Boots on the Ground

Not sure if you all noticed this, but we’re moving past having just special forces and advisors to the following:

Marines from an amphibious task force have left their ships in the Middle East and deployed to Syria, establishing an outpost from which they can fire artillery guns in support of the fight to take back the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, defense officials said.

The deployment marks a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria, and puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle. Several hundred Special Operations troops have advised local forces there for months, but the Pentagon has mostly shied away from using conventional forces in Syria. The new mission comes as the Trump administration weighs a plan to take back Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Islamic State, that also includes more Special Operations troops and attack helicopters.

Nothing like tip-toeing your way into a fucking quagmire.

(Link if the media player does not work.)

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/qr9n5u/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-america-in-the-middle-east—learning-curves-are-for-pussies






31 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    They warned me that if I voted for HIllary I’d wind up with a warmonger in the White House, and a cabinet full of Goldman Sachs types, and they were right.

  2. 2
    amk says:

    eyerack trifecta is always the charm. loony left understands.

  3. 3
    Feebog says:

    Great, just. Fukien great.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Don’t worry, I’m sure the Trump White House has carefully thought out all of the potential implications and risks associated with this move.

  5. 5
    🚧eric says:

    @Davis X. Machina: *golf clap*

  6. 6
    Lapassionara says:

    @Davis X. Machina: and an administration that uses private email. The horror!

  7. 7
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    but, but…. Susan Sarandon assured us Trump is a pacifist.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    this election finally broke my Tweety addiction: Didn’t he spend a great deal of time saying that trump would keep us out of dumb wars?

  9. 9
    amk says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Rest assured a Hillary presidency would have had US in a war on day one led by wall street types while she was giving speeches to them.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Arkansas Governor Looks to Strip Medicaid from 60,000 People

    Mar 8, 2017, 3:07pm Teddy Wilson

    New restrictions to the Medicaid expansion program would lower the maximum income for recipients and add a work requirement.

    Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Monday announced proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program that would dramatically reduce health-care access for the state’s low-income families.

    The governor’s proposal would lower the income requirement for Medicaid eligibility from 138 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent. That change would reduce the income cutoff for an individual from $16,643 to $12,060, and reduce the income cutoff for a family of four from $33,948 to $24,600.

    If Hutchison’s amendments are approved by the federal government, around 60,000 Arkansas residents enrolled in Medicaid would no longer be eligible for the program.

    he Republican governor said during the press conference that the proposal would only shift people from Medicaid to the federal health insurance exchange and the individual marketplace. “It will not deprive those that are in that category of health-care coverage,” Hutchinson said. “It will just simply shift them if they’re above the federal poverty level toward the individual marketplace.

  11. 11
    joel hanes says:

    I remember when the Green Beret “military advisors” in Laos and Cambodia and South Viet Nam were first reported to be taking on a slightly more active role.

    The reporting was far far behind the reality on the ground, IIRC.

  12. 12

    I saw this the other day and thought, damn we dodged a bullet of having that warmonger Clinton in the Oval Office.

  13. 13
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    establishing an outpost from which they can fire artillery guns

    What could go wrong? (photo)

  14. 14
    RinaX says:

    Just consider me in a semi-permanent ¯\_(ツ)_/¯/”This is fine” state at this point.

  15. 15
    hovercraft says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Exactly, Tweety kept telling me Hillary couldn’t be trusted not to take us into Syria and or start a war with Iran. Twitler was against the Iraq war from the beginning and was not a warmonger. Good thing our new president is a committed isolationist who will not provoke any one for no reason.

  16. 16
    DanF says:

    At least he kept his word this time and didn’t bother announcing that we are putting boots on the ground in Syria to take back Raqqa … So … Hmmm. Suck it libtards?

    So tired of all this winning! /sarcasm

  17. 17
    David Anderson says:

    @rikyrah: most if not all of the people would see no practical change given the Arkansas 1115 waiver. It is the state trying to shift more costs to the Feds

  18. 18
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    They warned me that if I voted for HIllary I’d wind up with a warmonger in the White House, and a cabinet full of Goldman Sachs types, and they were right.

    POTD

  19. 19
    SRW1 says:

    Have they worked out the Torgau procedure with the Russians and Hezbollah yet?

  20. 20
    Spaniel says:

    Remind me which Syrian group we will be providing support to storm Raqqa? IIRC, Obama was blasted four or so years ago for having the CIA and Pentagon backing wrong horses in Syria, as some of those groups ended up pledging allegiance to ISIS; but now we have the right group to be our infantry today?

    Juan Cole had written an article a few weeks ago saying our best option to battle ISIS was Hezbollah. That would be so IRONIC if Cheeto Benito were to actually do that.

  21. 21
    tobie says:

    Yes, I’ve been asking myself cui bono with respect to US ground troops in Syria, and no matter how I slice it I keep on coming back to Russia. If we succeed in the mission, we’ll have done the grunt work for Russia, clearing the field, and if we fail, we’ll be the big enemy in the region, which will weaken the US’s global influence, which is again good for Russia. They have everything to gain with our involvement; we have everything to lose.

  22. 22
    efgoldman says:

    @DanF:

    he kept his word this time and didn’t bother announcing that we are putting boots on the ground in Syria to take back Raqqa

    I still maintain that Salmon Shitstain can’t find Syria on a map. Or iraq. Or Iran.

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    @efgoldman: I think if you took away any lines and names demarcating countries, put him in front of a globe, spun it around and told him to point out the general area of the world where Syria exists, he couldn’t do that at all. He’d probably put it near Australia.

  24. 24
    amk says:

    @tobie: who doesn’t like a fall guy left holding the shitbag?

  25. 25
    Aleta says:

    @joel hanes: When I was a young kid my friend’s dad was shot down in Vietnam, March 1964. His name was Roger Gauvin, a helicopter pilot, said to be engaged in stopping the movement of Viet Cong. Years later some friends figured out he might have been in a different place than reported, the Cambodian border. At that time I believe President Johnson was announcing he would not engage troops, would not involve the US in the war. (The Gulf of Tonkin incident happened around the beginning of August 1964, and I’ve read that our mainstream press printed possibly false accounts of the US being attacked.)

  26. 26
    Aleta says:

    From the article John linked

    The new mission comes as the Trump administration weighs a plan to take back Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Islamic State, that also includes more Special Operations troops and attack helicopters.

    Maybe I’m wrong but isn’t this action based on that Bush-Cheney memo or whatever, written after 9-11, declaring that the president on his own can send troops somewhere as long as it’s part of the ‘war against terrorism.’ This (+ everything John Stewart said) all comes out of that shady undefined power grab 15 years ago, doesn’t it? And it’s still going. Sorry, maybe too simplified, I’m tired, rough to see the thing begin that we were pretty sure was coming.

  27. 27
    sharl says:

    Yup, what a clusterfuck, and one destined to be inherited no matter who won in November. I happen to think Obama did the best he could given the horribly limited options available to him, but as The Poor Man used to say, you can’t unshit the bed once it has been beshitted (not sure if that’s a real word; don’t care). Turns out that our Glorious Iraq Adventure is the gift that keeps on giving; whocouldaknowed!

    Of course, the Giant Ravenous Orange Raccoon who now leads us is far more likely to fuck up an already fucked-up situation than the Email Lady would. Yay us.

    A news article has to be limited in scope and length, unless it is destined for a weekend magazine edition or some other venue appropriate for a long read. Just the same, I wish the linked WaPo article had mentioned the Kurds more than once, since I suspect their presence and activities in that region play a far larger role in this decision by the U.S. than one would gather from the WaPo piece (if that were the only thing you’d read about it). To their credit, within the past week WaPo did post a number of AP pieces that address this very issue. This Bloomberg article offers a more thorough treatment, and this piece that addresses recent Kurdish-Russian alliance discussions comes from a Kurdish English-language media outlet. From the Bloomberg piece:

    The U.S. and Russia have found themselves teaming up for the first time in the war in Syria — against a country both call an ally: Turkey.

    The U.S. and Russia moved this week to block a threatened drive by Turkey to seize Manbij, a town in northern Syria about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Turkish border. A U.S. deployment and a Russian-brokered deal with Syrian forces created buffer zones that headed off any Turkish campaign against the Kurdish forces who hold the town — seen by Washington as key allies against Islamic State and by Turkey as terrorists.

    The Turks are certainly not happy about this of course, feeling that their right to imprison, contain, and otherwise abuse and suppress the Kurds is an internal matter. The U.S. is in a bind between staying on good terms with a proven Kurdish ground force and also staying on good terms with their problematic Turkish NATO allies who let us use their conveniently located Incirlik air base. As a poor landlocked minority, the Kurds are playing one of the few cards they have: playing off the big boys – in this case the U.S. and Russia – to acquire whatever protection they can from predations by their longtime Turkish oppressors. Diplomatic jujitsu has been a critical survival tool for small, poor “third world” entities since forever.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    I am once again grateful that a medical issue prevented my nephew from carrying out his plan to join the Marines this summer, because otherwise he’d probably be on a ship on its way to the Middle East right now.

    I keep urging him to get re-diagnosed and re-medicated for ADHD again (which he does have, only the Devil Woman took him off the medication because it “wasn’t natural”) because it would prevent him from getting drafted.

  29. 29
    sukabi says:

    @dmsilev: yeah, and if things go south it won’t be drumpfs fault, just ask him.

  30. 30
    J R in WV says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My older nephew has tried to get into the Army repeatedly, turned down by medical panels because of his presence on the Spectrum. My brother seems to have always regretted not serving in the military. Being 4 years younger then I, he wouldn’t have been able to volunteer when people who wanted to make the military their career were being discharged as the war was OVER.

    So he seems to have fomented a desire on the part of both his sons to be military. Younger nephew is about to graduate from a private U with dual majors in physics and math, and wants to join has enlisted in the Navy to play with reactors when he graduates next May. This is such great timing as our new Republican administration looks to be starting wars they will manage with their typical incompetence.

    I have to stop now. There is no chance of a good outcome for us in the middle east, none! After 3,000 years of constant conflict there, anyone who thinks we can be the peace-makers on site is crazy AND stupid. Lessee, who do we all know that’s crazy and stupid? I dunno… I need to think harder!!! OH, YEAH, now I remember….

  31. 31
    TenguPhule says:

    @dmsilev:

    I’m sure the Trump White House has carefully thought out all of the potential implications and risks associated with this move.

    He’s gamed it out on Civ IV, with all the cheats on.

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