Americans sat glued to their televisions in horror after Donald Trump picked up the phone and talked to the Turkish authoritarian dictator Recep Erdogan. Then, the Turkish leader invaded Syria’s Kurds. The ferocious Kurdish warriors, women and men, fought alongside Americans to beat down ISIS. They lost 11,000 of their best soldiers but finally had their own country. It got worse.
Earlier, Trump ordered our military to have the Kurds to take down their military resources at the border between Syria and Turkey and tell them that they did not need them any longer. Then, the Syrians swooped in with their tanks and surface-to-surface missiles and committed genocide.
The Syrians despised the Kurds and intended to annihilate them, to wipe them out. Immediately, the president pulled our military out of the region, only to redirect them to protect Syria’s old fields and 3,000 more to protect the Saudis.
Diplomat William Roebuck released an unclassified\ memo condemning Donald Trump over his horrendous Syria-Kurd-Russian fiasco. He wrote 3,200 words, laying it all out.
‘It’s a tough call, and the answer is probably not. But we won’t know because we didn’t try. [It] is a catastrophic sideshow and it is to a significant degree of our making.’
The 27-year diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain has been working in northern Syria with the Syrian Kurdish and Arab military and civil officials. He sent his memo to about four dozen State Department, White House, and Pentagon officials directly involved in Syria.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus would not comment on the memo:
‘That said, we have made clear that we strongly disagreed with President Erdogan’s decision to enter Syria and that we did everything short of a military confrontation to prevent it,’
‘No one can deny that the situation in Syria is very complicated and there are no easy solutions and no easy choices. There will always be a variety of opinions on how this complex situation should be managed. This administration’s job is to do what is best for U.S. national security and the American people. That is what we have done in Syria and what we will continue to do.’
Erdogan used vicious Arab fighters to take oot the Kurds. Human rights groups condemned the Arabs’ atrocities against Kurds. Roebuck wrote:
‘Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll, represents an intentioned-laced effort at ethnic cleansing. [The atrocitie] can only be described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.’
‘One day when the diplomatic history is written. people will wonder what happened here and why officials didn’t do more to stop it or at least speak out more forcefully to blame Turkey for its behavior: an unprovoked military operation that has killed some 200 civilians, left well over 100,000 people (and counting) newly displaced and homeless because of its military operation.’
As all the atrocities were being committed, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin rolled in, as if on cue. There was no upside for the U.S. We set up and abandoned America’s best allies in the region. We lost credibility around the world. The Russians took over our military bases. The Kurds were manning the prisons for the worst ISIS prisoners, and at least 100 escaped. They have their hatred of the U.S. and their passports.
Who benefitted? The Syrians and the Russians. Who suffered the most, the Kurds undoubtedly. Roebuck continued:
‘To protect our interests, we need to speak out more forcefully, publicly and privately, to reduce the blame placed on the U.S. and to highlight the Turkish responsibilities for civilian well-being.’
‘[Right now] we have a chance to minimize the damage for us and hopefully correct some of the impact of Turkey’s current policies, as we seek to implement the president’s guidance for our presence in northeastern Syria.’
Then, Roebuck added:
‘The decision to stay is a good one, even if the ‘protection of the oil’ rationale plays into toxic Middle Eastern conspiracy theories that will need to be lanced with careful, sustained messaging reinforcing the truism that Syria’s oil is Syria’s and for the benefit of the Syrian people.’
Roebuck suggested some ideas about how to improve the situation. He recommended keeping communications open with Turkey. Tell its leader Turkey will have to pay for the military operation. He wrote that the U.S. should use the little time we have left to help stabilize the Kurds population.
The Syrian Democratic Forces were back helping secure the Kurds’ oil fields and that income. Roebuck said:
‘President Trump has been clear and consistent about wanting to get our forces out of Syria. The residual presence to protect the oil and fight ISIS buys us some time.’
He ended with:
‘Our diplomacy will also need to recognize we — with our local partners — have lost significant leverage and inherited a shrunken, less stable platform to support both our CT efforts and the mission of finding a comprehensive political solution for Syria. But the United States will pay a price.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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