Ordinary Americans believe that the U.S. befriends those with common interests, defends its friends against common enemies and stands with those friends after we’ve fought together.
That belief should have been shattered in Vietnam. It is surely shattered now.
The end of the Vietnam misadventure was marked by images of American helicopters lifting off the roof of the Saigon embassy with desperate former allies hanging from the skids. It was a shameful part of America’s history.
Now, the end of the quagmire in Syria and Iraq is being memorialized by images of former American allies being executed on the side of a dusty desert road. Last week, President Donald Trump added to the country’s shame in deciding to abandon the Kurds and their troops in northern Syria and to leave them to the lethal mercies of Turkey.
The Kurds became inconvenient to the current administration even though 11,000 Kurdish fighters had died in the five-year fight against ISIS, which was trying to establish an Islamic caliphate and breeding ground for global terrorism in Syria.
The Kurds were inconvenient because Turkey, an American ally within NATO, said the Kurdish organizations that fought with and for the U.S. are terrorist groups.
Even so, with the abrupt withdrawal of American troops and the American presence that supported and protected the Kurds, Trump abandoned any illusion of measured foreign policy. He shredded any ounce of trust left in American promises.
Trump has brought the nation a dangerous new kind of foreign policy.
On Sunday, the Kurds, whose towns and troops were being shelled by the Turks, turned to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for shelter. He is backed by Russia and Iran and is no friend of the U.S.
It was tit for tat.
Who can blame a minority people geographically trapped between two murderous rulers, Assad of Syria and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey?
The next time the U.S. needs allies in a fight with factions that practice jihad and terrorism, who will stand with us? Only delusional fools.
So precipitous was the U.S. departure, troops couldn’t secure 60 ISIS prisoners that had been deemed “high value” or stop the dispersal of hundreds of women and children connected to ISIS.
It erased the gains paid for in blood and treasure. Some observers speculated that this could result in a resurgence of ISIS.
No American wants endless war, but this is an idiotic way to conduct foreign policy.
In a statement released Monday, Trump said he is “fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”