Did Turkey Promise To Investigate Joe Biden Or Something? Is That Why Trump's Pulling Out Of Syria?
The last time Donald Trump decided the war in Syria, or at least the US's role in it, was over, he strapped on his bespoke codpiece for Mario Kart dicks and GREAT BIG YETI PUBES, landed on the flight deck of his Twitter account, and declared mission accomplished! against ISIS. Of course, ISIS hadn't actually been defeated, and still hasn't, but Trump had a lot of scandals going on at the time, and besides he had just had a phone call with the Turkish president and (we guess) received instructions on what his dictator buddy wanted him to do next. That was last December.
Fast forward almost a year, Donald Trump has even more scandals (like impeachment), and he's again dressing up in his fanciest codpiece and (we guess) doing what the Turkish president tells him to do. This time it's more in-your-face, though, and there's zero pretense that ISIS is defeated or that this is an anti-war move. Oh sure they're saying ISIS is gone, but it sounds like Turkey just really wants to massacre some Kurds (AKA our closest allies in this conflict), and Trump wants to let that happen:
Today, [Dumbfuck McGee] spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by the telephone.
Quick, White House, put that phone call on the secret Bin Laden server before the Deep State leaks whatever treason Trump committed to the Fake News! Uh anyway, back to the statement:
Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria.
Its murdering of Kurds, they mean.
The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial "Caliphate," will no longer be in the immediate area.
Except for the whole "defeated" part, that statement is true!
And so forth and so on.
This is fucked up and appalling and it is also Donald Trump saying SQUIRREL!, because we guess he thinks maybe we will forget to impeach the motherfucker now. Bad news, dumb dumb, not gonna happen.
In short, we are pulling out of Northern Syria, which will allow Turkey to come in and set up a "LOL safe zone LOLOLOL" (that is the official military term) along the Turkey-Syria border. Our Turkish allies just want to create a nice place to resettle a million Syrian refugees, but there also just so happen to be WHOLE LOTTA KURDS up there in that neighborhood. Shame if anything were to happen to 'em.
As we explained last time Trump ended the war in Syria, all of this is highly complex, but basically the Kurds have been consistently on our side fighting against ISIS. Unfortunately, Turkey considers the Kurds, who aspire to have their own country in part of Turkey's territory, its mortal enemy and labels it a terrorist group. The Americans abandoning the Kurds -- without even pretending we're not doing that this time! -- is not only a gift to Turkey, it is also a gift to Russia and Iran, and to the dictator Bashar al Assad
and his vice president Tulsi Gabbard, who now get to pick up the pieces and expand their influence in our absence. Or, you know, just let a lot of people get massacred and forget to pick up the pieces entirely. One of the two!
How bad? Well, not that "Even Lindsey Graham!" is a valuable metric for anything these days, but it is notable when he turtle-heads his way out of the president's ass and says, "Sir? This maybe might be kind of a bad idea."
* Ensures ISIS comeback. * Forces Kurds to align with Assad and Iran. * Destroys Turkey’s relationship with U.S. Co… https://t.co/KzCsQkp6O5— Lindsey Graham (@Lindsey Graham)1570450648.0
He's not wrong! He said more on Fox News:
"This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we've made, thrown the region into further chaos; Iran is licking its chops and if I'm an ISIS fighter, I've got a second lease on life," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in an appearance on Fox & Friends.
"To those who think ISIS has been defeated, you will soon see, and to Turkey you have destroyed the relationship, what little you had with the U.S. Congress, and I will do everything I can to sanction Turkey's military and their economy if they step one foot into Syria."
Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger also has thoughts:
Once again @realDonaldTrump uses Rand Paul’s “endless wars” talking points as he orders America to once again aband… https://t.co/uYyrE9NWWO— Adam Kinzinger (@Adam Kinzinger)1570451836.0
Lest you think it's just warmongering Republicans condemning Trump's latest move, have some Bernie Sanders:
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, has called for the United States to "responsibly end" military interventions in the Middle East but called the sudden shift "extremely irresponsible" and "likely to result in more suffering and instability."
Mean Bernie, trying to say Trump has to do things "responsibly."
Here's Democratic Senator Mark Warner:
"The Syrian Kurds stood with the United States in the fight against ISIS, and this President just betrayed them in a tweet," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said in a tweet. "This will further destabilize the region and haunt the United States for years to come. How can anyone trust the United States under this President?"
Last time Trump ended the war in Syria, the Kurds were devastated, partially because we did not inform them beforehand. This time, it sounds like we didn't even inform ourselves, according to this Fox News reporter:
Pentagon ‘completely blindsided’ by White House order to pull U.S. forces back from northern Syria green-lighting T… https://t.co/M2yX8bxtBT— Lucas Tomlinson (@Lucas Tomlinson)1570447280.0
As we said, even in the context of Middle Eastern conflicts, the war in Syria is extremely complex with a lot of moving parts and there are no easy answers. Should we be there in the first place? Probably the fuck not! But we're there, which means us leaving like this has easily predictable consequences, since Turkey is basically saying OUT LOUD, "Know what time it is? Murder time!"
But also, to be clear, as Tobias Schneider, who is kind of an expert on the Syrian conflict, points out, even saying "The Kurds are our allies" is a serious oversimplification. It's a marriage of convenience. Reading this Twitter thread Schneider posted, one gets the sense that what Trump has really done here -- again, without giving anybody any warning -- is just throw a big powder keg on an extremely dangerous situation, one that will likely set off ethnic cleansing from the Turkish side, will create many more refugees (the UN says it's "preparing for the worst"), and fuck up those who have been on the ground for years providing humanitarian aid.
Aside from how we can never truly know whether Trump is doing things for any kind of actual national security strategery purposes, or whether the president of Turkey simply promised to investigate the Bidens, the so-called president of America is on Twitter today espousing foreign policy you last heard from your old right-wing dad when he was drunk on Thanksgiving:
....almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bri… https://t.co/jTM8fgA9hR— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1570448435.0
LET 'EM ALL KILL EACH OTHER, he seems to be saying. He ain't give a fuck. It's just human life, it's not like it's something that keeps him up at night.
Of course, if Turkey gets to do its massacre, we kind of have to be out of there, because Turkey is NATO -- yes, it is still in the alliance, which blows, although the alternative would probably be worse -- and the first rule of NATO is "don't do war to another NATO." So in a way, this is a choice between supporting our "ally" Turkey vs. supporting our "ally" the Kurds.
It is all fucked up. And Donald Trump is an idiot.
As the New York Times points out, last time Trump ended the war in Syria, it led to resignations all over the place, including from former secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and also Brett McGurk, who was the "special presidential envoy for the coalition to defeat ISIS." Here's what McGurk thinks about this little stunt:
"This looks to be another reckless decision made without deliberation or consultation following a call with a foreign leader," Mr. McGurk said after hearing of Mr. Trump's decision on Sunday. "The White House statement bears no relation to facts on the ground. If implemented, it will significantly increase risk to our personnel, as well as hasten ISIS's resurgence."
Sounds about right.
At least we know Donald Trump the Stable Genius is large and in charge and knows what he's d-
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched… https://t.co/tNjd9bRijx— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1570462689.0
OH MY FUCKING GOD.
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