its opportunity to prevent the Syrian crisis from pulling an entire region into a maelstrom of instability," Erdogan writes. "The European Union—and the world—should support what Turkey is trying to do."


ELECTION 2020

  • Georgia Libertarians are appealing a court ruling that upheld the state's ballot access system. The Libertarian Party of Georgia says the state's excessively strict requirements have kept Libertarians and other third-party candidates from running for the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 70 years.

•  The Democratic presidential candidates debate again tonight. Details here.

•  The latest Quinnipiac presidential poll results show Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) leading the pack…

•  But another poll released yesterday shows Warren (with 15 percent support) still lagging behind Joe Biden, who is polling at 31 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) polling at 17 percent. The Hill/Harris X poll showed Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) with 6 percent, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke with 4 percent each, and Andrew Yang and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) with 2 percent each.


FREE MINDS

Edward Snowden says that without strong encryption, we lose. In a new Guardian op-ed, Snowden slams U.S. and U.K. governments for trying to undermine strong encryption practices—"the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world's information"—and warns that "should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe."

He goes on:

When I came forward in 2013, the US government wasn't just passively surveilling internet traffic as it crossed the network, but had also found ways to co-opt and, at times, infiltrate the internal networks of major American tech companies. At the time, only a small fraction of web traffic was encrypted: six years later, Facebook, Google and Apple have made encryption-by-default a central part of their products, with the result that today close to 80% of web traffic is encrypted. Even the former director of US national intelligence, James Clapper, credits the revelation of mass surveillance with significantly advancing the commercial adoption of encryption. The internet is more secure as a result. Too secure, in the opinion of some governments.

Donald Trump's attorney general, William Barr, who authorised one of the earliest mass surveillance programmes without reviewing whether it was legal, is now signalling an intention to halt—or even roll back—the progress of the last six years.

Read more here.


FREE MARKETS

Jacksonville, Florida, declares digital gambling a "public nuisance." The city's new ban on electronic gambling machines stands to shut down many internet cafes and adult arcades.

"Critics of the new enforcement schedule said they expect a lot of people—maybe 2,000 or more—to quickly lose jobs that had looked secure until after the holiday season," Jacksonville.com reports.

"We're not actually shutting anybody down," said Jason Teal, Jacksonville's city attorney—though he admitted that shutdowns might be "the practical effect" of the new legislation. City authorities justified the ban by saying "simulated gambling devices" are a "public nuisance."


QUICK HITS

  • More details on dirty work from Kamala Harris' prosecutor past.
  • Is being against abortion and "political correctness" all that unites the right?
  • The CEOs of Uber and Lyft are refusing to participate in Congress' anti-tech pageantry.
  • Chicago authorities want to ban having more than six hens in residential areas and slap urban farmers with permitting requirements.
  • St. Louis' mayor wants to fight crime with omnipresent surveillance planes over the city (courtesy of a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems).
  • California decriminalizes eating roadkill.
  • Cyntoia Brown-Long gave her first televised interview since being released from prison."I fully intend to step into that and to share my experiences as often as I can, with whoever I can, in the hopes that it can bring about more understanding about what goes on in the system with young girls who find themselves in the situation that I did," she told NBC Nightly News.
  • Former national security advisor John Bolton told aide Fiona Hill to alert the National Security Council's chief lawyer about Trump administration efforts to pressure Ukraine, Hill testified yesterday. Bolton allegedly told her that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was "a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up." 

NEXT: Who Is, and Is Not, On the Demand Justice #SCOTUS (Not-So) Shortlist?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The same Turkish actions that got Trump’s go-ahead last week are now described by him as “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to national security.

    Someone doesn’t get 4D chess.

    1. Or reason’s pro interventionist 5d chess.

      1. If Reason is pro-interventionist, what was Trump when he authorized sending more troops to Saudi Arabia earlier this week?

        1. I wasnt aware of ana active conflict in saudi Arabia. Can you send the link?

          1. Why is active conflict the bar to qualify as an interventionist. I would say the bar is posting troops to a place where there could be active conflict.

            1. The us isnt intervening in saudi Arabia. They are utilizing bases they have to project power in the region, most notably to stifle Iran. They arent intervening in Saudi Arabia. You do know what the word means, right? You do understand the issue in Syria is active conflict to promote regime change of Assad right? You’ve equated 2 complete different situations out of ignorance.

              1. OK, play games with the goalposts. Whatever it takes to maintain your beliefs that Trump is a principled non-interventionist. I’m not sure why it’s important to you to believe that, but it is for some reason.

                1. He’s not a principled non-interventionist, and I doubt most anyone here would call him that.

                  But that doesn’t change the fact that sending troops to a base in an ally country is not intervention.

                  1. I disagree. Stationing troops is a military activity. Just because they are not currently engaged in conflict, they are stationed because there is the potential for them to see action. Stationing troops is just part of a spectrum of military activities.

                    1. Not all military activity is intervention though.

                      Regardless, we shouldn’t be there either.

                    2. Agreed that we shouldn’t have troops in any of these places.

                      The hard part is how to withdraw troops without creating a bigger mess in the region. Being random and impulsive is not a foreign policy that is going to avoid bigger messes.

                    3. We should never do anything until Iran already has an arsenal of ICBMs aimed at us first.

                2. What goalposts dipshit? Learn what words mean before you use them.

                  1. You have to resort to calling people names like “dipshit” because you don’t actually want to engage in real dialog.

                    1. Neither do you, mike.
                      You’re here to carry water for progressives and the IC.
                      You have nothing to say but stale talking points.
                      I find it absolutely hilarious that you take yourself seriously.

                    2. How have I carried water for Progressives?

              2. They are utilizing bases they have to project power in the region, most notably to stifle Iran.

                So then if Trump had sent additional troops to Northern Syria to stifle the Turks, that wouldn’t have been intervention. Right?

                1. Because the Syrian government invited us, right?

                  1. Depends absolutely on how you define “Syrian Government.”

                    But it’s a bit of moot point because now you’re down a rabbit hole I don’t think you intended to go down, because now there are very, very few US military actions that could be described as “interventionist.”

                    IOW, you’re so fixated on saving Trump from the charge that he’s not a non-interventionist that there aren’t many presidents who could be called interventionists.

                    Congratulations?

                    1. Who ever said Trump is non interventionist? What an absurd strawman.

                      Trump is not a neocon, or warmonger. No one ever said he’s non interventionist. There is an ocean of room between those things.

                    2. Who ever said Trump is non interventionist?

                      Everyone who is losing their shit at Reason for criticizing Trump for not having meaningfully withdrawn the troops.

                      If you’ve missed that, I have to seriously question your reading comprehension.

                      But if you believe that Trump is not a non-interventionist, then you’re not disagreeing with me, even though you seem to feel obligated to, for some reason.

    2. Hello.

      Happy Reason? You got your war because Orange Man Bad and Cheese Kurds for your fancy poutine and salads.

      1. You’d think they’d be applauding him.

        Then again, they’re not sure if siding with China is a good idea.

        I do wonder why we need ANOTHER Slate. Because Reason is that.

        1. commentary more entertaining here.

    3. As a pan-dimensional being, it’s difficult for Trump to maintain continuity in our simple, linear timeline.

      1. I’m stealing this line.

    4. Did he actually say “it’s ok for Turkey to invade Syria”? Or was it just his moving of our troops is being interpreted that way by chcickenhawks around the world?

      1. He did not.
        In fact, US forces just handed over Manbij to Russian/Syrian army forces, and Russian jets have been patrolling the skies around several northern cities.
        Turkey is checked

        1. My understanding was that Turkey said “If you are not going to put more troops in the area, then we are coming in”.

          Trump’s choice was to send more troops, or to pull out.

          1. Turkey’s militia allies have already shelled areas US troops hadn’t all evacuated yet.
            What happens when they cause US casualties?
            Do we go to war with NATO ally Turkey?

            Pulling out is the right call.
            Let the Kurds deal with the legitimate government of Syria and, with Syrian ally Russia, prevent/repel the Turkish invasion.
            If we wanted to be real allies with the Kurds, we could’ve backed their push for independence. We didn’t. We have no place there

            1. What happens when they cause US casualties?
              Do we go to war with NATO ally Turkey?

              No – that would be Turkey going to war with its NATO ally, the US.

              But, in fairness,

              Pulling out is the right call.
              Let the Kurds deal with the legitimate government of Syria and, with Syrian ally Russia, prevent/repel the Turkish invasion.
              If we wanted to be real allies with the Kurds, we could’ve backed their push for independence. We didn’t. We have no place there.

              is all correct.

              So, in conclusion, Trump should pull all of our troops out of the ME entirely, right?

    5. This contemptible, compassion-devoid response is a predictable outcome of Trump’s self-serving nationalistic ideology and his refusal to accept responsibility for the damage done by his own callous, impulsive policy decisions.

  2. The Libertarian Party of Georgia says the state’s excessively strict requirements have kept Libertarians and other third-party candidates from running for the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 70 years.

    Libertarians can be so dense. THAT’S THE POINT.

    1. Yup. Ds and Rs can fight over who gets to be the only party listed on ballots, but they both agree that any other parties should be exterminated.

  3. “More details on dirty work from Kamala Harris’ prosecutor past.”

    Ugh, we already have Russian stooge Tulsi Gabbard spreading this nonsense. I’d prefer not to read it in my favorite journal of billionaire-funded open borders advocacy.

    #LibertariansForHarris
    #ProgressiveProsecutor

    1. Harris was on the news last night saying trump has already issued a confession on impeachment. She has to be the dumbest prosecutor of all time.

      1. Why limit this to prosecutors?

        1. Because hillary, warren, veto, bernie, etc all exist.

  4. Is being against abortion and “political correctness” all that unites the right?

    this is what they carried torches for?

    1. Very fine people on both sides.

  5. The Turks have caused a national emergency in the United States?? Those mother fuckers! Wait, what??? How?

    1. Our economy will collapse without Turkish steel!

      1. Thanksgiving will collapse without Turkey, for sure.

        1. I had prime rib once for thanksgiving. It was just fine.

      2. Crom laughs at Turkish steel!

      3. Or Turkish Delight.

  6. California decriminalizes eating roadkill.

    now i dont want to do it anymore

    1. Next session they tax roadkill.

      1. Or start setting up high-speed roadkill generators.

          1. California Condor Cuisinarts?

    2. why do i have a feeling this is either because they realize their socialism will cause people to starve soon enough, or because some asshole said it was the “next green thing”

      1. Soylent Green (TM).

    3. Is this for all roadkill or just the responsibly-harvested roadkill run over by electric cars, bicycles and mass-transit vehicles? Incentives matter.

  7. “We’re not actually shutting anybody down,” said Jason Teal, Jacksonville’s city attorney—though he admitted that shutdowns might be “the practical effect” of the new legislation.

    Florida Man isn’t going to keep these people in power if they don’t keep finding problems they need to save him from.

    1. Woke culture is being slaughtered by this.

      Remember Nike’s “Stand For Something Even if You Might Lose Everything” slogan? Hilarity in hindsight.

      1. Uh, all those “statements” (and more) are just about the money. No conflict at all.

      2. I’m not sure how “Stand For Something Even if You Might Lose Everything” conflicts with “Get Woke, Go Broke”. Nike stands for brutal communist dictators acting like brutal communist dictators, they’re betting that they can outlast the backlash until a Democrat is back in the White House and we’ll have a brutal communist dictator of our own. If it’s not Bernie or Warren this time, it’ll be somebody just as bad next time.

  8. More details on dirty work from Kamala Harris’ prosecutor past.

    [insert disturbing laugh as response here]

    1. It’s all the weed she smoked listening to snoop dog half a decade before his first album that caused that laugh to develop.

      1. She was smoking endo and sipping on gin and juice before it was a thang

        1. She’s definitely got her mind on [taking] our money, and our money on her mind.

      1. Dear God in Heaven. Why?!?

        1. There is no god. He wouldnt be so cruel.

  9. Bolton allegedly told her that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

    so it’s the hand grenade’s fault not the person who pulled the pin? what happened to: guns dont kill people, people kill people?

    1. The other day, some commenter here was predicting Giuliani will be the fall guy for the Ukraine.

      1. Fall for what? Not illegal to petition governments to investigate corruption.

        1. Whatever process crimes can be cooked up for Mueller 2: Retarded Boogaloo.

          1. What exactly are “process crimes”? Felony campaign finance fraud and conspiracy don’t sound like whatever they are.

        2. It is a current accusation that it is against election laws, if not also unconstitutional.

          I am not an expert on election laws or the constitution, so I don’t have a strong opinion. Just restating the accusations that have been made.

          1. Stick with the you are no expert.

            The required reach to make this against election laws would make impeachment itself illegal since Democrats have openly stated impeachment is being done for political reasons, see Greens comments as a grand example.

            No court has ever claimed or even asserted that a) asking other countries tries to investigate corruption is an in kind contribution or b) even getting oppo research is an in kind contribution.

            Oppo research has been used in every election in history. Steele investigation utilized 13 foreign countries. Most election contribution crimes are also settled civilly, see Obama’s record fine in 2009.

            Only idiot democrats are attempting to criminalize politics to win. See Stevens in Alaska, perry in Texas, and now Trump and people in his orbit.

            Stop defending the blatant criminalization of politics.

            1. How am I defending anything? I’m making very neutral, non-partisan statements.

          2. “”It is a current accusation that it is against election laws, if not also unconstitutional.”‘

            I seriously doubt the latter. But I’ll play on the first. Presidents do not get impeached over election laws. Ask Obama.

            1. I never said the President is or will be impeached over election laws. We were talking about Giuliani, and violation of election laws may be one of the things he takes the fall for.

          3. Election laws aren’t an issue. Biden is not the democrat candidate for president. He isn’t even the front runner, and in any event, the primaries have not even started.

            The notion that no action can be taken against a democrat who might one day be the party nominee is absurd in it’s face,

            Just like every goddamn thing the democrats say.

    2. It is going to be fun watching people do a complete 180 on John Bolton like they did on James Comey in 2017, when he went from being the bastard who cost Hillary the election to the courageous leader of the Resistance.

  10. Decriminalized eating road kill! I guess OBL is right, the economy is so bad and people in California are so poor they are eating dead animals they find on the streets.

    1. When Charles Koch suffers, everybody suffers.

      1. Charles Koch eats roadkill? Huh.

    2. I believe what they decriminalized was cannibalizing dead pedestrians/homeless.

      1. Are free range homeless organic or GMO labeled?

    3. Road kill is a euphemism for human feces. That’s one way to clean it up.

      1. Hey, this roadkill tastes like shit.

        1. “But it’s *really great* shit!”

  11. California decriminalizes eating roadkill.

    Properly seasoned raccoon burgers aren’t bad.

  12. Chicago authorities want to ban having more than six hens in residential areas and slap urban farmers with permitting requirements.

    Chicken manure is the smelliest of the manures.

    1. Sqrsly is salivating at the thought.

      1. I wish he would salivate at the thought of drinking a bottle of Drano. We would all benefit.

    2. Have you been to SFC?

      1. I should’ve been more specific. Chicken manure is the smelliest of the livestock manures.

  13. OMG! Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi may have surpassed Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey as the most disgraceful #TrumpRussia / #TrumpUkraine denialist.

    We’re in a permanent coup; Americans might soon wish they just waited to vote their way out of the Trump era

    Patriots like Robert Mueller are doing everything they can to address the fact that Russia hacked the 2016 election and installed a Kremlin asset as President. And clueless Matt Taibbi describes their heroic efforts as a “coup”?!

    I cannot imagine anything more embarrassing for Rolling Stone than having this guy on staff.

    #TaibbiRussia

    1. John linked to that article last week.

  14. Is being against abortion and “political correctness” all that unites the right?

    What? No immigrants, gays and minorities on that list?

    1. Guns. It’s almost entirely about the guns.

  15. …pulling an entire region into a maelstrom of instability,”
    Because the Middle East was always a beacon of peace and harmony before now.

  16. “Trump Changes His Mind About Turkey and Hopes Steel Tariffs Will Stop the Slaughter”

    Trump said last week he would use economic pressure of Turkey began a slaughter campaign. Sanctions are the very tact Reason supported under Obama instead of starting wars.

    Reason seems more concerned with the northern Syria border than the US borders.

    1. Actually Reason is quite concerned with US borders. The fact that they’re not 100% open is a frequent complaint.

      1. Why not the same concern for Syrias closed borders? They should be open too.

    2. ENB (not necessarily “Reason”) seems to be concerned with Trump’s completely unpredictable and erratic decision-making. I am, too.

      We can debate about the correct foreign policy, but there is no policy. Just whim.

      1. There is a lot of competition for stupidest takes. You’re way behind baby jeffrey and pod.

        1. You resort to personal insult a lot when you’ve got no actual counterargument.

          1. What would Reason do without NPCs like Mike to carry their progressive water

            1. What is your evidence that I am a progressive?

              1. Your one sided protestations defending people like pod.

                1. That, and the exclusive repetition of progressive talking points

                  1. So, if I say negative things about Trump, I am a Progressive. Even if I have never said anything pro-Progressive.

                    In fact, if you look further down in the comments, I said negative things about Hunter Biden.

                    But believe whatever you want. It’s easier to have a simplistic, partisan worldview.

                    1. You should know.

      2. “Decision-making”.

        1. More like random mood swings than decision making.

    3. Trump said last week he would use economic pressure of Turkey began a slaughter campaign.

      And when he said that, I was cautiously optimistic that he had negotiated a peaceful handover to Turkey and was backing that up with real threats if they didn’t comply.

      And then he turned around and put sanctions on a couple of government ministries and a couple of ministers.

      I’m sure Turkey is still reeling from the blow. That sound you hear isn’t Erdogan laughing his ass off – ignore it.

  17. Chicago authorities want to ban having more than six hens in residential areas and slap urban farmers with permitting requirements.

    You’ve been getting away with it for too long, fresh egg and produce producers.

  18. St. Louis’ mayor wants to fight crime with omnipresent surveillance planes over the city…

    Mostly strafing runs over poor neighborhoods formerly known as cash cows.

  19. Former liberal Rolling Stones writer and current alt right grand wizard Matt Taibbi gives a scathing editorial on why the permanent coup by the IC is a bad thing.

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/were-in-a-permanent-coup

    Good read on the issues.

    1. It’s not a coup to blow the whistle when a politican is committing a crime. Trump is busted. He’s going to prison. Enjoy the ride motherfucker.

      1. You’ve repeated this for 3 years now. Are you not out of breath yet retard? Is this you supporting chuck Schumer’s statement that the IC has 6 ways to get back at you as a threat against Trump in 2017? You are perfectly okay with the IC dictating domestic policy and spying on Americans to do so?

        You’re fucking retarded.

        1. Trump is under the protection of the DOJ at the moment.

          1. You just say stupider and stupider things as the day goes on.

          2. No reasonable prosecutor …

      2. Actually, the democrats are busted. Better execute the remaining detainees at GitMo so as to make room for the future residents brought in from the DNC and congressional democrats.

    2. Taibbi isn’t a former liberal. He’s just unlike the other blue checkmarks in that he isn’t a mendacious twat and believes in actual journalistic standards.

      1. Look, a unicorn!

  20. There are no problems that steel tariffs can’t solve. Magic.

  21. The impeachment secrecy, I mean trial continues.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/congress/wheres-the-whistleblower-key-gop-questions-about-schiffs-contact-may-never-be-answered

    Now Schiff thinks the whistleblower doesnt matter. No need to talk. Hide everything! Surely the behavior of a prosecutor with a slam dunk of a case.

    1. Also refusing to allow a member of the Judiciary Committee…who has to PASS the articles of Impeachment…to speak to the leaker is the sign of a totes serious process.

    2. the whistleblower can’t appear because they haven’t found anyone stupid enough to volunteer to lie in public about something the left made up out of whole cloth

      1. The whistleblower can’t appear because she’s still traumatized by her last appearance when she testified about Brett Kavanaugh trying to rape her at that party back when they were in high school.

  22. California decriminalizes eating roadkill.

    Unless it’s been run over by an Uber.

    1. Every squirrel has been branded with a tattoo stating it is known to the state of California to cause cancer in lab rats.

  23. Trump didn’t “change his fucking mind”. This is part of the game he’s playing. He’s trying to find cover now that the deed is done.

    1. You were correct on the first sentence giving his comments last week. You went back to full retard on the second part.

    2. So you think he is clever.

      1. I think he’s conniving and dishonest.

        1. Such a rare combo in DC.

          1. Why just DC? It’s humanity. It’s your local govt, state govt, private industry everywhere. You’re just brainwashed to think it’s just DC because that story aligns with an agenda.

            1. So you are included. But it may be a stretch to say you are part of humanity.

            2. A lot of people are very stupid too Pod. You’re a prime example of that.

        2. As compared to you being retarded and dishonest.

          1. Boy, that was a mature rejoinder.

            1. Its accurate. Did I offend you in some way. Do you want a fainting couch? He has a history here. You are well on your way to catching up though, keep sprinting.

              1. You are well on your way to catching up though, keep sprinting.

                Oooooh, are you making a list?

                1. I dont make lists. My memory isnt that of a goldfish.

        3. “‘I think he’s conniving and dishonest.”‘

          Which makes him different from other politicians how?

  24. Bolton allegedly told her that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

    Giuliani will be that rare grenade that falls on itself to take the shrapnel.

    1. I am surprised…really, I am…that Reason didn’t once comment on Bolton’s known affection for warfare. Cannot figure out why Trump shifted him away.

      1. They didn’t comment on it above, but Reason has written quite a lot about Bolton’s known affect for warfare.

        1. My god. You’re too stupid to even understand sarcasm.

          1. If your Trump apologism is your idea of being smart, then I am proud to have you call me stupid.

            1. But please claim you’re not a leftist like above lol.

              1. This is a libertarian website. I’m a libertarian.

                Libertarians are typically critical of the Left and the Right. I’m being consistent with that.

                1. Oh, you’re being serious…

      2. Reason didn’t once comment on Bolton’s known affection for warfare. Cannot figure out why Trump shifted him away

        They said that that was the reason Trump fired him. Even though Trump himself merely gave ‘disagreements with others in the admin’ as the reason.

        Wouldn’t it be funny if the ‘disagreements’ in question are not at all about his chickenhawk warmongering but about the Guiliani/Ukraine thing.

  25. This week, he says the Turkish invasion of Syria will “undermine the campaign to defeat” ISIS

    I thought ISIS was already defeated?? So we defeated ISIS, but we didn’t defeat them, some border war is now a matter of national security, and somewhere in Syria we have 1,000 troops that somehow prevent the whole region from collapsing?? Fuuuuuck – thanks Susan Rice and Samantha Powers for totally fucking shit up over there. Trump deserves some of the blame for the current disfunction, but we wouldn’t even be in this mess if it weren’t for the two twits from the prior administration.

    1. “”This week, he says the Turkish invasion of Syria will “undermine the campaign to defeat” ISIS””

      How hard is it to beat the JV team?

    1. “Hey, this copy’s defective! Where’s the rest of this thing?”

      1. LOL. “And someone mixed up the Declaration of Independence with some terrorist manifesto!”

    2. Sold? I thought it was in the public domain. I guess every change restarts the clock.

      1. People still buy physical books.

    3. Progressives stunned to find out that the words contained within the constitution are not just for Chiefs, and sons of Chiefs.

    4. Liberals calm down after learning the commerce clause covers literally everything!

  26. “3 Boston-area economists who study poverty win Nobel Prize”
    […]
    “The three winners, who have worked together, revolutionized developmental economics by pioneering field experiments that generate practical insights into how poor people respond to education, health care and other programs meant to lift them out of poverty.”
    https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2019/10/15/3-boston-area-economists-who-study-poverty-win-nobel-prize

    This might be really interesting if they did research on, say, why millions of Chinese are no longer starving; that is to say what ended thier poverty, but you’ll notice that the focused instead on things which are “meant to lift them out of poverty”.
    This is telling:
    ““Well deserved!” tweeted French economist Thomas Piketty, author of a bestselling book on inequality.”

    1. “Of course, I pay him $30K a month not to.”

    2. Ugh, Hunter Biden’s interview today saying he did nothing unethical. He may have done nothing illegal, but it was majorly unethical. Democrats are purposely conflating legality and ethics.

      1. GMA is the go-to outlet for the establishment when they’ve fucked up and need to put the lipstick on the pig.

        Hunter gave up his cushy board position because it was fucking up Daddy’s presidential campaign. It certainly wasn’t done out of a sense of honorable or ethical behavior.

      2. Hunter may not have but his dad apparently did. old Joe probably told them Hire my son but don’t tell him i told you to.

        1. I’m not sure Biden had to actively say anything. It’s hard to know without having been a fly on the wall.

          The Ukrainian company wanted to give the appearance of having an “in” with the Vice President, and it’s quite possible they made all the overt moves to offer Hunter Biden the position, etc. Well, other than Hunter Biden traveling along with his dad.

          1. I guess directly threatening to withhold funds from ukranian government unless they remove a prosecutor investigating the company paying your unqualified (as confessed today) son doesn’t count as actively saying anything.

            1. It does when you brag about it, in front of an audience, and on video.

      3. One party’s “not quite illegal” is the other party’s “crimes against humanity”.

  27. “LeBron James criticizes Daryl Morey for China tweet”
    […]
    ““When you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something — and I’m just talking about the tweet itself — you never know the ramifications that can happen,” James told reporters before the Lakers’ preseason game against the Warriors at Staples Center. “We all saw what that did — not only did for our league, but all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through things that you say that may cause harm — not only for yourself, but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a primary example of that.”
    https://www.sfexaminer.com/sports/lebron-james-criticizes-daryl-morey-for-china-tweet/

    I’m not really fluent in jive, but that probably translates to ‘quit fucking with my sponsors sales in China’.

    1. I’m always interested in what LeBron has to say about world politics.

      1. It might be better if he spoke a recognized language.

        1. Try dissecting a Trump speech in written form sometime.

          1. You should seek help; not everything is about your illness.

    2. James…you are so not Michael Jordan.

      Now tell us more how visiting the WH would be bad but tap dancing like Step’n’Fetchit for China is a really enlightened thing to do.

      1. Remember when Nike was the bete noir of the Gen-X left for their harsh labor practices? Funny how funding woke retardness absolves all sins with these people.

      2. When asked about why he didn’t speak out on politics, Michael Jordan responded with possibly the wisest thing a pro athlete has ever said:
        “Republicans buy sneakers too”

    3. Hey, LeBron, now do Colin Kaepernick.

    4. are there ramifications that can’t happen?

  28. Do some people here actually like Rand Paul?

    Rand Paul is not just despicable. He is a Russian agent in the form of a senator.

    Paul is exactly what’s wrong with today’s GOP. I’d rather see the party return to the days in which John McCain was its leader.

    #LibertariansForABetterGOP
    #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge

    1. I actually like Rand Paul.

    2. Let’s see: stands up for Libertarian principals even when unpopular? Yes, I support Rand Paul.

  29. “The president has declared a national emergency over the crisis he helped create in Syria.”

    Trump didn’t create the crisis in Syria.

    The crisis in Syria was created in 2011, when Assad came down hard on Arab Spring protesters–five years before President Trump was elected.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring#Syria_(2011%E2%80%93present)

    The suggestion that Trump created this crisis isn’t as bad as the idea that the United States is responsible for everything bad that happens in the world–either through our action or inaction. If you truly believe that, you might as well follow through and become a full fledged neocon.

    Oh, and assuming you’re ignorant about the Arab Spring is giving you the benefit of the doubt–because if you’re blaming the Turkish invasion on Trump’s withdrawing of American troops, that’s even worse. If we only withdrew our troops from quagmires when there was no risk of others storming in to take advantage of the power vacuum left by our absence, we’d never withdraw from any quagmire.

    In fact, that’s the argument neocons make to justify the eternal expansion of American empire.

    Are you a neocon?

    1. The Kurds were told by the Trump administration to tear down their defensive positions, withdraw their heavy weapons from the border and essentially disarm themselves as a gesture of appeasement to Turkey. In return they promised American defensive support. The Kurds lost over 10,000 people fight IS and they won and defeated IS and took their caliphate. The fighting there in NE Syria was over. All we needed to do to keep those gains from Assad, Russia and Turkey (who arms militias that are virtually indistinguishable from IS) was to keep the troops and our airpower in the region.

      1. Pod for permanent military installations globally in all locations.

        “All we have to do…is keep troops stationed in a bunch of countries FOREVER.”

        1. I think it’s worth helping people like the Kurds and Israel defend themselves because I value human freedom and people who desire it.

          1. Of course. It’s worth helping all kinds of people. And, as always, it seems to be the job of the US alone to do it.

            So, why are wars of conquest bad? Seems to be a better deal then what we are doing right now.

          2. Your headline like scholarship of the Kurds is much needed. Please start touring universities so you can share your vast knowledge of their history and culture.

          3. We don’t have military stationed in Israel defending their borders, you idiot.

          4. “I think it’s worth helping people like the Kurds and Israel defend themselves because I value human freedom and people who desire it.”

            The fig leaf of virtue wrapped around a stinking turd.
            Fuck off.

            1. Should it be noted that siding with the Kurds would put us in direct conflict with an alleged ally.

              I thought opposing allies was, you know, bad.

          5. “”I think it’s worth helping people like the Kurds””

            But when the Kurds fight a NATO member, guess who’s side we are obligated to take by treaty.

            1. guess who’s side we are obligated to take by treaty

              Not when Turkey starts it, we’re not.

          6. “”I think it’s worth helping people like the Kurds””

            But when the Kurds are fighting against a NATO member, guess who’s side we are obligated to take by treaty?

          7. As long as it’s someone else’s kid that has to die for it, right?

      2. Fucking LOL that you’re arguing for the perpetual occupation of a permanently embattled ethnostate, Podtard. I thought you were a leftist.

    2. If we only withdrew our troops from quagmires when there was no risk of others storming in to take advantage of the power vacuum left by our absence, we’d never withdraw from any quagmire.

      The reason we fail to ever withdraw (and this action by Trump was not actually a withdrawal but simply moving those troops to a different part of the Middle East) is because those who aim for that are usually proudly ignorant about their situational understanding.

      Rule #1 – There is never any value in inviting the willfully stupid to participate in policy option discussions.
      Corollary – If you have an objective that may have an obvious risk (say – withdrawal where some other power will fill the vacuum), then you gotta be the one who has the solution to that risk if you want to achieve your objective.

      1. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of my lengthy posts about why the United States hardly ever leaves quagmires, but I don’t want to rehash that here.

        Suffice it to say, it comes to some of our most cherished cultural values–largely attributable to the influence of Christianity subconsciously or otherwise.

        “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

        —-John 15:13

        Jesus died for others–and so did Pat Tillman. Once the president orders troops into a foreign country and they die on the ground for a cause, if any president withdraws those troops without achieving that cause, then he’s squandering the lives of righteous heroes for nothing–and there is nothing worse a president can be accused of than squandering the lives of American heroes for nothing. He might as well be Pontius Pilate.

        Please note, I’m not saying that’s the way it should be. I’m saying that’s the way it is. It’s basically a sunk costs fallacy. That’s one of the reasons why we should avoid putting troops on the ground whenever possible–because every time one of them dies, it makes it that much harder to bring them home.

        Meanwhile, it is also true that everywhere we go, we create a power bubble that pops with our absence–creating a vacuum when we leave. The reason it was so easy to withdraw our troops from Libya is because we never put troops on the ground in Libya. God forbid any American heroes die in Syria and sanctifies that country with their blood. Syria would make the occupation of Iraq look like a cakewalk. And watching people crticize Trump for pulling our troops out of the fray in the name of libertarianism is revolting.

        Justin Raimondo used to participate in comments here. Didn’t always agree with him, but libertarians everywhere should be missing his voice right about now.

        1. I agree on the sunk cost fallacy but I don’t think it is largely Christianity’s influence. I recall that the Japanese had the same feeling during their occupation of China prior to WWII starting. They didn’t want to give up Manchuria and one of the stated reason was because of the dead Japanese who fought valiantly to secure it in the first place. I wouldn’t doubt that you could find similar examples throughout non Christian histories. Seems ingrained in humans who then use their own unique doctrines to justify it.

          1. I appreciate that similar ideas exist in other religions and other cultures, but that one about laying down your life for another being the true definition of a hero came to our culture by way of Christianity.

            When atheist gay rights activists argue that they should be treated under marriage law the same way we would want to be treated if we were them, subconsciously or otherwise, they’re plugging into some cultural assumptions grounded in the golden rule–and that idea came from somewhere specific. There may be similar ideas to be found in Zen Buddhism, but Zen Buddhism isn’t how those assumptions were introduced into our culture. And those assumptions about the golden rule didn’t arise from nothing either.

            1. Ken, I think the moralities of honor are much more fundamental than any one religion; honor codes provide foundations for most religions, especially vindictive tribal faiths.

              And while honor can be admirable, it also inspires all kinds of extreme human behavior.

              1. Sure, but the idiotic and misanthropic deification of generalized “altruism” is entirely Christian

              2. Again, I’m not talking about the way things should be. I’m talking about the way they are. Average people are already highly susceptible to sunken cost fallacies, and that error is compounded when the sunken cost is an American hero.

                Meanwhile, when a president is thinking about whether to withdraw troops from a hopeless quagmire, he isn’t just thinking about the votes of rational people. Irrational people get to vote, too. In his second term, he doesn’t want to be thought of as the guy who squandered the lives of American heroes by surrendering either.

                Americans are obsessed with the sacrifices of our heroes, and it goes back much further than First Blood and Saving Private Ryan. We’re by no means unique in that way either. Australia, New Zealand, and Canada wouldn’t be as independent of the crown as they are if it weren’t for Gallipoli and “Lest we forget”.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lest_we_forget_(phrase)

                1. The Australian version of First Blood would be Breaker Morant.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaker_Morant_(film)

                  The historical accuracy isn’t as interesting as the fidelity to the Australian folk version of the story. These men died for the sins of others. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Where have I heard that this makes them heroic? They were executed a hundred years ago, and yet every Australian–Christian or otherwise–still seems to have an opinion on it. Why do you suppose that is? I suspect it has something to do with the culture.

        2. Quoting John 15 – or namedropping Justin Raimondo – is not a qualification to be part of any policy discussions. The random generic stuff about power vacuums and intervention v nonintervention is also completely irrelevant to the SPECIFIC situation here.

          The reason ‘nonintervention’ is NEVER on the table as an actual option in the real world is precisely because that level of preachy irrelevant nonsense is exactly the sole level of discussion that noninterventionists engage in. There is ZERO situational knowledge that they are ever interested in bringing to the table. NEVER.
          And because of that laziness and stupidity, they are and will always be on the outside looking in and whining/bitching/moaning about how no one takes them seriously. Well no fucking duh.

          In this particular situation – re the particular issue of ‘who fills the power vacuum’- I can see a ton of potential ‘outcomes’/risks:
          1. ISIS fills the vacuum
          2. Kurds fill the vacuum
          3. Turks fill the vacuum
          4. Syria fills the vacuum
          5. Russians fill the vacuum
          6. Iran fills the vacuum
          7. All of the above compete to fill the vacuum
          8. Some of the above in different power combinations compete to fill the vacuum

          Noninterventionists who are reduced to sputtering platitudes will – ALWAYS – be ignored and they should be ignored. Noninterventionists who actually try to understand those different players and the different risks of each of those scenarios to the US and who can then use that knowledge to figure out the best way to withdraw to improve the odds of the better risks happening and reduce the odds of the worse risks happening – are precisely the sort who can then sell noninterventionism as ‘in the interest of the US’. Which is precisely when that will become more likely to happen.

          Noninterventionism based on willful stupidity and 8 miles high preachiness is NOT the basis for a foreign policy for any country. For the simple reason that foreign policy based on willful stupidity is bound to fail. Much less a country that is – like it or not – the most powerful country on Earth where every action of ours – interventionist or noninterventionist – the very act of moving our feet – involves and will always involve creating ‘power vacuums’ at the local/regional/micro level.

          1. “Quoting John 15 – or namedropping Justin Raimondo – is not a qualification to be part of any policy discussions.”

            Contrasting real libertarianism from the past with the bullshit du jour being served up around here is entirely relevant and so is addressing the proclivities of average Americans on this issue because of influences on their culture.

            1. No. You are just a continuation of the decades of irrelevant.

              There is only one way ‘noninterventionism’ can become relevant in future. Learn about the ‘OTHER’ – the ‘foreign’ in ‘foreign policy’ in the real world. Become MORE informed about the ‘OTHER’ than the interventionist is – so that one becomes a necessary part of the policy discussion.

              Past libertarian v present libertarian v future libertarian adds precisely ZERO. Foreign policy as an extension of domestic politics adds ZERO. Philosophical horseshit adds ZERO.

              1. What you’re calling “non-inteventionism” has been entirely relevant in the recent past, and it’s been attained by voting for pragmatic presidents over neoconservatives. They more or less follow the principles of the Powell/Weinberger doctrine.

                That’s the reason Bush Sr. declined to depose Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq.

                That’s the reason Bush Sr. bugged out of Panama rather than occupy it.

                That’s the reason Bill Clinton did not send American troops to Rwanda.

                That’s the reason Bill Clinton bombed Serbia rather than invaded.

                We had 16 years of neoconservative ideological presidents under Bush Jr. and Obama, and the Powell/Weinberger doctrine went out the window. Interventionism begins with the premise that our actions should be consistent regardless of situation or American interests, and to whatever extent we’re contributing to that, we’re part of the problem. The reason we don’t invade Hong Kong to save the protesters there from China is because it isn’t in our best interests to do so. If you need a consistent rule, apply that one to every situation, and you’ll find us intervening a whole lot less than we did over the 16 years of Bush Jr. and Obama.

                Trump, for instance, is negotiating with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan. That’s what non-interventionism looks like–sometimes making nice with nasty people.

                1. ‘Neoconservative’ is an irrelevant strawman term. And a huge dog-whistling one if you are using it like Ron Paul or R’s – esp re the Middle East – which I suspect since you are countering that term with ‘noninterventionism’. It is a completely fucking useless term – an excuse for one to BE ignorant themselves about that area and to in fact be proud of that ignorance because those who use the term intend the term as an extension of domestic politics rather than as anything about foreign policy.

                  There are tons of people in our history who have seen a particular ‘idea’ (moral/ethical based) as the most important/compelling foreign policy interest of the US at some point or on some issue. Our revolution, Jefferson’s attachment to France, generations of missionaries who drove foreign policy in Asia (esp re Sun Yat Sen), Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and yes even Bush Sr rationale for Gulf War and Clinton’s rationale to send Marines to Haiti. Just as there are others – or even the same people at other times – who have seen foreign policy as nothing more than advancing the interests of United Fruit or Citibank or Big Campaign Donor or whoever.

                  Those who have all those varying agendas/objectives (and more) ‘win’ by being more knowledgeable about the particulars of the situations we face at particular times. PERIOD. At the table of the blind deaf and dumb the one-eyed man… When everyone is blind deaf and dumb, the election pollster makes foreign policy decisions.

                  Trump ‘negotiating with the Taliban’ (which btw – isn’t happening since he broke that off) is the same as Obama drumroll – negotiating with the Taliban. You lauding a particular in some purely foreign policy context is just dumbass deceitful BS. It is viewing foreign policy as purely an extension of domestic politics. Our side good their side bad. THAT view of foreign policy is most certainly paralyzing – not sunk cost fallacy. THAT is why LBJ/Nixon couldn’t get out of Vietnam. Because they viewed it entirely in domestic politics terms as to how their domestic opponents would spin the foreign policy specific.

                  1. Comparing neoconservatives to realists/pragmatists isn’t a dog whistling term at all–especially in terms of their willingness to treat different situations differently and in their willingness to cozy up with unsavory people. Neoconservatives are pretty much universally opposed to that, and pragmatic, short term alliances with people like Pinochet or Putin are pretty typical of pragmatists. If you’re opposed to leaving Afghanistan if it means negotiating with the Taliban, then your outlook is neocon. If you’re opposed to destroying ISIS in Syria if it means working together with Putin, then your outlook is neocon.

                    Because some people can’t make meaningful distinctions between neocons and pragmatists doesn’t mean meaningful distinctions between them aren’t valid or can’t be made.

                    Another meaningful distinction between pragmatists and neocons is the pragmatists focus on American interest (see Powell/Weinberger Doctrine). If your heavily focused on the interests of Americans (rather than the interests of gay rights activists under Putin or Kurds in norther Syria), then you’ll be adjusting your policies on a situation by situation basis. That is anathema to neocons, and it’s what makes pragmatists much more reluctant to invade foreign countries.

                    In 2016, Trump campaigned on working with Putin to destroy ISIS in Syria. That’s why McCain and other neocons became never-Trumpers. If destroying ISIS in Syria meant working with someone like Putin, then those neocons would rather not destroy ISIS, especially if destroying ISIS could be used as pretext for invading and occupying Syria. Trump’s whole pragmatic objective was to destroy ISIS without the U.S. ever having to invade Syria. Certainly, just because you don’t see the clear divide between the two doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

                    1. Neoconservative v realist v pragmatist are meaningless terms. They are pigeonholes that are drawn in order to paint/spin the particular objectives/means of someone else. They don’t require one iota of actual specific information about a particular situation. Nor are the terms intended to help make any policy decision. They are intended to spin a decision – for the DOMESTIC audience.

                      You’re trying to draw me further into the notion that one doesn’t actually need knowledge re foreign policy – just the right label. As I’ve said – that’s just a dead end.

                    2. Because you believe these are irrelevant terms doesn’t make them so–especially if other people can point out real and consistent distinctions between them.

                    3. I’m saying the terms are meaningless re foreign policy because they don’t contain any actual knowledge. They are just labels/pigeonholes.

                      So what if you want to define realists as ‘people who are willing to talk with assholes’? I can see that as sometimes good, sometimes bad. I’m sure you can too. The term doesn’t define what is the objective, what is the national interest (and there is no such thing as THE national interest in purely objective terms), what is the purpose being served in talking to them, what are the different options facing us and why is that particular ‘talk with asshole’ option the preferred option at this point?

                      It doesn’t advance anything. It just diverts attention into arguing about labels.

                    4. I’d love to have been the genius that defines terms like neoconservative and pragmatists.

                      These are the ways neoconservatives and pragmatists have been describing themselves and differentiating themselves from each other for decades.

                      Do you understand there are differences between Catholics and Methodists, too, or are those also meaningless distinctions in your mind?

    3. ENB was clearly referring to the current crisis: i.e. the invasion of Syria by Turkey.

      1. Are you saying she doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt?

        Are you saying that Turkey’s present actions are unrelated to the situation in Syria that resulted from the Arab Spring protests of 2011?

        1. Sorry, I didn’t follow what you wrote.

    4. I’ve been saying the same thing Ken but less eloquently. it doesn’t matter who is president or when we pull out there was going to be a vacume that would be filled with violence. trump is maybe just smart enough to pull out now and let teh chips fall

  30. “Caravan of 2,000 migrants detained in southern Mexico”
    […]
    “Mexican officials broke up a caravan of around 2,000 migrants that had set out from southern Mexico Saturday in the hopes of reaching the United States, amid increasing difficulty obtaining permission to pass through Mexico.”
    https://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/world/article236074353.html

    Did Soros cut off his funding?

  31. “Lowell High School student pushes plan to lower voting age”
    […]
    “Ella Yitzhaki has avidly followed politics since she was 10. She can discuss the platforms of the myriad Democratic presidential candidates. She knows the issues she cares most about are immigration reform, gun control and health care….”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/heatherknight/article/Lowell-High-School-student-pushes-plan-to-lower-14521414.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    A very good reason to raise the voting age.

    1. Must also have a full time job.

      1. She probably has plans to be an activist. Or a politico.

    2. Emotional reasoning is the best reasoning.

  32. The latest Quinnipiac presidential poll results show Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) leading the pack… But another poll released yesterday shows Warren (with 15 percent support) still lagging behind Joe Biden

    DAMN IT! Can we get a poll as to which poll Americans TRUST?!

    1. They have always been super accurate, see 2016.

  33. “Is being against abortion and “political correctness” all that unites the right?”

    No, a desire to actually achieve some goals unites the Right against Quislings like NR.

    It’s lovely to be the minority and to always whine that they cannot get their way.

  34. “In a letter to Congress on Monday, Donald Trump announced the issue of an executive order declaring a national emergency “due to the situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the recent actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria.”

    ENB seems to be ignorant of the fact that Turkey is a NATO ally, and if they provoke an attack against their territory by Iran, we may be obligated by treaty to defend them.

    Trump should use his legitimate powers in the Constitution and the North Atlantic Treaty to do everything he can to distance us from that obligation to Turkey.

  35. “The same Turkish actions that got Trump’s go-ahead last week are now described by him as “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to national security.”

    I’ve seen no evidence that Trump green-lighted Turkey’s actions in Syria. If you have some, you should link to it. If there were some persuasive evidence that Trump gave Erdogan the go-ahead, I suspect you would have linked to it.

    I’ve seen evidence that Trump withdrew our troops because Erdogan gave him a heads up that Turkey was invading.

    The Kurds we are abandoning in northern Syria, meanwhile, have now reportedly joined Assad and are fighting against the Turk’s on Assad’s side–along with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah?

    The suggestion that we should fight the Turks alongside Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran is fucking stupid. The suggestion that we should help the Turks attack Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran directly is fucking stupid. The suggestion that Trump should have just left our troops in that situation is also fucking stupid–and your hatred of Trump doesn’t make any of those stupid positions any smarter.

    1. Whatever we are doing we should be doing something else because Trump.

      1. That seems to be the only consistent thing happening around here these days.

        If Trump were fighting to cut spending and audit the Fed, around here, that might suddenly become the stupidest thing anyone’s ever done.

    2. Anytime we withdraw troops, we are INVITING. It’s ALWAYS out fault. Don’t you know that, Ken? You cannot expect Libertarians to advocate non-engagement.

      1. You know, the left is good at identifying problems even if they are bad on the solutions.

        The globalism, imperialism, war mongering, and disregard for the interests of the American people really is a reflection of the plutocratic leanings of Reason writers, likely linked to where their paychecks come from.

    3. so I haven’t been following this closely, but if my choices boiled down to being slaughtered by genocidal turks with air support, or joining forces with guys who might not be good people but understand the need to unite against an outside threat, then I think my options are pretty clear.

      That being said, I agree that we’d be best suited to just pulling out and letting what happens, happens.

    4. That’s not the criticism. The criticism is complete unpredictability and lack of continuity in Trump’s decision making.

      1. You gotta sleep on your toes and when you’re on the street
        You got to be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed
        And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight
        You got to strike when the moment is right without thinking

      2. Trump wasn’t the one who put troops in Syria.

        1. Agreed. However, exhibiting a lack of thoughtfulness about when and how to appropriately withdraw troops from Syria is what the criticism is about.

          Trump’s record is clear — he consistently acts impulsively and changes his principles frequently. That’s the heart of the criticism.

      3. That’s not the criticism. The criticism is complete unpredictability and lack of continuity in Trump’s decision making.

        It’s completely predictable that US troops eventually withdraw from various quagmires, because sooner or later American voters tire of this kind of crap.

        People like you always say they want to leave, but just another six months and then it will be much better. It never gets any better.

        I hope Trump will engage in more such “unpredictable actions”. Maybe it gets the message across to foreign actors that they can’t rely on the US military fighting their wars for them. Maybe it gets the message across that it is not America’s job to spread peace and democracy around the world.

        1. “People like you…”

          Don’t bother what I actually think about intervention and foreign entanglements. (I’m against them.)

      4. “The criticism is complete unpredictability and lack of continuity in Trump’s decision making.”

        Trump is a realist or a pragmatist.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realpolitik

        In the real world, different situations call for different actions.

        That being said, the way Trump’s choices are being portrayed in the media make him seem more inconsistent than he is in reality.

        1. C’mon, mike can’t be expected to actually know anything about what he says – he has way too many talking points to memorize

          1. I wouldn’t even know where to get these “talking points” I”m accused of memorizing.

        2. It’s not just the way he’s being portrayed in the media. He is a volatile, unstable person.

          1. And you know that from speaking to him personally?

    5. I also think it’s stupid to believe that any of our politicians can solve the Middle East. They’ve been trying for decades to end violence that has lasted millennia. And we have…what? to show for it?

      1. Two fewer carbon-sucking skyscrapers in Manhattan! The left should be overjoyed!

      2. decades hell since we sent Marines to the shores of Tripoli

    6. Agree with all of it. Orange man is less bad than a 2 sided war for our troops.

    7. you last paragraph reminds me of 1984. who will be our enemy this week

  36. “Last week, Trump seemed unconcerned about how Turkish actions would affect Kurdish people living there (they didn’t help us during World War II, Trump told reporters).”

    Trump made the right decision in putting the interests of the United States ahead of the interests of the Kurds; after all, he isn’t the president of Kurdistan. Donald Trump is the president of the United States.

    Oh, and catching President Trump making an embarrassing comment about World War II doesn’t mean he made the wrong decision on withdrawing our troops from the fighting. He made the right decision.

    1. What interests? Spell it out. What did American gain? Turkey hates us. The Kurds hate us. Assad hates us. The Arab militias hate us. Iran hates us. IS prisoners have escaped and now have space to regroup. People are dying. War is taking place. Russia can now use its leverage on the battlefield to gain concessions from Turkey, Assad and the Kurds.

      1. they all hated The U.S. before Trump but gladly used us and letting Russia resolve the issues there is fine by me let them have it we don’t need any of it.

      2. “What interests? Spell it out. What did American gain?”

        What did we lose by leaving?

        “Turkey hates us. The Kurds hate us. Assad hates us. The Arab militias hate us. Iran hates us.”

        Do you even understand your own questions?

        Did you think Assad and Iran liked us before Trump ordered our troops withdrawn?

        And why is it so important for these groups to like us? Are you saying that it’s more important for these groups not to unfriend us on Facebook than it is to avoid American involvement in a war?

        Do you imagine these groups would like us better if we invaded and occupied their country? Do you imagine these groups would like us better if we were fighting against them?

        Are you becoming unhinged?

        1. Even Moscow Mitch says the withdrawal harmed America’s short term and long term interests in the region. We lost an ally who was crucial in the fight against IS. We lost IS prisoners. We empowered the Arab militias who are basically IS by another name. We let Turkey slaughter Kurdish politicians execution style on the side.of the road. We handed any leverage we had in region to Russia who was happy to take it. Tell what we gained if you can?

          1. What the fuck did we gain by keeping troops there? The only reason they were there in the first place was because of the fuckups of two prior administrations.

            Sometimes the only way to win is not to play.

          2. “Even Moscow Mitch says the withdrawal harmed America’s short term and long term interests in the region.”

            If neocons were saying neocon things, would that be a good reason for anyone to change their minds?

            Is that the way your mind works?

            Here’s how my mind works: Because Mitch McConnell says something isn’t a good reason for me to change my mind about anything.

  37. Man were the Lions robbed or what?

    Worse than the Saints-Rams thing. Way.

    That gave a win to another team on a platter.

    1. the Mason Crosby’s Wife narrative was necessary for the broadcast and Mason might have missed the kick from farther out

    2. That gave a win to another team on a platter.

      Not “the other team”, Saint Aaron Rodgers.

  38. The president has declared a national emergency over the crisis he helped create in Syria. … The same Turkish actions that got Trump’s go-ahead last week are now described by him as “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to national security.

    Trump didn’t give the “go-ahead” for Turkish actions. Turkey said “we’re going to attack Syria”, Trump moved 50 US soldiers out of the way of the attack, and expressed America’s disapproval of Turkey’s actions.

    It’s Turkey who is conducting the military attack and it’s Turkey who is responsible, not Trump and not the US. Since Turkey has chosen to act this way, there are now consequences.

    But in the forever-war minds of Reason staff, apparently, it’s the job of the US and the American military to prevent any two hostile parties in the world from attacking each other. Yes, when US troops withdraw, people kill each other. Get used to it. It’s not our problem or our responsibility.

    1. “Trump didn’t give the “go-ahead” for Turkish actions. Turkey said “we’re going to attack Syria”, Trump moved 50 US soldiers out of the way of the attack, and expressed America’s disapproval of Turkey’s actions.”

      It’s hard to see the big picture when you let yourself get distracted by silly things like facts and logic.

      Close your eyes, look deep in your soul, step outside yourself, and let your mind go–and then the anti-Trump truth will slowly come to you.

      1. And there now is reporting from Reuters that Russian troops are in the American bases and Putin is saying that Russia will not let Turkey attack its allies in Syria. Why do you think Putin is so eager to put his troops in our bases?

        1. Is this the first time you’re becoming aware that Putin is working with Iran to prop up Assad in Syria?

          And what do you mean, “American bases”?

          Where is your link?

          1. Jesus fucking christ Ken. Reuters is the source you illerate fuck.

            1. Here is the link dumbfuck, it says they are setting permanent Russian bases you illiterate fuck.

              https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-bases-idUSKBN1EK0HD

              1. Sometimes people like Pod say shit that doesn’t make sense–and we just know that what they’re saying only makes sense if we had their sickness.

                I’m trying to picture why the United States would build a real military base in northern Syria, and I’m thinking . . . maybe it’s a temporary air strip or something?

                Pod didn’t understand what he read, and through the lens of his weird anxiety, he added two and two together, came up with the square root of negative infinity, and then called me an “illiterate fuck”.

                If I were to make fun of him, I couldn’t come up with anything better than what he’s done to himself.

      2. Slayer. Seasons in the Abyss.

        I got that one.

    2. Trump didn’t give the “go-ahead” for Turkish actions. Turkey said “we’re going to attack Syria”, Trump moved 50 US soldiers out of the way of the attack, and expressed America’s disapproval of Turkey’s actions.

      Not that I am in any way doubting you because I know you’re not a mindless Trumpbot like some of the people here, but I’m having this same argument with some NeverTrumper guy I know who insists that Trump gave the go-ahead to Turkey and I can’t seem to find any actual citations to what you and I (and Ken Shultz) know is the actual truth, so could you do me a huge favor and provide a citation I can share to something that actually proves Turkey said they were going to attack and Trump simply pulled our brave and heroic troops out of the way?

      1. The news media has been shitty about this. Here is an excellent example:

        “Trump gives green light to Turkish invasion of Syria, abandoning Kurdish allies”

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/trump-turkey-syria-kurds-erdogan-us-troops-military-middle-east-latest-a9145601.html

        Smoking gun?

        If you read the article, all it really says is that Trump announced to the world that he was pulling American troops out of the way of a Turkish invasion.

        I’ve seen numerous articles making the same claim in the headlines, but they don’t have anything in the story to support it.

        This appears to be what happened:

        1) Trump spoke with the Turks by phone.

        2) Trump announced that he was withdrawing American troops from Northern Syria.

        The news reports I’m reading aren’t quoting the Trump administration as having said they agreed to withdraw troops from northern Syria so that the Turks could invade.

        There are no news reports regarding the content of the phone call–other than Trump denying that he green-lit the Turkish invasion.

        It seems that the news reports are simply characterizing Trump withdrawing troops from northern Syria as a greenlighting of an invasion, but that may not be the case. We don’t know the contents of Trump’s phone conversation with the Turks, but the Turks may have simply informed Trump that they were invading, and Trump may have simply decided to withdraw our troops from the battlefield and get out of the way–because he didn’t want to be involved.

        I will say this: it is unnecessary for Erdogan to request Donald Trump’s permission to invade Syria, and it would be uncharacteristic of Erdogan to ask for Donald Trump’s permission to do so. Read that article yourself and see if you can make out what they’re using to justify their headline. And then ask yourself whether that justifies the headline. If the answer is no, then ask yourself whether the claims being made are consistent with reality.

        Why does Trump want Turkey to invade northern Syria? Why would he give Erdogan permission to do something that might be like genocide in an election year?

        Why would Erdogan ask Trump for permission to invade northern Syria?

        I’d like to see the contents of the phone call.

        Until there’s some evidence or a quote from someone with knowledge of that conversation confirming that Trump green-lighted the Turkish invasion of Syria, you can color me skeptical.

  39. The president has declared a national emergency over the crisis he helped create in Syria. In a letter to Congress on Monday, Donald Trump https://www.dubaidisposablevape.com/
    announced the issue of an executive order declaring a national emergency “due to the situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the recent actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria.”

  40. Last week, Trump seemed unconcerned about how Turkish actions would affect Kurdish people living there (they didn’t help us during World War II, Trump told reporters).

    Yet he loves the Norwegians, and they weren’t at Midway, or something.

    1. they fucking remade “Midway” what the fuck?

      1. I thought you were making that up, but I just watched the trailer. Mitsubishi Zero strafing a Honolulu street at 15 feet. And Mandy Moore is on the cast (I’m guessing she’s playing Admiral Spruance, for authenticity).

  41. The latest Quinnipiac presidential poll results show Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) leading the pack…

    My god, the democrats are going to do it again. They’re going to give the election to Trump. If she’s the opponent he’s going to cake walk back into the White House. Wow

    1. Yeah, pretty much. The Democrats are out of touch with the electorate.

  42. It seems like the Trump position would be the Reason preferred position, at least as of 2016.
    Rand Paul can’t get enough of it.

    So Reason is pro War now? Pro intervention? It makes no sense

    1. It makes no sense unless you consider the possibility that they might be consistently anti-Trump–above all else.

  43. That putz Erdogan is stepping into quicksand. If he attacks Syrian or Russian forces directly he is toast. The Kurds will pick off his forces and Islamist proxies one at a time if it takes them 100 years.

    He has no support from anyone.

    He has lost his mind. The minute his army starts taking losses he risks a coup. He has a paper army anyway. He sacked almost his entire leadership army staff after the last one. All those weapons are serviced and maintained by euro, Russian and other contracts. He needlessly destroyed what was a profitable relationship with Israel. He screwed the US over by buying Russian air defense systems and now will not likely get any of the F-35s.

    His economy is teetering on the edge. He is an autocrat with no real legitimacy. He has his own Kurdish opposition and if this gets bad nobody is going to shed a tear if PKK bombs start going off in Istanbul. Turkey was once the freest country in the region with a booming economy. No more.

    The US should pull the nukes we have stored in Turkey. Our small contingent of troops we had there are not needed. Erdogan has fucked himself.

    1. Erdogan’s a Muslim Brotherhood proxy who was a lot better at hiding it than Morsi, and nearly got removed the same way. The only thing that saved his ass is that the Turkish population has grown increasingly Islamicized and supported him over the military.

      It would be hilarious if this move by Trump ultimately led to the removal of Turkey from NATO ( fuck them anyway, they suck), and so isolated that it resulted in a full-on collapse of the country’s economy and restoral of Syria’s pre-rebellion borders with a more autonomous Kurdistan.

    2. He has lost his mind.

      Agreed. This smacks of real desperation on his part.

      “You can’t overthrow me while we’re at war! Without me, you’ll all be under Kurdish rule by winter!”

    3. The Wag the Dog scenario may be an influence.

      “In the past year the economy has deteriorated, with inflation rising to some 20%, a weaker Turkish lira and unemployment reaching about 15%.

      Mr Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party won the 31 March local elections nationally, but lost in the three biggest cities – Istanbul, the capital Ankara and Izmir.

      Losing the Istanbul mayorship narrowly to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was a bitter blow to Mr Erdogan, who was the city’s mayor in the 1990s.

      The AKP (Justice and Development Party) alleged voting irregularities in Istanbul, and controversially that result was annulled.

      But a re-run of the city’s election on 23 June delivered a bigger victory for CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, who was 9% ahead of his AKP rival.

      —-Reuters, September 27, 2019

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-politics-akparty/erdogans-ak-party-membership-seen-sliding-further-as-dissent-grows-idUSKBN1WC1CR

      They still have coup attempts in Turkey every once in while.

      Putin’s been known to go on a foreign adventure to make himself more popular, too. If keeping your ass alive and on the throne requires you to make mistakes, then you make the mistakes on purpose.

Please to post comments