Dear US Military, Don’t buy that phony whining by the GOP US Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, over the Turks having been granted the green light to invade NE Syria which translates to the Turks being allowed to slaughter our US best military allies in its fight against ISIS from 2014-2019, based on the republican President Donald Trump’s 10/6/2019 phone conversation with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Please don’t support the re-election of President Trump in 2020 or Senator Lindsey Graham.
The GOP trumpeting of enacting tough sanctions against Turkey for its invasion of NE Syria with its current engagement in the brutal slaughter against the Kurds, does little to remedy/ undo the harm already in process, to the US military’s most reliable, competent allies in its fight against ISIS. The Kurds took a lot of risky steps that were against their interests based on US promises that the US military would be for them.
This US commitment to enact harsh sanctions on Turkey has some value, but these penalties come too late, after the horse has already left the barn. It amounts to a sound-bite designed to redeem the president’s poor policy/ strategic decisions with regards to Syria.
There’s no way that this impulsive, self-serving problem solving project by President Trump at the behest of Russia, doesn’t add up to to be counter to US national security interests. In the future, what countries will feel safe that they can count on the word of the US government?
If the GOP US Senators were serious about remedying the president’s fubar of giving the Turks the green-light to attack the Kurds in NE Syria around 10/7/2019, they would have ended their congressional recess immediately in order to head back to work instead of bemoaning how angry they are over President Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds in favor of the Turks, Russia and the Iranians.
As per a WSJ editorial:
Washington can at least deny Turkish jet fighters airspace over Kurdish areas, which would raise the costs for Mr. Erdogan of a full-scale invasion.”
The GOP senators’ staunch support of President Trump, despite his open affection for all things Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, was the predicate for the October 2019 Turkey-Syrian catastrophe that we’re witnessing.
Laurence Tribe tweeted following on 10/9:
It was on Putin’s birthday (10/7) that Trump gave Erdogan the green light to wipe out the Kurds, something Putin had wanted Erdogan to do as part of their joint plans for carving up Syria.
11:13 PM · Oct 9, 2019
Here are some key points points regarding Syrian Kurds:
1.) There were less than 3,000 US military serving in an advisory position to the Kurds in Syria.
2.) The Kurds did the heavy lifting in the US military’s fight against ISIS from 2014-2019 where their militia lost over 11,000 lives with more than 24,000 being injured in contrast to less than 10 fatalities by US troops.
3.) The U.S. was the party advising the Kurds not to cut a deal at a more opportune time in December 2018- January 2019 with the Syrian Assad regime, Turkey and Russia for protection.
As per the 10/14/2019 Daily Beast report, “The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds, Former Top Official Says” by Christopher Dickey and Spencer Ackerman:
“Brett McGurk, who resigned as the presidential special envoy to the coalition against ISIS last December (2018), told The Daily Beast on Sunday that such a move by the Syrian Kurds was predictable under the circumstances.”
“Even last year, when McGurk was still serving, Kurdish leaders in Syria were telling the Americans that if support for them and deterrence against a Turkish attack was not going to continue, they needed to make a deal with the Assad regime and Russia for protection. “We have given our road map to the Russians. We are just waiting on a decision,” one senior Kurdish official told The Washington Post.”
“McGurk said he supported that idea at a time when Trump already was talking about pulling out of Syria, but he met firm opposition within the administration. (Special Representative for Syria Engagement Jim Jeffrey, for one, “told the Kurds on multiple occasions, ‘we’ll manage Turkey, don’t make a deal with the [Assad] regime,’” according to a source familiar with the matter.) Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and crew insisted the U.S. must stay in Syria until Iran was out, or at least on its way. (Representatives for Bolton, whom Trump fired last month, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Neither did State Department spokespeople.)”
“Since McGurk’s resignation, he has stayed in touch with the members of the SDF and some contacts in the U.S. departments of state and defense. He says the Kurds asked repeatedly if the support and protection of the United States could be relied upon, and they were told repeatedly that the Americans had their backs.”
“But that was not the case.”
4.) The US encouraged the Kurds in NE Syria to move back its defensive military positions on its northern border between Syria and Turkey. This is just one more piece of advice delivered by US where one could argue, that the US instructions set up the Kurds to be sitting ducks for the Turk’s aggressiveness towards the Kurds, a population that the Turks despise more than ISIS.
The Kurds had so trusted the U.S. that they honored the US request to move its military equipment tanks/ dismantle defensive positions near the Turkish border as part of the buffer-zone agreed upon during negotiations among vested parties in Ankara, as a sign of good will. Remember that talks had been ongoing when President Trump made his preference known, to betray the Kurds while accommodating the interests of the Turks, the Russians and the dictatorship of Syrian’s President Assad. It was the US policy that the Kurds were less likely to aid an insurgency in Turkey if they were allowed to govern themselves in a safe area in Syria policed by the U.S. and Turkey.
5.) President Trump was well aware of the negative consequences for his recent actions in October 2019 with regards to Syria, the Kurds, Turkey and Russia because this entire scenario is a repeat of what President Trump had ordered back in December, 2018, where he had been placed in a position to back track. The Defense Secretary James Mattis had resigned in protest over the president’s short-sighted thinking regarding Syria.
6.) President Trump explains how the US doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of 10,000 plus ISIS hardened prisoners escaping from Kurdish jails, because they’ll be moving back to Europe. Some have already escaped.
As of October 2019, the Turks are aligning with ISIS and Al-Quaeda militants in their push to confiscate territory in N Syria.
The US can no longer claim that there are no ISIS members operating out of Syria.
The following is an example by European countries of what taking action that’s real, to mitigate harm being done by Turks to the Kurds, looks like, because of the US…..
As per the October 13, 2019 FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP reporting, “Turkey’s Syria offensive could create ‘unbearable’ humanitarian situation, Macron warns:”
“Standing alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron warned on (1013/2019) that Turkey’s military operation Kurdish forces in Syria risks creating an “unbearable humanitarian situation” and threatens to “help the Islamic State group re-emerge in the region”. Paris and Berlin are stepping up efforts to halt the Turkish offensive.”
“He’s holding an emergency security meeting on Sunday night to discuss the Turkish invasion, and said he’s working with Germany on unspecified new initiatives to end it. He and Merkel “both want this offensive to stop”, the French president said.”
“Merkel echoed that view, adding that while Turkey has “legitimate security concerns”, different solutions need to be found.”
“France and Germany have suspended arms sales to Turkey, and Macron said he and Merkel will continue to coordinate on “initiatives in the coming days.”