On Friday morning, Donald Trump was back on the phone to Recep Erdoğan. And this phone call seems to have been about as beneficial to regional peace and human life as the last time Trump and the Turkish dictator shared a line. Then Trump followed up the call with a series of tweets that are definitely, definitely not reassuring.
Trump waved away reports that Turkish air forces had begun bombing Kurdish positions shortly after Mike Pence left Istanbul. Instead, says Trump, there was only “minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated.” Trump then hit on a magic phrase, saying that Erdoğan wants this plan to work and “the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen.”
From there, Trump goes on to say how grateful the Kurds should be that this “ultimate solution” is on the way, because their situation was always “held together with very weak bandaids and in an artificial manner.” And everyone would have been better off if this had happened “years ago.” All is going well. The Kurds love this plan. There is goodwill on both sides. How does Trump know this? Because Erdoğan told him so.
And perhaps the most baffling statement in Trump’s series of tweets comes when he declares, “The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey.” First, unless Trump expects the Kurds to pack up the ISIS prisoners and carry them along in suitcases as they flee for their lives, these fighters are not secured. Second … oil? What oil? WTH is Trump talking about?
And if the idea of an “ultimate solution” didn’t make things clear enough, Trump had a follow-up endorsement for Erdoğan’s policies.