With Taliban U.S. Government Being As Ignorant As England’s Chamberlain
Back in about 1939 the Prime Minister of England was a man named Chamberlain. He had just come back from a meeting with Hitler in Germany and as he got off his plane in England he was waving a piece of paper saying that he in writing had Hitlers signed agreement that there would be no war between them. Wasn’t it the very next day that Germany invaded Poland which caused England to have to help defend Poland via treaties between them. So much for Hitlers signed word.
I just read some headlines this morning about the U.S. Secretary of Defense just getting back to Washington from having had a week long meetings with the Leaders of the Taliban. Our Secretary says that we have reached an agreement with the Taliban about them attacking less and we can then draw down the numbers of troops there. Just like Vietnam we got into Afghanistan with no serious with-drawl program on the table.
Just as President Nixon lied to us all on T.V. saying that we had exited Vietnam with honor while he knew that there were still American POW and MIA’s in Country, our current President is doing the same thing here, or at least he is trying to. I am not a fan of Mr. Trump, but honestly he inherited this un-winnable mess in and around Afghanistan, there is no good way out. Reality check is that this reality should have been known to many within our own Governments (and basically everyone else) so, why did we still proceed down the path that we have? O, there was one other thing about Mr. Nixon on ending that war with Vietnam, we also gave them $4.6 Billion for ending the war with us and giving us back some of the pow’s to show the world on TV, Our POW’s coming home. Another article headline was that just a few hours after we signed this agreement one of our jets evidently popped a bomb on a vehicle killing a family of 8, including one infant.
We can say we are getting out with dignity, but, is there such a thing in this instance? We had to be knowledgeable enough to know that once you go in, how the hell do you get out? You should always know that answer before you give the order to attack! Reality is that once we do get every one of Our Service Members off their ground, the people that will be mauled in that Country will forever stain a lot of ground. With Honor? Will we ever really know the truth about the Taliban returning all of our captured or killed? Well, thats my thoughts on it anyway, you’re always welcome to tell me your opinion. Hope you’all have a good and a safe weekend.
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On our way to Qamishli, the largest Kurdish city in northern Syria, we see a US military convoy escorted by fighter jets heading east towards the Iraqi border. They are leaving the Kurdish region.
The first time I saw an American in Syria was in 2016. He was part of US special forces, sent to support the Kurds fighting the Islamic State (IS) group. Locals were excited to see them arriving.
But it was in stark contrast this time around. Now you could see the fear and anxiety in the faces of onlookers.
We were only a few kilometers from the Turkish border as one of the jets circled overhead, leaving a trail of white smoke as it passed in and out of Turkish airspace.
One of our guides sighed. “Trump bi namoose,” he said to me in Kurdish. “Trump has no honor.”
The Kurds have every reason to be worried. On one side they face neighboring Turkey, on the other, Syrian government forces.
Now the US is leaving, Kurds here are convinced they have no friends other than the mountains they inhabit.
‘Trump sold us’
From the moment we arrived in Qamishli, ordinary Kurds from baker to waiter asked, “why did Trump sell us out?” This is a traditional society that prides itself on a code of honour and does not understand why it has effectively been cut loose.
“America stabbed us in the back… Trump sold us… we were betrayed,” we heard, again and again.
Qamishli ‘s squares and electricity poles are decorated with the pictures of the fallen – men and women killed in the war against IS.
Every day there are funerals somewhere in this tiny region. It has been this way since IS attacked the Kurds in 2014. But now the victims are those who have been killed since Turkish and allied forces launched their cross-border attack earlier this month.
At the funerals, many mourners hide their tears. Instead they lead the caskets to graveyards with dances and chants.
At one such ceremony, for a fallen fighter of the Kurdish YPG, a tall man in his 60’s approaches me and calmly says: “Erdogan doesn’t like the Kurds. He wants us to leave,” referring to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who regards the YPG as terrorists.
The Kurds lost 11,000 men and women battling against IS. “The fight wasn’t ours only, we fought on behalf of humanity,” the man says. “Where is the international community? Why don’t they stop Erdogan?”
‘What’s the point?’
In a bakery sits a pile of bread, baked for fighters on the front line. Bahouz, a 16-year-old boy who is cutting dough, asks me my opinion of Americans and Europeans.
“Do you think they will stop Erdogan from massacring us?” An older boy shouts: “Trump sold us – oil is more important than our lives.”
The young boys are clearly frightened. They know if the pro-Turkish Islamist militias arrive here, they would be prime targets. Already videos have emerged apparently showing Turkish-backed militias shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) and shooting handcuffed young men just like them.
At a hospital treating wounded YPG fighters, a doctor, Rojda, runs from one operating theatre to another. Rojda, a petite woman in her 30s, is also the director of the facility.
“What’s the point of filming?” she asks wearily. “Don’t waste your time. The world has closed its eyes on us.”
One of the patients I meet there is 23-year-old Jiyan. She sits on her bed, staring into the distance. There are dark circles around her eyes. Her head has been surgically pinned, her skull fractured; a hand and both legs are injured.
She laughs derisively. “I survived fighting IS in Kobane, Manbij, and Raqqa, but it was the Turks who almost killed me!”
Jiyan was in Ras al-Ain when Turkey attacked the border town. Her unit came under extensive Turkish artillery and bombardment.
“We put up a good fight against Turkish-backed thugs, but we couldn’t match Turkish firepower,” she tells me, adding: “I lost many friends.”
‘They are coming for us’
On our way out of Syria, I meet Kino Gabriel, spokesperson for the SDF, the Kurdish-led alliance of militias.
A tall man with a big smile, he is the founder of the Christian Syriac Military Council, part of the SDF. He avoids criticising President Trump, hoping, it seems, that the US will change course and come back to the SDF’s aid.
“Those jihadists backed by Turkey are not only coming for our land, they see us as infidels. They are coming for us,” he says.
As US troops withdrew from Qamishli last week on Donald Trump’s orders, one picture in particular – of a US soldier in his armoured vehicle wearing YPJ (the Kurdish women’s fighting force) insignia on his sleeve – resonated with the Kurdish allies they were leaving in haste.
“The American soldiers are just like us – shocked and disappointed with this political decision,” Kino Gabriel says. “But it is not their fault. We honour their sacrifices too.”
If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office.
By William H. McRaven
Admiral McRaven is a former commander of the United States Special Operations Command.
Last week I attended two memorable events that reminded me why we care so very much about this nation and also why our future may be in peril.
The first was a change of command ceremony for a storied Army unit in which one general officer passed authority to another. The second event was an annual gala for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) Society that recognizes past and present members of the intelligence and Special Operations community for their heroism and sacrifice to the nation. What struck me was the stark contrast between the words and deeds heralded at those events — and the words and deeds emanating from the White House.
On the parade field at Fort Bragg, N.C., where tens of thousands of soldiers have marched either preparing to go to war or returning from it, the two generals, highly decorated, impeccably dressed, clear eyed and strong of character, were humbled by the moment.
They understood the awesome responsibility that the nation had placed on their shoulders. They understood that they had an obligation to serve their soldiers and their soldiers’ families. They believed in the American values for which they had been fighting for the past three decades. They had faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for — including, if necessary, their lives.
Having served with both officers for the past 20 years, I know that they personified all that is good and decent and honorable about the American military with genuineness of their humility, their uncompromising integrity, their willingness to sacrifice all for a worthy cause, and the pride they had in their soldiers.
Later that week, at the O.S.S. Society dinner, there were films and testimonials to the valor of the men and women who had fought in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. We also celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, recognizing those brave Americans and allies who sacrificed so much to fight Nazism and fascism. We were reminded that the Greatest Generation went to war because it believed that we were the good guys — that wherever there was oppression, tyranny or despotism, America would be there. We would be there because freedom mattered. We would be there because the world needed us and if not us, then who?
Also that evening we recognized the incredible sacrifice of a new generation of Americans: an Army Special Forces warrant officer who had been wounded three times, the most recent injury costing him his left leg above the knee. He was still in uniform and still serving. There was an intelligence officer, who embodied the remarkable traits of those men and women who had served in the O.S.S. And a retired Marine general, whose 40 years of service demonstrated all that was honorable about the Corps and public service.
But the most poignant recognition that evening was for a young female sailor who had been killed in Syria serving alongside our allies in the fight against ISIS. Her husband, a former Army Green Beret, accepted the award on her behalf. Like so many that came before her, she had answered the nation’s call and willingly put her life in harm’s way.
For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation’s principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week.
But, beneath the outward sense of hope and duty that I witnessed at these two events, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines. The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.
These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
Those words echoed with me throughout the week. It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.
But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness. He is wrong. These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years. If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
Opinion | Alan Kennedy, Alexander Stockton and Nayeema Raza
I Did Not Join the Army to Abandon Our Allies
William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, is a former commander of the United States Special Operations Command and former chancellor of the University of Texas system.
Can We Respect The Office Of Our President: Even If We Don’t Respect The President?
The first President I remember was the day President John Kennedy got murdered. Since then I have known of all of these Presidents, while they were Our President, some of whom I have little personal respect for. Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, B-1, Clinton, B-2, Obama, Trump. So, that means that I have known 10 Reins of power in my time. Some of the Men who have held this position were Democrats and some were Republicans, some of each were good, some were very not good. Even if we like, or dislike a certain man can we still respect the Office Of The Presidency of Our Country while they were holding it? I have known 10 Presidents, 4 of them Democrats, 6 Republicans. Personally I would give passing grades to 3 of these 10 men at doing at least an okay job of being Our President, of Our Country. The Passing grades would go to 2 Democrats and 1 Republican. Yes I may be a bit harsh on this issue, but shouldn’t we all be, at least on this issue?
Now that I got that pet peeve out of the way there are 2 others that I would like to talk with you about. One of these I remember seeing somewhere recently here online. Disrespectful things, at least to me, in my opinion.
Does the Nations Media ever refer to Our President as President, in at least as far back as George Bush Senior? Nowadays we pretty much only hear Obama or Trump did or didn’t do this or that, almost never it seems do I see or hear, President Obama or President Trump, do you?
The other pet peeve is how political type posters start off their slogans on how they want you to remember them, when is the last time you ever seen or heard them simply start their slogan or request with the simple word Please? The word Please is meant to simply refer to as a Request. Why is it wrong to say ‘Please vote for me’ instead of simply ‘vote for me’? Why is showing kindness for each other now out of style? Why not say ‘Please Support Our Troops’? is to do so being weak in your eyes? Would you not rather be asked to do something over being ordered to do the same thing?
Well, I guess that’s it for my pet peeve quipes of the day, I hope it gave you a moment or two of mental relaxation. I do hope that you are each able to have a good and a safe weekend.
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America’s national media outlets are enjoying covering people who are not decent in how they treat each other. What I am saying is some people in our current culture think it is cool to act like a fool or an idiot, if it will get them 15 minutes of fame on a T.V. screen in some Country far away. Folks, if there is no such thing as ‘the aggressor’, then there is no one being injured in any way. Kindness, courtesy, decency, fellow Americans, why do we have to be known for acting like fools in front of a camera? I know that this childish behavior is not just an American problem just like Heroin is not just an American problem.
Those of our population who create events for the purpose of causing enough conflict to keep another person or group from being allowed their own Constitutional Rights! Every thing in the world is not always about me, me, me. That is a fact for every person on this planet. Most of you already know that this post is in response to recent crowd troubles at Donald Trump speaking events. To those who chose to disrupt other people like this by disrespecting their events, is it fair for all the people who don’t like your messages that it is okay to disrupt any or all of your events? Honor, Respect, Kindness, are they just by-gone Customs that do not matter in ‘our society’ today? There are very many very important issues that we as a Nation and as a world community need to solve and we need to do so quickly before some of our own Nations we implode. Please, let us all act like the grown-up’s in the room. The Media and the rest of us, we all need to quit playing these stupid games. The ‘Show’ your playing with not only can, it will, cost some their lives. That 15 minutes was it worth it, laying there on that slab, toe-tag waving in the breeze?
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This incident happened in 2014 and I feel a bit of shame that I don’t even remember this incident. Have there been so many since then (police officers being the bad guy) that it just faded into the blur? I am not a person that technology has ever smiled upon, this is why I have such a simple blog. This is also why I copy pasted the address above to what I was reading so that if you wish you can go read the story yourself.
This former officer disgraced the Uniform, the Badge, and himself with these actions. Many people in our mainstream media are digging for a big story and it seems that race is the issue they have decided to be their chosen venue to fame. There is a much bigger issue within American Law Enforcement Agencies than the race issue. I am not trying to downplay the race issue, it is a huge issue in some people’s hearts and Souls. But what I am saying is that there is one issue that is an even bigger problem than some people’s own racism whom happens to be a cop! Was this issue in the Reuters story a race issue? The former officer has a Hispanic last name and the victim did not?
Here is what I am getting at folks, it is my total belief that the biggest issue isn’t the occasional shooting of an unarmed or very lightly armed Black male. What is the biggest issue is the cover-up mentality of politicians, D.A.’s, and police departments and some of their own Unions, worse is the very obvious thought patterns that tell many Officers that it is within their rights, to act like the criminal. In Chicago the Cop who chased that young Black man down (the one who had a knife in his left hand) and shot him 16 times, most while he was motionless on the ground. Folks, his local Union is supporting this mans legal team. If you are guilty, you are guilty, and this Officer totally crossed the line of even human decency! Any of his fellow Officers whom are supporting this cold-blooded murderer as though it is some kind of honor code is in fact showing the world that you by your association in a case that is so well caught on film as this one, that you are just as evil as the one who pulled the trigger. You know how it is said that Doctors will not turn against other Doctors when it comes to ethics that they can be trusted to handle any problem Doctors among themselves. Police departments around this country have to fight all the human elements that make us frail of mind, body, and of ethics. Better ethics, better morals, more maturity, who knows, if we all tackle these issues maybe we would all have better, less racist Police Officers. Who knows maybe it would work to help make a more pleasant citizenry.
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