Did Trump Just Backstab Our Kurdish Allies for Turkey?

Withdrawing troops in Syria pleases Turkey but endangers Kurds fighting the Islamic State.

Comments: 97

  1. Spencer, history has shown that we usually abandon the Kurds.

  2. I'm going on rank speculation here but I'm betting there's no Trump Tower in Kurdistan.

  3. Trump dreams a golf resort in Turkey so he can lose more of other people’s money. He is now at the end game of his working life and has nothing to show for it but failed thinking that costs hundreds of millions of dollars. He will desperately try to increase his wealth before there’s a total after death since he has always only lost staggering amounts of money, by several sources nine billion dollars across six bankruptcy. It has been shown that he across a decade before he announced his run for the presidency he had received 3.6 billion dollars from Deutsche Bank collateralized by who knows. What that means today is Trump owns nothing and owes everything yet again. This is how he governs, brethren, by bad impulse combined with a stunning failure to learn from experience and rubs wounds with salt till he yearns to spread his pain. He has spent a working life stiffing creditors from painters and roofers to Bank of America. Be consoled that the law will undo him, his family and his enablers since the only thing we admire more than gangsters is the cops who catch them.

  4. @Naked In A Barrel Man, I can't wait to see his tax returns.

  5. The answer to the question posed by the title of this piece: Yes, completely and with no warning or justification. The end.

  6. The only thing that matters is that the Kurds are few and poor and without powerful allies or political power and, most import of all, are brown. The U.S. has lied to them pretty much as the Brits lied to Lawrence's Arabs a hundred years ago.

  7. Does the man have loyalty for anyone outside his family?

  8. @Jean No.

  9. @Jean You think he even has loyalty to his family? Ha! As long as they serve his purposes. He betrayed his father, he betrayed his dead brother, he betrayed his brother’s children, he betrayed his wives, he betrayed his less popular daughter... when he is is done with his current family, he’ll betray them too... loyalty is not something trump is capable of.

  10. @Jean He is a malignant narcissist. He is incapable of loyalty. People, all people, simply exist to fill his needs and to constantly bolster his ego. His self-perception of his grandiosity was on full display the other day in his tweet: "...my great and unmatched wisdom..." When his family members fail to meet his needs and expectations, he will abandon them without a second thought.

  11. To answer: Yes, he did, The bloviating about destroying Turkey's economy if they don't make nice with the Kurds is meaningless, although he's doing a good job of destroying ours, so maybe we need to rethink, There is nothing funny or acceptable about this, Don won't destroy the Turkish economy, but sadly, what position are we in to protect the Kurds if we're gone? And these unilateral decisions with little counsel taken from the military or others in the WH are absurdly dangerous and narcissistic. One still wonders what in the world he agreed to with Putin,

  12. Why is it our responsibility to fight the never ending wars in the Middle East? They been going on for thousands of years and are not going to stop anytime soon

  13. @Terrence Zehrer , because those wars end up at the World Trade Center.

  14. Its our moral and ethical responsibility not to abandon the Kurds, who fought ISIS for us, to slaughter.

  15. @Terrence Zehrer According to Colin Powell----"You break it, you bought it."

  16. If only the Kurds had dirt on Joe Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or Nancy Pelosi, or Adam Schiff, or...

  17. It's a betrayal. Why would anyone wonder about that. Betrayal is what Trump does; as with the proverbial scorpion, it's his nature.

  18. @Thomas Billie Holliday sang it a long time ago---"You knew I was a snake when you took me in."

  19. Isn’t saying U.S. withdrawal is reasonable because “ISIS is substantially weakened” kind of like saying “I don’t think I need the rest of these antibiotics, I feel pretty good”?

  20. Why is the headline framed as a question? Of course he did.

  21. @Yann - Agreed. Denial and weakness are the currency Putin disburses to destroy The West. Some things in life are worth fighting. I’ll pose a counter question. Is this a time when good people must fight for the constitution, democracy, and fair elections?

  22. It endangers us, too. Who the heck do you think has been taking risks for us against ISIS: the Kurds and the Israelis. My guess is not only will both be compromised, but we will be, too.

  23. Denial and weakness are the currency Putin disburses to destroy our will. Some things in life are worth fighting. I’ll pose a counter question to the article’s headline. Is this a time when good people must fight for the constitution, democracy, and fair elections?

  24. @RjW Congress never had the courage to approve a war. They left it to the president on duty. A big mistake. Finally a president is tired of sacrificing soldiers lives and huge financial burdens to keep the status quo. If our troops were drafted against their will, as in the past, we wouldn’t be involved. Moms and dads would vote supporters of endless non wars out of office. Democracy should demand congress acts. No president should be allowed the authority to decide military engagements endlessly.

  25. @Jay When considering Trump's actions, it would help if Americans accept that he has no convictions beyond enriching himself. Actually, it's simpler than that--he cares only about whether or not he feels good. He doesn't have thoughts, he has tropisms. Like a unicellular organism, his moves are determined by an environmental gradient that triggers a response to the only question that matters: Do I feel good or not good? And he is happiest when being praised by autocrats. It's actually quite dangerous for a person like this to have so much power. Assess the likely outcomes of this most recent rash response, and all becomes clear: Trump serves at the pleasure of the Russian president.

  26. @Jay Wouldn't keeping the status quo be better than allowing Turkey to release Isis fighters from prison camps?

  27. Isn’t Turkey a member of NATO? If NATO is such a great organization, can’t it control its members? Why is it our responsibility to defend every country in need, without reciprocity? These countries/tribes have been fighting for centuries. Trump made it clear he wanted troops out of these countries. It’s time to change the rules of engagement. No more troops, just bombs and air strikes, and only when all of NATO agrees to participate their fare share. We are not the world’s police. Past administration’s mistakes need not be repeated.

  28. Trump's precipitous decision to withdraw troops is not just erratic and dangerous but also a callous disregard for what may result in the deaths of countless Kurdish men, women and children and an ensuing humanitarian crisis. He has no heart.

  29. @HP I guess Trump has no hotels in the area where the Kurds live and protect us.

  30. @CS Well, not yet.

  31. @HP And this right on the heels of this administration's proposal to cut the number of refugees accepted into the US to 18,000 in 2020. His cruelty is indeed abysmal.

  32. Why not? Trump has "backstabbed" pretty much everyone else who no longer served his ends. And some he seems to have just felt like backstabbing on a whim. Not to mention virtually all of the USA's traditional friends and allies.

  33. Oh Thanks NYT Editorial Board for finally affirming the importance of the Kurds. Until Trump actually started removing soldiers everyone seemed to be all about abandoning the Kurds. Now that Trump is hurting the Kurds, the Kurds are good. Well I believed we should be arming any supporting the Kurds for 20 years. I dont care about Trump and I dont care about the current political dynamic. I care about loyalty and the Kurds have earned that in spades and provided it to us since before Desert Storm.

  34. What's in it for Donald Trump? That is always the question. Trump's betrayal of the Kurds almost assuredly has nothing to do with a grand geo-political vision. He doesn't have one and it is highly doubtful Trump could locate Kurdistan on a map. To my cynical mind, this has far more to do with cozying up to Erdogan and Trump Tower Istanbul and possible future real estate deals.

  35. @Emile deVere In addition to the commercial interests of the Donald Trump Organization in Turkey, Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds also serves as reward for Turkey’s undermining of NATO. This was most recently exemplified by Erdogan’s decision to withdraw from the F35 program and buy Russian S400 SAMs. What’s good for Russia is good for Trump.

  36. It's not so much what you do, but how you do it. Recognizing nuance is not Trump's strong suit.

  37. I’m sure everyone would agree, that Trump Towers Istanbul had absolutely, no way Jose, anything to do with Trump’s one man decree to loathsomely betray the Kurds.

  38. Trump is doing what Vladimir Putin wants. I think it is just that simple.

  39. "Did Trump Just Backstab Our Kurdish Allies for Turkey?" In a word? YES! And the REST of the world's autocrats (and our allies) are watching and learning...

  40. How do you justify spending another 5, 10, 50 years fighting?

  41. @Ryan Bingham The small force we left in Syria was doing almost no fighting and lately had almost no casualties. On the other hand, now the Kurds will flee and leave 1000 ISIS prisoners. THAT will ensure that we spend another decade fighting.

  42. @Ryan Bingham I am not sure, but the handful of Americans that were pulled out were not involved in fighting. The Kurdish forces had done that, to the tune of around 12000 dead. The Americans were there largely for their presence to 1) legitimize the Kurdish forces, and 2) deter the Turks from massacring them.

  43. He's just doing what he always does. Have we not learned anything from his bluster? He provided his play book decades ago. Start with something outrageous and then walk it back. It happens over and over and over and over. If we could only stop publicizing his every rant. If his picture were not ALWAYS on the front page of every news site.

  44. It’s quite likely that Trump does not much about the Kurds at all.

  45. After Iran shot down one of our expensive drones Trump decided at the last minute not to risk killing any (less than a hundred) Iranians as America responded. But, now, he is allowing the Turkish government to kill thousands of Kurds. Does the fact Trump has a hotel in Turkey have any influence on his decision to sacrifice the Kurds?

  46. @Rev Wayne Does the fact Trump has a hotel in Turkey have any influence on his decision to sacrifice the Kurds? Of course it does.

  47. So Trump vowed to cause Turkey trouble if it crosses some undefined line (e.g. doing to the Kurds what they did to the Armenians?). Erdogan is smiling because he (and every thinking person) knows what a Trump 'promise' is worth. Yes, Obama broke a few promises (as has probably every president - incl. Lincoln & Washington ) - but Trump is in his own league when it comes to lying, deceit, backstabbing, fawning, etc.

  48. Perhaps the Kurds had no other alternative, but the lesson here, one learned by hundreds of individuals and groups in the past, is that staking your future on a faith in Trump loyalty is a tragic mistake. He will sacrifice anyone and anything for his own power, greed and ego

  49. Trump believes he can control events. This just another example of his dark and dangerous nacissism. He thinks he can control Turkey. He has not read history. He thinks he can control the impeachment process. He has not read the Constitution. As awful as this betrayal of the Kurds is, perhaps it will finally be sinking in for his opportunistic defenders that Trump is more than clueless. He is a loose canon on the deck of a ship at sea in what could become the perfect storm.

  50. @Bob Bruce Anderson Simply put, Trump is a cultural and moral illiterate.

  51. "Did Trump just backstab our Kurdish Allies", and will many Kurds die as a result? Yes. Will our allies in the region ever forget? No. Will the U.S. recover from Trump? Probably not.

  52. It's not backstabbing in the usual sense of the word. Trump just uses people and drops them when they're no longer needed. That's all, a purely transactional world view.

  53. We should stop calling Kurds our allies. They are proxies and occasionally paid mercenaries. This is why they feel betrayed. When we call them allies, we are lying to them. Turkey, in the other hand, is a NATO ally by treaty. Perhaps it’s time to cancel that alliance.

  54. @Neildsmith What would you call troops that have been fighting along with the US in Iraq and Syria in its efforts against ISIS? We might have been in Iraq a lot longer if not for their assistance.

  55. The bigger question, is what is the United States position on self determination for the Kurds? The headline is correct, we have stabbed "our Kurdish allies in the back." But this isn't the first time we've done so. The Kurds fought against the Sunni insurgents in Iraq before their actions against ISIS. Despite this we did not support their call for independence. When the Kurds revolted against Saddam's regime they were the victims of a savage and illegal poison gas attack. We rightfully condemned the Iraqi's, but forget to mention that it was Western companies that sold Iraq the ingredients for the gas and it was the US that provided satellite targeting photos when that illegal poison was being used against Iran. The question of Kurdish independence is not going away and whenever it is raised we know that Turkey will react violently because Kurds live in a significant sector of Turkish territory. But there may be a way forward short of Kurdish annexation of territories of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran and declaration of an independent state. Unless we are willing to at least explore that option our present condemnations of Trump is simply a criticism that applies equally to past administrations. When old empires like the Ottoman Empire break up the world is left with the pieces. A hundred years later we are still trying to put them back together. Simply criticizing is not a way forward,

  56. @WestSider Kurds made up a portion of the Turkish forces that led the Armenian genocide, but by no means executed it on their own, as you imply in your post. Furthermore, unlike the Turks, they have admitted and atoned for their participation. They took over the Armenian lands? Today only 40,000 Kurds live in Armenia (not much of a takeover), and comprise about 15-20% of the total population in Turkey.

  57. Did Trump backstab the Kurds? Can't believe you have to ask. Yes, he did. Not asked was, "Has the U.S. presence in the Middle East gone on too long?" Or, what harm has U.S. participation in the Middle East wrought? Or, what are the negative consequences to Middle-Easterners if U.S. troops withdraw? Or, what are the positive consequences? Trump's willing to sacrifice the lives of 10,000 loyal, anti-ISIS Kurds, release 11,000 ISIS soldiers guarded by these Kurds, let them wreak more ISIS havok... Not because the death of loyal Kurds is somehow reasonable, nor because ISIS prisoners regaining a toehold in Syria is a good thing, nor is currying favor with Turkish dictator Erdogan, or providing Russia a larger point of entry to the Middle East. These are the consequences of a President on a sinking ship, which he himself torpedoed, trying to keep a 2016 campaign promise of getting troops out of the Middle East. U.S. troop removal has far-reaching negative consequences for the region. Trump's not one to consider consequences--just saving himself. Yes, he's a backstabber.

  58. Trump clearly has no idea what he's doing. On the one hand he says the US was involved in a battle "with no aim in sight" and on the other declares that we (meaning the US of course) have defeated ISIS, which was his stated aim! He bemoans the money spent arming and supporting the Kurds and yet offers no words of consolation for the thousands wives, children and other relatives who have lost loved ones fighting as allies with the US. We know that Trump is devoid of empathy but really, who on earth thinks that this man is fit to lead a dog far less lead a country?

  59. Can anyone who tweets this: “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” Lead a government and conduct a foreign policy that leads to anything less than chaos and eventual death and destruction? This is the stark reality that 60% of Americans understand and 40% can't or won't.

  60. Sadly, the US does not seem to have a strategic view about three key middle eastern dramas: 1. Our relationship with Iran 2. Israeli/Palestinian peace 3. Kurdish independence Consequently, we are drifting into unknown territory and new players are filling the vacuum we have created. What a shame. Abandoning an ally will have negative, long term, credibility implications.

  61. The worst part for the Kurds, and the rest of our allies worldwide is the de-legitimacy of Lindsey Graham's ability to render any kind of professional judgement. Graham is such a partisan political hack, and a politician who always chooses expediency and hyperbole over thoughtfulness that many of his own colleagues in his own party see Graham as a lightweight senator, if not a drama queen always craving attention. Graham is not a foreign policy expert. We need to see and hear from more serious foreign policy experts from both parties in and out of office on this issue. Lindsey Graham's incessant Trump sycophancy has empowered Trump to act unilaterally on foreign policy and work with Putin and Erdogan to throw the Kurds under the bus, and that, Graham and the GOP should be getting full credit for helping to accomplish. Graham and the GOP's empowering Trump's bad behavior has consequences. Just ask the Kurds who are about to be slaughtered.

  62. The Kurds are mainly just protecting their own turf, the parts of Syria they lived in, be it ISIS or Turkey or Assad or anybody else that tried to take them over. Turkey has a long contentious history with militant Kurds in their own country. Given that the Kurdish controlled areas in Syria run along the Turkish border, it is understandable that Turkey sees their militarization as an immediate threat to their national security, and the US arming and supplying them as recklessly irresponsible. Nearly all US involvement in Syria's conflict has been one blunder after the next. Arming rebels with ties to ISIS; arming Kurds who represent a serious threat of internal rebellion to Turkey, a NATO ally; bombing and droning targets seemingly at random just to appear as though we are doing something proactive. And the worst part all this is that it has not changed the undesirable outcomes of Assad's regime remaining in power and Russia's influence in the region growing stronger and more entrenched. This debacle was set in motion by Obama's halfhearted foreign policy forays and thoroughly run into the ground by Trump's chaotic, indecisive flailing in every direction. We have no business in Syria at this point. Our involvement has not paid us any dividends. What have we won in the last 6 or so years? The gratitude of the Kurds, an ethnic group with no recognized sovereign government? Is it worth the ire of Turkey, a powerful sovereign nation and NATO ally? The scales aren't balancing.

  63. Again---and why should we be shocked at all?--Trump betrays both the US and our allies, and will only bring more war. He cannot make reasonable decisions, lies constantly, makes up his own reality, wants to dangerously isolate the US, and condones a Turkish invasion. Why do we have the supposed leader of the free world saluting and supporting dictators, admiring our enemies, and endangering democracy? He is not a leader, cares nothing for other countries and allies, (he cares only about one thing: Trump, pretending otherwise), knows next to nothing about foreign policy. What a disaster he has become. He will be remembered as the worst US President in history at a time when we needed the best. Impeachment if it happens cannot come soon enough.

  64. Each and every week Trump does a new hat trick, this week it was pulling our troops out of Syria, leaving the Kurds vulnerable to attack by the Turks. The latest trick on us and our allies is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty. Each time Trump demonstrates his impulsiveness, Republicans react with disdain yet they defend him. What will it take for Republicans to see what is plain to see by everone else and react. I predict Trump will decide to pull troops from South Korea in an effort to appease N.Korea. Sound crazy, think he won't go that far? Just wait and see Republicans, he's going to really show you crazy.

  65. Why print anything Lindsey says or thinks. He’ll play a round with unstable genius and he’ll think it was a brilliant move.

  66. Remember, the first time the Turkish leader visited Trump at the White House. He oversaw the beat downs by his dozens of security guards of Kurdish American protestors and Trump said and did nothing. This upcoming second time. Trump delivers the Kurdish nation to Turkey. Oh, and when Turkey invades the Kurds in the North, the Russian backed militia will invade the Kurds from the South. Do you think Trump is delivering on his campaign promises to Putin and the Russians?. And the Republicans want to "enable" this Manchurian Candidate President??

  67. Trump always acts out of self-interest-- typically financial self-interest. What hotels or resort projects does Trump or his children have cooked up for Turkey? Everything is done in Trump-world as a quid pro quo-- don't ever be fooled about that. His moral bankruptcy is on full display for the world to see when he gave the green light to Turkey to slaughter the Kurds. The Kurds should be given an autonomous homeland for their valiant loyalty and bravery, not stabbed in the back. And, Trump must be removed from office. America is in shambles.

  68. @Valerie Turks don't have any problem with Kurds. They have problem with PKK which is a terrorist Kurdish organization. There will be no slughtering Kurdish people, there will be slaughtering terrorists who has been shedding blood in this region for years. Stop supporting terrorism...

  69. When did we amend the Constitution to permit the US military to expend blood and treasure fighting on behalf of a foreign entity? I missed that one...

  70. @Charles Um, NATO, Article 5. No amendment to the Constitution required, just common sense.

  71. @Daniel D'Arezzo Turkey is a NATO member, the Kurds are not. And Turkey is not being attacked; Article 5 provides for a response, not for participation in an offensive. So Article 5 is inoperative in the situation of Turkey initiating hostilities on Syrian soil.

  72. Dear Republican Senators, This problem can be solved with two simple words: You're Fired! It's either you or him.

  73. "I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” So millions of innocent Turkish families and civilians will suffer who have nothing to do with this conflict. Another example of a great leadership decision - NOT!

  74. You do know we are talking about 1,000 troops and that we can and will continue to provide air support? Just another example of the media making up a story where none exists. There are plenty of allied troops in the region which will inhibit this ‘Turkish invasion’ that the media is making up. If #45 had said he was increasing troop levels then y’all would have called him a war monger

  75. For anyone wondering why Trump is letting Turkey massacre the Kurds that were our allies, this bit of information may help you understand... In December 2015, Trump stated in a radio interview that he had a "conflict of interest" in dealing with Turkey because of his property, saying "I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul ... It’s called Trump Towers. Two towers, instead of one. Not the usual one, it’s two. And I’ve gotten to know Turkey very well." -"Russia, Turkey expand military operations in Syria during Trump's transition to power". LA Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 November 2016. Trump is allowing America's allies to be butchered in order to protect his personal business interests.

  76. I gotta love naivety like this: “Just on his own terms,” he tweeted, “Trump is not ending any endless wars but simply ordering U.S. military personnel to move out of the way for Turkish forces to enter.” So here's the deal. Whenever the US military gets out of one of our 'endless wars,' it will create a power vacuum that will be then filled by a neighboring dictatorial thug or murderous warlord. US troops will always be replaced by something worse, in some cases disastrously, genocidally worse. If you don't like that, then you're signing us up for endless wars. The world is not a good neighborhood. I'm actually in favor of getting out of most endless wars but I don't have pollyanna delusions about what would come next for the people unfortunate enough to live there. The Kurds are an exception because they're good allies and they appreciate our presence. We shouldn't bail on them. Too bad if Turkey doesn't like it. It's not like they're such a great, democratic ally anyway.

  77. The Kurdistan Workers' Party is listed as a terrorist organization by NATO, the United States, the UK, Japan, and the European Union. This article is confusing the Kurdish people, of which there are many in Turkey, with the PKK, which used to be a Marxist-Leninist party that has since adopted a Democratic platform and wants their own state in Syria. There should be more articles about what is good for Syria and why Turkey is doing what they're doing (to relocate a million Syrians who are homeless).

  78. The war against Al-Qaida in Afghanistan has gone on for nearly 20 years. The reason given for continuing to tolerate US soldiers' deaths and civilian "collateral damage" is that if we leave, terrorists will surely take over. I am no expert on foreign affairs, but isn't this the reason some give for remaining in Syria? Our defense budget is huge - our deficit growing. Endless war seems like the definition of insanity.

  79. Turks don't have any problem with Kurds. They have problem with PKK which is a terrorist separetist Kurdish organization. There will be no slughtering Kurdish people, there will be slaughtering terrorists who has been shedding blood in this region for years. Stop supporting terrorism...

  80. Trump did not back stab the KURDS. He empowered the KURDS to unite and fight tooth and nail in a do or die spirit for an independent KURDISTAN to be carved out of Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Since becoming president Trump defense forces have fought ISIS side by side. The Kurds have received training in modern combat from the US defense forces and can give the Turks a run for their money. They are well armed and battle ready while the young turks have been languishing in their barracks. Let us revisit history. Who was Turkey allied with during world war II?Nazi Germany Who is Turkey allied with now? NATO. What happens if the Kurds get hammered? NATO will be the cavalry waiting to go in diplomatically and militarily. If Europe is safer today than 3 years ago it is thanks to the Kurdish fighters. Trump did the right thing to bring our troops home to freedom from policing a dangerous and volatile area. Give the Kurds a chance to prove that they can survive on their own and independently of foreign intervention. Time has come to say good bye to all foreign armies in their land.

  81. @Girish Kotwal What arms do they have to face much larger and very well armed force. What planes, what tanks?

  82. Does a Bear text in the Woods ??? I loathe Him, with a white hot burning flame. As for his Collaborators: enjoy yourselves, Boys. THIS is your LAST frat party. Seriously.

  83. And in unrelated news, Turkey has given approval for the construction of a new Trump Tower in Istanbul.

  84. It appears that Mr. T has totally lost it now. It isn't only the Turks who gain from his latest kerfuffle, but also our now apparently ex-enemy Assad and his allies in Russia and, yes, Iran. Other than the adulation of fawning sycophants and overseeing his real estate business, our President seems to have no interest in or understanding of anything he is doing. Or does he?

  85. Guess who benefits, Putin. How long does this have to go on before the cry baby Republicans stop selling the nation out?

  86. What good is NATO, if all of its other members are terrified of the consequences of the US leaving Syria? If Turkey attacks the Kurd’s, will they still be in NATO, or booted and deemed a threat to Democracy?

  87. Or was it all about Impeachment - anything to distract attention from Impeachment, even if it means the death of a few thousand Kurds.

  88. Who is the more valuable ally to the US, the stateless Kurds or Turkey, a member of NATO with a 700 + Billion dollar GDP? "No nation has friends only interests." Charles de Gaulle

  89. Is there a legitimate question here? You should be asking, does anybody in government care enough to stand up and denounce Trump.

  90. Does trump have real estate interests in Turkey? He will and has sold out anyone and everyone. The Turks hate the Kurds. They consider them subhuman(sound familiar?). I think we all remember what the next step will be. Never again happens again and again and again.

  91. Of course Trump betrayed the Kurds. This just reconfirms what we already know: with Trump loyalty is expected, but seldom returned. His loyalties do not extend beyond himself.

  92. which s it? trump is totally ignorant of the tenuous balance of power in the Middle East and irresponsibly makes impulsive decisions OR trump is purposely working with antidemocratic governments intent on destabilizing that region contrary to U.S. interests (treason)

  93. Turkey wanted the U.S. forces out of the way, so it could attack the Kurds. They almost certainly suggested that ill fortune would befall Mr. Trump's holdings in Istanbul and, true only to himself, he caved. This demonstrates the essential weakness of having anyone with substantial business interests in the White House: Susceptibility to financial blackmail.

  94. It is truly ironic how Trump, who prizes loyalty to himself above all things, practices betrayal constantly.

  95. As usual no forethought or regard for the consequences as he of unmatched great wisdom makes a kneejerk decision designed to placate his base and ingratiate himself to another thug leader while throwing a trusted and venerable ally under the bus - and quite likely enabling further destabilization in the region and jump starting a resurgence of ISIS.

  96. Yes. It's a bad idea to withdraw. Regardless of the whether you think we should be involved in foreign wars in general (and each situation is different, actually), the fact is that having some American military presence there was keeping a peace (or at least preventing open warfare) between Turkey and the Kurds. Now that peace will be shattered. We may need the Kurdish help again. They are some of the best fighters in the region. Next time, they may say no to us. More broadly, as much as the isolationists disagree, the truth is that you cannot separate the well-being of the United States from conflicts around the world, any more than you can separate our economy from the global trade and financial networks we depend on.