Saturday, April 8, 2017

Rex Drops Another Mic, and Syrians Get On the Trump Train



Silent Rex spoke yesterday in his remarks with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster on the Syrian airfield strike, and - unlike with most official yada-yada - he actually had something to say.

He and NSA McMaster obviously don't need any help dealing with the press, but if they should ever want to bring in a guest spokesman, I suggest they get that CNN interviewee in the clip above. He hit all their points about chemical weapons, the value of retaliatory strikes, settling the Syrian civil war, safe zones and refugees, and did it in only three minutes. Plus, he made CNN sad.

I thought "Mic Drop" Tillerson gave a really impressive performance. He spoke in complete sentences (a rarity for American politicians, and something I always admire with their British counterparts), said no more than needed, and then he got out. Most of, he - got - out. So many of our officials don't stop talking when they should. The entire remarks and press Q and A are at the link above, but the key words were: normalizing the use of chemical weapons, proportional, coordinated very carefully with our international partners, deliberative process, and existential threat.

For a big bonus, "Mic Drop" gave this cogent statement of the administration's strategy for dealing with the mess in Syria. This is the first time I can recall hearing anything even close to a practical approach. None of that vaporous "international values" stuff, or "red line" hollow threats.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, if I could, obviously the diplomatic considerations here are of a magnitude that didn’t exist a number of years ago. When you went into this, unlike President Obama, who was dealing simply with Bashar al-Assad, you’re dealing with Russia, you’re dealing with the Kurds, you’re dealing with Turkey. Can you give us a little bit of the diplomatic calculation in undertaking this action?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, my expectation is that all of those parties, with the exception of Bashar al-Assad and perhaps Russia, I think are going to applaud this particular action or effort. Overall, the situation in Syria is one where our approach today and our policy today is first to defeat ISIS. By defeating ISIS, we remove one of the disruptive elements in Syria that exists today. That begins to clarify, for us, opposition forces and regime forces, and working with the coalition – as you know, there is a large coalition of international players and allies who are involved in the future resolution in Syria. So it’s to defeat ISIS; it’s to begin to stabilize areas of Syria, stabilize areas in the south of Syria, stabilize areas around Raqqa, through ceasefire agreements between the Syrian regime forces and opposition forces; stabilize those areas, begin to restore some normalcy to them, restore them to local governments – and there are local leaders who are ready to return, some who’ve left as refugees that are ready to return, to govern these areas; use local forces that will be part of the liberation effort to develop the local security forces – law enforcement, police force; and then use other forces to create outer perimeters of security so that areas like Raqqa, areas in the south, can begin to provide a secure environment so refugees can begin to go home and begin the rebuilding process.

If all that ever gets done, he said, then we can move to the the Geneva Process and the future disposition of Assad.

Well done. Always leave them wanting more. And if the news media want to chew this subject over endlessly to fill their 24-hour news cycle, they can call that Syrian guy CNN interviewed. I think CNN is done with him.


P.S. I wonder what the Public Diplomacy people make out of the crazy gratitude some Arabs are showing President Trump?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

TSB: That CNN 'interview' is great. Whoever thought Syrian civilians might have something worth saying in this whole thing? gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Round 2 is underway! gwb
ISIS Attacks US-Led Base In Southern Syria, As Assad Said To Use White Phosphorus (and napalm)

It will be intersting to see our response when US troops get napalmed. (send in Kushner?)

Anonymous said...

TSB: I guess the white phosphorus and napalm attacks never happened because Mika and Morning Joe don't seem to have heard of them. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: South Korean Paper Reports China Has Deployed 150,000 Troops To North Korea Border.

Looks like that great 2 day meeting with Xi and the announcement of new sanctions on Russia might have caused a bit of indigestion. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: President Trump donated his salary thru March to the National Park Service! ($78,000) after cutting their budget by $1.73 billion)

That's the casino business model. After you take all their cash at the tables you give them a free drink at the bar and they walk out feeling like a winner. Also, all the N.Korean coal ships
waiting to unload in China ports have been sent back home full and US coal exports to China have essentially replaced them = BIG TRADE WIN FOR USA! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Thanks to Wikileaks getting Hillary's speeches to the banksters we now realize that Xi
is the one who really wants to get rid of the N.
Korean leadership and re-unify the Korean peninsula! It looks like Trump and Xi might both be working for regime change in Korea and better trade relations between US and China. gwb

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-11/what-hillary’s-goldman-sachs-speeches-revealed-about-changing-tides-koreas

Meanwhile, I keep spotting N.Korean subs surfacing in the Columbia River. But when I put my glasses back on it's just driftwood.

Anonymous said...

TSB: North Korea Said To Be Preparing Nuclear Device Detonation; Test Site Is "Primed And Ready"
Apr 12, 2017 6:20 PM
I'm looking for a big Kaboom on Saturday which is gwb's 19th birthday! He's getting a birthday cake signed by Mad Dog Mattis!

Anonymous said...

TSB: Less than two weeks after iBankCoin published an article suggesting President Trump could threaten to withhold billions in (probably) illegal dividend sweeps from Fannie / Freddie, set up in 2012 to prop up Obamacare by paying insurers to remain in the program - lo and behold, Trump is doing just that! gwb

I love to watch Chuckie and Hillary cry!

James said...

GWB,
Look for clapping, note books, and very strange hair cuts.

Anonymous said...

TSB: CIA Dir. Pompeo just called Wikileaks "a non-state hostile intelligence service".

Trump in Oct.: "I love Wikileaks" http://bit.ly/2lM3nLf
(One of many major policy reversals this week by Trump...I can just see him now tweeting out an 'Attack N. Korea nuclear site NOW!' in the middle of Easter Sunday church service.} gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: More bad news for the NSA. Looks like they stole all the personal and banking information of a slew of Middle Eastern countries going back to the earliest Windows configurations and can now blackmail them or erase their bank accounts.

The opinion was seconded by Matthew Hickey of Prestbury, England-based cybersecurity company Hacker House.
"It's an absolute disaster," Hickey said in an email. "I have been able to hack pretty much every Windows version here in my lab using this leak." (So, I'm thinking when the government goes to upgrading all it's computers they won't be buying Windows. gwb)

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/leak-suggests-nsa-penetrated-mideast-141347857.html

James said...

Skep, GWB,
If that's your inclination have a good Easters.

Anonymous said...

James: That was a great band at the kickoff for World War III. The sound quality was great and
those guys really move fast! Nobody fell asleep.
Everything here is still intact. I guess the ICBM fizzled out which is just as well. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Looks like they have some serious labor shortages in the UK! gwb
British Home Secretary Pushes "Barista Visa" To Keep Coffee Shop Staff After Brexit

So as long as the cheap labor can flow, everything will be fine... where have we seen that before?
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-17/british-home-secretary-pushes-barista-visa-keep-coffee-shop-staff-after-brexit

Anonymous said...

TSB: I think Trump really wants to get a fight going with N.Korea by next weekend what with 2 more carriers headed to the area and Congress out of town. He's not going to use nuclear weapons so the best way is to use airpower and missiles to attack and destroy airfields and artillery assets, roads and rail traffic while threatening Pyongang with a few MOAB'S.

Then, when Congress gets back hit the 'Raise The Debt Limit' button by calling for an immediate vote with no poison pills. gwb

Anonymous said...

OK TSB: Forget yesterday's comment because it turns out the White House, Maralago, Pentagon and "Ol Glinteye" don't talk to each other very often and pretty much say and do whatever they want to at the time. It's like that old movie "The Russians Are Coming" but in reverse. It could be that we are about to attack San Diego.

(I'm sure Pence will have this all straightened out by the weekend. I just heard a "Bear Bomber pass over a while ago.) gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Melania seems to be the (only?) competent one in the Trump administration. She handled the White House Easter Egg Hunt using the same script Michelle Obama used and brought it in on time and under budget. The music was all volunteer and awful but the kids had a great time. gwb https://youtu.be/2qhmHYlI8Ok

Anonymous said...

TSB: Obama, Comey Relied On Discredited Dossier To Obtain FISA Warrant On Trump Campaign

It's going to be fun to get everybody involved under oath and find out how scurrilous all of our top officials are. gwb

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-18/comey-used-trump-dossier-basis-obtaining-fisa-warrant

Anonymous said...

TSB: Why Is Jason Chaffetz Suddenly Quitting Congress?The Young Turks
Well, that's pretty easy. The kleptocrats are running the hen house and he wants to get in on it before the whole place burns down. Much better than sitting around pretending there is any oversight going on in Congress. gwb

https://youtu.be/7uRiXeFnIKE

Anonymous said...

TSB: WikiLeaks’ Assange trolls UK, says may run for Parliament in snap election: As an Aussie I guess he's eligible and would only have to pay a
$640 filing fee. And in the House of Lords you don't even have to attend in person.

Since he's only accused of being "In the company of women" his standing is a lot more reputable than many of the current ones. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Trump to arrest the guy who sunk Hillary
gwb
U.S. Preparing Charges To Arrest Julian Assange
CNN (SNAFU)

Anonymous said...

TSB: Jason Chafetz announces he may leave early...Like NEXT WEEK! Could it be he knows the Trump Apocalypse is coming soon and doesn't want to be associated with it? ("When I think about spending 200 nights away from home, I just don't know.") Nunez tried to defend Trump and it didn't work out to well. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Things are going south fast in Afghanistan!
More than 50 feared dead in Taliban attack on Afghan forces base – US military
Published time: 21 Apr, 2017 16:48
Edited time: 21 Apr, 2017 17:27 It's over now with 70 dead and 150 wounded. All by 8 Taliban!

These US soldiers we are sending over there ought to train the Afghans in suicide attacks.gwb
And since when can you drive a Ford Bronco into the building with the Mosque and the mess hall
and kill everybody? gwb Chaffetz in 28? He must think beating Chelsea Clinton will be easy.
https://www.rt.com/news/385624-afghan-military-base-attack-killed/

Anonymous said...

TSB: I'm all for the government shutdown but the really important thing is the French election. If Le Penne wins the jig will be up for all the European banks that make their living on debt and derivatives. (something like $300 trillion of them) If France leaves the EU they will be off the hook for their share of many of those deals and when everybody decides to sell at once
nobody gets paid.

That would mean the end of a lot of war funding which would be a good thing, the property bubbles would collapse. Currently half the eligible voters say they haven't decided who to vote for so look for a Surprise on Sunday. When Europe falls apart Trump can be a leader and decide that Assad can stay (again) and lift the Russian sanctions after a summitt with Putin. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: update: The Taliban "TALKED THEIR WAY INTO THE BASE AND WERE DISGUISED AS AFGHAN SOLDIERS"!

I guess they didn't cover that in the training. Maybe they should get those guys some identification? gwb
https://www.rt.com/news/385669-afghan-taliban-base-attack-casualties/

Anonymous said...

TSB: Just got home and I think I'll read this one: Yale Psychiatrists Just Warned There Is Something Seriously Wrong With Trump


“I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognize dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”

Yale Psychiatrists? I wonder how dangerous they thought Hillary was? They probably don't read wikileaks? gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Pepe Escobar says there is a big economic summit on May 15th and "Washington" is terrified about it. So, I turned on the fake news this morning and nobody was talking about it.

Turns out we weren't invited but China, Russia, Kazachstan, Malaya, are meeting to work out their economic future with the 'One Road, One Belt' plan. They already have established their alternative to the dollar, a gold backed currency. And now have an alternative to Visa/Mastercard and the SWIFT banking system that makes it impossible to shut them out of international banking. They are going BIG on green energy and infrastructure projects while the US is sticking with potholea, blight, bank fraud and Amtrak. gwb

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201704211052866086-washington-terrified-of-russia-china/

TSB said...

GWB: I like the intuitive shrink; that skill must come in handy. I wonder what he makes of John McCain?