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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "assad"

Those Screaming the Loudest About Syria Hold Zero Moral High Ground, They Should Stop Pretending They Do

The situation in Syria has drawn a hot divide on the right between those who want us to rush in prevent Turkey from their incursion into Northern Syria and those who see the situation as much more complicated and volatile. Regardless of Erdogan’s thuggery, the fact remains that Turkey is a NATO ally and the PKK, along with their YPG sub-sect, are a terrorist group. That’s left the United States trying to juggle a decision between possibly sparking a war with Turkey or expending U.S. blood to protect a group that has carried out suicide bombings. President Trump decided it was best to not make a decision at all on that front.

As someone who’s been oppositional to our policy in Syria for a very long time, including our prolonging of a deadly civil war in a vain attempt at regime change, I tend to side with idea that it’s best we get out. There is no national interest in stranding troops in Northern Syria any longer and we have no solution to the decades long battling between Turkey and the PKK/YPG.

With that said, I have no issue with those who hold a different position. If one feels we should commit troops and confront Turkey, make that case. What I have zero respect are rantings like this.

This is contemptible on so many levels.

Why do I say that? Because people like S.E. Cupp were the ones cheer-leading our original policy in Syria of arming terrorist groups to try to remove Assad. That policy led to a civil war being far worse and longer than it might otherwise have been and well over 500,000 people dead. Does S.E. Cupp hold no moral responsibility for being so wrong about that? The shamelessness with which she and others like her carry themselves is just mind-blowing.

Right now, right-wing Twitter is full of people screaming about genocide (Turkey’s actions aren’t good, but there’s no genocide happening), yet almost all of those people were fully supportive of stoking a war that killed over 50,000 children that did not need to die. Assad being a dictator was not an excuse to propagate a ridiculously stupid foreign policy that cost an enormous amount of innocent lives. That stuff matters and these people don’t get to just pretend that didn’t happen while they scream shame, shame at Donald Trump. They hold absolutely no moral high ground on this issue.

Further, they do nothing to answer any of the tough questions facing us in Northern Syria. How long should we commit to protect a group designated a terrorist group? What happens if we are forced to engage Turkish forces? How many troops should we send? By what authority will the be sent, as they obviously don’t fall under the AUMF of fighting terrorism? There’s plenty of virtue signaling but very little answers being given.

The way you know these people, including Senators like Mitt Romney, aren’t serious people is because no one of them are demanding Congress declare war and pass a new AUMF to even make military action legal. Screaming from the sidelines is easy. Actually going on record is much tougher.

In the meantime, the rantings of people like Cupp not only don’t add up, they are morally reprehensible on their face. They don’t get to hand wave away their foreign policy blunders that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives while chastising those that disagree with them now as morally deficient.

Even then, I’m not suggesting in a vacuum that those blunders make these people evil or possessing the “blood thirst of the neocons,” as Rand Paul hilariously quipped last week. What am I suggesting is that they garner some semblance of self-awareness before they go accusing others of lacking morality in foreign policy over what’s currently happening Syria.

 

 

The post Those Screaming the Loudest About Syria Hold Zero Moral High Ground, They Should Stop Pretending They Do appeared first on RedState.

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Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria

Westlake Legal Group f1c61773-57dd-4e5a-96c7-3045358f05e5-620x317 Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria tulsi gabbard Syria Politics Obama Administration mistake Kurds Joe Biden Islamists Incoherant Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Elizabeth Warren elections Election democrats debate CNN assad Allow Media Exception Al Qaeda 2020

While some on the right can’t stand Tulsi Gabbard because “she’s a Russian agent” and all that hysteria, I actually appreciate that she tries to make coherent, consistent points. Do I agree with her on much of anything she says on policy. No, but there’s something to be said about not talking out of both sides one’s mouth and that’s exactly what we saw on Syria from every candidate on the stage last night minus Gabbard.

Let’s take this clip as an example.

Now, while most will focus on the slam on CNN (and it is nice), I’m much more interested in the separation she puts between herself and the other Democrats. While they all struggled to incoherently explain why they spent years demanding we leave the Middle East but why we now must remain in Syria to fight a NATO ally (a sucky one, but one nonetheless until action is taken), Gabbard at least gets to the heart of the matter.

The war against Assad, just like the war in Libya, was a ridiculous miscalculation. Attempting to change the regime in Syria, while giving warm and fuzzies to those in the foreign policy establishment in Washington, only helped create and exacerbate a humanitarian crisis and setup a situation where we were either going to still have Assad or end up with Al Qaeda aligned Islamists taking power. How is that a choice we had any business sticking our nose in?

Joe Biden tried to lie about his previous position, insisting the war was never about removing Assad. A reporter from The Washington Post said he was “right.” That’s simply not true.

Regime change was the official government policy of the Obama administration for at least the first three years of the civil war in Syria. We all remember the demands for Assad to step down and the saber rattling about how he will go one way or the other. The problem was that by helping propagate that civil war, we fed into a situation that would take the lives of over 500,000 people, including 50,000 children. No one seems to want to own that. Everyone in Washington wants to pretend that it’s not possible for us to have made a bad situation worse, yet that’s exactly what we did.

I’m sure by writing that, I’ll be accused of being an Assad apologist because critical thinking isn’t allowed on much of the right when it comes to foreign policy issues. The reality is that unlike the myriad of neoconservative blue check-marks on Twitter, I actually have family in Syria. This isn’t a matter of ideology for me. It’s a matter of accepting that sometimes there are no perfect solutions and recognizing that we can indeed make matters worse. Minorities in Syria (like my family) feared Islamist rebel groups far more than they feared Assad, who before the outbreak of war was one of the more secular, benign dictators in the region.

Tulsi Gabbard is trying to make a fairly simple point that takes the entirety of what has transpired into account. Perhaps she really does just love Assad, but that’s a weak minded argument to make against her. Her position has at least been consistent. She was against getting involved from the beginning and she’s been shown to be more right than wrong on the matter. The rest of the Democrat field flailing about, now wanting to remain in Syria (and Biden even said he wants a surge last night back into Northern Syria) after initially screaming to get out, shows just how non-thinking most of these people are. At one point last night, Elizabeth Warren argued we should leave troops in Syria and then a few seconds later said she wanted to pull all troops from the Middle East. You make sense of that. We also saw contradictory bantering like this.

I could keep going about the intricacies here (see Mike Ford’s explainers for more information), but I’m certain everyone is so set in stone on this issue that it’ll make little difference. What I will say is this. The smartest among us are often the dumbest. Just because someone has “expert” on their chyron does not mean they actually know what they are talking about. The United States miscalucated on Libya and Syria. That’s the point Gabbard has been consistently making, even when the rest of her party was cheer-leading those interventions. That may not matter to the talking head sitting in an MSNBC studio today, but it should matter to the rest of us, and whether you agree with Gabbard or not, at least be intellectually honest enough to admit that the war in Syria didn’t start in 2017.

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The post Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria appeared first on RedState.

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“Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice

Westlake Legal Group s-1 “Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice Turkey Trump The Blog Susan Rice red line Obama Kurds erdogan assad arms

There’s a reason you don’t hear much from Barack Obama these days, even as the news cycles get crazier and Trump’s troubles deepen. And it’s not because the “fraternity of presidents” requires O to maintain the same sort of respectful silence towards his successor as George W. Bush maintained for Obama himself. Trump obviously isn’t and won’t be part of that fraternity; criticism of Obama remains a staple of his own rhetoric.

O keeps his mouth shut because he understands he’s a perfect foil for the president. Republicans dislike him deeply and think most of his policies were stupid. The surest way to get GOPers who are troubled by the Ukraine business to rally around Trump would be for Obama to blast him over it. Likewise, the surest way to get Republicans to rethink their discomfort about abandoning the Kurds would be for O to slam Trump for ordering it — especially given how pitiful Obama’s own Syria judgment often was. There was never a good option on whether to intervene or not but O somehow made a bad situation worse, humiliating himself by refusing to enforce his own stated “red line” against the use of WMDs by Assad and then half-assing an attempt to arm Syrian rebels. By the end of his presidency his most prominent diplomatic initiative was to reach out to the Shiite terrorist state sponsoring Assad for a nuclear deal. His Syria policy was so bad that Trump’s decision to bomb a Syria airfield early in his presidency after Assad used poison gas again is the only one I can think that actually earned him some grudging favorable comparisons to O in the media even among Obama alumni (mostly anonymously).

Again, Obama grasps all of this and has kept his mouth shut, depriving Trump of an easy way to rally Republicans around him. Alas for Dems, not everyone who worked for him is as shrewd as he is:

Show of hands: Who feels *worse* about Trump’s judgment on Syria now that the Obama White House’s foreign policy brain trust has condemned it?

Anyone?

If you want a reason to worry about the decision to evacuate northern Syria (and there are many), read this account of how haphazardly it appears to have been made. No one in the field, starting with the Kurds, had any notice that the American shield protecting them from a Turkish onslaught was about to disappear.

According to multiple current and former U.S. officials, the White House’s announcement of the decision late Sunday night blindsided not just America’s Kurdish partners in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, in Syria, but almost everyone — senior officials at the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East

Sunday’s phone call between Trump and Erdogan was held to try to ease the Turkish leader’s fury that he didn’t get a one-on-one meeting with Trump last month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, according to three current and former officials. Erdogan made it known to U.S. officials that he was not happy his only interaction with Trump during the gathering of world leaders in New York was at a large reception, according to the officials…

But Sunday’s phone call didn’t go as expected, officials said. Erdogan was adamant about Turkey going into Syria, officials said. Even Trump’s offer of a White House visit wasn’t enough to deter him.

Trump told Erdogan that a moderate incursion, such as clearing out a safe zone, would be acceptable, officials said. But he said a large invasion that leads to major combat operations would be unacceptable, officials said.

Reportedly Trump threatened on the call to withdraw the American troops who are serving as a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds if Turkey went ahead and launched a major military push instead of something more limited. Erdogan called his bluff. Go ahead and withdraw. I’ll blow them to bits. So that’s what we’re doing, although naturally Trump is spinning it as some sort of methodical attempt on his part to keep his promise about bringing American troops home.

And somehow, Erdogan is getting his White House visit anyway.

Michael Weiss peers into the not-very-distant future and sees a winner emerging from the Turkish/Kurdish conflagration:

For years, ISIS has watched as America’s reliance on the YPG/PKK has enervated the second-largest army in NATO. It has cleverly preyed upon this tension by waging terror attacks in Turkey it declined to claim credit for, knowing full well that Erdogan and his government might blame them on the PKK, which it did on more than one occasion.

Turkey, meanwhile, had maintained a see-no-evil policy (or worse) with respect to ISIS as its sovereign territory became a staging ground for exported jihad, not to mention a fallback base of operations for the many agents of ISIS’s Amniyat, or intelligence service, who were dispatched out of Syria and into Western Europe.

In other words, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (yes, he’s still alive) exploited the Kurdish Question before and will exploit again now that all-out war between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds is a foregone conclusion.

America will probably be lighting military and political fires that help ISIS spread, then putting them out, then lighting them again for the indefinite future as political currents in the Middle East shift. Maybe Rice will catch on in the next Democratic administration and show us amateurs what to do.

The post “Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice appeared first on Hot Air.

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“You are not our pimp”: American soldiers aren’t your prostitutes for Saudi Arabia, says Tulsi Gabbard to Trump

Westlake Legal Group tg-2 “You are not our pimp”: American soldiers aren’t your prostitutes for Saudi Arabia, says Tulsi Gabbard to Trump tulsi gabbard The Blog Syria Saudi Arabia prostitute pimp islamist Iran assad

I thought Sunday’s admonition to Trump to stop being Saudi Arabia’s “bitch” was as harsh as she would get with him. But she was just warming up.

We can’t be more than a day away from her calling Trump the Kingdom’s cuck.

You can see from this, though, why Gabbard is unusually popular on the right for a left-wing Democrat. It’s not just that she’s a veteran or a nationalist who’s largely in sync with Tucker Carlson’s sensibilities. It’s not just that she’s a little better than most lefties about abortion or border enforcement either. This sort of hard rhetorical shot is distinctly populist precisely because it’s so hard. Grassroots activists pride themselves on not pulling their punches. Gabbard doesn’t pull them either, even when she’s swinging at the alpha-male-in-chief.

Here’s the presidential tweet that has her exercised. It really is terrible.

The last phrase, “under what terms we would proceed,” particularly reeks of subservience. Trump would doubtless say that he simply meant he’d coordinate with the Saudis on any reprisal against Iran, but he held a less nuanced view of U.S./Saudi cooperation back in 2014:

I think the Times is right about his evolution: The difference between the Saudis and other U.S. allies is that Trump understands keenly how a rift between our country and theirs might affect oil prices. And spiraling oil prices are a dangerous thing for a president who’s laser-focused on an economic pitch for his reelection.

It was hard to imagine him allowing NATO, or a European ally, such latitude to determine how the United States should respond. But for Mr. Trump, the Saudis have always been a special case, their economic import having often overwhelmed other considerations in his mind…

[His tweet] was strange for many reasons. Mr. Pompeo had already named the Iranians as the culprits; Mr. Trump did not. But the seeming abdication of fact-finding and decision-making to the Saudis gave Democrats a moment to argue that the president was willing to let the Saudi monarchy make decisions for the United States…

“It’s not remotely normal for a president to talk publicly about that, to use language that sounds as if we aren’t making our own decisions about whether to use force — or trusting our own intelligence,” [natsec analyst Heather Hurlburt] said. “And it’s completely unprecedented with a country that is not a treaty ally.”

Remember what his answer was last year to complaints that he was letting the Saudis off scot-free for murdering an American resident, Jamal Khashoggi, who’d criticized the regime? “They buy a lot of weapons from us.”

So long as they keep the money and oil flowing, sure, we’ll act as their mercenary army in the Middle East. News is breaking just this afternoon, in fact, that American and Saudi investigators have jointly concluded that the attack on the Kingdom’s oil facilities last week was launched from an Iranian base near the border with Iraq, not by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fighting the Saudis in Yemen. A reprisal will be required. I doubt Tulsi and Tucker will like how it plays out.

Here’s Gabbard laying into Trump for his deference towards MBS. It should go without saying at this point that she’s in no position to criticize others for being stooges of foreign powers.

The post “You are not our pimp”: American soldiers aren’t your prostitutes for Saudi Arabia, says Tulsi Gabbard to Trump appeared first on Hot Air.

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Tulsi Gabbard Slams Kamala Harris’s Childish Response to Her Debate Night Beatdown

Westlake Legal Group gs-tulsi-gabbard-620x413 Tulsi Gabbard Slams Kamala Harris’s Childish Response to Her Debate Night Beatdown tulsi gabbard The Hill Politics kamala harris Front Page Stories Featured Story elections democrats democrat debates criminal justice assad Allow Media Exception 2020

Tusli Gabbard by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard seems to have California Sen. Kamala Harris’s number, especially since Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.

During the course of the night, Gabbard went after Harris on her record as a prosecutor and landing heavy blows on Harris’s seeming abuse of her power and treatment of minorities going through the justice system. It wasn’t a good look for Harris in the least, and Harris’s response wasn’t much better.

When given the chance to explain herself during an interview with CNN, Harris didn’t defend herself, but instead took a page out of a high schooler’s comeback book and made the case that she’s more popular than Gabbard so these attacks are expected. Harris then said she can’t take Gabbard seriously, claimed Gabbard was an Assad apologist and said she’s ready to move on.

The Hill later interviewed Gabbard to get her take on Harris’s comeback, and Gabbard had a good word to sum it up.

“Honestly, it’s pathetic that when confronted with the facts and the truth about her record that she claims to be proud of as a prosecutor, as attorney general of California, all she can do is lob cheap smears,” Gabbard said.

Gabbard said that Harris predicates her whole campaign on being a “champion for the people,” especially minorities, but that it’s “all a lie.”

“When she was in a position to do something about it, was in a position to make a difference and truly be a champion of the people, she furthered and perpetuated this unfair, unjust system,” she said.

Harris failed to respond to the The Hill on the subject, but Gabbard has apparently been making victory laps around various outlets, including Fox News and TMZ, the latter on which she repeated her stance that she gave to The Hill.

While Gabbard may now be the most Googled Democratic candidate after the strike against Harris, she’d be wise not to spend too much time aiming at Harris specifically. If her campaign becomes focused on one candidate, it will come off narrow and shallow.

It should also be noted that while Gabbard has people’s attention, it’s not equating to a bump in the polls for her. If she’s going to climb the polls at all, she should utilize this attention to come off as more of a presidential candidate than a scrapper.

The post Tulsi Gabbard Slams Kamala Harris’s Childish Response to Her Debate Night Beatdown appeared first on RedState.

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