(Oct. 18). Completely apart from the utter foolishness of President Trump’s decision to betray the Kurds, risk reinvigorating the Islamic State, and give a boost to Islamist Turkish thug Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the sheer incompetence of his actions vis-à-vis Syria are mind-boggling and disastrous.

The grim evidence is vividly and tragically related in a Wall Street Journal news article today on the “Sand and Blood and Death” of “America’s Chaotic Retreat.” The virtually unavoidable takeaway was that even if Trump had good reason to withdraw American personnel from the key region in Syria, the way that he went about it was unforgivably rash and detrimental to United States interests.

As the report notes, the withdrawal was so precipitous and “haphazard” that American troops, in seeming danger of their lives, fled their base so rapidly that they couldn’t properly deconstruct it and take munitions and other things of military value with them. “Troops had only hours to decide what military equipment to take, destroy or leave behind.” It was left to “two U.S. jet fighters [that] returned to destroy an ammunition depot, tents and latrines, an attempt to reduce the facility’s military usefulness to Turkish-backed forces.”

According to the report, this was “a cascade of chaos that upended U.S. policy in the Middle East, cast doubt on America’s reliability as an ally and allowed Washington’s adversaries to fill the void: The Assad regime strengthens its hold. Russia expands its influence. And Iran sees greater freedom to ferry weapons to allies in the region, posing new threats to neighboring Israel.”

Russia is chortling at American humiliation: “A Russian reporter in a New York Yankees cap posted a video of an abandoned U.S. base in Manbij, Syria, taken over by Russian and Syrian fighters. Dining hall refrigerators were still filled with cans of Coke and Pepsi. Kitchen shelves were loaded with bread, bagels and Krispy Kreme doughnut boxes.”…

(The full column is at this link.)


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