There’s no way to read the latest tweets from President Trump and not question whether to take him literally (and then question his sanity), or to assume that Erick is correct (about Trump’s super power meeting its Kryptonite) and the president is throwing long bombs hoping for a touchdown to try to change the news media’s coverage arc.
My involuntary reaction to these tweets was a combination of popping eyes and a dropping jaw.
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could ever have expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!
Read literally: Does Trump think he’s the King of the World? Does he fashion himself an Olympian God? Does he really see himself in a position to single-handedly judge other nations and smite them with great terror? This is beyond over-the-top rhetoric. It’s megalomaniacal.
Read cynically: Who does the president think he’s fooling here? This is so obviously a cynical attempt at changing the daily news cycle to talk about anything other than impeachment. The tell? The Pentagon was caught completely flat-footed.
Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman pushed back on the characterization that the White House statement endorses Turkish military action.
“The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey–as did the President–that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria,” Hoffman said. “In conversations between the Department and the Turkish military we have consistently stressed that coordination and cooperation were the best path toward security in the area. [Defense] Secretary Esper and [Joint Chiefs of Staff] Chairman Milley reiterated to their respective Turkish counterparts that unilateral action creates risks for Turkey.”Defying Pentagon, Trump Endorses Turkish Operation in Syria, Foreign Policy, October 7, 2019
Either way, I don’t think it’s working. The president is simply wrong to abandon our Kurdish friends, many of whom fought alongside U.S. troops as comrades-in-arms. Some of them wear the American flag patch on their field uniforms. Leaving them to be slaughtered by the brutish regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not what America is about. Saying “THE USA IS GREAT!” won’t change that.
Our Declaration of Independence said about the British, of whom Thomas Jefferson had just penned 28 specific points on tyranny, that despite our separation, we should “hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.” Trump’s decisions and tweets would put him more in the role of King George III than George Washington.
No, this does not make America Great, or even good.
The best way for Trump to change the narrative would be for him to reverse this terrible policy, and renounce his tweet as some kind of sick joke.
If the president wants to be taken seriously, he needs to stop tweeting things that lead people–even people who believe he can still win in 2020–to question his soundness of mind.