Who Wants Withdrawal

I have no position on the Syrian withdrawal, Turkey or the Kurds because I’m not familiar with the situation. But I find the endless exclamations about how nobody wants this withdrawal to be bizarre. Trump’s voters want it. He ran on the platform of ending US interventions abroad. His voters are ecstatic about this idea. He’s giving his voters what he promised. Is doing what the voters want so outdated that we don’t recognize it when it happens?

Again, I repeat that I’m in absolutely no position to debate whether voters are right to want this. That is not what I’m discussing at all.

Here’s an example:

OK, Kristol is a deranged hawk but I don’t follow him on Twitter. I only know about this because it’s endlessly liked on my social media. People think this is some nugget of wisdom but this is simply stupid. Watch a Trump rally and observe the reaction of the crowd when he talks about withdrawing troops. Or don’t watch if it’s too traumatizing (psychological health challenge!) but then abstain from opining.

As for what Putin wants, he wants what Elizabeth Warren is promising. Oh, how he wants it. As I explained at length long before she started promising it. So let’s leave aside the utterly fake interest in Putin and start answering the far more important question of why there is a single strongly non-interventionist candidate among Democrats and why she’s so vilified.

20 thoughts on “Who Wants Withdrawal”

    1. Unfortunately, I had to stop reading because anybody who is capable of starting with the “white-power TV show” is not going to say anything intelligent about anything.


  1. An excerpt (there’s a lot):
    ..The “crises” created by the neoliberal flavored military-foreign policy establishment will not always be so easy to answer correctly. Imagine that a hypothetical perfect leftist finds his or her way into the White House. He or she will obviously be smart enough not to start stupid wars as stunts. But what happens if, for example, Vladimir Putin or his successors seek to bolster their domestic standing by invading the Baltic States—Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia—to reclaim them as former parts of the USSR? What if another country, say China or Russia, uses non-state actors as a proxy to launch a coordinated attack via the internet on critical U.S. infrastructure? “LOL aren’t you glad I’m not a warmongering neocon!” isn’t going to cut it as a response, despite being a true statement. And the weird idea of a far left-far right coalition—exemplified by Tulsi Gabbard, the “leftist” candidate every right-winger loves for not-at-all suspicious reasons—arguing that avoiding conflict with a country like Russia is best achieved by doing whatever Russia wants is, let us just say, not viable.

    What is the appropriate response? Right now, it is impossible to say what the position of the American left would be in this situation, because its foreign policy is ambiguous and situational. The gut reaction of anti-interventionism has appeal. So too does the argument that if the United States should not be overrunning small and relatively defenseless countries, then neither should other military powers. There will be situations, no matter how much they would better be avoided, in which a hypothetical Congress or White House occupied by a true leftist would need to react to events beyond his or her control…</>


    1. We have already seen how the true leftist Obama did on foreign policy. They are all crazed hawks incapable of saying no to warmongering generals. Left, right, they are all identical.

      This writer veritably oozes hatred for the idea that it’s possible to stop killing people abroad all the time. Honestly, what a jerk.


      1. I suspect that the journalist/media/thinkpiece class in general loves war. I recall how much higher support for the Iraq invasion was in the media compared to the general population.


  2. // As for what Putin wants, he wants what Elizabeth Warren is promising.

    Getting out of the Middle East or something else? Everybody promises so many things that it’s hard to keep track. 🙂

    Read today why Trump may be right to leave Syria from a Russian blogger:

    Трамп сегодня заявил о том, что ситуация в Сирии [в связи с уходом американских военных] “стратегически великолепна для США”. И сравнил участие в ней России с афганской войной СССР.

    При всей эпатажности и во многом натянутых аналогиях рациональное зерно в словах Трампа есть. И его достаточно много.



    1. She’s promising to ban fracking. This would give an enormous boost to the Russian economy. It would also be an enormous blow to the US economy.

      People should remember what the petrocrisis of the 1970s was like. But that’s obviously too much to ask.


        1. And look how great the correlation between the rising oil prices and the consolidation of Putin’s power is. It’s quite bizarre that all of the US commentators who keep telling us what Putin wants never mention any of this.


  3. I’m inclined to be in favor of getting out of Syria simply because US intervention in the Middle East is none of our business and none of the interventions so far have been anything but utter disasters for all concerned and there’s no reason to think that that pattern will change….
    It’s not a problem caused by the US and it’s not a problem the US can solve, until and unless someone can prove those wrong I want the US out of Syria.


    1. I also cringe at the triumphantly whipped out question of what the US should do if Russia invades Baltic states. Definitely not invade, that’s for sure! That would be a total clusterfuck. Just like it would have been had the US invaded Ukraine or Russia in 2014.

      Do economic pressure, diplomatic pressure, whatever. But stop bombing and sending troops already. It always ends badly. No matter what the justification. It ends badly.


  4. Putin doesn’t tell people what he wants, so they guess. One reasonable guess is that placing Turkey in fealty to Russia is all about isolating and suffocating Ukraine. Trump has made it clear that no one can rely on promises made by the US, giving Putin free rein to take what he wants. Israel should be very uncomfortable as well. One Trump-ite has already suggested withdrawing all US support for Ukraine.

    Isolationism in this day and age is most likely simply to de-stabilize the US dollar in ways that no living American has ever experienced. China wants to replace the dollar with the yuan as the foundation currency for international trade, and the US is helping China achieve that goal.

    Loss of oil imports won’t have the same effect in this economy as it did back in the 1970s. However, loss of imports in precious metals will end electronics manufacturing (and car manufacturing) in this country.


  5. This episode — the complete capitulation to Erdogan — has been the most shameful foreign policy blunder of Trump’s career. Even setting aside morals such as the complete abandonment of loyal allies to slaughter, it has accomplished the opposite of what Trump promised to do: reversing Obama’s legacy. Obama started the creation of ISIS by his cut and run policy out of Iraq, and invited Russian forces into Syria by refusing to ground Syrian air forces and declare a no-fly zone over that country after Assad’s “red line” chemical attack, and now Trump has finally brought Obama’s policy to full fruit. Our former allies the Kurds are now turning to the Forces of Darkness (Assad and Putin) for the protection once promised by us. Yes, Trump has “fulfilled a campaign promise” and brought certain troops home. American honor and influence in a vital region of the world are being withdrawn as well.

    I am now as thoroughly contemptible of Donald Trump as any of the Democratic loons running against him: the nutty anti-fracking, destroy-the-rich Warren, the equally wacko Sanders who just had a heart attack, the rapidly going senile Biden, and the pathetic also-running like Beto, who wants to take everybody’s legal guns, and the child-candidate Betigieg, who wants to pack the Supreme Court.

    I won’t be voting for a Presidential candidate in 2020, just as I couldn’t bring myself to do in 2016, and my fellow countrymen will have to decide which brand of madness they want to inflict on America for the next four years.


    1. I’m very vague on what happened in Turkey but at this point I will vote for absolutely any candidate who promises to stop this sovietization: https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/18/6-crazy-school-district-responses-to-parents-mad-about-lgbt-indoctrination-of-preschoolers/

      Nobody who hasn’t experienced totalitarianism understands the terror and the rage these school officials cause me. I can’t care about Turkey or the Kurds while there’s danger that this will be in my life again.


      1. Nobody is promising to nationalize preK-12 further, AFAIK, so it’s really about your state officials and school board. Are you worried about either?

        I know you’ve said you’re considering private school for Klara anyways because of screen use and you’ve said you’ve hated homeschooling in the past, but is there anything now that would make you and N homeschool Klara? Or do you still feel the same way?


        1. I can teach her strategies of resistance to totalitarianism. But I’d really, really rather not. I know how to remain human in totalitarianism but I so hoped I’d never have to use this knowledge again.

          And it’s not just schooling. You can’t hide from this by isolating a single part of your life. Totalitarianism, by nature, pursues TOTAL control. Those of us who are way past schooling of any kind will be humiliated and dehumanized, too.

          Take these school officials. The object of their control isn’t the children. It’s other adults. They are doing the Milgram thing on the parents.

          So homeschooling has no impact here.


  6. By my reckoning, I have three reasons for not severing ties with the USA: I have friends there; it will probably remain the senior partner in Australia’s national security regardless of what happens politically; and it may be the country which decides how humanity’s adventure with AI ends up, an issue I care about rather a lot, so I need to be able to see things from the perspective of its ruling class.

    But at this point, I am more comfortable with the Chinese government than the American establishment (I put it that way because the government is Trump’s, at least nominally, and he can hardly be regarded as part of the establishment). The Chinese government is not constantly at war around the world, nor is it pursuing fantasies about open borders and fluid genders. And it seems clear that there is a powerful national-security clique in America, who believe they, not the elected government, are the final arbiters of everything; so even “democracy” is in doubt there.


    1. I understand what you mean, definitely. Watching the slow-motion suicide of American democracy is painful. In China nobody ever pretended to have or want one so there’s nothing like this to lose. I hope Americans understand what enormous douchebags they are allowing to lead them.


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