Trump and Andy Harris enable ethnic cleansing attacks on Kurdish US allies

Trump and Andy Harris enable ethnic cleansing attacks on Kurdish US allies

By Susan Olsen, Mike Pretl Fellow

President Trump has abandoned our allies, the Kurds, sparking ethnic cleansing that will haunt us forever.  Our country, under the Trump administration, no longer stands for human rights, keeping our promises, or common decency.

At a recent town hall, I asked Rep. Andy Harris why Trump is not listening to his military advisors.  Harris said, “Well, after all, President Trump IS the commander in chief.” I mentioned that Donald Trump has absolutely no experience, but it did not seem to matter to him.  How anyone can think that someone who has never studied military strategy should be able to make such a huge decision completely on his own is beyond me. Can anyone imagine President Eisenhower, an army general, making such a decision without talking it over with his military advisors?  Do you think President Obama would have? Even worse, Trump made this strategic military decision at the behest of a foreign power.

With full knowledge beforehand of what would happen, Trump unleashed an ethnic cleansing upon the Kurdish people.  They are being murdered as you read. Not just soldiers, mind you, but civilians, including children. MSNBC journalist Richard Engels has reported that there is already talk of trying the U.S. for war crimes at the Hague.  Our current Administration has taken us a long way from the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

According to MSNBC, Trump’s foolish decision has not only led to the slaughter of over 500 Kurds (including children) during the first days of U.S. withdrawal of troops, but the escape of 800 radicalized ISIS members.  The 10,000 or more ISIS terrorists that the Kurds were guarding have been left behind as the Kurds have fled for their lives. We have no idea how many have escaped so far; however, deputy secretary of state, John Sullivan, testified to Congress on October 30th that at least 100 ISIS terrorists had escaped by then.

According to the British newspaper The Sun, The New York Times has reported that  60 “high-profile” ISIS prisoners that U.S. forces wanted to detain have been left behind due to the suddenness of the move to withdraw.  We had to bomb our base in Syria to prevent our weapons from getting into the hands of ISIS.

At Rep. Harris’ town hall, he stated that all this was “fair” because Turkey had been our ally longer than the Kurds.  In the past five years, more than 11,000 Kurds have died fighting ISIS in place of American service members on the ground.  In addition, over 20,000 Kurds have been wounded while fighting ISIS in this time period. I am not a history expert, but I cannot remember Turkey making any sacrifices like that.

Now, Rep. Harris will tell you that the Kurds “were fighting for their land,” so it doesn’t really count that they were defeating ISIS for us; however, it is clear that the U.S. was a heck of a lot safer when the Kurds were helping in the war against terror and with greatly reduced need for Americans fighting on the ground. Moreover, it was the Kurds who developed the intelligence that led to the death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi.

Rep. Harris went on to disregard the stunning victories of the Kurds by telling us that “President Trump defeated ISIS”; however, the strategy and fight to defeat ISIS occurred under President Obama while the black flag of ISIS went up almost immediately as the Turks marched in after Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds.  There was video coverage of this on the news.

By the way, Trump keeps telling everyone who will listen that he wanted to bring our soldiers “home.”  He wanted to stop the “endless wars.” The only problem is that those troops are being diverted to Iraq where they will have to do all the fighting for themselves.  Others are being sent to Saudi Arabia. I find it perplexing that Saudi Arabia cannot foot the bill to protect itself which is something Trump repeatedly demands of NATO allies.

Now the Kurds, attempting to save their lives, have asked for protection from Russia.   Contrary to Trumpian belief, Russia is a hostile foreign power. The Kurds have also enlisted the help of President Assad of Syria.  Aren’t we against him?

The American troops fighting alongside the Kurds are demoralized, embarrassed, and ashamed.  We should be too. “President” Trump has shown the world that we cannot be trusted. When he was confronted about the ISIS prisoners being released, he assured the media that “they will just go to Europe anyway.”  I wonder how our allies felt about that? 

The thing that disturbs me the most is that there has not been much of a sense of outrage about all of this.  Did I miss it? I have not heard of a single protest being scheduled. We should be camped out on the White House lawn. This will be the start of a much bigger military commitment than we are prepared for.  Please do not let it happen in silence.