If you are gobsmacked, along with the rest of the world, at how the past 72 hours have played out, with respect to the Middle East, you need to know that Trump planned it this way. The first bread crumb to follow is this morning’s particularly insane tweet. Stunningly stupid tweets from Donald Trump are par for the course, but this one is not only memorable — it is epic. It starts off with a lie, “defeating 100% of ISIS” moves on to an insane proposition, Syria and Assad protecting the Kurds, then degenerates into pure babble, as he, incredibly, washes his hands of the situation. I don’t know how many of his tweets will be featured in the history books, but I guarantee this one will be. ….and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019 Trump is so far off the walls with this that his unforgivable irreverence and lack of solemnity in a time of global crisis, which he fomented, is just being ignored. Here’s how The Hill reported it: Moments before announcing the sanctions, Trump tweeted that the U.S. should not be responsible for defending the Syrian border or protecting the Kurds. He suggested that Assad, China or Russia could be responsible for those roles instead. And Trump PLANNED to wash his hands of this situation, should it arise. That’s how we got into this horrific mess. Just look at this in plain terms: The reality TV actor is suggesting that our allies can find protection at the hands of the Syrian war criminal, Al-Assad–remember him, the guy who used chemical weapons on civilians — because the reality TV actor has been calling the Turkish dictator’s bluff for over two years, thinking that Erdogan would never really invade Syria. Trump was just going to keep tweaking Erdogan, just for the hell of it, because he gets off on it. But this time Erdogan called Trump’s bluff — and Trump was seriously too stupid to even consider that possibility could ever actually manifest, because of the bubble of invincibility in which he lives. Axios: “I think everyone thought Erdoğan was bluffing,” a source close to Trump told me today. The big picture: Trump would tell Erdoğan that if he wanted to invade Syria he would have to own whatever mess ensued, according to these sources. Erdoğan would have to take care of ISIS and manage international condemnation, trouble from Capitol Hill, and the quagmire with the Kurds. And when Trump put it in such stark terms to Erdoğan, the Turkish leader would demur. Until last Sunday, that is, when he told Trump he was moving ahead with the invasion of northern Syria. This time, Erdoğan called Trump’s bluff, having waited for international forces to wipe out the ISIS caliphate. Erdoğan’s decision — which the White House cleared the way for in its Sunday night announcement, alienating and blindsiding key allies including Republican lawmakers and the Christian right — has plunged the Middle East and Trump’s political standing in Washington into crisis. Trump thinks that foreign policy and diplomacy is just one […]
Well, that’s not a headline you’re going to see everyday, those two politicians going into the same fox hole together, but then we are not living in normal times. Here’s what Pelosi said. Pleased to have a conversation with Senator @LindseyGrahamSC this morning. Our first order of business was to agree that we must have a bipartisan, bicameral joint resolution to overturn the President’s dangerous decision in Syria immediately. — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 14, 2019 As we find ourselves in a situation where the President gave a green light to the Turks to bomb and effectively unleashed ISIS, we must have a stronger sanctions package than what the White House is suggesting. — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 14, 2019 And while this is going on, you know where Trump’s focus is? He’s ginning up support for Sean Spicer’s “Dancing With The Stars” competition. A reporter fleeing the scene in Syria tried to jerk Trump awake, but I think she’s wasting her time. Sorry I can’t. Too busy fleeing Rojava, leaving Kurdish friends to the mercy of Assad and the military assault started when you told Erdogan you wanted out of ‘endless wars’. https://t.co/j5NTFQcMNi — Lindsey Hilsum (@lindseyhilsum) October 14, 2019 People are getting slaughtered, running for their lives, the Middle East, which has always been a hotbed, is destabilizing further even as we speak, and the reality TV actor is talking about TV — and that does make sense. Because this is ALL JUST TELEVISION to him, as I have said ad infinitum. Trump has no real world experience or understanding of anything else but digital images and ratings. And right now, the Syrian TV show is too bleak and depressing for him, but Dancing With The Stars is sprightly and cute, so that’s where his focus is. I truly believe that this is what is going on in the White House and in Trump’s head. Trump is tweeting while Syria burns. I hope Pelosi and Graham can stop Amerigeddon.