Reason Roundup

Trump Wishes Russia Luck in Syria as U.S. Bombs Its Own Bases and Erdogan Scoffs at Trump's Attempt to Make a Deal

Plus: U.K. drops porn age-verification plans, Congress grills tech leaders again, D.C. to hear testimony on prostitution decriminalizion, and more...


"If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that's really up to them," President Donald Trump said yesterday, adding that he wishes "them all a lot of luck."

But the Kurds are "no angels," Trump insisted, and he could understand why Turkey might want their territory. "What does that have to do with the United States of America if they're fighting over Syria's land?" Trump asked.

The president doesn't seem to understand that he's not being criticized simply for getting the U.S. out of Syria. Getting out is right, but Trump did so in a such a way that left northern Syrians—America's allies in fighting ISIS—especially vulnerable, made it more likely that ISIS militants would escape, and left the U.S. to bomb its own military facilities for lack of time to properly clear out the ammunition and equipment there.

Trump wants people to believe his actions stem from principled opposition to endless war, that they're part of a grander plan to reduce the U.S. presence in Syria the Middle East. But no matter how many times Trump says it, his administration's actions say otherwise.

For one thing, plenty of U.S. troops are staying put in parts of Syria that Turkey doesn't want to invade. Meanwhile, just last week the administration announced that thousands more U.S. troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia. And since Trump took office, "the U.S. military presence in the Middle East has not changed much at all," reports Foreign Affairs.

Trump's rhetoric about ending forever wars and minding our own damn business is mighty refreshing, but rhetoric is all it is—empty rhetoric.

Trump seems to have thought it would be easy to convince Turkey not to invade in the first place. In an astonishing letter that the White House has confirmed is real, Trump starts out by telling Turkish President Erdogan: "Let's work out a good deal!" The letter concludes:

History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later.

Erdogan reportedly threw Trump's letter in the trash.

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are now in Turkey trying to force a resolution. "We need them to stand down, we need a cease-fire, at which point we can begin to put this all back together again," Pompeo said on Fox Business yesterday.

It might be too late for that.

"The Trump administration is correct to limit our commitment in eastern Syria, but it is very clumsy in managing the policy and the rollout," former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford told The New York Times. "At this late stage, it is not clear what the administration can hope to salvage."


Yesterday's House hearing on Section 230 and social-media moderation was, predictably, another clown show:

For more on what Section 230 is and what's at stake, watch this recent Reason TV video:


The U.K. is ditching plans to require porn sites to age-verify all customers.


  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–Md.) has died.
  • Over 170 people are scheduled to testify at a hearing today on a District of Columbia bill to decriminalize prostitution. (I'll be there—check out @enbrown on Twitter for live updates.)
  • Prisoners are suing to end solitary confinement in North Carolina.
  • Julian Castro: "I also want people to think—the folks this week that saw those images of ISIS prisoners running free—to think about how absurd it is that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free."






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  1. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–Md.) has died.

    Trump taking a page out of the Clinton handbook?

      1. *** rising intonation ***

        What about *congressional* pages?

    1. Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet = Elijah Cummings has died

    2. Hello.

      With all due respect, it’s very difficult – if impossible – to exit from war in the Middle East. It’s never a ‘good time’.

      Could he have been more ‘strategic’ about it? Perhaps. But even then, something else would have gotten in the way.

      This is called ‘cut and run’ I suppose.

      1. And I love how she brings up destroyed equipment. That is pretty par for the course.

        1. It is in the army manual.

        2. I’m very touched by her longstanding deep and abiding concern for the fate of the Kurds. Why she waited until now to mention it escapes me.

      2. I really don’t get what ENB’s point is. Obviously this isn’t a “Strategy”. It is a reaction. Turkey said they were invading, and Trump had a choice to make between sending MORE TROOPS to dissuade them, or GTFO.

        Now, let’s go back in time and say Trump sends in more troops. Would ENB be praising him for a good strategy that supports our Kurdish allies or would she be complaining? Also, I note that ENB doesn’t give any alternative reaction and strategy that is any more detailed than the Trump tweets.

        1. Especially if the unintended consequences (and we all know war always goes according to plan, right?) were such that it negatively impacts the USA.

          The people doing this are engaging in circular logic but don’t realize it. Basically, Trump is damned if he does or doesn’t. Orange Man Bad and that’s that.

          1. I mean, could you imagine the outcry and uproar if American body bags start to inflate?

            Trump has blood on his hands for ‘abandoning’ the Kurds and Trump would have blood on his hands for sending Americans into a war they really don’t need to engage in.

            I can totes see a Vietnam spin job here if Trump takes the bait.

          2. Trump is damned if he does or doesn’t. Orange Man Bad and that’s that

            No. That’s called being President. Most of their decisions are about the crappy v the crappier. That’s why they all turn from orange to gray.

            The criticism is – is he making these decisions as President based on whimsy or is he actually thinking about the consequences?

            1. Even if it came out that he has been discussing this for months but decided the other day, he would still be called impulsive. And Reason is getting really terrible with it’s analysis. Just months ago they were criticizing him for not pulling out of Afghanistan even though it would go to shit if he did. And now they are criticizing him for doing what they recommended in Afghanistan. Other than sex and drugs and unworkable open borders what Libertarian ideal does Reason actually support? Well they play lip service to “free” trade but what they defend is managed trade relabeled.

              1. Even if it came out that he has been discussing this for months but decided the other day, he would still be called impulsive.

                In that case, I would agree that it’s nothing but TDS and ‘Orange Man Bad’.

                You got any evidence that he’s been ‘discussing this for months’? Let’s face it – Trump’s own work habits and scheduling brings a lot of this stuff on himself. I’ve never heard anyone accuse Trump of being ‘diligent’ or ‘thinking too much’.

                1. He’s been saying he wants out of wars.

                  1. Saying what you want is not actually anything more than a first step in making something happen. At best.

                    IMO, the most difficult thing for a powerful country to do is to figure out how to simultaneously refrain from exercising that power while keeping in place the advantages that were gained from originally using that power. Made worse, when the peanut gallery has no interest in understanding the difficulty and just wants easy memes.

                  2. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

                2. Do you have evidence he hasnt been? Do you know how long it takes to move troops. It doesnt happen on whim. These weren’t quick strike special forces groups.

                  1. Here’s the AP story on the issue that came out the day BEFORE things blew up the next day with the Trump/Erdogan phone call. The status quo ante with stuff about joint US-Turkish patrol of border, the DoD itself now seeming to ‘tweet’ policy, and the general buildup of well-known long-standing tensions.

                    Obviously there’s a ton of backstory here. But there is nothing to indicate that the phone call the next day was anything but the worst habit that most US presidents bring to the job. The arrogance of thinking that ‘personal diplomacy’ between the Prez and a foreign leader can be a substitute for a foreign policy based on actual situational knowledge and the difficult shit of getting things done in a world with no easy answers. The outcome of that phone call was a clear reversal of everything that had happened before which – in combo with personalizing the issues upwards – is pretty much the definition of ‘whim’.

                    1. You’re aware that communications are generally happening behind the scenes prior to information going public right? This article doesnt support your inference.

                    2. This article doesnt support your inference.

                      Just because you successfully typed that sentence doesn’t make it true. You’re wrong. It does support the assertion that his phone call resulted in a whimsical decision to stop joint US/Turkish patrols and just pull out and let the Turks kill the Kurds. Indeed, to simply surrender to Turk pique and throw the Kurds under the bus

                      Which means I am the only one who has provided evidence. I don’t expect you to provide evidence. Conservatives never do.

                    3. Except the Kurds immediately struck a deal with Syria+Russia, which was always going to be necessary.
                      Now there’s a ceasefire and plans for a buffer refuge in the north.
                      That doesn’t happen without US, Turkey, Syria, Russia, and the Kurds all coming to arrangements

                    4. Except the Kurds immediately struck a deal with Syria+Russia

                      Are you saying that was part of a US plan – the option that actually best serves US interests? Or just exactly the sort of stuff they then have to do quickly when they’re thrown under a bus before the wheels of the bus roll over them.

                      Everything we do has consequences. Doesn’t matter whether what we do is planned or unplanned. We are Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. It is the burden of being big and powerful – and is a burden that is at this time unique to the US. Every step we take can squash a lilliputian – or create a fight in the now-vacant footprint. Some of those lilliputians are friendly – some are not. Some of them are perfectly willing to ‘grow’ into a local/regional power that can also help us avoid the ‘global cop’ role. Others are inveterately hostile and will do everything they can to tie us down and/or grow into a local/regional power that will draw us into deeper conflicts in order to destroy us as a power.

                      Obliviousness to consequences – whim – is something that we CAN do – because no one can really stop us right now. It is also the tendency of every empire in history – and is the main reason they have all declined. Because that obliviousness creates resentment – turns friends into enemies – convinces the neutral that our very size combined with obviousness is a threat to them too.

                      ‘Withdrawal’ or non-intervention is NOT the easy way out. Not the lazy way out. It is damn hard and almost certainly requires more situational knowledge than running around stomping on Lilliputians and proclaiming ourselves heroes. And over time it may even look a bit like one step forward and two steps back. Done right, it should be our major foreign policy goal because it preserves our existing power by not pissing it away in futile and stupid gestures. Done wrong, it will be the end of the US.

                      So I guess it really depends on whether we Americans expect and are satisfied with lazy proclamations – or expect actual effective nonintervention. Sadly – I think the libertarian (certainly the Trumpbot) approach supports the lazy approach. Good intentions are apparently enough.

                    5. The main reason empires decline is because they reach an upper limit on expansion and turn to cannibalism and decadence.
                      The rest of your little essay is just vacuous, college freshman level fake profundity.
                      Yes, the US is powerful.
                      Yes, actions have consequences.
                      No, refraining from action is not always the easy choice.

                3. In that case, I would agree that it’s nothing but TDS and ‘Orange Man Bad’.

                  Just to highlight, Reason Magazine is potentially one sentence away from being diagnosed as suffering from TDS by JFree.

              2. Well they play lip service to “free” trade but what they defend is managed trade relabeled.

                Since absolute free trade is not on the table at the moment, I’m not sure what they are supposed to support if supporting what they see as free-er trade is unacceptable.
                Maybe they are wrong about the things they support being more free than the alternatives. But it seems to me that all they support is the less bad of the likely trade policies because no one in government is even proposing the libertarian solution.

                1. Supporting a little bit of state intervention is exactly the same as supporting a lot of state intervention, and neither position is libertarian.

                2. The less bad they support has been to allow china to continue being a bad actor in regards to trade without allowing the US any form of retaliation. That isnt free trade.

            2. Ok, so is it the right thing to do, or not? Or does that even matter?

        2. The complaint would have been “he’s getting us into a quagmire!”

          Also, a lot of the people complaining about the withdrawal and the “cowardly betrayal” of the Kurds are people who regularly complain that too much money is spent on the military “for the cost of one bomber we could build dozens of schools!”

        3. He did not have to send more troops, just as he has not removed any troops. He merely moved the troops away from the area the Turks wanted to invade. In no universe does Turkey go ahead with an invasion while any US troops are there. You are making things up to make it somewhat reasonable to defend Trump. It isn’t reasonable. If it was a strategy, the state and defense departments would have known about it before fucking Turkey did. Just stop blindly carrying water for a wannabe dictator, and you won’t have to twist and bend so much mentally.

          1. The area the Turks were going to invade is the area that Trump withdrew troops from. The outcome would have been the exact same… Dead Kurds. Fuck that was a stupid statement. Just move them out of the way rather than bring them home would have changed shit.

          2. The Turks wouldn’t have invaded with US troops there? Are you sure? Oh didn’t the Turks recently shell Kurdish positions in Syria where US troops were stationed? Why yes they did. So if they are willing to shell positions with US troops present why wouldn’t they have invaded?
            And if they did invade with US troops present then what? Do we fire on a NATO Ally or set on out hands while Turkish troops killed civilians?.

            1. Don’t expect the Brockobot spook to provide a coherent answer other than Orange Man Bad.

      3. Otherwise known as “cutting your losses”, “not throwing good money after bad”, and “the first rule of holes”.

        When Trump wished Russia “good luck”, he was obviously being sarcastic – Russia apparently didn’t learn a damn thing from their military misadventures any more than we’ve learned anything from all the hornet’s nests we’ve stuck our dick in over the years. If foreign military entanglements are bad for the US, why would you somehow expect them to be good for Russia or anybody else? Shouldn’t we not only be pulling all our troops out of these quagmires but encouraging our enemies to put their troops in?

    3. He had been ill for a very long time and was in hospice care. The question I have is why didn’t the media report a fairly well known member of Congress being that ill?

      1. The same reason they refuse to report on his wife’s charity tied to his congressional work.

    4. Baltimore to observe a silent minute of rioting and looting.

  2. Erdogan reportedly threw Trump’s letter in the trash.

    Not the recycle bin?! He *is* a bad guy!

    1. Destroying equipment and munitions is actually a fairly common practice, even in a less precipitous withdrawal. It actually is cheaper in the long run and there is less risk of transporting invasive species that way. Also, wasn’t ENB criticizing Trump for choosing not to pull out of Afghanistan because he didn’t want to destabilize it and abandon our allies. Now he does what she advised in Afghanistan and she is criticizing him for that too. Make up your fucking mind other than orange man bad.

      1. I’m in agreement on this one. Of all the things to criticize Trump about, making us less entangled in the Middle East quagmire is a good thing. It’s bad for the Kurds, but Turkey is to blame here… not the US.

        That letter though… It’s amazing that Trump has gotten to where he is, and thinking that sending that letter was “Presidential.” Doesn’t this guy have staffers and advisers?

        1. Isnt the whole role of the UN to send letters?

          1. I’m not against world leaders sending each other letters. But when they read like notes passed among 6th graders, well, it makes us all look pretty stupid.

            1. I personally prefer common language to legalese. No point in dressing up these letters.

              1. I agree. The letter was quite clear, and clarity was needed.

                When are these Reasion buffoons going to ‘get’ that we do not have a politician as POTUS. We have a businessman as POTUS. Their communication style is just different.

            2. Has there been any communication from Trump, other than scripted, that did not sound like it was coming from a 6th grader?

        2. The criticism is about how he did it. Impulsively, with no planning whatsoever.

          1. And you base this on what? You were getting DPBs and know the discussions with the security council?

            1. OK, believe whatever you want. It was all part of a well thought out plan to send Pompeo and Pence over to try to talk with Turkey.

              1. I believe what the facts actually say and try not to assert opinion as the basis of the argument. You’re entire derision is based on the unsupported belief that this decision was made on a whim.

                1. In his meeting with Schumer and Pelosi yesterday, Trump claims only the “least dangerous” ISIS prisoners escaped. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, asked if this was factual, says he has no knowledge of whether the escapees were the “least dangerous”.

                  That is not the behavior of a President who is coordinating with his staff. That is the same reality show host that Penn Gillette told the story about his having just got off a phone call where all the participants could clearly hear it being said that Celebrity Apprentice got poor ratings, but then he turned around to them all and claimed they killed it in ratings that week. It’s the behavior of someone who ignores reality when he doesn’t like it.

                  Actually, Trump did consult with Mattis and Bolton, but then fired them when they didn’t agree.

                  Also, if Trump is a principled pacifist, why would he have ever made Bolton a national security adviser in the first place? Bolton is a well-known warmonger.

                  1. Good question about Bolton.

                  2. Weird how you focused on one part of the leaked discussions and didnt mention the low numbers who escaped, under 100.

                    Aside from your non sequitur, how does this prove the decision to move troops was based on a whim? Do you know how to logically argue Jeff 2.0?

                    1. It’s a subjective judgement on your part that 100 is low. It only took 12 apostles to spread Christianity.

                      The bigger point is that Trump just pulled the statement that the 100 were the “least dangerous” out of his self-serving imagination.

                    2. Mike, he had 13 apostles, but thousands of disciples. Read the Bible.

          2. Sure, mike.
            Whatever your script says

            1. Yeah, no one could possibly disagree with you unless they are being directed by some nefarious plot.
              He’s not talking about what he thinks, but about the argument being made in the thing we are commenting on.

              1. Thank you.

        3. Sorry, Leo, I confess I didn’t read your entire comment. I want to apologize and acknowledge that your comment was trying to take a balanced view of Trump.

      2. At least she admitted leaving was correct this time.

      3. And here we go with the apologies for Trump.

        Trump didn’t just act impulsively with no plan. He knew, because he had carefully formulated a plan in consultation with his military staff, that they would be destroy our own equipment and munitions.

        1. That is fucking common practice dipshit. Like I already said. We’ve done it in every military withdrawal since WW1. It isn’t something new that Trump just did. Guess what, Obama ordered it done too when he withdrew from Iraq. It is standard operating procedure.

          1. The withdrawal from Iraq was chaotic, even given that we were supposedly operating on a long-established timetable. At the time I was in 230th Sustainment Brigade in Kuwait and our primary mission was the drawdown, but what happened was subject to all kinds of political dealmaking.

            The withdrawal of equipment was supposed to occur in May-June 2011 timeframe, but then there was a lot of back and forth between the U.S. and Iraq about leaving a small force behind (the main issue was a SOFA for U.S. troops), so that the actual withdrawal occurred in October-November, with December being the agreed upon end date for operations.

            Needless to say this required a lot of hustle on our part to get things out of Iraq and to our bases in Kuwait and then eventually to port. I went on a convoy to Al Assad in November right near the end and we sat on base for three days waiting for the airfield to cease operations so that we could load up the USAF fire trucks that supported flights out of the base. Those were property book items that had to be accounted for, so we had to carry them out. Meanwhile all kinds of non-tactical vehicles were left behind and two enormous (and expensive) cranes that are used to lift connexes were left to the Iraqis.

            1. Withdrawals have always been chaotic. Deployments are also fucking chaotic. In fact, can the military actually function without chaos? If so I never experienced it during my 10 years in the Army. Fuck, we built an undersea island with brand new equipment following WWII in the South Pacific. They just drove them off the end of a pier.

          2. “Obama ordered it done too when he withdrew from Iraq.”

            Aye, just that time ENB didn’t bitch about it.

        2. And pointing out ENB’s hypocrisy and lack of understanding of military SOP is not apologizing for Trump. Learn to read dipshit.

        3. Above you blame him for acting impulsively: ‘Impulsively, with no planning whatsoever.’. Now you are saying he planned it, which is it? Other than Orange Man Bad.

          1. The second sentence was a characterization of what a Trump apologist would say. I’m sorry I didn’t make that more clear.

        4. Maybe argue should we stay or should we go. For all of the talk of making “presidential” decision a lot of the critics basically just oppose anything Trump does.

          Time to get out of Syria. Really it always sucks so why not now.

          Get that TDS checked

          1. There’s Trump Derangement Syndrome, and then there is honestly looking at Trump’s competence and character.

            1. Which is something you are utterly incompetent at

            2. Honest is not a good adjective for you.

        5. Do you know what the word apology means? You use it incorrectly all the time.

          1. Trump apologism is a consistent pattern of always coming up with justifications for his behavior, no matter what he does. Often accompanied by a complete lack of any criticism of Trump, as well as personally insulting anyone who does criticize Trump.

            1. Your TDS is accusing trump of behavior for which you have no facts. Pointing this out isnt apologist behavior. You’ve made a blind assertion this move was made impulsively and have provided no proof that it was.

              So I ask again, do you need me to show you an online dictionary?

  3. While Reason is busy recovering o their fainting couch from evil memes that attack journalists… the trial against a real journalist continues in california, a trial solely pursued at the behest of abortion. Providers. More grisley details have continued to emerge such as the scalping of babies and sick mothers made off worse by altered procedures to procure better baby parts.

    1. If the US had an actual functioning media, that trial would be the scandal of the decade.

      1. Well, except for that scandal where the President used the FBI and CIA to spy on the opposition candidate, then positioned classified information to be leaked in order to avoid a peaceful transfer of power after his party lost the election anyway.

        1. Did you see Flynns attorney is asking the DoJ for Mifsuds cell phones from 2014. Apparently that is when the attempt to push Flynn into Russian contacts began.

        2. There is that as well.

      2. If the US had an actual functioning media, that trial would be the scandal of the decade.

        Remember all the empty benches that were reserved for journalists who didn’t show up during the Gosnell trial?

        1. Referred to by some of the major media outlets as “a local news story.”

        2. The Gosnell Story should be on Investigation Discovery once a day I can’t believe nobody gave a fuck about his murderous practices

    2. Damn, that’s some Ba’al child sacrifice-level shit right there.

  4. New studies continue to show democrats as the party of the rich and well connected.

    1. I would have expected Clinton’s people to all be available and waiting to help in an opportunity such as this.

      1. Blow jobs from prep school girls totally being in their wheelhouse.

    2. Hilarious that obama endorsed mr blackface but not his own VP.

  5. Commuters finally attacking Extinction Rebellion as they grow tired of their histrionics.

    1. Part of the problem is the police allowing the protestors to disrupt traffic and and transportation of private citizens who do not care about the protest. Police intervention is supposed to prevent people getting violent and taking the law into their own hands.

      1. Police not controlling protests has worked great in portland and Seattle.

  6. Sigh….Can anyone tell me what the vital US interest is in Syria now? We went there to kill Daesh. The job is done. It is time to leave. So POTUS Trump is doing exactly that. He did actually campaign on this, so he is delivering on what he said he would do.

    It ain’t our job to mediate between Turkey and the Kurds. The region can handle that, or the UN can. There is no ‘elegant’ clean solution here. If I am mistaken on this, please tell me what a clean, elegant solution looks like….and how we could realistically achieve that.

    1. Trump has taken the historically peaceful Middle East and made it into a bloody mess of hatred.

    2. Reason is wrong on this one, or at least talking out of both sides of their mouths. The US has been wrong to play world police. It’s better to remove ourselves than to further entangle. While what is happening to the Kurds is deplorable, it ain’t the US doing it. We simply can’t be in every war. Full stop.

      1. Trump did what they wanted, in the worst way possible.

    3. The vital interest that’s been brought up in a lot of news articles in the past week or so is keeping ISIS under control.

      1. This may shock you… but russia doesnt want ISIS to grow either.

        1. Let’s hope, then, that they keep ISIS in check.

          The question is did Trump spend any time thinking about how ISIS would be kept in check before acting. Or did he act impulsively?

          1. Let’s rely on your negative view of trump to assess what he did. Because you have all the made up facts. Much better than discussing the actual facts we have.

            1. Since I am not judging him by the standards of a criminal court of law, it is valid to judge his actions based on the context of his general pattern of behavior over the past four years, as well as the record of his behavior for decades before he became President.

              1. No, you’ve actually bad up bald assertions as the base foundation for your arguments as you always do. Excusing it away as it is not a criminal trial doesnt make your argument actually intelligent.

            2. Any guess how much “Mike” is getting paid every time he says “Trump” and “impulsive” in a single post?

          2. Why would Trump spend any time thinking about how ISIS would be kept in check? ISIS doesn’t exist any more, Trump wiped it out. It was simple and easy really, once you get a military expert in there as competent and knowledgeable as Trump. But it still was one of the most fantastic and powerful military operations of all time, many experts have said so.

            1. And he did it in just one month, where that Mattis guy wasn’t getting it done at all.

          3. Mike, you and I have a different definition of vital US interest.

      2. News articles never have an agenda and always portray reality as it exactly is…

        1. I fully acknowledge a lot of news articles have agendas and are inaccurate.

          1. Yet you choose to blindly push their narratives… odd.

            1. To be clear, I am not pushing their narratives. I am pointing out what the narratives are in response to comments that essentially say things like “I don’t see what the problem is with what Trump did.”

              1. No, you’re pushing the narratives. You literally stated just a few comments up you prefer to push a narrative built up on his behavior over the years instead of based on facts as it isnt a criminal trial. This is literally pushing a narrative.

  7. If we have learned anything about involvement in Muslim countries it is that if we now or in the next century things will go to hell right away. The Kurds have been fighting for an independent communist Kurdish state since just after WWII. We did not start this. The Kurds cleared ISIS out of Kurdish territory in Northern Syria, something they wanted to do anyway. Our aims coincided.
    I suppose that the relatively few US soldiers should have stayed there and died.

    1. Even the Kurds are not one group. The ones in Syria are straight up communists and hate the ones in Iraq that veterans of that war are familiar with.

    2. The Kurds cleared ISIS out of Kurdish territory in Northern Syria, something they wanted to do anyway. Our aims coincided.

      Exactly. The Kurds did it entirely for their own benefit. Anybody who thinks the Kurds did it out of some altruistic desire to keep Americans safe in their beds at night is a naive fool.

      1. I don’t believe that is what anyone claims. What they claim is that the Kurds needed military assistance from the United States to accomplish their goal of clearing out ISIS.

        1. It was our goal too. Now that that has been accomplished, why do we owe the Kurds further support?

          1. We don’t, but we do owe them putting some thought into withdrawing without simply leaving their territory to be invaded by Turkey.

            1. You keep blindly asserting there was no forethought on the troop movement. Do you even remotely understand the process to relocate troops? If you did you would know it is not an impulsive process.

              1. If there was forethought, why are Pompeo and Pence in Turkey right now? Why was that letter sent?

                Was it all part of a plan? It seems more likely that, if there were a plan, talks with Turkey would have happened before the withdrawal.

                1. That is the dumbest non sequitur I’ve ever heard. Just because Pompeo and pence are responding to Turkish actions doesnt mean there was no forethought of the troop movement. You are fucking terrible at logic.

            2. What thought are you talking about? We either stay there forever and either bluff the Turks into not invading or end up in a war if they do or we leave. There are no other options. And the longer we stay there the worse those options likely are.

              1. If we simply abandon allies to be invaded when we are done with them, we are going to have a lot of trouble establishing any future alliance when we need one.

                1. Okay but going to war with an ally in Turkey is a lot worse. Every nation walks away from alliances. Sometimes there is only the best of a bad set of options.

                  1. Agreed, that going to war with Turkey would be very bad.

            3. “We don’t, but we do owe them putting some thought into withdrawing without simply leaving their territory to be invaded by Turkey.”

              Why would we side with the Kurds over the country, like it or not, we actually have an alliance with?

              1. We had alliances with both.

                1. I should say, one alliance being more formal than the other.

                  1. When Trump mentioned leaving NATO, people were beside themselves.

                    When he decides to not attack a NATO ally, people are beside themselves.

                    What, precisely, do you want?

                    1. I’ve stated before precisely what I want, but I’ll repeat it today.

                      I am a long-time subscriber to Reason, supporter of Reason Foundation, and member of the commentariat from the beginnings of Reason Hit & Run blog. I have noticed that the commentariat has been dominated by a bunch of Trump apologists in the past few months. I am concerned that new libertarians coming to this blog to learn more about libertarian views will mistakenly think the Trump fans here are typical of libertarians. So, I am trying to show that they are not.

                    2. I didn’t say I was the sheriff. A sheriff would be trying to get all of you banned from posting comments. I am just providing a countering presence.

                    3. “and member of the commentariat from the beginnings of Reason Hit & Run blog.“

                      That’s somehow never seen a post from Little Jeffy Schiff. Liar.

                    4. Notice progressives’ need to pose as objective/neutral and/or long time “resident”/familiar.
                      They do not believe they can win arguments, as they don’t have strength of belief so much as pathological neuroses. Thus the overcompensation.
                      Mike, here, is a good example.
                      “I just want to provide a counterpoint. I just want to have a good discussion. I’m a long time faithful member of (the) group.”
                      “Trump is (standard talking point) because he is and I just know. You’re arguing wrong, let’s talk about that. I’m not partisan, you are. I don’t know (member of group).”
                      No wonder the ideology whose explicit foundation is opposition to all historical knowledge feels the constant need to claim “science” as their godhead

              2. Why would we side with the Kurds over the country, like it or not, we actually have an alliance with?

                But surely we only have an alliance with Turkey so long as it benefits us to have an alliance with Turkey, just the same as we only had an alliance with the Kurds so long as it benefitted us to have an alliance with the Kurds. Right?

                Turkey has been 100 years playing the East against the West, I can assure you they’re only pretending to be friendly to the US so long as the US is paying them to pretend to be friendly. Once Russia raises the bid, they’ll be right back to pretending to be BFF’s with Russia.

                1. They are in NATO. Push for them to be kicked out.

                2. I’ll note that Reason was not remotely gung-ho on Trump’s discussions about leaving NATO.

                3. Are you aware of the history between Turkey and Russia?
                  Like, at all?


    The Extinction Rebellion made the mistake of trying to disrupt the Tube in the wrong neighborhood of London. The resulting video of the clown being pulled off the train by the crowd might be the feel good story of the year.

    1. I’m really not sure why they think that being annoying and disrupting people’s day is going to help advance their cause.

      1. It is even better than that. They claim everyone should give up their cars and take public transportation yet they are disrupting the very transport they claim people should use.

        They are just morons. It is performance art and not meant to accomplish anything.

    2. Nice

    3. If you physically interfere with my life and my livelihood expect a physical response.

  9. “U.S. House votes to oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, 354-60.”



    1. At least we now know 354 people need to be voted out of the House.

    2. So who’d they vote to declare war on?

      1. Didn’t noted Libertarian Justin Amash bitch about Trump doing this?

        You know, because he’s totes Libertarian and all.

  10. Piece of Schiff is using leading questioning and pressure to try to exert testimony that doesnt exist.

  11. “I also want people to think—the folks this week that saw those images of ISIS prisoners running free—to think about how absurd it is that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free.”

    “And why do we park on a driveway but drive on a parkway?”

    1. The president is ignoring prisoners of other nations literally on the other side of the planet while continuing to manage the trespassers at our own border who are free to leave at any time as long as they don’t try to stay here.

      Absurd indeed.

    2. Except the parkways in Chicago. Those, they plant grass on.

  12. “If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that’s really up to them,” President Donald Trump said yesterday, adding that he wishes “them all a lot of luck.”

    “But let me tell you, she’s a bit of a handful.”

    1. The media seems to have memory holed the fact that Syria was a client state of the old USSR and has been allied with Russia for over 50 years. Somehow we are supposed to believe that Russia making Syria into a client state is the end of the world as we know it.

      1. They also forgot that Kerry and Obama gave Russia a strong foothold back into Syria when they arranged to have Russia “destroy” Assads chemical weapons that continue to be used to this day.

        1. Obama invited the Russians back into Syria. Trump sent the US military into Syria and in the process wiped out an entire battalion of Russian mercenaries. He also bombed Russian assets in response to Assad using chemical weapons.

          Yet, somehow, Trump is the Russian agent. How can people be so stupid?

  13. Does my favorite libertarian writer Shikha Dalmia already have material for her next few columns? If not, I offer this suggestion.

    Mexican gunfight between army and civilians leaves 15 dead

    She could use this tragedy to promote the Koch / Reason position that the entire country of Mexico must be allowed to immigrate to the United States.


    1. What I can’t figure out is why they want to come to this shithole. Have you seen parts of Texas and then compared it to places like Cancun?

    2. and a couple of days before some 14 police were ambushed killed by a Cartel. That country is at war with itself

    3. Maybe we can get Turkey too invade Mexico.

      1. If we import some kurds to Mexico, maybe we can invade them without protest.

  14. Erdogan reportedly threw Trump’s letter in the trash.

    Destroying his own economy by not recycling.

  15. ENB appears to not understand the issue isnt moderation, it is the vague and random application of the rules on moderation that tends to give the companies wide birth on their contract terms. YouTube grew by promising shared profits based on viewership of videos. They then used vague terms to change these contractual terms on a whim which still gives YouTube a profit but removes the shared profit content creators were promised. Oddly ENB focuses on the political protestations but ignore the LGBTQ protests against YouTube stemming from the same demonetization. The publication industry has lasted for 250 years without the need for special protections. Multi billion dollar corporations dont need the protection and the dont need it extended to contract disputes to allow modification in their favor.

    Why is Reason so dishonest on this topic.

    1. “ENB appears to not understand the issue isnt moderation, it is the vague and random application of the rules on moderation that tends to give the companies wide birth on their contract terms.”

      You appear to not understand the difference between contract law and the political farce going on right now in congress. If you feel their TOCs are too vague or whatever, then take them to court. Why should we be regulating the speech of these companies if, as you say, the real problem is that their TOCs suck?

      But beyond all that, just stop using them. Yeah, they are terrible liberal companies that need to go away. The best way to do that is to not give them your business. If your argument is “Well, but other people use them” then frankly you are going into the realm of “I want to regulate other peoples’ speech” which is pretty unlibertarian.

      1. Meagan murphy did take them to court dumbass, her contract claims were dismissed under 230 reasons. Do you want to try again? Nunes is the first contract lawsuit not to be dismissed under 230 grounds as he claimed negligence under contract theory. Every other contract assertion has been moved to a San Francisco court and dismissed under 230.

        Do you even try to understand the issue or just blindly repeat what the media tells you?

        The fact that you ignored my entire post and jumped back to regulating speech shows how fucking stupid on the issue you are. Nobody is going after the knitting company who banned trump products because they were open and honest about their rules.

        Stop being a retarded lemming and at least attempt to understand the actual issues.

        1. The contract specifically says they can remove people for any reason they wish, or no reason at all. Murphy says, that is an unacceptable contractual term, and Twitter and the Courts say, according to Section 230, it is not unreasonable at all.

          230 gives any platform the right to moderate their content however they wish. And Twitter has had a contractual statement saying that they could pull content for any reason.

          So beyond this, it is a case of a company having a shitty contract. Which, again, is why people shouldn’t use it. If you are arguing that a company SHOULD be forced into not being arbitrary, biased or otherwise capricious about their moderation, then you are arguing to regulate their speech.

          1. I think Murphy has a point that the term is unconscionable. It voids the entire rest of the contract and makes the agreement completely unilateral. When you consider that contract terms should be read against the party that drafted them and that the more power one party has in the negotiations the more likely a term can be considered unconscionable, that contract term is just that. If a clause that renders every other promise made by the drafting party moot is not unconscionable nothing is.

          2. The contract does not say that. It has never said that. And it has been modified by a single party over time at their whim with overly general clauses not allowed in any other contract situation that exists.

            Do you want to try again? With actual facts this time?

  16. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $59.8 billion

    Not only did he fall back below $60 billion, he’s also in danger of dropping out of the top 10 richest people on the planet. So as you can see, Drumpf’s tariffs are causing real harm to real people.


  17. Premise 1: Withdrawing from northern Syria is a necessary step in withdrawing from Syria entirely.

    Premise 2: The Democrats unanimously joined with neoconservative Republicans in condemning Trump’s withdrawing of troops from norther Syria.

    Conclusion: The Democrats are even worse than the Republicans on foreign policy.

    Analysis: It would be nice to imagine that the only reason the Democrats are doing this is because of their TDS and hatred of Donald Trump, but that doesn’t explain their behavior during the Iraq War or the War on Terror. They were a rubber stamp during the War on Terror, and no Democrats put up any opposition to the Iraqi occupation until John Murtha introduced legislation to bring them home in late 2005. Imagine that, no Democrat of any significance (including Nancy Pelosi) voiced opposition to the occupation of Iraq for almost two years! That’s why a nobody senator from Chicago became president–because Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrat establishment couldn’t even pretend to have opposed the Iraq War.

    Again, the Democrats are unanimous in their support for our foreign adventures. Only some Republicans support the necessary step in bringing our troops home. Anyone who votes for Democrats because they don’t want any more neocon adventures is off their fucking rocker. There may be no one in Washington more anti-foreign adventure than President Trump.

    Meanwhile, Trump’s negotiations with the Taliban to withdraw from Afghanistan are ongoing.

    1. We were only in Syria because Obama put us there.

      1. And if we get out, it may only be because Trump has the balls to pull us out over the objections of the military establishment and the entire Democratic party.

        1. As usual, the right thing to do is the hard thing to do.

        2. DC cops have been turning a blind eye to prostitution for many years.

      2. More accurately, because the administration and CIA fomented a region-wide rebellion during the Arab Spring, one that did far more to benefit Iran in the long run than it did to bring “democracy” to the Middle East.

        1. Interesting how al Qaeda provoked the US to attack Iran’s the two countries checking Iran from either side, then the withdrawal of the US allowed them to consolidate and connect control over their supply lines to the Mediterranean.

    2. It also tells me Trump voters have not (yet) done a good enough job realigning the Republicans to Trump. The neocons are still deeply rooted in both parties, tough to exterminate.

      1. Anyone who thinks the deep state doesn’t include a lot of Republicans is ignorant.

  18. Yesterday, the notorious Block Insane Yomomma decided to emerge from his fortified Deep State command center bunker headquarters at 2446 Belmont Road in Kalorama in order to beg the good people of Canada to re-elect Trudeau in the upcoming election. The fact that he feels like he has to do this tells me that he and his fellow left-liberal globalist elites are worried that pretty boy could possibly lose. If that gang ends up losing even Canada, what the heck is left for them, Brussels?

    I wonder how Canadians feel about such a blatant attempt at foreign influence over their elections by the way.

    1. It is an in kind contribution. Trudeau should be impeached over this!!!

      1. Up there I think all they need is a vote of no confidence. Much easier to remove a PM than a president.

    2. Kinda black folks gotta stick together.

  19. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–Md.) has died.

    The congressional average IQ just went up.

    1. Be kind. It doesn’t matter if you are right or not. The man has died. Let seven days pass – then go to town.

  20. I wish we could return to the more patriotic, respectable GOP of the early 2000s.

    George W Bush takes a direct shot at Trump: “An isolationist United States is destabilizing around the world. We are becoming isolationist and that’s dangerous for the sake of peace.”

    Foreign policy, domestic policy, you name it — Bush’s Presidency was better than Drumpf’s by any reasonable standard.


  21. When the Republicans nominated Trump, I began joking that we are living in the dream world, and any minute one of us is going to wake up next to Susanne Pleshette. Or maybe with Patrick Duffy coming out of the shower….

    Now we have Democrats pushing a resolution to condemn the president for ending an illegal occupation of a foreign country that was never authorized by congress…. with full cooperation from Republicans.

    What the hell is going on?

    1. “What the hell is going on?”

      A ways off in the future, history books will contain a long chapter on the world-wide TDS infection and the often contradictory symtoms.

      1. Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, but Trump being an unstable, erratic, impulsive President is also real.

          1. So what? It’s a big problem if we have an unstable, erratic, impulsive person as President.

            1. Not so far.

            2. “…It’s a big problem if we have an unstable, erratic, impulsive person as President.”

              You state that as if it’s a fact; it isn’t.
              We’ve had many stable presidents who have done far more harm than has Trump.
              I don’t particularly like the guy as a human, but his results are better than any one back to Silent Cal.

              1. I can understand that point of view. I worry about the “so far” not lasting.

              2. Nah, LBJ and Nixon weren’t too bad. Just look at how many bought their lies as opposed to Dear Leader’s.

                1. Pay your mortgage yet, scumbag?

                  1. It’s pathetic that the Trump apologists who have been camping out in the Reason comment section lately have to resort to personal insult so often rather than engaging in substantial debate.

                    1. Again. Using a word you dont know the definition of. Very jeff like. We will call you jeff 2.0.

                    2. “It’s pathetic that the Trump apologists who have been camping out in the Reason comment section lately have to resort to personal insult so often rather than engaging in substantial debate.”

                      First, that’s a parody account.
                      Secondly, the posts are from a scumbag supporter of Lenin and Stalin who brags about skipping out on his mortgage.
                      Besides which, tough shit, pal.

                    3. They aren’t just Trump apologists, some of them are Republicans and some of them are trolls. Most of them are also sock puppets.

        1. The way your life changes from day to day is shocking… oh wait. Unlike his predecessor, trumps whims often go through proper policy procedure and then blocked by activist judges. Your histrionics here are silly.

          1. Wow, “histrionics”.

            1. Do you need me to give you the definition? You seem shocked that word applies to your posts here.

              1. The most personal I have gotten in any of my comments is to call some commenters here Trump apologists. The deepest I’ve gotten into supposed Trump Derangement is to call Trump things like unstable, unpredictable, erratic.

                I’ve refrained from personal insults and using foul language, and would appreciate if you would do the same.

                1. I’m not getting personal with you, I’m tearing apart your juvenile forms of argumentation and asking you if you understand what words mean that you’ve chosen to use. I havent resorted to calling you fucking retarded yet.

                  1. You just did. Passive aggressively.

                    1. Please point to one example of my being passive aggressive.

                    2. Feigned objectivity.
                      Feigned familiarity.
                      Feigned sincerity.

      2. Will they?

        Or will everyone in the future buy in to the derangement? Nearly everyone who writes at the moment is writing the deranged version of reality. History departments are not known for their plethora of constitutional conservatives. And history is written using contemporary sources.

        If these are the guys writing history, I have a feeling that history is going to be very kind to Steele, the FBI, Clinton, the DNC and the Obama administration.

        1. Howard Zhins history book is one of the worst things to happen to our education system in history.

          1. To call what Zinn writes ‘history’ is an insult to bathroom stall graffiti.

            Zinn is a disciple of the Ministry of Truth. He lies about history that people still remember. I would guess he has a supply Uncle Joe’s frozen sperm that he defrosts to gargle whenever he gets writers block.

            1. I once heard it described as walking along a white sandy beach, looking for black pebbles, gathering them up in a jar, returning to a classroom and pouring the jar out while claiming that the beach was black.

    2. Congress never voted to authorize Obama to go into Syria in the first place. And now Congress is voting to condemn Trump for leaving. Even better, some of the same people who excoriated Obama for going there are now doing the same to Trump for leaving.

    3. It’s pretty simple. Republicans were torn between their normal warmongering and supporting their President. Democrats were united in opposing the other team’s President, and it’s consistent with their normal warmongering.

      The majority of Congress is for perpetual war. The only confusion here is that some Republicans chose to back their President instead.

    4. The political elite are mostly all on board with the action on Syria (which is why almost no one in Congress challenged Obama’s action without even an “authorization of force” fig leaf.

  22. “The president doesn’t seem to understand that he’s not being criticized simply for getting the U.S. out of Syria. Getting out is right, but Trump did so in a such a way that left northern Syrians—America’s allies in fighting ISIS—especially vulnerable, made it more likely that ISIS militants would escape, and left the U.S. to bomb its own military facilities for lack of time to properly clear out the ammunition and equipment there.”

    Reason — what the fuck do you want?

    “We need to get out of these entanglements”
    “OK, we’re out”

    Syria is not our problem. If Russia wants to deal with it, let them.

  23. With all of the gnashing of teeth over the Kurds, I will share one story I have about the Kurds. I spent nearly a year in the Suni Triangle and Kurdistan in Iraq back in the stone age. Understand, I like the Kurds a lot. The ones in Iraq at least are very western and have a lot of good qualities.

    I had a Kurdist translator who worked for me in Kirkuk. As soon as the invasion happened, the peshmerga swept across the Green Line and retook Kirkuk, which is the old capital of Kurdistan and also where about half the oil in Iraq is located. As part of this, my translator was able to take back his family’s wheat farm that had been seized by Saddam in the late 1960s. They were getting ready to plant that fall for the first time in 50 years. My mother’s family ran a wheat farm in Kansas. It was amazing how much we had in common and it was a bit surreal to be in a war zone in the Middle East talking about combines with some guy. He was a great guy.

    There was, however, a flip side to this feel good story. There was another translator who worked in the office where I was who was Arab. He was also a great guy. And he was homeless. The peshmerga showed up at his house one day and told him if he was there the next, he was dead.

    Saddam had been ethnically cleansing the Kurds around Kirkuk for decades and transplanting Arabs to live there. Now the Kurds were doing the same to the Arabs.

    The point of the story is that these conflicts are ancient and vicious. There really aren’t any “good guys” in them, just degrees of bad and various innocent victims on both sides. Everyone now loves the Kurds because Orange Man Bad or something, but the Kurds are hardly without sin, especially the ones in Syria. They have been running a separatist terror campaign against the Turks for decades. Turkish Kurds were also knee deep in helping the Turks perpetrate the Armenian genocide back in the day. The Turks have some legitimate grievances against them. What if the Mexicans had been running a separatist terrorist campaign in the SW US based in Mexico? The very same Neocons who are all about saving the Kurds from the evil Turks would want be fine with nuking such people were they waging war against the US.

    Maybe it is a mistake to leave Syria. Time will tell. But if it is mistake, it is not because the Kurds are without sin or that the US somehow is abandoning all that is right and good by not going to war with Turkey defending them.

    1. John….It is not a mistake to leave Syria.

      1. I don’t think it is either. I was just granting the hypothetical for the sake of argument. No one seems to be able to explain why it is a bad thing other than that it is bad for the Kurds and that it will give the Russians more influence in Syria. As I explain above, neither of those arguments are very compelling and certainly not compelling enough to justify risking war with Turkey or worse Russia.

        1. Sometimes people screw things up so bad that there is no good choice as to what to do next. Only bad ones.

          And by “sometimes” I mean “all US middle east policy for the last half century” kind of sometimes.

          1. We had to go in and do something about ISIS. But beyond whacking ISIS, we have no interest that could possibly justify the expense of trying to stabilize Syria.

            Syria is a client state of Russia and a border state of Turkey. It really is the Turks and the Russians problem a lot more than ours.

            I think people have this backwards. This isn’t a victory for Erdogan. It is going to end up being his doom if he is not lucky. The Turkish Army is not what it once was thanks to Erdogan’s political purges. And Turkey is damn near broke. The last thing Erdogan wants or needs is to get sucked into a protracted intervention in Syria. I think Turkey with regard to the Kurds in Syria was a bit like a drunk in a bar talking like he wanted a fight knowing all the while his friends were going to hold him back. As long as the US was there Erdogan had an excuse for not doing something. The moment we left, Erdogan had to intervene and now is stuck slugging it out with the Kurds for God knows how long. I bet Erdogan shit his pants when Trump said he was going to leave. That was the last thing Erdogan wanted.

            1. “…The last thing Erdogan wants or needs is to get sucked into a protracted intervention in Syria…”

              How do you say “Remember Afghanistan” in Russian?

    2. John, were you a libertarian while you cashed your check from the US military or did you become one after. Aside from grad school, i’ve Always worked in private industry and— let me tell you— i’m Sick of seeing my tax money wasted on fucking idiots that buy this government’s lies. Are you?

      1. I am a classical liberal not an anarchist.

        1. Too many of the libertarians here confuse libertarianism with anarchism.

          1. It’s not a matter of confusion. Some have come to different conclusions after reading the likes of Hoppe, Rothbard and Mises.

            Minarchists and conservatives alike continually get dragged more left every decade by the progressives. Someone needs to hold the line, and if the ancaps are the ones doing that, then they are functionally filling the space libertarians are meant to.

            I like the way Michael Malice puts it, that “conservatives are progressives driving the speed limit.” I’d lump a lot of supposed libertarians in with that bunch.

    3. thanks John intelligent comments are why I keep coming to Reason

    4. John, this is EXACTLY my reading of the situation. Even when in university and we would delve into the region this was apparent.

      Which is why I laugh my ass off about ‘muh Kurds’. Those people say it because of TDS and nothing else. They’re hypocritical clowns like the fools who run the NBA.

      1. One point- they are not saying it because of TDS, so much as because they are everlasting warmongers. Instapundit had a great post a few weeks back showing how every president back to GHWB has been accused of betraying the Kurds. This happens every time a president indicates any course of action other than a US military shield in front of Kurdistan.

        1. Without a doubt.

    5. That reminds me of my little adventure with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Beirut in 1983. Except for the other members of the force (British, French, and Italian) everybody was shooting at us at one time or another, including the fucking Israelis.

    6. >>My mother’s family ran a wheat farm in Kansas.

      I am from several generations of Kansan & Oklahoman farmers.

      1. Small world. My family is from southwest Kansas not far from the Oklahoma border.

        1. nice. i have a couple of our actual Land Rush documents signed by McKinley

    7. Very well said.

      The internecine conflicts in the region present a labyrinth of shifting allegiances, hostile campaigns of retribution, religious and cultural unrest and, ultimately, involve complex questions of sovereignty among distinct nations and people about which we, as Americans, are generally ignorant. Those denouncing Trump are scarcely able to absorb the details of the situation, let alone formulate a coherent, alternative strategy for balancing the multitude of competing interests or, for that matter, stating in clear language how any one choice (if there is one) benefits the United States.

      The push to have our military indefinitely entangle itself in the fog of these various regional struggles is reflexive and shortsighted. I cannot shake the conclusion that the predominant driver of the criticism is spite (“Trump is for it, therefore, I am against it.”). If so, it is a profoundly mindless position to take, especially when the lives of American military members are at stake.

  24. “I am hoping the [Afghan] election continues and concludes and the outcome will create support for the new government because at the end of the day, one of the problems we face going back two administrations before this one is the refusal of the Taliban to negotiate with the government of Afghanistan” Clinton said.

    Clinton doesn’t agree with the administration’s approach — negotiating peace with the Taliban unilaterally, without the direct involvement of the Afghan government.

    “It fell apart for both legitimate and crazy reasons,” Clinton said of the Trump administration’s peace negotiation attempts with the Taliban.

    I used to get flack here all the time for suggesting that Hillary Clinton was a bigger neocon than George W. Bush. She’s certainly a bigger neocon than Trump, and I see no reason to believe that she’s different from the rest of the Democratic establishment.

    Regardless of U.S. interests, we can’t withdraw from Afghanistan–until our withdrawing from Afghanistan is in the best interests of the people of Afghanistan?! Maybe she should go run for president of Afghanistan. Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and IF IF IF withdrawing from Afghanistan is in the best interests of the United States, then I feel for the Afghan government, but I can’t quite reach them.

    1. The phrase “neocon” is used too loosely these days. What Hillary and Bush both are is Wilsonians. They both believe it is the US’s duty to enforce collective security and a liberal international order even if doing so is at the expense of US interests.

      1. I’m using it specifically for people who support the expansion of American empire as a force for good and as an outright refusal to negotiate or cooperate with bad people–like Putin, Pinochet, and the Taliban.

        Because it’s putting Bush Jr. and Hillary in the same boat doesn’t mean it’s wrong. John McCain was a never-Trumper and a neocon with Hillary for all the same reasons. I opposed Bush Jr.’s foreign policy for the same reasons I opposed Hillary, so it’s quite natural to use the same apt word to describe them.

        1. I tend to be in the middle. There is something to be said for having collective security and some international order. The problem is two fold. First, the US can’t be the single guarantor of that order. To the extent that the order ever existed, it existed during the Cold War when the US’s allies had credible military forces. That is no longer the case and that fact renders having a true international order impossible. Even if it were the right thing to do, the American public will not tolerate fighting other people’s wars forever.

          The second problem is that the concept of collective security makes it very difficult to prioritize conflicts and interventions. Collective security makes every regional thug Hitler and every conflict no matter how small into Munich and of world importance. To work, it ends up putting principle over interests. The hard part is to figure out just how much collective security we can have and just what conflicts really are a threat to it and which are not. The Wilsonians avoid this by appealing to principle and pretending every conflict demands intervention.

          1. I have been told principles should be considered above all else, even if it means over-extending yourself to the point that you no longer have the capacity to maintain or defend your principles.

            1. The people who constantly appeal to “principles” as a way to end an argument crack me up. If it were that easy, there would never be such thing as a moral dilemma and the ethical course of action would always be obvious. Sadly, real life isn’t quite that easy or simple.

      2. Trump is fighting the War on Terror the same way that Reagan fought the Cold War.

        The Democrats want us to fight the War on Terror the same way Johnson fought Vietnam.

        1. It’s not just the Democrats, it seems. The house vote was pretty bipartisan.

          Don’t fool yourself. The Democrats have no principle with respect to foreign policy that doesn’t begin and end with them getting elected in the next cycle. They’ll oppose Trump no matter what he does.

          1. The Democrats would be happy to see the US get in a disastrous and costly war if doing so meant they could hang Trump with the responsibility and regain power. They are patriotic like that.

            1. The most shocking thing out of this is that there were 60 Republicans willing to choose their President over their MIC donors.

              1. You are right. The other thing people are not mentioning is how deep the MIC is in with the Kurds. The US fought a low intensity war with Iraq based out of the green zone and Kuwait for 12 years before the second Gulf War. Billions of dollars in aid went into Kurdistan. The entire MIC and intelligence community have been joined at the hip with the Kurds for going on 30 years now. It is no surprise they and their media shills have lost their minds over Trump not being willing to go to war with Turkey over the Kurds.

                1. It is actually shocking how much of this exists in government. I was researching all of this Ukraine stuff, and it is amazing how both sides of the aisle are so deeply entrenched in Ukrainian interests. They can argue back and forth about who to support or who to oppose, but under no conditions will people support disengagement. It will be too costly to everyone.

                  Similarly, the whole Anti Vaping thing is an example of these large NGOs and government funded entities having won their battle. Smoking is on the decline, and Vaping looked to finally kill it off. But that is the WORST thing for the Anti-Smoking Industrial Complex. So they have pivoted to Anti-Vaping too, because if they don’t they are out of a job.

    1. A ways off in the future, history books will contain a long chapter on the world-wide TDS epidemic and the often contradictory symptoms.

      1. They’ll contain a big section on idiocy and put Trump supporter pictures there. History is written by the victors and as shown, Trump and his followers aren’t winning anything except awards for lack of IQ.

        1. “They’ll contain a big section on idiocy and put Trump supporter pictures there…”

          If they are written by fucking lefty ignoramuses like you, that’s correct.

          1. The books will be on display in the idiocy section of the book store, obviously.

    2. They do know that Russia was already allied with Syria and already had troops on the ground in Syria supporting Assad, don’t they?

      1. And don’t I recall the same democrats wringing their hand’s over Trumps actions against Assad and the Russians a year and a half ago, worrying that he was about to cause World War III by risking a shooting conflict with Russian?

        1. Yes you do. The worst thing about the Democrats is not their willingness to fight wars. It is their willingness to fight wars combined with their total unwillingness to do what is necessary to win them. The Democrats would happily blunder into a war in Syria and then immediately turn on those fighting the war and do everything they could to prevent the country from doing what is necessary to win the war. This is what they did in Vietnam and in Iraq both and would do so again.

          1. Haha… John doesn’t even know who was President in 2003. Probably a dastardly Clinton or something.

            1. A majority of Demcorats in both houses voted to go to war in Iraq. The very same Democrats including Hillary Clinton who supported going in and would have excoriated Bush had he not gone in, happily turned around and destroyed him for it once the war got hard.

              The exact same thing happened in Vietnam. The Democratic Congress practically dragged Johnson into Vietnam only to then turn on him when the war became unpopular.

              You should try to learn some actual facts before speaking.

              1. You mean these Democrats?


                1. A scumbag like you is not likely to understand ‘cherry picking’; look it up.

                  1. Or this one?

                    Sigh… if only people listened to Leftists we wouldn’t be invading everybody everywhere.

              2. A majority of Democrats in both houses voted to go to war in Iraq

                It was 81 to 126 against in the House and 38 to 31 support in the Senate.


          2. lets not forget that Hillary’s campaign said it would shot Russian fighters out of the sky over Syria and preemptively attack N. Korea. she would of gladly started two more wars. thank god we got Trump and may he have sucess in getting us out of there

  25. Whoever typed up that letter (I assume it wasn’t Trump) did the two spaces after each sentence thing, even though they are using a proportional font. The Mac is not a typewriter.

    1. LOL. Yeah. That’s the problem with that letter.

      1. Maybe not the biggest problem. 🙂

  26. Honestly, I am just amazed the letter was released. Perhaps the rules have changed on keeping discussions between world leaders secret. With all of the leaking of the last few years, it puts POTUS Trump’s successors in a seriously bad spot.

    Who is going to want to talk to a POTUS if the contents of the conversation are leaked? It doesn’t matter that this is happening to POTUS Trump – I would feel the same way if it was happening to POTUS Obama. This leaking shit is very bad for America.

    1. All will back to “normal” when a Democrat is elected. For example, folks that leak will actually get fired and prosecuted by the DOJ.

      1. No, I actually think there are actions that once they happen, there is no going back. The leaking of phone call transcripts and confidential discussions between our POTUS and other world leaders has done permanent damage. Never again will any world leader feel unconstrained in their discussions with the US.

        That is really bad because future leaders will now talk in vague and general terms…when precision and clarity are needed. The Progtards should remember that there is ‘a day after’ POTUS Trump. He will eventually leave office and then what.

    2. Amazed? Yeah well Trump was handing the letter out himself.

  27. No mention by Reason that Trump wanted to make section 230 protections apply to trade deals. Sad

    1. I am not familiar with that ….. care to expand on that thought?

      1. as i understand it it protects those protections we granted them to force foreign nations to also abide by them as well considering now when any nation puts speech limits on the internet in their nation it is affecting all who use the internet even in the U.S.

        to me this would be a good thing despite some of the possible flaws of Section 230. but because of TDS the left and right are saying you can’t put that in a treaty but they don’t want to protect the internet anymore than China does since they know freedom of speech is dangerous to them.

        Maybe someone could enlighten me on this pro or con

  28. Trump has made the US Turkey’s bitch. Didn’t take much at all either.

    So much for being respected abroad right trumpies? Buncha morons.

    1. Turkey is now stuck in a long term intervention in Syria. Syria is no longer the US’s problem. This is good for the Turks how exactly?

    2. “Trump has made the US Turkey’s bitch. Didn’t take much at all either.”

      The voices in lefty heads can be quite amusing.

  29. The US withdrawal from SE Asia in the 70s is a pretty apt comparison to the situation today. It was ugly at the time and things got much, much worse afterwards as millions were liquidated. But then they settled down. The US now has good trade relations in the region and their tourist trade is booming, which is an pretty good indication of the current level of danger.

    We will never be able to stop foreign nations from killing their internal ‘enemies’. Is anybody looking back saying that Ford is a war criminal, or that Carter was complicit complicit in the genocides? And if you want a seriously misguided letter to the leader of a powerful foreign nation, try Carter’s letter to Brezhnev. It reads like it was written by a 15 year-old beauty pageant contestant.

    The only reason history will be unkind to Trump on these issues is because of the people who write it. Staying out of the conflicts is the right thing to do.

    1. All true. And we can’t get people to defend a nation they don’t believe in. South Vietnam and Cambodia had 8 years of billions of aid and 50,000 US lives to get their act together. At some point, it is on them that they were too corrupt and incompetent to defend their nations against the communists. Same goes for Iraq and the Kurds. We can’t be the guarantors of people’s security forever.

      1. good point it took several years of military clamp downs in Germany to stop their insurgents but the country as a group came together unlike the middle east which has never worked together out of personal greed while Germans have a history of working together as a faster better way to wealth

        1. One of the biggest and most damaging lies we tell ourselves is that we rebuilt Germany and Japan after the war. That is bullshit. We set the conditions that allowed the Germans and the Japanese to rebuild their own countries. Had the Germans and the Japanese not wanted to do that for some reason, those countries would have never been rebuilt.

          1. The Germans were clearing the streets of rubble and stacking the bricks almost the day the war was over and I’m sure with the Japanese work ethic it was a similar situation there as well.

    2. I never got the impression US leaders in favor of action in Syria ever had a resolution in mind other than not letting ISIS or Assad win. What result would be acceptable and possible was never described.

  30. Did anyone hear Yang’s quote during the debate suggesting a VAT? He said to the effect that would it not be great if we could take a slice off of every transaction because we know how to spend the money better.

    Even the relatively nice Democrat candidates are still arrogant, covetous pricks who think they are smarter than they are.

    1. Yang exponentially. He is not correct.

    2. And the idea that a VAT would be in place of the income tax goes right out the window. They would tax your income and get a VAT.

      Yang is different from the other Democratic candidates in that he and Gabbard are not a broken freaks and you could probably stand to spend an evening with them without wanting to kill yourself. But, he is still an asshole.

      1. John…I would substitute ‘quirky’ for asshole. Yang has some interesting ideas. And a pretty good sense of humor. His discussion about how AI will impact society are worth listening to. He did a Joe Rogan podcast awhile back that I thought was pretty good.

        Now I don’t agree with his implementation of his policies at all, but he has made a number of points that are worthy of discussion and debate. I mean, compare him to Brain-Damaged Biden and Fauxahontas who do nothing but bray like stubborn asses….

  31. As long as they had the votes why didn’t the Congress just declare war on Syria and compel Bad Orange Man to keep our newly minted war mongers and baby killers happy. Bring back the draft for those 65 and older and all residents of D.C.

    1. Because Congress abdicated on taking responsible for wars many years ago.

  32. >>The president doesn’t seem to understand that he’s not being criticized simply for getting the U.S. out of Syria

    likely doesn’t g.a.f … long live Elijah Cummings

  33. >>Robert S. Ford told The New York Times. “At this late stage, it is not clear what the administration can hope to salvage.”

    American lives?

  34. Destroying material is most likely going to be a reoccurring thing. I saw an article 3 or 4 years ago talking about how one of the biggest problems getting out of Afghanistan is all the material we have there. Base commanders have been hoarding stuff “just in case” for years, and there’s no easy way to get it all out. Flying out is ridiculously expensive, and the other option is driving south to the coast through hostile territory (not ideal, and also expensive). They obviously can’t leave tons of equipment lying around, but no one wants to be the guy who’s responsible for “wasting” billions of dollars worth equipment.

    I know we haven’t had as much time or manpower in Syria, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some similar issues weren’t popping up.

    1. I’m sure we’ll be back in a few years fighting people that are using our own weapons against us.

      1. I don’t believe you’re wrong, but I sure as hell hope you will be

  35. Is it me or does Trump’s letter to Erdogan read like something a sixth grader would write for a mafia boss?

    1. is it real?

      1. I think it is. But who knows with the media the way it is. Even if it is, I fail to see why it is a big deal.

        1. People, imagine what John would be writing here if Obama had penned such a letter to a foreign power who is bombing long-standing allies of the United States. Ahhh… the sweet visions.

          1. i wouldn’t care about that either. I am sure Obama said a lot of things to foreign leaders and I defy you to find one instance of my caring about the style of it as opposed to his actual answers.

            But don’t let reality get in the way of your delusions and lies. Delusions and lies are all you have.

          2. “imagine what John would be writing here if Obama had penned such a letter to a foreign power who is bombing long-standing allies of the United States.”

            You are deeply confused and ignorant. Turkey is the long-standing ally.

        2. not a big deal to me but it reads like T wrote it in 7th grade … like it was a mole trap and not real

      2. Justin Smash’s copy is on White House stationary.

        1. Amash

        2. You mean Justin Amash’s picture of the copy appears to be on whitehouse stationary. Or did trump make multiple copies of the same letter– printed on WH stationary and send one to Justin Amash?

          1. Anyway, it is a confirmed fact that Trump did send the letter pictured.

            And I just learned how to spell “stationery” correctly.

  36. Erdogan reportedly threw Trump’s letter in the trash.

    And when Obama sent Rouhani a “let’s be friends” letter” he probably shared it with the Revolutionary Council like a clique of mean girls in middle school.

    1. and Putin laughed at Hillary’s button reset all the way home. he new he had that clown hag in his pocket from that moment on

  37. Not sure why a libertarian would want us to be in a fight between Turkey and the Kurds.

    1. We have to keep our global presence up.

  38. Say what you will about Trump, he doesn’t seem to rely on teleprompters, speechwriters and interns crafting his memos and letters. What you see is what you get.

  39. Erdogan reportedly threw Trump’s letter in the trash.

    Erdogan’s bodyguard detail should fight Trump’s secret service detail. See who wins. Not betting heavily on Trump’s secret service detail.

  40. Trump is right to do what he is doing, but the way that is doing it is bad.

    Of course, the way that everyone else does it is — they don’t. At all. The DC establishment is a seemingly infinite appetite for war and military intervention in the ME.

    1. So ML….can you tell us the ‘good way’ to extricate ourselves from Syria? I mean, I just don’t see a good way. Is there?

  41. Tough day to be a Trump sycophant.

    Trump to host G7 at his own property. (What emoluments clause?)

    1. What emolument? Trump isn’t being paid for his services as President.

    1. This whole thing falling flat on its face is going to be just as hilarious as when the post-Mueller fiasco happened.

      I just hope I have enough popcorn handy for when the mass lefty suicides begin.

  42. Trump could pull out this way or that way, but soon he will be out of office and the deep state will be back in control. Maybe teaching the whole world not to trust US kingmakers meddling in their local conflicts is the best outcome.

  43. What’s really sad about this is, I see this letter and instead of thinking, “This letter is pretty amateurish” I instead think, “This letter is pretty amateurish… I wonder if it’s real.”

    You know, given the extent of how badly the media has decimated their own credibility.

  44. Whenever a looter brings up neutrality ask how it’s different from objectivity. Zuckerburg could have shut Lyin’ Ted up with that simple a question. Good journalism, thanks.

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