Donald Trump has a history of throwing curveballs that befuddle the left, and that’s exactly what he did on Monday.
Using his favorite platform of Twitter, the president spoke directly to the American people to defend his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, surprising many on both sides of the political aisle.
In the early hours of Monday, Trump posted a thread of five tweets laying out his reasoning for pulling back in the troubled region.
“The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago,” he began.
“We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight,” Trump continued. He was just getting warmed up.
“I held off this fight for…. ….almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.
“WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.
“Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to….. …figure the situation out,” he added.
Trump’s tweets follow a statement from the White House about a potential Turkish military operation in northern Syria, adding tension to an area where alliances are often murky and conflict has been raging for decades.
“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” a statement from the White House said.
The official statement was a bit less dramatic than Trump’s tweets but reiterated the president’s stance.
“The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”
Despite making it clear that U.S. troops would not be pulled into the conflict, the president did leave non-military options on the table for dealing with the shifting situation. Trump pledged to “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if that nation acted inappropriately in the region.
Unsurprisingly, liberals rushed to attack Trump over his decision, with many of them ending up looking like hypocrites in the process. The Washington Post editorial board, for example, blasted what they called Trump’s “stunning ignorance of the situation.”
Welcome to 2019, when the same liberals who spent the entire Bush era calling Republicans warmongers and protesting our entanglement in messy foreign wars are now calling the president names for trying to keep America from being entangled in a messy foreign war.
Lost in all the noise, however, is the fact that the president seems to be doing exactly what he said he’d do. During the 2016 primary, then-candidate Trump clashed with other Republicans by questioning the wisdom of endless intervention in the Middle East, going so far as to call the Iraq War “a big fat mistake.”
And Trump made his views on Syria clear last December when he suggested a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from the nation, a stance that almost certainly influenced James Mattis to resign from his position as secretary of defense.
Whether the latest decision will prove to be correct remains to be seen, but you have to hand it to Trump for consistency. Despite all the wailing from liberals and even many voices on the right, the president is following through on his foreign policy promises — and that by itself is surprisingly refreshing.
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