Welcome to “Writer’s Lounge”
– a new, regular feature from National Compass, which we will be publishing tri-weekly to start off with. It will be a joint effort from the writing team, to briefly cover news items that are in currency within the 48 to 72 hour news cycle, in short form. But that’s not all. . .
We’ll also share with you random impressions of things we’ve seen and heard in every category of societal endeavor, activity and cultural phenomena. Most will take the form of two to three paragraph thought grenades and “Mental Martinis”. In addition, you’ll see videos that feature commentary from intelligent people who unpack with expertise, the stories we’re following, as well as items that fascinate, shock, surprise, inspire and unsettle us.
We hope you will enjoy Writer’s Lounge and make it part of your weekly diet of web content and thus, we start off with the featured quote, so appropriate to today’s social environment:
“People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
– Freidrich Nietzche
Trump’s gift to Putin of strategic control of Syria
As many predicted, the green light Donald Trump gave Turkish President Erdogan to mount an incursion into Northern Syria, has produced a foreign policy and human catastrophe. It was easy to see that our allies were going to be the target of genocidal displacement and that has happened.
But if that weren’t disgraceful enough, another dimension of treachery has evolved from Trump’s order to American troops to stand down and retreat. Syrian dictator and head of a Russian proxy government, Bashar al-Assad will now be positioned to consolidate complete control of territory that was previously an autonomous safe area settled by the Kurds and Assyrian Christians.
The Syrian Kurds are in such peril from the Turkish invasion, they have been forced into a negotiation with Assad and Putin in order to survive.
America spent billions all total in Syria (over $15 billion in 2018, alone), to compel Assad to negotiate some form of democratic power sharing agreement between warring factions and to contain and neutralize the Islamic State.
Now, Trump has, within the span of just a few hours as of October 6th, rendered all of the blood (mostly of our allies) and treasure of null effect, allowing our adversary, Russia, to widen their strategic sphere of influence in the region at virtually zero cost. Together with that, international reporting has confirmed that ISIS militants, supporters and family members have been scattered to the four winds because the Kurds that were keeping them under guard, had to abandon post to prepare to defend themselves from Turkish forces and Russian mercenary troops.
But if such a thing could be possible, matters are even worse than that. Our standing in the global community even prior to this naked and obvious bequeath to Vladimir Putin, was at the lowest ebb it has been, arguably since the end of World War II, certainly, post Vietnam – but now, the Counterfeit-in-Chief has demonstrated to each and every partner we have world wide, that we will not stand unflinchingly with them in defense of democracy and in opposition to tyrants.
It’s hard not to ruminate that part of the benefit for Trump signaling to Erdogan to take after the Kurds, was to send a subtle, but effective message to Ukraine’s president, that he (Trump) can toss them to the wolves as well, at any time.
There’s more. Stepping into the power and leadership vacuum are our junior partners in NATO – Germany and France. Both German Chancellor Andrea Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are joining in accord to take swift and firm action against Turkey, in the form of halting all weapons sales and imposing sanctions and travel restrictions. Meanwhile, here in Washington D.C., we have vacillation and inertia. Disgraceful, and it appears it will come with a price for Trump.
– Richard Cameron
A friend and I were discussing the withdrawal of American troops from their positions inside the border between Syria and Turkey. He called my attention to a video he had seen of an abandoned American base that the Russian military entered for a look see.
Business Insider reports that the video below, was identified by the Times of London reporter Tom Parfitt as having been filmed and narrated by Oleg Blokhin, a Russian war correspondent known to be following the Wagner Group, a Russian private military organization that supports Syrian military operations, in northeastern Syria. Some might say that the circumstances behind such a video are disgraceful to America. I would be among them.
– Richard Cameron
— MrRevinsky (@Kyruer) October 15, 2019
And even worse, was this. Russia Today, rummaging through the place!
— RT (@RT_com) October 16, 2019
Melania Trump and the trivialization of American craftsmanship
Last week First Lady Melania Trump sent out a Tweet that could hardly be believed as anything other than an insult to American laborers, engineers, and designers. I don’t know even the most patriotic individual who could say building a tennis court and small pavilion would be a “testament to American craftsmanship and skill.”
This isn’t to say the men and women working on the project won’t do a good job or are unskilled but, in the end, it is a tennis court and a “pavilion” not a Museum nor a skyscraper. It’s not even a home. It’s nothing that hasn’t been built for generations from the highest end country clubs to your local HOA or recreation center.
Therefore, her tweet begs the question, “just how low is your esteem for true American skill and craftsmanship that you would liken it to fixing up your tennis court?”
For a long time most people wanted to feel sorry for Melania. We wanted to think of her as the abused spouse too victimized to leave. (And no one in the GOP ever suggested she do so as opposed to crucifying Hillary for staying). Yet she has shown us her true self enough to know by now this isn’t the case. She knows exactly what her husband is like and is milking the situation for all it’s worth.
She’s never been upfront about being raised in a Communist household. She never objected to the blatant lies in her biography regarding her education or skills. She never went on record being ashamed of plagiarizing Michelle Obama in her speech nor in her “Be Best” initiative.
And how can she even suggest others, especially children, “Be Best” without ever condemning her husband’s example? Simple. She doesn’t mean it. How exactly did wearing a jacket that said “I really don’t care. Do you?” to see children locked in cages at our border fit with “Be Best”?
No one can look at her big picture and claim she just has no self-awareness let alone that she’s just some innocent being taken advantage of. She routinely and blatantly shoves her disdain for others, even children, in our faces, and now attacks American workers, in an offhanded fashion, damning them with faint praise.
No, Melania’s not a victim of Trump. She fits in perfectly. And she has as little love or patriotism for our country and our people as he does – which is essentially, none.
It’s time to stop giving her a pass.
– Jennifer Keller Puebla
The history of the American Whistleblower
National Compass has been closely following an emerging trend, the second dawning of the Whistleblower era. Since the first whistleblower filed a report with the intelligence community’s Inspector General on concerns related to Donald Trump’s July 25th phone call to Ukrainian President Vlodimyr Zelenskyy, it has served to prompt a series of individuals to come forward – not only to confirm the original whistleblower’s report, but having to do with other matters indicating misconduct in the White House and Oval Office.
Our writer Lynda Bryant-Work, has written an extensive and informative outline of the history of the men and women who have, at great personal risk, spoken up to call attention to wrongdoing in government and the public sphere more generally.
She lays the legal foundation created by multiple legislative acts and profiles some of the earliest whistleblowers along with the most recent, including the first political prisoner of the Trump administration – Reality Leigh Winner.
Important reading, check it out here: Whistleblowers Are as American As Apple Pie And Hot Dogs
And here are some notable memes we spotted on social media: