The Editors: Trump has betrayed the Kurds—and hurt U.S. credibility abroad

A Turkish milItary convoy is pictured in Kilis near the Turkish-Syrian border Oct. 9, 2019. Turkish warplanes have begun attacking northeastern Syria, causing widespread panic among Christian and other religious communities caught up in the aerial bombardments. (CNS photo/Mehmet Ali Dag, Ihlas News Agency via Reuters) 

It will be a crowded field when the West’s greatest geopolitical betrayals are measured against each other, but surely President Trump’s turnabout on the Kurdish people of northern Syria represents a standout. In a phone call last Sunday night the president abruptly reversed U.S. policy, against the counsel of both the Pentagon and the State Department, abandoning the Kurds—again—to the brutality of a more powerful neighbor.

Mr. Trump had called Recep Tayyip Erdogan to press the Turkish president on his recent decision to purchase Russian warplanes. But by the time the call had ended, instead of thwarting the weapons buy, Mr. Trump had been persuaded to withdraw the small contingent of U.S. troops that had been based in northern Syria with U.S. regional allies, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The U.S. presence had been the S.D.F.’s sole protection.

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It is hard to overstate how strategically ruinous the president’s volte-face on the S.D.F. will likely prove to be.

Since 2015, this alliance of Kurdish People’s Protection Units, Free Syrian Army elements and Assyrian and other militias had been the tip of the U.S. spear against ISIS extremism. The Kurds suffered thousands of battlefield losses during that fight but had been encouraged to believe that their sacrifice was sufficient to earn at least a seat at the table when the final resolution of the Syrian catastrophe is negotiated. Now both the S.D.F. and the United States will likely be on the sidelines when Syria’s President Assad, Iran, Russia and Turkey eventually get around to concluding the mind-numbing violence in Syria.

Mr. Erdogan justifies the offensive as a strike against potential terrorist elements he perceives within the S.D.F., even as his army and its allied Sunni militia rain actual terror down on border communities, including a number of Christian villages. This latest Turkish offensive will propel the same ethnic cleansing by forced relocation that followed the Afrin campaign in 2018, when as many as 300,000 people were displaced. Indeed, hundreds of Kurdish, Syriac Christian and Yazidi families are already choking roadways northward, attempting to escape the indiscriminate Turkish bombardment of border communities.

It is hard to overstate how strategically ruinous the president’s volte-face on the S.D.F. will likely prove to be. The small U.S. deployment not only protected S.D.F. gains; it ensured that the United States remained a player in Syria and allowed U.S. strategists a continuing role in the containment of the ISIS malignancy. Turkey apparently offered the president nothing in return for his capricious abandonment of the nation’s hard-won achievements in Syria. Now NATO has fractured as European leaders rush to condemn the Turkish attack, and thousands of captured ISIS militants are likely to escape into the wind as S.D.F. troops are forced to abandon detention duty for the frontline.

The Kurds will have no choice but to seek a rapprochement with Mr. Assad if they hope to survive the Turks, drawing Iranian and Russian influence deeper into the region. And President Trump has demonstrated before the world that the United States cannot be considered a trustworthy partner, whether that be on an arms agreement, a trade deal or the continuing struggle against terror and extremism.

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Just months ago, the U.S. president was bragging about his special relationship with Mr. Erodogan. A “tough cookie,” Mr. Trump had said, “but I get along with him; maybe that’s a bad thing.” It is fair to say now that his chummy relationship with Mr. Erdogan is indeed a very bad thing—bad for the Kurds, bad for the campaign against ISIS and bad for whatever still remains of the nation’s international credibility.

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JR Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

Just another hit piece on Trump. I'm not defending what Trump did but it involved 100 US military. This is TDS setting in. All the liberal media are in lock step on this. Previous headlines:
- Obama Betrays the Kurds
- Bush betrays the Kurds
- US abandoned us, say Kurds - 1996 Guess who was president
- A People Betrayed : Twice before, Washington let Kurds die - 1991 GHW Bush was president

JR Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

The troops being withdrawn are apparently on guard duty at prisons. Also there are several factions of Kurds and we are apparently firmly supporting friendly ones. The Kurds like any large group are not homogeneous as this article tries to portray. I use the word “apparently” because I have seen different sources on this. I use the word “hit piece” because that’s what it mainly is.

JR Cosgrove
1 month ago

What is actually happening in northern Syria now? I read different reports.

Christopher Scott
1 month ago

... here you go https://youtu.be/zzF_v7xd0W4

JR Cosgrove
1 month ago

I’m not sure Ron Paul is the best person to quote. What seems to be true is that we had no forces there to begin with so how can we betray anyone by pulling out. So now the Kurds Syrians and Russians have joined together to fight the Turks whose military are funded by the Russians. Sounds crazy. So why is Trump to blame when our troops were not there to begin with. Blame Trump for taking too much credit for fighting ISIS which is probably true. As I said, a Trump hit piece.

Christopher Scott
1 month ago

Im no on board with Ron Paul on everything but he’s closer to the truth on this issue than the Jesuits

JR Cosgrove
1 month ago

The Jesuits are the last source to pay attention to. Their bias is transparent. I would respect them more if they acknowledged that Obama’s and Biden’s policies led to this chaos. More is becoming clear as others are reporting on it. The American press is also not a good place to get information. Sad! The Euphrates river is the current dividing line and the Kurds are guarding a large non Kurdish area.

JR Cosgrove
1 month ago

What's happening Syria with Kurds - First insightful discussion I have seen on this http://bit.ly/2oDFiMX

Warren Patton
1 month ago

Where did these previous headlines appear? Are you saying they were in America?

JR Cosgrove
1 month ago

These headlines appeared in America and British information sources.

Charles Erlinger
1 month 1 week ago

Several analysts writing in daily and other periodical publications have remarked that the Iranian planners presumably responsible for putting together the cruise missile strike on the Saudi oil facilities have probably thought out what Saudi and U.S. responses will be and what Iran’s counter responses could be, for several response phases into the future.

Similarly, it could be expected that careful planning has formed the basis for U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria and welcoming of combined Turkish, Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces into that area.

Probabilities for each of the options will have been estimated by each contending side. Proposing feasible future courses of action that have some acceptable probability of effectiveness requires a lot of experience and if that experience has been acquired and the practitioner is still in the planning profession, the planner must surely have acquired a lot of humility as well.

Humility is a good thing to have when your job is to tell the boss how some proposed future action will surely work out. And humility would serve the boss well, too. The boss’s job is to communicate to the planner a concrete policy objective that is perceptibly a desired end state realistically feasible within the boss’s parameters, presumably an array of available strategy tools. The boss’s humility will have insured that the policy work had been done prudently, having obtained counsel from wise and principled advisors. As Aquinas opined,

“...prudence is concerned with particular matters of action, and since such matters are of infinite variety, no one man can consider them all sufficiently; nor can this be done quickly, for it requires length of time. Hence in matters of prudence man stands in very great need of being taught by others, especially by old folk who have acquired a sane understanding of the ends in practical matters.”

With all of this humility and prudence on all sides of these confrontations, what could possibly go wrong?

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

There is no "prudence" whatsoever in this moronic President's decisions--none; "prudence" requires some attention to the loyalty of allies who've sacrificed lives and resources to stand beside one in battle. Now that they've been betrayed by their former "friends," who could blame the Kurds if they were to release their ISIS captives and invite them to join with them to repulse the barbaric Turk hordes, enslaved to one of the world's most vicious dictators?--Much less if they were to invite the Russians and the Iranians to join with them against those same hordes?

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Robert !ewis
I sympathize with the gist of your statement that the Kurds have been “betrayed”...but the word “betrayed” is inaccurate.
The Kurds were fighting Isis before the US under Obama sent some assistance , and they were still fighting Isis when Trump substantially increased that assistance with AirPower, weapons and more troops. The Kurds were fighting to keep Isis from taking over their lands. So did we help the Kurds or did the Kurds help us? It seems we each acted for our own but still mutual benefit.
The Kurds have always sought to use the US as a shield whether in Iraq or Syria and the US has always encouraged the Kurds. But any review of our history with the Kurds would require you not to brand as a a betrayer just Trump but also to include Obama George Bush, Clinton and Bush 1.
Mind you, I think Erdogan is an Islamist Authoritarian bent on near genocide of all of Turkey’s ancient enemies including the Kurds.... but the country of Turkey is non the less a NATO Ally.
Ask yourself which President’s total inaction led to Putin’s expansion into Syria.?n
Ask why the Europeans would not take back and put on trial their citizens who became Isis terrorists?

Ashley Green
1 month 1 week ago

You Trump die hards are an absolute disgrace. The USA now has zero credibility with freedom loving countries and peoples around the world who used to be our allies. If you guys want to be cult followers of some delusional psychopath who truly believes that he is the greatest incarnation of humanity ever to walk the earth, could you not at least make it a person with a modicum of intelligence? Then again, David Koresh and Jim Jones weren’t particularly intelligent either, but that didn’t stop their followers from believing that they spoke the word of God, literally, the same way in which you Trump die-hards worship your own savior.

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

Ashley.., you’re not smart, I’m sorry, but it’s clear you’re unable to think for yourself and it’s making you angry. All you do is repeat leftists propaganda talking points with ad hominem attacks...it’s boring. No worries, I forgive you because I thing you’ve been brainwashed so it’s not your fault. If you want to wear your pink Pussy hat and go on marches and howl at the sky have fun with that. But always remember that you reap the benefits and protection of all the hard work and sacrifices of those who think you’re a fool... God bless you. MAGA 2020

Ashley Green
1 month 1 week ago

I’m sure that’s the MAGA types do indeed think me a fool. I mean that as a matter of principle of course, since I am no one of any importance. But these are people who also believe that Barrack Obama was not born in the United States, that Trump didn’t try to coerce Ukraine into helping him politically by investigating Joe Biden, that Trump is a man of honor and integrity, that he is not a confirmed bald-faced liar, that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia probably didn’t have Jamal Khashoggi murdered, that Trump only lost the popular vote in 2016 because millions of undocumented immigrants voted for Clinton, that climate change is a hoax, that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a hoax, that Trump is a brilliant businessman, that Obama was not very smart, just a good actor, that Kim Jung Un fell as madly in love with Trump as Trump fell for Kim, etc. ad nauseum. So I’m not so sure that being considered a few cents short of a dollar by this group of people is necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, I was one of those who said there was no way Trump would ever be elected president right up until the day he was elected, so they may have a point.

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

Ashley, All is well, the world is not coming to an end. Take a chill pill and go to your pussy hat rally, burn some sage and rub some cbd oil on your temples. When you wake up in the morning the world will look pretty much like it did yesterday morning. Peace.

https://youtu.be/iYN6iCUAeE8

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

again

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Ashley
Get serious ...The US lost its credibility in supporting freedom loving people a) when Obama’s “red line in Syria” turned green; b) when Obama was so offended by the Russian seizure of Crimea and the eastern edges of the Ukraine that he sent C rations and blankets but refused to send defensive weapons; c)Obama went to the ballgame in Cuba with Raul Castro; d)when obama embraced Hugo Chavez; e) when Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt; f)when Obama allowed Russia into Syria and predicted they would pull out in months, etc etc
As an aside Obama encouraged the Kurds but refused them serious aid.

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

The US plans for regime change in the Middle East countries is a loser ideology. It’s obvious we lost that one in Syria.... shall we name all the other countries in the Middle East where that was tried and failed too? Its time the neocons admit admit that their regime change policies for the Middle East are losers and move on, how they’re able to convince people like Ashley (and the Jesuits of course) to double down on stupid is truly remarkable!

Ashley Green
1 month 1 week ago

Obama did blunder badly when he drew the red line in Syria about using chemical weapons against civilians, then didn’t follow through on the promised retaliation. It was his biggest foreign policy failure/mistake. The other points you make are more ambiguous. They are matters of judgment of what is the best way to respond to a given situation. Maybe other approaches by a different president would have yielded better results or maybe not. But no president ever has a perfect record on foreign policy. They inevitably get a certain amount of things wrong. I could give you examples from every president at least since Kennedy, but I’m sure you don’t need them. But when Obama’s presidency ended the U.S. was still held in high regard from democratic nations around the world, and we had not gained a reputation for betraying our allies, dishonoring treaties to which we had agreed, expressing contempt for other democratic leaders while falling in love (Trump’s words) with the likes of Kim Jung Un and expressing high regard for such noble-minded souls as Duterte, Putin etc.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Ashley
Almost everything theUS has done in the Muddle East has been a disaster.....regardless of who wasPresident ..
Historically these screw ups could at least be justified based on stabilizing the world’s access to oil.
Thankfully due to the wonders of capitalism compelled fracking, oil in the Middle East has become a far less strategic issue and with that diminishment of importance so has the need for our involvement in the Middle East. At this point it is China and some of our European Allies who most effected by stability of that supply.
It will be interesting to see if our European Allies are finally willing to shoulder the burden of protecting their own interests without relying on the US to do it on their behalf.
Let’s not forget the past European derogatory sneering at the US for “ acting as the world’s Policemen”and see what they are now willing to do on their own. I have no doubt what China will do and perhaps the Europeans are willing to let China do their own work irrespective of the consequences.
One thing for sure: with Syria now firmly in the Russian Camp , we cannot allow or push NATO Turkey into the Russian or Iranian Camp. Erdogan is ruthless Islamist ( former ‘best Friend of Obama’) who cannot be trusted and we unfortunately must play those cards as they lay on the table.
As for America being respected around the world under Obama , I might politely point out that it is only because Obama was so compliant and forgiving of the Europeans failure to live up to their NATO commitments and his willingness to allow Nordstream 2 to built making Europe a Winter Gas Vassal to Russia! You forget the disaster in Libya and its reduction to a failed state as well as the abandonment of the Ukraine ....not to mention the entire change in the Middle East equation by allowing Russia into Syria, the unchecked rise of the Isis Caliphate ignited by our withdrawal from Iraq etc, etc.

Ashley Green
1 month ago

I am going to reply to this one by way of general principle rather than answering each point specifically. Here’s why. You make the same mistake that many Trump apologists make by placing the most egregiously bad policies and actions (I’m talking those that are evidence of total ineptitude) within the context of the different approaches that Democratic and Republican presidents have taken toward the Middle East and other parts of the world. It is a way of making, or attempting to make, the indefensible look legitimate. For an enormously powerful country like the USA to abandon a small and weak ally, one that had helped us to defeat a dangerous and ruthless enemy at great personal sacrifice , to be overrun by another country whose president sees them not as human beings but as a nuisance to be disposed of, is a remarkably disgraceful and cowardly act that no person of honor would even attempt to defend.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month ago

Ashley
I have no objection to your statement if principle.....BUT you really need to understand that it could be applied to every President since Bush1 who has dealt with the Kurds; encouraged Kurd uprisings and left them bereft. The Kurds have been trying to establish a country spanning four borders ( Iran/Iraq/Syria/ Turkey) and have met active resistance from each of those governments. After the Obama “ red line debacle” and the rise of Isis (after Obama precipitously left Iraq) Obama gave the Kurds encouragement but precious little military support in fighting Isis’ attempt seize Kurd dominated territory.
No doubt Trump then gave the Kurds more encouragement and then a very robust air power and technical support....but it has to be noted we were supporting the Kurds in their existing fight against Isis with the intent to help the the Kurds decisively defeat Isis. It is thus far fairer to say that we helped the Kurds win for our own mutual benefit rather than that the Kurds helped the US..

We have used and abused the Kurds in two countries ( Iraq and Syria) but the Kurds have benefited in each case. In fact the Kurds could not have prevailed without our help.....nor could we have accomplished our goals without their fighters. The current situation simply demonstrates that when mutual benefit ceases then informal alliances collapse (See Russia as an ally in WW11)
Note how the Kurds have immediately realigned with Assad against Turkey even though they previously opposed Assad.
You might give Turkey a bit of leeway in your judgement not withstanding Erdogan’s genocidal impulse. ...Turkey took in about 3-4 million Syrians during the civil war and rightly wishes those millions to return to Syria which the Kurds opposed if they were to move back into Kurdish dominated areas.
In short you take an immensely complicated situation spanning 30 years of US involvement and look at one point in time to declare indefensible betrayal. As one who sympathizes with the Kurds I wish it were as simplistic as you state.

Andrew Strada
1 month ago

I don't think you're a fool. I don't know enough about you to form any conclusions about your character. It would be nice if you could show the same consideration to Trump voters. Or am I asking for too much here?

Ashley Green
1 month ago

My criticisms are not directed toward the Trump voters who are honest about the character of the man they support. If a Trump voter admits at least these obvious truths- that he is a racist, a liar, and generally corrupt - but goes on to state that he or she nevertheless feels compelled to vote for him against any Democrat in the general election for reasons X, Y and z, I’m more than willing to listen to that person’s point of view with respect and consideration. But when a Trump supporter lies to my face and and spews forth, Sarah Huckabee Sanders style, all kinds of things that he knows to be false, then that person is not worthy of respect, either mine or that of anyone else who holds truth and integrity in high regard. Likewise, a person who, once he has decided to support a person politically, will then attempt to defend and justify any action that person takes, no matter how reprehensible, is likewise beneath contempt. I make exception for the youth who take this approach. Many of them honestly don’t know any better, through no fault of their own. But there is no excuse for the Trump devotees who are adults.

And if this seems like virtue signaling, it shouldn’t. This ought to be considered very basic morality.

Andrew Strada
1 month ago

So Trump voters who satisfy your criteria might actually be regarded as human? I guess that is progress of sorts.

Ashley Green
1 month ago

Your reply makes no sense as a response to my previous comment.

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

Ditto

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

Ideally all parties in that conflict;Turkey, Kurds, Assad and his supporters, anti Assad forces and people, should be negotiating. including establishing an ethno state for the Kurds. That the US armed the SDF; now labeled by the media as a Kurdish force but until this crisis they were labeled Kurd/Arab force[ revisionist history going on] and refused to arm any Arab anti Assad forces set the stage for the US backed Kurds to be able to topple the ISIS califate. And for US to say; we owe the Kurds !While in the rest of Syria the Arab Sunni Syrians were being slaughtered by Assad/Putin , and we refused to arm them .Something had to give once ISIS got defeated for there are 2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, and the Kurds are "controlling'" the now liberated from ISIS area.What does control mean?

The Kurds have imprisoned all the people who were part of ISIS or occupied by ISIS They are being held in filthy lice infested conditions and w/o adequate food and medical care. David Ignatius who reported this[so did PBS] sounded like this was some existential condition of the men,women children ,babies and showed no indignation at those US backed camp guards who are responsible for their care; upside down ethics or lack of it.PBS reporting was not much different.These are not just ISIS fighters, but camps full of thousands of women and children and babies .Some are relatives of isis terrorists;, spouses, children, babies. Some are inhabitants of that area where ISIS took control by force and occupied. Submit or we torture and murder you and your family! If they opposed Assad , he murdered them too, and in spite of the anti Assad talk by the US we would not arm any real resistance to that terror state. These people who the Kurds "control" are human beings and have rights too.The children there are as innocent as the children at out border.ISIS people who committed atrocities should[IMO] be tried at the Hague.All others who were in that califate were an occupied people. They have the right to be free,and not stuck in concentration camps as collective punishment and collective guilt.

Turkey is hosting 2 million Syrian refugees from Assad's holocaust on Syrian Sunni Arabs which we have dismissed as a civil war having nothing to do with us; Muslims killing Muslim let Allah sort it out; paving the way for ISIS to establish itself in Raqua. Turkey says they want to repatriate these Syrians ;refugees of Assad Putin holocaust.These are people who the rest of the world does not want. Hence the military incursion into US backed Kurdish "controlled" formally ISIS area. They want to establish a safe zone so these Syrians can return. What exactly is wrong with that? Why are the Kurds resisting them? Is it that they want that territory Arab free; an ethno state of majority Kurds ? What I heard on NPR,was that if they allow all these Arab Syrian refugees now in Turkey , back , to this safe zone Turkey establishes in what was US backed Kurdish controlled Syria ,then the ,Kurdish population would be "diluted"! That is a nationalist, if not racist agenda. The Arab Syrian refugees should be exiled in Turkey to accomodate the Kurdish desire to have an area of Syria that is Arab free? The Arab prisoners the Kurds control should remain in camps; men ,women children babies, indefinately and in deplorable conditions which we do not tolerate for any human being here,for the crime of being related to isis or occupied by isis? The US military was there to support collective guilt an collective punishment on men, women, children and babies holding them in camps? in deplorable conditions?[ some prisoners,according to PBS, have reported there is torture and murder by the captors going on; don't know if that is true].

The perversity of Americans acknowledging the deplorable conditions of people in these camps and the hellish horrors they have been though and are experiencing in the camps,not eliciting empathy but the reverse ; using their very suffering as a a rationale, as a springboard for keeping them there; they are so traumatized that they are hardened and so will grow up to be terrorists themselves ; ergo ; keep the trauma going! ; men, women ,children babies !
Send the ACTUAL suspected isis terrorists who have committed atrocities to be tried legitimately for war crimes/crimes against humanity at the Hague, and LIBERATE THE CAMPS, TURKEY!

Thomaspj Poovathinkal
1 month 1 week ago

Trump, NOT Protecting the Kurds, is NOT Protecting Humanity.....

Jeffrey More
1 month 1 week ago

It is amazing to me how so many people who expressed serious opposition to our limited involvement in Syria are now expressing shock at the “betrayal” of the Kurds entailed in our withdrawal of fewer than 100 U.S. military personnel. I am not necessarily happy about an abandonment of people who have been staunchly on, and at, our side, but the situation of the Kurds has always been problematic. I’ve never understood what the end-game was supposed to be vis-a-vis these people, given their claims to territory stretching across multiple countries (one of which, like it or not, is a NATO ally). The current situation sucks; unfortunately, any alternative I can think of would also suck. The fact of the matter is that we should have backed Assad’s government in the period 2010-2011, before the civil war caught fire. Unfortunately, that would have required vision and resolve on the part of our government - virtues sadly lacking in the Obama administration - as well as ignoring the foolish advice of idiots such as John McCain. Parenthetically, whatever damage to our credibility might result from our abandonment of the Kurds will forever pale in comparison with the catastrophic damage to our reputation and credibility caused by Obama’s failure to enforce the red line he declared vis-a-vis Syria.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

It's amazing that Americans believe we should back a regime we had sanctions on for decades because we said they were part of an axis of evil .When the people were docile we opposed the brutal regime, when the people got uppity we paid lip service to opposing the brutal regime but we really did not. As Obama's red line gaffe indicated[ "gaffe" because he said something he did not ever think would occur, and everyone; Left and Right, was grateful to Putin for getting Obama out of that gaffe,remember?] .Unlike Iraq, who at the time we invaded, the people were not rising up against their dictator asking to be shocked and awed, [ though the Kurds HAD, 10 years prior to our invasion and we did nothing then even when they were gassed ]the Syrians rose up peacefully to topple their dictator, and the result was Assad's campaign of terror against any and all opponents.Torture ,and bombings of men, women and children! Leading to refugees by the millions.And the murder of how many hundreds of thousands? Through Putin's disinformation campaign, the Assad regime told the world that anyone who opposed Assad was a fundamentalist fanatic terrorist , and apparently it served our anti Muslim interests; Muslims killing Muslim let Allah sort it out, to believe this disinformation.It was not true ,but even fundie fanatics have rights. Me Cain understood this about the Sunni Syrians; they are actually rather moderate, many educated ,many westernized and secularized people. If Alqauda and other terrorist groups came to their aid it is because no one else would when they pleaded for arms to resist Assad or and a no fly Zone.If it is wrong for the secular Chinese military to tear gas peaceful demonstrators, it is wrong for Assad to have torture prisons against peaceful demonstrators. MeCain, who was pure of heart, knew this and he got and apparently still gets vilified for believing that no, we should NOT support regimes who engage in wholesale murder of their own people!Had Obama enforced that no fly zone, had that regime been toppled; ISIS would not have been able to gain a foot hold,and had we done the democratic thing and given all religious groups and tribes equal say in a government [ as we failed to do in Iraq where Sunnis were prohibited from being part of the Shia/Kurd central Baghdad government we installed ;after cleansing Baghdad of its Sunnis;we murdered them all], a free and democratic Syria would have worked[imo]

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

Kurds and isis would fight each other regardless if the US even existed on the planet. Because the US wants to defeat ISIS they give arms the Kurds, only because it’s easy and they’re fighting ISIS anyway, not because we’re friends. The US was doing them a favor, we were just friends with benefits with no intention of getting married. The fact is Turkey is a fellow NATO member.

Syria, Turkey and the Kurds need to figure it out and us being there only enables them to not do so.

Fred Keyes
1 month 1 week ago

The lack of decent English grammar in so much of what is written above is suspicious.

And Cosgrove especially, sinks to new lows; the phrase "invincible ignorance" comes to mind.

JR Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

invincible ignorance comes to mind

Thank you for your kind words. I must be doing something right.

Michael Barberi
1 month 1 week ago

I don't remember the Editors criticizing Obama when he did not defend Ukraine, nor his inaction in Syria when they crossed his red line. Obama's blunders led to Russia ceasing Crimea and much more. Trump did not think through his decision to withdraw from Syria, but he is acting now to curtain Turkey from further violence against civilians and the Kurds.

I don't agree with many things Trump says and does. However, does the Editors think Biden or Warren as President will support Pro-life, limit abortion on demand or late term abortion? Which one, Trump or one of the Democratic candidates for President, is the lesser of two evils?

Fred Keyes
1 month 1 week ago

"Whataboutism" dominates our discourse.

Actually it's OK, but please, first address the issue head-on before whatabout-ing.

Michael Barberi
1 month 1 week ago

Fred,
The 'whataboutism' was only one part of my comments. My point, that you missed, is that there is too much hypocritical political arguments, especially when it involved Trump. I choose to wait to see how things turn out even when I disagree with Trump's decision. He should have had a formal agreement with Turkey on what they can and cannot do when the U.S. withdraws their troops from Syria. This includes a plan on how to handle the ISIS terrorists and the Kurds. Let's pray that the violence stops.

Fred Keyes
1 month 1 week ago

"Whataboutism" dominates our discourse.

Actually it's OK, but please, first address the issue head-on before whatabout-ing.

Douglas Fang
1 month 1 week ago

Biden or Warren is tremendously less evil compared to Trump! Trump is never pro-life. He is just pro-birth opportunistically and anyone can see that.

Stanley Kopacz
1 month 1 week ago

Trump has always been a welcher and a con man. Right now, any agreement or alliance formed before Trump's presidency means nothing. Any agreement or alliance that Trump makes during his presidency, of course, also means nothing. Any national entity that enters into agreements with Trump, stay clear of buses.

Douglas Fang
1 month 1 week ago

The usual herd of Trump worshippers try desperately to spin all kinds of bogus arguments to defend Trump’s despicable act of shameless, heartless, and cruel betrayal of our ally in the war against ISIS. An ally that had lost 10,000 lives in this war.
I have been watching several BBC documentaries about the Kurds in Syria for some time. They are fierce fighters, men and women, and mostly non-fanatics who want to have a small place where they can feel at home. After Trump gave the green light to Erdogan (sound familiar? Dictators feel a strong affinity to each other…), Turkish force begin to attack them heavily. I feel so bad to look and listen to the cry of a little girl who lost her legs and his brother from Turk artillery. All of these Kurds ask the same question – why did Trump and America abandon them??? It is so sickening…

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fox-news-correspondents-harrowing-report-of-atrocities-in-syria-goes-viral-2019-10-10
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career" – said a distraught US Special Forces soldier.

“Shame, shame, shame…” All of Trump worshippers should be.

Probably Trump worshippers no longer have any sense of shame or integrity. For them, the old line from J.R. Ewing (Dallas TV show) is quite apt: “Once you give up your integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.”

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Douglas
Which President allowed the Russians into Syria.?
As for green lighting......well I think we know who drew a “red line in Syria” and failed to enforce it...that’s the “red line”
that turned “green”
The problem with the Kurd’s wanting “ a small space where they can feel at home “ is that such a “home” is not a “ small place ...it spans the Turkish Syrian Border as well as parts of Iran and Iraq....in this effort they are opposed by 4 different governments.
Your analysis simply ignores that the Kurds were fighting Isis before we began to support them....at first timidly under Obama and then far more robustly under Trump. So were we helping the Kurds or were the Kurd’s helping us to decimate Isis? I fully support protecting the Kurds but you misstate the circumstances.

Carlos Orozco
1 month 1 week ago

I remember reading The Editors of America Magazine some years ago: Syrian Christians should abandon Bashar al-Assad, as Nobel Peace prize President Obama had announced the coming end of Assad's rule in Syria.
Thank God Syrian Christians were not that foolish and fought al-Nusra and ISIS along the Syrian Arab Army!

Mr. Obama brought immense suffering to Syria through CIA operation "Timber Sycamore" (https://youtu.be/_O2TRzA2ezk), arming Salafist radicals, that would later on become the core that formed the al-Nusra Brigades (al-Qaeda in Syria), as well as many head-chopping "moderate" groups.

Finally Mr. Trump has some common sense and after months of doubt (anyone following Syria knows he was searching for an exit to the Syrian disaster) finally did the RIGHT THING, although Deep State is kicking and screaming. America has nothing -NOTHING!- to do in Syria, it lost ALL MORAL CREDIBILITY because it started the conflict.

The Kurds have overreached their hand in Syria, taking far more territory than populated by that ethnic group. By the way, Syrian Christians are in constant conflict with the philo-Marxist Kurdish groups. They won't cry a river once they are gone from their land.

God bless Syria and its people. God protect them from foreign invaders, neocon warmongers, hypocritical R2P regime-changers and their media acolytes.

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

Turkey warned Trump they were coming... they were being diplomatic to Trump and he did the right thing by removing the troops from a possible Benghazi type attack.... unlike Obama and Hillary (and all the liberals on this site) who are totally clueless chicken hawk warmongers

Christopher Scott
1 month 1 week ago

Ditto

Todd Witherell
1 month 1 week ago

Like Judas of old, he lies and deceives.

Thien Nguyen
1 month 1 week ago

Why everyone acts surprise at a guy who did everything he could to buy a doctor paper so he can avoid draft/service during Vietnam war. We all should agree the guy has no spine just a big, dirty mouth. Anyone wants to bet 5 years from now a lot of dirty secrets between U.S. President and Putin will be uncovered!!!

Alan Johnstone
1 month 1 week ago

As we see on the masthead, this magazine and the authors and commentators can be expected to be partial and be blind to shared illusions.

A technically advanced, rich and powerful nation is just that and there is no logical or theological reason why it or anybody else must assure that it is automatically the policeman of the world.

Caesar projecting the power of Rome has been the model and bears no resemblance to the chosen people of God and their characteristics and duties to God and their fellow man.

At last the world has an America with a President who seems more aware of this than many previous ones and the world is thankful for that. True, he has inherited entanglements not of his choosing or making which require some involvement from him. He is doing well.

It is not seemly for American Christians to gloat over their military marching beneath the eagle standard projecting lethal force outside their personal domain.

Get your own house in order.

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