Turkey in Syria, China/US "truce," and #ImpeachTrump
Third Culture Queen vol. 24
|Kyle Borland||Oct 12, 2019|
Trump’s moves in Syria have nothing to do with withdrawing US troops from the Middle East. Within hours of Iran’s announcement that one of its tankers had been struck by missiles, the Pentagon announced it’s deploying 3,000 more troops along with more fighter jets and air defenses to Saudi Arabia. All paid for by the Sauds.
Haven’t you heard?! American troops are mercenaries for hire!
(And, don’t bother asking the United Nations to help. They’re $1.3B in the hole.)
The president’s decision to pull US forces out of Northern Syria was a political ploy – that’s put American forces on the receiving end of Turkish shelling – rather than a military strategy. Trump needed a distraction that would create enough smoke to pivot the media to a different story, if only temporarily.
Unfortunately for the president, his associates are as sloppy as he is, so even war can’t slow down the impeachment media machine.
However, between yelling at reporters and stoking xenophobic racism at rallies in Minnesota and Louisiana, Trump found time to “make progress” in his trade war.
The agreement has only been agreed to "in principle” and won’t be signed until the APEC meeting in over a month. A lot can happen in a month and that’s true when there aren’t multiple Middle East escalations and months-long protests in Hong Kong.
Don’t get too excited. If it happens at all, it’ll clearly be a “holiday pause.”
Our crazy world got even crazier this week and, I think, Fox News’ Shep Smith summed up the state of things well in his surprise final sign-off. What do you think?
Third Cultured yet? Keep up with global grand strategies!
Kurdish Forces: 23+ | Turkish forces: 1
Countries condemning Turkey or calling for restraint:
Condemnations: Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, UK, and the US
“The Turkish forces also seized at least 11 villages clustered around two Kurdish-held border towns that stand about 75 miles apart, according to Anadolu Agency, a Turkish state-run news agency.
At least 11 civilians in Kurdish-held areas were killed and 28 wounded in the Turkish attacks on Thursday, according to the Rojava Information Center, an activist group in northeastern Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces appeared to be striking back.
Shells and rockets landed in several Turkish border towns, killing four civilians, including an infant, and wounding 70.
At least one Turkish soldier was killed, according to a tweet by a lawmaker from Turkey’s governing party.”
Furious with Turkey, EU officials threaten sanctions (Al Jazeera)
“Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also accused Erdogan of blackmail and said the military operation should immediately end. France proposed economic sanctions on Turkey, an ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while Sweden's parliament demanded an EU arms embargo.
Further piling pressure on Ankara ahead of an EU foreign ministers' meeting on Monday and a summit of EU leaders on Thursday, Cyprus and Greece urged economic sanctions against Turkey over Turkish gas drilling in waters off southern Cyprus.”
October 10....We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!
“The governments of Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, the United Kingdom and Estonia (collectively known as the EU6) call upon Turkey to cease unilateral military action in north-east Syria.”
“Renewed armed hostilities in the north-east will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements which will further increase the number of refugees and IDPs in Syria and in the region.”
“Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, whose country is a key ally of Syria's Bashar Assad, told reporters that any council statement on Syria must address broader issues, including the presence of foreign forces in the country.”
“U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft told reporters that President Donald Trump "has made abundantly clear" that the United States "has not in any way" endorsed Turkey's decision to mount a military incursion in northeast Syria.”
October 9This American soldier told me the Kurds have not left their positions guarding the ISIS prisoners. In fact "they prevented a prison break last night without us." "They are not abandoning our side (yet)." The Kurds are "pleading for our support." We are doing "nothing."This sanctions bill will be introduced as soon as Congress returns. Will ask for an immediate vote to send a clear message to Turkey that it must cease and desist its military action, withdraw its fighters from the areas under attack, and stop the tragic loss of life.
The War for Post-U.S. Syria Has Begun (Foreign Policy)
“For now, this week has borne witness to a rare occurrence in the geopolitics of the Middle East—cross-national agreement among almost every regional country except Turkey. They all agree that Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria threatens not only the future of the Kurds but also the basic stability of the entire country.”
Stay updated on the 21st Century’s Superpower Struggle!
China-US Trade War
“The initial deal, which Mr. Trump said had been reached “in principle” would involve China buying $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency. The agreement also includes some provisions on intellectual property, including forced technology transfer and would give American financial services firms more access to China’s market, the president said.
In exchange, the United States will not go ahead with plans to raise tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent next week. But the president has not made a final decision on whether to increase tariffs further on Dec. 15, as he has threatened.
The first phase could be signed when Mr. Trump appears alongside his Chinese counterpart at a meeting of global leaders in Santiago, Chile, in November.”
Comment: I think we all know by now that “in principle” with Trump means nothing.
Chinese state media suspended the NBA preseason broadcasts in China over a tweet.
South Park has been banned from the internet in China after a critical episode.
Gaming company Activision Blizzard suspended a player for Hong Kong comments.
Apple removes Taiwan flag emoji from iOS in Hong Kong (Engadget)
Apple removed a map app letting protesters in Hong Kong track police (Buzzfeed)
Apple ALSO removed the Quartz news app from the Chinese App Store over Hong Kong coverage (The Verge)
Just How Big of a Deal Is China’s DF-17 Missile? (The Diplomat)
Keep up with the latest geopolitical gambits and gains!
Impeachment Guide (GovTrack.us)
1) US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland – Oct 17
2) Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent
3) Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl
Poll: Record support for Trump impeachment (Fox News)