After screwing up in Syria, Trump now announces sanctions on Turkey

Trump’s boneheaded move of withdrawing American troops from Syria, and abandoning our Kurdish allies to ethnic cleansing, with the consequence of incarcerated ISIS fighters going free, has now engendered the predictable reaction: Trump, after allowing this all of this to take place, has announced new sanctions on Turkey! As the New York Times reports:

Faced with a fast-unraveling situation, Mr. Trump’s policy toward the region continued to fishtail. Having essentially greenlighted the Turkish incursion a week ago, then threatening ruin to Turkey’s economy, on Monday Mr. Trump announced sanctions on Turkey, raising tariffs on steel and suspending negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal with Ankara.

And of course Syrian troops are pouring into the vacuum left by the U.S., while Turks kill and rape Kurds and ISIS fighters break out of prison, intent on further terrorism.

Syrian government forces streamed into the country’s northeast on Monday, seizing towns where they had not set foot in years and filling a vacuum opened up by President Trump’s decision to abandon the United States’ Syrian Kurdish allies.

Less than a week after Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria with Mr. Trump’s assent, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, considered a war criminal by the United States, has benefited handsomely, striking a deal with the United States’ former allies to take the northern border and rapidly gaining territory without a fight.

In addition to Mr. al-Assad, Mr. Trump’s decision to pull American forces out of the way has also quickly redounded to the gain of Russia and Iran, as well as the Islamic State, as the retreat reconfigures battle lines and alliances in the eight-year war.

. . . Mr. Trump’s decision has turned a relatively stable corner of Syria into its most dynamic battleground. As Turkey and Syrian fighters it supports push in from the north to root out the Kurdish-led militia that was allied with the United States, Mr. al-Assad’s forces have moved in from the south, gobbling up territory.

Trump has asked Erdogan to stop the Turkish invasion, but it’s too late. And now all 28 member states of the EU have agreed to stop selling arms to Turkey, making us even more of an international black sheep than we are already. The 10.000 ISIS fighters estimated to be in Kurdish custody in Syria could not only be freed, but given to the odious al-Assad to wreak more havoc.

Trump couldn’t have made a worse decision, and hundreds of thousands will suffer for it. Will he admit that he was wrong? The request that Turkey pull back is a tacit admission of failure, but I can hear the Head Moron now, “We made a wonderful decision; we just have to ask President Erdogan (a wonderful man and a good friend) to restrain himself a little more.”

Trump has to go. Now. But I despair that even if there’s an impeachment vote in the House, the Senate will not convict. And so Trump will be able to wreak havoc for another year.  (God forbid that he’s re-elected!) And there’s nothing we can do about it.

 

36 Comments

  1. Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I commiserate with you.

    In an oblique way, he has carried out his 5th Avenue threat – what say you Republicans?

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Never fear, Trump is sending his best butt kisser, Pence over to take care of things. What exactly that could be, who knows. Trump’s action in the Middle East just shows all who voted for him, just how great America is. They will likely have to airlift the last 1000 troops from Syria as the roads are all blocked. It’s kind of like revisiting the retreat from Vietnam back in 75. Historic events for sure. Destroying the state department is all accomplished now, so on to defense.

    • mike cracraft
      Posted October 15, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Oh come on. no one kisses Trump’s butt better than his conciliary.

  3. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Never fear, Trump is here! To clean up the mess made by the last guy, whoever he was, that yutz who pulled all US troops out of Syria and left the Kurds to fend for themselves, what a loser.

    Poor old Now-Trump, constantly having to clean up the mistakes made by Past-Trump.

  4. cicely berglund
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Sub

  5. Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Even the Trump apologists are having trouble spinning this one.

    • Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      The WSJ, that paragon of responsible conservatism, is doing its best to ignore the situation, although it did see fit to let Erdogan publish a propaganda piece in its editorial pages.

  6. Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    As this unfolds, our forces will come home. Among the soldiers and commanders returning to U.S. soil will surely be some who speak out about these events; staying in line with their commander in chief be damned. I am expecting admissions of gut-wrenching betrayal, as these American forces – proud soldiers who swore to not leave comrades on a battlefield – were ordered to turn away from those who were our allies and even our friends.
    It is going to be ugly. And I want the voting public to see it all.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/15/politics/us-troops-syria-anger/index.html

      From that article:

      ‘However, troops on the ground have described it as an abandonment and a “betrayal.”
      “It’s pretty messed up what’s happening out here,” one US Special Forces soldier on the ground in Syria told CNN when news of the US withdrawal was announced.
      “We want to offer support,” the soldier said, adding “We do not want to leave them in this situation.”‘

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted October 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        “Betrayal” is the word that best describes it indeed. We -although it is difficult to consider the present US admin as ‘we’- We betrayed the Kurds. Shame, shame and shame squared, on us. If ‘we’ being US and ‘western’ citizens could not stop this, we’re somehow half complicit

  7. Mark R.
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    And if anyone hasn’t read President Dipshit’s dual-tweet regarding this latest fiasco, here it is; read it and weep.

    After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria….

    ….and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!

  8. Michael
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    It’s actually 3D chess, but you have to be a stable-genius-master-negotiator to understand it.

  9. rickflick
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Economic sanctions will have not immediate effect, of course. Erdogan will finish his dirty business and later make nice to tRump – like the Saudis after Khashoggi.
    I really like the NYT’s description: “Mr. Trump’s policy toward the region continued to fishtail”. tRump as a goitered fish fits perfectly.

    • Posted October 15, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      That’s not what the metaphor means. Fishtailing is where you put too much power through the wheels of your (rear wheel drive0 car and they break traction, causing the back of your car to swing violently in one direction. You try to correct the problem by steering into the skid but you overdo it and the back end swings violently the other way. Again you over correct and the back swings back the first way again.

      This cycle continues until you crash through the barrier and plunge into the ravine where you and your car and all respect for the USA meet a fiery death.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Jeremy, I know what the metaphor means. I was just extending it to suit my visual imagination. Either way, it’s a great metaphor for all to enjoy. “A fiery death” is a good metaphor for what’s happening to the tRump administration.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Hey, this sanctions thing doesn’t work out, Trump could try sending Erdoğan to bed without his supper or docking him a week’s allowance. Just wait till your father gets home, Mister!

    What’s Trump’s plan for revivifying the dead Kurds he’s left out on the battlefield? That where Pence comes in with his thoughts’n’prayers?

    Fuck both these miserable excuses for human beings.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      “Fuck both these miserable excuses for human beings”

      That’s a snappy way to express what I feel right now. A pair of morons.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 15, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      BTW, I was just listening the Rachel Maddow describing the case (so far) against tRump. The testimony behind closed doors by ambassador Yovanovitch and (today) Theona Hill, and the news that Rudy Giuliani has been indicted by the Southern District of NY, provides a certain warm glow of comfort while enduring the tragedy we are living through.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 15, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Rudy’s financial records have been subpoenaed by the SDNY. He hasn’t been indicted … yet. Give ’em time.

        He’s been up to all sorts of dirty deals in Ukraine. Those chickens are coming home to roost.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 15, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          I’m a bit premature, but, it sounds soooo good. If tRump dumps Rudy to gain some protection, it will still look kinda bad that two of his personal lawyers were hooked.

    • JoshP
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Hey, but they weren’t there at Normandy!

  11. DSG
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Imagine in season three of the Apprentice, trump orders the guest stars to begin actually murdering other contestants……

    This is the reality we are now in
    Reality show star Trump is ordering actions due to his “gut” instincts

    (“should I fire Joan Rivers Or Gary Busey–what is better for ratings???hmmmmm)

    that are now directly causing the deaths of actual people by the tens and hundreds.

    and the quality of Trumps handpicked White House staff is less qualified then Mark Burnett…(the only adult on “the Apprentice”)

    And all Trump cares about is how he is perceived on Television
    (ratings)

    I found it telling on the White House lawn when he was told Shepard Smith was leaving Fox—his first instinct was “was it terrible ratings”??
    That was what Trump said off any script-First
    (he is incapable of understanding that Shepard Smith could no longer stand the spin and lying on fox news and quite–a moral act—Trump cannot conceive of a Moral act)

    He sees Shepard Smith as a Character he wont get to see any more on the TV

    Trump is Chauncey Gardener from “Being There”
    and now Trumps “gut instincts” are killing people.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      That’s it in a nutshell. Many saw this as the risk we were running. I’d have to think all this was predictable. It could get much worse before it gets better.

  12. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    This is so unconscionable. First telling the Turks they can go ahead with their ethnic cleansing, aka genocide (which is what it is), and then lamely throwing economic sanctions at Turkey for doing what you just encouraged them to do. There are no words …

    • Posted October 15, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      And the people who will be worst affected by the sanctions are not the people who Trump enabled to do the genocide.

      We’ve gone from a stable situation to one where two populations will have their lives destroyed.

  13. Posted October 15, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe in hell. However, if there were such a place, tRump is surely a perfect candidate. He is a mentally ill egocentric liar. Ignorant and illiterate, he can’t write, spell or speak well. And, can’t be trusted. Everything he touches turns to s**t.

    Thank you religious right for foisting this demon off on the rest of us, and the world. We may never be able to undo the damage he has done.

    It must be extremely difficult for the military to follow his lead, especially since he often forgets to tell them what he’s doing. Also, considering that all our military members are sworn to uphold the Constitution, how can they follow a president who cares nothing about the constitution or any form of law?

  14. eheffa
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know how Putin gives Trump his marching orders?

    Texts via Rudy’s cell phone?

    It’s pretty clear that this latest fiasco in Northern Syria benefits no one but the Russians, Turks & inadvertently…ISIS.

    Russia wanted this. How did they get Trump to order it?

    Where are all the patriotic GOP enablers now?

    • Andrew
      Posted October 15, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Putin needs to hide his influence over Trump but this is more evidence that Trump has some kind of “arrangement” with Russia.

    • Posted October 15, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I can’t think of any reason why he would do this except that Putin wanted it.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 17, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

        Nope. All it needed was for Erdogan to phone tRump and say how grateful he’d be if tRump pulled the US troops out (and dropped a hint about tRump Towers in Istanbul and building codes). That’s all it would need. And Putin just took advantage of the situation, quite predictably to anyone with half a brain (which excludes tRump of course).

        That’s a perfectly good ‘reason’ that doesn’t involve Putin before-the-fact at all.

        cr

        • Posted October 17, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          When you put it like that, it might not be Erdogan. Trump might have rung him up and said. Hey, we are thinking of possibly taking our troops away. On a completely sea parade note, about those hotels of mine…

  15. max blancke
    Posted October 15, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps we should be reconsidering our alliance with Turkey. They seem to only be able to keep themselves from genocide when others physically intervene.

    But I agree with most here that the abruptness of the pullout was mismanaged, and badly. It is not like the Kurds have any place to withdraw to.

    I was thinking that they should have gotten a chunk of Iraq after that war, but that would probably have become another reason for conflict.

    Out here, Catholic and Methodist churches are on the same street as LDS churches and even Amish meeting houses. And the people who attend those places live spread out among those of us who do not adhere to any of those faiths. The Sunni/Shia rift really seems incomprehensible to me.

    Of course Emo has the perfect illustrative joke- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDmeqSzvIFs

  16. Posted October 16, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I think the leaders of Taiwan should start making close ties with mainland China. And South Korea better start making nice with the North.

  17. Posted October 26, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    We made the right move in removing our troops from the strip Turkey will occupy. Don’t see any mass slaughter as predicted by our critics and em there will not be any.


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