Add genocide to the bill of indictment
Unless you’ve been under a rock since last night, you now know that The Occupant pulled military support from our allies in Syria, the Kurds of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). He announced that because France and Germany wouldn’t take back their nationals who had traveled to fight for ISIS (???) he was going to withdraw US forces from northern Syria and give the Turks the green light to launch their much-delayed offensive to crush the Kurds, whom they see as inciting unrest in their own Kurdish areas.
No, none of this makes sense. He makes it sound as if it was the US stuck with holding ISIS prisoners, when in fact they were being held by the very SDF which he threw to the wolves. Now the SDF has no reason to hold onto them, as it engages in a life or death struggle with Turkish president Reccep Tayyip Erdogan. (Fun fact: Erdogan entered office as prime minister seeking to make peace with the long-term Kurdish insurgency; he switched gears when his own lust for power overawed his political acumen.)
The SDF provided the bulk of the forces which reduced the Caliphate. Trump makes it sound as if they were just coffee boys, and the US military did all the heavy lifting. Of course, he probably thinks that, because he’s a fucking ignoramus who knows nothing about anything. Stephen Miller, hater of Muslims, probably whispered this into his ear like a low-rent Grima Wormtongue.
The Kurds have been the bastard stepchildren of Middle Eastern politics since the First World War, where promises of a state in exchange for rebelling against the Turks was reneged on, the start of a long century of broken promises. (The most recent, before this, being encouraged to rise up in rebellion against Saddam Hussein after the First Gulf War, only to be crushed and have to be saved by the Coalition when no military aid arrived.) The Kurds are used to betrayal. But this time it seemed different, as they were instrumental in the West’s defeat of a dangerous death cult which threatened the Middle East’s geopolitical structure.
Of course, that was when Barack Obama was in office. I have very little doubt that this is another instance of Trump undoing a signal achievement of the Obama administration. The Kurds were contaminated by their ties to the previous government, and thus were useful only as a stopgap. Now that his own fortunes are at a low point, Trump is accelerating his destruction of all of Obama’s policies. The Kurds getting it in the neck, again, is part of this.
This move by the Occupant has elicited howls from all corners of the DC establishment (except from Rand Paul, but he’s a fucking moron). Even Little Lindsey Graham went on state television to rip Trump a new one. No more golf outings for him. Both Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz are lambasting Trump for this action. Will this make a difference? Who knows. Probably not, unless GOP calculus finally figures out that Trump isn’t just trying to destroy Obama’s achievements, but the entire US political structure, including them.
It should be no surprise that Trump doesn’t care about the possible genocide of Syrian Kurds. However, Erdogan should have no illusions. The Kurds have struggled for 100 years. They won’t knuckle under to the Turkish military. Expect news reports nightly in Ankara and Istanbul of dead Turkish soldiers, all for the aggrandizement of a megalomaniac’s pretensions of Sultanhood. This won’t turn out well for the Turkish leader.
This is about more than just the Kurds. By betraying an ally which relied on our assurances, Trump is signalling that the US is no longer a trustworthy guarantor of any of its promises. They will be jettisoned if a maniac assumes office. “Why should we trust you, Joe Biden/Elizabeth Warren/Kamala Harris, when you elected a man like Trump, and might again?” As he faces his final quietus, Trump is scorching the earth, making the world rue the day it stood against his madness. Trump will go down as a world-historical figure, in the same way that Hitler and Stalin were: an agent of chaos and destruction.
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