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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Trump disappoints on Syria (Read 1,310 times)
Demos
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #110 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 2:05pm
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 1:15pm:
And I think you're wrong there.  The calls for Syrian intervention seem to be originating as strongly from the left from where I sit.  It is people on the left I see sharing pictures of what look like blue eyed cute little white kids in Syria being victimized and grandstanding about how something has to be done.

Many to most Democrats have opposed the strikes on Assad. I think it's more of a case of whatever Trump does the other side is going to oppose it, because these things are being driven by partisanship rather than any well thought out position. And if Democrats are wanting to make Syria an issue tied to Russia, they risk offending their own base imo.

If the Democratic leadership really want to own the next forever war, then good luck with that.

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Are you sure it wasn't a political ploy that didn't work out fantastically for McCain's party?  Are you sure Obama being seen as weak on Syria didn't damage Obama and his party in the elections?

In which election? 2012? Romney's attacks on that issue don't seem to have been very consequential. Probably didn't help that it was Romney delivering the message. And I'm going to guess - without reviewing every single Congressional race - that it had zero impact on the House and Senate races. 

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No.  What it presumes is, that Democrats will be FORCED into doing and making whatever calculations they can to be seen as opposing Trump.

And they can do that without making Syria an issue. Where's the value in making it an issue when you have much more relevant things to go after, and things which are easier to explain. You start trying to make Syria an issue and it's going to get very convoluted very fast and most likely come back and bite you. 

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Again you guys are pretending there's only one way force can be applied.

No, just saying there's a difference between someone being manipulated and someone being forced to do something. 

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While we're talking about polls from politico measuring support for Syrian airstrikes ... these ones from April of 2018 instead of the April 2017 polls you shared have some interesting components:

Majority supports Syrian airstrikes - Politico - April 18, 2018

Poll respondents were asked about Trump’s role in ordering the U.S. military to participate in the strike. <snip> Only 34 percent of voters think the controversies around Trump weren’t a factor at all in his decision to launch airstrikes

And another 18 saying minor factor. So, most people see it as not a factor or not a significant one, which I've been arguing here.

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As I've said before it's the elephant in the room that is influencing EVERY policy decision.  Not just the Syrian one.

And I don't think it is, because as pointed out previously, the administration doesn't seem to always make these connections between different issues.

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I think you spend far too much time reading polls and saying "This is what it means" and not enough time considering how the answers will change as the questions asked change.

Actually, I think I suggested polls could ask about Russia in polls about Syria. That would give us a better indicator of whether or not people's opinions about Trump and Russia are impacting their opinions about what we should do in Syria. At this point, the only strong correlation between public opinion on Syria and Trump seems to be partisanship, not opinions about Russia. 

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And considering the ample evidence we can extrapolate from prior answers and prior similar events in presidential history.  You are suggesting that Trump is unique and different than every president that came before him.  I'm arguing he's not really all that much different.  And if anything Trump is more politically calculating than many other presidents have been.

And looking at prior administrations we can look for tells, such as escalation; those don't seem to exist in the direction of Syria policy (we've pointedly tried to avoid escalation). And if he is calculating, why is it Russia that is necessarily the calculation? Could just as easily be that more people support sanctions.  
  
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #111 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 4:38pm
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Demos wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 2:05pm:
Many to most Democrats have opposed the strikes on Assad. I think it's more of a case of whatever Trump does the other side is going to oppose it, because these things are being driven by partisanship rather than any well thought out position. And if Democrats are wanting to make Syria an issue tied to Russia, they risk offending their own base imo.

If the Democratic leadership really want to own the next forever war, then good luck with that.


Well yeah, good luck with that.  And that's exactly what I mean about "whatever" Trump does the other side is going to oppose it.

And I think with Trump, you are talking about Democrats taking a bigger risk offending their own base if they go along with or agree with Trump.   Say ... in supporting his rhetoric and goals in getting our troops out of Syria.

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In which election? 2012? Romney's attacks on that issue don't seem to have been very consequential. Probably didn't help that it was Romney delivering the message. And I'm going to guess - without reviewing every single Congressional race - that it had zero impact on the House and Senate races. 


No.  In 2016.  Those comments from McCain I quoted earlier were from 2015.  And if you don't think the "red line in Syria" comments damaged Obama and the Democrats politically you should tune into American Family Radio once in awhile.  Those people are crappity smacking nuts but I enjoy listening to them.  It's hilarious.  Except those few times when it's terrifying.

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And they can do that without making Syria an issue. Where's the value in making it an issue when you have much more relevant things to go after, and things which are easier to explain. You start trying to make Syria an issue and it's going to get very convoluted very fast and most likely come back and bite you. 


You don't get to pick the issues on the table when the elections are in two months.  You deal with the chips as they lie.  Right now Syria is on the table.  And maybe I'm just a bit too cynical, but I have never in my life believed there is any politician at the national level that is in the game to do "the right thing."  Certainly not Trump lol.  They all have to be FORCEd.

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No, just saying there's a difference between someone being manipulated and someone being forced to do something. 


Well I definitely agree.  A person being manipulated usually doesn't know he's being manipulated.  A person being forced usually knows it.

But with Trump ... I'm not sure which word is more accurate.  Aren't there certain circumstances where they could be synonyms?

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And another 18 saying minor factor. So, most people see it as not a factor or not a significant one, which I've been arguing here.


Or I guess I can play that political wordspeak game too and argue that 44% of people think Trump's airstrike decision was influenced by his controversies and political pressures compared to only 34% who think it had no impact. 

And I'll go a step further. 

The 21 percent who have no opinion are fertile ground for being influenced by the inevitable onslaught of articles and talking heads talking about Trump capitulating to Putin in withdrawing from Syria if we ever reach a point where that's an actual news item.

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And I don't think it is, because as pointed out previously, the administration doesn't seem to always make these connections between different issues.


Operative words being "seem to" and "always."

My understanding of Trump from 3 years now of spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what is going on is that he is making those connections about everything.  Absolutely everything.  Nothing Trump is doing besides the trade wars (one of the only things he has been consistent on for 30 years) is anything but a political calculation.  And even the trade wars have a political calculation baked into them.

It's why my posts get so long sometimes and I bore people.  There is no political issue that does not overlap into every other political issue right now.  I don't think you can pull Syria out alone and look at it independent of every other issue.

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Actually, I think I suggested polls could ask about Russia in polls about Syria. That would give us a better indicator of whether or not people's opinions about Trump and Russia are impacting their opinions about what we should do in Syria. At this point, the only strong correlation between public opinion on Syria and Trump seems to be partisanship, not opinions about Russia. 


But what would you ask?

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And looking at prior administrations we can look for tells, such as escalation; those don't seem to exist in the direction of Syria policy (we've pointedly tried to avoid escalation). And if he is calculating, why is it Russia that is necessarily the calculation? Could just as easily be that more people support sanctions.  


But that's what I keep arguing.  Over and over.  You can see exactly that.  With both LBJ and Nixon as regards Viet Nam.

No I'm not saying Syria is Viet Nam.  I'm saying those are examples where politicians that actually have some credibility were literally spending people's lives to save political face back home.  And we have them on audio tape talking about it.

Queshank
  

BowHunter wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 10:24am:
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #112 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 5:12pm
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 4:38pm:
No.  In 2016.

Except Hillary is more of a hawk than Trump could ever probably hope to be. If she was President, we'd most likely be waist deep in Syria by now.  Trump actually ran in the primary and the general election as someone opposed to these types of interventions, including attacking her on Libya.

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You don't get to pick the issues on the table when the elections are in two months.  You deal with the chips as they lie.  Right now Syria is on the table.

Who is talking about Syria as a campaign issue right now? Just looking at the TX Senate race as an example, Beto hasn't said anything since the strikes in April 2018, and at that time, Russia was not mentioned. Instead, he criticized the President for not seeking Congressional approval and not accepting more refugees (Source). 

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But with Trump ... I'm not sure which word is more accurate.

I think that largely depends on the issue. Looking at the Iran nuclear deal, I think you could reasonably argue his hand was forced into accepting it by his advisors at the time - Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster. On Syria, the strikes might have been the result of manipulation, or Trump may have legitimately changed his mind.

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Or I guess I can play that political wordspeak game too and argue that 44% of people think Trump's airstrike decision was influenced by his controversies and political pressures compared to only 34% who think it had no impact.

Yeah, but I like that more people are agreeing with my point of view.  Wink 

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The 21 percent who have no opinion are fertile ground for being influenced by the inevitable onslaught of articles and talking heads talking about Trump capitulating to Putin in withdrawing from Syria if we ever reach a point where that's an actual news item.

There's potential there, or they just don't care. Who knows with "no opinion." Never have been able to figure those people out.

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Operative words being "seem to" and "always."

Well, yeah, because I'm not in the room and having to decipher things from reports and actions to form my opinion.

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My understanding of Trump from 3 years now of spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what is going on is that he is making those connections about everything.  Absolutely everything. Nothing Trump is doing besides the trade wars (one of the only things he has been consistent on for 30 years) is anything but a political calculation.  And even the trade wars have a political calculation baked into them.

There might be a political calculation, but that calculation may not have anything to do with Russia. It could be related to Iran, ISIS, humanitarian concerns, etc.

And let's not forget that Trump ran on ending these conflicts; that could be the political calculation (e.g., trying to negotiate with the Taliban for an exit, even though Russia is also attempting to exert influence in Afghanistan as well - see here and here).

Just looking at what's happening in Syria, political calculations regarding Russia do not seem to be a factor.

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But what would you ask?

Add a question: what is your opinion of Russia or how do you view Russia.

Just like polls ask whether a person is a Democrat or Republican, or have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Trump. Then you ask what they think about Syria policy, and you have your crosstab, which allows you to see where people stand on Syria policy compared to the views of Russia.

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I'm saying those are examples where politicians that actually have some credibility were literally spending people's lives to save political face back home.  And we have them on audio tape talking about it.

But what we're not doing that in Syria. We seem to be trying to avoid that. Establishing deconfliction zones, not ramping up troop levels, limiting our response motives and means (red lines on chemical weapons), stressing diplomatic measures, etc.
  
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #113 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 5:43pm
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Demos wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 5:12pm:
Except Hillary is more of a hawk than Trump could ever probably hope to be. If she was President, we'd most likely be waist deep in Syria by now.  Trump actually ran in the primary and the general election as someone opposed to these types of interventions, including attacking her on Libya.


Absolutely.  I'm still taking shit from Democrats on the boards and even in real life who disliked my observations of that nature pre campaign.  But I've seen nothing to indicate anything has changed.

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Who is talking about Syria as a campaign issue right now? Just looking at the TX Senate race as an example, Beto hasn't said anything since the strikes in April 2018, and at that time, Russia was not mentioned. Instead, he criticized the President for not seeking Congressional approval and not accepting more refugees (Source). 


We'll have to talk about Beto one of these days.  I follow him on face book and have been quite intrigued by his campaign.  He's hitting fundraising hard.  And he had a prepared and canned Kaepernick answer that has leftists positively dripping with moisture.

But you have to acknowledge there is a very real possibility the reason nobody has said anything about it is there haven't been any opportunities given.  Trump hasn't been saying recently that he wants to get the troops out of Syria.  A Democrat can't be seen as being "soft" on helping out the Syrian people because you're as aware as I am that the majority of people in polls think something needs to be done in Syria even if at an international level not a national level.

If Trump were to say again.  Now.  In the campaign season: "I want the troops out of Syria," you can sure as hell bet that opens up a path for Democrats to bring up Trump as being a stooge of Putin and keep the Russia fervor high and start throwing in a few pictures of white looking little Syrian kids to throw a little more mud in the issue.

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I think that largely depends on the issue. Looking at the Iran nuclear deal, I think you could reasonably argue his hand was forced into accepting it by his advisors at the time - Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster. On Syria, the strikes might have been the result of manipulation, or Trump may have legitimately changed his mind.


And that's what I'm doing here.  Reading the tea leaves and using Occam's razor to divine the most likely reason Trump suddenly changed his mind. 

We have a clear history of Trump insisting over and over that he wants to get American involvement out of Syria.  Saying it even after defense officials saying we're staying, Trump comes along and says "Nope."  Saying it even after the president of France says "We convinced him to stay" and Trump comes along and says "Nope."

Is it more likely that these people that have been manipulating Trump all along (as revealed in Woodward's book and the anonymous op ed) suddenly convinced him?  Or that he's doing what he always does...making a political decision?

I'm going with option 2.  You can go with option 1.  I'm not saying you're wrong.  The most I'd say is "Yeah but there's a healthy dose of option 2 in there that option 1 needs to acknowledge with the assist."

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And let's not forget that Trump ran on ending these conflicts; that could be the political calculation (e.g., trying to negotiate with the Taliban for an exit, even though Russia is also attempting to exert influence in Afghanistan as well - see here and here).

Just looking at what's happening in Syria, political calculations regarding Russia do not seem to be a factor.


Again here I get the impression we're talking past each other a little bit.

I'm not suggesting that Trump is considering Russia in his calculus vis a vis Syria.  I'm suggesting that Trump is considering the Democrats and the media and the avenue of attack they've been pursuing relentlessly as regards Russia in his calculus vis a vis Syria.

It's not a subtle distinction.  It's a huge difference.  And I wonder if we're blurring the lines on those as we go.

Incidentally we'll be able to see some indicators after the election.  If Trump goes back to "We need to get out of Russia" I'm gonna claim it as being closer in this game of horseshoes.  If he doesn't, I'm still gonna claim I'm closer to the post tho and the evidence is still inconclusive.  And that's the beautiful thing about politics.  I could be completely right about both and neither one of us could ever conclusively prove otherwise.  That's what's so fun about politics.  And so infuriating.

As regards the poll on Russia ... we've been seeing a lot of polls indicating the American people see Russia as our enemy.

We've also recently seen in polls a large majority of the American people think Trump is too friendly with Russia...

Queshank
  

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #114 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 5:57pm
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 5:43pm:
If Trump were to say again.  Now.  In the campaign season: "I want the troops out of Syria," you can sure as hell bet that opens up a path for Democrats to bring up Trump as being a stooge of Putin and keep the Russia fervor high and start throwing in a few pictures of white looking little Syrian kids to throw a little more mud in the issue.

They've had that opportunity previously, and as recently as June, but it hasn't really come up as a campaign issue as far as I can tell.

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I'm not suggesting that Trump is considering Russia in his calculus vis a vis Syria.  I'm suggesting that Trump is considering the Democrats and the media and the avenue of attack they've been pursuing relentlessly as regards Russia in his calculus vis a vis Syria.

When I say considering Russia in the context of this conversation (trying to use some shorthand but that is confusing), I'm referring to the domestic situation. And I don't think that's been much of a consideration if at all. If there's a political calculation, it isn't necessarily about the Democrats or the media attacks, imo. It could be about his base and the positions he took in the campaign on any number of issues. That would seem more likely based on his actions in other areas.

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As regards the poll on Russia ... we've been seeing a lot of polls indicating the American people see Russia as our enemy.

We've also recently seen in polls a large majority of the American people think Trump is too friendly with Russia...

Neither of which shed much light on how that impacts their views of Syria policy. On that specific question, the divide is party and like/dislike of Trump based on what has been polled thus far.
  
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #115 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 6:20pm
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Demos wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 5:57pm:
Neither of which shed much light on how that impacts their views of Syria policy. On that specific question, the divide is party and like/dislike of Trump based on what has been polled thus far.


You don't think like/dislike of Trump is a relevant factor tho?

Queshank
  

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #116 - Sep 15th, 2018 at 7:52am
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:29am:
Lomelis.

Jesus.

Slow your roll.  Quit with your anger. 

There in your world, do the laws of physics work the same?

When something is under pressure is it because of the application of force? 

You are literally pretending the word only has one meaning, one connotation.  One interpretation.  I hate to break this to you ... but ... that's a symptom.

Queshank


The application of force requires some physical manifestation.

Trump may get mocked by liberals is not force.  That's idiotic.

Trump may get a "stern" talking to from Congress is not force.  That's idiotic.

The media might mock or write mean things about him is not force.  That's idiotic.


You are playing loosely with the definition of "force" in order to defend Trump.

Every single person on earth receives pressure from other people to do things they don't like or don't want to do.  If that is force then nobody would ever say no to anything.

"I don't like his decision but he was -forced- to do so by the evil media, libs, deepstate, bla@!" is the argument of the Trumpet.

You are using it to defend him and write it off, "well so and so did it too, they all do it!"

He must be forced to do it, otherwise he would not have done so right?  He wouldn't do that all on his own, he must have been forced.  Yep, he wouldn't go back on his promises.  Someone must have put a gun to his head.  Those damn evil Media, leftists, deep states, just trying to bring down Trumps agenda!  MAGA!

The only way the President could be forced to do anything in Syria is if Congress passed a law that required him to put more or keep the troops there, if they essentially declared war against ISIS or some other group, and then overrode his veto.

Then he would be forced, he would have to carry out the legally obligated duties of his office as set forth in the Constitution.

Your "real" argument (that you will not bring yourself to admit) isn't that he is forced but that like every other President before him surrounded by hostile media and "the deep state" (the bureaucracy) he is receiving advice and pressure to do something that he doesn't really want to do.  That he caves.

That's not the result of force.  That is the result of weakness.   
  

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Wadsworth wrote on Jul 2nd, 2018 at 4:13pm:
Watched it.  A shotgun is for long ranged shooting.  That is why hunters like them.  An AR-15 is not.  That video was misleading.

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #117 - Sep 15th, 2018 at 8:09am
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:32am:
Did you see how you twisted what I said from caring about "Getting the troops out of Syria" to caring about "Appearing weak or appearing to capitulate to Russia?"

That's a symptom.


Once again you are struggling to follow along.

You said:  "I'm laying out where we need to move our chips.  We need to counter the idea that pulling out of Syria is a capitulation to Putin and Russia. "

I said, "That I don't give a crappity smack about that."

You got lost again, probably because of an overindulgence of Trump ass, and said,"If you don't give a shit about getting our troops out of Syria wtf are you even here posting about?  What's your crappity smacking point?

To which I clarified because you've been struggling, "I don't give a crappity smack about appearing weak or appearing to capitulate to Russia.

I don't think Trump does either."

It should have been obvious by now that I don't agree that we need to counter any appearance of capitulation to Russia in order get our troops out of Syria.  The fumes are preventing you from seeing the argument.


I could continue on dissecting the rest of your post and showing how you once again did not follow but I don't think I need to embarrass you anymore.
  

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Wadsworth wrote on Jul 2nd, 2018 at 4:13pm:
Watched it.  A shotgun is for long ranged shooting.  That is why hunters like them.  An AR-15 is not.  That video was misleading.

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #118 - Sep 15th, 2018 at 5:17pm
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Lomelis wrote on Sep 15th, 2018 at 7:52am:
The application of force requires some physical manifestation.

Trump may get mocked by liberals is not force.  That's idiotic.

Trump may get a "stern" talking to from Congress is not force.  That's idiotic.

The media might mock or write mean things about him is not force.  That's idiotic.


The Democrats may take the House and in the absolute nightmare reversal of Trump 2016 take the Senate.  Putting Trump's entire presidency in danger of being forcibly terminated. 

That might force someone to take an action they otherwise wouldn't if it's seen as the least politically dangerous tact.

I don't know if you noticed, but we have elections coming up.

Quote:
You are playing loosely with the definition of "force" in order to defend Trump.

Every single person on earth receives pressure from other people to do things they don't like or don't want to do.  If that is force then nobody would ever say no to anything.

"I don't like his decision but he was -forced- to do so by the evil media, libs, deepstate, bla@!" is the argument of the Trumpet.

You are using it to defend him and write it off, "well so and so did it too, they all do it!"

He must be forced to do it, otherwise he would not have done so right?  He wouldn't do that all on his own, he must have been forced.  Yep, he wouldn't go back on his promises.  Someone must have put a gun to his head.  Those damn evil Media, leftists, deep states, just trying to bring down Trumps agenda!  MAGA!


And here is where your TDS is interfering.

I'm not defending Trump.  That is you reading my mind.   You might have noticed me pointing that out multiple times now.

This is a common trait among the TDS afflicted.  If anyone says anything that YOU judge as out of line with the TDS approved criticism and disdain for the president, it is seen as "defense" or "enabling" or "supporting."  Get the crappity smack over it my god.  It's getting crappity smacking boring after 2 straight crappity smacking years. 

This is why Trump hasn't been destroyed yet by the forces of conventional politics.  Your cult's  blind hatred and constant jumping at shadows and leaping to conclusions usually in an irrationally over-reactive manner is more disgusting than Trump's twitterfeed.

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The only way the President could be forced to do anything in Syria is if Congress passed a law that required him to put more or keep the troops there, if they essentially declared war against ISIS or some other group, and then overrode his veto.

Then he would be forced, he would have to carry out the legally obligated duties of his office as set forth in the Constitution.

Your "real" argument (that you will not bring yourself to admit) isn't that he is forced but that like every other President before him surrounded by hostile media and "the deep state" (the bureaucracy) he is receiving advice and pressure to do something that he doesn't really want to do.  That he caves.

That's not the result of force.  That is the result of weakness.   


He caves to what ??  Pressure?  The application of FORCE?  crappity smacking duh. 

Okay he's weak.  Big crappity smacking deal.  That's kinda been part of my point all along.  That he's being forced to remain in Syria by political pressures.  WHILE I say I want us out of Syria.  Have I said I approve of Trumps' actions?

Have you sufficiently FORCEd me to state my argument in a manner in which your TDS addled mind approves?

Jesus Lomelis.  This fever has to break someday.  I'm pulling for you buddy.

Guess who else's actions I don't approve of on this issue?  The Democrats and the media's actions.

Those two things aren't mutually exclusive.  I hate to break it to you Lomelis, but the inability to differentiate?  Yeah... that's another symptom.

Queshank
  

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #119 - Sep 15th, 2018 at 5:18pm
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Lomelis wrote on Sep 15th, 2018 at 8:09am:
Once again you are struggling to follow along.

You said:  "I'm laying out where we need to move our chips.  We need to counter the idea that pulling out of Syria is a capitulation to Putin and Russia. "

I said, "That I don't give a crappity smack about that."

You got lost again, probably because of an overindulgence of Trump ass, and said,"If you don't give a shit about getting our troops out of Syria wtf are you even here posting about?  What's your crappity smacking point?

To which I clarified because you've been struggling, "I don't give a crappity smack about appearing weak or appearing to capitulate to Russia.

I don't think Trump does either."

It should have been obvious by now that I don't agree that we need to counter any appearance of capitulation to Russia in order get our troops out of Syria.  The fumes are preventing you from seeing the argument.


I could continue on dissecting the rest of your post and showing how you once again did not follow but I don't think I need to embarrass you anymore.


/facepalm.

And we're not getting out of Syria so long as Trump is seen as weak or capitulating to Russia in Syria.

Have you caught up to reality yet man?

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BowHunter wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 10:24am:
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