Restoring the situation as best they can

Only just seen this but it is easy to believe: Trump Sends Emergency Delegation to Turkey Amid Bloody Offensive in Syria. From The Free Beacon so not from the Fake News Media.

A delegation of senior Trump administration officials will depart for Turkey “as soon as possible” to negotiate a ceasefire following Ankara’s bloody offensive into Syria that killed civilians and helped to reinvigorate the ISIS terror group, according to senior administration officials.

The delegation will seek to “achieve a deal” in the coming days to end the full-scale battle that erupted when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan permitted his forces to invade Syria following an announcement by President Donald Trump that he is removing American forces from the region.

The troop withdrawal, which has been criticized by both Republican and Democratic leaders, set the stage for a renewed wave of violence in Syria that U.S. officials say has threatened to erase American gains in defeating ISIS terrorists.

The Turkish incursion into Syria “has upturned one of the real success stories” of the U.S.-led coalition to defeat ISIS, according to one senior administration official who briefed reporters on the latest developments early Monday evening. “These are crucial diplomatic and security interests for us and the region.”

The United States has now been left to “restore the situation as best we can,” the officials said.

There is also then the story that leads at Drudge. It’s from The New York Times so make of it what you will.


What a mess!

The re-establishment of American power is the first priority

Donald Trump is the president for our times, and in many ways the last hope for our Western Civilisation and our way of life. But it’s not as if I have never been critical of his approach to issues, and I am not here discussing interest rates but foreign policy. Let me take you to a post I wrote on April 17, 2017: Now what and where does it go from here? This post was also related to the war in Syria which followed Trump bombing Syria after it had used poison gas on children:

It reminds me how lacking in common sense the foreign policy of democratic nations have become. If the same people who support this kind of action are the same as those who put up “Refugees Welcome” signs then the ability to reason about consequences is severely impaired. We are dealing with national interests and protecting our borders and way of life. This is as stupid as “the war on terror” when it is, as Trump used to say, a war on radical Islamic terrorism. Now we are in the midst of a battle to remove chemical weapons from battles. That’s fine as a tenth level issue. There are plenty of ways to kill people, even children. To wallow in how awful it is to see people die this way rather than in some other way is ridiculous. The Allied bombing of Germany killed many many children. It is not a primary war aim, or even secondary, to start worrying about the particular way one side is attacking and killing the other. The aim should be to win or get out. What exactly was Trump trying to do? Completely lost on me.

I had the same sense of loss in the President’s speech in Minnesota the other day when he went on about how awful it is to greet the return of soldiers who have died in the field and to meet with their families. I have no doubt it is, but this is a real war with real consequences if we do not win. There are many things to weigh up in deciding what to do in the Middle East, but the one that is a bottom rung issue, as awful as it no doubt is, is to get bogged down in the emotionalism of the death of our soldiers.

America can now be portrayed as failing to protect its allies, as diminishing its determination to eradicate ISIS, as siding with Turkey against our own genuine allies and as being vulnerable to forms of blackmail that the Islamic State specialises in. To quote again from that previous post.

So let me put it like this: just exactly what are America’s war aims in Syria? And how will I be able to tell when those war aims have been achieved? Here the issue is stated in the way I think of it and the kind of questions that need to be answered before sending the military into conflict:

The outstanding politico-military lesson is an old one: that one clarify one’s aim before one embarks upon a military operation; ruthlessly and objectively dissect and analyse where it will lead, what is to be gained from it, and what one will be faced with when it is over.

If Donald Trump is not prepared to fight this one out, and if a relative handful of soldiers sitting in Syria is an issue in any way, then this is something to really worry about. I not only wrote on this once before, but I did so twice: America’s war aims. I will end this post the same as I did that one.

Let me give the last word to Tom Cotton, who is destined to succeed Donald Trump in 2024.

The world now sees that President Trump does not share his predecessor’s reluctance to use force. And that’s why nations across the world have rallied to our side, while Russia and Iran are among the few to have condemned the attack.

The threat of the use of force — and its actual use when necessary — is an essential foundation for effective diplomacy. Mr. Obama’s lack of credibility is one reason the United States watched in isolation as Russia and Iran took the lead at recent Syrian peace conferences. It’s also why Iran got the better of us in the nuclear negotiations and North Korea has defied us for years.

With our credibility restored, the United States can get back on offense around the world. In Syria, Mr. Assad knows that we have many more Tomahawk missiles than he has airfields. So do his supporters in Moscow and Tehran.

You will notice if you read the article, other than a passing reference at the start to poison gas in Syria, the rest is about the re-establishment of American power. And there is nothing sentimental about that.

“Trump did not betray the Kurds”

The quote is the title of the linked article by Caroline Glick, as near as anyone I can think of whom I trust on Middle Eastern politics. She says that Trump did not betray the Kurds but beyond that, who knows where things will go. This is the last two lines of the article.

What is clear enough is that Trump avoided war with Turkey this week. And he began extracting America from an open-ended commitment to the Kurds it never made and never intended to fulfil.

Having followed the War party in American politics since the start of the century this is a change. But the intervening years of Obama cured me of the American combination of military victory united with attempting to bring peace amid the various factions of the ME. Whatever else, so far on everything that I have a strong view on, Trump has taken the right side and done the right thing. Here I can only hope, but I am happy to read CG’s views back Trump’s.

On the Ball on climate

Dealing with post-modernist global warmists is the kind of contradiction the left thrives on. There’s no truth but my truth so long as it’s their truth; at least that’s their mantra. Except on global warming, where they know the truth, although the truth cannot be known for at least thirty years (or perhaps it will now all be revealed within twelve years).

I am always meeting global warming cranks and they are always willing to discuss it. So I say, why do you believe such things? What’s your evidence? And they always have evidence that convinces them. The last three that I can recall:

The Solomon Islands are sinking beneath the waves – the oceans are therefore rising when in fact the islands are sinking
The glaciers in the Alps are receding – which they have been doing since the 1850s
Flying foxes are coming into Victoria where they never were before because it used to be too cold which turned out to be a completely garbled story of zero global warming significance.

People are determined to believe the most nonsensical things, and they find confirmation everywhere. Perhaps they should have a word with Tim Ball who can set them straight. A very brave man. I’m afraid you may have to wind the start of the video back to the beginning.

Websites with all the right side news and views

Don Suber’s favourite political websites now that Drudge needs to be replaced. Other than CDN, which I have now included, they were all there on the right side of this column, or at least the first eight or so. And don’t forget Catallaxy.

Those are pretty much my rules. I would add trust, but verify. I will add my own favorite sites, but first let us look at his list, which I totally agree with.

His No. 1 site is Whatfinger: “Whatfinger has effectively replaced the fading Matt Drudge as the top conservative media go-to site for finding otherwise buried, non-left-wing-biased analysis and news you can use. Tons of it. Bookmark it. Now.”

I agree, and said so last year.

His No. 2 is the Blogfather, Instapundit, which at 18 is almost as old as the Drudge Report.

Ponick wrote, “Glenn Reynolds’ useful, entertaining site offers an eclectic approach to news and information. Constantly scrolling entries include brief to medium-length commentaries on each provided link. Links can include science and health stories, along with the site’s usual political, education, and international coverage. Glenn is still there, but the site now includes links and information from a variety of trusted sources as well. A charter member of the PJ Media group, these original pajama guys were once denounced as amateurs by CBS et. al.”

Ah yes, the some-guy-in-his-pajamas blogging putdown.

Well, I am in my PJs.

His No. 3 is Lucianne, which is about as old as the Drudge Report but still conservative. Lucianne Goldberg, the proprietor, gave Drudge the Monica Lewinsky story.

Ponick wrote, “Lucianne’s site has long been one of my favorites. She posts reliably conservative and highly useful links that are always closely connected to the events of the day – mostly political, of course. Aside from the top-most breaking news links, Lucianne links are always followed by a concise executive summary of the linked article. Which means you can just digest this nugget and move to the next one. Or link to the referenced site and read the entire story.”

L-Dotters are the great commenters.

His No. 4 is Ace of Spades, which is in its 16th year.

He wrote, “In truth, Ace is mostly a commentary site. But a number of the site’s contributors, include Ace, provide a plethora of useful news and commentary links. This is a continuously scrolling blog, so the most recent stuff is near the top. J. J. Sefton’s wildly cantankerous Morning Report here is often the most interesting section.”

His No. 5 is Real Clear Politics, which is not a conservative site but it is rather balanced and its staff-written stuff often is contrarian to lefty reporting.

His No. 6 is Zero Hedge, which had a good run as a financial site in 2008 and 2009. Since then it has a bad habit of predicting the end of the world again.

He wrote, “ZH pieces typically come at you with a bitingly cynical, iconoclastic viewpoint. Alas, some of those viewpoints come at you from the left. Some are simply wrong. But on balance, you’ll get info here you can’t find anywhere else. And most of it is pro-capitalist and pro-business.”

Ponick was too modest. He should have listed Communities Digital News.

And Breitbart News is a good source of news. The writing is over the top, but it has dropped an ill-advised attempt in 2017 at respectability, which is the last thing any conservative should want.

Don’t NRO yourself.

I also like Free Republic. Its readers post and comment on items. You have to watch the dates as old stuff gets recycled a lot.

My favorite is Reddit_the_Donald, which is basically a meme site. It is quarantined which means every visit is going on my permanent record, which means my social media score. Oh well. At 66, I will never get into Harvard anyway.

Citizen Free Press and the Liberty Daily are Drudge-looking link sites.

For a good laugh, I go to Memeorandum to view the latest in anti-Trump hysteria. It is strictly a linker of respectable sites like that nice and polite National Review and the unbiased New York Times.

Matt Drudge may have decided to go to the dark side for fame and fortune, but others have are there willing to fight back and have fun. Ours is not a gloomy and shrill world of climate change and sad, sorry, futile attempts to bring down a great president.

How dare you!

Having to deal with the global swarmists must be unbelievably difficult for any political leader who finds they are dealing with the con in con-servation to the extent it has now become mandatory. That elections depend on such matters really does suggest our Western supposedly rational way of life is heading off into the wilderness. There is a ton of money to be made through channelling various projects subsidised by public funding.

It is not just how fantastically gullible these people are, but how the left has latched onto these various issues. There are no skeptics on the left, and not all that many on the right. Bi-partisan madness.

And then there are real issues that also need deep consideration but who can understand the intricacies of the Middle East, other than that for the left, anything that is done that is different – or even exactly the same – from how it was previously done, and for which some victim can be conjured, or some responsibility can be manufactured, becomes a focal point for criticism. The alliance of Socialists, Climate activists, University far-left academics and the Media (SCUM for short) will ruin our lives. California here we come.

As Victor Davis Hanson asks, Is America Entering a Dark Age? And not just America but the whole of the West, and that means you.

How can people vote for such openly corrupt people?

There is a political sickness in the American political system that is hard to understand, but is apparently even harder to remove. You would think that these sleazy scum would show at least a degree of contrition and shame. Not a bit of it.

This, however, is precisely right, with Biden being hardly even the worst of it.

The left robs and leaves their constituencies in a contemptible mess. Voting for the left is a form of mental disease, but it seems to be a mentality that far too many who have come down with.

From here.

You should do what will turn out best in the long run

I’ll start with this: Middle East wars will rage with or without America’s heavy presence. It’s from The Times via The Australian so take it for what it is.

As long as the West and its dwindling number of allies in the Middle East concentrated on the task of defeating the jihadist thugs of Islamic State, there was a kind of ramshackle consensus about the task in hand. Now that the so-called caliphate has been broken, all hell is breaking loose.

This is partly because of the ugly compromises needed to smash a nimble enemy such as ISIS. In Syria, America (under Barack Obama and Donald Trump) enlisted the Kurds as its janissaries, ready to risk their lives on the ground. The US did so in full knowledge that some were more than hardened soldiers.

One faction was also affiliated to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party that has been a thorn in Turkey’s side for more than 40 years.

Look up Kurdistan Workers Party on Wikipedia and you find this.

The PKK was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice) by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan and 1979 it made its existence known to the public. The PKK’s ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent Communist state in the region….

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by several states and organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the European Union.

To which I will append this.

From Trump: Europe Won’t Help, and We’re Not Going to Hold Thousands of ISIS Fighters at Guantanamo Bay. Watch the video and hear PDT say it himself.

“We’re not bringing 50, 60, 70 – or even 100,000 people to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re not going to be paying them for the next 50 years – or paying to take care of them for the next 50 years.”

He characterized the European response to Washington’s appeals as another example of allies taking advantage of the U.S., and treating it as a “sucker.”

Meanwhile, who has any idea of which side who is on or what they are fighting for or against. And same again here. Who should we support, do you think?

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are dominated by fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), whom Turkey views as terrorists because of links to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) – a radical group which Turkey, as well as the U.S. and European Union, has designated a terrorist organization.

Of course none of these countries want these jihadists back. To continue the story:

European governments have voiced reluctance to repatriate citizens who joined ISIS’ jihad. Reasons vary, but include concerns that difficulties in obtaining clear evidence of wrongdoing will see suspects dodge conviction and be released back into society.

In France, public opinion runs strongly against repatriating jihadists, although there is considerable support for allowing the French wives and children to return home.

My enemy’s enemy may sometimes be my friend, but it is always worth remembering that my enemy is still my enemy.

As for what to do, I have no idea, other than to do what will turn out best in the long run.

Brazen liars and criminals

The Democrats and their media enablers, of course. From The Other McCain, complete post.

HUGE: Former Top Spy Admits Obama Ordered Investigation of Trump Campaign

Posted on | October 8, 2019 | 18 Comments

James Clapper, who was Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in the Obama administrations, was on CNN yesterday and was asked, “Are you concerned that Barr or Durham’s investigation will find wrongdoing and seek to punish former intelligence officials like you?”

The message I’m getting from all this is, apparently what we were supposed to have done was to ignore the Russian interference, ignore the Russian meddling and the threat that it poses to us, and oh, by the way, blown off what the then commander in chief, President Obama, told us to do, which was to assemble all the reporting that we could that we had available to us and put it in one report that the president could pass on to the Congress and to the next administration. And while we’re at it, declassify as much as we possibly could to make it public, and that’s what we did. It’s kind of disconcerting now to be investigated for, you know having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the president.

Rush Limbaugh went off on this yesterday, because what we now know about the “Russian interference” — an illusion of “collusion” created as a pretext to spy on the Trump campaign — exposes Clapper’s investigation as part of political hit-job orchestrated by Democrats. For Clapper to twice say this was done on Obama’s orders is huge.