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Dominic Gwinn @DominicGwinn
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The Middle East is a clusterfuck, but this is like pulling out in the middle of sex and saying, "I gotta take a shit. Go wash up, we're done here."

"U.S. Military Preparing for Full Withdrawal in Syria"…
TLDR: Shit's fucked. Genocide is all the rage. these days. Turkey wants to buy big guns, either from us, or from Russia. Russia's just fucking with people. Trump wants to GTFO from the Middle East, but the Pentagon has mostly ignored him.

Here's a bad crash course in Syria. 2/x
Why would Trump be pulling the US out of Syria? He doesn't understand 2,000 years of socio-cultural politics in the Middle East. And neither do the vast majority of people who think the US can just leave. The West kinda started & exacerbated much of the sectarian violence. 3/x
Turkey hates the Kurdish people. It's a stretch to say Erdogan wants to join the genocidal maniacs club, but not by much. Erdogan sees all the other cool kids murdering thousands of ethnic minorities, and he wants in on the action. 4/x
Problem: the US has been arming the Kurds to fight ISIS and other jihadis in the region. They've been solid partners, even though the US turns a blind eye to Turkey's murder beef. The Kurds want to create an autonomous Kurdish state, but that might include parts of Turkey. 5/x
The Kurds have been promised their own territory by the West for about a century. Long story short, the Kurds became a stateless people after the West royally screwed them by backing out of a deal to create, "Kurdistan" post-WW1. 6/x
Over the next several decades, the Kurds inhabited a large section of the Middle East, primarily Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. They've since been instrumental in a lot of US adventurism. Without the Kurds, the Middle East would be a very different place! 7/x

Map circa 1980s.
During Iraq 2: Cowboy Booglaoo, Kurdish fighters were powerful allies against insurgents. Kurdish fighters have been dodging Turkish, Iranian, and Iraqi murder militias for decades. They can kick serious ass, especially the women. 8/x

The Kurds are so populous that they almost formed their own state in Iraq last year. The vote was ultimately thwarted. Some polling suggests that, had it taken place, a vote to create an Iraqi-Kurdistan would have passed. 9/x…
When Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad called Obama's "red line" bluff, it was like declaring open season on civilians, children, journalists, and religious/ethnic minorities like the Kurds. Innocent people are/were gassed and bombed indiscriminately. 10/x…
Because the US has been reluctant to intervene in Syria, militia groups like the Kurds fight ISIS, al Qaeda, Russia, and pro-Assad forces. The result is a humanitarian disaster, and groups like the White Helmets are the only hope many people have. 11/x

Turkey is worried the US backing Kurds to fight ISIL/IS/whatever swaps problems. Some Kurdish groups do operate as terrorist cells against the Turkish regime, and the US does recognize this, but notes the many militias don't always align. 12/x…
We're at a crossroads. The US is an ally of both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds. Dumping Turkey would create Cat. 5 Shitstorm. Dumping the Kurds (again) would signal we're untrustworthy, & potentially allow ISIL/Daesh/whatever to come roaring back. 13/x…
On Monday, Turkey announced that it would begin a new offensive against Syrian Kurds, and denied they might target US soldiers providing aid to Kurdish fighters. The Pentagon politely told Turkish Pres. Erdogan to fuck himself. 14/x…
The NYTimes reports that Turkey has been on the phone with Trump since Monday telling him to pull the US out. Turkey denies it would target US soldiers, but we can *infer* that Erdogan told Trump MISTAKES might happen during Trump's X-mas golf vacy. 15/x…
Reuters reports that Erdogan was on the phone with Trump during "Executive Time" this AM and was finally able to convince Trump to pull all 2,000 est. US troops out of Syria. 16/x
Erdogan isn't stupid. He's been playing the US for months. After his security assaulted protesters in DC last year, they humiliation and sanctions, and the Pentagon moved to scrap Turkey's involvement in the F-35 program. Erdogan wasn't happy. 17/x…
For years the US refused to sell Turkey Patriot missiles. Erdogan decided to call Putin and ask for some anti-air toys. He obliged. Yesterday the State Dept. offered Patriots provided Erdogan didn't buy Russian missiles. Erdogan wants both. 18/x…
Unpopular Opinion: When Erdogan snitched on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi he was making a power play for US support.

This does not undermine how horrific and senseless Khashoggi's murder was! If anything, it shows how disgusting politics can be. 19/x
With most American almost as oblivious as Trump to the politics happening around the world, many nations are making similar plays to expand their influence. This is why Russia's involvement in Syria is no accident, it's a strategy. 20/x
Russia allies itself with anyone on the US Shit List. It's just good business. They can sell a ton of cheap, Soviet-era weapons in bulk to pro-Assad forces & Turkey to fight the US via proxy. Most arms dealers do this, and it happens ALL THE TIME. 21/x…
Putin's even sent his Little Green Men to Syria, or rather, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin sent Russian mercenaries to Syria to pick a fight with ...well ...everyone. They've remarkably bad at playing soldier; I assume they're hourly. 22/x…
There's many other factors at play, but the Kurds are (again) getting a raw deal. The Pentagon has been trying to avoid many dumb Trump orders for two years, but openly disobeying an order from POTUS would create a crisis. Who knows what happens now…
BONUS: Trump campaigned on pulling the US out of Not America b/c he thinks it costs money; this is a bastardized view of isolationism. On the other hand, interventionists argue that you ultimately save money by protecting your friends. 24/x

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