Hey, Sultan, Your Mother Swims out to Troop Ships!

Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire

This is apropos of nothing in Virginia, and I’m not trying to make a political statement of any kind, but… With Turkey and Ukraine much in the news these days, a famous 19th-century Russian painting is making the rounds on the Internet: a rendering by Ilya Repin of free-wheeling Cossacks composing a ribald and insulting response to a demand by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV for their submission. In language even less diplomatic than that employed by our current president, the Cossacks literally told the Sultan in 1676 to shtup his mother. Read the hilarious letter on Wikipedia here. Russia had a history every bit as colorful as the U.S. wild west, but Americans aren’t taught it. Seeing this painting makes me want to learn more. I was so tickled that I had to share.

— JAB

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9 responses to “Hey, Sultan, Your Mother Swims out to Troop Ships!

  1. Oh, I have NO DOUBT that if Trump wins a second term, we’re going to see this kind of stuff… the man is a cretin… and he has a following………

    • He’s not alone. Hillary thinks the Russians are grooming Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) to run as a 3rd-party candidate to help Trump win reelection. 1816 brought James Monroe and Rufus King. 1916 brought Woodrow Wilson and Charles Evans Hughes. 2016 the frigging bottom of the barrel – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s hard not to believe that 2116 won’t be a helluva lot better than the recent candidates.

  2. Interesting but the Turks may have the last laugh. The Cossacks were from Zaparozhets in Ukraine. In Soviet days it was known for making the worst automobile ever. Some versions had all of 30 horsepower. Ordinary folk called it “the soap dish.”

  3. That museum and is the one reason I could be talked into crossing that border…maybe someday. And as we awake this morning, with the Turks agreeing to a cease fire in place that gives them all they sought in the Syria invasion, with no U.S. economic sanctions, I would say the Turks are having one helluva laugh. The only concession on this I will make is, Trump did make promises along this line in his campaign, so no one should be too surprised. If there is a rational argument for his policy of abandoning the region to Putin, Assad, Erogan and the Iranians, some benefit we’ll see, I’d like to hear it. The one thread tying them all together is fear of a strong and armed Kurdish minority, and that makes the Kurds our natural allies…

    • The rational argument is not wanting to see US troops coming home in body bags. Keeping an undersized force in a chaotic area as a “trip wire” is ridiculous. Who can forget the Marine barracks in Beirut or the Black Hawk Down battle in Mogadishu. I’m sure America’s political elite would call those tragedies “acceptable damage”. However, I am sure the families of those killed in such historical stupidities of incompetent foreign policy have different thoughts.

      Oddly, I would think Virginians would have more sense than to support small groups of US military scattered around the world ….

      “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world”: it was George Washington’s Farewell Address to us. The inaugural pledge of Thomas Jefferson was no less clear: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.”

      As far as the Kurds being our allies, I believe that was the same thing that Tecumseh and the Shawnee thought about the British in 1811. How much of Canada did they end up getting from the Brits?

    • How about this: The U.S. mission was to destroy the Islamic Caliphate. We destroyed the Caliphate. This time, the mission truly was accomplished. Time to come home.

  4. Destroy the Caliphate? They always come back. Withdrawal also hands it to Putin. Not a good idea.

    • “Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined.”

      Politico Magazine

      Enough is enough. Trump is right. Trying to be the world’s policeman is a fool’s errand.

  5. For four decades my Arabic-speaking deep state brother has called this Mr. Carter’s War. It is all about Iran, and was when we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. I agree, DJ, that those moves were fraught with peril and in retrospect were probably a mistake. Both my brother and my son had government visits to the sandbox under arms, both home safely TTL. History also teaches that disengagement and isolationism are a huge mistake. I am glad these are not decisions I need to make.

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