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In yet another bizarre press appearance where Donald Trump used the signing of unrelated executive orders as a chance to talk utter nonsense about himself, the "president" explained yesterday why it was perfectly OK to abandon Kurds in northern Syria to the tender mercies of Turkey. Sure, maybe the Kurdish militias largely wiped out ISIS control of territory in Syria, with US help. But that doesn't mean they're our allies or anything. So if withdrawing US troops means Turkey massacres the Kurds, that's really none of our business. If it makes you feel better, Trump hopes Turkey won't massacre them, and even forcefully called that prospect a "bad idea." And he promised, again, to punish his buddy, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, if Turkey goes too far, although Trump wouldn't say what would count as "too far."

If it's any comfort to the Kurds, Trump seems equally dismissive of what might happen to our European allies. Asked whether he was worried the Turkish incursion might result in ISIS prisoners escaping, Trump said that was no big deal to him, either: "Well they're going to be escaping to Europe, that's where they want to go, they want to go back to their homes." Totally not an American problem! And besides, Trump pointed out, the Europeans didn't want to take back those ISIS fighters, so Europe had it coming.

Here's Trump explaining why it's OK to let NATO ally Turkey do a little genocide against the people who fought ISIS, so huge numbers of US troops wouldn't have to.


Donald Trump says Kurds 'didn't help us with Normandy' www.youtube.com

You see, Trump explained, it's OK to abandon the Kurds because they're really, really selfish, which is why some 11,000 Kurds died fighting ISIS. But what have they done for us other than that?

Now, the Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand, they are fighting for their land. And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy as an example, they mentioned the names of different battles, but they're there to help us with their land, and that's a different thing.

Plus, Trump is kind of tired of the Kurds being such a damn money pit, noting that the US has "spent tremendous amounts of money on helping the Kurds, in terms of ammunition, in terms of weapons, in terms of money, in terms of pay."

Again, not to beat a dead YPG militia fighter who thought her US Special Forces allies would stand by her, but it might be worth noting all that money funded a proxy war against ISIS so thousands of American troops wouldn't be in harm's way. It wasn't welfare. Again, nothing new there -- it's just an even more dishonest 2019 version of the same geopolitical genius of guys at the VFW bar complaining about the Marshall Plan because we saved those ingrates in WWII and what do we get out of rebuilding Europe, huh?

The Kurds didn't "help" the US fight ISIS. The US provided arms, intelligence, and special operations assistance to the Kurds, who along with other Syrian opposition groups, did the bulk of the fighting and dying. Just in case we hadn't mentioned that in every other paragraph. Had we not assisted them, ISIS would have wiped them out. And ISIS would still have a caliphate. But now, Russia and Turkey can take care of whatever happens next in Syria.

At least Trump summed up, "With all of that being said, we like the Kurds." Just imagine how much deader they'd be if we disliked them.

As for that "very, very powerful article today" Trump referred to, Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer identified it as a Townhall.com screed by highly respected wingnut bloviator Kurt Schlichter, who explained that however helpful they may have been, the Kurds are just disposable allies of convenience:

The Kurds helped destroy ISIS, true. It's also true that the Kurds would have fought ISIS anyway, since the psycho caliphate was right next door. Let's be honest – the Kurds didn't show up for us at Normandy or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Kandahar. The Syrian Kurds allied with us in their homeland because we shared a common interest in wiping out the head-lopping freak show that was ISIS.

Schlichter points out America never ratified a formal treaty with the Kurds, so leaving a few score troops in northern Syria to serve as a tripwire/deterrent against Turkish genocide would actually be unconstitutional, and nothing more than a gift to "elites" who think American Heroes should "shed our blood" on the behalf of "foreign strangers." Mind you, Schlichter is a big fan of US support for foreign strangers in Israel, and once even said American Jews who opposed Israeli settlements in the occupied territories were equivalent to Jews who "helped" at Auschwitz.

Also, funny Schlichter should mention Khe Sanh. As a Wonkette reader noted, you know who else didn't "show up for us at Khe Sanh"?

Schlichter, we should remind you, is the dude who worried that Robert Mueller's indictments against the Russian troll farm was a dangerous infringement of the precious First Amendment rights of foreign strangers who simply wanted their voices to be heard. He's a very serious political analyst, a very, very powerful thinker. If you're sitting on a barstool bitching about how you think everyone in Washington is a crook.

UPDATE: Hooray for History Twitter. Yes, of course, Kurds did help the Allies in WW II. But not at Normandy, so fuck 'em, right?

[NYT / CBS News / Slate / PBS Frontline]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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