The situation in northern Syria continued to devolve yesterday. After being betrayed by Trump and attacked by ISIS fighters backed by Turkey, our former allies the Kurds turned to Russia and Syrian dictator Assad for protection, though many have already been tortured and killed. Our own special forces troops found themselves cut off from any allies or supplies and were being shelled by the Turks with no way to leave, so they may have to be airlifted out. Meanwhile our military has quietly been assessing how they might remove the 50 tactical nuclear warheads we store in our air force base in Turkey now that the Turks seem to have turned on our own troops.
Former Republican diplomats, foreign affairs officers and military leaders have been screaming to the media about the scope of Trump’s historic blunder in Syria, but GOP members of Congress refuse to let their private outrage and disgust show in public. Many of the journalists who cover the Middle East are predicting large and lasting damage to our reputation and our ability to have influence. David Sanger wrote this in the New York Times:
Mr. Trump ignored months of warnings from his advisers about what calamities likely would ensue if he followed his instincts to pull back from Syria and abandon America’s longtime allies, the Kurds. He had no Plan B, other than to leave. The only surprise is how swiftly it all collapsed around the president and his depleted, inexperienced foreign policy team.
I haven’t posted a lot of political content on my private Facebook page, but the moment Trump betrayed the Kurds I started sharing articles about Syria including comments like “Trump’s historic betrayal” along with descriptors like “reckless” and “despicable.” Yesterday I shared an article whose headline read “Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling ‘Ashamed’” and my commend said “I also feel ashamed.”
One response surprised me. I have a lot of conservative friends and many of them I assume are Republican. One of them joined the military after we graduated from college and eventually commanded the troops that initially drove into Baghdad during operation Iraqi Freedom. He was a Colonel then and finally retired years later as a General. He and his wife are very religious, very conservative, and I see his posts from time to time on Facebook. So I was shocked to see that he “liked” my share about being ashamed.
When Trump loses soldiers like my friend from college, it’s a very significant development. And if Trump has lost my friend, and the Green Beret’s in Syria, he’s lost a lot of other soldiers too. At some point the guy who is criticizing or demonizing or destroying your business is going to earn your scorn. It seems to be happening to the military, it’s already happened within the intelligence community, and it seems poised to happen among our money-losing farmers. Trump simply cannot hold onto their support forever as he rakes them all over the coals.
It will take a lot for some Trump voters to admit they supported an erratic, immoral loser. Nobody likes to admit they’ve been conned. But we don’t need all of Trump’s supporters to reject him. We only need a small fraction in a few states, and with Trump’s help we might just get there. We still have a lot of work to do in our own district to remove and keep Republicans from power. But on a national level the wind is at our backs.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”