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Dok thinks you will recognize this picture of something something Vietnam. Okay, Dok.

In one of those rare moments that apparently can happen, Republicans mostly rushed to condemn Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull US forces from the border area between Turkey and Syria, where Kurdish militias have been fighting ISIS. No, Trump's promise that he would unleash economic ruin on Turkey if his "great and unmatched wisdom" perceived Turkey was doing bad things didn't reassure them either. Funny how, every now and again, Republicans seem capable of recognizing just how unhinged this "president's" actions are -- but only if it's something that matters to them. Children in cages, soliciting foreign help in an election, no big. But betraying military allies, maybe that's a bad thing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement condemning the withdrawal, noting that the last time Trump suddenly tried to remove all troops from Syria, the Senate had voted, by a veto-proof supermajority, to oppose the move:


The conditions that produced that bipartisan vote still exist today. While the physical caliphate has been removed, ISIS and al Qaeda remain dangerous forces in Syria and the ongoing Syrian civil war poses significant security and humanitarian risks.

"A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.

See? I said something against the interests of Russia! You have to stop calling me Moscow Mitch now, OK? Please? McConnell also called on Trump to "exercise American leadership," and to think about American allies, as if those strange concepts mean anything to Trump.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) said in a statement that leaving the Kurds to be wiped out "will also severely harm our credibility as an ally the world over," and called on Trump to "rethink this decision immediately." So far, Trump has not yet called for Toomey to be impeached.

Other prominent Rs who have criticized the Syria decision include Senators Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, and Susan Collins, who are expected to leave out a nice mug of warm milk for Trump to emphasize they're serious in opposing this outrage. Nobody should get their hopes up that this break with Trump on Syria has any implications for impeachment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who vowed to force the whistleblowers to be made public if Trump is impeached, was a lot less accommodating of Trump's decision to pull out US forces and allow Turkey to murder the Kurds. In a series of tweets Monday, he said the move was a "disaster in the making":

Graham also said if Turkey invades the Kurdish-held Syrian territory, it would create "a nightmare for the region & US national security interests," and that Congress would pass tough sanctions against Turkey, albeit without the supervillain hyperbole of Trump's claim that he'd "totally destroy and obliterate" the Turkish economy.

But just to be on the safe side and make it clear he still knows who the real enemy of America is, Graham also tweeted that the worst thing about Trump's sudden withdrawal from Syria is that it reminded him of Obama, boo, hiss:

That weird "Obama-libertarian" line may have been a slam at Sen. Rand Paul, the only Republican senator so far to say he thinks letting the Kurds go it alone is a great idea, because it's not our problem. Later Monday, Paul gained an ally, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who said on Twitter the Kurds are disposable, now that they've served our purposes:

So the nation with "no fault" divorce is supposed to stay married to the Syrian Kurds ... forever?

We gave them weapons, money and training to run ISIS out of *their* region. Now we are supposed to entangle ourselves in their 400+ yr conflict w the Turks?

Do we share values?

The Kurdish fighters are apparently pretty big on loyalty (and on women serving in their militias), so guess not.

It's noteworthy that we haven't seen any Republicans criticizing Trump for once again announcing a US withdrawal from Syria immediately after Trump had a phone call with his Turkish dictator buddy Recep Tayyip Erdogan. An anonymous National Security Council source told Newsweek yesterday that Trump got "rolled" by Erdogan on the call, and readily agreed to pull out US forces. Trump didn't explicitly agree that Turkey should be free to invade Syria, the source said, but he also didn't say on the call that there would be any negative consequences for doing so -- only in that stupid Great And Powerful Oz tweet, after the move was criticized by his own party.

Still, Trump insisted later in the day that he had LOADS of support for the pullout, telling reporters he had totally consulted with the Pentagon (yeah, sure he did), and adding you'll all see how popular the decision is.

"I can also name many more than you just named of people that totally are supportive. You see the names coming out. People are extremely thrilled," he said, though he did not provide any of those names.

This morning, the Great Man explained the Kurds have NOTHING to worry about, because abandoning them doesn't mean the US is "abandoning" them, heck no, and he'll always remember the special times we had together.

That's awfully reassuring, and doesn't at all make us imagine that if Trump had been around in 1940, he'd have let the world know not to worry about the fate of Eastern European Jews, because after all, Germany already has a large Jewish population. And if you have any sense of historical precedent, you may want to re-watch Last Days in Vietnam, the outstanding 2014 documentary on the US abandonment of South Vietnamese allies. Only this time, there aren't even going to be any last-minute helicopter rescues. Just think of the savings in equipment!

"Our flight deck will only take one helicopter at a time…" www.youtube.com


[WaPo / Politico / Newsweek]

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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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