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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:22 pm 
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If they take a shit I wonder if they call it a Kurd Turd?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Slacks wrote:
If they take a shit I wonder if they call it a Kurd Turd?


In Arabic it’s كورد غائط


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:41 pm 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
Slacks wrote:
If they take a shit I wonder if they call it a Kurd Turd?


In Arabic it’s كورد غائط


And?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Slacks wrote:
PBFMullethunter wrote:
Slacks wrote:
If they take a shit I wonder if they call it a Kurd Turd?


In Arabic it’s كورد غائط


And?


Knowledge is power.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:15 am 
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DECEMBER 31, 2018

Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal: an Act of Political Realism

by PATRICK COCKBURN


President Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria is being denounced by an impressive range of critics claiming that it is a surrender to Turkey, Russia, Syria and Iran – as well as a betrayal of the Kurds and a victory for Isis.

The pullout may be one or all of these things, but above all it is a recognition of what is really happening on the ground in Syria and the Middle East in general.

This point has not come across clearly enough because of the undiluted loathing for Trump among most of the American and British media. They act as a conduit for the views of diverse figures who condemn the withdrawal and include members of the imperially-minded foreign policy establishment in Washington and terrified Kurds living in north-east Syria who fear ethnic cleansing by an invading Turkish army.

Opposition to Trump’s decision was supercharged by the resignation of Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis which came after he failed to persuade the president to rescind his order. Mattis does not mention Syria or Afghanistan in his letter of resignation, but he makes clear his disagreement with the general direction of Trump’s foreign policy in not confronting Russia and China and ignoring traditional allies and alliances.

The resignation of Mattis has elicited predictable lamentations from commentators who treat his departure as if it was the equivalent of the Kaiser getting rid of Bismarck. The over-used description of Mattis as “the last of the adults in the room” is once again trotted out, though few examples of his adult behaviour are given aside from his wish – along with other supposed “adults” – to stay in Syria until various unobtainable objectives were achieved: the extinction of Iranian influence; the displacement of Bashar al-Assad; and the categorical defeat of Isis (are they really likely to sign surrender terms?).

In other words, there was to be an open-ended US commitment with no attainable goals in an isolated and dangerous part of the world where it was already playing a losing game.

It is worth spelling out the state of play in Syria because this is being masked by anti-Trump rhetoric, recommending policies that may sound benign but are far detached from political reality. This reality may be very nasty: it is right to be appalled by the prospects for the Syrian Kurds who are terrified of a Turkish army that is already massing to the north of the Turkish-Syrian frontier.

There is a horrible inevitability about all this because neither Turkey nor Syria were ever going to allow a Kurdish mini-state to take permanent root in north-east Syria. It existed because of the Syrian civil war in which Assad withdrew his forces from the Kurdish-populated regions in 2012 in order to concentrate them in defence of strategically vital cities and roads. Isis attacked the Kurdish enclave in 2014 which led to a de facto alliance between the Kurds and the US air force whose devastating firepower enabled the Kurds to capture a great swathe of Isis-held territory east of the Euphrates.

Turkey was never going to accept this outcome. Erdogan denounced the Kurdish political and military forces controlling this corner of Syria as “terrorists” belonging to the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984.

This is a good moment to make a point about this article: it is an explanation not a justification for the dreadful things that may soon happen. I have visited the Kurdish controlled part of Syria several times and felt that it was the only part of Syria where the uprising of 2011 had produced a society that was better than what had gone before, bearing in mind the constraints of fighting a war.

I met the men and women of the People’s Protection Units (YPG and YPJ) who fought heroically against Isis, suffering thousands of dead and wounded. But I always had a doomed feeling when talking to them as I could not see how their statelet, which had been brought into existence by temporary circumstances, was going to last beyond the end of the Syrian civil war and the defeat of Isis. One day the Americans would have to choose between 2 million embattled Kurds in Syria and 80 million Turks in Turkey and it dd not take much political acumen to foresee what they would decide.

Turkey had escalated its pressure on the US to end its protection of the Kurds and this finally paid off. A telephone conversation with Erdogan a week ago reportedly convinced Trump that he had to get US soldiers and airpower out of Syria. Keep in mind that Trump needs – though he may not get as much as he wants – Turkey as an ally in the Middle East more than ever before. His bet on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Saudi Arabia as the leader of a pro-American and anti-Iranian Sunni coalition in the Middle has visibly and embarrassingly failed. The bizarre killing of Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi team in Istanbul was only the latest in a series of Saudi pratfalls showing comical ineptitude as well as excessive and mindless violence.

Critics of Trump raise several other important questions in opposing his withdrawal decision: is he not letting Isis off the hook by prematurely announcing their defeat and thereby enabling them to make a comeback? There is something in this, but not a lot. The Islamic State, that once held territory stretching from the Tigris River in Iraq to Syria’s Mediterranean coast, is no more and cannot be resurrected because the circumstances that led to its spectacular growth between 2013 and 2015 are no longer there.

Isis made too many enemies because of its indiscriminate violence when it was at the peak of its power. Trump is right to assume in a tweet that “Russia, Iran, Syria & many others…will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us”. Isis may seek to take advantage of chaos in eastern Syria in the coming months, but there will be no power vacuum for them to exploit. The vacuum will be filled by Turkey or Syria or a combination of the two.

A further criticism of the US withdrawal is that it unnecessarily hands a victory to Vladimir Putin and Assad. But here again, Trump’s manoeuvre is more of a recognition of the fact that both men are already winners in the Syrian war.

Nor is it entirely clear that Russia and Iran will have greater influence in Syria and the region after the US withdrawal. True they have come out on the winning side, but as the Syrian state becomes more powerful it will have less need for foreign allies. The close cooperation between Russia and Turkey was glued together by US cooperation with the Kurds and once that ends, then Turkey may shift – though not all the way – back towards the US.

By denouncing Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, his opponents are once again making the mistake of underestimating his instinctive political skills.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:42 pm 
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If I'm not mistaken one of the defining moments for Annoying Orange when he was running for election was that he didn't support the conflict in Syria, whereas, Crazy Bitch did. It certainly gave him way more appeal to me.

Chapter 2

There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

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What you have taken, Has been from here
What you gave has been given here
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:48 pm 
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tgrant wrote:
There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.


Quite so:

JANUARY 1, 2019

The United States is First in War, But Trailing in Crucial Aspects of Modern Civilization

by LAWRENCE WITTNER


Maybe those delirious crowds chanting “USA, USA” have got something. When it comes to military power, the United States reigns supreme. Newsweek reported in March 2018: “The United States has the strongest military in the world,” with more than two million military personnel and vast numbers of the most advanced nuclear missiles, military aircraft, warships, tanks, and other modern weapons of war. Furthermore, as the New York Times noted, “the United States also has a global presence unlike any other nation, with about 200,000 active duty troops deployed in more than 170 countries.” This presence includes some 800 overseas U.S. military bases.

In 2017 (the last year for which global figures are available), the U.S. government accounted for more than a third of the world’s military expenditures―more than the next seven highest-spending countries combined. Not satisfied, however, President Trump and Congress pushed through a mammoth increase in the annual U.S. military budget in August 2018, raising it to $717 billion. Maintaining the U.S. status as “No. 1” in war and war preparations comes at a very high price.

That price is not only paid in dollars—plus massive death and suffering in warfare―but in the impoverishment of other key sectors of American life. After all, this lavish outlay on the military now constitutes about two-thirds of the U.S. government’s discretionary spending. And these other sectors of American life are in big trouble.

Let’s consider education. The gold standard for evaluation seems to be the Program for International Student Assessment of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which tests 15-year-old students every few years. The last test, which occurred in 2015 and involved 540,000 students in 72 nations and regions, found that U.S. students ranked 24thin reading, 25thin science, and 41stin mathematics. When the scores in these three areas were combined, U.S. students ranked 31st―behind the students of Slovenia, Poland, Russia, and Vietnam.

The educational attainments among many other Americans are also dismal. An estimated 30 million adult Americans cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level. Literacy has different definitions and, for this reason among others, estimates vary about the level of illiteracy in the United States. But one of the most favorable rankings of the United States for literacy places it in a tie with numerous other nations for 26th; the worst places it at 125th.

The U.S. healthcare system also fares poorly compared to that of other nations. A 2017 study of healthcare systems in 11 advanced industrial countries by the Commonwealth Fund found that the United States ranked at the very bottom of the list. Furthermore, numerous nations with far less “advanced” economies have superior healthcare systems to that of the United States. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. healthcare system ranks 37thamong countries―behind that of Colombia, Cyprus, and Morocco.

Not surprisingly, American health is relatively poor. The infant mortality ratein the United States is higher than in 54 other lands, including Belarus, Cuba, Greece, and French Polynesia. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, the United States has the 5th highest cancer rate of the 50 countries it studied. For the past few years, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported, U.S. life expectancy has been declining and, today, the United States reportedly ranks 53rd among 100 nations in life expectancy.

Despite the fact that the United States is the world’s richest nation, it also has an unusually high level of poverty. According to a 2017 UNICEF report, more than 29 percent of American children live in impoverished circumstances, placing the United States 35thin childhood poverty among the 41 richest nations. Indeed, the United States has a higher percentage of its people living in poverty (15.1 percent) than 41 other countries, including Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.

Nor does the United States rate very well among nations on environmental issues. According to the Environmental Performance Index, produced by Yale University and Columbia University in 2018, the United States placed 27thamong the countries it ranked on environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The Social Progress Index, another well-respected survey that rates countries on their environmental records, ranked the United States 36thin wastewater treatment, 39thin access to at least basic drinking water, and 73rdin greenhouse gas emissions.

Actually, the findings of the Social Progress Index are roughly the same as other evaluators in a broad range of areas. Its 2018 report concluded that that the United States ranked 63rd in primary school enrollment, 61st in secondary school enrollment, 76th in access to quality education, 40th in child mortality rate, 62ndin maternity mortality rate, 36th in access to essential health services, 74th in access to quality healthcare, and 35th in life expectancy at age 60. In addition, it rated the United States as 33rd in political killings and torture, 88th in homicide rate, 47th in political rights, and 67th in discrimination and violence against minorities. All in all, there’s nothing here to cheer about.

Does the U.S. government’s priority for military spending explain, at least partially, the discrepancy between the worldwide preeminence of the U.S. armed forces and the feeble global standing of major American domestic institutions? Back in April 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower pointed to their connection. Addressing the American Society of Newspaper editors, he declared: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” A militarized world “is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

People infatuated with military supremacy should give that some thought.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb (Stanford University Press.)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:51 pm 
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A number of US troops have been killed in a reported suicide bomb attack in Syria claimed by the Islamic State group, the US military says.

IS said one of its militants detonated an explosive vest next to a US patrol in the Kurdish-held town of Manbij.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:55 pm 
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Mission Unaccomplished


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