There is only one feature of the Trump era that has stayed consistent, betrayal.
Since Trump took office he has led the national news cycle and his sheer theatrics have been nonstop.
Our iPhones are filled with his rage Tweets, his crude schoolyard taunts, his endless hirings and firings, his calls for statewide walls, which are endlessly announced but never followed up on, and most of all our Twitter feeds are filled with his utter fury at being forced to account for himself whenever the press stop by.
“These have been disastrous weeks for American foreign policy, a popular presenter on Russia’s state TV told viewers...with an I-told-you-so smirk...’The Kurds...picked the wrong patron,’ Kiselyov said. ‘The US, of course, is an unreliable partner’.” https://t.co/OXX5MEOpXa— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) October 15, 2019
Through it all only one feature of the Trump era has stayed consistent, betrayal. Everyone who comes into his orbit is only used to further his own interests until he decides they are no longer useful, whereupon he cuts them off remorselessly and abandons them to their fates. He acts like he never knew them. They're on their own.
Because our news cycle is full of the howls of people that Donald Trump has betrayed, it's possible that you might have missed that he all but started a brief and deadly war in Syria last week.
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After a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump abruptly announced that he was reversing years of U.S. policy in Syria by withdrawing our American forces.
That effectively meant he was clearing the way for Turkey to launch an all-out attack on our loyal US allies the Kurds, whilst also giving our enemies in the region a reason to cheer, including Iran and Russia.
“You are leaving us to be slaughtered,” the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces told a U.S. diplomat. “You have sold us. This is immoral,” he fumed.
Russians have fun exploring the hastily abandoned American military base in Syria: “Yesterday it was them and today it is us here. Let’s see how they lived and what they ate.” https://t.co/WcVsOWct1N— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) October 15, 2019
It looked like a setup, it played out like one too. Before the attack, the U.S. had convinced the reluctant Kurds to dismantle their defensive fortifications along the border and to pull all their fighters back. Now the very people who had courageously helped us fight Isis and imprison many of their most dangerous fighters were left alone, like sitting ducks.
The Turkish attack was as deadly as it was predictable. One livid senior U.S. defense official told the press, “We are just watching the second-largest army in NATO (the Turkish) attack one of our best ever counter-terrorism partners.”
What happened was brutal and needless. 100,000 people were quickly displaced after the Syrian Arab militia forces Turkey used to supplement their own attacks pushed into the border region, committing multiple war crimes, including the alleged rape, stoning and murder of 35 year-old Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf, who was among nine civilians killed on Saturday (her attackers live videoed their attack on her).
"There is no national security foreign policy process anymore, where you bring together the tools of the U.S. government... What was Mr. Trump thinking of? For God's sake he handed a victory to Assad, the Russian armed forces, and Iran" - @mccaffreyr3 w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/R1HDEu3xsk— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) October 14, 2019
Like everyone else in Washington D.C. these days, including Republican senators and the Pentagon, the Kurds found out that they were being thrown to the wolves on Twitter.
Insanely, Trump tried to justify their immoral abandonment on World War Two. “They didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example,” he Tweeted.
Well no they didn't, because they were in an entirely different region of the world in a pre-state society. It's absurd and laughable that Trump appealed to American ignorance to try and justify the unjustifiable.
Democratic and Republican senators were almost united in their fury over Trump's betrayal, as were our military leaders. They were not consulted, they were not listened to, and now they have to stand in mute horror as a stabilized region is convulsed in needless slaughter.
“America has let us down.”
EXCLUSIVE: First group of Syrian Kurds arrive in Iraq after fleeing Turkey’s military operation in northeastern Syria. pic.twitter.com/i11eHNdXBg— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 15, 2019
You may think a faraway battle in a place not many can even find on a map won't affect us. But you would be wrong. There is a profound sense of betrayal being felt by Syrian Kurds, who let it be remembered suffered 11,000 dead and 24,000 wounded in a war that we asked them to fight.
Trump left them to swing in the wind.
Why does this matter? Because America's word should be its bond. Under Trump America goes back on its word, leaving those who stood by us to face an overwhelming military assault from one of the world's biggest military powers and to face it alone.
If this is how we treat our allies, people who shed blood for us, why should anyone else in that dangerous region ever trust us again?
To make things worse, it is known that hundreds of captured Isis fighters escaped during the incursions. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They won't be for long.
Trump says he doesn't care about that. He underlined it by taking to his golf course on Sunday. If Isis fighters escape they’ll “be escaping to Europe,” he shrugged last week, as if Europe’s problems won’t affect the United States, as if Europe isn't an easy gateway here.
So we urgently need to know why Trump did it. What did he and Erdogan say to each other on that phone call before he pulled our troops?
Why did he agree to allow Erdogan's forces to make their move? If Trump refuses to answer, won't that be a signal he has something to hide?
BREAKING — Putin, Erdogan discuss the need to prevent armed clashes between Turkey and Syrian regime in a phone call: Kremlin
• Putin invited Erdogan for a working visit in coming days. Erdogan accepted it— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) October 15, 2019
How do you feel about how Trump's administration has handled things in Syria? Let us know in the comments section below.