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Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

Even Trump’s staunchest Republican congressional allies expressed outrage at the prospect of abandoning Syrian Kurds who had fought the Islamic State group with American arms and advice.

“A catastrophic mistake,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican leader. “Shot in the arm to the bad guys,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Trump said he understood criticism from fellow GOP leaders but disagreed. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn’t.

Pentagon and State Department officials held out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. U.S. officials said they had seen no indication that Turkey had begun a military operation by late Monday.

Trump, in late afternoon remarks to reporters, appeared largely unconcerned at the prospect of Turkish forces attacking the Kurds, who include a faction he described as “natural enemies” of the Turks.

“But I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane … they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy,” Trump said.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Graham said Turkey’s NATO membership should be suspended if it attacks into northeastern Turkey, potentially annihilating Kurdish fighters who acted as a U.S. proxy army in a five-year fight to eliminate the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. Graham, who had talked Trump out of a withdrawal from Syria last December, said letting Turkey invade would be a mistake of historic proportion and would “lead to ISIS reemergence.”

This all comes at a pivotal moment of Trump’s presidency. House Democrats are marching forward with their impeachment inquiry into whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking negative information on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, from Ukraine and other foreign countries.

As he faces the impeachment inquiry, Trump has appeared more focused on making good on his political pledges, even at the risk of sending a troubling signal to American allies abroad.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as rapidly as possible,” he said.

The strong pushback on Capitol Hill prompted Trump to recast as well as restate his decision, but with renewed bombast and self-flattery.

He promised to destroy the Turkish economy “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.”

Sunday night the White House had said the U.S. would get its troops out of the way of the Turkish forces. That announcement came after Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

One official described that White House announcement as a botched effort appeared aimed at making Trump look bold for ending a war. The official said attempts by the Pentagon and State Department to make the statement stronger in its opposition to Turkey’s military action were unsuccessful.

That official, like others interviewed, was not authorized to speak on the record and was granted anonymity to comment.

The official added that Erdogan appeared to be reconsidering his earlier resolve because he was relatively quiet Monday. But damage done to relations with the Kurds could be irreparable.

An official familiar with the Erdogan call said the Turkish president was “ranting” at Trump, saying the safe zone was not working and that Turkey couldn’t trust the U.S. military to do what was needed. And in reaction, Trump said the U.S. wanted no part of an invasion and would withdraw troops.

The announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into U.S. relations with European allies. A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity on a sensitive topic, said France wasn’t informed ahead of time. A Foreign Ministry statement warned Turkey to avoid any action that would harm the international coalition against the Islamic State and noted the Kurds had been essential allies. It entirely omitted any mention of the United States.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

Trump defended his latest decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

In his later remarks, Trump asserted that American troops in Syria are not performing useful work. They are, he said, “not fighting.” They are “just there,” he said.

Among the first to move were about 30 U.S. troops from two outposts who would be in the immediate area of a Turkish invasion. It’s unclear whether others among the roughly 1,000 U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would be moved, but officials said there was no plan for any to leave Syria entirely.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria would be a major boost to Russia’s position there.

He added that other allies in the region, including the Kurds, will “look at this withdrawal as U.S. unwillingness to stand up for its rights and maintain its alliances in the region.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., another strong Trump supporter, said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he had concerns.

“I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,” he said, adding that, “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”

Former Trump administration officials also expressed concern.

Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. “must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. … Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.


          

Sen. Graham: Congress will call for Turkey's NATO suspension and hit it with sanctions if it attacks Kurds   

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Sen. Graham: Congress will call for Turkey's NATO suspension and hit it with sanctions if it attacks KurdsRepublican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Monday warned Turkey a bipartisan group of lawmakers would introduce sanctions against it and “call for their suspension from NATO” if it attacks the Kurds in Syria.



          

Trump Defends Decision To Abandon Kurdish Allies Fighting ISIS In Syria   

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"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to ... figure the situation out," the president tweeted.

          

Latest betrayal of Kurds risks undermining defeat of Isis   

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It is unclear whether Turkey has the will or capacity to take over detention camps

In early 2015, as Islamic State trampled over armies of the Middle East and menaced the west, the US turned to the Kurds for help. It was a familiar call, having been repeated over the decades whenever Washington needed a friend in the region. The outcome has been similar too.

Four years on, the people who helped safeguard the global order have been abandoned by the US on the eve of a Turkish push into Kurdish lands across north-eastern Syria. Betrayal has been an enduring theme whenever the US and the Kurds have partnered, but never before as nakedly as this.

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Haley Criticizes Trump’s Syria Withdrawal   

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“We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

— Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blasted President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and allow Turkey to carry out an operation in the region.


          

“The Americans Are Traitors”: Trump Faces a Major Backlash Over Syria Announcement   

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Donald Trump upended US military policy in the Middle East Sunday night, announcing through a White House statement that he would permit a “long-planned” Turkish invasion of northern Syria, a region controlled mainly by Kurds who fought alongside the United States against ISIS. The Kurds are considered terrorists by Turkey, and the directive all but […]

          

What Trump’s Withdrawal From Syria Means For The Kurds - And For Israel    

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America abandoning the Syrian Kurds is just icing on the cake of Trump’s Middle East non-strategy.

          

Donald Trump Brags About His “Great And Unmatched Wisdom” To Destroy Turkey (Where He Owns Two Towers) After He Betrays The Kurds   

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Twitter bursts out laughing after Donald Trump brags about his “great and unmatched wisdom” to destroy Turkey following his decision to betray the Kurds. He has two towers in Turkey. Trump tweeted: “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider […]

Donald Trump Brags About His “Great And Unmatched Wisdom” To Destroy Turkey (Where He Owns Two Towers) After He Betrays The Kurds


          

Hillary Clinton Hammers Donald Trump For Selling Out The Kurds To Turkey: “His Decision Is A Sickening Betrayal”   

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Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton hammered Donald Trump for selling out the Kurds to Turkey: “His decision is a sickening betrayal both of the Kurds and his oath of office.” Clinton tweeted: “Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russia over our loyal allies and America’s own […]

Hillary Clinton Hammers Donald Trump For Selling Out The Kurds To Turkey: “His Decision Is A Sickening Betrayal”


          

Betty Boop: Zionist Agents Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton Join Forces to Attack President Donald Trump   

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Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton Simultaneously Blast Trump’s Syria Decision: ‘Sickening Betrayal of the Kurds’ Phi Beta Iota: Haley has been bribed by the Zionists, Clinton is being blackmailed by the Zionists. The Kurds are being used by the Zionists.  Any questions?

          

Why Donald Trump's change in Syria policy matters   

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FT's Roula Khalaf and Andrew England discuss the impact on the Kurds and wider region

          

I Guess the Kurds Had No Dirt on Biden*   

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Jeebus Lizard! Comrade Stupid has dropped the Mother of all Distractions, but if he’s serious, this time it will have a body count. @realDonaldTrump at 7:40 a.m.: “The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that … Continue reading

          

US pullback could boost Islamic State group revival in Syria   

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BEIRUT (AP) — The American pullback from parts of northeastern Syria could help breathe new life into the Islamic State group if fighting erupts between the Kurds and Turkey. Syrian Kurdish authorities are already struggling to guard IS fighters captured during the long U.S.-backed campaign against the militants and to keep a lid on IS […]

          

Trump Announces President Erdogan of Turkey Will Visit - The New York Times   

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  1. Trump Announces President Erdogan of Turkey Will Visit  The New York Times
  2. Turkey rejects Trump’s threats amid conflicting U.S. signals over Syria offensive  The Washington Post
  3. White House official denies Pentagon was 'blindsided' by decision to withdraw troops from Syria  AOL
  4. Trump’s Shameful Abandonment of the Kurds  Bloomberg
  5. Letters to the Editor: Betraying the Kurds in Syria is where Republicans draw the line?  Los Angeles Times
  6. View full coverage on Google News

          

   

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Donald Trump threatens to 'obliterate' Turkish economy if it goes too far with Syria invasion

Turks are attacking the heroic Kurds.  Trump thought he had a deal with Turkey to protect the Kurds which would allow US troops to withdraw safely

US President Donald Trump warned Turkey against going too far in Syria, after giving Ankara a green light to invade its southern neighbour.

Mr Trump said on Monday he was done with "ridiculous endless war" as he stood aside to allow a long-threatened Turkish assault on Kurdish-held Syria, effectively abandoning its allies who fought Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

The US had for months been working with Turkey to try to create a buffer zone along its border with northern Syria between the Turkish military and Kurdish forces which Ankara sees as terrorists.

But amid an outcry from the region and strong opposition at home from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, the US leader appeared to reverse himself, though without drawing any specific red lines that might protect Kurdish allies.

"If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)," Mr Trump tweeted.

Other US officials, apparently surprised by Trump's Sunday announcement, stressed that Washington will not actively support the long-threated Turkish action, warning of destabilizing blowback to the region.

"The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey - as did the president - that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria," said Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.

Turkey has repeatedly criticised the slow implementation of the buffer zone and threatened a unilateral assault, but until Monday the US had refused to stand aside.

"The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades," Mr Trump said in an earlier series of tweets.

"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out."

US Republican and Democrats had warned such an offensive on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which lost 11,000 troops in the battle against Isil, could lead to a massacre of Kurds and send a worrying message to American allies across the world.

The US began pulling back some of its 1,000 troops from border towns  Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn on Monday, and has said it will potentially depart the country should widespread fighting break out.

The announcement, first made by the White House overnight on Sunday, appeared to take both the Kurds and US coalition forces, which had been carrying out joint patrols with Turkey on the ground, completely by surprise.

Kurdish sources say they were acting in good faith trying to establish a security mechanism with the US to placate Turkey, but now felt that Ankara had been using it as a cover for reconnaisance.

Mustafa Bali, spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), tweeted: "We are not expecting the US to protect NE #Syria. But people here are owed an explanation regarding security mechanism deal, destruction of fortifications and failure of US to fulfill their commitments."

The White House statement was released after a phonecall between US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday night.

Mr Erdogan had reportedly assured the US president that Ankara would take over the detention of Isil militants captured by the SDF, on the battlefield.

The Kurds have been holding thousands of Syrian and thousands more foreign Isil suspects in prisons and camps across the north of the country.

Mr Trump has repeatedly asked countries under the US-led coalition against Isil to repatriate their citizens. However, the UK, France, Germany, and other allies have so far refused.

“The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer,” the White House statement said. “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial “Caliphate” by the United States.”

The decision is a massive blow to the Kurds, who not only helped hold back Isil but have for years been building an autonomous statelet in the northeast of Syria.

Turkey claims its planned “safe zone” is to purge the border of YPG forces, which it sees as a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency inside its territory for the past 35 years.

The proposed corridor would have an initial depth of 18 miles and a length of 300 miles and includes the Kurds’ biggest urban centres, including the city of Qamishli which has an estimated 250,000 population.

Turkey on Monday night carried out air strikes on the Iraqi side of the Iraq-Syria border crossing, in what was thought to be an attack on the YPG's supply line.

Western diplomats told the Telegraph they are working on the theory that Mr Erdogan will begin by attempting to take a smaller sliver between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain on the border, but the Turkish president himself has previously hinted at much wider ambitions.

Mr Erdogan has said he wants to return two million of the mostly Sunni Arab Syrian refugees Turkey is hosting to the buffer zone, which some have said would amount to an ethnic repopulation.

The Kurds fear many of the Syrians that might be placed in the zone are not native to north-east Syria, and might displace the Kurdish culture and rights.

The UN said that it was "preparing for the worst", fearing an assault would send large numbers of civilians fleeing.

“This Turkish military operation in northern and eastern Syria will have a significant negative impact on our war on ISIS and will destroy everything that has been achieved from the state of stability over the past years,” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement.

They said they would defend themselves against “Turkish aggression” and called on all sects, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs and Assyrians to join them.

Defending its Kurdish allies would have seen the US come against its Nato partner Turkey, which Washington was keen to avoid.

President Donald Trump has since taking office attempted to disentangle the US from drawn-out wars in the Middle East.

His goal of swift withdrawals in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have been stymied by concerns from US officials and American allies about the dangerous voids that would remain.

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America’s top CEOs say they are no longer putting shareholders before everyone else

This a joke.  CEOs have NEVER put shareholders first. Their own prestige, power and income have always been their first priority and that will not change.  Shareholders just get the scraps

For the past two decades, the official stance of America’s top corporate executives has been that the interests of shareholders came before the interests of all others—workers, consumers, the cities and towns in which their companies operated, and society as a whole.

Today, that changes.

The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group composed of the nation’s leading CEOs, just announced that its members “share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders”—each of whom “is essential”—while pledging “to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country.”

With its “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” the Roundtable has affirmed the need for “meeting or exceeding customer expectations”; “investing in our employees,” including by “compensating them fairly and providing important benefits,” as well as offering training and education so that they can “develop new skills for a rapidly changing world”; “dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers”; “supporting the communities in which we work”; and “generating long-term value for shareholders.”

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase and the Roundtable’s chairman, says he hopes that this declaration “will help to set a new standard for corporate leadership.”

It is, without question, a huge deal.

As I’ve detailed before, through the 1980s and most of the ’90s, the Roundtable held that companies had a responsibility to “carefully weigh the interests of all stakeholders,” as the organization described it, and that “the thrust of history and law” buttressed this kind of broad assessment.

In 1997, the Roundtable switched course. Suddenly, it proclaimed that “the paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders” and that “the interests of other stakeholders are relevant as a derivative of the duty to stockholders.” (The Roundtable echoed that message in 2016.)

The Roundtable’s shift to a shareholder-first posture has been widely cited as a significant marker in the evolution of corporate America—both a reflection and reinforcement of an ideology that has thrilled investors, gripped executives, and knocked out a more enlightened form of capitalism that had emerged in the era after World War II.

Yet since then—and especially over the past 5 to 10 years—serving shareholders first and foremost has come under increasing attack. An expanding chorus of critics has made the case that this predilection has contributed to a short-term mindset among far too many executives, fostering a culture of indiscriminate cost-cutting and financial engineering, and has been a central reason for the explosion in income inequality.

“I read the Roundtable’s statement as a return to common-sense principles of management and the recognition that employees need a bigger share of the pie to assure a healthy economy,” says Judy Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.

The pressure for business to put an end to shareholder primacy has been building from a variety of quarters. Younger workers, in particular, are looking for employers that have a loftier purpose than merely maximizing their profits. More and more, customers are paying attention to which companies seem to be doing right by their people and the environment—and punishing brands that fall short. Socially conscious investors have started putting vast sums of money into financial products that use a “sustainable, responsible, and impact” lens.

Politicians have also taken up the cause. The Accountable Capitalism Act, proposed by Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate, would require very large companies to obtain a new federal charter under which directors would have to “consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, the basic tenets of shareholder capitalism have been questioned by scholars such as the late Lynn Stout, a Cornell law professor and author of The Shareholder Value Myth, who cogently argued that executives and directors have wide latitude in deciding what is best for a company and don’t have any obligation—legal or otherwise—to elevate shareholders above everyone else. Journalists and think-tank types have weighed in along these lines, too.

MY DINNER WITH DIMON

Among them has been me. As Fortune’s Alan Murray recounts, the Roundtable began to reevaluate its views on the relationship between shareholders and other stakeholders after a “testy, off-the-record dinner” last fall that I participated in. Dimon had invited four of us—including the Washington Post‘s Steve Pearlstein, Bloomberg’s Joe Nocera, and Samuelson of the Aspen Institute—to JPMorgan headquarters to better understand why we kept insisting that corporate America had become overly obsessed with shareholder value and, as a result, was damaging society.

Dimon’s perspective—then and now—is that most big companies already take good care of their various stakeholders. “We relentlessly invest in employees, communities, and innovation,” he told me.

If that were true, of course, the new Roundtable statement would simply be codifying the current state of affairs. But with all due respect to Dimon, who deserves great credit for engaging with us and then guiding the Roundtable to recast its position, the numbers don’t back him up.

Sure, no company completely ignores all of its constituents save for its shareholders. If it did, it would soon be out of business. But as a study published last week by the Center for American Progress makes clear, things are terribly out of balance.

Wages for the majority of the American workforce have been stagnant for 40 years, while their health coverage and retirement security have eroded. At the same time, corporate profits—high by historical standards—are mainly being used to reward shareholders, including CEOs themselves. Their compensation has gone up 940% since 1978; typical worker compensation has risen 12% during that time, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

For the Roundtable’s statement to mean something—and not stand as empty rhetoric—this picture can’t be allowed to continue.

With that in mind, I asked a half-dozen colleagues who’ve been at the fore of fighting shareholder primacy what would it take for them to be convinced that CEOs across the business landscape had genuinely embraced stakeholder capitalism.

For starters, several say, companies must curtail stock buybacks, if not stop them altogether. These repurchases have become a financial narcotic, with a record volume of shares being snapped up, largely in an attempt to pump up their price.

Some, including Roundtable President Joshua Bolten, defend the practice as an efficient way to deploy capital and help the economy grow. But buybacks plainly favor shareholders (including, again, CEOs), and every dollar of profit spent on them means one less dollar that can go directly to bolster worker pay, training, R&D, and other areas.

“I would make it the primary obligation of all business corporations to ‘retain-and-reinvest’: retain profits and reinvest in the productive capabilities of employees,” says economist Bill Lazonick, who is perhaps the country’s most outspoken detractor of buybacks. “I would place constraints on ‘downsize-and-distribute’: downsizing the company’s labor force and distributing corporate cash to shareholders.”

Environmental stewardship is another proving ground. Some big companies score high marks in this arena right now. But with climate change posing an existential crisis, it’s crucial that corporations do far more.

“Why I’m passionate about ending shareholder primacy is that I truly think the future of the entire human race depends on it, and I’m not trying to exaggerate,” says Lenore Palladino, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “For corporate leaders to show they are committed to stakeholder capitalism, we need to see a commitment to the health of the environment as a business priority . . . a dramatic strategic reorientation towards reversing the current damage and reengineering businesses to be productive for the long term.”

For sustainability pioneer John Elkington, another sign that a stakeholder model hadreally taken root would be for companies to no longer speak with two voices: one from the C-suite and another via the Washington influencers representing them.

“They would resign from all trade and industry groups which lobby to slow or stall necessary systemic changes” that would enhance the simultaneous creation of economic, social, and environmental value, says Elkington, who coined the term “triple bottom line.” Then they would turn around, he adds, and “forcefully and publicly lobby for a meaningful price on carbon and for the breakup of monopolies and oligopolies.”

To give the Roundtable statement some teeth, they’d also take a fresh approach to organized labor. “Welcoming, rather than fighting, a union would be a big one,” says Andy Green, managing director of economic policy at the Center for American Progress. Research shows that nearly half of all workers not in a union want to join one. Yet many companies do all they can to keep this from happening.

Samuelson, for her part, would be impressed by companies “dampening down the intense focus on stock price in CEO pay.” More than half of CEO compensation is share-based these days, much of it tied to short-term financial measures. Instead, executives should be paid—and to a meaningful degree—on a mix of environmental, social, and governance metrics.

The University of Toronto’s Roger Martin, who has been recognized as the world’s number-one management thinker, wants to see a reversal of something that, for many of the most senior executives, is even more deep-seated.

Rather than concentrate on stock price, he says, they should expressly concentrate on serving customers or developing employees or tackling some social need through innovation. Ultimately, Martin has maintained, that’s the best means of taking care of shareholders anyway.

“For me, the key would be to view shareholder value creation as the logical consequence of other things, not something that you can directly pursue,” he says. “It is like Aristotle who pointed out that if a person sets out to be happy, the person is unlikely to end up happy. However, if the person sets out to lead a virtuous life, the person will probably end up happy. If I could only have one thing, it would be that.”

Others made additional suggestions: Companies should guarantee a living wage for all workers, including contractors. Stakeholders of different stripes (employees, sustainability experts, even everyday taxpayers) should be given seats on corporate boards. Executives should lean on business schools to stop teaching that shareholder value is the be-all and end-all of capitalism.

Much of this agenda may be dismissed as unrealistic. Certainly, none of it will be easy to achieve. And none of it is meant to imply that the Roundtable’s statement isn’t, in and of itself, a monumental step.

Words matter. The words of the Roundtable—a Who’s Who of those at the helm of the largest U.S. corporations, from Abbott to Zebra Technologies—matter a lot. In the end, though, it is the actions of Roundtable members that will matter the most.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 

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"A Shakespearean Act of Betrayal": Trump Agrees to Let Turkey Invade Kurdish-Controlled Syrian Area   

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U.S. troops have begun withdrawing from northeast Syria as Turkey prepares to invade Kurdish-controlled areas of the country. For years, the Kurds have been close allies to the United States in the fight against ISIS. On Sunday, however, the White House released a statement that surprised many in the region, announcing that Turkey would be "moving forward with its long-planned operation in Northern Syria," following a phone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in that operation, and the United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area," the statement said. The announcement marks a major shift in U.S. policy, since as recently as January President Trump threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if it attacked Kurdish forces in Syria. Meanwhile, in neighboring Iraq, the death toll continues to rise as police and soldiers fire on people defying a government-imposed curfew in mass anti-government protests. For more on events in the region, we speak with Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper.

          

Israelis worried Trump might turn on them next after abandoning the Kurds   

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This week President Donald Trump announced that he was no longer going to protect the Kurdish people in Syria. Now, some in Israel are wondering if he might flip on them next. It was revealed Tuesday that Trump’s decision to allow Turkey to kill the Kurds came from a call where Turkish President Recep Tayyip […]

          

We’re about to find out how much humiliation Republicans can tolerate — here’s why   

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American presidents are only as strong as their parties allow them to be. So we should all be paying close attention to what the Republicans, especially Republicans in the US Senate, are saying about Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds over the weekend. This article was originally published at The Editorial Board The GOP is […]

          

World News (Oct 7, 2019 EDN): Trump Loses Fight To Keep Taxes Secret, Files Emergency Appeal – 10,000 ISIS Unleashed: Syrian Kurds Warn Of Mass Prison Break If Turkey Invades – Trump: “I Will Totally Destroy And Obliterate” The Turkish Economy If Erdogan Breaks Promises In Syria – Erdogan’s Syria Invasion Begins: Turkish Jets Filmed Bombing Kurdish Targets – Rare Fox News Segment Details Saudi State Sponsorship Of 9/11 Attacks – Flashback: Dr. Alan Sabrosky, Former Director Of S   

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Trump Loses Fight To Keep Taxes Secret, Files Emergency Appeal This decision allows the Manhattan D.A.'s office to subpoena eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.#BreakingNews #Trump #USAhttps://t.co/RzNpdm8o53 — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) October 7, 2019 The Kurds have proven themselves to belong to the most effective fighters against ISIS. Erdogan & the ... Read more

          

Trevor Noah Says Trump's Kurd Betrayal Means 'America's Word Ain't Worth Sh*t'   

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“This is just insane,” Noah said. “The Kurds have been essential in America’s fight against ISIS.”

          

ANALYSIS: Trump creates a new war zone in Syria   

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Pro-Assad, Russian forces prepare to face Turkish forces as US withdrawal clears way for new conflict. By Yochanan Visser, INN The United States “is hatching a new war zone in northern Syria” read the headline above a report about US President Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw his military from what is called by the Kurds Rojava, the Kurdish autonomous cantons along the Turkish border in Syria. Trump apparently took the decision without consulting anyone and after a telephone conversation with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is the only world leader who considers the Kurds of the Syrian Democratic Forces ‘terrorists’. Following Read More

          

As American troops withdraw in Syria, Trump says Kurds are on their own   

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In the US, Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds and send a troubling message to allies across the globe By AGENCIES and TOI STAFF Today, 4:21 pm In this photo from July 11, 2018, US President Donald Trump, left, talks with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they arrive together for a family photo at a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) As American troops began pulling out of northeast Syria ahead of a Turkish invasion on Monday, US President Donald Trump Read More

          

Comment on Open Thread | Remembering Diahann Carroll, the Legend by rikyrah    

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Cake or Death (@Johngcole) Tweeted: It says something to me that every single person I served with in the Army and who I still keep in touch with (about 50 people), 75% of whom are Trump supporters, to an individual, is horrified by the decision to let the Kurds be slaughtered. https://God.blue/splash.php?url=bKZqtYvPjGu_SLASH_m9Zvu1hlBvNYJkxEB_PLUS_paEp6zRw_PLUS_5ELknF3ZTXlT0aPJtF_SLASH_gD5899T8W6XKlAldiKLt5y7WfiauxmVYxXbux2xkqMWjmpUZq0IA7IsiBaDl2EgvLWZZX_SLASH_9vNgJu18habFgj_PLUS_T1jMe3A_EQUALS__EQUALS_

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