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Russia and Turkey put shiv in ribs of Trump and U.S. (Oct. 22). The awful and obviously predictable outcome of President Trump’s surrender in Syria has now come to pass.

Turkey and Russia have announced an agreement to remove Kurdish fighters from northern Syria, a horrible development for the forces of freedom and Middle Eastern stability.

This agreement supersedes the Kurds’ earlier attempt at an agreement with Russia and the government of Bashar Assad. Now, Turkey will move against YPG Kurdish units in northern Syria from one side, while Russia and its Syrian government clients will move in from the other. Crucially, all Kurdish fighting “elements and their weapons” will “be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.”

Those towns, especially the large town of Manbij, are strategic linchpins. Without them, the Kurds can be essentially starved out. There could be an immense humanitarian crisis.

In trying to suck up to Turkey’s Islamist strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Trump actually created the conditions for Turkey to make this deal with Russia. Turkey is at least nominally a member of NATO, which exists to counter Russian attempts at hegemony. For a half a century, Turkey was an especially important part of NATO. For it now to be working with Russia, against the interests not just of the United States but Europe as well, is a major strategic blow to the Western alliance….

Legal case against Netanyahu threatens freedom of the press (Oct. 22). Americans should be somewhat disheartened to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fail (for now) to form a majority government. But we should be far more worried that the main “corruption” charges hanging over his head — the ones that surely kept his coalition from winning an outright victory — carry the seeds of a major infringement of an essential freedom….


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