The stunning incompetence of the Trump administration truly boggles the mind. Their latest press release proves that the “well-oiled” Trump machine cannot complete the most basic of tasks without humiliating themselves and our nation in front of the world.
On Friday, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq declared that they would be holding an independence referendum to decide whether or not to throw off the yoke of Baghdad once and for all.
Having enjoyed defacto independence since Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) chased the Iraqi government out of Nineveh province in 2014, the Kurdish security forces – the peshmergas – have proven to be a key ally in the fight against ISIS and have been the only reliable security force in the region over the past few years.
But the Trump White House would rather once again throw our stalwart Kurdish allies under the bus over selfish concerns that it might “distract” from our efforts to defeat ISIS. To add insult to injury, the White House couldn’t even be bothered to proofread the document.
Trump’s decision is particularly galling because most of the “progress” against ISIS that Trump loves to congratulate himself for has been accomplished largely by the sacrifices and the heroism of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Under Trump, the American military has only succeeded in killing more civilians in six months than died under Obama’s drone program in eight years.
Not to mention the fact that we owe a moral debt to the people of Kurdistan. President Ronald Reagan stood by and did nothing as Saddam Hussein used American satellite imagery to guide his American-bought chemical weapons against Iraq Kurdish villages in the 1980s. Thousands of innocent people died horrifying deaths because of Reagan’s incoherent jingoism. His crimes should weigh heavily on on our conscience.
Whether in Iraq or in Syria, the United States has been far too happy to take advantage of Kurdish fighters to battle extremists and then abandon their cause whenever it no longer suits us.
It’s far past time we made right by the Kurds, and for Trump to turn his back on them in such a disrespectful fashion speaks volumes about what the world can expect from American “leadership” these days.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.