We apparently have reached the smash-and-grab portion of the great grift. El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago knows he's cooked, so he and a few henchmen go out and distract us all by admitting that he's a fool and that they're all thieves while he stuffs his pockets against the advent of a clean getaway. To begin, he sent Mike Pence all the way to Ankara so he can crow about how he solved an age-old problem by enabling genocide on the part of one of the parties. From NBC News:
Pence said that Turkey will suspend its military operations for five days to allow the Kurdish forces to leave the zone, and that U.S. forces will aid in the retreat. The agreement comes amid growing global concern over Turkey’s military incursion in Syria after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces to withdraw from the country, leaving the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG — a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State militant group — without support.
"I'm grateful for the president's leadership. I'm grateful for the more than five hours of negotiations with President [Recep] Erdogan,” Pence said, adding that the parties “arrived at a solution that we believe will save lives."
All right. Let's go to the videotape. Turkey wants to clean out the Kurds by whatever means necessary, but there are American troops there and that could prove to be inconvenient. The president*, for whatever reason, gives Turkey room to invade. Turkey does that, picks up along the way some Arab militias who commit grotesque atrocities. Fleeing for their lives, the Kurds appeal to the Assad government to protect them. Trump sends Pence to Turkey. The Turks agree to a ceasefire during which the Kurds will be moved out of the disputed area, which is what Turkey wanted in the first place. The president* is proud to have stumbled onto enabling atrocities as a diplomatic strategy.
So much winning! Tough love!
"Everybody agreed to things that three days ago, they would have never agreed to — that includes the Kurds," Trump said. "This is a situation where everyone is happy...If we didn’t go this unconventional, tough-love approach … they couldn’t have gotten it done," Trump added. Trump praised and defended Turkey in his remarks to reporters, saying the country was taking actions to secure part of its border with Syria where Kurds have been gaining influence and it had to have that area "cleaned out."
“For many, many years Turkey, in all fairness, they've had a legitimate problem with it," Trump said. "They’ve had terrorists, they had a lot of people in there that they couldn’t have. They suffered a lot of loss of lives and they had to have it cleaned out. This outcome is something they’ve been trying to get for 10 years."
They were waiting 10 years to do stuff like this. From The Independent:
Hevrin Khalaf, the Future Syria Party’s secretary-general, and her driver were ambushed and shot dead on Saturday, according to Kurdish forces. “The nine civilians were executed at different moments south of the town of Tal Abyad,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
In addition, the Kurds got nothing out of this and I would bet a shiny buffalo nickel that Turkey will violate the ceasefire and blame the Kurds and that the president* will go right along with that. They should buy him an umbrella and send him to Munich.
Meanwhile, Mick Mulvaney, the Tea Party drone now functioning as half the executive branch, and someone who should be looking for a lawyer who advertises on billboards in Florida, decided that Thursday would be a good day to 'fess up to crimes past, present, and future. From The Washington Post:
“Did he also mention to me in the past the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, that’s why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said, referring to a conspiracy theory that a hacked Democratic National Committee computer server was taken to Ukraine in 2016 to hide evidence that Kyiv, not Moscow, interfered in the last U.S. presidential election.“I have news for everybody: get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said. “Elections do have consequences and they should, and your foreign policy is going to change … there’s no problem with that.”
The president* is a crook and a paranoid nut, but get over it, America. Wait. Did I just cop to an impeachable offense? Let me see what page that was on. What a crew.
And then, finally, we come to the ultimate smash-and-grab, in which the bits of Article I, Section 9 on the floor are the only clues we ever need. Again from the Post:
That decision is without precedent in modern American history: The president used his public office to direct a massive contract to himself. The G-7 summit draws hundreds of diplomats, journalists and security personnel and provides a worldwide spotlight. The announcement that the president’s club would host the international summit comes as Trump is in the midst of twin crises that are consuming his presidency — a hasty and confused American retreat in Syria and a growing impeachment inquiry in Congress.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who announced the decision, said the administration was not worried about the appearance of a conflict of interest, while he touted what the president’s resort has to offer.
“Doral was far and away the best physical facility for this meeting,” Mulvaney said. He said that the administration examined 10 sites before choosing this one. Mulvaney quoted an anonymous site selection official who he said told him, “It’s almost like they built this facility to host this type of event.” Mulvaney did not say what other sites were vetted.
John Barron was very impressed.
Arrest every damn one of them.
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