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Thread: Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

  1. #1441
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Based on Trump's tweetstorm yesterday, I fully expect something to happen today.

  2. #1442
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    Donald Trump’s Syria Policy Is Strategically Wise — and Thoroughly Unconstitutional


    On Friday, the Washington Post published a much-needed, comprehensive analysis of the American military campaign in Syria. Far removed from the headlines, American forces have now established the dominant military presence in one-third of Syria, and the Trump administration has now committed to keeping them there indefinitely, pending a satisfactory and stable peace agreement between the warring parties.Make no mistake: This is a wise course, and it is to Trump’s credit that he backed away from previous pledges to leave Syria.

    An American retreat would have been a serious error. We would have created a yawning power vacuum in northeastern Syria — one that the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran would have been eager to fill. We would have signaled to our allies that we are fickle and faithless, encouraging them to cut deals with our enemies. In other words, an American retreat would have led to a hostile advance — and we would have unlearned the harsh lessons of America’s reckless abandonment of Iraq in 2011.

    Moreover, we are achieving significant strategic gains at a quite reasonable expense. According to the Post, American forces maintain the dominant military position in the region despite a deployment that numbers — depending on the month — roughly 4,000 soldiers. That represents a force slightly smaller than a single brigade combat team.

    But there’s a problem — a serious problem. Trump’s wise policy is blatantly unconstitutional. He is engaged in the invasion and continued occupation of a hostile foreign state. Even under his administration’s quite expansive definition of its military powers, that’s an act of war that requires congressional consent.

    To be clear, the sin is not Trump’s alone. The American military incursion into Syria began under Barack Obama, and it began without congressional approval. The military authorizations of 2001 and 2002 — authorizing the use of force against al Qaeda and its allies and Saddam’s regime in Iraq — plainly do not apply. Consider, for example, the language of the 2001 resolution....

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #1443
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Dang. This judge means serious business.

    Judge Emmet Sullivan first asked if Flynn’s conduct “rises to the level of treasonous activity?” When Brandon Van Grack, a representative for the special counsel, said prosecutors did not consider a treason charge, Sullivan repeated his question: “Could he have been charged with treason?”The judge also reprimanded Flynn directly for his crimes. “All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States,” the judge said, according to a tweet from The Washington Post’s Spencer Hu. “That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out.”
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/judge-...d-with-treason

  4. #1444
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    Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone required to publicly admit he spread lies on InfoWars.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ro...cly-2018-12-17

    As questions swirl about his credibility, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone settled a defamation suit seeking $100 million in damages on Monday for publishing false and misleading statements on InfoWars.com, a far-right website known for promoting conspiracy theories.

    The agreement requires Stone to run ads in national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, apologizing for making defamatory statements about a Chinese businessman who is a vocal critic of Beijing. It also requires Stone to publish a retraction of the false statements on social media. Doing so exempts him from paying any of the damages.

  5. #1445
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    [QUOTE=LA Ute;118185]Here are two fascinating opposing views from National Review:

    Donald Trump’s Hush Money Did Not Violate Campaign-Finance Law

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/...law-violation/

    Written by a former Chair of the Federal Election Commission.

    Yes, Donald Trump Is in Real Legal Jeopardy for Campaign-Finance Violations

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corne...ce-violations/

    By David French, who’s very clear-eyed about Trump.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 12-19-2018 at 10:16 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #1446
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Here are two fascinating opposing views from National Review:

    [URL="https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/trump-hush-money-not-campaign-finance-law-violation/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign =NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202018-12-18&utm_term=NRDaily-Smart"]

    Yes, Donald Trump Is in Real Legal Jeopardy for Campaign-Finance Violations
    The fairly common rightwing position of dismissing campaign finance laws is interesting - kind of a "Citizens United was just the veneer, folks - wherever campaign money comes from is nobody's business, and it's OK to lie about it" mindset.

    My hunch is the Cohen-Stormy Daniels campaign finance law aspect is pretty minor, in the bigger ecosystem of Trump's issues.

    The other events yesterday were much bigger. The judge really going after Flynn was fascinating.

    Was the judge just having a really, really bad day? (I'm expecting him to be attacked by the Trump PR machine as it relies less on an unwinnable legal strategy and more on PR campaign to discredit the rule of law and derail a Senate removal vote.)

    I think there's much more to the story: the judge had access to the unredacted memos and filings. It was unwise for him to ask the prosecutors if Flynn would be tried for treason, but my sense is his reaction yesterday was because he knows much more than everyone on the outside, and maybe sees the "Flynn was ambushed by the FBI" PR campaign as another step in undermining the rule of law.

    The other event yesterday was the Trump foundation being dissolved and Trump being prohibited from serving on charitable boards for 10 years. (A US President prohibited from serving on charitable boards. Let that sink in.)

    I think more & more people are seeing that Trump and his cadre are fundamentally dishonest, deeply corrupt, to the point they didn't even think about about using the Foundation as a piggy bank. It's just a way of life... one they're struggling more & more in trying to conceal.

    As things unravel, Trump is looking less like the brash businessman, just what the country needed to overhaul DC, and more like a man who is feeling persecuted because his "normal" way of approaching life is widely viewed as intrinsically illegal. He's a mob boss, lashing out.

  7. #1447
    Looks like we're pulling out of Syria. ("Looks like...")

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1OI1JC

    One of the things I remember Pompeo pushing when he was at the CIA was building a network of contractors to replace actual US government employees, in covert, pseudo-military operations.

    (Putin does something similar in the Ukraine, where Russian army regulars moonlight as Russian speaking separatists, mistakenly shooting down civilian airliners, etc, and the Crimea takeover was done by "unmarked soldiers speaking Russian".)

  8. #1448
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    The fairly common rightwing position of dismissing campaign finance laws is interesting - kind of a "Citizens United was just the veneer, folks - wherever campaign money comes from is nobody's business, and it's OK to lie about it" mindset.
    I don’t know which of those two writers is right (my bias is to believe David French) but it’s unfair to say either of them is “dismissing” any laws. Those are both thoughtful pieces by serious people.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 12-19-2018 at 10:59 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #1449
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    Dang. This judge means serious business.



    https://www.thedailybeast.com/judge-...d-with-treason
    Actually, the judge was out of line. I’m no Flynn fan, but he was not even charged with the egregious offenses the judge accused him of — at sentencing! The judge has already walked back some of what he said and there will likely be some additional consequences. What got into that judge?
    Last edited by LA Ute; 12-19-2018 at 11:00 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #1450
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Actually, the judge was out of line. I’m no Flynn fan, but he was not even charged with all the offenses the judge accused him of — at sentencing! The judge has already walked back some of what he said and there will likely be some additional consequences. What got into that judge?
    My theory: He has seen all the unredacted documents and knows Flynn did a lot more potentially illegal stuff than lying to the FBI. He didn't like the fact that Flynn's lawyers and Trump (and Huckabee Sanders) were accusing the FBI of entrapping him. He thought Flynn's lawyers were trying to have it both ways--accepting responsibility to get no jail time but not really accepting responsibility.

    More important, he didn't like Trump's tweet yesterday morning basically encouraging Flynn to hang tough. He knows there is a lot of stuff that Flynn could cooperate with, and wants to make sure that Flynn is not pulling a Mantafort by backchanneling to Trump while supposedly cooperating with the prosecutors. he put off the sentencing to make sure Flynn cooperates, and wanted to scare the crap out of Flynn with a long prison sentence if he doesnt cooperate fully

  11. #1451
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    My theory: He has seen all the unredacted documents and knows Flynn did a lot more potentially illegal stuff than lying to the FBI. He didn't like the fact that Flynn's lawyers and Trump (and Huckabee Sanders) were accusing the FBI of entrapping him. He thought Flynn's lawyers were trying to have it both ways--accepting responsibility to get no jail time but not really accepting responsibility.

    More important, he didn't like Trump's tweet yesterday morning basically encouraging Flynn to hang tough. He knows there is a lot of stuff that Flynn could cooperate with, and wants to make sure that Flynn is not pulling a Mantafort by backchanneling to Trump while supposedly cooperating with the prosecutors. he put off the sentencing to make sure Flynn cooperates, and wanted to scare the crap out of Flynn with a long prison sentence if he doesnt cooperate fully
    You may well be right but how would you feel if at sentencing a federal judge accused your client, in open court, of multiple egregious offenses with which your client was not even charged? You know, the rule of law and all that stuff?

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  12. #1452
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    You may well be right but how would you feel if at sentencing a federal judge accused your client, in open court, of multiple egregious offenses with which your client was not even charged? You know, the rule of law and all that stuff?
    You realize under federal sentencing guidelines the court may consider all kinds of bads acts that were not charged. It happens all the time.

  13. #1453
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    You realize under federal sentencing guidelines the court may consider all kinds of bads acts that were not charged. It happens all the time.
    Including a capital offense (treason)? Of which there is no adversary testimony but only the prosecution’s documentary evidence? Sorry, I’ve just become a skeptic about ambitious prosecutors generally. My clients have had bad experiences.

    Anyway, it looks like this judge has a reputation as irascible and outspoken.

    I guess how one feels about that depends on which side of the case one’s sympathies lie.

    Judge in Flynn Case Has Frequently Faulted the Government

    Emmet Sullivan threw out Ted Stevens conviction and has threatened IRS commissioner in contempt

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-i..._copyURL_share

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  14. #1454
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Including a capital offense (treason)? Of which there is no adversary testimony but only the prosecution’s documentary evidence? Sorry, I’ve just become a skeptic about ambitious prosecutors generally. My clients have had bad experiences.

    Anyway, it looks like this judge has a reputation as irascible and outspoken.

    I guess how one feels about that depends on which side of the case one’s sympathies lie.

    Judge in Flynn Case Has Frequently Faulted the Government

    Emmet Sullivan threw out Ted Stevens conviction and has threatened IRS commissioner in contempt

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-i..._copyURL_share

    It doesnt have anything to do with one's sympathies. Whoever prepares the presentence report would talk to lawyers for both sides, and make a recommendation to include it or not. And the judge could follow it or not. If i were Flynn's defense counsel, I would not care that much about what the judge said. he was blowing off steam, which judges do from time to time. I would be glad my client was not charged; the judge's comments don't amount to much. But I would tell my client, "you heard what the judge said, we need to make sure that we completely cooperate," and then get him out of there.

  15. #1455
    That did put an immediate end to Flynn's utter bullshit 'I was framed by the FBI' defense. So that was nice.

    Also, Flynn, as retired military, is still accountable to the UCMJ. It is not out of the realm of possibility the Army will bust him down to Private and strip his retirement, give him time in the brig, and tell him how lucky he is they don't march him out to the square and hang him for treason.

    As of now we have Flynn, a retired 3-Star General, agreeing to plead guilty to accepting a $600k bribe to directly influence US policy, in his position as National Security Advisor, on Turkey, on Ukraine, and on sanctions against Russia. With the follow-on that he was promised $15M if he could kidnap Gulen and send him to his certain torture and death at the hands of Erdogan.

    There is much more to the story, and it seems Mueller is holding a significant amount back, for now, to guarantee compliance when Flynn's testimony is needed down the line. I assume the judge knows all of it.

  16. #1456
    Also, the RNC is being subsumed into the Trump 2020 Campaign. Time is short for the good Republicans of the world to take back their party from the lunatic fringe and build it into the strong center-right party they want it to be.

    If not, then Trumpism = Republicanism = Trumpism = Republicanism. No discernable distinction in any way.

  17. #1457
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Judge in Flynn Case Has Frequently Faulted the Government

    Emmet Sullivan threw out Ted Stevens conviction and has threatened IRS commissioner in contempt

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-i..._copyURL_share
    This is why the general reaction was Flynn's lawyers made a bad miscalculation. "Judge Sullivan didn't appreciate the 'Flynn was ambushed by the FBI!' angle."

    The pinnacle of this alternative line of reasoning was Judge Jeanine, who suggested Sullivan, known to crack down on governmental overreach, might summarily declare Flynn not guilty of all charges.

    Ooops!

  18. #1458
    Apparently, Trump is ignoring the counsel of his advisors on Syria: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/19/polit...ess/index.html

    Congressional Republicans are upset, too.

    It's a good assumption that Trump doesn't really understand the Syria situation all that well. It's complicated and requires focused attention to understand any analysis he might be provided.

    My guess(es):

    1. Putin is applying leverage, knows this wounded Trump has no recourse to being exposed with the Kompromat Putin holds. (Re-watch the Helsinki press conference for reference.)

    or

    2. Pompeo's vision of private contractors is ready and being implemented.

  19. #1459
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Apparently, Trump is ignoring the counsel of his advisors on Syria: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/19/polit...ess/index.html

    Congressional Republicans are upset, too.

    It's a good assumption that Trump doesn't really understand the Syria situation all that well. It's complicated and requires focused attention to understand any analysis he might be provided.

    My guess(es):

    1. Putin is applying leverage, knows this wounded Trump has no recourse to being exposed with the Kompromat Putin holds. (Re-watch the Helsinki press conference for reference.)

    or

    2. Pompeo's vision of private contractors is ready and being implemented.
    My guess is it is an attempt to change the topic and get some headlines, and that it never happens. Like the shutdown.

  20. #1460
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Also, the RNC is being subsumed into the Trump 2020 Campaign. Time is short for the good Republicans of the world to take back their party from the lunatic fringe and build it into the strong center-right party they want it to be.

    If not, then Trumpism = Republicanism = Trumpism = Republicanism. No discernable distinction in any way.
    I've heard so much "the end of the RNC/Republican Party" since the election it is hard to take seriously. We used to hear the same about the Democrats. In fact, it is getting disturbingly close to the election with no real candidates in sight. Pelosi as speaker shows there is no real motivation to make the changes necessary to put themselves in a place to win by a landslide. Another loss to Trump may be a very real possibility. That would be incredibly disappointing.

    If that happens I think the demise of the Democratic Party is far more likely than the Republican.


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  21. #1461
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I've heard so much "the end of the RNC/Republican Party" since the election it is hard to take seriously. We used to hear the same about the Democrats. In fact, it is getting disturbingly close to the election with no real candidates in sight. Pelosi as speaker shows there is no real motivation to make the changes necessary to put themselves in a place to win by a landslide. Another loss to Trump may be a very real possibility. That would be incredibly disappointing.

    If that happens I think the demise of the Democratic Party is far more likely than the Republican.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    People on both ends of the spectrum often see the imminent demise of the opposing political party. Like Jason in “Halloween,” the parties always seem to recover.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 12-20-2018 at 12:10 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  22. #1462
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    1. Putin is applying leverage, knows this wounded Trump has no recourse to being exposed with the Kompromat Putin holds. (Re-watch the Helsinki press conference for reference.)
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/...113100797.html

    Ugh...

    In this case US allies suffer - notably Israel - while Assad, Hezbollah & Iran are net winners.

    At least Republicans on the Hill are getting an increasingly clear view into what's happening... and why.

    (And anyone who pays attention and is still on the fence about Mueller's investigation gets a sizable dot to connect.)
    Last edited by Ma'ake; 12-20-2018 at 08:20 AM.

  23. #1463
    This resignation letter from Mattis. Oh my!

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...letter/578773/

  24. #1464
    Hard to view that letter from Mattis as anything but scathing of the President. The wheels are coming off... I had a small measure of peace knowing that guys like Kelly and Mattis were in the room. What are we to do now?

    The stock market doesn't like any of this either.

  25. #1465
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Hard to view that letter from Mattis as anything but scathing of the President. The wheels are coming off... I had a small measure of peace knowing that guys like Kelly and Mattis were in the room. What are we to do now?

    The stock market doesn't like any of this either.
    I can’t even stand to read or watch the news right now.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  26. #1466
    Earlier this year an engagement occurred in Syria at a place called Deir Ezzor between Russian "irregular" troops / contractors, and a small number of US troops, who found themselves pinned down. From Russia at first there was denial there were Russians in Syria at all, then admission a few Russian mercenaries were killed. The US troops found themselves in a bind and called in airstrikes. The best estimates after all the smoke cleared is 100-200 Russians were killed, and a handful of Americans.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com...zzor-in-syria/

    Fast forward to Wednesday - Trump makes a snap decision against all his advisors to pull out of Syria immediately, Mattis resigns, a very strong reaction by all kinds of Republicans erupts, and Putin says in his press conference: "Donald's right, and I agree with him"


    Back here in the US, Trump crows that Syria, Russia and Iran are all fearful of the US's move out of Syria because "now they'll have to fight ISIS (who is defeated, right?) all by themselves, and we're building the greatest military ever!".

    "Wall" & a government shutdown are immediately trotted back on the stage to divert attention.
    Last edited by Ma'ake; 12-21-2018 at 08:49 AM.

  27. #1467
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Earlier this year an engagement occurred in Syria at a place called Deir Ezzor between Russian "irregular" troops / contractors, and a small number of US troops, who found themselves pinned down. From Russia at first there was denial there were Russians in Syria at all, then admission a few Russian mercenaries were killed. The US troops found themselves in a bind and called in airstrikes. The best estimates after all the smoke cleared is 100-200 Russians were killed, and a handful of Americans.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com...zzor-in-syria/

    Fast forward to Wednesday - Trump makes a snap decision against all his advisors to pull out of Syria immediately, Mattis resigns, a very strong reaction by all kinds of Republicans erupts, and Putin says in his press conference: "Donald's right, and I agree with him"


    Back here in the US, Trump crows that Syria, Russia and Iran are all fearful of the US's move out of Syria because "now they'll have to fight ISIS (who is defeated, right?) all by themselves, and we're building the greatest military ever!".

    "Wall" & a government shutdown are immediately trotted back on the stage to divert attention.
    I believe I said a week or two ago when Kelly resigned that that was likely the beginning of a flurry of craziness all designed to distract the public from Donald Trump's real issues.

    Mattis' letter is so telling. Letters written like this are from a professional who want to say something but possess the decorum to be respectful even when it is undeserved.

    People on both sides of the aisle should have nothing but the utmost respect for Mattis, even if they don't agree politically with him on all things. The fact that the president can't listen to a guy like him with four decades of direct experience is so so troubling.

    Who is leading the president down this path? Is it Bolton or Miller? Has he just gone rogue and making wild decisions. Is he literally a puppet of Putin?


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  28. #1468
    Oh, to have the loyalty and resolve of Hugh Hewitt. This guy must be a joy to work with.




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  29. #1469
    I have mixed feelings about pulling all of our troops out of Syria, but it seems inconsistent with some of Trump's strongest positions. He pulled out of the nuclear freeze deal with Iran because, as he claims, it gives Iran money to create greater instability in the Mideast and threaten Isreal. Pulling out of Syria will give Iran a more powerful foothold in Syria, and a free path to arming Hezbollah. Doesn't this increase Iran's ability to foment trouble in the Middle East, and threaten Isreal? Isreal certainly doesn't seem to like the move. Is he that fractured in his thinking, is it fulfilling a campaign promise or is he bowing to Russian requests? The only thing that would save it from major inconsistency is if Trump has decided that Syria is gone, and there is no way we can prevent Iran from gaining far greater influence there, while wasting resources and soldiers. But that would mean we haven't won.

  30. #1470
    Quote Originally Posted by Irving Washington View Post
    I have mixed feelings about pulling all of our troops out of Syria, but it seems inconsistent with some of Trump's strongest positions. He pulled out of the nuclear freeze deal with Iran because, as he claims, it gives Iran money to create greater instability in the Mideast and threaten Isreal. Pulling out of Syria will give Iran a more powerful foothold in Syria, and a free path to arming Hezbollah. Doesn't this increase Iran's ability to foment trouble in the Middle East, and threaten Isreal? Isreal certainly doesn't seem to like the move. Is he that fractured in his thinking, is it fulfilling a campaign promise or is he bowing to Russian requests? The only thing that would save it from major inconsistency is if Trump has decided that Syria is gone, and there is no way we can prevent Iran from gaining far greater influence there, while wasting resources and soldiers. But that would mean we haven't won.
    I would bet my paid-for truck that Trump never considered the contradictions vis-à-vis Iran you point out, or the other nuanced points you make.
    Last edited by Ma'ake; 12-23-2018 at 12:22 PM.

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