Military veterans and active duty troops continued to rage at Trump’s decision to betray our Kurdish allies and retreat from Syria. An article typical of many in the press yesterday appeared in the Washington Post by Dan Lamothe describing how certain troops in Syria were reacting to our sudden abandonment of the Kurds. He says:
…the calamity on the ground in Syria has wrought angry reactions from service members like few other recent foreign policy decisions. Troops have reacted viscerally in interviews and on social media despite Defense Department restrictions on them expressing political opinions. Some who served in northern Syria also have spoken out despite associations with secretive Special Operations units that rarely speak to the media and do not want their service members identified.
It was also reported yesterday that one of our newly abandoned bases in Syria was quickly seized and occupied by Russian troops. Video appeared on social media showing Russian troops going through our dwellings and reading graffiti left for them by our soldiers. The development was yet another gut-punch for many veterans and another PR nightmare for the White House and Putin-loving Trump.
In the 2016 presidential election 61% of military veterans voted for Trump while 34% voted for Clinton. But Trump’s Kurdish blunder may drive many of his military voters away. In the NY-10 congressional district (West Side of Manhattan), Rep Jerry Nadler is being primaried by Lindsey Boylan, a life-long public servant and daughter of a Marine who came out with a video yesterday directly addressing Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds:
In the video she said that the blood of a murdered journalist in Syria was “on the hands of this president,” and referenced members of the military who were gaining the courage to call Trump out for this unforgivable betrayal. She also called Trump a “dangerous criminal” and compared him to a dictator. She’s pissed, and so are a lot of other people.
When Trump’s abandonment of Syria is combined with the ever-growing Ukraine extortion scandal it becomes a potent and infuriating mix. We learned yesterday that both Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pence are preparing to ignore congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony. It’s worth noting a private citizen like Rudy will have a tough time combating a subpoena, and a vice president can be impeached for ignoring a congressional subpoena. But it’s easy to see why nobody in or near the White House is cooperating–the evidence is mounting that they were all part of a conspiracy to extort Ukraine to find or manufacture dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for already-authorized US aid. The evidence is coming from a stream of insiders who have been willing to testify behind closed doors to the House Judiciary Committee. Rumors of their testimony suggest that many members of Trump’s inner circle were working on the Ukraine back-channel extortion scheme, and that there was in fact an understood quid-pro-quo.
Corruption, criminal conspiracy and massive strategic blunders are enough to drag down any administration, and Trump is no exception. It may not end in his removal from office by the Senate, but it has already hurt him at the margins. A cable news channel gathered ten independent voters for a forum last weekend, some who voted for Clinton, some who voted for Trump, and some who didn’t vote. They found to their surprise that NONE of the independents were going to vote for Trump in 2020. Trump needs independent voters to have a shot at winning. No wonder he is so desperate lately. He knows the numbers are moving away from him.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
(administrative note: the day count had been in error and is now correct)