With only his own “great and unmatched wisdom” as a guide, President Donald Trump has decided to abandon the Kurdish people who took the brunt of casualties in the battle to defeat the Islamic State group terrorists. After a phone call with Turkey’s authoritarian leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Trump announced a pullback of American troops in Syria, thereby giving the Turks a clear path for an invasion aimed at decimating their old foes, the Kurds.
Unlike some of the president’s other actions, this one is not illegal, but, in the words of Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, it is “terrible and despicable.” Shimkus said he can no longer support Trump’s re-election because the commander-in-chief has betrayed loyal allies who “fought our battles in Syria and Iraq so that countless American sons and daughters didn’t have to.”
Outrage about this decision is strongly bipartisan. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been quite vocal in their criticism. There is valid concern that Trump’s impulsive, cruel choice will do serious, long-term damage to the standing of the United States in the international community. Where the U.S. was once considered “the indispensable country” in world affairs, Trump’s America has been increasingly seen as an erratic, unreliable and cowardly partner. Abandonment of the Kurds has now solidified that perception.
So much for making America great again.
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