President Trump’s ongoing campaign to pretend the crisis that he unleashed upon the Syrian Kurds doesn’t exist took a turn for surreal on Friday morning when he addressed the media and gave a rambling, incoherent statement that appeared to accused the Obama administration of killing a million people.
The president channeled that raw, uncut Trumpian insanity we’ve come to expect from him — but this time he really went off the charts.
“Look, this is a terrible witch-hunt. This is so bad for our country. I just spoke to Erdogan of Turkey. We’re doing very very well with Turkey. there’s a ceasefire, or pause, or whatever you want to call it. There was some sniper fire this morning, some mortar fire this morning, that was eliminated quickly, and uh they’re back to the full pause. We have ISIS totally under guard, Turkey is also guarding separately, they’re watching over everything, so you have the Kurds, who we’re dealing with, who are very happy about the way things are going I must say, and you also have the Turks, just watching secondarily, ISIS under control, we’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we’re talking about, the oil that everybody was worried about. The US has control of that. And there are no shots being fired. A lot of people are doing a lot of things. This is a deal that should have been made ten, fifteen years ago. Over the past number of years, under the Obama administration, the real number is over a million people were killed, we have lost not a drop of blood since we’ve started what I’ve started, so far it’s working out.”
Let’s break this down point by point.
- “We’re doing very very well with Turkey.”
We are not doing very well with Turkey. President Erdogan has manipulated Trump like an adult would child. The “deal” that the president is boasting of is not considered a ceasefire by Turkey and the agreement for Kurdish withdrawal has not been accepted by the Kurds, who are not about to hand over their homes and families to Turkish invaders. What Trump has done is repeal all the sanctions against Turkey, letting them get off scot-free for invading another country and indiscriminately shelling civilians, including committing atrocities against civilians. The Turks even now have the nerve to say that they are angry with Trump over his absurd “letter” to President Erdogan that told him to not be a “tough guy” and threatened to do whatever “nessessary” in response.
- “We have ISIS totally under guard…Turkey is also guarding seperately, they’re watching over seperately. ISIS under control”
Hundreds of ISIS fighters and their families have escaped their prisons thanks to deliberate Turkish shelling of ISIS prisons. The Turks have little interest in ensuring that the captured terrorists remain under guard and have been quietly cultivating friendly relations with the group for years, using them as tools in their efforts to destroy the Kurdish People’s Protection units and squash out the flames of Kurdish self-determination.
- “They’re back to the full pause.”
Reports of renewed fighting by the Turkish army began coming in almost immediately after Vice-President Pence celebrated the signing of the “ceasefire” yesterday. The Turks have no reason to abide by the agreement, knowing Trump won’t do anything to punish them for it.
People from the Jazira region who went to Ras al-Ayn today recovered 12 bodies of those killed in Turkish airstrikes from under the rubble.
Sources on the ground say Turkish bombardment continues despite the agreed ceasefire. pic.twitter.com/sjlKRxXpfC
— Aylina Kılıç (@AylinaKilic) October 18, 2019
- “We’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we’re talking about, the oil that everybody was worried about.”
It is unclear what the hell he’s talking about here. He may be referring to the oilfields in northern Syria, which are coveted by both the Syrian regime and by the Turks. They are currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces with embedded U.S. support, but since Trump ordered all U.S. troops out of northern Syria we clearly will not have “control of the oil.”
The US military does have troops embedded with the Syrian Democratic Forces near the Syrian oil fields (assets long desired by Russia & the regime) but it’s unclear how the US will continue securing those locations given Trump’s order to withdraw all American forces https://t.co/9t5Kb60b1M
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) October 18, 2019
Efforts to follow up were not successful.
I tried. Repeatedly. He ignored the question. https://t.co/iVqtgbHDz6
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) October 18, 2019
- “under the Obama administration, the real number is over a million people were killed…we have lost not a drop of blood since we’ve started what I’ve started, so far it’s working out.”
Now, this is truly the most mystifying and offensive part of his statement. Is he referring to civilian deaths from drone strikes? While it’s true that an appalling number of civilians were killed by the United States under the Obama administration, the number is not anywhere near a million — and President Trump has already killed far more innocents in three years than President Obama did in eight. Is he referring to the estimates that nearly a million people have died in conflicts directly related to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003? That, of course, was the crowning failure of the Pres. George W. Bush administration.
The blood of thousands of people has been shed since President Trump took office, and needless to say, it is not working out for anyone. This delusional and repulsively misleading assessment of the crisis that Trump himself has unleashed, and honestly this clip by itself should be an impeachable offense. We cannot allow him to simply repeat “hey guy everything is very very well, people are doing things” enough times that he gets let off the hook for his unforgivable actions.
Watch the insanity here:
TRUMP: “We have taken control of the oil in the Middle East — the oil that we’re talking about. The oil that everybody was worried about.” pic.twitter.com/0wbew468ec
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 18, 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.