Thursday, October 10, 2019

Short Posts 10/10/19. Kurds in Normandy, Gendered Focus in Political Scandals and A Cat

1.  The president of the United States takes many of his talking points — and most of his political advice, it seems — from various right-wing media pundits. 

Thus we learn that Trump's personal defense* for betraying the Kurds (that"the Kurds didn't help the US in Normandy during WWII") most likely came from an opinion piece by Kurt Schlichter on Townhall (a conservative site only slightly more polite than which stated:

Let’s be honest –the Kurds didn’t show up for us at Normandy or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Kandahar.

The linked New York Times article points out that some Kurds did fight for the Allied in WWII, though perhaps not in Normandy, and that in any case the Kurds were not a country but a large group of essentially stateless people, and this is still the state of the affairs.

The real problem here is, of course, not that Trump blurted out something stupid —  that's now part of the job description for the US president —  but that this particular blurting tells us who Trump's real advisors are.  It's this that should be talked about.

Monday, October 07, 2019

In My Great And Unmatched Wisdom...

The words from Our Supreme Leader's tweet today*, as a response to those who criticize him for arranging a genocide of the Kurds by the Turks via having the US troops desert their long-term partners in the fight against ISIS:

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” he wrote.

Bolds are mine.

Cue eerie music.  Then re-check the diagnostic criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder. 

Trump hasn't destroyed Turkey's economy before, not even when "economy" is capitalized.  And his reasons for removing the remaining US troops from Syria right now are such clear evidence of his utter inability to understand any longer-term chains of cause-and-effect in world politics**:

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Mr. Trump wrote. “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.”


While the U.S. move is a gift to Erdogan's government, it will be seen as a stark betrayal by the Kurds who have fought alongside U.S. forces for years to defeat ISIS. The Kurds, former U.S. officials and even some senior Republican lawmakers warned Monday that the U.S. pullout from the region could give ISIS room to rebuild, and send a message that the U.S. is willing to abandon close allies when the political winds change.
Giving ISIS room to rebuild would affect the US and its citizens in the longer-run.  So would letting dictators more and more space on the international playing field***.  And the flow of refugees would continue from war-torn regions, affecting countries geographically quite far from them and causing instability inside their societies.

Sigh.  Why am I even bothering to write about the actions of someone who is not motivated by the kinds of general issues others would find important?   Perhaps those who voted for him, fully knowing what he is like, have similar impossible-to-fathom motivations, like this:



*  At first everyone thought that particular tweet was a parody.  But it's from Trump's feed.  Then other speculations arose:  Maybe the tweet is by an underling who is so frightened by Trump's current mental state and the dangers it causes that she or he is inserting bits which in a sane world would mean that physicians would be sent to the White House to gauge the mental health of the president.

I have no inside knowledge about that tweet, even given my great and unmatched wisdom, but it's not impossible that the veil has been torn off and that we can now see how a narcissist really thinks.  Also, it could be an underling.  Or a hack, but that is less likely, given that everything else sounds like your usual vituperative Trump.

(As an utter aside,  how do I get dried paint out of my hair without cutting it?  I decided to paint the insides of a tall closet by standing inside it, in the darkness, and then I seem to have decided to lean my tired head against the closet wall.   The wide streak of blue is not unbecoming, but I probably should remove it.

**  Trump is incapable of being bothered by the deaths and suffering his decision will cause to non-Americans.  That's because he is incapable of feeling generalized empathy.

*** Which reminds me: Happy birthday, Vladimir Putin!  Yes, his birthday is today which may, of course, be a pure coincidence.