It’s Day 8 of the Trump-inspired Turkish massacre of the Kurds in Syria.
Kurdish civilians are being slaughtered. U.S. troops have been fired upon. Russian President Vladimir Putin is thrilled. Iran is ecstatic. President Trump is clueless about how to fix the bloody and violent mess he created.
Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, is flying to the region today to pretend – to fake it, if you will – that Trump gives a damn about stopping the death and destruction he ignited after a single phone call when he gave Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the green light to invade Syria.
I hate to sound cynical, but is it possible, just maybe, that our president let Turkey invade Syria to cover up his alleged criminal wrongdoing involving the Ukraine and our 2020 presidential election? You know, the same criminal allegations that launched the formal impeachment inquiry that has Trump terrified he might be forced out of office and have to face multiple charges for obstruction of justice and campaign finance violations.
Or maybe Trump’s actions were as “innocent” as him trying to protect his well-documented business investments in Turkey?
“I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” Trump told Breitbart News a few months after announcing his bid for the presidency. “…It’s called Trump Towers — two towers, instead of one, not the usual one; it’s two.”
GOP leaders, meanwhile, are crying buckets of crocodile tears. Trump, they say, did a bad thing in Syria, a very bad thing, and so the Turks must be punished.
The Turks, not Trump.
The expression “too little, too late” immediately comes to mind.
Dear GOP, where have you been for the past four years. Where were you when Trump strode down his escalator on the day he announced his campaign and began spouting racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-human decency rhetoric? That’s the day you should have spoken up and kicked him out of your party. But you didn’t.
I will grant Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of Trump’s abettors this: by comparison, inciting the slaughter of the Kurds, the people who helped us smash the savagely violent Islamic State is monumentally more inhumane and politically catastrophic to our already waning influence in the Middle East than acting like a two-bit gangster by trying to get Ukraine’s president to launch a fake investigation of already trumped up, pun intended, charges against former Vice President Joe Biden. (And, no, his son shouldn’t have been on the board of a company in the Ukraine when Biden oversaw U.S. policy toward Ukraine. That was wrong, but not illegal.)
Then again, I didn’t realize that instigating a heinous crime, you know, like mass slaughter could be used as a defense when you’re charged with an admittedly lesser criminal act, like allegedly trying to extort the president of a foreign nation for your own political gain.
Ultimately, McConnell and his shamefully loyal GOP lemmings in the Senate – including Arizona’s very own Sen. Martha McSally – are fine with Trump allegedly committing a federal crime that would stomp on the right of the American people to choose their next president.
GOP leaders, and I apply that term loosely, are suddenly tripping over each other to impose sanctions against Turkey – which won’t do a damned thing to stop the massacre of the Kurds – even as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrambles to figure out how to protect the nuclear weapons we have stationed in Turkey.
I’ll say that again: We have nuclear weapons in Turkey and President Trump is now threatening to “decimate” the Turkish economy in response to his decision to give Turkey the green light to invade Syria. Got it?
For her part, McSally, who must think she cannot possibly win election to the Senate without Trump’s support next year, told reporters Tuesday, “I just will tell you that I’m very concerned about this decision, and I joined a number of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to communicate that I really think that this is not the message to send to those who are willing to partner with us to fight against terrorism around the globe.”
Duh, you think?!
The “message” she’s talking about is Trump’s decision to openly betray the Kurds, one of our most valuable allies in the war against terrorism.
A true leader, on the other hand, would have told reporters: “What the president has done is an absolute abomination, an affront to humanity and the core principles of the United States. President Trump’s actions have led to a human massacre. The Kurds lost more than 10,000 of their own people fighting ISIS. American troops lost their lives in our fight against ISIS. Three thousand Americans were murdered on 9-11 at the hands of the international terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, the precursor to ISIS. We must protect our friends and battle our enemies, not the other way around. Our job now is to reverse this catastrophic failure in foreign policy, which may take decades. As we speak, people are dying in Syria because of the utter ineptitude of our president. The House must impeach President Trump and the Senate must expel him from the White House as quickly as possible, and I will vote to do just that.”
Then again, great leaders are so, so hard to find these days.