I thought I had long given up being surprised by Donald Trump’s tweets, that stream of nonsense that flows constantly from his account. But this one today, in response to the criticisms he is getting for giving the Turkish government control over the regions in Syria that are disputed by the Kurds and whom the US had been allied with up to now, took me by surprise.
….the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
“I, in my great and unmatched wisdom”? Who talks like that? It is tempting to dismiss this as yet another attempt by him to rile up his opponents with expressions of vainglorious self-regard. But I am increasingly drawn to the idea that this may actually be the way he thinks of himself, which would make him dangerously delusional.
His threats to destroy Turkey’s economy if they displease him will, like all his previous bellicose threats to other nations, be dismissed by them. I think world leaders have realized that they have little to fear from his rhetorical lurches this way and that.
Where I think Trump needs to be careful is making the bipartisan war party his enemy. As long as he keeps the war machine chugging along, the political-media-business establishment (the real power in the US) will continue to back him, especially the Republicans among them. But if they feel that he is not pursuing that agenda and is serious about ending the never-ending wars in that regions, they may turn on him and that is the real danger he faces. Even obsequious Trump lackeys like warmonger Lindsey Graham have criticized his latest move regarding the Kurds.
Yeah, it did raise an eyebrow when I saw this also. But looking at it again here, it doesn’t actually look like something Trump would write himself because of the wording and structure. It actually sounds more like Stephen Miller (or maybe someone else in the WH).
I believe the message being sent here to the Kurds and the rest of the world is “Do not ever trust anything the United States tells you, because we will literally tell you one thing on Monday and do the exact opposite on Tuesday.” A message which I’m sure China and Russia will gleefully amplify to anyone foolishly thinking of allying with us in the future.
What’s actually frightening about this decision is that Trump made it on the spur of the moment after getting a call from Erdogan. I don’t think Trump is fully in control of himself, which makes the prospect of him dealing with a genuine crisis pretty scary.
I heard a Turkish analyst talking about this on BBC Radio 4s PM programme, he said something to the effect of “well it might happen, but Trump says one thing one day and the opposite the next so who knows?”
The Kurds know their own history, and I’m pretty sure they stopped trusting the US at least a generation or two back. I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve been sold out, but you can bet they haven’t.
Some analysts are pointing out hair furor gets a considerable revenue from the Trump Towers in Istanbul. Erdoğan has previously threatened hair furor over the Towers, Reminder: Trump Has a Massive Conflict of Interest in Turkey (I have corrected the spelling of Erdoğan’s and Doğan’s names (unmarked)):
Tabby Lavalamp says
I was, like most fairly reality-based people, stuck by the “wisdom” nonsense and it wasn’t until later I realized he was claiming he had previously destroyed and obliterated Turkey’s economy.
He’s really not good with English.
johnson catman says
Just what will it take for the republicans to invoke the 25th amendment?
What does it mean when John Bolton and Juan Cole agree you are an idiot?
The King of Israel, the Second Coming of God:
Jonathan Chait: Trump Says Jews Should Love Him Because He’s Almost Literally Jesus
(Cross-posted from poopyhead’s current Political Madness All the Time thread here at FtB.)
, a list of comparisons between hair furor and “other authoritarian leaders who have made similar comments to big themselves up.” The image at the link is hilarious, showing the : Trump makes modest claim about his intellect and in action.
@ 2 brucegee1962
Do not ever trust anything the United States tells you.
I think that this is third time that the US has abandoned the Kurds. The Kurds seem to be slow learners but other ethnic groups and countries are watching. North Korea must be impressed.
The US withdrawal from JCPOA shook a lot of countries. Heck, the Russians seem to have a new term “недоговороспособны” literally “not-agreement-capable” that they are applying to the USA.
@ 4 Jazzlet
“well it might happen, but Trump says one thing one day and the opposite the next so who knows?”.
Almost a perfect paraphrase of what Putin said the last time Trump announced a withdrawal.
Marcus Ranum says
A useful warning to the world that the US empire is nobody’s friend.
Steve Cameron says
@1 Jean -- I totally agree that this reads like somebody else wrote it for him, probably Stephen Miller. The “unmatched wisdom” line sounds like the flattery Miller often uses. And the actual coherent argument, the restrained use of caps, slogans and repetition — this isn’t the same guy who beaks off at the slightest cue from Fox. The directive about the ISIS fighters seems totally out of place for Trump. It’s too clever a way to throw shade at all of the criticisms — which are more around the wisdom throwing the Kurdish allies under the bus (where one possible bad result out of many is the ISIS fighters are released) — and he doesn’t even mention the Kurds. The cruelty of that omission seems more like Miller or a Miller acolyte.
I’m pretty sure the Kurds fully expected this. However, they still gained some advantage from playing along while it lasted.