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Taking Credit for a Debacle

Terry H. Schwadron

Oct. 25, 2019

Apparently, it’s not enough that Donald Trump unleashed Turkish military against the Kurds, the now-disowned American allies in Syria, with a single phone call to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Apparently, it’s not enough that he called for a mis-named cease-fire that was a further, more permanent capitulation of the Kurdish lands to Turkey — and to Russian-controlled Syria.

No, now Trump is making speeches in which he is demanding to be thanked for his moves to save lives and American treasure, as well as bringing home — or not — American servicemen and women. It is more important to Trump to once again blame Barack Obama for not having finished fighting against the ISIS caliphate before Trump took over.

Trump is trying his damned best to turn the evisceration of America’s bond to allies into a positive, demanding applause for problems that he himself caused. He wants adulation for diminishing American influence in the Middle East and permanently staining the idea of what an alliance with the United States means.

There is something particularly disturbing about our leadership not only screwing up, but then wanting to be thanked for doing the wrong thing.

Whether as intended distraction from the building impeachment wave in the Democratic-majority House, or to cover the fact that no international advisor anywhere not in the Kremlin or in Ankara, Turkey thinks there is a hint of good thinking here, Trump is parading his ego once again as a singular force for change in the world.

There is no question, therefore, that his personal lawyers are in court in New York to block an attempt to get at his taxes with an argument that says nothing that the President of the United States does can be charged, indicted, convicted — or even questioned. The lawyer argued in court that indeed, the president could be questioned or prosecuted if involved in actually shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

But even that seems not enough. Trump’s speech this week from, of all places, the diplomatic room of the White House, seeks public congratulations for leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, for hundreds of killings in the space of a week, for upending American values and for upholding Russian expansionism.

“Trump’s Syria Trifecta: A Win for Putin, a Loss for the Kurds and Lots of Uncertainty for Our Allies,” read the headline over New York Times’ summation by Tom Friedman.”It’s pure genius!”
“Let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand,” Trump said from the White House. “Safe Zone created!” tweeted, adding “Ceasefire has held and combat missions have ended. Kurds are safe and have worked very nicely with us. Captured ISIS prisoners secured.”

The cease-fire has not held, at least 100 jailed ISIS prisoners are at large, and already moving to re-emerge as the basis of a terrorist group, and America has lost any ability to persuade others to fight alongside our own soldiers and Marines.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said the U.S. withdrawal “enables the resurgence of ISIS. ISIS is a threat to the American homeland. Retreating and putting our security in the hands of Assad, Putin & Erdogan strengthens our enemies, weakens America, and makes us less safe,” she said.

We all want the troops home — just as we all questioned whether we should have sent the troops in the first place.

But withdrawal on a whim, without preparation, without safety concerns addressed for Americans and allies, is beyond the pale.

Weirdly, the impeachment discussion is all about a quid pro quo campaign for dirt on a political opponent. Somehow, we ought to be considering Trump’s removal based on any lack of judgment.


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