Ever since President Donald Trump made the announcement that he was removing troops from Northern Syria earlier this week, proponents of permanent military occupation of the Middle East in the GOP have been outraged. They have claimed we must stay in the region to help our allies, the Kurds.
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria is having sickening and predictable consequences,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), whose father was the architect of the disastrous Iraq War.
“The Kurds have been a great partner. … Turkey under Erdogan has not been. I’m concerned about what can happen next,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said. “A lot can happen in a hurry and we’ll just have to see what happens when we get back. I wish the president would reconsider.”
“It’s a terrible mistake. We’ll have to think of what options there are. I’m sure the Senate will, potentially, take some vote to disagree with that decision,” Sen. “Little” Marco Rubio (R-FL) said.
“This is worse than what Obama did. When Obama left Iraq, all hell broke loose. And if you think, Mr. President, ISIS is only a threat to Europe, you really don’t understand ISIS,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Thursday.
However, the facts show that the role the Kurds played in repelling ISIS has been greatly exaggerated by Washington D.C. warmongers.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freed 83 “former” ISIS militants at the end of Ramadan in 2017. It was done as a gesture to promote Muslim solidarity between different Islamic radical factions.
Reuters reported on the startling development at the time:
A civil council expected to rule Raqqa once Islamic State is dislodged from the Syrian city pardoned 83 of the jihadist group’s low-ranking militants on Saturday, a goodwill gesture designed to promote stability.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have gained significant ground in the battle for Raqqa, the operational base for Islamic State over the past three years and a symbol of its self-proclaimed caliphate.
Senior SDF figures predict Raqqa could fall within months. That would be a severe blow to Islamic State, which has plotted shooting and bomb attacks around the world from Raqqa, a city of about 300,000 before the militants seized it.
The 83 Islamic State prisoners were transported to the headquarters of the Raqqa City Council in the village of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa, in an amnesty coinciding with the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
One by one, they stepped down from buses, the youngest 14 years old…
On the street outside the council, he told the Islamic State members, some of whom had surrendered, that they would be integrated into society and given a chance to attend schools.
Speeches were followed by applause from all sides. The men walked past council members and shook their hands, before tasting freedom and reuniting with their families.
Far from an isolated incident, the Kurdish-led SDF also allowed hundreds of ISIS fighters to escape from Raqqa along with their families later that year.
The BBC released an in-depth report about the Kurdish “dirty secret” that gave amnesty to some of the most depraved and anti-American ISIS terrorists around:
The Kurdish-led SDF cleared Raqqa of media. Islamic State’s escape from its base would not be televised.
Publicly, the SDF said that only a few dozen fighters had been able to leave, all of them locals.
But one lorry driver tells us that isn’t true.
“We took out around 4,000 people including women and children – our vehicle and their vehicles combined. When we entered Raqqa, we thought there were 200 people to collect. In my vehicle alone, I took 112 people.” …
In light of the BBC investigation, the coalition now admits the part it played in the deal. Some 250 IS fighters were allowed to leave Raqqa, with 3,500 of their family members.
“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” says Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Western coalition against IS.
“But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations,” he says…
Raqqa’s freedom was bought with blood, sacrifice and compromise. The deal freed its trapped civilians and ended the fight for the city. No SDF forces would have to die storming the last IS hideout.
But IS didn’t stay put for long. Freed from Raqqa, where they were surrounded, some of the group’s most-wanted members have now spread far and wide across Syria and beyond…
The deal to free IS was about maintaining good relations between the Kurds leading the fight and the Arab communities who surround them.
President Trump’s shift in foreign policy in Northern Syria may make more sense due to the fact that the Kurds let ISIS terrorists walk free during crucial points of the war against the caliphate.
Canadian Police Report Almost 2,200 Home Visits To Monitor Quarantine Compliance
Canadian police officers reportedly have conducted almost 2,200 home visits to ensure travelers into the country are complying with quarantine rules.
In late March, the Canadian government announced the start of the Quarantine Act, which mandates that anyone entering the country, with the exception of essential workers like truck drivers and those in healthcare, must self-isolate for 14 days.
Failure to comply can incur a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison. However, so far there have been no arrests, and only one fine of $1,000.
Still, many may find unsettling the degree to which the Canadian police, in coordination with official border and health services, are enforcing a nanny state by paying home visits to incoming travelers deemed at risk of non-compliance. In addition, prime minister Justin Trudeau has hinted that even tougher measures could be coming, even once Canada begins easing cross-border travel.
Also in late March, the Trudeau government announced a halt to all immigration in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, current immigration applications would not be closed or denied due to failure to meet typical requirements.
Still, many pointed out that Canada’s response was actually stronger than the US’, which has continued to import thousands of H-1B workers even while under lockdown due to a global pandemic.
The border between the US and Canada has been closed since the end of March, and this was recently extended, likely into mid-June. Trudeau has stated that the closure and its extension were implemented with full cooperation from the US.
While travel into Canada has not stopped completely, it has fallen drastically since the implementation of restrictive policies. However, critics of the government question whether Trudeau reacted quickly enough, and argue that the policy going forward is too vague and requires more explanation and accountability.
As stated by Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus:
“It was the Trudeau government’s failure to close our borders that allowed the virus to spread in the first place. It is incumbent on the Trudeau government to explain how they plan to ensure that travelers who are coming back to Canada are not spreading COVID-19… Unfortunately, right now the Trudeau government is telling Canadians to ‘wait and see’ without explaining what metrics they are relying on to make decisions.”
While Canada is doing significantly better than the US in terms of the number of cases, one tragically sobering area in which it has exhibited clear failure is the fate of its elderly, particularly those in state and private long-term care institutions.
It is estimated that up to 86% of the Canadian death toll is from facilities such as long-term care, retirement, and corrections, with the first two making up the large majority. In one privately-run nursing home, as much as one third of residents have died from coronavirus.
While the situation is complex and there are few countries that do not seem to have significant problems with their approach, it is clear that something is wrong with Canada’s. Perhaps the government should focus more on taking care of its elderly than intrusively monitoring its citizens.
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