Donald Trump’s betrayal of our Kurdish allies has resulted in untold deaths, suffering, and the mass displacement of civilians. His decision to greenlight the brutal Turkish invasion of Northeast Syria by abruptly repositioning American forces, creating a corridor for the Turkish military to move through in the process, has still gone largely unexplained. Trump’s sudden announcement yesterday that the United States would be lifting sanctions on Turkey came with a claim that a new ceasefire between the Turks and Kurds will be permanent, which is a dubious claim at best. The situation remains a bloody, tragic, and unnecessary mess.
Today, Trump injected even more confusion into the proceedings by sending out a bizarre tweet. He said that he had a conversation with General Mazloum Abdi, the commander-in-chief of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and that Abdi “appreciates what we have done,” which is a strange claim since the most recent thing “we have done” is allow the Turks into Syria to commit atrocities against Abdi’s people.
Trump added that he himself appreciates what the Kurds have done, a curious insistence since he seems to have shown that “appreciation” by carrying out a historic betrayal against our Kurdish allies. No matter what he says in public or on Twitter about how much he wants peace and cares about the Kurds his actions speak the truth. He cares little for the evil he has wrought and is concerned only with his public image.
The tweet then took a sudden strange turn as Trump offered up some unprompted advice.
“Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region,” he wrote cryptically.
He offered no further clarification about why the Kurds should relocate or even what the “Oil Region” is, demonstrating that he either doesn’t know what he’s talking about (often the case) or that he’s so apathetic about the fate of the Kurds that he can’t be bothered to communicate with any degree of usable clarity.
I really enjoyed my conversation with General @MazloumAbdi. He appreciates what we have done, and I appreciate what the Kurds have done. Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2019
NBC’s Richard Engel offered a chilling interpretation of Trump’s tweet.
“The US president just told the Kurdish people to uproot from their homeland – while under fire in a war he approved – and move to the ‘oil region,’ a hostile mostly desert area with an Arab population, where Kurds are NOT welcome and have never lived. WHAT?!” Engel tweeted.
If true, it means Trump is either once again working to endanger the lives of our brave allies or simply has no idea what he’s saying. Both options are inexcusable and demonstrate for the umpteenth time why this man is deeply unfit to be president.
The US president just told the Kurdish people to uproot from their homeland – while under fire in a war he approved – and move to the "oil region," a hostile, mostly desert area with an Arab population, where Kurds are NOT welcome and have never lived. WHAT?! https://t.co/AFB2wx8gFk
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) October 24, 2019
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.