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U.S. to stop arming jihadists; Deep State hardest hit

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 9:07 pm - July 20, 2017.
Filed under: National Security,Politics abroad,Syria war,War On Terror

President Trump has decided that the CIA will stop arming the so-called “moderate” (but really jihadist) Syrian rebels.

With the end of the CIA program, U.S. involvement in Syria now consists of a vigorous air campaign against the Islamic State and a Pentagon-run train-and-equip program in support of the largely Kurdish rebel force that is advancing on Islamic State strongholds in Raqqa and along the Euphrates River valley.

More on the Kurds in a moment. Trump’s move should help to maintain the Syria cease-fire, defeat ISIS and defuse Mideast tensions. In my view, it is as sensible as Obama’s original decision to arm the jihadis was not. Naturally, the U.S. Deep State – which wanted tensions (or even a Syria ground war) – hates the move and besmirches it as pro-Putin, “Russia won”, etc.

In news that is not so good, we’ve also had a flurry of items about the growing rift between Turkey and the West. Turkey remains a NATO ally, but Erdogan is on bad terms with the European Community, and it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.

So, the Kurds would seem to be a major issue. Decades ago, Western powers drew the borders of Turkey, Syria and Iraq in such a way as to divide the Kurds. Ever since, they’ve dreamed of getting together in a new Kurdistan. That the U.S. would have armed the Syrian Kurds (starting under Obama), sets off alarm bells in Turkey.

UPDATE: Julian Assange on ISIS, key U.S. allies, and the Clintons. Here’s the idea.

  • Saudi Arabia and Qatar wanted Syria regime change and funded the jihadis.
  • Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund ISIS (who, I keep saying, are much the same people as the Syria jihadi-rebels). And, per her leaked emails, Hillary definitely knew it.
  • Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund the Clintons.
  • Could all this be why Hillary wanted to bomb Syria and do Syria regime change so much? And not-so-much to bomb ISIS?

Also, Julian Assange noting how the CIA paid ISIS salaries. He excerpts a Financial Times article, deep inside which is this: “One rebel commander, who asked not to be named, said U.S. support had been waning for months, but noted that the rebels had been given their salaries as normal last month.”

UPDATE: Just learned about SOFREP, a news service by Special Forces veterans. And they had a report in 2016 saying that, yes, Obama’s CIA was absolutely, positively making the Special Forces train jihadis in Syria and delivering advanced weapons to the jihadis, in violation of U.S. law against aiding terrorists.

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22 Comments

  1. Erdogan is seemingly hyper paranoid & sees himself as playing whack a mole in order fend off threats to his power. He sees Venezuela’s Maduro beset by mass protests & otherwise & probably fears another coup attempt which did indeed almost snag him. He’s a time bomb, IMO.

    This petty punishment of either Germany or the US won’t serve him well. Just the opposite.

    Whether the Deep State likes it or not, Russia is in Syria thanks to Obama. That’s not reversible & frankly, I don’t see it as a problem, even in the long run. The order in the region hasn’t coalesced into anything in particular yet.

    With Syria, it’s clear Pres Trump is playing carrot & stick. Bombing when necessary, assisting when necessary according to whether they’ve violated our strictures. That’s how you handle children & is the neutral gear. Fine for now.

    Comment by Hanover — July 20, 2017 @ 9:22 pm - July 20, 2017

  2. It’s more then an even chance that neither the US or NATO had anything to do with the attempted “coup” against Ergodan. There’s a real possibility that Ergodan and his people were behind the coup using some junior officers as stalking horses to flush out opposition. This coup was an amateur show at best and the Turkish military does not do amateur. Thousands of arrests were made and most of his opposition is still in prison and he’s trying to bring the death penalty back at which point these people are done.

    Comment by scr_north — July 21, 2017 @ 1:34 am - July 21, 2017

  3. “and it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.”

    Such a casual lie.

    The only wackos who claim that are the Turkish version of Infowars.

    What’s wrong with you? Why do you choose to discredit everything you write by being such a casual liar?

    [And there you have it, folks: How mike deals with his own cognitive dissonance and inability to argue, exchange or process information: Offer nothing, go straight to assuming others lie. He must be a real treat, as a co-worker or family member. –ILC]

    Comment by mike — July 21, 2017 @ 9:57 am - July 21, 2017

  4. So, how is this supposed to happen:

    More on the Kurds in a moment. Trump’s move should help to maintain the Syria cease-fire, defeat ISIS and defuse Mideast tensions.

    when you also say:

    So, the Kurds would seem to be a major issue. Decades ago, Western powers drew the borders of Turkey, Syria and Iraq in such a way as to divide the Kurds. Ever since, they’ve dreamed of getting together in a new Kurdistan. That the U.S. would have armed the Syrian Kurds (starting under Obama), sets off alarm bells in Turkey.

    So, the Middle East is going to get less tense as Kurds agitate more strongly for their own state, something Turkey will not accept. And that the US is making more likely to happen by giving weapons to the militia they like.

    Or are we just saying to the Turks–live with it…

    Comment by Cas — July 21, 2017 @ 10:30 am - July 21, 2017

  5. Cas: Arming Syrian jihadis (in addition to or separate from the Syrian Kurds) was pouring gasoline on a fire (especially considering the likely transfer of weapons, training or personnel from the Syrian jihadis to ISIS). Trump has decided to pour less gasoline on the fire. I think that’s helpful.

    Having said that: You’re right that many tensions (or contradictions) remain. It’s a mess.

    It’s interesting that arming the jihadis was a CIA program, while arming the Kurds is a Pentagon program. (Not that I’m sure what to make of it.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 21, 2017 @ 10:34 am - July 21, 2017

  6. Erdogan is not a “petty” dictator. He is systematically reigning in the “problems” which challenge his rule. Since the days of Ataturk, the Kurdish “problem” has ben a two way street. Kurdistan is a fine solution to the problem as a parlor game, but the realities of that “solution” are as complicated as the whole mess that was created when the Ottoman Empire was carved up into countries and mandates at the end of WWI.

    There are deep problems of “civil rights” inequalities across Turkey, but they are no less complicated than those that exist in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, etc.

    Perhaps the “Orient Express” created higher Western expectations for Turkey and therefore we are inclined to believe that Turkey is more responsible for playing by Western assumptions.

    My guess is that Ergodan engineered the coup as a way to clean out opposition and establish the cover for consolidating his grip on power.

    One can not look at the Kurds of Turkey without acknowledging the influence on them exerted by the Kurds of northern Iraq or the pitiful conditions of the Kurds of Syria.

    Quite frankly, these tribal differences and claims of sovereignty are the controlling theme in the ancient story of the whole area. Think Palestinians and Israelis.

    My bet is that neither Mattis nor Trump is the least bit interested in attempting to “solve” the Kurdish “problem.” And, for me, that is the correct path to take. If you are going to solve “human rights” problems by death and mayhem, you had best be right.

    And along comes Cas, the Marxist snarking at ILC.

    Notice, please, that Cas, the Marxist offers three distinct and false options:

    1. Is the Middle East is going to get less tense as Kurds agitate more strongly for their own state, something Turkey will not accept?

    2. The the US will make tensions more likely to happen by giving weapons to the militia they like.

    3. We just tell the Turks to “live with it.”

    No, mention, of course, that choosing the winners and losers in the name of civil righteousness is more of a parlor game for pious elitists than it is a serious reason for barging in and breaking eggs right and left. Wouldn’t settling civil rights by uncivil means be something in the oxymoron realm?

    Cas, the Marxist is an authoritarian at heart, which is why she cleaves to Marxism. She sees Turkey as square on the chess board on which you can move against Turkey as a colonialist or as an imperialist or as crusader or just for the hell of it.

    But a saner approach is to ask: “what is to be gained by tearing into someone else’s hornet’s nest?” For the Marxist, it is not a hornet’s nest, it is a malfunctioning clock. All clocks have a set end game: giving the correct time. So, for the Marxist, you tear into a clock and you pound, eliminate, adjust, reset, replace and so forth until you get whatever passes for the correct time according to the Marxist whim of the moment.

    It is easy to ask the false questions and walk away glowing from your own piety bath. Who cares if ILC or anyone else has addressed the issues? The game is to make them look like fools without committing yourself to any course of action.

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 21, 2017 @ 11:19 am - July 21, 2017

  7. “inability to argue, exchange or process information: Offer nothing, go straight to assuming others lie”

    ILC there is no debate.
    You wrote:
    “and it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.”

    This is an extraordinary claim and an outright falsehood.
    And you do so casually and easily.

    Own it!

    [mike is clearly triggered. Good boy! What a nice pet! Again: better for the world that mike come to GP and let it out here, than dump his poor behavior and toxic spirit on co-workers, family, or others in real life. –ILC]

    Comment by mike — July 21, 2017 @ 12:23 pm - July 21, 2017

  8. littlelettermikey, >I>the fascist targets ILC thusly:

    You wrote:
    “and it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.”

    This is an extraordinary claim and an outright falsehood.
    And you do so casually and easily.

    The failed coup occurred on Obama’s watch in July of 2016.

    In October of 2016 Reuters reported in October that Turkey had fired hundreds of senior military staff serving at NATO in Europe and the United States after the coup.

    There is much that occurred on Obama’s watch which is tied up an embargo on his Presidential papers. Furthermore, Trump and his team have picked the ball where Obama left it and they have had little spare time to assess how the mess they inherited came to be.

    ILC makes no “extraordinary claim.” He is repeating conventional wisdom.

    IF there is an “extraordinary claim,” it is the tacit charge that who organized the failed coup is known beyond a reasonable doubt.

    littlelettermikey, the fascist is trying to pee with the tall dogs and only succeeds in wetting his own toes.

    The ball is in your court, littlelettermikey, the fascist, now cough up the clear evidence which proves it is “an outright falsehood.”

    ….or disappear as you always do when you set your own hair on fire…….

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 21, 2017 @ 2:13 pm - July 21, 2017

  9. Erdogan’s Turkey is a good candidate for being expelled from NATO, and barred from EU membership. While NATO’s had more than it’s fair-share of authoritarian thugs over the decades, BUT… Erdogan’s conflation of authoritarianism and Islamism is toxic to “European values” and American realpolitik. And Erdogan’s adventurism should not have the shield of NATO’s Article-V.

    Not that he can’t be a useful — even valuable ally — but he shouldn’t be afforded the leverage of NATO membership.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — July 21, 2017 @ 2:40 pm - July 21, 2017

  10. Heliotrope, thanks. I discussed it at the time with a Turkish-American friend (his family is still back there). They all understood it as a U.S.-sponsored coup attempt, which Erdogan thwarted strangely with Russian help. I’m open to new evidence or a different story. scr-north at #2 shows how to get that going: just present what you know, grownup-to-grownup, and can the hysterics. But mike can’t.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 21, 2017 @ 2:46 pm - July 21, 2017

  11. Hi ILoveCapitalism,
    Would it then be fair to say that you think that there will be more instability with the past Obama policy than with the move to support the Kurds in the fight against ISIS? If so, I don’t agree with that as I think you move the problem slightly geographically and make it more Turkey’s (and hence Europe’s) problem, with plenty of opportunities to metastasize, but time will tell as to whether you are right or not. Given the Middle East, it may be very hard to figure out if things are getting better no matter what happens.

    Comment by Cas — July 21, 2017 @ 3:03 pm - July 21, 2017

  12. Also ILoveCapitalism,
    mikey raised an interesting question. You said that “it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.” That was not my understanding of what happened. For starters, I can’t quite picture official government backing for such a turn of events, though I can imagine some folks who would appreciate it in the US and in Europe for obvious reasons. What are you saying exactly here–is it the former or the latter? Is it enough for Turks to think the US is behind the coup? No concrete evidence has come forward–I see places like Quora that connect dots, without worrying too much if it is coincidence or without any merit. So, what is the basis for your strong claim, ILoveCapitalism?

    Comment by Cas — July 21, 2017 @ 3:26 pm - July 21, 2017

  13. Hi Cas, the Marxist,

    Please clarify:

    Erdogan’s conflation of authoritarianism and Islamism is toxic to “European values” and American realpolitik.

    1.) Since Islam requires a theocracy, is Islam itself basically toxic to “European values” and American realpolitik?

    2.) Please define and list “European values.”

    3.) Please define and list the elements of American realpolitik.

    You said that “it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.” (…) I can’t quite picture official government backing for such a turn of events….

    Whew! Cas, the Marxist, can you picture official government backing for such a turn of events as was visited by the U.S. and NATO on Libya and Gaddafi?

    Or, is your use of the word “official” some sort of imbedded explosive devise meant to register on the quack quibble scale?

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 21, 2017 @ 4:08 pm - July 21, 2017

  14. Cas – answered at comments 8 and 10.

    Would it then be fair to say that you think that there will be more instability with the past Obama policy than with the move to support the Kurds in the fight against ISIS?

    It’s hard to parse that, but put it this way.

    1) Trump policy, U.S. arming the Syrian Kurds…unfortunately leads to some instability or tension vis a vis Turkey.

    2) Obama policy, U.S. arming the Syrian Kurds, *and* the Syria jihadists who are basically the same people as ISIS…same as above, plus a good deal worse.

    Between them, (1) is better.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 21, 2017 @ 4:11 pm - July 21, 2017

  15. From my reading, “Kurdistan” would carve out chunks of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey.I’ve also understood them being the best fighters vs ISIS. I have to admit for their destabilizing influences, we could find worse agents. (Note, not allies)

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 21, 2017 @ 6:36 pm - July 21, 2017

  16. Hi ILoveCapitalism,
    I read the comments at 8 and 10. So, you argue that US and NATO linked officers got fired after the coup attempt, Turkish folks think it, and that the coup attempt happened on Obama’s watch, is enough to state with certainty that: “it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.” The evidence you offer is very weak sauce for your claim. I am glad that you are open to the motivation that src_north offers at #2. As #10 makes clear, “possibly organized” is a useful qualifier. Or, “it doesn’t help that the [Turks believe that the] U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.” I would give you either of those two.

    Comment by Cas — July 21, 2017 @ 11:24 pm - July 21, 2017

  17. Hi Cas, the Marxist,

    I see you came to parse ILC and tutor him in how to be obscure. ILC wrote this:

    Turkey remains a NATO ally, but Erdogan is on bad terms with the European Community, and it doesn’t help that the U.S. (or NATO) organized a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.

    You insist that ILC must inject “wiggle room” in that statement so that ILC has his butt covered in case it turns out that Kim Ding Dong organized the coup. Got it.

    Now let’s be serious.

    We do not know the complete facts and attendant timelines of said coup. So, you are essentially correct that it could have been caused by solar flares or overfishing Lake Erie or because you belched. Therefore, ILC’s “fact” statement can not stand.

    However, neither you, nor ILC nor 99.99999% of the world’s population has any way of knowing the mechanics of this failed coup, so we turn to the conventional wisdom and compelling evidence.

    1.) There was a coup.

    2.) It did not create the “Arab Spring” effect that dumped Mubarak in Egypt. It didn’t have the effect a YouTube video had in Benghazi. It didn’t work out to “We Came. We Saw. He died.” Erdogan flew home to Turkey and stopped the coup in its tracks.

    3.) Erdogan himself insists that Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania’s Poconos organized the coup and Erdogan has insisted the United States extradite Gulen to Turkey.

    4.) Greece and Germany are sheltering Turkish military men who were assigned to NATO and are refusing to extradite them to Turkey.

    5.) Erdogan blames NATO and the USA for the coup. However, believing a successful dictator is risky business, which is why Erdogan is kept at arm’s length by the US, NATO, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Germany, and rest of the universe.

    6.) Somehow “the colonels” in Turkey got the idea of a military coup. Being the lifeblood of the military strategy of Turkey, they did their research. No military worth its uniforms is staffed by people who act capriciously and do not calculate their odds. Therefore, it stands to “overwhelming” reason that “the colonels” checked out the possible/probable response of NATO and the US. Both NATO and the US have incredible interest in the geopolitical importance of Turkey.

    7.) The dicey part is this: Did Erdogan suspect or discover the coup and help push it to happen prematurely by going out of the country in order to rush it into action making it easier to crush it? I happen to see that as a strong possibility.

    8.) Erdogan blames the coup on part of the Turkish military, which is 100% correct. But he clearly ties “the colonels” to the US and NATO.

    9.) He went through the military with a fine toothed comb and sorted out every person who might possibly be complicit in the coup. 113,000+ people were detained and 47,000 of them were arrested. Others are still being arrested.

    10.) Much evidence is being uncovered that Erdogan has also swept up “dissidents” and his “opposition” in this purge of the military and the government. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise. He is a dictator and that is what dictators do.

    11.) The conventional wisdom is that the US and NATO organized the failed coup. Would either the Obama administration or NATO have left a lot of fingerprints on that?

    12.) Erdogan watched this closely:

    • Obama helped precipitate the Arab Spring which lead to the “Jasmine Revolution” and Obama actively participated in his NATO role with assassinating Gadaffi.

    • January 2011 – President of Tunis, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was overthrown. This began what was called the “Jasmine Revolution.”

    • February 13, 2011 – The Supreme Council of Egypt dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution and Mubarak was placed under house arrest.

    • March 19, 2011, NATO attacked Libya with fighting ceasing upon the death of Mummar Gadaffi in October of 2011.

    • September 11, 2012, Egyptian protestors scaled the walls of the US Embassy in Cairo, “because of a YouTube video.”

    • September 11, 2012, US Ambassador Chris Stevens and CIA employees Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed in Benghazi “because of a YouTube video.”

    • September 11, 2012, Erdogan watched as the US and NATO abandoned their officials and soldiers in Benghazi.

    It is incontestable that the Obama administration has worked closely with the Islamist government of Turkey in efforts to arm and train “rebels” in Syria. Stevens’s last meeting on the night of September 11, 2012, right before the State Department’s Benghazi compound was attacked, was with Turkey’s consul general, Ali Sait Akin.

    13.) Erdogan is still very much in power and watching his back like a hawk. Right now, he is sizing up Trump and Putin and all of the rapidly changing realities around him. Does he trust the US and NATO? No. Because he knows that they didn’t call him to tell him a coup was being cooked up within his military. No. Because he is playing for”keeps” in a land where heads roll at the rate of a “dime a dozen.”

    I really don’t know what high point of clarity is being sought in shading the truth by implying that Germany, France, England, Italy, Greece, the United States, NATO didn’t have a hand in that coup.

    “Oh,” but I hear you triumphantly cry, “a ‘hand’ is NOT organizing a coup!!!!!” Silly, Cas, the Marxist, those colonels knew from the get-go that they would have to get the US and NATO involved and they knew that the US and NATO resources were indispensable. There is no conceivable way that the US and NATO were unaware or passive in this event. And, the colonels knew that if they failed, the US and NATO would claim ignorance and innocence until forever and a day.

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 22, 2017 @ 10:50 am - July 22, 2017

  18. My hat is off to Heliotrope for a most excellent delineation. There is no clarity on the Left. To clearly see the world for what it is frightens them.

    Comment by Hanover — July 22, 2017 @ 11:49 am - July 22, 2017

  19. Cas, I have to point out that you’re arguing over the presence or absence of an adverb.

    Adverbs are probably the least necessary part of speech. They’re subjective. They communicate a person’s attitude, emotion or perception of action. They have a “telling the audience how to feel” aspect, which is pompous. Most writing is improved (becoming clearer and more honest) when you trim them back.

    My drafts tend to be adverb-heavy. In the first rush of putting thoughts to words, my brain generates adverbs to precisely (see, there’s one) shade the meaning. But, recognizing adverbs as poor writing or at least a poor form of argument, I consciously (there’s another) try to reduce them as I edit.

    Wouldn’t the preceding sentences be better – easier to read, more direct, shorter but not having lost anything important – if the adverbs were gone? So it often is.

    So yeah, I could have said that the U.S. or NATO “apparently” or “allegedly” or “probably” or “possibly” organized a coup attempt, but I happened not to. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 22, 2017 @ 12:47 pm - July 22, 2017

  20. ILC,

    I have no means of communicating directly with you, so I do not know your preferences concerning “feeding the troll” Cas, the Marxist.

    My intent in taking on her bilge is that at least a reasonable and logical examination and response to her clutter is there for anyone else to review. If I end up getting it wrong in my response, I am perfectly willing and able to be properly educated.

    However, I really don’t think GayPatriot should be a place where vanity posts drag on and on as two morons quibble.

    If you would prefer to have me just let Cas, the Marxist quibble and dribble in smug self satisfaction, I am happy to oblige.

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 22, 2017 @ 12:56 pm - July 22, 2017

  21. Heliotrope, thanks. I appreciate your contributions a great deal. #17 for example, informs-or-at-least-reminds me of a lot of the details behind the situation in Turkey.

    And you’re right that I should focus on generating new posts, not on arguing with anyone in the comments. In this instance, I’m about to be gone for the weekend, so not posting anyway; I just happened to check the comments quickly before leaving.

    I go back and forth about Cas. There’s obstinacy there and a relentless desire to take things into the weeds. Sometimes I interpret it charitably as a person’s unfortunate tic that it wouldn’t kill me to accommodate a little. And other times I interpret it as you do above, as a bad intention from that person and something I really ought to steer clear of.

    Long story short, thanks for the offer and for all your help!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 22, 2017 @ 1:07 pm - July 22, 2017

  22. No worries, ILoveCapitalism.

    Comment by Cas — July 22, 2017 @ 1:11 pm - July 22, 2017

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