President Donald J Trump, a statement

It’s no secret that I supported the election of Donald J Trump in 2016.

That was for a number of reasons; not least because I identified with the people who supported Trump, the forgotten Americans; and because the thought of Hillary Clinton in the White House, spewing forth her well-practised brand of venomous liberal hypocrisy, filled me with revulsion.

Even so, I was never blind to Trump’s failings. For not even his most fawning acolyte would describe him as an intellectual, or a man of great moral integrity. But I put these reservations aside in the interests of the greater good, which for me meant reversing the trends of recent decades that are nothing but – to adapt Clausewitz – communism by other means, in their attempts to undermine the very fabric of the West.

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Even in 2016 I wished that the candidate to have emerged from the Republican hustings and primaries had been a more worthy and inspiring beneficiary of the zeitgeist, and less liable to hinder the West’s return to sanity. But we were delivered Trump, and I accepted it, kept my mouth shut. Since then, on the many occasions when I’ve thought he was wrong, I still stayed silent.

This silence has become increasingly difficult to maintain for a number of reasons. One being that in the age of the internet and social media a blowhard and a buffoon has fewer places to hide. Especially when he chooses to issue pronunciamentos via Twitter.

I would never have believed that a tweet could convey such bombast, such sheer fucking stupidity, with such frightening clarity.

You have to remind yourself that this is not some acne-plagued youth who’s a bit pissed off about something – This is the president of the USA!’

Now things have come to a head.

Trump’s decision to give the green light to an Islamist dictatorship to attack the West’s most reliable ally in the Middle East crosses a line. I can no longer bite my tongue. God knows the Kurds have suffered long enough at the hands of their many enemies, and they have been betrayed by the West more than once. By France and Britain after the Great War and more recently by one or more of Trump’s predecessors.

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And now by Donald J Trump 45th president of the United States of America himself.

What Trump fails to understand is that the influence of the USA and the West is not solely reliant on economic power and military might, there must also be a moral dimension. It means doing the right thing, and standing by your friends and allies is doing the right thing.

Even when a people or a country are not necessarily our friends we should still not be blind to their plight. Trade deals with China should never mean ignoring the ethnocide being practised against Tibetans and Uighurs. And in seeking arms sales to and oil exports from Gulf states we must not ignore humanitarian considerations within those states and the wider region.

But if US foreign policy remains determined by Wall Street and whether dictators and mass murderers are our bastards then we are in trouble.

The final straw for me came when Trump defended his decision to throw the Kurds to the Turkish wolves by arguing that the Kurds weren’t on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944! It was then that I decided I can no longer stay silent.

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Only a complete idiot could have made such a remark. Perhaps tomorrow he’ll rebuke the Kurds for not riding to Custer’s rescue at the Little Big Horn.

The Kurds are not simply fighting for themselves, they are defending Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, plus of course the Yazidi population that ISIS tried to destroy by butchery and enslavement. Which brings us to the ISIS fighters that the Kurds defeated and now hold, with their families, in a number of camps.

Turkey’s attitude to ISIS has always been ambivalent. Many thousands of foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere were allowed to cross Turkey unhindered to join ISIS. If Turkey’s invasion proves responsible for bringing ISIS back to life then that really would be some legacy for Donald J Trump.

Trump is now an embarrassment for the USA and the West, and it’s time we were rid of him. But it must not be done by impeachment, which would be a victory for the wrong side. Trump must be removed, or his power curtailed, by his own side in order to salvage something from his disastrous presidency.

I still stand with those who elected Trump in 2016, the forgotten Americans. I am still committed to the struggle against the enemies of the West, both internal and external. And I look forward to more success in the future, but that success can now only be realised without Donald J Trump.

♦ end ♦


48 thoughts on “President Donald J Trump, a statement

  1. Whitney

    Nato should have been wound up after the fall of the Soviet Union. It justifies its continuing existence by creating problems where none exists.

    Btw this thread shows how people get the wrong end of the stick when their world view is seen only through the controlled western media.

  2. Brychan

    It’s evident that Turkey has the second largest army in terms of troop numbers in NATO but also have a mix and match of technology, having recently signed a deal with the Russians. It is also widely accepted that the relatively small contingent of US forces kept in the zone was a previous deterrent (leverage) to Turkish aggression; this withdrawal has allowed the Turkish incursion.

    This suggests to me that there is some kind of communication within NATO to prevent friendly fire where forces from NATO members are deployed in theatres of operation outside member states. Withdrawal has resulted in an opportunity for Turkey, more specifically Erdogan to attack.

    This begs the question as to what role a defence force of an independent Wales should have, and whether we should be a member of NATO. The SNP had this discussion many years ago and concluded that an independent Scotland should be a member of NATO. It resulted in two MSPs, who were of the pacifist sort, resign. Currently, the main nationalist party in Wales, Plaid Cymru, takes the ‘neutrality’ stance, like Ireland.

    There is evidently a ‘leverage’ opportunity for NATO membership. Small countries like the Baltic states and Norway also offer NATO small specialist military units and provide the United States with a ‘leverage’ footprint it otherwise would not have. However, the abandonment of the Kurds shows that this ‘leverage’ has no role. Currently, both United Kingdom and by default, NATO, use Wales as a training ground. Huge areas of our natural landscape are out-of-bounds to the public with military bases and the Welsh airspace is used as a playground for fighter jets.

    Sweden is an ‘associate member’ of NATO and has highly trained and technically advanced specialist forces, and a highly effective spy and reconnaissance Navy to be deployed only by consent, but intelligence shared by default. It’s landmass however, is not routinely used by NATO, except by treaty for European operations.

    Should an independent Wales be like an Indy Scotland (full NATO member) or like an Indy Ireland (neutral by default) or like Sweden (conditional membership)? Is NATO worth it?

  3. Spirit of BME

    Jac, Jac, Jac- I am surmised that you are surprised at what Donald John has done.
    Lord Palmerston was the person who framed the policy that politicians should be trusted as far as you can throw the Albert Hall, when in answer to a complaint that England had changed sides, he stated
    “Nations have no permanent friends or allies; they only have permanent interests”
    I assume the position paper that crossed his desk regarding his options, could have contained the following-
    – You are in a Re-election campaign, starting a big war in the Middle East and getting pictures of body bags been flown home will not help your campaign and weaken your voter base.
    – Turkey (as might others) will take full advantage of your inability to act and exploit it to their advantage.
    – You are not allowed to bomb another NATO country.
    His decisions would be an easy one.

    1. The choice was maintaining a small number of US troops in the area and keeping the peace or pulling them out and starting a conflict.

      1. Dafis

        Trump inherited a lot of interference in others’ domestic jurisdictions that went back to 2001 and earlier. Since WW2 USA had seen itself ( and been seen by others) as the world’s policeman. Not a good job for anyone with an ideological and policy bias and certainly not a job for a country when it starts looking to revise its spending priorities.

        USA has a moral obligation, undoubtedly, but that suffers when the ruling regime is morally suspect. I seriously doubt if anything would have been much different under the scheming Hillary. Maybe someone else in another theatre of conflict would have been left in the shit instead, but make no mistake she would have ratted on allies with callous indifference, just dressing it up with a few well chosen words dripping with her special brand of insincerity.

        1. What’s different in the case of Trump and the Kurds is that a) the troops were not being withdrawn from a combat zone; b) sections of Trump’s own party have turned against him; c) military top brass have been outspoken in their criticism; d) allies have joined in the criticism; e) it could result in a country being expelled – the first ever? – from NATO.

          The oily Hillary would have made sure of her position, got people onside before announcing such a decision; but Trump is so unpredictable, so volatile, on this and other issues, that he more and more resembles one of those Roman emperors who married his granny or decided to invade the Moon. And they all came to a sticky end.

          1. Dafis

            Don’t disagree with your assessment of Trump but I find it difficult to imagine Hillary doing any better. Indeed the temptation to meddle would probably have got USA stuck in some new crises, and if none were available she’d contrive to start them !

  4. Brychan

    The United States doesn’t have an effective “boots on the ground” military. They failed in Vietnam and are still failing in Afghanistan. What is does have is an air force and navy than can bomb the shit out of a set designated area, usually are huge civilian cost.

    It’s important to understand that the US army is just a repository for the social ills of the United States. The only place those who live in trailer parks, inner city slums, or rust belt shacks, can achieve ownership of real estate, gain access to medical care, get a decent state pension, or snaffle a wedge to put the kids through college. It’s an army staffed by the desperate and ignored of America. I will leave it to those who have served in the UK forces under joint exercise to pass further comment.

    Once ISIS was evicted mainly by Russia in the West, and the Kurds in the East, the United States simply doesn’t have the ability to offer any constructive role in having ground troops in the ‘liberated areas’. Their very presence would be inflammatory. They cannot than play any constructive role other than squat to prevent others invading. It’s unfortunate that the Kurds had assumed that gifts of ammunition, weapons, shells, dropping bombs on enemy redoubts, and emailed aerial photography of the area of operation constitutes a form of political support.

    It doesn’t. They were used.

    It’s assumed that Donald Trump is someone in charge of the United States. He isn’t. He lost the election but became president due to a quirk of their electoral system. He survives by relying on his core vote of ignored Americans, and the only real threat to his office is if those mentioned in my second paragraph above start coming home in body bags. There are two bunkers in this conflict, those manned by Kurdish heroes in Syria and one in the White House occupied by a thick chump with an I-phone.

    The Kurds need to find other international friends if they are to achieve independence, and resist invasion. Russia could end the Turkish military incursion within hours. Turkey is no longer the democratic secular state which qualified it for membership of Nato and has played an antagonistic role in funnelling foreign fighters to ISIS, as well as dumping the displaced on the EU. Perhaps the solution is the ‘deal’ with Recep Erdoğan. Half the Turkish military is already otherwise engaged in the east, and he needs fuel for those F15s.

    Final point, the BBC is wrong to say that Turkey runs or pays for the refugee camps in their territory. They are run and paid for UNHCR and also house displaced Kurds as well as Christians and Yazidi. The UN camps operate by international treaty.

    The question is how valuable is Turkey is to Nato?

    1. I can’t agree entirely, Brychan. My belief is that with ISIS bottled up, those US troops were in no real danger. While their mere presence deterred Assad and Erdogan from attacking the Kurds.

      Nor can I agree with you about the US military being ‘a repository for the social ills of the USA’. It’s true that a disproportionate number of recruits come from poor white backgrounds in the South, and the Mid West, which can be defined in other ways as, ‘The Bible Belt’, the regions from which Trump drew so much support, or the Heartland where American values still predominate. (Though we could argue for ever about the meaning of ‘American values’)

      As for the Kurds finding new friends, that will prove difficult. Russia seems to be out of contention because it is now Turkey’s best friend, and a supplier of weaponry. (Another reason to question Turkey’s membership of NATO.) One possibility has to be Israel. They have a shared enemy in Assad, and with Iran backing Assad and the Israelis always ready to knock over Iranian nuclear installations, Israeli support for the Kurds is a strong possibility.

      In fact, the more cerebral elements in the US military and foreign service may already be calculating that if US troops are to be withdrawn then US interests in the area, and the debt to the Kurds, could in future be discharged by Israel.

  5. D

    I’m afraid we are looking at matters from the wrong angle perhaps. Trump was elected the american president and at least he has had the honesty to state up front “america first”. The USA always puts its interests first no matter what political colour.

    We can gnash our teeth as much as we like we are in the world of Realpolitik. In the days of the Empire the Brits may have gone in and sorted things out [most flashpoints these days were created by civil servants being entrusted with the maps – look at where we are in such a mess on Brexit?].

    He also said he would keep USA out of wars and is therefore true to his word.

    The Kurds as much as we hate the situation will go the same way as Tibet, Crimea and many other places. I just hope in Wales we find a party [or person] that can keep our culture and identity intact and from being swamped in a non militaristic fashion.

    Its just that Trump is a reality TV [and Twitter] personality and can only articulate that way not the smooth talk of Obama, Clinton and the sometimes mangled syntax of the Bushes. He is and likes to be the only news.

    I don’t like the situation but why do we expect the USA to help the Kurds – where is that EU army?

    1. Nothing to disagree with in the first half of your comment. The issue really is HOW the interests of the USA are best served.

      Maintaining a few hundred troops in the Kurd-controlled area deterred aggression and showed loyalty to an ally that has sacrificed much being at the sharp end in the GLOBAL fight against ISIS. Trump has undone that with his stupidity and will find it harder to recruit local allies in any future conflict, which will mean sending in MORE US troops.

      Removing a few hundred troops that were in no danger is a short-sighted betrayal that does NOT serve the USA’s strategic interests.

      1. Dafis

        Correct. Gesture politics of the worst kind.

        Any “cost savings” made are likely to be pissed away on shadow boxing with Iran and propping Saudis in their proxy war in Yemen. USA ( with UK as its sidekick) have set off a right old hornet’s nest throughout the ME/Islam world. From being manipulators they now risk shifting to “manipulated” status especially if the Saudi regime starts to crack from within.

        Some analysts are already predicting a big fall in Saudi and be assured it won’t be a good ole’ liberal outcome but strict Wahabbist middle ages values with modern technology. There will come a time USA will regret invading Afghanistan and Iraq, knowing they should have bombed the shit out of Saudi despite it being a so-called ally. All the funding for that early AQ movement came from countries other than Afghan, Iraq and Iran yet it is those countries that USA +UK have assaulted. Had they walloped Saudi and possibly certain elements in Pakistan there would have been an entirely different outcome today.

        Yet they knew all this way back in 2001 but no-one dares call it a conspiracy.

  6. David Smith

    Not sure what you mean by an allusion to communism gradually taking hold in the West. Surely since the 80s and the days of Reaganomics and Thatcherism, through to New Labour in the 90s the opposite trend has been in effect?

      1. Dafis

        Jac & David Beg to differ. Reaganism/Thatcherism did not promote free enterprise, they only set free the forces of rampant corporatism, a form of business organisation that fits nicely into the preferred operating style of centralist government which increasingly resembles the corporate state, itself not too distant from communism. It is only the well used fallacy of the left right linear model that puts distance between them. Looked at in a 3D model and they are very snug together.

      2. Eos Pengwern

        That’s exactly right.

        It’s as though the Left, having lost all the economic arguments, has changed tack and is now trying to find another way to disrupt society so they can gain power. It’s clearer than ever that that, rather than any sort of economic or social justice, has been their overall aim all along.

        1. The writing was on the wall long before, but with the collapse of the USSR the economic case for socialism/communism was seriously discredited, leaving the left to argue, unconvincingly, that the model had never been properly implemented. The ‘counter-culture’ that began in the 1960s then became the preferred means for undermining the West, joined more recently by extreme environmentalism. A good piece on Newsnight last night made the point that Extinction Rebellion is, fundamentally, anti capitalist.

  7. Ellie Wales

    It was President Andrew Jackson in the 1830s who enacted the clearances and used the US Army to herd indigenous Americans; walking thousands of miles across states to reservations, many dying on the way. Not a lot different from the mass repatriation of the Greeks from Anatolia in the 1920s, the forced removal of Jews across Europe in the 1930-40s and so it goes on.
    The biggest problem with the clash of culture between the ME ans Europe is the culture. The ME is basically a tribal society based in groupings by religious factions within Islam, whereas the European model depends on a co-existence of democratically elected groups mostly separated from religious influences..

    1. I would argue that while they’re not irreligious, and while tribalism might play a role, most Kurds see themselves as Kurds first and foremost, and it’s this ethno-cultural identity that differentiates them from Arabs, Turks and Iranians. And that’s how they are viewed by the other identities in the region.

  8. rubin

    I would have thought as a welshman that you would have more sympathy for the indiginous population of the US.

    1. I do have sympathy with indigenous Americans, but we are discussing the Middle East.

      And if you’re referring to the Little Big Horn then that was not to be taken seriously. Lighten up!

  9. CapM

    “….but that success can now only be realised without Donald J Trump.”
    But why ever did you think it could be realized with Donald J. Trump
    Belief in his abilities to deliver or belief that “shaking things up” must result in a dividend or both perhaps.

    The “qualities” that DJT brought as a future leader of a Superpower and as a person were plain for all to see well before he was elected.

    Things shaken up can go in any direction not just the one you’d like them to go.

    1. Dafis

      CapM You said that…… “The “qualities” that DJT brought as a future leader of a Superpower and as a person were plain for all to see well before he was elected.” True but it was evident from the selection of presidential candidates that it was down to him to prevent the malign Mrs Clinton from ever taking the office of POTUS. That alone was sufficient justification for backing Trump.

      On numerous occasions I have commented that it was a pretty lousy choice for a nation of over 300 million – and soon we in UK may be similarly confronted with a Corbyn vs Johnson choice with trash like Farage and Swinson fluttering around in the background. Politics does yield a lot of garbage on a regular basis !

      1. CapM

        The options were Trump and Clinton (I realize that we didn’t get to vote or decide on candidates).

        Clearly you don’t think the treatment of the Kurds by Trump is to be applauded but it’s up to you to decide if it’ is or is not acceptable collateral damage for your Clinton free White house. .

        Either you choose to think that you were right and it is better that Trump beat Clinton or you choose to think that you were wrong and it would have been better if Clinton had won.
        Of course you don’t have to decide yet, there is still some time before the current term is up.

        1. Of course it was better to have Trump than Clinton, but abandoning the Kurds is not ‘collateral damage’ because it was never an inevitable – let alone, predictable – consequence of Trump becoming president.

          1. CapM

            My view was that because of the ample evidence of what type of person Trump is, having Trump as US President would result in more and greater bad things happening than having the type person Clinton is as President. As you can see not exactly an endorsement of Hilary. Presumably all things considered you felt Clinton would do more harm than Trump.

            Of course no-one could predict exactly what bad things Trump would do/cause in large part because of Trump’s personality lack of experience, ignorance, etc etc. But anyone who was willing to could predict that bad things were almost certain to happen.

            This isn’t the only outright bad thing that Trump has done in my opinion but by the sounds of it is THE thing you think is outright bad.

            And if you still think it’s better to have Trump rather than Clinton in the White House then there’s no getting away from it, for you the Kurds are collateral damage however much you sympathise with their plight and wished it never happened.

        2. Dafis

          Not astraightforward binary choice. Had Mrs Clinton got the “job” she would have carried on in the deviant direction that she favoured when working in Obama’s team and there is strong probability that she would have got even deeper into a whole bunch of “hot spots”. That’s why I often pondered upon USA ‘s inability to yield up candidates of real quality. 2016 was not a vintage year for that country and late 2019 will bring a sour mix for us in UK elections

          1. CapM

            Dafis what you say just confirms that for you, the Kurds are collateral, though much regretted damage.

            As someone who thought Clinton was the (significantly) better of two evils I’d have to consider what collateral damage I’d be willing to accept for a Trump free White house if she had won.

  10. Mel Morgan

    More of the ‘forgotten Americans’ voted against Trump than for him: The vagaries of the College of Electors, however, secured victory for him.

    Nevertheless, it’s good that you have at last reached the viewpoint of a majority of his compatriots: better, it is said, late than never.

    1. Depends on who you class as ‘forgotten Americans’. I was making a comparison with many of those who voted for Brexit over here.

      1. Mel Morgan

        Indeed. The atmosphere here reminded me forcibly of the run-up to Gwyl Ddewi 1979. Angry people, exploited and oppressed by the order of things, lashed out at a convenient scapegoat – leaving the authors of their misery unscathed.

  11. Whitney

    No doubt Trump’s comment is stupid but he has somehow failed to launch a war with Iran, something that much of the Republican and Democratic parties and the totality of the main stream media urgently desire. Such a war would be disastrous for the Middle East, the wider world and the US itself, for this we should be grateful.

    Removing Trump would only elevate Pence, a Christian Zionist who literally prays for the end times. Apart from Gabbard none of the Democratic candidates fill one with much confidence on the peace front either.

    The situation of the Kurds is a tragic one, divided as they are between four hostile states. As I understood it Ocalan’s position was to give up the pipedream of a Kurdish state and seek the best degree of self government possible within each of the existing states. In Syria this would have meant seeking a rapprochement with the Assad government, something the Russians have been anxious to broker.

    An eventual American betrayal of the Kurds was obvious from the beginning and would have happened whoever was in power in Washington. Turkey is just a lot more important in the scheme of things. Of course the Kurds have good reasons not to trust Assad but really it was the only option, by refusing to countenance it they lost Afrin and are in the process of losing most of Rojava.

    1. It goes beyond Trump’s D-Day comment. If we were simply debating stupid tweets and statements of Donald J Trump we’d never end.

      Starting a war, or not starting a war (with Iran), is not to be compared with events in Syria. There are very few US troops involved anyway, many of them specialists and special forces who would expect to be deployed in such zones. And with ISIS defeated, and no threat from either Assad or Erdogan while they were there, a certain modus vivendi had been achieved that benefited a few million people and could be built upon.

      Trump has thrown it all away for nothing, and then justified it with some inane remark about D-Day. Which reminds us that the man is an oaf, and unfit for office. And if it was the right move, where is the dividend for the USA? Because for a couple of years now Erdogan has been building bridges with Putin, and they must both be laughing at this latest example of Trumpery. Which for others might confirm that Trump really is a creature of the Kremlin.

  12. As so often, Jac, you put it so much better than anyone else could. I too am utterly appalled by this; it’s one of those rare occasions when I find myself in full agreement with something on

    Even there, though, they acknowledge as you do that the only people who can really salvage the situation from here are the more sensible people within the US Republican Party. No-one can take the Democrats seriously after Obama bottled it over Syria’s use of chemical weapons. This wouldn’t have happened if John Bolton had still been in position.

    It’s tempting to say that the way forward would be for the Republicans in the House and Senate to join the impeachment proceedings as get Trump out as soon as possible, to be replaced by Mike Pence – a far better man in every way – who would then have a decent run-up to next year’s election. The problem with that is I’m highly skeptical whether the alleged basis for impeachment has any legal merit.

    If the US doesn’t change course the outcome of this is likely to be very, very bad for the whole Eastern Mediterranean region. I can’t imagine the EU being any use at all, since it will be too frightened by the prospect of the Turks reigniting the migrant crisis which it handled so badly the first time around.

    We truly live in disturbing times.

    1. That’s very kind of you. It wasn’t easy to write but it had to be said.

      By the way, the final link doesn’t work.

      1. Thanks Jac. In fact there was only one link in my comment, under the words “something on”. In my browser, this is highlighted in blue text and works as it should.

        For some reason the rest of my comment appears in red text. I’ve no idea why that should be! There’s no link associated with it.

    2. Dafis

      In total agreement with you, Jac & Eos, that this ranks as one of the most insane acts by any major power in a long time. However it is calculated.

      The major Western powers ( and USSR /Russia) have focussed far more on stirring the pot in the Middle East rather than working towards a genuine peaceful resolution. A fairly recent work, Shadow Wars, written by Christopher Davidson is recommended as a comprehensive analysis of the skullduggery of USA, UK and EU policy towards the region and wider Islamic context. You may not agree with all its minutae but it gives a highly credible insight into what, to us, often seems like irrational conduct. These powers collect and dump minor allies like you and I change shirts ! This is yet another example of such behaviour, probably the most sickening of recent decades.

      As for Trump he is the tip of a sick iceberg. USA has a power elite that doesn’t give a shit for anything or anybody that falls outside its self interest, and that goes for its own population as much as it applies to the rest of the world.

      And the EU ? Well they are already shitting themselves in response to Erdogan’s threat to dump a few million refugees into Europe so not much action to be expected from that lot. No doubt Ms Swinson will have a clever answer to this predicament in her bottomless stock of enlightenment.

      1. Wrexhamian

        The USA and its western allies have been looking the other way as regards Turkey’s behaviour for too long now, on the premise that it’s a ‘bulwark’ against the forces of evil. In the meantime, Turkey has become a nasty little number engaging in casual genocide against one of its own national minorities (not an ‘ethnic’ minority, btw, since the Kurds are native to the country). Now they’re engaging in a second imperialist venture (the first was the North Cyprus land grab). Their supposed ‘bulwark’ status, and their membership of NATO, give them free reign to commit war crimes and to violently suppress domestic opposition.

        The forthcoming, inevitable, massacre of Syrian Kurds, and the likely breakouts from ISIS detention camps, should be regarded by the west as a game changer. If Trump can be legally removed from power and replaced by a proper president, then that new president should look to ways of taking Erdogan by the scruff of the neck and giving support to the west’s REAL allies, the Kurds.

        1. The problem is that the Turks have always been reluctant to admit there is a Kurdish minority, of maybe 15 million. When Ataturk came to power in 1923 the Kurds were classed as ‘Mountain Turks’!

        2. Eos Pengwern

          The conundrum, to which there’s no easy answer, is that the security of the Eastern Mediterranean depends to a large extent on denying Russia access to it. Turkey controls the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, and so long as it is in the NATO column then it can keep the Russian Black Sea fleet bottled up for as long as it likes. If it were to switch sides, then you’d have Russian cruisers all over the Mediterranean and able to close down the Straits of Gibraltar and/or the Suez Canal whenever they wanted to. The economic impact on both Europe and China would be immense.

          Hence the West needs to treat Turkey with kid gloves, or else accept the prospect of an all out war with it to try to reverse the outcome of the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

          The point is that until Trump made his monstrous error of judgement, he had the means to keep Turkey contained and on-side while protecting the Syrian Kurds, for remarkably little cost and risk. Now he’s made it much, much harder. It looks so very much like Reagan’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 1984 – a terribly foolish action by a man who in every other way was a very fine President indeed – which in retrospect, because of the way it emboldened the Islamic extremists in Lebanon and beyond, destablised the Middle East for decades to come.

      2. Brychan

        May I correct you Dafis. Turkey does not have a few million refugees. What it does have is refugee camps that are within Turkish territory and these are run and paid for by UNHCR. Under this, the EU has a payment agreement of €6bn to finance these camps, the rest of UN membership also pay in, including Russia.

        It’s an important point is not mentioned on the BBC, but it is on RT.
        In effect these refugee camps are a temporarily UN administered territory.

        Turkey is a signature to both the 1950 and 1967 UN conventions. These refugees cannot be bartered and cannot be ‘dumped’ in the EU. Individual EU countries can resettle them voluntarily as some did so by their own consent. The ‘dump’ threat, or any violation of the camps is a violation of treaty and would result in UN sanctions or enforcement action. The last time this happened was in Sudan where 26,000 troops were deployed under UN command. You cannot remain a member of Nato without adhering to the 1950 and 1967 UN conventions.

        Erdogan has made the ‘open the floodgates’ threat every year to his party conference in Turkey since 2016. It’s been viewed as an empty threat and considered domestic electioneering. It has not happened due to the points already made, however, his restatementin the current circumstances may carry more credibility.

    3. Big Gee

      A little matter of some spurious code tags being inserted in your comment Eos. Probably inadvertently copied from another programme used to edit the wording before being pasted into your comment on here.

      All sorted now.

        1. Big Gee

          Croeso Eos,

          Yes that would explain it. There were a & /a HTML anchor tags at the start and end of the wording shown in red.

          No harm done – just a bit of confusion, where readers may have assumed that there was a hyperlink embedded under the wording in red.

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