Earlier this week, the incredibly juvenile, barely literate letter which Donald Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was released. The missive, which reads more like something scribbled by a 7-year-old on a piece of construction paper than an official piece of correspondence from the most powerful man in the world, was widely mocked and derided upon its dissemination.
In it, Trump urged the Turkish dictator to cut a deal to stop the violence in Northeast Syria which Trump himself greenlit by withdrawing American troops which in turn provided the Turks a corridor through which to invade, betraying our Kurdish allies in the process.
With all the diplomatic tact that we’ve come to expect from Trump wrote to Erdogan to urge him not be a “tough guy” or a “fool.” It was a pathetic move on President Trump’s part, and a hamfisted attempt to undo his own bloody, pointless mistake. Not surprisingly, the Turks continued with their invasion.
The letter, dated October 9th, was apparently promptly tossed in the literal trash by Erdogan upon its arrival, showing that under Trump a letter from the President of the United States is treated about as well as used tissue by foreign leaders.
This entire diplomatic disaster is compounded by the fact that it appears that the so-called “ceasefire” that Vice President Pence convinced the Turks to cut with the Kurds has already fallen apart. We are witnessing a degree and scale of incompetence rarely seen before from an American president. Entire books will surely be written about this sordid affair.
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness pic.twitter.com/9BoSGlbRyt
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019
Now, on top of the humiliation of discarding Trump’s letter like garbage, Erdogan has slammed Trump’s message, telling reporters in Istanbul that Turkey will not forget what Trump wrote. The autocrat said it’s not a priority yet but threatened to “do what is necessary” in response to the letter “when the times comes.”
“President Trump’s letter, which did not go hand in hand with political and diplomatic courtesy, has appeared in the media. Of course we haven’t forgotten it. It would not be right for us to forget it,” said Erdogan.
While the personal feelings of a brutal, murderous dictator leader like Erdogan are hardly worth considering, the ominous nature of his language is yet another sign of how low America’s standing has become in the world. We are no longer respected, even by ostensible allies. The mass murderers and strongmen of the world are emboldened and will continue to do as they please until a Democrat is sworn into office and reasserts global American leadership. It cannot come soon enough.
WATCH: Turkish Pres. Erdogan says Pres. Trump's letter to him "did not go hand-in-hand with political and diplomatic courtesy" and "it would not be right for us to forget it," adding that "we would like for it to be known that we will do what is necessary when the time comes." pic.twitter.com/L3d1MCLnoG
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 18, 2019
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.