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#168648 - 12/22/18 01:22 PM U.S. Withdrawing from Syria
Enright Online   content
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3454
Loc: CA
Naturally I don't know the particulars or the reasoning behind this move, and can only speculate, but I'm very leery of declaring victory and leaving as a strategy, given the history of such U.S. retreats in the region. Perhaps President Trump feels that Turkey is not going to let ISIS regain its former glory in any case because Erdoğan wants to be the ringmaster in the local area, not ISIS. It's likely that the move could be popular in the lower ranks of the military that do the actual fighting, if not necessarily popular with all the generals, and Trump is likely clearing the decks for the 2020 election, which could be part of his motivation. Obviously he needs to do something to expand his appeal with the voters moving forward.

One strong negative for me is the apparent abandonment of our strongest allies in the area besides Israel, the Kurds. I've been a fan of that ethnic group and our close relationship with them since the 1950s.

ETA: The New Yorker reports that in a tweet storm, the president said the following:

“Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing?” he wrote, on Thursday. “Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight….Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us.”

[One thing we may be getting from being such a policeman, from actually being physically present in the Middle East at the operational level, is enhanced military intelligence information about what our enemies are planning or intending for Europe and the U.S. proper.]

Of course, withdrawing from places like Syria was a Trump campaign promise.


Edited by Enright (12/22/18 02:13 PM)
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Jim

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#168650 - 12/23/18 11:07 AM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: Enright]
AuntJobiska Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 05/01/17
Posts: 124
Loc: USA
I am not a fan of letting Erdogan playing ringmaster. He's already too big for his britches. Nor am I a fan of announcing withdrawals. And I have long ago given up trying to figure out what President Trump is up to, let alone the whys and wherefores.

Scott (the non-apostropheic one) or our Turkish friend could answer far better than I, but they seem to missing for some time. I do hope both are well. Or our gracious host! Also missing and I hope all is well with him and his, and he is just busy with his next amazing project.

Auntie


Edited by AuntJobiska (12/23/18 11:10 AM)
Edit Reason: Accidentally deified Mr. Simmons by capitalizing "he"

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#168652 - 12/24/18 11:34 AM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: AuntJobiska]
Enright Online   content
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3454
Loc: CA
 Originally Posted By: AuntJobiska
I am not a fan of letting Erdogan playing ringmaster. He's already too big for his britches. Nor am I a fan of announcing withdrawals. And I have long ago given up trying to figure out what President Trump is up to, let alone the whys and wherefores.

Scott (the non-apostropheic one) or our Turkish friend could answer far better than I, but they seem to missing for some time. I do hope both are well. Or our gracious host! Also missing and I hope all is well with him and his, and he is just busy with his next amazing project.

Auntie


It's one thing to withdraw (questionable itself), it's another to declare victory, which from my perspective appears as an unnecessary rhetorical flourish, especially given the history of such pronouncements (which sometimes appear foolish in retrospect).

"In the current circumstance of a prostrated enemy we are leaving," or something along those lines, seems better, providing greater flexibility to match a possibly evolving future.

ETA: Given that morale is terribly important in wars, it might be a better strategy in the long run with regard to endless wars to withdraw periodically, coming back later, rather than staying continuously and thereby constantly draining resources, including the willingness to endure and fight.


Edited by Enright (12/24/18 01:56 PM)
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#168655 - 12/24/18 09:37 PM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: Enright]
Cothren Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 254
For those of you here who support Mr. Trump, you should read his Twitter page. It is a window into the mind of a man with no soul. Folks, there is no plan. All is chaos. I think you owe it to yourselves to do this in order to fully understand what he is.

You don't have to be a twitter member to read his tweets. Just Google "trump tweets." And prepare to be dismayed.

Over and out.

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#168657 - 12/26/18 12:49 PM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: AuntJobiska]
Dan Simmons Administrator Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 11193
Loc: Colorado
 Originally Posted By: AuntJobiska
I am not a fan of letting Erdogan playing ringmaster. He's already too big for his britches. Nor am I a fan of announcing withdrawals. And I have long ago given up trying to figure out what President Trump is up to, let alone the whys and wherefores.

Scott (the non-apostropheic one) or our Turkish friend could answer far better than I, but they seem to missing for some time. I do hope both are well. Or our gracious host! Also missing and I hope all is well with him and his, and he is just busy with his next amazing project.

Auntie


Dan S. says "Hi" to Auntie--

And agrees that anything with Erdogan in the mix is to be considered suspect at best and avoidable-at-all-costs in most cases. To treat him and current-day Turkey as allies to be trusted borders on diplomatic malpractice.

Minus Erdogan's part in President Trump's decision, I think that a pull-out from Syria is a decision that could be defended. (I miss formal debate where the sides flip a coin to see which opposing position to support. Mere opinions seem to have become extensions of skin and soul these days, which is not the way to approach something as ephemeral as fleeting thoughts on shifting and short-term situations.)

As for the next opinion on our list, I'm sorry that someone (no matter what religion he is or isn't) feels that he needs to come to our forum on Christmas Eve to aim another kick at Donald Trump's head. Especially to announce definitively that Trump is demonstrably a man without a soul. As someone who's worked hard as a novelist for many years, I would suggest that it's harder than many people think to say the last word about anyone else's soul.

But I agree with Auntie here that I miss insights from our Scott (the non-apostropheic one). I disagreed with him from time to time but always enjoyed learning something via whatever position he put forward.

Merry Christmas and an upcoming Happy New Year to y'all.

ds

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#168660 - 12/26/18 06:29 PM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: Dan Simmons]
jmill Offline
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5510

And a big Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Dan, and to everybody else on the Forums.

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#168661 - 12/26/18 06:37 PM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: jmill]
jmill Offline
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5510

And to Cothren: claiming someone has no soul is tantamount to saying they are less than human. It's a first step in dehumanizing your enemy so that whatever actions you take are justifiable in the end, and we all know what that can ultimately lead to (and has in the past to the everlasting shame of the human race.) Personally, I believe that you meant that differently than it came out, unless you'd care to correct my impression.

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#168662 - 12/26/18 06:46 PM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: jmill]
Enright Online   content
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3454
Loc: CA
May the new year bring tidings of comfort and joy.
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Jim

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#168664 - 12/26/18 11:13 PM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: Enright]
Peter McKenna Offline
old hand


Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 1147
Loc: Louisiana
"Trump's Syria Exit is a Pyrrhic Victory", from The Hudson Institute. A fairly sober discussion on the withdrawal.

https://www.hudson.org/research/14750-trump-s-syria-exit-is-a-pyrrhic-victory
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#168666 - 12/27/18 01:08 AM Re: U.S. Withdrawing from Syria [Re: jmill]
ColinFraizer Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 12/15/13
Posts: 87
Loc: Indiana, USA
Jmill, I agree we should always take care not to see others as less-than-human, but I want to express my appreciation for the fact that you tried to read Cothren’s statement in a charitable way.

I think we all sometimes fail to live up to our own highest ideals, but social media exchanges seem to have become mostly exercises in virtue-signaling to “our side” and “gotcha”s of “their side”.

I read the “no soul” statement to mean that DJT lacks empathy. I think that’s a fair accusation, but I think many who oppose him should examine their own words and actions. For example, I personally favor mostly uncontrolled migration, but I can empathize with those who believe such migration has damaged their economic position. (I think they misunderstand the economics of the situation, but I don’t have to believe they are heartless bigots because they want to limit immigration.) I would love to see both DJT and his opponents display more empathy for those with whom they disagree.

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