As soon as the news broke that Vice-President Mike Pence had brokered a “ceasefire” with Turkey, President Trump rushed out to take credit for “resolving” the humanitarian catastrophe that he himself had unleashed just a week earlier. “We’ve gotten everything we could have ever dreamed of!” bragged Trump to the cameras as he embarked on an Air Force One flight to a fundraiser.
The president taking questions about the Turkey deal a few minutes ago on the tarmac. Tells us, “we’ve gotten everything we could have ever dreamed of.” pic.twitter.com/r2Ps9iDIxf
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) October 17, 2019
That couldn’t have been further from the truth. The “deal” that Pence signed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the codification of complete surrender by the Kurds to the Turks AND repeals all new sanctions against Turkey.
It gives Turkey everything they wanted, lets them get off scot-free for all the murders they’ve committed and the United States makes all of the concessions.
Just to make it clear how hard Turkey has played the Trump administration, the Turkish Foreign Minister declared that this was “not a cease-fire” just minutes after Pence and Trump had said it was.
"Pause in Turkey's operation in Syria is not a cease-fire, cease-fire can only happen between two legitimate sides" – Turkey's Cavusoglu pic.twitter.com/VRAre2I0Aj
— TRT World (@trtworld) October 17, 2019
Pence said Turkey agreed not to take action against Kobani. Turkish FM denies they agreed to that.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 17, 2019
The details of this plan are still very much up in the air. Who trusts the Turks to obey this “ceasefire?” Where is the SDF supposed to go? Are they really expected to abandon the homes they fought against ISIS to defend? Do they really expect the Syrian Arab Army and Russian units that are already in the border cities are just going to drive away and let a foreign country take over hundreds of miles of their own territory?
This is nothing more than a preposterous public relations scam that allows Trump to wash his hands of the mess and pretend he’s some kind of hero for resolving a crisis that he himself allowed to happen.
This is without a doubt one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. foreign policy history. This would be a joke if it wasn’t so disgusting.
Update: an earlier version of the article said that the deal had been rejected, based on comments by SDC spokesman Aldar Khalil, who stated that the declaration of 32km of “safe zone” had been rejected. SDF commander Mazlum Abdi now says he was involved in the ceasefire negotiations and has accepted the terms but only for the area around the cities of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad.
SDF says it’ has accepted ceasefire. https://t.co/vz1aAs8utr
— Yerevan Saeed (@YerevanSaeed) October 17, 2019
THREAD: #SDF chief Gen Mazloum's interpretation of #Turkey/U.S. deal is very different than #Ankara's. If this is what was actually agreed to with US support he will have played a weak hand strongly, yet again. But this is markedly different from what Pence/#Turkish side briefed. https://t.co/MQTg1tXxfk
— Nicholas A Heras (@NicholasAHeras) October 17, 2019
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.