Is it possible to overstate how insane the Syria situation is? On Sunday President Trump talks to the Turkish president and tells him to go ahead and invade northern Syria. He is then informed that our allies the Kurds occupy this territory and will be in big trouble if the Turks roll across the border. Trump doesn’t care. He follows up this warning with a tweetstorm that basically boils down to, who cares about the Kurds anyway? Then he withdraws all US troops. Any ten-year-old could predict that this would be viewed by the Turks as a green light to do whatever they wanted, and that’s exactly what happened: the Turks began massacring Kurds and eventually the Kurds teamed up with the Russians in an act of self-preservation. Now, having made a colossal mess out of everything, Trump plans to sanction the Turks and broker a cease-fire. You betcha.
And this happened in the span of a week!
It’s easy to pretend that a president doesn’t really need to know much. After all, that’s what aides are for. But it’s really not true. Everyone makes mistakes, as Obama did when he talked about a “red line” in Syria. But Trump’s unfathomable ignorance and bloated ego is light years beyond that. A lot of us figured from the start that Trump probably wouldn’t deliberately start a war, but that he might start one by accident. As it turns out, that was exactly right.