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OK For Real, What The HELL Is Trump Thinking With His Syria Pull-Out?
Is he trying to be Putin's goddamned Secret Santa here? Is that what makes him go 'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED' in his pants?
On Wednesday morning, Donald Trump rolled out of bed onto the floor, and as he squeezed out his first Big Mac crap of the day he simultaneously squeezed out a tweet declaring ISIS defeated. That's right, without telling anyone beforehand, Trump had declared flawless victory over both ISIS and his bowels, essentially confirming reports from late Tuesday that the troops are coming home:
So full of shit, so little time.
Back in September, John Bolton beat his chest and swore the US was in it to win it, or at least that we'd stay in Syria long enough to outlast the evil Iranians. On Monday, the Washington Post reports that James Jeffrey, the US special representative for Syria engagement, "publicly pledged that the U.S. commitment to Syria would not waver." But Trump also reportedly told Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that he was going to pull out, after agreeing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's
ordersuggestion on a phone call Friday that it would be a good idea.
So ... What The Fuck?
Well! We're not quite sure yet, and we've got no idea if this pull-out will even happen, announced as it was on Twitter , but we know a few things to be true right here at the outset.
For instance, despite how Obama's Syria policy weakened ISIS considerably, and ISIS has lost most of its territory, it's not actually defeated . (Remember months back, when commanders on the ground were whispering in NBC News's ear that it would be super cool if Trump pulled his thumbs out of his ass and gave them the resources they need to actually finish the job?) We also know that the primary beneficiaries of a US pull-out of Syria are Russia, Turkey, Syrian warlord dictator Bashar al-Assad, and Iran, which is supposedly Trump's biggest, baddest enemy. (Draw your own conclusions, because we're certainly drawing ours.)
You see, if we pull out, Vladimir Putin gets to exert a lot more influence in the region with his buddy Assad, and Turkey is free to keep attacking the Kurds, whom Turkey views as a mortal enemy, but have up to this point been our ally in fighting ISIS. Oh yes, and Merry Christmas to you , Iran! Didn't know we were suddenly exchanging gifts, but since El Dipshit Presidente came to power, our foreign policy secret Santa gift exchange has gotten weird . Anyway, enjoy all your newfound freedom to explore the Syrian countryside, and, like, kill people or whatever.
Donald Trump contradicted Donald Trump this morning on Twitter, confirming that actually ISIS is not defeated, but adding a new lie about how actually Russia and Iran and Syria are upset we are leaving. They are not.
Trump has, of course, been wanting to do this since basically forever, because he thinks he knows more than the generals. But apparently the president of Turkey may have given him just the terrible, stupid justifiication he needs:
Mr. Erdogan has vowed to launch a new offensive against the Kurdish troops that the United States has equipped to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
And if Erdoğan attacks the Kurds a whole bunch he might accidentally hurt some Americans, because the Kurds and the Americans are fighting on the same side and holy fucking shit, did we just read that sentence correctly? WE DID.
According to the New York Times, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is basically against this, and Pentagon people were still trying to talk Trump out of this decision on Wednesday morning. (If there is any silver lining, it is that John Bolton is probably freaked out so hard he's put his mustache in pigtails and is running around the West Wing grunting "HENGGGHHHHH?" to whomever will listen. It's not that much of a silver lining.)
Our allies weren't informed, and most of the Defense and State departments weren't informed either, because fuck them, they are not Donald Trump's real dad (his real dad is at a Klan rally in hell, probably):
Not surprising that @StateDept cancels scheduled press briefing today after State and DOD officials surprised by… https: //t.co/d29GFuKUm5
— Andrea Mitchell (@Andrea Mitchell) 1545247750.0
Oh MAN, Republican Senators Are Furious .
It's rare to see the GOP almost in unanimous disagreement with Trump, but it's happening right now, because with the notable exception of that fucking jackass Rand Paul, they all seem to agree Trump just did something really stupid.
There's Lindsey Graham:
"If Obama had done this, all of us would be furious," Mr. Graham said. "If Obama had done this, we'd be going nuts right now: 'How weak, how dangerous.'"
There's Lindsey Graham again:
"I'm pretty annoyed," said Sen. Lindsey Graham [...] who told CNN's Manu Raju the President's decision was "Obama-like" -- a reference to President Barack Obama's decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011, which critics say gave rise to ISIS. Graham said the role of Congress is "to make administrations explain their policy, not in a tweet, but before Congress answering questions."
Man, these shitheads wish they still had Obama to kick around. At least when Obama did something they disagreed with, they could be sure the decision wasn't made mid-shit because he got a text from a hostile foreign dictator. However, if the Iraq withdrawal was an Obama mistake -- and we're willing to entertain that possibility, except for how we had been there for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS FOR NO REASON AT THAT POINT WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT BESIDES A BUNCH OF DEAD BODIES -- then we can understand why hawks like Graham are making the comparison.
Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the way Trump did this without telling anybody beforehand was super fucked up, and echoed the Obama line, adding that "in many ways it's worse." (Perhaps in response to Corker's comments, Trump canceled a planned meeting with him Wednesday afternoon while Corker was already at the White House waiting to see him , probably because Trump was busy pouting about everybody in his own party calling him a fucking idiot.)
Marco Rubio said a mad thing, and Ben Sasse said a mad thing, and basically all the Republicans in the Senate are saying a mad thing right now. At this rate it might be a full 24 hours before they roll over and die because they're worried Trump might make fun of them in a tweet.
House Republicans aren't their usual rosy giggles 'n' blowjobs about this latest Trump decision either:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) [said] Wednesday morning that the timing of the move could not be more counterproductive. There's no sound reason for the United States to announce it's giving up all leverage just as the next round of negotiations begins.
"History will look at that as one of the stupidest strategic moves before a negotiation," he said. "In order to have a successful diplomatic outcome, you have to have a military option and a military presence."
Kinzinger isn't saying Mattis should resign over this, but he makes clear that he's not not saying it either.
OK Fine, But What Are Democrats Saying?
They're not being any nicer at all! There aren't as many quotes from Democrats, because the media naturally had way more fun with the GOP doing fisticuffs with Trump, but Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee are skeptical, to say the least:
Without a congressional AUMF, U.S. intervention in #Syria has long been suspect. But suddenly pulling out U.S. pres… https: //t.co/rvkJ3f8UjU
— Senator Ben Cardin (@Senator Ben Cardin) 1545262787.0
I am very concerned that an ill-informed and hasty withdrawal of troops will breathe new life into ISIS and other t… https: //t.co/tPBNnmlPqW
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@Sen. Jeanne Shaheen) 1545234855.0
DING DING DING! Jeanne Shaheen wins the prize!
Chris Murphy of Connecticut is being a little more circumspect:
Guess what? Our military strategy in Syria - under Obama and Trump - has never made sense. Fighting ISIS makes sens… https: //t.co/KiOClYWICa
— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy) 1545251212.0
And he's calling out the GOP on its balls-out hypocrisy:
For all the Republicans wailing about Trump pulling our troops out of Syria: Where were you when he shut down the… https://t.co/EKff4PEsuE
— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy) 1545261659.0
HE'S NOT WRONG.
Over there in the House, soon-to-be Speaker Pelosi has thoughts:
"It is premature for the President to declare a sweeping victory against ISIS when, just a few weeks ago, our military led more than 250 coalition-conducted airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. All Americans should be concerned that this hasty announcement was made on the day after sentencing in criminal proceedings began against the President's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted that he was a registered foreign agent for a country with clear interests in the Syrian conflict."
She didn't stop there either. Click over for the full thing!
OK Cool, But Surely Trump's Dumbest Defenders In Right-Wing Media Are Scratching Trump's Balls And Calling Him The Greatest Military Strategist Of All Time?
You guys, on "Fox & Friends" Brian Kilmeade -- the dumbest one, who gets mad because he's confused why sharks insist on living inside the ocean at all times -- called Trump's decision "stunning and irresponsible." When you've lost Kilmeade ...
And when you've lost Sarah Huckabee Sanders's dad ...
I want troops home too, but leaving Syria abruptly is betrayal to Kurds who have sacrificed and shed blood for Amer… https: //t.co/4oImZM5EsH
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@Gov. Mike Huckabee) 1545279255.0
It's actually happened. The entire country -- aside from like three idiots who are into bath salts and QAnon -- woke up calling the president a fucking moron this morning. It's a Christmas miracle!
So Why The Fuck Is Trump Doing This?
Besides the fact that he's a know-nothing compromised dipshit from Dumbfuckistan? A Defense Department official the Times talked to off the record suggested it's just another goddamned distraction from all the WOE IS ME scandals overtaking the president right now. It's totally normal when DoD officials are saying stuff like that to the Times , about the president.
Or maybe there's something else going on behind the scenes and President Unindicted Co-Conspirator is being a foreign agent again. The Russian embassy came all over its borscht upon hearing the announcement:
The #US🇺🇸 decision to pull its troops from #Syria🇸🇾 creates good prospects for a political solution in that Arab co… https: //t.co/3rXigXshsY
— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺) 1545251344.0
Even better, Putin said he agreed with Trump's decision! On Russian state TV! SQUEEEEEEEEE, DONALD TRUMP IS GOING TO BE FAMOUS IN RUSSIA!
As we noted above, Trump made his decision during a phone call with Erdoğan, who surely has everybody's best interests in mind. Plus, Trump has been looking for something to keep Turkey from making a big stinky over how Trump's best friends the Saudis bone-sawed a guy to death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and they haven't managed to kidnap that exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen from his home in Pennsylvania and send him back to Turkey to get murdered -- you know, the thing Turkey reallywants , which Michael Flynn was trying to accomplish when he was acting as a literal actual foreign agent while also receiving classified briefings as Trump's top foreign policy guy on the campaign. So maybe getting Trump to pull out of Syria so he can attack the shit out of some Kurds was Erdoğan's consolation prize?
Fuck if we know.
But How Do YOU Feel About This, Wonkette?
Oh thank you for asking! We were wondering when you would.
The answer is that it's complex. The Syria situation is a fucked up shitshow even when compared to other fucked up Middle Eastern shitshows . There are so many moving parts, and so many different sides fighting with each other, and we honestly don't think America ever knew exactly what the hell it was doing over there in the first place.
But this isn't really a post about the merits of the war or whether we should ultimately be there. The reality of the matter is that, for better or for worse, we're in this thing, and as such we have to act responsibly and have a coherent strategery . And it's nearly impossible just to look at this situation in an isolated way because we really truly don't know where President Foreign Agent's loyalties actually lie, we don't know his true motivations here, and we don't know who's getting paid under the table in the process. We do know right now that ceding Syria to Putin and his buddy Assad -- and Iran! Seriously! -- doesn't seem like the smartest course of action at this point in time. But it sure does seem like Trump's best dictator pals are getting everything they want!
As Josh Rogin points out in the Post , James Jeffrey said earlier this week that we'd stay in Syria until we have really for real defeated ISIS, pushed back Iran and actually, you know, achieved a result that at least looks like some kind of fucking political solution to the crisis.
"The strategy is to use these various levers, the lever of all these military forces running around … the fact that much of the territory and many of the more valuable resources such as oil and gas are not in the hands of the regime," to prevent the Assad regime, Russia and Iran from achieving total victory on their own terms, Jeffrey said.
And now Trump just wants to pull out prematurely, for what we imagine is the first time in his life, and let Russia and Iran win.
And what about the people we leave behind? You know, the ones who were on our side, against ISIS?
"It's a sad state of affairs when our key allies on the ground, who've shed blood and thousands of lives for our fight against ISIS, are to be well and truly abandoned," said Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute.
Our Kurdish allies will get screwed, AGAIN. So, mission accomplished, we guess, President Fuckwit. America looks more stupid, thoughtless and cruel than it did the day before, which we guess you can say about each and every day of the Trump presidency.
Yep, we guess that's what we think about that.
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