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Shady Ray

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  1. Yep. I have been here for years and the disconnect between how Americans see our military actions and how most Western Continental Europeans see our actions still amazes me. The legacy of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with respect to European popular opinion is that we are largely seen as trigger-happy oil looters by all levels of society. In the urban/higher educated areas, I would say over 90% of the population has an extremely negative view of US military and foreign policy decisions.
  2. PM said in his initial address to parliament prior to the vote that the resolution voting US troops out passed, he would sign. One of the Iraqi analysts on German TV tonight is saying that there will be contention over the one-year issue, as there were provisions in the agreement between the US and Iraq explicitly prohibiting: attacks not relating to ISIS, attacks against Iran launched by the US from Iraqi soil and attacks against Iraqi military (into which the PMUs were absorbed officially last year). He is saying that attacks against non-ISIS actors were to be carried out with the approval of/in coordination with the Iraqi military. Of course, Soleimani via his direction of the PMUs, was one of the reasons ISIS has had its ass kicked in Syria and Iraq, so gonna be pretty tough to pin this strike on that provision. Not that it will make a difference in the long run. The US will leave when it decides to leave, of course.
  3. Helicopter footage of the turnout at Soleimani's funeral in his hometown of Ahvaz.
  4. So, when the Iraqi Parliament finally votes to expel U.S. troops today in their special session, I am sure we will respect the will of the legitimate government of Iraq and leave. /s News reports are already saying that Sunni and Kurdish MPs are refusing to show up for the vote and that Shiite groups are threatening any MP that doesn't show up to cast a vote with death. Even so, 170 (out of 329) MPs have already apparently come out in support of expulsion. I am sure that this won't further escalate sectarian tensions /s. https://arab.news/8qzy5
  5. They just reported this on the morning news here in Germany. Not a lot of details, but they said Al Shabaab had entered the base and that shit was still burning at the moment. They had a quote from some Kenyan military guy who said the bulk of the attack had been repulsed but that pockets of Al Shabaab may still be inside the base.
  6. I've been in Glasgow all week and had two cab drivers tell me that they lived in Jo's district and couldn't wait to vote her out. She really seems to have done what was required to piss away the "55-year old Glaswegian Cabbie" vote.
  7. Regardless of one's position on this conflict, is it not an indictment on the seriousness of the U.S. media when it comes to reporting on this conflict that this "moderate rebel" Salim Idriss, who solicited and received funds and (serious) arms (i.e., TOWs) directly from the United States until at least 2017, is now the Minister of Defense of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, which is the umbrella org covering the Turkish-controlled proxy militias that are carrying out all the atrocities against the Kurds on behalf of Erdogan. Situations certainly change during war, and that is certainly true between the time he was posing with McCain/soliciting arms next to the leader of the centre-Left parliamentary group in the EU and carrying out war crimes against the Kurds, but Americans should not have to read po-dunk alt-media sites or German or French language papers to learn that this jihadi group is being led by a former recipient of our largesse. It is newsworthy.
  8. It really is amazing that these three aren't even letting Assad pretend that he is even remotely involved in this shit. Obviously, he has zero clout here, but they aren't even letting him give the impression to his country that he has any say over his own borders. Apparently, Bashar's gonna take what he gets and he's gonna like it.
  9. Not sure if this is directed at my post, but if so, my point wasn't about care or finances in our later years, as we will be fine there. It was more about the (albeit slight) nagging worry as we stare down the last of the baby-havin' years that she would eventually regret not having immediate family around after I kicked the bucket, particularly if that occurred too late in life. But as NMAS alluded to earlier, she can always use those funds we squirrelled away to move to Spain and chase middle-aged lotharios, so I'm just gonna keep on enjoying the quiet weekends.
  10. Syrian govt affiliated media outlining more details of the deal between the SDF and Damascus. German mid-day news report is also quoting Russia's Defense Ministry as saying that Russian soldiers and Turkish army are coordinating in Manbij. If true, (and there has been plenty of false reports re Manbij these past few hours) it looks like Erdogan may not get his dream of Manbij plus the full buffer zone, but rather just a truncated buffer zone that effectively keeps Turkish territory just outside of mortar range. That will be tough sell to his voting block back home. Really curious how this unfolds over the next 24 hours.
  11. Absolutely agreed. The way this went down was entirely the wrong way. Of that there is no doubt. I am curious if there is some strategy relating to Al-Tanf. Surely we will remain there, I would think.
  12. I agree. And I am not saying "oh, it's ok because they should have known better." What I am pointing out that the Kurds should never rely on the U.S., regardless of who is in power and they should have learned that after having been fucked over by Ford, Reagan, Bush the Elder, Clinton, Bush the Younger, and now in an exponentially worse and more dramatic fashion by Trump. We have treated them like shit and betrayed them for the same reason every time...and that is that their desire for independence/geopolitical importance simply does not outweigh the larger geopolitical realities surrounding them. And I am pointing out is that we have an atrocious record when it comes to honoring that which has been communicated via "official channels from the US Government" when it comes to the Kurds. Because, yes, when it comes to the Kurds, unfortunately, our word has never meant shit.
  13. Oh, I agree that they have every right to feel betrayed. Absolutely. But it is worth pointing out that they didn't enlist to fight our cause. Their choices were to fight to save their own lives from ISIS and we supported them in that effort as part of a mutually beneficial relationship and - as we typically do - we sold them out after they were no longer of use to us. Same as we have done half a dozen times over the past decades by presidents from both parties. It may suck, but it has long been US policy to do that. Doesn't make it right, but at some point the writing was on the wall and they should have acted in their own self interest, which always was reconciliation with Assad, particularly when Trump first started showing his intention during the first two false-starts that he pulled re SDF. What were they going to do otherwise? Thrive as a relatively weak landlocked country, surrounded by very powerful enemies, all the while unable to exploit the natural resources underneath them due to the fact they have no way to get it out of the desert? Did they think that we were going to treat them as another Israel and give arm and leg to support their viability when their biggest enemy is, for better or worse, the guardian of the entire soft underbelly of NATO and the single biggest geopolitical check on Russian naval power in the Med outside of our own Navy? Again, I am not disagreeing with you at all... just trying to work through what other options beyond us just camping out in the shithole that is NE Syria for the foreseeable future.
  14. Sure he has. The SDF has fallen back from the border, and that's what matters. And now, it doesn't matter what they do now with respect to their location. They are both protected and restricted by Russia, and ultimately, that is all the same in Erdogan's book. These sanctions are pure political optics, along the same lines of what we did to the Turks after Cyprus in the early 70s. They will be for public consumption and nothing more. When the dust settles, what we have now is exactly the same scenario as pre-Syrian Civil War. Syria will be a client state of Russia. And Turkey will be a grudging member of NATO. And ultimately, Turkey has a hell of a hand to play when it comes to European energy strategy, European immigration strategy, NATO, Mediterranean geopolitics, and on and on. I don't know if it has been posted here already, but just look at how "sanctions hawk" Lindsey Graham was speaking about the Kurds behind closed doors a few days ago when a prank caller got his idiot ass to blab: Lindsey Graham dishes on Trump in hoax calls with Russians https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/10/lindsey-graham-trump-hoax-call-043991 We ain't gonna do fuck all. Edit: Correcting myself, this was in August, but my point remains. Lindsey was railing about sanctions and denying the Kurdish threat to Turkey only to turn around and say the exact opposite when he thought he was in the clear. We know this situation is complicated and we aren't going to do shit when push comes to shove.
  15. I assure you that Erdogan and Putin have been on the same page on this development for a very long time. This is a dog and pony show between those two. Turkey has no internal political appetite for war with Assad, and they don't want it at the upper echelons of the TAF or Turkish Govt. They want the Kurds cleared out the 30 km "buffer zone" along the Turkish/Syrian border, but the Turks don't give a shit if the SAA re-enters NE Syria. Erdogan gets major political points if he tosses the Kurds back, shows some strength, and has little to no casualties amongst Turkish troops. He has that now. Turkey has no desire to occupy NE Syria and defend against guerrilla warfare. Politically, that is 100% suicide for Erdogan. This is choreographed.
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