//Other prominent Republicans issue much more severe condemnations//
Senator Johnny Isakson on Monday told WABE that he finds President Trump’s betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies “troubling.” Isakson said the Administration “should revisit its approach to this very unstable region of the world” because “the threat posed by ISIS and other transnational terrorist organizations in the Middle East continues to persist.”
President Trump on Sunday abruptly announced his cold-blooded decision to desert the Kurdish forces who, with U.S. assistance, are largely responsible for delivering devastating military setbacks to ISIS and severely limiting its base of operations. The Kurds’ offensive allowed the U.S. to accomplish its goals by sending a relative small force to provide advice and arms to the Kurds, without a massive deployment of U.S. manpower.
Trump made his decision to withdraw U.S troops in order to allow Turkish President Erdogan to launch an offensive against the Kurds, whom the Turks consider to be terrorists waging a war of rebellion against Turkey.
Rather than continue with our analysis, IndieDems presents the words of other Republican critics, against which to measure Isakson’s knuckle-rap:
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Majority Leader: “A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime, and it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups would regroup. McConnell added that U.S. interests are not well served by “retreat or withdrawal.” He referenced a January vote in which 68 senators rebuked Trump’s threat to withdraw troops from Syria, a large-enough total to override a presidential veto. “The conditions that produced that bipartisan vote still exist today.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina said Trump’s decision:
* Ensures ISIS comeback.
* Forces Kurds to align with Assad and Iran.
* Destroys Turkey’s relationship with U.S. Congress.
* Will be a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds.
Graham said the decision is a “shot in the arm to the bad guys.” “So sad. So dangerous,” he said on Twitter. “President Trump may be tired of fighting radical Islam. They are NOT tired of fighting us.” He threatened legislation to impose economic sanctions on Turkey if it invades Syria. Graham has Democratic allies and warned that any congressional vote would be overwhelming.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “If reports about US retreat in Syria are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.): “This betrayal of the Kurds will also severely harm our credibility as an ally the world over. President Trump should rethink this decision immediately.”
Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming: “Pulling out of northern Syria ignores that painful lesson, represents an abandonment of our Kurdish allies despite their vital contributions to the fight against ISIS, emboldens Iran, and serves as an undeserved gift to the Erdogan regime, which has only continued its steady march toward Moscow.”
Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following joint statement on the President’s decision:
“The President’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in Northern Syria in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal that will have grave humanitarian and national security consequences. After enlisting support from the Kurds to help destroy ISIS and assuring Kurdish protection from Turkey, the U.S. has now opened the door to their destruction. This severely undercuts America’s credibility as a reliable partner and creates a power vacuum in the region that benefits ISIS.
“With some 15,000 ISIS fighters on the ground, and tens of thousands in prison camps controlled by the Kurds, the security situation remains precarious. A Turkish invasion will further destabilize conditions on the ground and could result in the escape of ISIS detainees and supporters.
“Finally, this decision will further exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis by creating new waves of refugees in a region where it will be far more difficult for NGOs to operate. This decision is ultimately a victory for Assad, Russia, Iran, and ISIS…
“Barring a reversal of this decision, the Administration must come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and explain to the American people how betraying an ally and ceding influence to terrorists and adversaries is not disastrous for our national security interests.
Finally, Pat Robinson, a leader of Trump’s evangelical supporters, said on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club”: “The president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen.”