Toward a Civil War in Northern Iraq
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  • WigWag

    “…but a precipitous U.S. decision to “back the Kurds” would finish off the U.S. relationship with the Iraqi government, drive Turkey toward Iran, and win the U.S. the allegiance of half of a completely isolated pseudo-state at war with all of its neighbors.” (Andrew Bernard)

    It’s time to cut Iran down to size. As for the Turks, F*&K em. The United States should set up shop in Kurdistan and use it as a base to bomb every dam, port, electric plant, grain elevator and airstrip in Iran. There is simply no substitute for destroying Iran’s will to fight; it’s time to treat the country like General Sherman treated the American south during the civil war. There is no Iraqi Government worth saving; the country is not a real nation in the first place. The break-up of Iraq into mutually hostile cantons is very much in the interest of the United States, especially if Iran is cut down to size first.

    We should have finished off Erdogan when he was flying around during the coup desperately looking for a place to land. Obama didn’t have the cojones to do it; a better man would have shot the plane of the Sultan-in-Waiting out of the sky. Whatever its status in NATO, Turkey is now an enemy not a friend. Of course, as long as he’s in power, Erdogan has the ability to make a lot of mischief; much more than he already has. The costs of doing so need to be escalated until Turkey’s bad behavior simply costs the country too much.

    Iran is an enemy; Turkey is an enemy. Iraq is an enemy. The Kurds are our friends. Any superpower that wants to be taken seriously needs to punish its enemies and reward its friends. President Obama always did the opposite; he treated our friends like dirt and our enemies like beloved family members.

    One would hope that Trump would be smart enough to recognize that Obama’s policy was a failure. But of course, Trump has surrounded himself with swamp dwellers; men and women who have spent the past fifty years ruining the prospects of our country. Men like Tillerson, Mattis and McMaster are frauds. Which wars did the United States actually win while Mattis and McMaster were on watch? Is there a country in the world with billions of barrels of oil under its soil that the former CEO of Exxon would’t genuflect to?

    The entire American foreign policy establishment; the pundits, the professors and all the other pontificators are little more than prostitutes. That’s what you would have to be to stab the Kurds in the back.

    • Jeff77450

      I would love for the U.S., Europe and NATO to give Turkey the old heave-ho. Iraqi Kurdistan is land-locked and that makes establishing a base there problematic. How much do we need Incirlik Air Base in Turkey? I honestly don’t know.

      As an aside, in 1991 I served in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq with the 431st Civil Affairs Company as part of OPC. We transited through Incirlik.

      • D4x

        In July, Germany started to re-deploy their NATO troops and assets from Incirlik Air Base to Jordan’s Muwaffaq Salti Air Base. Relations got strained after the Bundestag passed a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.
        As long as Germany is part of the coalition fighting ISIS, Jordan made sense, as a ‘member’ of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, and, officially a US Major Non-NATO Ally. No overflight issues from Cyprus, where the Turkish occupation is also a thorn in the side of the EU.

        All Turkey still has for NATO is location. As I posted earlier – did not see your comment at the time: Best quotes today: “Turkey will be on the menu as European leaders meet for dinner in Brussels on 19 October, but it won’t be a happy meal. … In Germany, polls now show that only 3 percent of the population considers Turkey a reliable partner – Russia gets 21 percent. …”

        I read this on Sunday, from an Oct. 12 report: “Washington appears to have taken charge of the Harir base, also known as Bashur Airfield, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of the Haji Omran border crossing with Iran.”
        The same report quoted IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari: “If the news about the foolishness
        of the American state in designating the Sepah [IRGC] as a terrorist group is true, Sepah will also consider the American army across the world and in particular in the Middle East as equal to Daesh [Islamic State, or IS]”

        Easy to find, that, in 2003, Bashur was developed in Kurdistan, with troops and material from Ramstein:

        Much more difficult to find that it was re-activated, and developed in 2015. This source does not include names, but I found the date of re-activation at a Turkish website I shall never visit again.

        You can zoom out on the map to see why Iran might be more than concerned about Bashur/Harir:
        I wonder if any Kurds are trained to fly Blackhawks and Apaches 🙂

        US Navy stopped making port visits in Turkey s few years ago, due to hostility from the locals. Haifa is friendlier, easier to get a beer, and our sailors enjoy the historical day trips.

    • Steve Smith

      Assassinate the Turkish head of state? Yeah, great idea.

      Gee, how did everybody get to be our enemy–except the Kurds…and, of course, dear little Israel?

      What you are advocating, Wig Wag, is just more disastrous made-in-Tel-Aviv policy.

      Iran and Turkey are the two natural leaders of the Middle East–at least until such time as Iraq can really pull itself together. We should be working with them to help stabilize the region and end the Shia-Sunni bloodshed among the Arabs.
      And of course putting Israel in its place would be a great step too.

      I’m sympathetic to the Kurds, but not so sympathetic that I want to array Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon against us. That’s just a gift to Russia. (I have nothing against the Russians, but no reason to give up our strategic position in the region to them.)

      And character assassination of McMaster, Mattis and Tillerson, just because you perceive that they are somehow impeding Trump from taking a more purely Israeli line shows that your loyalty is with Israel–not the US.

      • Psalms13626

        Oooooohhhh, a “it’s all Israel’s fault” specimen. I like where this is going.
        BTW, did you notice that the past 3 Fed Chairs have been Jews? I’m not saying we should be gassing anyone, I’m just asking the questions. What do you think Steve?

        • Steve Smith

          Actually, it’s not so much Israel’s fault as it is the fault of its disloyal (to the US) 5th column in the this country. They have been all over the media over the last 48 hours ranting about the fact that we haven’t stopped Iraq from taking Kirkuk. They see an independent Kurdistan as strategically useful to Israel though of course they don’t actually say that. To peddle their schlock they use the cover that “we owe so much to the Kurds,” “they’re so deserving,” etc–the same language they use to describe our bestest little pal, Israel. Like Wig Wag and probably you, they need to make Aliyah immediately.

          • Psalms13626

            Ah yes, those treacherous Jews. Always planning on world domination.

            Listen, let’s get down to business. I have an open position available for someone to be my Pet Internet Anti-Semite/Anti-Israel Raving Lunatic. You seem to be up for it. I always enjoy people ranting about Israel as it grown stronger and more prosperous. You and people like you keep ranting, raving and foaming at the mouth with impotent rage, I keep on making fun of you, Israel keeps on getting stronger.
            This can really work. Please consider it. I can assure you I will always do my best to respond to your crazed “Jewish Lobby” conspiracy theory.
            BTW, I am Jewish, donate lots of money to Israeli causes ( is a great charity, do consider giving) and live in America. Have no plans of leaving either. What are you gonna do about it? Other than impotently rage on the Internet?

          • Steve Smith

            Totally non-substantive. No response required.

          • Psalms13626

            You said something of substance? All I heard are conspiracy theories that are not even centuries old, they are thousands of years old. Yet i still offered you a position of my pet Anti-Semite. That’s because I care.

          • Steve Smith

            Thanks for the offer, but I’m too busy debunking ludicrous pro-Israel talking points and related whining. I’m sure you can see how time-consuming that can be.

          • Psalms13626

            Debunking? Really? How is that going for you? How do you differentiate yourself from all other lame anti-Semites spewing their hatred of the Jews? There are so many of you guys, I really can’t tell the difference. That’s why I want my very own pet.
            Do you think your “debunking” is accomplishing anything? What do you think it has accomplished so far? Do you have any quantifiable measures? Or, as I suspect it is, this is more a labor of love and practical results are not that important for you?

          • Steve Smith

            How’s it going? Smooth as silk.

          • Psalms13626

            How many people have you convinced so far to leave US and go to Israel? What are your quantifiable measures?

          • Steve Smith


          • Psalms13626

            Now you are just yanking my chain. You can just admit that your internet diatribes are useless. I won’t think any less of you for that.

          • Steve Smith

            Well I just added one more person to the list of chains yanked. There’s another metric for you.

          • Psalms13626

            Congratulations. I’m glad amusing other Internet users with your stupidity is a metric for you. I imagine you are just crushing it there.

          • Steve Smith

            See, now you’re super-irritated, which makes me say: Hahahahahahahaha!

          • Psalms13626

            Read what I wrote above. Amused irritated. Good reading comprehension skills are an important life skill.

          • Steve Smith


          • Psalms13626

            And you officially ran out of things to say. It took you longer than I expected.

        • Steve Smith

          Also, I’m not so interested that the last three Fed chairs having been Jews as I am that the worst three Fed chairs have been Jews. Arthur Burns helped Nixon put us on the road to ruin with his inflationary monetary policy in the 1970s and of course the Greenspan/Bernanke easy money policies were the single biggest factor in the disaster of 2008. Great track record!

          • Psalms13626

            Do you think it’s a coincidence? Or something much more sinister?

          • Steve Smith

            I don’t know–is incompetence sinister?

          • Psalms13626

            Greenspan and Bernanke get very high grades from economists. But I’m sure a crazed anti-Semite knows better than lifelong monetary policy professionals.

          • Steve Smith

            Yeah, that’s true. I mean, if they get “high grades from economists,” who cares if their loose monetary policy set the country up for the real estate/MBS/derivatives fiasco that almost brought down the entire financial sector and the economy with it.

          • Psalms13626

            You blame 2008 financial crisis on the Fed? Never heard that one. But what’s the point of a crisis if you can’t blame a Jew for it, amiright?

          • Steve Smith

            You’re joking, right? OK, I see monetary policy isn’t your thing. Better go back to your comfort zone.

          • Psalms13626

            The funny thing is that my knowledge of monetary policy and financial markets in general is what enables me to be one of those upper-upper-middle class Jews. I just know more than you do. It’s OK. I know a lot of things better than you do.

          • Steve Smith

            And yet you don’t know that the Fed and its loose monetary policy plays the central role in the bubble-crash dynamics that have come to dominate our economic life? Hahahahahha!

          • Psalms13626

            I know that Fed wasn’t responsible for loosening of the credit standards that led to the crash. Do try and educate yourself. You may even like it.

          • Steve Smith

            OK, we both know credit standards are not the Fed’s responsibility, but that’s beside the point.

          • Psalms13626

            So we agree Fed wasn’t responsible for root causes of the financial crisis. So you just contradicted yourself in a space of 4 posts. Try to do better next time.

          • Steve Smith

            “So we agree Fed wasn’t responsible for root causes of the financial crisis.”

            Oh, now you can’t go making unwarranted assumptions like that! Your problem is that you don’t understand how sustained low interest rates generate bubbles followed by crashes. If you grasped that, you’d understand the key role the Fed has played since the 1970s in our growing economic problems.

          • Psalms13626

            Cyclical nature of the economy is the fault of the Jews? Nice!!! See, I like that.

      • The West should support the Assyrians as well (they are an ancient Semitic Christian community who also desire a free homeland in Iraq).

  • Attila_the_hun

    Kirkuk like Northern Syria are the tip of the iceberg. Regardless what The USA does or doesn’t. ME map will be redrawn along ethnic, religious and geographical boundaries. The U.S wouldn’t be able to stay neutral forever one way or another she will be forced to take sides. I hope The USA has plans on how to deal with this eventuality.

    • Andrew Allison

      Yup, perfectly it’s clear that the ME map needs to be with redrawn. I just hope that President Trump will say fight it out between yourselves.

  • FriendlyGoat

    This is probably another repeal and replace, where we have no idea of the replacement. Arm and train both sides, mention that we do not approve of them clashing and then—–off to another controversy.

    • Anthony
      • FriendlyGoat

        Thanks. From that article:

        “You don’t have to be a dupe to be a “values voter” of one sort or another.”

        That’s actually where all the duping is done.

        • Anthony
          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks, as always. I would counter that article by claiming that Americans ARE as bad as whatever negative junk we are willing to BELIEVE. As you know from my previous posts, I have been astonished at how the church of Jesus could be turned mean enough to elect what it elected. Whether Russians did it, American political operatives did it, or misguided ministries did it——-doesn’t matter much. To tell ourselves that Trumpism is not our fault because we can blame it on Russians BUT NOT REVERSE IT ON THOSE GROUNDS, is not an answer.

            I may have told you that I have an old workplace friend from decades ago and that his church became fond of sharing around chain email stuff, often originated by the pastor. He sent some of it to me occasionally (more during Obama’s time) and I have been wondering for years what on earth can happen to people to make a church want to marinate in such things. Whether any of it was created by foreigners, who knows? But the believers bought a load of junk.

          • Anthony

            My apology for late reply (Disqus just informed of your reply) and you’re welcome.

            Now, yes, you told me about your concern about email experience with workplace friend and church. And, I think I understand your concern about “values” voters but at this point Trump is a fait accompli – my question remains, as it ever has since Nov. 8, 2016, what drove approximately 63,000,000 Americans to elect the current occupant at Pennslyvania Avenue. To my mind, Democratic neoliberalism and Republic right leaning governing has left an electorate puzzled, anxious, and perturbed; and though you assert outcome to 81%, I think given narrowness of Trump’s victory in key mid-western states any number of things can be said to have influenced final outcome.

            Regarding the internet actors and link (trolls, bots, propagandists, topic directors, etc.), my purpose was to underscore point you made in earlier thread concerning being duped.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The answer to your question is that 63,000,000 Americans liked the stand-up performance of Donald Trump during the campaign, liked the tone of his rallies, liked his assertions of “fact”, liked his pugnaciousness, liked his tweets, liked his slams on Hillary Clinton, liked his wealth and lifestyle, liked his businesses, liked his wives, kids and hair. Seriously, they did. If they hadn’t, they would not have voted for him.

            The present state of religion in the United States is the only thing which made this possible. It is also the only thing which makes possible the entirely unrealistic claims from Republicanism about health care, education, taxes, budget, environmental matters, regulation, and foreign relations. We need not riddle ourselves silly about “any number” of things which produced this outcome. There is really only one which was big enough to swing it and only one which swung it. Religion was captured. The one person in the USA who knows this better than anyone else is Donald Trump, himself. His firm belief in this theory explains 1) WHO he chooses to speak to, and 2) WHAT he chooses to tell them.

            Anyone who listens to him at CPAC or Values Voters can’t miss what is going on in the political realm in America. The only question is how far this goes and how much freedom from dogma is lost by everyone else. Could be decades.

          • Anthony

            FG, is it the “present state of religion” or the representatives thereto making false witness!

            Now the obvious bears repeating, most Trump voters are Republicans. Partisanship is a good predictor of vote choice (even more so with extreme polarization). Still, my number of things infers motivations: populism, xenophobia, sexism, racism, economic resentment/anxiety (economic anxiety mixed with cultural threat and a feeling of being left behind, perhaps), etc. You sum it up well. Nevertheless, despite the 38% hard core, there are some who voted Republican not just because they “like Trump”.

            Instead of keeping taxes on the rich low and regulation on business light in a futile attempt to out-GOP the GOP, Democrats should work to articulate a vision that speaks to the needs and aspirations of an electorate conveniently polarized and attracted by shiny objects. Going forward, there ought to be less focus on DJT and more questioning on who are we and what are we to be.

          • FriendlyGoat

            There is no “going forward” until we “go backward” for a while—–maybe a long while.
            This was preventable in 2016, but not in 2017, unfortunately. As for the “present state of religion”, we are also past the point of blaming its representatives who may be engaged in false witness. We are down to the point of (as you say) questioning who we are and what we are to be. That means calling into question the beliefs of individual voters.

            As for DJT, it is his life mission that we not focus less on him personally. We might want to move on to broader thoughts but we might as well resign ourselves to the fact he will not allow the country to do that. It now seems apparent that no one really knew what the “bully pulpit” was until after the invention of Twitter.

          • Anthony

            They knew (bully pulpit) just didn’t consider it’s import in less than capable hands. Going forward is where we are (with all that it represents). Decisions (as you so well know) have consequences (some unintended). However, I’m with you and think we should not let off parties (voters) responsible for this executive faux pas. That said, keep at it – there’s plenty to do.

  • D4x

    Broken Promise #1 was by every Iraqi ‘government’, the sin of omission in almost every news report/pundit analysis spinning the news since Oct. 13, 2017:

    Oct. 16, 2107: “The Iraqi constitution [article 140] had set a 2007 deadline for a referendum on whether to integrate Kirkuk into Iraq’s
    Kurdish region, but it was never held. In 2014, as the Iraqi army collapsed inthe face of ISIS, Kurdish forces took full control of the area.” “Oct 16 What’s behind the dangerous escalation of tension between forces fighting ISIS in Iraq by Chad Garland”
    06 25 2014 Iraqi Map by Ethnicity and Religion, BBC

    Oct. 17, 2017 “Barzani: Blood of the martyrs, calls for independence are ‘not wasted’ Barzani’s statement was issued after two days of Peshmerga withdrawals from the disputed areas of Kirkuk, Shingal, Gwer, Makhmour, Khanaqin, and Snune.

    These areas are now in the control of Iraqi armed forces and Iranian-backed Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi. Barzani said the Peshmerga’s withdrawal was to return to the borders that existed before the Mosul operation began one year ago today. …”

    2005: “IRAQI CONSTITUTION: The Preamble: In the name of God, the Most merciful, the Most compassionate

    {We have honored the sons of Adam}

    We, the people of Mesopotamia, the homeland of the apostles and prophets, resting place of the virtuous imams, cradle of civilization,
    crafters of writing, and home of numeration. Upon our land the first law made by man was passed, and the oldest pact of just governance was inscribed, and upon our soil the saints and companions …

    Article 140: First: The executive authority shall undertake the necessary steps to complete the implementation of the
    requirements of all subparagraphs of Article 58 of the Transitional Administrative Law.

    Second: The responsibility placed upon the executive branch of the Iraqi Transitional Government stipulated in Article 58 of the
    Transitional Administrative Law shall extend and continue to the executive
    authority elected in accordance with this Constitution, provided that it
    accomplishes completely (normalization and census and concludes with a referendum in Kirkuk and other disputed territories to determine the will of their citizens), by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007. …”

    • Andrew Allison

      Too bad that the Administration can’t see what’s in front of their noses.

      • D4x

        Sec. Tillerson certainly did, and so did the rest of TeamTrump. Eli Lake reported, on Oct. 13, drafts of a previously unreported Sept. 23 letter from Tillerson to Barzani, the offer promised U.S. and U.N. support for a one-year dialogue between the Kurds and the government of Baghdad. including this link, which specifically notes the 2005 Iraqi Constitution’s Section 140:

        Someone else can nitpick why Tillerson’ s letter was too late. By Oct. 13, Erdogan really complicated everything by insisting the PKK! were in Kirkuk’s peshmerga. Iran’s Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani was IN Kurdistan Oct. 14-15, photographed paying respects at Talabani’s grave. It seems Talabani’s peshmerga were the ones who withdrew from Kirkuk first.

        Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu arrived in Israel on Monday, Oct. 16, for his first official visit, the day after the IAF destroyed a Russian anti-aircraft battery in Syria.
        Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, right, and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu shaking hands with Red Army veterans at the IDF’s Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2017. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

        “We greatly appreciate our memory of World War II. Many of our grandfathers and grandmothers fought in the ranks of the Red Army and we value the way Russia treats and remembers them today, and how [Russia] treats the memory of those who fought and died in the Second World War,” Liberman said.

        After the honor guard, Shoigu and Liberman met privately in the latter’s office. They were then joined by…
        The discussion was focused primarily on Syria and the increasing influence of Iran and Shiite militias there, according to the Defense Ministry. …”

        I do have one conclusion about the Peshmerga’s withdrawal to what seems to be the KRG borders. BOTH Baghdad’s PM al-Abadi, and Erbil’s Barzani & KDP, have flushed out those loyal to Soleimani, which is now more widely reported than this was, from FALLUJA, Sept. 22, 2017, 9:30 a.m. GMT with photos.

        Russia just announced they will keep their consulate in Erbil, defying al-Abadi’s call for all nations to close their Erbil, KRG consulates. On July 6, 2017, the US State Department announced contracts for the new US Consulate General in Erbil:

        It seems we have been on quite a building spree , “As part of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, since 1999, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has completed 138 new diplomatic facilities and has an additional 61 projects in design or under construction.” Fifteen new projects since Jan 24. That was my fun diversion this weekend.

        A cheery way to end today. Might go back to look at the Ambassador’s residence in Prague.

      • D4x

        Best quotes today: “Turkey will be on the menu as European leaders meet for dinner in Brussels on 19 October,
        but it won’t be a happy meal. …
        In Germany, polls now show that only 3 percent of the population considers Turkey a reliable partner – Russia gets 21 percent. …” European Council on Foreign Relations uses Disqus

        • Psalms13626

          Hey dude, check out Steve Smith above. He is auditioning to become my pet ansi-Semite. Do you think he is up to snuff?

          • D4x

            Sorry: Not really. You should not have to bait so much. I have read the real haters while reading some comment threads at websites, e.g. al-Monitor (and worse) that have information about Kirkuk & Kurdistan. The myths of Zionist Domination do run deep, but the real haters need no bait. My guess is the RonPaul influence, but they are easier to spot when the topic is the Federal Reserve Bank. The clue is “owned by foreign bankers”.

          • Psalms13626

            gotcha. He seemed like such an easy target though that I simply couldn’t resist.

        • Andrew Allison

          Interesting times! Your initial reply to my comment (TY) suggests that the swamp creatures at State managed to muddy the message.

          • D4x

            Be patient. Oct 18, 2017 was a busy day.


            10 18 2017 1:00 pm EDT Israel discusses results of Kurdistan’s referendum with Russia

            2:00 pm EDT: Rosneft announcement
   [Confirmed by AFP, TASS, Bloomberg, RFE]

            4:00 pm EDT: UNSC statement; Abadi talks with Tillerson and Macron; then Abadi “ordered all other armed groups to leave the city.”

            8:00 pm EDT ERBIL, “Kurdistan Region – Hashd
            al-Shaabi has withdrawn its forces from urban areas in a number of towns it has taken from the Kurdish Peshmerga…”

          • Andrew Allison

            Well yes, but my comment was directed toward US policy initiatives, which do not appear to favor the Kurds (who we should be supporting if only to piss of Turkey and Iran).
            On a different subject, it appears that TAI has terminated its blog without so much as the courtesy of notice to its followers. Not entirely surprising given the rampant TDS and commentator’s disapproval thereof, but a discouraging sign that TAI has joined “the resistance”. Do you follow any noteworthy blogs?

          • D4x

            Yes, I knew that, but, US policy can shift on the Kurds, in both Syria and Iraq. After reading this, an ‘Op-ed’ that describes the language,& political divisions in Greater Kurdistan, with a pessimistic conclusion: I suspect DoDefense is leading State, while everyone tries to figure out Turkey, and Russia.

            As for TAI, we can continue at the Feature still allowed to live:
   I just added new news from Kurdistan there, because this had ‘disappeared’

   is trying to become the blog we seek. That is where “Flight 93 election” was posted, but even they are finding it difficult to understand Trump’s ‘style’, and need some new writers.. Dr. Hanson posts regularly, which is the tonic. Beauceron moved there, and I see some TAI regulars at PJM, but neither is like TAI when Mr. Mead drew us in.

            The Atlantic went full-resistance over Charlottesville. I let my subscription expire. They get volumes of comments – no way to have a conversation. It is as if TAI thinks they can get some of The Atlantic’s readership.

            The National Interest (I am in the middle of ) and American Spectator have good posts, but not good commentariat 🙂

            I still try to focus on certain news stories, and do not bother to comment on others. My last comment at Speyer was about a Kurdistan news source, and they have Disqus –
            I admit to using TAI this year to test my reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, with fine fellowship, but, as you know, almost every post triggers me, and that is not healthy. I really thought TDS would abate into normalcy by May, then by July, but…here we are. I wish I lived in Kurdistan.

          • Andrew Allison

            Many thanks! See you around.

          • Andrew Allison

            Hanson is one of the very, very few voices worth following. I let my (30-odd year) to The Atlantic expire years ago when it changed from being a literary magazine to a political rag — due to a dearth of literate readers perhaps? Going to give American Spectator a whirl.

          • D4x

            Agree on VDH. Monday seems to be his amgreatness day: today on the Russia! investigation. On 10/21, amgreatness went full ‘anon leaks = true story’ on the ‘swamp’ at State undermining Trump’s policy, which made it sound like CNN and NYT at the same time; total multiple personality disorder. has promise, if they can stop echoing the outrages, and focus on more original insights. Looks like TAI is determined to expose Russia, including future sins. Guess they missed Japan’s stunning election on 10/22. Abe’s risky snap election gave him a 2/3 super-majority, and possibly golf with POTUS when he arrives in Japan Nov 5-6.

            The Atlantic partly filled the void when I cancelled The New Republic (TNR) in 2011, and my 40-year subscription to The New Yorker in 2014. I still read this or that at The Atlantic online, and the scary part about the comment threads is that they DO have a literate base. We need a word for the brainwashed literate 🙂 Same dilemma at TNR back in 2011. Both have such distinguished lineages, makes it tragic.

            Eli Lake at Bloomberg is good on foreign issues. His last post on Kurdistan attracted too many trolls, but it is still Disqus. comment threads are so weird, but that is what TAI will most likely change to.

            Recently, Liz Sheld at PJM has started posting the White House schedule, which is good, because it offers real news, like Singapore’s PM Lee’s bilateral meet today. I had Fox on for some noise, and they covered that meet, including the signing of the Boeing contract, and working luncheon in the West Wing Cabinet Room. Trump has had > 30, maybe 50 of those – impressive, results-oriented team approach to ‘conduct of foreign relations’, and am glad my harping in comments was not in vain.

            See you elsewhere! I am celebrating Oct 23 as International Snow Leopard Day. Posted that at PJM Daily Hot Mic. My Avatar past six+ years.

          • Andrew Allison

            Lefterate? Insensterate (completely lacking sense or reason)? TDS (which applies to both right and left) works for me.

          • Andrew Allison

            Off topic, but T had a horrifying experience last evening. I took my wife to see Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco last evening. As you may know, this is a review which characatures public figures. All were introduced to laughter and applause until President Trump’s, who was with concerted booing. Absolutely sickening.

          • D4x

            My deepest sympathy. Antidote: watch a Lassie film, listen to Mozart.
            You might adjust your expectations: SFO Poodle Rescue

            This is why my delay in your TDS reply days ago – it’s not just DJT. They are immune to reason.

   is now my favorite news site. I started following the news from Iraq, but have been exploring their other pages, especially in the ME. No one is using the disqus threads in the usa. The Iraq threads have too many nasty turks fighting the Kurds 🙂

  • Pait

    The geopolitics and the military situation are complicated. The only thing that is clear is that the Trump administration threw our allies, the Kurds, under the bus; and by extension Israel, which had enthusiastically backed the Iraqi Kurd’s independence referendum.

    • Psalms13626

      Oh, you are back. I remember you being a huge advocate for the Russia conspiracy theories. Have you heard the latest on that? Turns out there was a Presidential candidate in 2016 who was colluding with Russians. you were right all along. Wrong about the identity of the candidate, but right about the collusion.
      It just never gets old making fun of TDS sufferers. And just so we are clear, I’m laughing AT you, not WITH you.

      • Dale Fayda

        Oh, you beat me to it! Darn…

  • Tom

    Wigwag and Steve Smith are two sides of the same coin, and demonstrate why it’s so difficult for the USA to have a functional ME foreign policy.
    If you disagree with their policy prescriptions, you’re some kind of traitor with loyalties to a foreign power, not someone who might have a different view of what would best benefit the United States.

  • Both the U.S. and Israel have voiced statements of support and solidarity for the Kurds at various times, but recently, neither of them have really done anything concrete to aid them in their understandable cause for self-determination.

    I think we SHOULD be helping the Kurds — yes, even at the expense of our other “allies” in Turkey and Iraq. They have helped the U.S. and the West fight not only the regime of Saddam Hussein, but their Peshmerga was also invaluable in retaking much of the lands claimed by the Islamic State.

    Furthermore, they are reputedly among some of the most pro-American people in the entire region, much more so than Arabs or Turks.

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