Putin’s Poolboy Reverses US Policy On Turkey

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

He didn’t consult allies.

He didn’t consult Congress – even Republicans.

I’m not sure he even consulted his advisers.

But I’ll give dollars to donuts he talked to Putin about this.

This morning, Americans woke to this… out of the blue:

So President Trump has given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces near the border in Syria. Basically, we’re fucking the Kurds hard. The Kurdish fighters, which are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., have been the United States’ most reliable partner in fighting the Islamic State in a strategic corner of northern Syria

Trump’s decision goes against the recommendations of top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department who have sought to keep a small troop presence in northeast Syria to continue operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to act as a critical counterweight to Iran and Russia

And it is happening fast. Witnesses in Syria saw United States forces withdrawing from two positions in northeastern Syria: observation posts in Tel Abyad and Ein Eissa

Trump tried to explain…

Getting rid of the ISIS Caliphate means nothing if you leave tens of thousands of ISIS fighters behind, and unchecked.

With the betrayal of the Kurds and Trump’s full-on America first tweet storm this morning, is there a single principled internationalist, a single believer in American global leadership somewhere in the Trump Administration who will resign in protest?

Here are reactions, from all quarters:

Brett McGurk was a special envoy within the Bush, Obama and Trump Administrations before he resigned at the end of last year because Trump pulled troops from Syria:

Mustafa Bali is the head of SDF (Syrian Defense Force) Press Office

UPDATE: Graham shows he can take action when he wants to:

Aaand Trump just responded, obviously stung by the notion that this helps Russia:

He’s watching TV obviously.

oh there’s more….

“in my great and unmatched wisdom….” — some might think he’s displaying false modestly. He’s not. And it is his “wisdom” that is causing all his problems.

UPDATE — Pompeo seems to have his fingerprints on this:

And Graham again, riffing on Trump’s “wisdom”:

The “great and unmatched wisdom” line is getting much more blowback —

Coming late the party….

One State Department person said that Erdogan in Turkey seemed to expect US troops to assist him in entering Syria, and Trump would make it right with international sentiment. Jesus. I wonder what has to been said to Erdogan in the past to make him think that!