With his decision to betray our Kurdish allies and greenlight a brutal Turkish invasion of Syria, Donald Trump has carried out what is inarguably his most disastrous, evil act to date. Innocent people are being slaughtered, war crimes are being carried out by the Turkish military and its militant Islamist proxies, and ISIS stands poised to make a resurgence.
This wave of bloodshed and misery was completely avoidable but Trump’s largely unexplained move to withdraw the small detachment of American forces forming a bulwark against the Turkish forces has opened the floodgates and atrocities are now sweeping the region.
Surprisingly, this appears to be a blunder so egregious that not even Trump’s usual sycophantic propagandists at Fox News can defend it. Trump lashed out at Brian Kilmeade earlier today for calling his Syria decision a “huge mistake” and even some of the usually-cowed Republicans in Congress are speaking out. That said, there are still some conservatives who are choosing to cowardly deflect blame from Trump even as they pretend to care about the worsening situation in Syria.
This morning, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) appeared on Fox News and—after decrying the Turkish military campaign—demonstrated once again that she as just underhanded as her vile father by trotting out a frankly jaw-dropping explanation for the Turkish invasion: the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
“I also want to say that the impeachment proceedings that are going on and what the Democrats are doing themselves to try to weaken this president is part of this. It was not an accident that the Turks chose this moment to roll across the border,” said Cheney, without a trace of irony. “And I think the Democrats have got to pay very careful attention to the damage that they’re doing with the impeachment proceedings,” she added.
One struggles to think of a more absurd argument than the one offered by the disreputable representative from Wyoming. Turkey didn’t launch their invasion because they saw Trump as weakened by impeachment, they did so because President Trump in his limitless cruelty went out of his way to open up a corridor for Turkish forces into Syria. This is not a point that can be argued, it is the historic and material reality.
Cheney can try to pin this on Democrats as much as she wants, but this tragedy belongs solely to Donald Trump and it will be the defining moment of his detestable, failed presidency.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.