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Message Forum - GENERAL

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10/12/19 07:20 AM #9571    


Jack Mallory

Don't worry, Nora, we know there's a difference between kitty cat jokes and "pussy jokes." Some of us just don't think they're both funny. 


Meanwhile, in the ever-convoluted and contradictory world of Trumpian policy:

But yesterday (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/world/middleeast/trump-saudi-arabia-iran-troops.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share)

"WASHINGTON — The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday . . . 

". . . since May, Mr. Esper said the Pentagon has deployed about 14,000 additional forces to the gulf region. That includes airborne early warning aircraft
, maritime patrol planes, Patriot air and missile defense batteries, B-52 bombers, a carrier strike group, armed Reaper drones and other engineering and support personnel."

Trump believes the nearly $90 billion dollars of military equipment the US has provided the Saudis over the last 10 years are justified because, unlike the Kurds, the Saudis were there with us at Normandy. He remembers the scene in Saving Private Ryan when they charged off the LSTs on their camels, burnooses flying in the wind. 

And because we either have to laugh with the real news (even we PC humor-impaired) or abandon all hope, it's worth noting that one of Giuliani's Russian-born connections owns a club called Mafia Rave. The other heads a business called Fraud Guarantee. No, not making THIS shit up. 

10/12/19 07:50 AM #9572    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

Hmm. Really, Joan? You mean actions really DO  speak louder than words? Like the Nats (yay Sánchez!) winning last night & not just making predictions? Like staging a political impeachment inquiry vs. infusing fairness in the process by having a House vote on it? Like anti-Trump protestors in Minnesota throwing rocks at cops (& their horses) & burning MAGA hats & not just peacefully carrying signs? You mean Trump displaying military power & not just making verbal threats? You mean Clinton, Weinstein, Epstein, Cosby raping women & not just ‘locker-rooming’ with the guys? You mean debating whether serial murderers should be punished by lethal injection but actually choosing to eradicate infants by injection? Or using the N word as opposed to wearing black face on Halloween? Or calling someone an illegal alien & being fined $250,000.00 for it? Kinda like that stuff? 

10/12/19 09:35 AM #9573    


Jack Mallory

"Trump displaying military power & not just making verbal threats?"

Could you explain, in a way that might satisfy grieving families in the US and overseas, the accomplished, measurable benefits of this display of military power? With evidence, of course.





10/12/19 10:10 AM #9574    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

Let’s see. A couple come to mind: Two years ago, Trump’s air attack in response to Assad’s use of chemical weaponry. Today’s deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia in answer to Iran’s attack on the kingdom’s oil plant. Actions. Not words. Facts. In my view, the rest of your request would be conjecture, resting on subjective “spin” & open to interpretation. Perhaps you can eloquently satisfy grieving parents better than I, Jack? Feel free..


10/12/19 11:06 AM #9575    


Jack Mallory

No, feel free, Nora. Go ahead, conjecture, as we all do, based on facts as you know them. All our opinions and conclusions are, or should be, fact-based. Grounded in reality, with the evidence for that view of reality made clear.

Otherwise, "displaying military power" and other euphemisms become flat, opaque stones that hide the bodies, pieces of bodies, or the bodies so atomized that pieces becomes a meaningless word. 

I don't pretend to be able to speak comfortingly to the parents of the dead.

10/12/19 11:49 AM #9576    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

That’s the point: none of us can pretend to assure families that bad things can’t result. But that doesn’t mean that we stop reacting to bad things with action as opposed to empty rhetoric. IOW, use of deadly force in lieu of empty (red line?) rhetoric. Committing a thousand troops is potent. Economic pressure, particularly when low impact, not so much. I’ll take political damage over neglecting to act, any day. Most days, any way. We’ve come a long way in message: nation building is not trending and America is a force to be reckoned with. 





10/12/19 02:44 PM #9577    


Jack Mallory

There's another one: "Use of deadly force." 

Realistic translation: the use of high explosives, napalm, white phosphorus, bullets, bayonets, whatever comes to hand--or just hands--to dismember, disembowel, blind, burn, or otherwise kill and maim people. Enemies, friends, civilians, young, old, unborn, male, female, good, bad or just plain human, like us. And the obliteration of their homes, hospitals, jobs, churches, schools and all the other places humans live their lives.

And don't even get me started on "potent"!

Everytime we speak of war we should force ourselves, and our politicians and generals, to use the words that express the truth. 

If I had any interest in a tombstone, it would be graven with Hemingway's words: "Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry, and ask the dead."

50 years ago, I was a 23 year old Army captain in Vietnam. What in the hell were they thinking?

10/12/19 04:06 PM #9578    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

Do you find validity in the logic that up until now, it’s been preferable to fight enemies across the oceans as opposed to wars being fought on US soil? Whether that view is applicable today or not, the man you find so repugnant is against staying in these long fought wars, none of which he helped orchestrate. McCain, Graham, Carter, both Bushes, Obama, Reagan, both Clintons & Biden all had greater hands in creating today’s world frictions than Trump ever has. You can believe it’s because of his investments, his view of past failures, his staff, his politics, his campaign promises but it looks like he’s your man if you want a president who ‘wants out’. 

10/12/19 05:11 PM #9579    


Jack Mallory

"preferable to fight enemies across the oceans as opposed to wars being fought on US soil?"

This is a totally false dichotomy. The question shouldn't be whether wars should be fought here or there, the question is whether they shold be fought at all. Fighting unjustified wars in Vietnam or Iraq, for example, isn't preferable to fighting them in the US. The wars were unjustified regardless of where they were fought. Because unjustified wars are fought outside the US simply means the dead are overwhelmingly not American. But the deaths of those Vietnamese and Iraqis was totally unjustified, and on our moral shoulders. 


A President who wants out? 

If you didn't see it the first time:

"WASHINGTON — The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday . . . 

". . . since May, Mr. Esper said the Pentagon has deployed about 14,000 additional forces to the gulf region. That includes airborne early warning aircraft
, maritime patrol planes, Patriot air and missile defense batteries, B-52 bombers, a carrier strike group, armed Reaper drones and other engineering and support personnel."


Johnson told us he wouldn't send American boys thousands of miles to fight foreign wars. We shouldn't have trusted him, and I'll be damned if I'll trust the lying, policy shifting inhabitant of the White House today. And damned if I know why you do.


10/12/19 05:30 PM #9580    

Jay Shackford

Impeached by the Perfect Call

Nori – Congrats to your niece, Emma, and the Mystics.  She’s very attractive and has a great job.  

On a more combative topic, I will grudgingly admit that Nori was justified in questioning my earlier post.  The second phrase of my opening paragraph, as Nori so noted, failed line up perfectly with the ending. In my quest to write a clever lede, or as Trump might say “perfect” opening, my left-leaning thoughts got the better of me and I wrote something that didn’t quite match what I intended to say.  

Let me clarify.  I did indeed rejoice the Nats 10th inning win.  That was a great comeback – one that will be remembered for years. Last night’s one-hitter wasn’t bad either.  Go Nats!!!

But to be truthful, baseball and the ongoing and never-ending Trump scandal mix about as well as oil and water.  In this case, the Nationals and baseball represent the sparkling fresh water necessary to sustain life; the Trump scandal is that oily grime that coated the Gulf of Mexico and its coast following BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout several years ago.  Or, as Michael Cohen says, “everything Trump touches dies.”

To be perfectly honest, let’s say I am greatly relieved and encouraged that the House is moving forward with its impeachment inquiry.  The faster we impeach and remove Trump from office the better.  The guy is a train wreck – reckless, dangerous and un-American to the core.  But I’ve said all that before.  

But this little exchange did give me an idea for my next t-shirt promotion – “Impeached by the Perfect Call.”

Joanie – I, too, am impressed by your artistic talents, and I apologize for not making it to your showing in Maryland in August.  I got sidelined in late summer for about three weeks with a bug I caught coming back from the West Coast.  But Nina and I enjoyed viewing your website.  I promise you I will make it to your next exhibit.  

Nori – Johnny and Kitty Adams make a great couple.  They started dating in high school and have been married for more than 50 years.  Johnny, Dean Scalvounos (not sure about the spelling either) and a kid named Dick Cass were my best friends and teammates in 6th and 7th grades.  John and Dean were a year ahead.  We all played for Sportsman, a sporting goods store that sponsored our American Legion team.  The store was on Wisconsin Ave. about three blocks my house.  I played third, Johnny short, Dick was our catcher and Dean played centerfield.  

Dean was an amazing player – a very mature 12-year old Greek kid and a natural athlete who could hit the ball a country mile.  Joe Branzel, who was a scout for the old Washington Senators and later the Minnesota Twins (Branzel, along with a couple of DC cops, also coached my 8th and 9th grade football teams at Jelliff Boys Club in Georgetown), started scouting Dean when he was playing as a freshman at Bullis Prep, where Dean coached for years after college. Dean’s parents owned a commercial laundry that did business with all the major restaurants and numerous hotels in DC.  Dean’s parents were good friends with the Greek owner of Blackies House of Beef – remember that joint. Dean was the only kid to go to school every morning with starched underwear.  Sorry Dean, but I couldn’t resist adding a little color to this story.  

The first time I saw Dean play during tryouts for Sportsman, I was blown away, “This guy plays like Mickey Mantle! He’s a sure bet to make the pros– he could hit, throw, field and run, and had the perfect body and attitude (confident but not cocky).”  He also was a super good friend and fun to be around.  He was so much better than anyone else in the league it was ridiculous.  Dean’s homers would fly into a stand of trees in deep left or center never to be found. (No fences on our fields back then.)  

When Dean entered Bullis Prep as a 9th grader, he played with the prep football and baseball teams as a freshman – a 15-year-old playing with kids 18 and 19.  He was that good.   Back then Bullis and a few other prep schools recruited high school athletes who had pending scholarships with major schools but needed a year of prep school to pull up their grades.  The Bullis Prep team played the Navy Plebes, the freshman team at Maryland and other prep and freshman teams of major schools in the area.  

We used to hang out together during the summer months at Bethesda Rec Center over by Dean’s house in Somerset, where Mike Trainer – another BCC grad, believe 1959 – ran the recreational program. Mike was a classy, very competitive guy who went on to law school and then became the manager for boxer Sugar Ray Leonard –an Olympic boxing champion in 1976, one of the best middle-weight boxers of all time and the first boxer ever to earn more than $100 million during his career.  

Interestingly, Mike Trainer raised $21,000 from 24 friends (most of them BCC grads, Dr. Carl McCarthee, Ricky Sullivan, ’64 Mike Windsor, just to name a few) following the 1976 Olympic games to underwrite the beginning of Sugar Ray’s professional career.  After I moved back to DC, I opened the Washington Post one morning to see a full-page ad purchased by Sugar Ray thanking by name each of his 24 sponsors.  Classy act.  Remember, back in those days, boxing was ruled by the Mob.  By underwriting Sugar Ray’s training costs for his first couple of fights, Trainer was able to keep Sugar Ray mob-free.  This allowed Sugar Ray to have a great career and retire as a very wealthy guy.  Remember those classic Coke or Pepsi ads performed by Sugar Ray’s young son, including the runway ad with the Mean Joe Greene of the Pittsburgh Steelers.     

Hey, I’m on a memory roll. Let me tell you about our catcher, Dick Cass, whose dad was an officer in the Coast Guard and was transferred to California as we were going into 8th grade.  Dick was a solid athlete and the smartest of all of us. Rather than moving to California for a couple of years and then moving again before graduating from high school, he entered a prep school in Pennsylvania – believe it was Mercersburg, PA prep and then went to Yale for undergraduate and law school.  That’s when I lost track of Dick.  Years later, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, I saw someone on the podium during the victory celebration who looked familiar and discovered that Dick Cass was President of the Baltimore Ravens.  Shortly later, the Post ran a profile piece on Dick, mentioning that he spent part of his youth in the Bethesda area. 

That’s it for now from memory lane.  Bests everyone.  














10/12/19 07:17 PM #9581    


Joanie Bender (Grosfeld)

Hi Jay,

thanks for those nice comments about my art website and I would love you to go to my next show when I have one. Thank you. Also, I agree completely with your take on Trump. I find him really dangerous to our democratic way of life. I am thankful that the courts are checking him and that Congress is doing oversight regarding the Impeachment inquiry.More and more Americans are agreeing that this is the right course. Love, Joanie.

10/13/19 09:27 AM #9582    


Joanie Bender (Grosfeld)


This article explains what is going on regarding our foreign policy in the Trump Administration. For anyone worried about corruption, this should really be an eye opener. Love, Joanie

10/13/19 11:01 AM #9583    


Joan Ruggles (Young)

Golly Nori. When I said his actions are more offensive than his words, I thought I was reacting to your observation that people are offended byt Trumps "naughty words". I must have missed something in between. But rant on. You seem to enjoy it so. 

Oh and you can count me as one of those who find your cartoons unfunny. I wasn't going to mention it but since you brought it up. It's not that they aren't PC, it's just that I've never been a fan of old people jokes about forgetting stuff and not having sex. But post on if you have secret fans. And don't lecture me about not having a sense of humor. I'm sure I've mentioned that I married a stand-up comedien who spect 30 years writing sitcoms. You may hate sitcoms but the guy knows how to make me laugh. Sadly you don't. 

10/13/19 11:11 AM #9584    


Joan Ruggles (Young)

Jay, I just read your wonderful recounting of your memories from your days with your friends in Bethesda. I will admit I'm no fan of watching any sports at all, but was struck by how well you write! I was carried along about people I don't know and about sports that don't interest me and it was interesting right up to the end. Have you ever considered writing a book or memoir? I bet it would be terrific. I can see how you were able to have a long career as a journalist.....before they were "the enemy of the people". 

10/13/19 11:46 AM #9585    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

Enjoyed thoroughly your memory piece, Jay. It brought to the surface memories for me, as well. We lived directly across the street from the Sclavounos house at the bottom of Chevy Chase Blvd. (off Wisconsin Avenue). Remember just about all of what you described. Can fill in a couple of new facts: my younger brother John was best pals with Johnny and one of my fave stories was when Mrs. Sclavounos caught them smoking behind a tree in their back yard. She said if they were going to use grown up cigarettes, they were going to smoke ‘em like real men & showed them how they should take a deep inhale to enjoy the full experience. Both boys copied her, dragging in the full extent of smoke & instantly doubled over, hacking & coughing & choking their lungs out. Neither boy ever picked up a cigarette again. My mom, on the other hand, caught my older brother, Buck, with smokes & punished him by washing his mouth out with soap & sadly, he became a life long smoker. 

Dick Cass, my heart throb in Mrs. Slover’s 6th grade class, gave me my first kiss which was happily delivered during a sneaky little group “lights out” basement game of “spin-the-bottle”, while my parents were upstairs watching Ed Sullivan. That aside, a fave pastime in those days was having a slumber party where we girls would peer from my bedroom window at a shirtless Dean S. as he washed his dad’s car on a Saturday morning. Ah, the innocence. Ah, the fantasies. 

Joan, how fun to have a stand up comedian in your world! I’m jelly! My fave stand up du jour is Sebastian Maniscalco. He’s on NetFlix, if anyone wants to catch him. With the world the way it is, humor is at a premium but then, maybe not for everybody: 


10/13/19 04:14 PM #9586    


Jack Mallory

​Humor. Some folks like jokes about women--their genitalia, weight, or looks, and suggest that those who don't find such topics gut-bustingly funny lack a sense of humor. 

Me, I get my giggles from history.

10/13/19 04:48 PM #9587    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

Ha! Thank gawd today’s politicians aren’t held to the same ‘Charles’ standard, otherwise we’d have no representation. On the other hand, “double standards” are a-plenty! 

10/13/19 05:03 PM #9588    


Jack Mallory

Today, tomorrow, and Tuesday, all forecast to be gorgeous, right in the middle of peak color. Today on Spoonwood Pond, tomorrow Deb and I to Willard, Tu I'm back at Grafton. Vitamin I is going to be crucial.

10/13/19 08:13 PM #9589    


Jack Mallory

Nora's Col. MacDougal said approvingly that Trump has won in Syria, checkmating all the major players. 

What did Trump win? Did anybody win anything? 

Been watching the news at Deb's. Hundreds of civilian casualties, including children. Captives murdered on the side of the road by Turkish-backed Syrian fighters. Hundreds of thousands driven from their homes. Hospitals destroyed and abandoned. Scores of high value ISIS prisoners, thousands of ISIS family members and sympathizers escaped from custody. 


If this is winning, what would losing look like?

10/14/19 06:09 AM #9590    


Jack Mallory

Cute meme trivializing Black Lives Matter, Nora. Did you find that before or after another Black person was killed in their home by a White police officer, under highly questionable circumstances?


10/14/19 07:44 AM #9591    


Joanie Bender (Grosfeld)

Oh, that is such a tragic story Jack. I am so sorry. It happens all too often to the Black community. Love, Joanie

10/14/19 08:29 AM #9592    


Jack Mallory

Can you post a copy of this for us, Nora? Sounds like a real knee-slapper! Even has Trump shooting Black  Lives Matter in the head! And clubs John McCain! 


10/14/19 09:07 AM #9593    

Jay Shackford

Thank you Joan, Nori and Joanie for your kind words on my trip down memory lane.  I often say to myself, "Man, we were very fortunate to grow up in Bethesda where we were exposed to so much at such a pivotal time in American history."  We were very lucky.  

Joan -- I'm impressed, and a little envious, that you're hubby was a stand up comedian and a writer for sitcoms for more than 30 years.  You must have some great stories from your days and life in California.   

Nori -- I didn't realize you lived in the Somerset neighborhood close to Dean's house.   I enjoyed your stories.  Just curious but were you aware that Dick Cass was President of the Baltimore Ravens? After the Ravens' Super Bowl win, I tried to send an email to Dick through the Ravens' website but I don't think it ever made it through.  

I must say that I feel a little guity for not staying in touch with Dean, Dick and many other friends from my youth.  But shortly after high school my parents moved to Hong Kong for four years and I was out of town attending college and then working (Colorado, California and Pittsburgh) for about 11 years.  So that's my rather lame excuse.  I still play golf with Johnny Adams and my other high school buddies once every couple of years when we put together a two foursomes of BCC grads, including Steve Smith, Jim Kessler, Ernie Bauer, Steve Brandt and a several others.    But sadly age and time is catching up with all of us. We haven't done that in a couple of years.  I think its time for another golf outing.  

Joanie -- What's happening on the southern border?  Unfortunately, that seems to be forgotten with all the other crazy shit going on with Old Bone Spurs and the Trump scandal.  Are we still caging kids?  Years from now we will remember the border astrocities as Trump's Katrina -- only 10 times worse. As our BCC-designated "Border Patrol,"  please keep us updated.  

Jack -- Keep the pictures coming so we get an early glimpse of fall for those of us still living in hot, muggy and swampy DC.  Also, that cartoon you posted with all of Trump's over-the-top descriptions of his intellect and character says it all -- "Only I can fix it."  

10/14/19 11:35 AM #9594    


Stephen Cutler

Jay and Nori, you traveled down memory lane and got me thinking about my memories with the two of you. They involved two of the most embarrassing moments of my life at the age of around 9 and 16. I’m embarrassed all over again as I write this, but here goes.

First, Nori. I had a crush on you in the 4th grade (you were MY heart-throb). On Valentine’s Day, I drummed up enough courage to buy you a gift. It was a silk scarf (don’t ask). I gift-wrapped it and snuck into your classroom when no one was there, and I laid it on your desk with a card. I don’t remember what the card said, but probably how I felt (OMG). Well, you didn’t acknowledge the card or the gift on that day or any other day and I was devastated. Despite going through every year of school with you from Somerset Elementary through BCC HS, and living down the street (Chevy Chase Blvd) from each other, I never got up the nerve to bring it up with you after that traumatizing day.  Then at our 30th High School Reunion, some 40 years later, I found the courage to approach you about it. I told you my story and of course, you didn’t remember any of it and you had no idea what I was talking about. You were nice as you always are, but I was embarrassed all over AGAIN. Stupid me, why didn’t I just ask you about it in 1955. Well, today, you and I are good friends, more-so than any other classmate. You check in on me often through texting and/or emailing, to see how I am doing with my back and knee pain issues. I always appreciate your genuine concern. I’m glad to have you in my life. While I don’t have any interest in talking politics like you do on the forum, I do love chatting sports with you, and whether it’s baseball, hockey, basketball or football – you are as well-informed as anyone I have ever known. Go NATS! Thanks again for your friendship and I forgive you…. haha just kidding.

Now it’s your turn Jay. I always admired you –great looking with that blond hair and a terrific multi-sport athlete. We played baseball together and maybe basketball as well. Remember Botsford – he was “the worst” coach. But I digress. You were better than I was at every sport, but you motivated me to improve with some friendly competition. We both were of similar height and weight and played infielder and the guard position in basketball. One night at BCC there was a basketball event/game in the gym between grades (11th vs 12th I think). We were on opposing teams and there was a big crowd watching. I played the game of my life scoring 5 points (that’s a lot for me as I was more of a defensive player – yeah I sucked at shooting LOL). The score was tied with 25 seconds or so left in the game. At the top of the key, I stole the ball and dribbled down the court as fast as I could to try a winning lay-up. You ran after me. Unfortunately, I was heading down the court on the left side of the basket, so it was not going to be an easy shot for me (I was right-handed had trouble making a lay-up on the right side much less the left side). I had a chance to be the hero with a steal and winning shot, but I missed badly, and even worse, the ball bounced hard off the back-board into your hands and then YOU dribbled down the court this time with me in pursuit. You crossed half court and as time ran down, 5-4-3-2 you heaved up a desperate shot with me standing right next to you and it went in at the buzzer. YOU were the hero and I felt as bad as anyone can after the worst 25 seconds of my life. Do you have any recollection of that game or that shot, or like Nori, is it a blank (LOL)? I went into the locker room and sat there bent over with my face in my hands for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, my best friend, Jimmy Goldenberg, came in and helped console me.  I have never forgotten that missed lay-up and your amazing final second shot to win the game. It was amazing! We have spoken at reunions (not about your heroics lol), and I learned that we have another sport in common, golf. It also seems as if our handicaps are similar. Since turning 70, my golf days have been limited because of my back issues, but I hope you are getting out on the course regularly and breaking 80 on occasion.  

And that’s all folks!cheeky

10/14/19 02:43 PM #9595    


Nora Skinker (Morton)

Steve, I am the embarrassed one for not remembering (or worse, not even thanking you) way back on that long ago Valentine's Day, for your thoughtful gift and card.. Let me say unequivacally THANK YOU, kind sir! Truthfully, I was never raised to ignore a gesture of goodwill/affection or any other act of kindness, and I can't help but wonder if that pretty scarf found it's way onto another classmate's desk, may have become separated from the card or even possibly picked up by the teacher, Ms. Phillips! (I realize it's a stretch but could Ms. Phillips have actually been modeling a scarf that was intended for me?) All I remember was being highly consumed by creating fancy Valentine Day boxes with slits in them for that special school occasion. (Could your gift fail to fit inside the box?)  Kids would drop their cards through the slot and then we'd carry our boxes home and open them with excitement when we arrived home from school.  It's amazing how vivid those memories stay in our psyches and how large they can loom when something goes awry! That said, I SO appreciate your taking time to mention me in a more positive light in recent years, Steve. You didn't have to share that, but did. As a postscript, allow me to convey to all reading this, that your tireless appreciation of life, complete with warmth and wit, in the face of chronic daily pain continues to inspire me and am sure to all those who have the pleasure of knowing you. Keep the faith, my valued friend. 

My brothers & wives visited this past weekend. One couple follows the Nats, the other follows the Yanks. Last night's Yanks v. Astros game was a real study in understanding every aspect of the game: from pitching choices, to difficult calls, to long counts, to missed & Herculean fielding plays, close sliders at the plate, to micromanagement and analytics, the game had it all. Astros tied the series with 1 after a walk-off in the 11th made it a score of 3 to 2. Good baseball is good baseball no matter who's playing!

Jack, Ret. Army Colonel MacGregor (not MacDougal) had projected a possible (albeit cautionary) strategy for Trump's abrupt pull-out from Syria. No voice was advocating or necessarily approving, save isolationist Rand Paul. Important as it is to show different viewpoints, it was assumed that any attack by Turkey on the Kurds would be, at the least, disasterous to them. That said, the degree of ultimate disaster is unknown since how these warring factions eventually square off, is still unfolding. But our trigger-pulling has indeed signaled all parties and now we are where we are and hindsight thus far is 20/20. The immediacy of the attack, its growing degrees of strength, the demoralization of allied Kurds, not to mention the magnitude of its spread (even to the southwest) makes the ramifications even more disturbing. It reminds me of the premature pull-out from Iraq by Obama which prompted that vacuum in its wake be filled by ISIS and this pull-out threatens to produce an all too familiar vacuum scenario, as well.  If this administration does indeed place debilitating sanctions on Turkey, I pray they are swift and biting. Otherwise, (if it already isn't so) it, for sure, WILL be 'too little too late'. Most options are spent and only strong sanctions are left to save whatever ground, lives, devastation can be salvaged.  Repeating mistakes (swatting flies?) in the Middle East has remained epidemic, regardless of party affiliation and Trump MUST stop Erdogan, sooner  -- not later. As a proponent of exiting endless wars and protecting American troops: upon knowledge of an ensuing onslaught by the Turks, what would YOU have done? I assume not going in to Syria in the first place?





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