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There Will Be No “Good Deal.” Trump’s Terrible Letter Failed.

Trump's terrible letter should be preserved as the worst piece of diplomacy in the real world since Thomas Jefferson paid a ransom to the Dey of Algiers, leaving it to James Madison to fight the Barbary Wars.

As Erick wrote, this is bad. President Trump wrote what is perhaps the worst letter ever sent to a foreign leader on White House stationary. I wish I was kidding.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a tyrant. He’s not as bad as, say, Kim Jong-un, but he’s certainly in a class with Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. Erdogan believes he’s the embodiment of the political will of Turkey, and that he must be unchallenged, at home, and abroad. Worse, as a NATO member, Erdogan isn’t afraid of the U.S., even having his thugs beat up protesters in front of the Turkish embassy in a tony Washington D.C neighborhood, a few blocks from Barack Obama’s house.

Yes, the economic sanctions worked once, but only because Erdogan wasn’t expecting them or the fallout. Now, Trump has telegraphed his next move, and Erdogan will do what he needs to do. There will be no ceasefire. The Kurds will be slaughtered. (I’m not saying the PKK are choir boys–by many definitions, they are terrorists, but so were the mujahideen in Afghanistan when we supported them. The PKK were working with us, and now they will work against us.)

Erdogan said that Turkey would “never declare a cease-fire” and vowed to forge ahead with plans to enforce a buffer zone as deep as 20 miles into Syrian territory. The swath of territory would stretch more than 280 miles from the northern city of Manbij to the Syrian border with Iraq. 

“Nobody can stop us,” Erdogan said in a speech to parliament Wednesday.

Turkey rebuffs U.S. calls for truce in Syria, demands Kurdish fighters disarm, Washington Post, October 16, 2019

There will be no deal. Certainly not a “good deal.”

I am not sure who Trump thought he was dealing with in the first place. We could assume that the president knew Erdogan would respond with a middle finger, while Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo were kept waiting to see him (another snub). That means Trump was playing purely to his base and his ego.

Or we could assume Trump has no idea what he’s doing. Take your pick.

Either way, that letter should be preserved as the worst piece of diplomacy in the real world since Thomas Jefferson paid a ransom to the Dey of Algiers, leaving it to James Madison to fight the Barbary Wars.

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