“He Has Died for Those Oppressed”

New York Times, Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling ‘Ashamed,’ and Kurdish Allies Describing ‘Betrayal’:

WASHINGTON — American commandos were working alongside Kurdish forces at an outpost in eastern Syria last year when they were attacked by columns of Syrian government tanks and hundreds of troops, including Russian mercenaries. In the next hours, the Americans threw the Pentagon’s arsenal at them, including B-52 strategic bombers. The attack was stopped.

That operation, in the middle of the American-led campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, showed the extent to which the United States military was willing to protect the Syrian Kurds, its main ally on the ground.

But now, with the White House revoking protection for these Kurdish fighters, some of the Special Forces officers who battled alongside the Kurds say they feel deep remorse at orders to abandon their allies.

“They trusted us and we broke that trust,” one Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria said last week in a telephone interview. “It’s a stain on the American conscience.”

“I’m ashamed,” said another officer who had also served in northern Syria. Both officers spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals from their chains of command.

And then this news:

New York Times, U.S. Forces Leave ‘High-Value’ ISIS Detainees Behind in Retreat From Syria:

The American military was unable to transfer about five dozen “high value” Islamic State detainees out of Kurdish-run wartime prisons before the Pentagon decided to move its forces out of northern Syria and pave the way for a Turkish-led invasion, according to two American officials.

In the same area on Sunday, hundreds of Islamic State sympathizers escaped from a low-security detention camp in the region, taking advantage of the chaos caused by the Turkish ground invasion and the accompanying strikes.

Both developments underscored the pandemonium unleashed by President Trump’s sudden decision to order American troops to evacuate part of the Syrian region bordering Turkey.

God Breaks His Silence

For those of you who may not be familiar with Pat Robertson and the role he has played in our political and religious life, I suggest the Wikipedia article, which begins,

Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson (born March 22, 1930)[1] is an American media mogultelevangelist, political commentator, former Republican presidential candidate, and former Southern Baptist minister. Robertson advocates a conservative Christian ideology and is known for his past activities in Republican party politics. He is associated with the Charismatic Movement within Protestant evangelicalism. He serves as chancellor and CEO of Regent University and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). He appears daily on The 700 Club, CBN’s flagship television program.

On Robertson’s own account, he was not a serious Christian until he underwent personal difficulty. He graduated near the top of his class at Yale Law School in 1955, but failed the New York bar exam. Failing the bar cost Robertson opportunities at post-graduate employment, and in the ensuing months of what he later described as disappointment, embarrassment, and unemployment, he became a born-again Christian and began a career as a minister.

Comment: What to Do When You Fail the New York Bar Exam

Of course, alternatively, he might have taken another bar test prep course and tried once again.

I can report from personal experience that the New York bar exam is no walk in the park on a spring day. That said, lots of people of modest intelligence and limited learning have managed to pass the test.

But perhaps it was all for the best. Having the ear of Almighty God probably beats mere competence in securities litigation.

Comment: The Mandate of Heaven

More insight on the origin of the mandate of heaven (天命) concept may be found here.