Trump Faced Down Erdogan, Then Blinked and Caved

By John Zmirak Published on December 20, 2018

I was blind-sided and stunned by President Trump’s decision to pull our small (2,000 man) force of troops from Syria. He did so after threats by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to attack them, as part of a new invasion to liquidate the Kurds. These troops right now are the only thing preventing that Islamist bully from storming into the region and slaughtering the very fighters who just defeated ISIS for us. Israel aside, this Kurdish-led militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces, is the closest thing we have to an ally in that godforsaken region.

The government it defends, the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, stands as an island of religious freedom and decentralized, representative government. It’s the very kind of regime we once fantasized we could set up in Iraq. But we didn’t set it up. It created itself. Then sought the U.S. as an ally. It did the lion’s share of the fighting against the butchers of ISIS who still target Americans. That’s the kind of ally you want, so you can exert smart leverage on a region. Instead of leaving things to fester, then invading and occupying entire countries, as we stupidly did in Iraq. (Iraq’s government now is an ally of our enemy, Iran.)

Betraying Our Allies, Cringing Before the Turks

And now we’re throwing the Kurds to Erdogan’s wolves. We know what will happen. As Stream writer Johannes de Jong points out, it happened back in January to the small Afrin region of Syria. Turkish tanks and planes (obtained through NATO) bombed hospitals and apartment buildings. Jihadi mercenaries linked to al Qaeda hunted down Kurdish converts to Christianity, and burned their churches. Tens of thousands of refugees flooded out of the area.

We’ll be betraying the Kurds again.

Now that will happen to the men and women who till last week were fighting shoulder to shoulder with Americans, and taking the bulk of the casualties. We’ll be betraying the Kurds again, as we did back in 1992. Remember? President George H.W. Bush urged them to rise up against Saddam Hussein, whom we wished to expel from Kuwait. When he’d finished in Kuwait, we let Hussein slaughter them. Now it seems that Trump will let Erdogan butcher them. I pray I am wrong.

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Northern Syria will transform overnight from a U.S-friendly democracy where Christians are safe into a hellscape dominated by al Qaeda linked Islamist militias. Look for hundreds of thousands more refugees to flood into Europe.

Turkey: No Longer An Ally, Increasingly an Enemy

The Turkish regime has ceased to be a U.S. ally. It could well become an enemy. After helping to start the Syrian Civil War, aiding ISIS at first, then al Qaeda terrorist groups, it dumped a million Syrian refugees on Europe. It periodically threatens to ship out hundreds of thousands more, if Europe doesn’t pay blackmail to keep them out. The Turkish regime has meddled with elections in Western Europe, and Erdogan urged Turkish migrant women in German to have large families, so they can someday outvote the natives. Turkey just concluded a missile deal with Russia, flouting America’s repeated requests not to. Dozens of Americans are still held illegally by Turkey. Our State Department urges Americans not even to visit the country. The American Enterprise Institute writes:

Erdogan is motivated not by counterterrorism, but rather by racism and religious hatred. As such, it is crucial to recognize that Erdogan is far less a partner than a 21st-century Slobodan Milosevic.

Just this week, a Turkish newspaper linked to Erdogan leaked the secret locations of U.S. bases, alerting ISIS and other terrorists to dozens of potential targets.

Northern Syria will transform overnight from a U.S-friendly democracy where Christians are safe into a hellscape dominated by al Qaeda linked Islamist militias. Look for hundreds of thousands more refugees to flood into Europe.

Trump Gives Away the Store

Yet President Trump appears to be surrendering unconditionally to Turkey. He’s handing it northern Syria—the most valuable part of the country, as al Jazeera has noted:

The [Kurdish]-controlled area contains 90 percent of Syria’s oil and gas reserves, including al-Omar, its largest oil field, as well as most of its water resources, major dams, and power plants. The northeast is also Syria’s breadbasket.

If our Kurdish allies are destroyed, there’s literally nothing blocking Iran from shipping or supplying terrorists right down to the border of Israel.

In return, Trump is getting … apparently nothing. So much for the art of the deal.

Don’t expect anyone to trust the U.S. as an ally anytime soon. Apart from Israel, don’t think that the U.S. will have any real partners in the region. We’ll be alone. And given the way we apparently treat our friends, in some sense we’ll deserve to be.

Please contact President Trump and tell him not to go ahead with this short-sighted blunder.

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  • tz1

    Didn’t/Doesn’t the Syrian leadership protect Christians – like Saddam Hussein did until Bush (43) toppled him?

    Do you suggest Northern Syria should be a 51st state or something like Puerto Rico? If not, then it will either be controlled by Syria or Turkey. Take your pick as to which is more friendly to CHRISTIANS.

    Also given our dealings with Erdogan, he might become friendly with Putin.

    Why are you not for Syria reclaiming these lands? They would stop Iran if we asked nicely instead of trying for more Bill Kristol “regime change” or color revolutions that worked out so well for Ukraine and Egypt. (May you be haunted this Christmas by the ghost of Joe Sobran).

    Why don’t we use diplomacy to have Syria/Russia/etc. protect CHRISTIANS instead of our militant terrorist muslims and give them refuge?

    (Last I heard, the Kurds were the biggest practicioners of FGM but haven’t confirmed it because it is hard to get anything honest out of the middle east – are your sources unbiased?).

    Iran? What does that have to do with us? We didn’t intervene in Rawanda in their Genocide.

    You don’t seem to care about South Africa’s “Kill the Farmer, Kill the Boer!” policies that will create massive famine.

    Or Quadaffi that kept the Muslims from “migrating” who are now turning Catholic churches into Mosques across Europe, when they aren’t busy raping women or children at a rate that would make the USCCB blush.

    Now we also need to get out of Afghanistan and the rest. I know what you are thinking, but then, we will have to stop court-martialing soldiers who slap down Afghanis we like who practice Bacha Brazi (See USCCB blushing again) if they aren’t there to object.

  • Patmos

    If the removal of 2000 troops unleashes all you’re proposing, then we must have some seriously powerful troops.

    It’s also worth pointing out how mobile 2000 troops are. In other words, this isn’t Obama 2.0 like some in the Senate would have you believe.

    I think the bigger story here is the apparent final retreat from the attempt to overthrow Assad, and the implied shift in policy. Not sure the US loses any credibility here, and if that implied shift is correct, there very well may be a gain in credibility. As with all things Middle East though, give it about 3-6 months for another dramatic development.

    • Woobiefuntime

      I say that we got to protect the people we worked with in Syria bewhy would people want to work with us just if we are just going to abandon them

    • Andrew Mason

      It’s not that the troops themselves are seriously powerful, but that they have serious power behind them. Turkey would likely hesitate to attack American forces, and Islamic militias that tried could be destroyed with ease.

      Does America even want to overthrow Assad? Why should America engage in regime change? The issue is America abandoning friends and refugees to what is likely to be a genocide. I’m not suggesting Trump agree to fight a war in the Middle East, but he has to show he’s prepared to support those who should be allies. This is Trump’s first major misstep, but he still has time to correct it. He can pull American forces out without abandoning the region to its fate, but only if he acts reasonably quickly.

      • William Barret Travis

        Let us know when Assad asks for American troops to remain in the region.

  • William Barret Travis

    Spare us the nonsense, Mikey. ISIS is a creation other US which is funded by US and Israel. Their goal is to use them to destabilize Syria, or overthrow it if possible, for the benefit of Israel in accordance with Israel’s foreign policy template, Oded Yinon.

    Go sell Israel propaganda somewhere else.

    • Chip Crawford

      Actually, you are the one selling counter propaganda here. Pretty far out sicko stuff it is too.

      • William Barret Travis

        You’re a fool, son. Perfect example of a Christian sheep, totally controlled by the MSM.

        Well respected reporter, writer, humanitarian, Jewish man, Stephen Lendman writes, “Washington uses ISIS and other terrorist fighters as proxy troops to advance its imperium globally – part of its diabolical plot to rule the world unchallenged.” – Taken from article “US State-Sponsored Terrorism in Syria”

        Stephen Lendman is a highly respect journalist who graduated from Harvard and Wharton, what are your credentials?

        Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon acknowledged Israel supports ISIS on multiple occasions. One of the many articles that documents this is entitled “Alliance of Convenience: Israel Supports Syria’s ISIS Terror Group”.

        Moshe Ya’alon can also be found on YouTube acknowledging as much.

        Take the Christian Zionist blinders off and stop being a sheep of the MSM.

        • Chip Crawford

          You’ve found someone who wrote an article with a catchy counter opinion, and just love throwing it at whomever hoping it will heckle, hackle and the like. Wow. When are you and your mentor taking over the world. Yawn. I’m through, ugly. BTW, abusive speech violates the standards of posting here. You’ll be rightfully ignored and flagged after this.

          • William Barret Travis

            Thanks for acknowledging you can’t engage what was stated, Chippy.

          • Hmmm…

            Very wise, Chip, to expose, then ignore such folly. Absurd troll blaring in with his nonsense!

          • Chip Crawford

            Truly out of it –coming in a Christian, pro-Israel site, chiding one of the editors for posting an article in keeping with those values. Then he equates Christian sheep with the MSM, which are quite opposed to one another. Clueless in orbit somewhere.

          • William Barret Travis

            Thought you were done responding, Chippy? What are they paying you & your pal to run Hasbara? You do a very poor job BTW.

            For those looking to research, Israel’s former minister of military affairs Moshe Ya’alon admitted that ISIS & Israel have an alliance.

            Source: ahtribune(dot)com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/1633-moshe-yaalon.html

            This was all revealed in an interview on Israeli Channel 10 which can easily be found on YT.

            Keep trying to push your (((propaganda))) boys, the day of the newspaper is over.

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