'There will be chaos once again'
October 8, 2019 9:17 AM Subscribe
After talking on the phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, Trump announced that US troops will stand aside for a Turkish offensive in northern Syria (NPR), much like last year (WaPo). This resulted in condemnation from Senate Republicans, among others (The Guardian) as the Kurds prepare to face Turkish troops (Al Jazeera) and "ethnic cleansing." (WaPo)
- Trump sends strong, conflicting signals on Syria, Turkey (AP)
One official described a botched effort by the White House on Sunday night, putting out a statement that appeared aimed at making Trump look bold for ending a war. The official said attempts by the Pentagon and State Department to make the statement stronger in its opposition to Turkey’s military action were unsuccessful. But in what the official described as a “exercise in damage control” Monday morning, the Pentagon made it clear to the Turkish military that “there will be a major break in relations if you do this.”
- Exclusive: Official who heard Trump call says Trump got 'rolled' by Turkey and has 'no spine' (Newsweek)
[a National Security Council source said:] "The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that's the bottom line." "To be honest with you, it would be better for the United States to support a Kurdish nation across Turkey, Syria and Iraq. It would be another Israel in the region." "When the bigger guy [United States] moves aside in the playground, they [Turkey] get to beat on the smaller guy [Syrian Defense Forces] and this is not about the U.S. being the world police. We are telling the world, we will use you and then throw you away. It's not like they don't have a television in Asia, in Africa, and South America."
- 'POTUS went rogue': Trump's Syria move blindsides national security leaders (Politico)
Retired Adm. James Stavridis on MSNBC: "Nobody saw it coming, and that is a real problem when you're trying to conduct not only foreign policy ... but also military operations. That kind of whipsawing effect is extremely detrimental, not only in this tactical situation, but strategically as our planners try and prepare in other theaters, from North Korea to Afghanistan."
- Trump Throws Middle East Policy Into Turmoil Over Syria (NYT)
"The president’s assertion that the Islamic State has been defeated is “the biggest lie being told by the administration,” [Senator Lindsey] Graham added."
- Meanwhile, Congress pressures Trump to back down on Syria 'betrayal' (Politico)
- Trump’s Syria decision reflects his stunning ignorance of the situation (Washington Post)
- Latest betrayal of Kurds risks undermining defeat of Isis (Guardian)
The abandonment of the Kurds is perhaps the most impactful of all. The debt owed to Kurdish forces is acknowledged by western security partners who realise Isis remains unfinished business. Trump’s US had found itself atop a world order it no longer wanted to lead and, more consequentially, no longer seemed to believe in. In the eyes of some bewildered regional allies, Iraq and Saudi Arabia in particular, the US has nothing left to offer but a chequebook. Trump’s transactional worldview offers no place for history or morality. His ruthless short-term realism ignores the fact that the regional interests he does want to secure – containing Iran and securing Israel – are jeopardised by such a blatant betrayal.
- The U.S. Is Now Betraying the Kurds For the Eighth Time (The Intercept)
- Trump’s Green Light to Turkey Raises Fears About ISIS Detainees (NYT)
- Fox News in Disarray as Hosts Struggle to Digest Trump’s Betrayal of the Syrian Kurds (The Intercept)
- Turkey rejects Trump’s threats amid conflicting U.S. signals over Syria offensive (WaPo)
"Erdogan and other Turkish officials have suggested for days that the military operation could begin at any moment. Turkish troop convoys have headed to the border, and local media outlets have published details of what they say is the battle plan."
- Twitter apologizes after 'Die Trump' trends in Turkey (The Hill)
'The phrase began trending after Trump's series of tweets. Doğu Perinçek, chairman of Turkey's nationalist Patriotic Party, responded with a tweet of his own. "Mr. Trump you can destroy only USA," Perinçek tweeted. His tweet ended with the hashtag “Mahvolursun Trump."'