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Thread: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

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    Default Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    President Trump & what is left of the White House cabinet, including VP Pence, goes to Camp David. A few hours later, National Security Advisor John Bolton appears with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and announces this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.eab71f0d126e

    And get this:
    When asked whether Bolton’s comments would affect that timeline, a senior administration official said that “there is no specific timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, and reports to the contrary are false.”
    I cannot express how bizarre this is. The President is in Camp David, while his National Security Advisor is in Israel announcing that the 30-day withdrawal of troops from Syria that the President just ordered (an order that caused the resignation of his Secretary of Defense) is not going to happen. Not only that, there is no specific timeline and anyone who says differently is wrong.

    That's not just a clarification of a President's statement. That's a complete reversal. When has that ever happened?

    Does the President have the ability to make policy or not or is Pence or Bolton effectively the President?

    In case you don't remember, this is shortly after the President stated that he'd consider declaring a State of Emergency and deploying US troops to build the Mexican border wall.

    Speaking of which, who should the Democrats be negotiating the budget with now?

    Maybe this is just "whatever", but I can't recall anything like this, save perhaps when Al Haig rewrote the rules on the line of succession after the assassination attempt on Reagan.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    another day in the forever shambolic trump administration. trump has long since given up any claim of legitimacy. our allies have to be saying what the hell(substitute word)? again? -Mike G
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    I'm pretty sure that the #1 thing on Rump's mind these days is that the "shutdown" has prevented him from going down to Florida to play golf. It won't be long until he decides to ignore the optics, and go just the same.

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Coup? How exactly would that change things if it was true? To coin a phrase.

    I'm out. Sorry I even responded. No offense meant.

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Don't pay too much attention to what is happening to our country. It will make your head explode. Go ride your bike!

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    He shot off his mouth without a good understanding of the history of the area and US support of the Kurds. Now it's just a series of "clarifications" to clean it all up and make the withdrawal of troops (to Iraq) from Syria while still protecting the Kurds from being wiped out by Turkey and maybe Syria. Also there's the question of creating a power vacuum that would be filled by Iran.

    When we pulled out of Iraq in 2011, we dissed the elected Sunni government, propped up Shia officals, and ISIS (Sunni) filled the vacuum we created. Now if we leave completely, Iran (Shia) will step in.

    Again, no overall strategery.

    In other news, Garro is building my new bike. Pretty sure he's neither Sunni or Shia.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    On one hand, I agree totally. Clown car wreck every 30 minutes.

    On the other hand, I think you sort of have to pay attention to this because a weak leader creates opportunities for things to happen you don't want to miss noticing, whether you go cycling in the meanwhile or not.

    I am also exaggerating a bit. Not a coup. But something happened and I think it is important, perhaps something akin to the exec's bankruptcy when all the banks got together and scheduled round the clock financial baby sitting for him. A straw broke the camel's back or something similar.

    This isn't like saying tax cuts and then saying well maybe not tax cuts. This is saying we are pulling troops out in 30 days and then saying we are not going to pull troops out in the foreseeable future, two statements separated by less than a month. Ask the Kurds how batshit this is. They were on the brink of getting wiped off the face of the planet by Turkey and had even out of desperation appealed to Assad to protect them! Now Bolton is going to go visit Erdogan and tell him to stand down (and probably discourage him from trying to assassinate Enes Kantor - the Knicks have enough problems) and generally rattle sabres loud enough Iran can hear so Netanyahu can get back to defending himself against accusations of corruption in peace.

    Imagine if Clinton had come out during the Obama administration and said "We are not sending troops to Syria" after Obama said we were. What would people think - globally especially? Even if Obama decided not to send troops, he would have to fire Clinton for announcing it ahead of his planned (whether it was or not) announcement of the reversal in order to maintain the validity of his position as President.

    Or if Erdogan said Turkey is going to reduce troops along the border with the Kurdish territories, then headed off for a retreat on the economy and one of his military guys announced there would be no such reduction for the foreseeable future. everyone would wonder if Erdogan was in fact at a "retreat" in some gulag somewhere, unless he reappeared, sent the military guy(s) to said gulag instead, thereby recovering his validity as leader (which is exactly what he did after the attempted coup a few years ago.)

    I'm truly not doing this from a partisan perspective. Just trying to process something that seems to me to be unprecedented.

    But you know, I am also watching the NFL playoffs and recabling my road bike.
    Last edited by j44ke; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    On the other hand, I think you sort of have to pay attention to this because a weak leader creates opportunities for things to happen you don't want to miss noticing, whether you go cycling in the meanwhile or not.

    I'm truly not doing this from a partisan perspective. Just trying to process something that seems to me to be unprecedented.
    An unprecedented mix of weak and anti-democracy. Bizarre times.
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    If Bolton's statement contradicts Trump's command, then that contradiction will surely be printed in the New York Times and Washington Post by tomorrow.

    I would keep an eye out there.

    It does make me wonder whether Fox News will report on the seemingly opposite statements or how they will spin it to the President's favor.

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Polack View Post
    If Bolton's statement contradicts Trump's command, then that contradiction will surely be printed in the New York Times and Washington Post by tomorrow....
    That's the clearly and concisely stated version of what I was blathering on about. Thanks!
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Thank god for professionals.
    The President made the 30 days decision after speaking to the President of Turkey without consulting the Pentagon. Phil Graham, Bolton and others were petrified that our withdrawal would open up the Kurds to attack from Turkey. If you recall, the Peshmerga were the one who held the line against ISIS when Iraqi military was retreating. (remember when President Barzani visited President Obama to ask for heavy military equipment to fight ISIS since ISIS was using the US heavy military equipment left by deserting Iraqi forces, and because Turkey and Iraq Central Gov are afraid of a unified Kurdistan, all Obama would do is pledge some light ammunition) For all of Bibi's faults, he does understand what a unplanned US withdrawal from Syria will mean for the region.

    Remember the President never admits mistakes, so the 30 days may be the plan, but he did not say when you should start counting the 30 days. Any coup is just a figment of your imagination.
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    This isn't the first time Trump has walked back a statement or policy. He shoots from the hip and when the reaction is strong enough they double back -Mike G
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by vertical_doug View Post
    Thank god for professionals.
    The President made the 30 days decision after speaking to the President of Turkey without consulting the Pentagon. Phil Graham, Bolton and others were petrified that our withdrawal would open up the Kurds to attack from Turkey. If you recall, the Peshmerga were the one who held the line against ISIS when Iraqi military was retreating. (remember when President Barzani visited President Obama to ask for heavy military equipment to fight ISIS since ISIS was using the US heavy military equipment left by deserting Iraqi forces, and because Turkey and Iraq Central Gov are afraid of a unified Kurdistan, all Obama would do is pledge some light ammunition) For all of Bibi's faults, he does understand what a unplanned US withdrawal from Syria will mean for the region.

    Remember the President never admits mistakes, so the 30 days may be the plan, but he did not say when you should start counting the 30 days. Any coup is just a figment of your imagination.
    True enough.

    How the Kurds keep trusting the US, I do not know. Answering my own question-> I guess they really have no alternative. Every country in that area fears/hates them. The Peshmerga have to be one of the toughest military groups around.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post

    Maybe this is just "whatever", but I can't recall anything like this.
    Neither can I. I believe many people preferred when they were shielded from the ugly, painful inner workings of global leadership, negotiations, and decision making.

    I prefer the transparency this president has provided. The press has had more direct access to this president than any before him. The lack of polish and crudeness can be ugly at times.

    I’d humbly suggest that folks put more emphasis on policies and results rather than differences in process and behaviors versus prior administrations.
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Maybe this is just "whatever", but I can't recall anything like this, save perhaps when Al Haig rewrote the rules on the line of succession after the assassination attempt on Reagan.
    Kissinger did convene the National Security Council and alerted the nuclear force without telling Nixon. I think it had to do with the Soviets and Egypt but I'd have to double check the circumstances.

    I think the current example is just different interpretations of what the policy directive means. It'll be sorted quickly, I'm sure.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Remember when Haig declared himself "in charge" after Regan got shot?

    Trump is in his gut- an isolationist. His thirty minute conversation with Erdogan had him convinced the United States didn't need to be in Syria anymore for all the wrong reasons. (The United States actually doesn't need to be in Syria because the legitimate government of Syria does not want us there, our own State Department has no idea why or department of defense is so buddy buddy with a group of Marxist-Lenninists who are seeking to carve a nation state through armed insurrection against four members of the United Nations , our own Department of Defense has no idea why our State Department is so buddy buddy with Sunni Wahabbi Religious extremists who are seeking an Islamic Caliphate and our confusing presence has only added to the chaos and basically kept Assad and the Russians from being able to fully defeat Al-Qareda. Franklly, the United State's odd turn under Obama to deny the sanctity of agreed upon international borders because we somehow have a hair across our ass about Assad being a murderous asshole against his own population as a response to an Islamic Fundamentalist insurrection never made sense to me. I think US forces should pull out of Syria. We weren't invited and the Syrians don't want us there. Letting the Kurds and Ba'athists figure out how to defeat Isis and al-Nusra and keep the Turks out of Syria seems like a pretty good solution to me. The Kurds are armed to the teeth and can fight- and they very well could partner with Assad and stabilize the country. Quite frankly, Assad is a far better alternative than al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, the Islamic State or a bunch of pissed off radicalized Artabs living under the barrel of Kurdish guns.

    Were I a Kurd- i'd be in support of the Pershmega but in the big picture- the best thing for Syria is a non-sectarian cosmopolitan multi-ethnic country with guarnateed rights and autonomy for minority groups. Funny how that's the bull shit the Alawites have been preaching since Assad's old man and his cronies tool charge.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daltex View Post
    I’d humbly suggest that folks put more emphasis on policies and results rather than differences in process and behaviors versus prior administrations.
    Are the processes, behaviors, and norms entirely distinct from other results?

    ***

    Earlier this fall, a colleague of mine casually remarked that government legitimacy is a common pool resource, subject to all of the usual tragedies of the commons. The current president is just the first occupant of the office to fully realize and exploit this common resource for his own benefit.

    ***

    To produce results and to produce results, are these two different things? Indeed.
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Whatever the case with Syria* and transparent behavior, I just think it is interesting to hear the National Security Advisor effectively reverse a Presidential directive BEFORE the President himself issues a statement, especially when it involves the strategic placement of US troops in a conflict zone.

    Seems like further weakening of the War Powers Act, if staff can turn deployment on or off and declare it excusable as a clarification of the executive's original directive.

    *The Russian naval base in Tartus likely figures as strongly into US intervention in Syria as any humanitarian or democratic aspirations.
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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Whatever the case with Syria* and transparent behavior, I just think it is interesting to hear the National Security Advisor effectively reverse a Presidential directive BEFORE the President himself issues a statement, especially when it involves the strategic placement of US troops in a conflict zone.

    Seems like further weakening of the War Powers Act, if staff can turn deployment on or off and declare it excusable as a clarification of the executive's original directive.

    *The Russian naval base in Tartus likely figures as strongly into US intervention in Syria as any humanitarian or democratic aspirations.
    bolton may have only announced it. we don't know the conversations that took place behind closed doors. there was tremendous blow back on this one -mike g
     

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    Default Re: Was There Just a Coup in the US?

    And now this:
    Trump claims Syria withdrawal plan hasn't changed - POLITICO

    ...not that it should surprise anybody.
     

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