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Winston

When Friends Fight (language)

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This relentless bashing of The President over Turkey and The Kurds is asinine and needs to stop. Sometimes, allies have disagreements. There’s always the option of going Wilsonian multinationalist, and trying to “solve” the issue. Not only does that rarely work, but it often creates more problems. The nation-building after WWI helped set-up the conditions that set WWII ablaze. And Africa is still paying for that hubris.

News flash: President Trump is a nationalist. I know some think that simply means he’s a bubba with secret fascist leanings, and an affinity for nighttime bonfires. But you knew what we were getting when he was elected. We were sick of all these wars and foreign entanglements that cost the US in dollars and American lives. We all wanted out. Trump is now doing that. And everyone is bitching like their dog was kicked.

I respect the Kurds, and honor their fighting spirit. I am saddened by the loss of life that our other “ally” Turkey is inflicting on them. But dammit, look at a map. Find Syria. Look north to Turkey. Look north again to The Black Sea. Look up one final time… see it? That’s Russia.

Besides neocons and Trump-hating liberals, y’know who else is pissed about Turkey’s border incursion? Syria and Russia. Turkey is in a damn tight spot. I’m not excusing their current invasion, but I understand why it’s happening. The Turks need to secure their southern flank. The Bear is already breathing down their necks from their Black Sea ports. And despite their “frenemies” photo ops, Putin and Erdogan trust each other as far as they can throw one another.

We shouldn’t trust either of them as well, but we need Turkey. We need them as a buffer against further Russian expansion into the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Erdogan is a piece of work. But he’s the bastard that we have to deal with. If I had my way, I’d love to kick Turkey out of NATO tomorrow. But we can’t. If you’re thinking similarly, get over it. Not everyone on our team can be as refined as Brussels and the Netherlands.

In 1982, we had a similar problem with Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. The US was a member of NATO, and a member of the Organization of American States (OAS). We legally, and morally, could not take sides. But we did. On the “down-low”, the US supplied Britain with fuel, munitions and intel for their invasion. It leaked out later that the US wasn’t exactly neutral in the conflict, but it was worth the political slings and arrows.

Because in 1982, The Cold War was in full-swing, and England was a key ally in keeping The Soviets bottled-up. Hey, my dad used to live in Argentina, and I wish no ill on them gauchos. But the Argentine government rolled the dice and it came up craps. People were going to die regardless. If anything, the US assistance saved lives by making the lop-sided conflict shorter.

Argentina licked it’s wounds, and swallowed it’s pride. Great Britain had a parade and went back to containing the commies. And a few years later, The Soviet Union fell.

I’m not saying that we should help the Turks. But I think getting out of their way (this time) makes sense. If the Argentinians surrendered quickly in ’82, they would have lost a lot fewer lives. Perhaps the Kurds should think about that. And perhaps everyone should shove their histrionics into the drawer next to their unused set of big-boy realpolitik pants. Consider putting those on.

We need to protest what Turkey is doing, but putting excessive pressure on them will be counterproductive, and quite frankly asinine. If we end up isolating them, Turkey will have no choice but to cozy-up to Russia. Again, look at that map. Think about that.

So finish up with all the moral outrage and virtue signaling. Sometimes, the bully gets away with it. Working yourself into a lather is just self-abuse. And your irrational urge to lash-out will only make a bad situation worse.

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  1. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Hi Winston. I hope you don't mind me mentioning a couple of facts that could help improve the quality of your piece. These concern the United Kingdom or, as I currently refer to it, the Disunited Kingdom.

    You mention Great Britain and England in regards to the Falklands War. I know this can be confusing for many non-Brits, and quite a few Brits get it wrong too:
    The United Kingdom is England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland plus many smaller islands that surround our shores.
    Great Britain is the island that comprises England, Scotland, and Wales (the term "Great" is a reference to it being by far the largest island of the group).
    England is one country in the UK, though it's the largest and, to varying degrees, determines the laws of the other three (their levels of autonomy vary).
    As far as the military is concerned, I believe it's regarded as the United Kingdom's military force. Sometimes you might hear the term "Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

    You appear to have used "Great Britain" and "England" interchangeably, but they aren't.
    I hope that helps.
  2. SueC's Avatar
    Winston, I would like to add my two cents worth as well.

    From your first sentence - "This relentless bashing of The President over Turkey and The Kurds is asinine and needs to stop," you might put anyone reading on the defensive. You are making an attempt, IMO, to minimize and degrade ANYONE else's opinion on the matter, especially those who don't agree with your abrupt statements, and to be honest that tactic sounds a little too familiar. Instead of a personal rant, if your blog was an attempt to dissuade others from "relentless bashing," then again, IMO, it failed to do so. I think to be more effective, it would be necessary to at least acknowledge reasons why others may disagree with you. Certainly, adding your opinion is important, but doing so in such a disrespectful way is probably going to gain you more nay-Sayers than fans.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    SueC
  3. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine
    Hi Winston. I hope you don't mind me mentioning a couple of facts that could help improve the quality of your piece. These concern the United Kingdom or, as I currently refer to it, the Disunited Kingdom...I hope that helps.
    Sorry for any offence. And I don't mean further disrespect, but it's hard for some of us that see your nation, small enough to fit inside the Sate of California, with such intense regional differences.
    I mean, people in Los Angeles make fun of folks in San Bernardino, but they are really the same people.
    But then again, aren't we all, once we shed those labels?

    And Sue, I appreciate you reading my blog. I knew that the title would attract people because of the universal emotional draw to "friends fighting". I was also aware I was abrasive in my opening line. Both were intentional.
    I have written (IMHO) other posts that were more "bland" and inoffensive, yet received little to no feedback.
    Yet, in this short amount of time, I already have two comments. Does that say something about me, my writing, or perhaps something else?
    I did not say criticizing The President was asinine. I implied that the continuous, partisan badgering was. If you read through my entire blog, I spell out why Trump may in fact be correct in this case. If you, or anyone else, was triggered by my assertion that he could sometimes be correct, I apologize.

    I'm not selling soap, or kissing-up to endear myself to the masses. If you are somehow implying that I should change my writing style to do so, I humbly disagree.
  4. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Sorry for any offence. And I don't mean further disrespect, but it's hard for some of us that see your nation, small enough to fit inside the Sate of California, with such intense regional differences.
    I mean, people in Los Angeles make fun of folks in San Bernardino, but they are really the same people.
    But then again, aren't we all, once we shed those labels?
    Take offence over minor factual errors? I assume that people come here to hone their writing skills, so wish to avoid mistakes like incorrectly interchanging UK, Great Britain, and England.

    As for the regional differences, I imagine they are the product of being populated from a time when people rarely travelled outside their own villages, never mind to other regions. Had there been a road and rail network a thousand or so years ago, I suspect today's regional differences would be far less pronounced.

    Please don't assume that everyone is taking offence. I can cope quite readily with reading views that differ from mine, as evidenced by the presence of Mein Kampf in my kindle.
    Updated October 12th, 2019 at 06:31 AM by Phil Istine
  5. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine
    ...I can cope quite readily with reading views that differ from mine, as evidenced by the presence of Mein Kampf in my kindle.
    Did you actually just write that? Comparing my blog post with Mein Kampf?
    Wow.
  6. velo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Did you actually just write that? Comparing my blog post with Mein Kampf?
    Wow.
    No, what he said was he can deal with reading divergent opinions. He has Mein Kampf on his kindle despite not espousing Nazi ideology. This was not comparing your post to that book.
  7. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Did you actually just write that? Comparing my blog post with Mein Kampf?
    Wow.
    I was going to respond, but Velo has said what I would have. You can write well, Winston, so I'd appreciate it if you refrained from sophistry; you're better than that. This is not written as a moderator but as a forum member.
    Thanks.
    Updated October 14th, 2019 at 12:25 AM by Phil Istine
  8. midnightpoet's Avatar
    Since WW11, the U.S. keeps involving itself in other countries' business, not always successfully (and often counter-productive), and is a legitimate concern, and should be addressed with intelligent and bi-partisan study and comment. In this current climate of internal bickering and blame-making, I'm not sure that is even possible, but I'll give Winston a "E" for effort.
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