When two Navy Seals were killed in Syria, a White House spokesman said, “the relatively small number of U.S. service members that are involved in these operations are not in combat but are in a dangerous place.” But, as Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) says, our troops in Syria and Iraq are definitely, by any definition, in combat. [Read more…]
In Syria, rebels backed by the Pentagon are fighting rebels backed by the CIA. Yet more proof, says Jonah Goldberg channelling Kevin Williamson, that the government should be in charge of everything.
Less sarcastically, it is proof of the incoherence of our foreign policy, the ineptness of the current administration’s attempts at intervention, and our inability to impose our will in a chaotic civil war.
Turkish fighters shot down a Russian attack aircraft over Syria, after accusations that it invaded Turkish air space (which Russia denies). The two pilots ejected but were reportedly killed by gunfire from the ground as they parachuted. A Russian marine on a helicopter rescue mission was also shot.
Vladimir Putin called this a “stab in the back” and said Turkey will face “significant consequences.” President Obama defended Turkey’s right to defend its air space.
As this unfolds, keep in mind that Turkey belongs to NATO, and, by treaty, an attack on one NATO member is treated as an attack on them all.
UPDATE: Russia is bombing the area of Syria where the plane came down, hitting both Al Qaeda and Turkmen (Syria’s ethnic Turks) anti-Assad insurgents. Russia says one of its pilots is alive, though the Turkmen claim to have killed them both.
(1) Now authorities are saying that 129 people are confirmed dead in the Paris attacks. 349 were injured, with 96 being in critical condition.
(2) We now know that this was the work of ISIS.
(3) At least two of the eight attackers came to France as Syrian refugees.
(4) Seven of the attackers were killed, mostly as suicide bombers. But one, possibly a woman, is still at large.
(5) French planes are bombing ISIS strongholds in Syria.
The same Congressional coalition of Tea Party conservatives and far-left liberals that blocked an attack on Syria also came close to reining in the NSA surveillance program. Washington Post political columnist Greg Sargent sees an on-going alliance coming together. [Read more…]
So should Vladimir Putin get the Nobel Peace Prize? Does this get President Obama out of the mess he was in, turning a fiasco into a victory?
The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on a plan to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international control, a rare diplomatic victory in a brutal civil war that appears to head off a punitive U.S. military strike on Syria in the near future. [Read more…]