President Trump and his Republican supporters* have become active enablers of a murderous attack Turkey is preparing against its minority Kurds. In fact, we now know that Trump decided to withdraw from Syria—and abandon our staunch Kurdish allies—after Turkish President Erdogan told him to get U.S. forces out of the way of the planned Turkish offensive. Erdogan delivered the order to Trump in a phone call on December 14—a call arranged by Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in order for Trump to tell Erdogan to back off.
Trump’s withdrawal decision, of course, provoked Mattis to resign and issue a stinging letter of rebuke denouncing Trump’s national security policies.
This generation of Americans will live in infamy if it stands by and does nothing while the Kurds are brutally suppressed. The Kurds have been our main on-the-ground Muslim allies in the fight against ISIS. They have sacrificed more lives and expended more military resources in the past few years helping the United States against our enemies than Israel has spent in all its history. Abandoning the Kurds in the way Trump and the Republicans are doing is the same as if we suddenly turned our back on Israel.
The history of Kurds’ relations with the U.S. has been one of friendship and alliances followed by Washington’s betrayal. The Kurds were on our side in the war against Saddam Hussein—only to have the U.S. abandon them as they tried to work out a relationship with the post-Hussein Baghdad regimes in Baghdad.
The immorality of Trump’s betrayal is matched by the practical, permanent, and major damage it will do to long-term U.S. foreign relations worldwide. What country or group will ever again trust the United States? This dire consequence is what Mattis had in mind when he said in his letter:
“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.”
The Trump and Republicans’* betrayal of the Kurds is despicable. It is beneath the dignity of the United States. Contact your United States Senators and Congresspersons and tell them to force Trump to reverse his decision.
*Including Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and Representatives Barry Loudermilk and Karen Handel