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Tue Oct 15, 2019, 11:55 AM

Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn't Help Himself.


Humiliating his own Cabinet secretaries was bad. Putting faithful American allies in harm’s way is far worse.

6:00 AM ET

Peter Wehner - Contributing writer at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC

Updated at 11:06 a.m. ET on October 15, 2019.

President Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds stung deeply. “They trusted us and we broke that trust. It’s a stain on the American conscience.” These, according to The New York Times, are the searing words of an Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria.

Kurdish forces played a central role in aiding the United States in fighting the Islamic State. But in a phone call a week ago Sunday, Trump gave the green light to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to invade northern Syria—and, in the process, to engage in what even one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, Senator Lindsey Graham, describes as the “ethnic cleansing” of the Kurds.

According to Jennifer Griffin and Melissa Leon of Fox News, Trump was supposed to tell Erdoğan to stay north of the border, but instead “went off script.” By Wednesday, the Turkish offensive began, with Erdoğan’s aim to push back the Syrian Kurds from the border region. The results have been swift and brutal: the displacement of more than 100,000 people, executions and war crimes, the escape of hundreds of Islamic State prisoners. (If Islamic State fighters escape, they’ll “be escaping to Europe,” Trump said last week—as if Europe’s problems don’t affect the United States.) For the Kurds, the consequences of America’s policy change will only get worse. “I don’t know how many people will die. A lot of people will die,” a senior military source told Fox News. Yesterday the Trump administration tried frantically to make Turkey stand down, but enormous damage has already been done.

For once, Republicans have forcefully spoken out against Mr. Trump. Graham said our Kurdish allies had been “shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration.” Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said Trump’s decision is having “sickening and predictable” consequences. Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran, said on Face the Nation that “leaving an ally behind … is disheartening, depressing.” He added, “The Kurds found out on Twitter, for goodness’ sake. We have left them to the wolves. And the message this is sending to our allies around the world, I think, is really going to be bad.” Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican lawmaker who has been the most willing to speak the truth about Trump, declared on Twitter, “The President’s decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal.”


Betrayal is a leitmotif for this president’s entire life. Think of how he cheated on his wives. Think of the infant child of a nephew who had crucial medical benefits withdrawn by Trump because of Trump’s retaliation against his nephew over an inheritance dispute. Think of those who enrolled at Trump University and were defrauded. Think about the contractors whom Trump has stiffed. Think of Jeff Sessions, the first prominent Republican to endorse Trump, whom Trump viciously turned against because Sessions had properly recused himself from overseeing the investigation into whether Russia had intervened in the 2016 election. Think about those who served in Trump’s administration—Rex Tillerson, John Bolton, Don McGahn, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, James Mattis, and many more—who were unceremoniously dumped and, in some cases, mocked on their way out the door.


Great read!

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Reply Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn't Help Himself. (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Oct 2019 OP
dem4decades Oct 2019 #1
dchill Oct 2019 #2

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:07 PM

1. I want Graham to explain the blood of allies on his hands.

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Response to dem4decades (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 15, 2019, 12:16 PM

2. Me, too, even though I KNOW it will somehow be Dems' fault.

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