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Trump's Total Capitulation to Turkey's Erdogan

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After a day of meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proved what a shrewd politician he is.

He entered the eye of a hurricane of hostility directed against his domestic repression and international adventurism – and came out not only untouched, but a victor. He was hailed by Trump as "highly respected" and his "good friend," and protected by the U.S. president from any media questions that might discomfit him.

Erdogan manipulated Trump - and Trump was more than willing to be manipulated.

These days in the United States, it is hard to imagine a more despised and reviled international leader than Erdogan – except, perhaps Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman.

The president of Turkey has done nothing to warrant an invitation to the White House. We should be reducing our reliance on a Turkey that is an ally in name only, wait out Erdogan, and signal to Turks that the benefits of close ties with the US require acting like an ally.

From nightly comedy shows, to scathing editorials, America’s right and left have reached a general consensus: Erdogan is the bad guy who manipulated a seemingly willing Trump to withdraw U.S. forces in order to facilitate Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria and to attack the U.S.’s staunch ally, the Kurds.

In the lead-up to his arrival in the U.S., Republican and Democrat members of Congress, led by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel issued a joint letter to President Trump urging him to rescind his invitation to Erdogan. The lawmakers stated that:

"President Erdogan’s decision to invade northern Syria on October 9 has had disastrous consequences for U.S. national security." It continued: "Turkish forces have killed civilians and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a critical U.S. partner in the fight against ISIS."

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There is rare bipartisan agreement, save for well-known outliers like Omar Ilhan and Rand Paul: Erdogan needs to be stopped. And the only one that can do that, yet refuses to do so, is Trump. (Let’s put aside the fact that up until two months ago, few Americans ever thought much about the Kurds, let alone felt so strongly about their well-being - or of any of the victimized groups within Syria).

With Congress’s hands tied, unable to hit at Trump - who had already basically gave Erdogan a free hand to do as he wanted in Syria - the House of Representatives pulled outs its biggest guns to hit at Turkey: an Armenian Genocide recognition bill. It passed almost........

© Haaretz