‘A Great Day for Civilization’

by Daveda Gruber:

On Thursday became “a great day for civilization” President Trump proclaimed as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey.

High-level talks took place at which it was agreed that the Turkish military would pause attacks against a Kurdish militia.

A pause will be in place for 120 hours, or five days, which will give the Kurdish-led forces time to pull back from the roughly 20-mile-wide safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu” said, We will pause Operation Peace Spring for PKK/YPG to leave the safe zone. This is not a ceasefire – ceasefires can only happen between two legitimate sides.”

Cavusoglu added, “When the terrorist elements completely leave the safe zone, we can stop the operation.”

The operation will come to an end entirely upon the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal. This is all stated in the “deal” which is now in place.

The talks lasted more than five hours of negotiations between Pence and Pompeo with Erdogan and Turkish officials.

Trump tweeted this:

A press conference was held afterwards where Pence and Pompeo discussed the deal.

The terms of a cease-fire were agreed upon by both the U.S. and Turkey  and “committed to defeat ISIS activities in northeast Syria,” the vice president said.

Pence also said, “Turkey and the United States agree on the priority of respecting vulnerable human life, human rights, and particularly the protection of religious and ethnic communities in the region.”

The Kurds have as of yet, have not confirmed if they agree to terms of the deal.

Pence went on to say, “We think the agreement today first ends the violence, which is what President Trump sent us here to do.. We achieved that.”

The Turkish military operation was not approved by the U.S. but sanctions against Turkey will be lifted by the U.S. when the agreement has been completed.

People keep referring to the Kurds as an ally of the U.S. but are not. They were a NATO ally. The Kurds did fight side by side with American military forces in the fight against ISIS.

The Kurdish–Turkish conflict is an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and various Kurdish insurgent groups, which have demanded separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan, or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds inside the Republic of Turkey.

The Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East. Despite their numbers, they are a stateless and often marginalized people whose homeland stretches across Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.

Trump Speaks to America in Wake of Weekend Shootings

by Daveda Gruber:

President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence standing beside him, spoke to the American people on Monday morning about the horrific murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend that left at least 30 people dead.

The death toll may rise.

In the wake of the weekend shootings, Trump called for reforms at the junction of mental health and gun laws. This includes “red flag laws” to take guns from those who are deemed to be a public risk.

The president said, “Our nation is overcome with shock, horror and sorrow. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil.”

Trump also condemned white supremacy in a response that the shooter in El Paso wrote a racist manifesto.

Trump said, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hatred has no place in America.”

There was no call for changing gun laws aside from the “red flag laws.” Trump did say that he is open and ready to listen to ideas “that will actually work

Trump tweeted this today:

Trump called for “cultural” changes, mentioning violent video games. he said that he has directed the Justice Department to propose legislation ensuring that those commit hate crimes and mass murders “face the death penalty and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.”

The president also called for policing the “dark recesses of the Internet” in a bid to catch mass murderers before they act.

Trump also said, “We must do a better job at identifying and acting on early warning signs. I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies and social media companies to develop tools to identify mass shooters before they strike.”

Trump went on to say, “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

On Saturday, a gunman, Patrick Crusias, aged 20, whom Trump described on Monday as a “wicked man,” killed 22 people, the number was updated on Monday after two other individuals died in hospital, and injured 24 others after he opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

So far, no motive for the attack has been determined but it was reported that Betts, while in high school, was suspended for compiling a “hit list” of those he wanted to kill, and a “rape list” of girls he wanted to sexually assault.

In Dayton, Ohio, 24-year-old Connor Betts, whom Trump described on Monday, as well, as a “twisted monster,” opened fire outside a bar around 1 a.m. Sunday, killing his adult sister and eight others. Police say he was fatally shot by officers within 30 seconds.

The shooter was wearing a mask, bulletproof vest, earplugs and had at least 100 rounds of ammunition. Nine people are dead and 27 were injured.
In the wake of the shootings Democratic presidential candidates running for 2020 were quick to comment that Trump’s remarks were insufficient.

A number of Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates have also accused the president of fueling racial tensions with his rhetoric.

The full video can be watched here: