41 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-12-18

  1. It has been a hundred years since the province of Syria was taken from the Ottoman Empire by a joint force of British and Arabs during WWI. Erdogan, just as Putin’s nostalgia for the USSR led him to annex the Crimea, seeks to restore Turkish domination in the region. When ISIS began to seize territory in Syria and Iraq, Christians and Yazidis who fled found safety behind Kurdish lines as the Kurds pushed back against the advance of ISIS, but those lines are safe no longer, as the Kurds are being attacked from the other side. And just as what happened in the Ukraine was ignored, so too is this ignored: https://world.wng.org/2018/06/forced_to_flee_again

    Now in Syria in 2018 Christians and Yazidis are fleeing again. Only this time Islamic militants are working in tandem with Turkey’s military forces—using American-bought air and ground weaponry with the tacit approval of U.S. and European leaders.

    Turkish forces crossed into Syria in January, penetrating 60 miles to the city Afrin in an area not at the time part of any active war zone—an anomaly in the war-drenched country. The Turks attacked Syrian Kurdish forces holding the region, forces backed by the United States. Afrin residents report up to 3,000 Christians and 35,000 Yazidis—along with many other non-Muslim residents—forced to flee under a murderous Turkish-led onslaught. In all, 200,000 mostly Kurdish residents have been forced from Afrin…

    And earlier this year, the Pentagon touted what it called “a unilateral operation” by SDF/YPG forces, who captured in northern Syria Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a member of al-Qaeda and now ISIS. As part of al-Qaeda’s cell in Hamburg, Germany, in 2001, Zammar worked with 9/11 operational leader Mohamed Atta to recruit two of the pilots who crashed planes in the United States that day, plus others.

    Now the Kurdish-U.S. alliance appears to be taking a back seat to bolstering NATO ally Turkey. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on June 4 with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Washington. Afterward, the two issued a joint statement that did not mention Afrin. That contradicts what Pompeo told lawmakers in May when he said he hoped to achieve “a resolution” of “Turkish activities in northern Syria in and around Afrin and Manbij” when he met Cavusoglu.

    Instead, the Pompeo-Cavusoglu statement said the two sides “endorsed a Road Map” to ensure “security and stability in Manbij,” while underlining “their mutual commitment” to its implementation.

    EU leaders, likewise, appear to have stepped back from criticizing Turkey over Turkey’s invasion of Afrin. At a March meeting with Erdogan in Bulgaria, the EU leadership “voiced concern” regarding Turkey’s actions in Syria. But a final press statement from the meeting, issued by European Council President Donald Tusk, reaffirmed Turkey’s right to fight terrorism and mildly expressed concern over Afrin, calling on Turkey “to ensure the protection of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

    With more than a quarter-million people newly displaced, both Turkish forces and Syrian government forces continue to block aid reaching the area, report Afrin residents I spoke to and aid workers nearby (see also “Itinerants and pawns”).

    “I believe most European leaders are aware what is going on in Afrin, but only a few speak out against it,” said the European pastor. “They worry about a new wave of refugees traveling to Europe through Turkey, and they seem more concerned to try to keep Turkey within the NATO fold than to address the terrible injustice going on.”

    The only hope, he said, is for U.S. forces not to abandon SDF/YPG forces in the border region: “If they fail to keep their commitment, they will lose all legitimacy, and the fight against ISIS might have been in vain.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s sad Roscuro. Just like happened after the first Gulf War when Bush Sr. and the US abandoned the Kurds and left them to Saddam’s atrocity committing henchmen. It’s shameful, as is the behavior of Turkey, who is no ally truth be told.


  3. Progress.


    “Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

    1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity

    2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula

    3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

    4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

    Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulation in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I woke up and saw Trump’s whole news conference. It was as funny as the Lester Holt interview. Tucked in amongst all the praises for Kim was a promise to make Canadians pay dearly for Justin Trudeau’s comments on Saturday. The President in Idiocracy was not this naive nor ridiculous, nor his supporters as gullible as the Trumpers.


  5. Ricky,

    I’m glad you find history being made as amusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say!”

    Except for the pathetic Grammar Nazis………..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. History is being made. History was made in Munich in 1938. However, I suspect Neville Chamberlain knew how to spell “stopped” and “missile”. Therefore, the British did not have quite as many clues that they were being led by an imbecile.


  8. I’m glad never-Trumpers are so easily entertained.. Give them a few baby blocks to play with, misspell some words, maybe even mispronounce a few, and they will amuse themselves while we dismantle globalism. Who knew? ;–)


  9. Globalism has not been dismantled at all. It simply has a new leader: China. The Chinese Century started this weekend. First, Trump’s childish petulance at the G7 showed our former Western allies that he is ignorant and unstable and can not be trusted. They will be led to make separate arrangements with Russia, China and Iran with China now serving as the global leader on economic and trade issues. The farce with Kim showed all of Asia and Australia that the US is led by a naive buffoon. Those countries will also be drawn into China’s orbit.

    The events of this weekend were much more comical than those in Munich in 1938. However, historians will look back at the last few days and see that this was really the end of the American Century.


  10. Speaking of China:


  11. Trump has a message for Rubin and Ricky.

    “Trump To Stephanopoulos:

    Notice I Didn’t Pay $150 Billion For A Deal?”

    It’s already better than the Iran deal, so it can’t possibly be the worst deal ever. That would be the Obama Iran Deal which thankfully Trump tossed in the trash, where it belongs.


  12. And I’m so enjoying watching you never-Trumpers and the left stew in their own bile while Trump continues to rack up wins. Warms my heart it does. 🙂


  13. The battle for the heart and soul of the SBC continues…….


    “At this week’s annual Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination will vote to select their next president. The process is usually of little interest to the rank and file of evangelicalism—candidates sometimes run unopposed—but this year’s campaign has been widely recognized as a “pivotal” clash between the “old guard” of the conservative resurgence and the rising Southern Baptist Left.

    The primary policy issue is whether the SBC should pursue race- and sex-based proportions in hiring for leadership positions within the denomination. The two men running for president, J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill, both have strong church credentials and unimpeached personal character. But they differ on how the church should respond to accusations of sexism leveled against SBC leaders and the widespread claim in the mainstream media that white evangelicals are racist because they voted for President Trump.

    Hemphill’s platform emphasizes a responsibility within the convention to continue to “preach the whole counsel of God’s Word which teaches that racism is sin,” and highlights the important role of women within the church as found in the New Testament. Hemphill also seeks to recall and celebrate the SBC’s positive role in opposing racism in the South.

    Greear’s platform is a little more pessimistic. “Our doctrine and our mission are solid,” Greear said in a recent campaign video, “but I think we need a new culture, and a new posture in the Southern Baptist Convention.” This culture would not be created by simply teaching more of “God’s Word,” but by repenting of a “failure to listen to and honor women and racial minorities” and “to include them in proportionate measures in top leadership roles.” This failure, Greear explained, had “hindered [the SBC’s] ability to see sin and injustice and call it out.”

    While Greear does not specify what “failures” he is talking about, he is likely referring to accusations against Dr. Paige Patterson, a former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Patterson was recently fired on allegations that he has displayed a sexist attitude towards women at least twice in the past 20 years, and failed to properly report two incidents of rape. The failure-to-report accusations have been called into question by comparisons to documents from the time and a police report, but Patterson has not escaped a verdict of guilt in the public eye.

    As the Washington Post pointed out, Patterson’s fall from grace has significant political implications within the denomination, since Patterson is “one of the main figures credited with steering the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980s and ’90s away from liberalizing changes going on in the wider culture and into the conservative religious force it is now.””


  14. Sure it’s campy, but it makes it pretty clear. There are 2 paths, 1 to peace and relief for your people and country, the other is war. He almost makes it seem like an easy choice.


    “In his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump showed a video depicting two possible futures for North Korea — a shocking film showing both the United States military firing weapons at an increasingly isolated North Korean shore, or unqualified success, economic prosperity, and fame on the world stage.

    The four-minute video first shows pictures of North Korean destitution, and shots of what appears to be the DMZ, and video of North Korean military exercises, undertaken in near-complete silence from the rest of the world. Eventually, after suggesting that Kim has the opportunity to change the future, the video shows the desolation of nuclear war, followed by video of the “other” possibility: technological advancement.”


    The art of the deal.


  15. We pay people to tape his torn-up documents back together. Can we not pay someone to convert his jibberish into English, particularly when he is trying to insult the intelligence of someone else? Would that be “to” expensive?


  16. @5:52 I still don’t quite see how a couple of instances of sexism in 20 years caused Paige Patterson to lose both his position and pension. I could understand him being asked to step aside perhaps, but his pension? Seems harsh to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. DJ @7:01 I can’t bear to watch rhat. Hopefully the whole ordeal will be over by the time I get up tomorrow. :–/


  18. Ricky @7:16. No wonder Trump hates cnn. I’ll try to make time to watch the whole thing when I get home tonight. But if it’s anything like his Canada press conference, it won’t even be cringe-worthy.


  19. Debra, It is time for a confession. Trump is actually a globalist mole. His mission was to convince North Korea, one of the last holdouts against free trade, to follow the tenets of Milton Friedman. Since Trump has now “outed” himself, I wanted you to be among the first to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Like

  21. And don’t forget the cover-up.


    “The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee is asking the FBI about “highly questionable” redactions in text messages exchanged between two bureau officials who worked on the Hillary Clinton and Trump campaign investigations.

    In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson flagged several redactions in text messages, which he said the bureau made “without apparent legitimate reasons.””


  22. Debra, The whole press conference is much better than the CNN highlights. Watching the press conference reminded me how actual Trump is much funnier than Alec Baldwin’s SNL Trump. The Baldwin version is always malicious, but coherent. The real Trump has his moments of malice, but most of the time he is this amazing blend of evasiveness and incoherence. You can see it drives the reporters crazy. It drives my son crazy, but it is what makes Trump as funny as Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.

    Reporters think he is intentionally being non-responsive or incoherent because he doesn’t know the answer to a question or doesn’t want to admit the answer. However, they can never pin him down because he is always non-responsive and incoherent.

    They should put Trump’s Mueller interview on Pay-per-view to raise money for charity or reduce the national debt. Trump is going to be very defensive, and I think that will make him even funnier than usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’ll leave Ricky to amuse us with Trump’s illiteracy. It’s amusing but shouldn’t overshadow the way Kim played Trump. Kim acquired some great footage to show at home. The South Korea/US military exercises will end. And all he had to was to promise to denuclearize…something he promised to do countless times. No verification protocol, no inspectators, no remote cameras…..nothing but words. In addition, Trump once again abandoned an ally…..he didn’t consult with South Korea over the cancellation of the exercises.

    The Iran deal had a verification protocol, inspectors, and remote cameras. And the support and involvement with allies. In exchange all the US had to do was give Iran its money back. Money which was frozen and has been sitting there for 30-40 years. The US gave up nothing, kept their allies happy, and Iran agreed to a denuclearization process. Far better deal.

    But Trump the master dealmaker pulled the US out of the deal. So Iran has the money but no longer has to follow the deal……


  24. HRW @ 9:13 You are right on all the serious stuff. We should have figured that if Trump could convince his cult that the FBI and his own Justice Dept. were engaged in a coup against him, it would be pretty easy for him to convince those same folks that a murderous dictator was honorable, trustworthy and a guy who loves and is loved by his subjects.


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