I stopped by Joy Reid's show on Saturday and, in the course of our discussion, Malcolm Nance made a very important point. The betrayal of the Kurds doesn't just fall on El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, and it doesn't just fall on the people who carry out his whims. (To call them "orders" is to dignify them beyond all reason.) It doesn't just fall on his idiot enablers in Congress. It falls on this country. Period. It falls on you and me and every American citizen, in or out of uniform. It falls on every president, every administration, and every American government for the foreseeable future. And so, because we are a self-governing republic, we will have to carry our president*'s treachery and ignorance for the foreseeable future, too.
How deeply we should be involved in the apparently endless violence in that part of the world is a discussion for serious people. Certainly, it's time for a profound re-examination of what in the hell we're still doing in Afghanistan. But that's not what we're seeing here. We are seeing betrayals and atrocities that are occurring at the whim of a know-nothing president*, and on the authority of a Turkish autocrat with whom the president* has business ties. It's also true that selling out the Kurds has been something of a tradition with American presidents—Poppy Bush, most notably. Why they ever trusted us again after that debacle I'll never know. But now I'm fairly sure they'll never trust us again.
NATO is, for the moment, a dead letter. Prior to allowing a member of NATO to initiate a bloodbath among the people who fought ISIS to a standstill on our behalf, the president* tried to blackjack another fragile NATO ally into helping him ratfck the 2020 election. All three of the Baltic republics also are member states. In 2007, Estonia was the victim of a massive cyberattack from sources with Russian IP addresses. How secure do you think that country feels about relying on NATO these days? How does Latvia feel about it, and Lithuania? You think they might be looking over their shoulders to the east right now? That's on all of us, too.
Nothing Congress cobbles together with regard to sanctions will help now—first, because the slaughter is too far advanced to reel back and, second, because the president* won't sign off on anything that costs him a lira in Istanbul. Anything they pass will be a Band-Aid on a decapitation. And all of our fingerprints are on the ax.
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