October 17, 2019

"Donald Trump's mixture of threats and locker-room banter infuriated Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan."

"His staff told the BBC that he threw the letter into the bin and launched the Syrian operation the same day. That could be proof there was no Trumpian green light. But ever since President Obama partnered up with the Syrian Kurds of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the jihadists of IS it was clear the arrangement would lead to problems with the Turks. That's because the SDF is very close to the Turkish Kurds of the PKK. Turkey says they are two halves of the same terror group. Presidents Erdogan and Trump discussed military action last December. Diplomatic sources here in Ankara suggest that Turkey's broader strategic objective was to detach the Kurds and the Americans. That, at any rate, has happened...."

BBC reports.

68 comments:

Koot Katmandu said...

The latest twist from the Ds is this helps Putin. If I recall correctly it was Obama who invited the Russians into Syria to take away chemical weapons. Now they PDT for helping Russia.

rhhardin said...

It's not locker room banter. It's ordinary guy talk. It's used to negotiate deals.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Locker-room banter? Did he grab Erdogan by the pussy? OK, Althouse hasn't vetted comments yet but I bet a sawbuck I'm not the only one to make this lame jest.

Sebastian said...

"That could be proof there was no Trumpian green light."

You mean, another narrative proves to be another lie? Say it ain't so!

Mountain Maven said...

I am sure Ergodan would have invaded Syria regardless of what Trump's letter said. Obviously the letter was the culmination of a long and failed diplomatic process. I found the letter's bluntness and simplicity to be refreshing.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Of course 'locker-room' banter infuriated Erdogan.

He prefers Turkish-bath banter. If Trump weren't so culturally insensitive he'd know that! Grounds for impeachment as far as I'm concerned I tell you what!

Earnest Prole said...

Dear President Erdoğan:

Please don’t make me your punk-ass bitch, but if you do, I'd like to ask a teeny-tiny favor: please be gentle.

Sincerely Yours, Donald

traditionalguy said...

The BBC needs to immediately send several Divisions of British soldiers and British aircraft carriers to fight their NATO ally Turkey. The cost can count against the Brit's NATO contribution deficiency until it equals out, or until all the British soldiers are dead, whichever comes first. That should be easy for England. And it would teach Putin a lesson, and create Mid-East peace, all with one easy 10 year+ War.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Wait — so there’s chaos and confusion in the Middle East?! NO WAY

This template that the media uses over and over, where things were stable in the ME until some horrific misstep by some clueless American conservative causing awful consequences that we should have avoided by threading the needle just so, is so tired and worn out.
Not useful.

Almost nothing we do is going to matter when ancient clan-based hatreds and rivalries dominate the region, where only power is universally respected.

JohnAnnArbor said...

That's no way to talk to the Sultan!

jnseward said...

So which is it? Is Trump sucking up to a vicious dictator, or is Trump infuriating a vicious dictator? Whatever works.

tcrosse said...

Who knew Erdogan was such a sensitive guy?

Limited blogger said...

I know this is a crisis, because they won't stop telling me it's a crisis.

And of course it's because Trump used 'locker room banter'.

But I can't tell what is so critical?

Char Char Binks said...

Turkish bath talk.

Ken B said...

If there was no green light why the tweet about keeping Turkey in line with his great wisdom ?

Gusty Winds said...

Trump just tweeted "great news" coming out of Turkey. New conference with Pompeo and Pence. Supposedly a cease-fire agreement has been reached.

Maybe it was the "I'll destroy your economy" thing....

Ray - SoCal said...

BBC is very converged and Orange Man Bad.

Sounds like trying to blame Trump for the incursion, now it’s backfired on Turkey.

An Example of the bbc reporting was all the details they left out about the UK couple that was detained, and Canada did not want them back, and they had previously not been allowed entry to the us, and drove through a ditch.

wildswan said...

Trump pulling out will not damage the US in that region or change anything - any more than pulling out of reading late-night mud-slinging between the various factions of commenters on this blog damages or changes anything they say to each other. Rational exchange is one thing; the Hatfields and McCoys at it again is another. In ten years Afghanistan will be intransigeant; Syria torn apart; Turkey the self-appointed leader in the region; Iraq, the self-appointed contender. And if we come back for some reason, they won't know we have been gone nor will they notice when we go again. At least, not the way they'd notice an opportunity to shoot us in the back or to demand a pallet of cash.

henry said...

Reports are that Pence got a ceasefire. So whatever didn't last very long.

Hagar said...

Don't know where this is going yet, but between them, these two have certainly kicked the checkerboard so the pieces flew all over!
No wonder the pundits and bureaucrats across the world have got themselves into an uproar!

Milwaukie guy said...

And now there's a ceasefire.

damikesc said...

If Turkey wants to get itself stuck in a quagmire, we should applaud and encourage it.

Milwaukie guy said...

I also heard but just when I tuned in that the SDF/YPG gets to keep Kobani. Was that right?

doctrev said...

Needing a ceasefire that quickly after declaring an incursion is a gross humiliation for Erdogan, especially considering the Syrians and Russians were motoring their way up there. I'm almost annoyed it got called off: I really wanted to see the media's narrative collapse as Turkey realized that no, their army isn't that good. Ah well, maybe next time.

Gusty Winds said...

Pulling out is a risky, but sometimes effective strategy used for winding down endless middle-east wars, and engaging in unprotected sex. Trump is an expert on both fronts.

Seeing Red said...

Seems deals might be breaking out in other places:

LONDON – More than three years after Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed a breakthrough deal Thursday with EU negotiators that will enable Britain's orderly withdrawal from the bloc.

In a brief statement, Johnson said a "great new deal" had been reached. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said an outline deal was in place. ...

Begonia said...

Mike Pence for President! Please?!

Smithee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

Now if Trump will also pull our troops out of Iraq where, as I understand it, their main function is to assist the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in their "peacekeeping" mission - apparently the Pentagon has not noticed that Geoge W.'s Iraq is long gone and Iran has taken over.

YoungHegelian said...

I'm sorry, but WTF is Erdogan thinking?!

Erdogan's political thought hearkens back to a resurgent Islamic Ottoman Empire, and so he's expecting to reach some sort of modus vivendi with Putin's Russia, which is based on Great Russian chauvinism. Who throughout its history was the Ottoman Empire's great Christian opponent but the Russian Empire?

Russia's ally is Arab Syria. Russians & Arabs -- two peoples who historically have hated the Turks. And here they are, facing off against each other, supposedly in some sort of common cause.

I expect things to go seriously haywire here. I expect that we'll see Russia & Syria involved in a long-term low intensity war with Turkey on Syrian soil, but with skirmishes spilling over into the territories of other countries in the area, including Turkey.

Jim at said...

Slightly OT, but not really:

With this non-stop screaming about Turkey and the Kurds, whatever happened to all those poor immigrant children in cages?

daskol said...

So was Erdogan infuriated and therefore acting in anger, or was this a move aligned with his strategic objectives? That explanation is incoherent except to people convinced Trump just makes bad things happen, in which case it makes perfect sense.

narciso said...

yes, that is the gist of it, Russia and turkey, have been fighting since the 18th century, that's what the battle for Ukraine was about, Azerbaijan was the beneficiary of the war with Persia,

chuck said...

Someday there will be some reporting from the area. Until then it is all boring blather.

Drago said...

Begonia: "Mike Pence for President! Please?!"

The dems have already said they will impeach Pence too, along with Kavanaugh!

Seriously, could you guys be any more transparent?

....(spoiler: No)

Smithee said...

These men are two peas in a pod, one nuttier than the other. Any agreement made between the two much means nothing. Pretty sad that Trump has so many of the same qualities of the various despots of the world. Trump just said that there will be no sanctions against Turkey because of this so called agreement between Pence and Erdogan. Never mind all the human rights violations that have already been perpetrated against the Kurds by Turkey.

Drago said...

doctrev: " I really wanted to see the media's narrative collapse as Turkey realized that no, their army isn't that good. Ah well, maybe next time."

This is precisely the opinion of quite a few mid-grade officers at the Pentagon. Erdogan was going to get his head handed to him AND then he would also suffer the consequences of severe sanctions.

Every single thing the lefties/LLR-lefties have been blathering about for the last several days just went up in smoke.

Again.

No doubt this latest democrat/lefty/LLR-lefty self-own and face-plant embarassment will need to be added to the list of Trump's impeachable offenses centering around exposing the dems and their GOPe allies.

It makes sense that Turkey would want the Syrian kurds out of the area adjacent to the Turkish border to ensure non-connectivity (such as it is) with the Maoist commie PKK Kurds within Turkey.

Somehow that horrible horrible horrible Trump gets the US out of the area AND gets a cease-fire.

Note: The dems/lefties were telling us just yesterday this outcome was impossible.

Impossible.

Trump makes ARM look like an idiot. Again.

Low bar, I know.

Drago said...

Jim at: "With this non-stop screaming about Turkey and the Kurds, whatever happened to all those poor immigrant children in cages?"

They were all killed because of Net Neutrality.

Remember that one?

Bob said...

What Trump is really good at is pulling scabs off of people's skin.

J. Farmer said...

"Trump is anxious to show that he wasn’t simply caving to Turkey, so he threatens to wreck their economy, but at the same time he effectively approved the Turkish invasion that he is now desperate to denounce. His tone somehow manages to be bullying and desperate at the same time. He makes promises that Turkey will gain concessions that he can’t possibly guarantee, and then warns that Erdogan will be seen as “the devil” if he doesn’t comply with Trump’s demands. In what universe would a message like this produce a favorable response? I can imagine Erdogan laughing at this letter, and I can imagine him cursing at it, but I don’t see how he is supposed to take it seriously."
-Trump’s Embarrassing Letter to Erdogan, The American Conservative

narciso said...

ah snorfle:


https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1184902289716367360

stevew said...

Remind me please, who was POTUS when Russia moved on and annexed the Crimea?

eric said...

This story makes no sense in light of recent news they've accepted a cease fire.

n.n said...

Carve Turkey. Gaddaffi Erdogan. Kurdovo, now, right?

n.n said...

Did he grab Erdogan by the pussy?

Front hole? No, but Erdogan risks being Gaddafied through his back hole, if the Democrats return to power.

n.n said...

Meanwhile, Pence Announces Turkey Agreed to a Ceasefire in Syria so U.S., Kurdish Forces Can Leave.

Timelines?

Erdogan may yet escape the Libyan solution, and Turkey may be pardoned and remain uncarved, which is a setback for establishing Kurdovo.

Nichevo said...

An Example of the bbc reporting was all the details they left out about the UK couple that was detained, and Canada did not want them back, and they had previously not been allowed entry to the us, and drove through a ditch.

For reals? More details please. Link?

Earnest Prole said...

You'd think Trump of all people would understand it's off-brand to talk the straight-up-G talk but walk the punk-ass-bitch walk.

Francisco D said...

This story makes no sense in light of recent news they've accepted a cease fire.

The narrative is all. Don't worry about facts or simple logic. That is a tool of White Male Oppression.

Paul Doty said...

It must be true. It was in the news, which is never wrong and never lies. Besides, it validates my preconceived notions which are based in and motivated by my personal hatred.

narciso said...

oh really


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/17/document-adam-schiff-staffer-met-impeachment-witness-ukraine-trip/

rcocean said...

This just in: President Lindsey Graham has expressed "cautious optimism" over the ceasefire. President Romney has yet to comment.

rcocean said...


A young Turk named Erdoğan grew restless on the farm
A Turk filled with wonderlust who really meant no harm
He changed his clothes and shined his boots
And combed his dark hair down
And his American Friend cried as he walked out:

'Don't take your guns to Syria
Don't take your guns to Syria
Don't take your guns... to Syria'

Drago said...

Farmer (quoting some other rocket scientist): "I can imagine Erdogan laughing at this letter, and I can imagine him cursing at it, but I don’t see how he is supposed to take it seriously."

And yet Erdogan did indeed agree to the ceasefire just today.

Looks like this quoted "expert" should have waited just 24 more hours to write his beclowning missive.

What's even stranger is Farmer providing the quote AFTER the ceasefire agreement where Erdogan agrees not to invade.

Or perhaps, not really strange or unexpected at all.

Michael K said...

In what universe would a message like this produce a favorable response? I can imagine Erdogan laughing at this letter, and I can imagine him cursing at it, but I don’t see how he is supposed to take it seriously."

The one we live in where Erdogan's economy is in collapse.

Seeing Red said...

Take the knee, Smithee.

narciso said...

No Erdogan is an islamist, they don't get taken out that way, ergonokon 1 & 2, purged the military of any dissident elements,

Marc said...

When Russia restores the great basilica of the Hagia Sophia to Christian use, I'm planning on writing a thank you letter to Mr Putin.

Milwaukie guy said...

Living in a state that went 40% for Trump, swamped as we were by the Portlandia urban gentry, I can say that the ceasefire will be popular with the red counties. Last month, five youngish reenactor friends of mine deployed to the ME, four to Didja-Booty for security and one to train Jordanian forward observers.

The Trump base is tired of fighting the professional foreign policy experts' wars. The Trump base, the red counties, are very Jacksonian. When you to go war, kill them all and let God sort them out. Then go home. If our country doesn't want to go all out to win, it's not a good idea.

End the wars. Leave Afghanistan with some kind of treaty. Get out! We're not going to culturally transform these boy-fuckers. Punitive expeditions excepted. Retreat from Syria and Iraq.

Regroup to the Gulf and KSA. I think being deterrent in the KSA and Gulf against Iran is fine. It is in the national security interests of the U.S.

Drago said...

Looks like Mitt Romney had a "yesterday speech" that he gave 12 hours too late as well!!

These pro-dem republicans are becoming as flat-footed as their lefty allies!!

Darrell said...

Turkey realized that no, their army isn't that good.

Erdogan is negotiating with those guys and girls at that gun range in Kentucky that ABC news showed in their war report. That should about double their capability.

narciso said...

the kurds are not Erdogan's ultimate objective, that would be the vilayet of Damascus, the heart of the Omayyad caliphate,

Gk1 said...

I wonder if the fundamental reason why the press is being blindsided the past couple of weeks, from Trump de-classifying Ukrainian transcripts to today's unexpected development is because Trump is shutting out the State Dept. and has hired some plumbers to fix the leaks? Wouldn't you think someone would have gotten a whiff of what was going on with this cease fire? The washington media has devolved into democratic stenographers so steadily it's probably alien to them to actually do their own homework and cultivate a story.

Michael K said...

When you to go war, kill them all and let God sort them out.

Moire rubble, less trouble.

bagoh20 said...

I haven't been in a locker room in years, and I still understood the language and the message. Trump didn't expect to get a favorable response from Erdogan. Who would? He just said what he thought, as a competitive man, becuase anything else would look weak, and change nothing. Let them have their endless petty wars over rocks and sand. We got better things to do with our money, technology, and young people, like freedom, and actual goals, and progress.

hombre said...

Was that Turkish locker room banter or American locker room banter? Doesn’t that sound exactly like you would expect Ergodan’s staff would talk to the foreign press on the eve of peace talks? /s

bagoh20 said...

If thousand of people want to kill and die, why do we have to do it for them? They seem perfectly capable of it on the their own. Approximately the same number will die regardless. It's like trying to stop the wind from blowing. Instead, let's actually do some good somewhere, like here.

Michael McNeil said...

“Donald Trump's mixture of threats and locker-room banter infuriated Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His staff told the BBC that he threw the letter into the bin and launched the Syrian operation the same day.”

Ha ha. Lebanese-American writer and scholar Nassem Nicholas Taleb tweeted that “Donaldo's letter to Erdogan will be remembered in international affairs as the 2019 version of the Cossaks letter to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV” — also thoughtfully providing (an excerpt from) the text of that historical document for comparison!

One wonders what Sultan Mehmed IVth's reaction was….