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This is the Time We were warned about: [redacted] Fatigue

2019-10-21

“[redacted] derangement syndrome” leads to “[redacted] fatigue.”

Jia Tollentino, the New Yorker:

Specifically, I feared that the [redacted] era would bring a surfeit of bad news, and that I would compartmentalize this bad news in order to remain functional, and that this attempt to remain functional would itself be so demoralizing that it would contribute to the despair and distraction that allowed all this bad news to occur.

   …consider how hard it is to understand right away that you’ve been exhausted into submission, especially when submission and endurance feel inextricable. It’s reminded me of how high I’ve let my own hideosity bar get lately, and also of the fact that no one can lower it again but me.

Kargos Dargala (Iraqi Kurd, US citizen, combat veteran with multiple Purple Hearts): “The path the president is on is a very destructive [one]”

2019-10-21

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

This quote and the backup information come courtesy of Reuters, in a post dated October 21, 2019 at 6:54 AM EDT.

One factor which has not been emphasized enough yet is that this move into Syria by Turkey represents a big win for the Russians.  The Kurds, fearful of massacre after the withdrawal of American troops, quickly negotiated a deal with Bashar al-Assad and the Russians to bring heavy troops into the front-line areas facing Turkey.  The Russians immediately occupied some positions that the Americans had just left.

This is the proof positive: the US is yielding field positions to the Russians, contrary to our stated mission of advancing or at least maintaining American influence against Russia.  [redacted]’s policy of retreat has given the Russians tremendous tactical victories, far greater than those the Obama administration allowed.

These moves show clearly that [redacted] is working hand in glove with Vladimir Putin of Russia.  Hillary once again claimed that Putin has kompromat on the American *president, but it’s possible that his mind is so twisted that he really believes that what he’s doing is right, even without Putin having a hand over him.

Even the present Ukraine scandal is tainted with Russian influence: rumor has it that Russian cut-outs and oligarchs plus Russian-allied Ukrainian oligarchs were willing and possibly able to supply disinformation to Rudy Giuliani and his friends.  None of the information that has come out of Ukraine is demonstrably false right now, but who knows what conspiracy theories lurk behind the scenes only to arise later in the campaign season, when they could have more impact.  The entire theory that “the DNC server” (there were actually some 400 servers that shared DNC data) is physically located in Ukraine may have come courtesy of the Russians.

With luck, the Ukraine scandal will lead to a quick impeachment.  The  House lawsuit to reveal eight years of his financial statements from his accountant has made an appeals court decision, meaning the Supreme Court will be next to consider it.  How long that takes depends on how much the White House can delay it.  Revelations from the financial statements will almost certainly fan the flames of impeachment and are almost worth waiting for, now that the Doral golf course clause of the House’s bill of impeachment has been forestalled.

Dareen Khalifa, senior Syria analyst for International Crisis Group via WP: “This is a battle the Syrian Democratic Forces would surely lose. The flat typography [sic] favors conventional warfare.”

2019-10-09

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and Defence-Imagery)

Indeed, the typography is too flat and favors conventional warfare… I know they mean topography, but it still sounds ironic.  The Turks have conducted airstrikes and artillery bombardment on sites in Kurdish-held Syria near the Turkish border.  The Kurds are firing back but there doesn’t appear to be any organized opposition.  Likely they are simply providing cover fire for the withdrawal of the rest of the Kurdish troops.  The American soldiers in the area are probably supporting the Kurds from the rear– all the Presidential order has done is to remove American troops from harm’s way.

The right thing to do would have been to use the threat of American sanctions to talk Erdogan out of invading Syria, but our *president has 119 active business interests in Turkey, including the [redacted] Tower in Istanbul, making it difficult for him to threaten economic sanctions when his own businesses would be affected.

[redacted]: “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey…”

2019-10-07

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Sometimes just repeating the words he says make it clear that he is delusional and malignantly narcissistic as well as just completely insane.

What’s worse, he expects the Kurds to be reassured by this statement.

Kerry W. Kircher: “He is poking his fingers into all of the places where we have norms and traditions and things that both parties have respected for years, and he has blown all of those out the window.”

2019-10-07

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Kerry Kircher was the House counsel for the Republican majority between 2011 and 2016.  He was quoted in the Washington Post today describing what [redacted] has done to the American system of democratic-republican government: he is openly defying the legislative branch in its attempt to exercise its oversight responsibilities and its impeachment powers over the executive branch.  He has declared a policy of no cooperation at all with the House committees’ requests and subpoenas for documents and testimony.  The rare person who testifies (like Kurt Volker) has usually already retired or been pushed out of government.

If [redacted] is successful in his attempts to stonewall the House, impeachment and “exoneration” by the Senate are likely consequences.   The only hope for the Constitutional is conviction in the Senate– and that will require far more than the three Republican Senators who have so far expressed doubt about the President’s actions.  Ultimately, that will make him successful at destroying constitutional government.  The next President will find it easier still to defy Congress and legislate by executive order, backed by a conservative Supreme Court that accepts the “unitary executive” theory and that may sit for many years.

The situation is deteriorating fast, though.  [redacted] has just agreed in a phone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to allow Turkish forces to invade the border area, up to 20 miles inside Syria, and take control of the ISIS prisoners the Kurds are holding.  This area is currently controlled by the Kurds, who have depended on American logistics and support to overwhelm and capture 12,000 ISIS fighters and a total of some 80,000 prisoners, controlling the ISIS threat for the moment.

There is no explanation for how these prisoners will be transferred to Turkish custody, and it is unlikely that the Turks will take on this responsibility earnestly.  If any of them escape, they could form the nucleus of a renewed ISIS.  The chaos promised by American and Kurdish withdrawal from the border area and Turkish attacks on Kurdish positions would be an ideal atmosphere for renewed hostilities from ISIS.

What was the President thinking when he made this decision (which is being carried out as we speak)?  He says he doesn’t want to pay any more for Kurdish help now that ISIS has been “eliminated” since the Kurds have already gotten a lot of money and supplies.  He says let the locals and the “tribes” fight it out among themselves.

Except that’s not how the US has been operating up until recently.  The Americans made commitments to democratic institutions and to freedom for the Kurds.  They’re not just some local “tribe”– for many years, the Kurds have seen themselves as an aspiring nation.  An independent Kurdistan has been the dream of Kurdish leaders since WW I and even before that, when the Turks massacred the Armenians.

This area has a complex history, and there are small minorities of Christians and other faiths that are in danger of being wiped out by those following the ISIS ideology.  America has already made a point of rescuing the Yazidis from ISIS.  The Kurds have worked hard to live up to American ideals and are even more deserving of shelter.

In other words, by abandoning the Kurds to the Turks, we are betraying promises made to Kurdish leaders that they depended on when they willingly gave up 11,000 dead in combat against ISIS.  James Mattis resigned over this, and numerous others within the administration did their best to convince [redacted] not to do this.  Those people are all gone, and [redacted] has gone back to his first impulse, which is to reflexively withdraw troops and renounce commitments whenever it seems convenient.

He is actually reluctant to spend American money on military logistics and troops in other countries, while at the same time giving more money to the military in this country.  I think he expects the extra money to be used on bribes and other graft rather than spending it in South Korea.

This brings me to North Korea.  Something tells me that [redacted] would love to withdraw American troops from South Korea in exchange for promises from Kim Il-Sung to denuclearize.  He is so eager that he is likely to offer Kim a deal that he can’t pass up, in time for a propaganda coup for American presidential elections.

NYT: “Biographer Michael D’Antonio predicted that being in the White House would distill [him] to his essence. And his essence, D’Antonio says, is a dark swirl of cruelty, violence and fear. “

2019-10-06

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Comment of the Day: The right openly espouses the virtues of hate, greed, and violence; the left is more than willing to compromise.

2019-10-05
(cartoon courtesy of pixabay.com)
McGloin
Brooklyn

@Jim But Brooks is lying to himself or himself about what makes them support Trump. They openly espouse the virtues of hate, greed, and violence, say the ends justify the means, “kill all the liberals,” our government is their “enemy,” and support Trump while he divides Our Union and calls for violence against citizens without due process, day in and day out. They reject reason (facts, logic, math, and science) and refuse to compromise, which means they can’t be “reasonable people with whom we happen to disagree.” Reasonable people do not reject the entire Enlightenment, which is the set of Philosophies that led to Constitutional Government. I started in the center, and have spent my life following politics and economics, so I have moved steadily left, because the Left is correct, and the Right is a bunch of thieving liars who believe in nothing but hate, greed, and violence. I am not going to delude myself that this third of the Country that loves Trump has any good reason to do so. I have given up on them. We need to beat them at the polls, not keep trying to “understand them,” while centrist Democrats call the Left “extreme” because we actually oppose fascism. The Right believes that you must lose so they can win. They don’t care what you think. The Left is more than willing to compromise. The Left actively practices consensus building, where all voices are heard, so that we can use our creativity to find win/win solutions that make everyone’s lives better.

(My question: if the left is actively practicing consensus building, why does [redacted] say they’re going to turn us into Venezuela?  What we have here is a failure to communicate.)