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Betraying the Kurds again

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12.10.2019

Everybody betrays the Kurds.

It’s an old Middle Eastern tradition. But given Donald Trump’s reputation for treachery, it’s astonishing how bad he is at it.

This particular betrayal got underway on Sunday night. After a telephone conversation with Turkey’s strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump declared that he had started pulling American troops out of Syria. It’s time for U.S. forces “to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal,” he tweeted.

Did Trump realize that he was effectively giving Turkey permission to invade northern Syria and expel the Syrian Kurds from their homes? His own officials patiently explained that to him last December when he tried the same stunt for the first time, but maybe he forgot.

So they reminded him again, and by lunchtime Monday Trump had changed his tune a bit. “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey,” he tweeted.

But Trump did not explain exactly what was “off limits.” Did the Turkish president have a green light to invade northern Syria, or not?

Erdogan is going ahead with the operation anyway, assuming that Trump’s threats are just the usual empty belligerence and........

© The Telegram