The troops will “redeploy and remain in the region”

The news just in: Trump: U.S. troops to stay in Middle East, prevent ISIS resurgence.

President Donald Trump says the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops he has ordered to leave Syria will remain in the Middle East to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State threat.

In a written statement Monday announcing his authorization of economic sanctions on Turkey, Trump made clear that the withdrawing troops will leave Syria entirely.

He said the troops will “redeploy and remain in the region.” He described their mission as “monitoring the situation” and preventing a “repeat of 2014,” when IS fighters who had organized in Syria as a fighting force swept into neighboring Iraq and took control of Iraq’s north and west.

Trump confirmed that the small number of U.S. troops at a base in southern Syria will remain there.

Bringing the troops home is not a foreign policy objective, as much as it might be an aspiration. Defeating ISIS is a foreign policy objective, which is why these troops are not coming home. A premature declaration of victory would have been a huge mistake. Part of what I truly admire about PDT is that he knows what he wants, what he wants is almost always what I want, and he is flexible enough so that when he makes a mistake that he reverses course as soon as he can.

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.

Home is where the welfare cheque is issued

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.

There is no saving anyone from their own stupidity.

Ignorant Stupid Immature and Socialist

Ignorant Stupid Immature and Socialist – our version of ISIS.

They know nothing worth knowing. They are ignorant of history and ethics, have no expertise in anything other than an ability to misunderstand anything. All emotion, no actual learning. Cannot discuss anything in a rational manner. Only know how to hate but no ability to explain. They are the very essence of stupid, completely unable to learn anything that requires depth and commitment. Dull witted and boring in every relevant sense. They are unable to explain anything that is worth anyone else’s time. Their only way to get attention for their empty thoughts and useless ideas is to come at someone with a mask on their faces and a club in their hands. And irrespective of their age, they have never grown up, still trapped in the playground with them as the bully. And of course, socialist, the gold standard of ignorance and stupidity. In spite of socialism’s 100% failure rate in every circumstance in which it has been tried, they still seek a socialist outcome not knowing and apparently not caring that the result is human misery on a scale that can only be exceeded in the midst of war. The lowest form of human.

Speaking of which, off to hear Jordan Peterson this afternoon, assuming the Australian version of ANTIFA lets us through. The police certainly won’t open a path so we shall see what we shall see. Meanwhile back in the home country there is this: Woman arrested after rally against controversial professor Jordan Peterson. I’ll just give the first and last sentences of the story:

A woman in eastern Ontario is facing numerous charges after taking part in a protest against a lecture by a controversial Toronto professor. . . .

Officials say officers searched her backpack and found a weapon — a metal wire with handles commonly known as a garrotte.

There really are some nutters out there.

France in lockdown

Paris attacks: many killed in shootings and Stade de France explosions.

The President has closed the borders amid chaos after six shooting attacks, two suicide bombings and 100 people taken hostage in a theatre.

Along with this in The Oz which was written before any of this unfolded: Police chiefs step up protection for terror target officers. The article begins:

Police officers have emerged as the target of choice for Islamic State jihadists in the West, prompting the nation’s top police chiefs to take unprecedented steps to protect their officers from the threat of terrorism.

The Weekend Australian understands much of the chatter being detected now by authorities in relation to potential attacks has focused heavily on police.

Australia’s top three police chiefs — Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin, acting NSW police commissioner Nick Kaldas and Victoria Police commissioner Graham Ashton — have told The Weekend Australian their officers are in the crosshairs of radicals ­inspired by Islamic State.

Live coverage France News
Live coverage SkyNews

The Management of Savagery

A quite fascinating and eye-opening article in the paper this morning by Jennifer Oriel. Her title is, You can’t be a jihadist and a good citizen, but it was this that I had not heard before:

The recent revelation that Islamic State rose to power using a jihadist playbook has offered the world a blueprint of their battle plan. Written by Abu Bakr Naji (nom de guerre of former al-Qa’ida official Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim), The Management of Savagery exposes jihadism as the centrepiece of militant Islamist plans to destroy freedom from within legitimate nation states. It is a game changer for the Western approach to terrorism.

A revelation indeed. Why had I never heard of it? There really is such a book, with the full title, The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass. Oriel also writes that “the three-stage strategy of jihad mirrors the method Bolsheviks used to establish the world’s first totalitarian state, and Naji duly acknowledges communists as an inspiration for his masterplan.” In reality, this is a much older battle plan. Any pretence that this is a strategy picked up from communist practice of the last century is just one more bit of subterfuge among so many.

What you are looking at today is a re-run of the virtually unknown Mughal invasion of India, or at least unknown to us, who should do more to find out what we are dealing with. I knew nothing of it until I came across the story reading through Will and Ariel Durant’s eleven volumes on the history of civilisation (highly recommended, by the way). They begin with these words, from which they go on to show in complete detail just how sound their judgment is:

The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. [My bolding]

It is a story being repeated in the midst of our own Western civilisation. It is being exactly repeated everywhere the Islamic State manages to find its way to power. I am not interested in debating theological issues. But I am very interested in protecting our way of life from marauders who undertake their invasions under a strategy that has been their way for more than a thousand years. If you read first Will and Ariel Durant and then turn to our newspapers of today, on those all too rare occasions when someone prints what is really happening, you will see everything that took place a thousand years ago taking place again, right now. Which is why this is important news from today:

The Islamic State has spread its tentacles beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq and has become a global terror movement whose ultimate aim was “universal dominion”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has opened a regional summit on terrorism with an urgent warning on the long term ambitions of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, or Da’ish.

Addressing a room full of ministers and delegates from around the region, Mr Abbott said ISIL’s reach now extended well beyond the Syrian-Iraq conflict.

ISIL, Mr Abbott said, now had outposts in Libya, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, and was seeking to expand its violent ideology into South Asia and beyond.

“We have all seen on our screen the beheadings, the crucifixion, the mass executions and the sexual slavery that the Da’ish death cult has inflicted mostly on Muslims in the Middle East,” Mr Abbott said.

“That is what the death cult has in store for everyone if it has its way.”

Mr Abbott offered an implicit challenge to the view that ISIL’s success in Syria and its annexation of much of northern Iraq, rode on the back of long standing sectarian grievance between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

He said ISIL’s barbarity went beyond any “local grievance”.

“This is terrorism with global ambitions,” Mr Abbott said. “Da’ish is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: submit or die.”

The Prime Minister said IS’s declaration of a Caliphate last year was a “brazen claim to universal dominion”.

“You can’t negotiate with an entity like this, you can only fight it,” he said.

And for those who think we have damaged our relationship with Indonesia, there is this they need to dwell on along with so much else:

Indonesia has thanked Australia for hosting the summit and stressed the importance of nations working together to stop extremism, Brendan Nicholson writes.

“Indonesia views the Summit as an important event in our regional effort to combat terrorism and extremism,” a government spokesman told The Australian.

“We appreciate Australia’s initiative to host and bring together representatives of the region to better coordinate our efforts to counterterrorism, extremism and blunt extremists’ propaganda.”

This is really no longer an area for partisan difference. On this there needs to be the same sense of unity and purpose across the nation as there is between us and the Indonesians.

“This isn’t ISIS. No one’s dying.”

I do love North American football, the game I grew up with, played and watched. There is, I must confess, nothing like it. But there is now a scandal overtaking the Superbowl that is quite astonishing. In the conference final for the AFC, the game balls used by Boston were underinflated which apparently makes them easier to catch. And let me tell you, catching a football thrown by a real quarterback is a bracing experience – try catching a leather-covered brick thrown at you at full speed from about ten yards. I can well believe that underinflation (which is different from deflation) can be a genuine benefit.

No one is owning up to anything. But I do have to say that if the single most important tool of your trade is a football, you will know what it ought to feel like the moment you pick it up. If it’s not quite 13 pounds per square inch – that is, if it doesn’t feel like a leather-covered brick – you will know, as will all of the people who the ball is being thrown to. Had Boston not won the previous game 45-7, the story would be even more intense, but with the score so one-sided, nothing else to say. And since each team uses its own ball, the other team’s quarterback would not have had the same advantage. And since the referees check the game ball before it goes into play, and are kept separate the entire time, for the balls to have been underinflated would require a conspiracy of some proportion.

Nevertheless, what interested me this morning was this comment by the Boston Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady:

“This isn’t ISIS,” Brady said. “No one’s dying.”

Sometimes it troubles me that I can wile the hours away on such frivolity as such things as grand finals, test matches, the World Series and of course, North American football while the world is going to hell at every turn. But if Tom Brady can see the relative significance of such things, so can I.

Go Pats!

Personal Explanation and Some Follow Up: I’ve just come home from reading The Herald Sun which has as its main front page story of the day, how England’s one-day cricket captain is being blackmailed. I have checked the front pages of The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The La Times and The Washington Post. All have this story on the front page, and it will no doubt rage for at least another week.

The headline lead story on Drudge is “NFL ON THE BRINK” and comes with this picture.

nfl footy

Cheating in sport is not unknown. The referees pick up the ball on every play, so it is even possible (remotely) that Brady never noticed, since they didn’t seem to notice. But it is not the end of the world as we know it, there are other events going on that are more important. I find Brady’s sanity and sense of proportion in the midst of it all quite alluring.

FUTHER UPDATE: John Hinderaker at Powerline has also bought into this, where he can see things right from inside the US. He wrote:

Over the years, some have argued that not having to care about politics is a luxury that Americans are able to enjoy because of our stable democracy and effectively guaranteed freedoms. There is some truth to that. Still, it is hard to believe it is a good thing that sports arouse more passion, attract more attention, and are more often the subject of intelligent discussion than politics. If Americans knew as much about Republicans and Democrats as they do about Seahawks and Patriots, wouldn’t the country be better off? One would think so.

In his press conference this afternoon, Tom Brady – note that there is no need to identify him (QB-NE) the way we do with politicians (R-TX) – said of the football inflation controversy, “This isn’t ISIS, you know, no one’s dying.” To me that seems like a voice of sanity, but football fans were unconvinced. At the moment, at least, “Who deflated the footballs?” is a more compelling question than “Will ISIS take Baghdad?” And eight years after the event, there are still more people who consider Bill Belichick a villain for taping opposing coaches than who consider Barack Obama a villain for violating the Constitution.

Priorities. It is all a matter of priorities.