Trump’s Reckless Incuriosity Creates Deadly Consequences

Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has made decisions without considering the consequences. Now, he has greenlit the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds.
President Donald J. Trump disembarks Marine One at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, and boards Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump disembarks Marine One at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, and boards Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Genocide is an awful word. When assigned preemptively it’s either an unforgivably offensive, false accusation or a dire warning that an unforgivable mass murder is imminent.

It’s too soon to say whether or not Donald Trump will become an unindicted co-conspirator for the second time, this time for the crime of genocide. It’s not too soon to say that innocent people have died in the last few days because of Trump’s uninformed, unintelligible decision to recall less than a hundred troops from the Turkish border in Northern Syria. It’s not too soon to postulate that Trump was either steamrolled by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan or promised something in return for the troop withdrawal, or both.

Now that the Turks invaded Northern Syria, casualties and crimes against humanity have been reported and the consequences of Trump’s inhumane incuriosity are unfolding in real-time it may be impossible to put the war genie back in the self-centered the bottle. The only hope for the Kurds, at this juncture, may be a devil’s bargain signed with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

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We, as US citizens, may not be able to control the lunatic-like actions of the narcissist-turned-madman in the White House, but we can demand our government not permit a self-centered decision by a thin-skinned, weak-minded, laughably corruptible dolt devolve into the expedient destruction of our Kurdish allies.

The fate of the Kurdish people also need not rely on Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) effectively useless, tweeted invocations. “Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS.” Graham’s faux-desperate call to prayer is rich considering his relentless, two and a half year campaign to protect and enable Trump’s preposterous carnage. Still, a subsequent tweet to immediately move forward with crippling, bipartisan, veto-proof sanctions against Turkey could carry some real bite.

Erdoğan’s hammerlock on Ankara has shown signs of weakness and sanctions would stifle Turkey’s struggling economy.

On Monday, the White issue a statement by the president announcing an Executive Order “authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria. In the order Trump threatened to “swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path”, a path Trump literally created just under a week ago.

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There Is No Method To The Madness

Weakness here at home is what initiated this whole, lethal fiasco. At this juncture, Trump is politically dead. Even if he somehow manages not to screw up the recently reported “phase one trade deal with China” he’s un(re)electable burnt toast. If the enablers of his reality-TV, presidential career help him survive impeachment, he gets clobbered in the general election. Only a remarkably undisciplined, self-destructive Democratic nominee loses the 2020 election to a low energy, rage tweeting, politically deflated, and possibly murderous Donald Trump.

Trump’s slow-moving, political demise, once an arduous, drip-drip, snail’s pace-drowning-in-his-own-swamp version of Watergate’s Saturday Night Massacre has shifted into high gear. A constant flow of fast-moving, smoking gun news reports combined with a panicked, scatter minded President running his own, one man comms shop makes for an epic, albeit adolescent breakdown of the chief executive.

For many of us, there was never a doubt that Trump would eventually, totally self destruct. The only questions were how long would take it and, more importantly, how many culpable cohorts and innocent bystanders would he drag down with him?

We now know how long it will take. In the next few months Trump either finds a way to become such an electoral pariah, such a bloated albatross wrapped around the necks of at least two dozen Republican members of the US Senate that they summon the courage to convict him of high crimes, or he’s voted out of high office on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

More importantly, who does Trump destroy as he descends further into madness and his presidency collapses into comical, if not perilous insignificance?

Least important are the sycophantic and the ambitious enablers. I could care less if absurdist, sue-the-media-happy characters like Congressman Devin Nunes, or unemployable goons like wanna-be-Trump-enforcer Cory Lewandowski or hypocritical, faux-Evangelical nudniks like Vice President Mike Pence wind up career casualties of Trump’s best efforts to destroy those who perpetuate his worst impulses.

Honestly, I don’t even care if the reputations of reasonable players, those who were supposed to be the adults in the room, are forever tarnished. General H.R. McMaster and General Jim Mattis, heroic and honorable men to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, are indelibly stained by a wretched association to Donald J. Trump.

My greatest fears were always for the well being of innocuous individuals and blameless families, guiltless victims intentionally dragged into the politicized maelstrom.

When it was obvious that Donald Trump would win the 2016 presidential election, sometime around 9:45 pm on November 8, 2016, it was also clear that innocent people were going to suffer and some, possibly many, might die. This incurious, careless, obsessively self-interested, character would be placed in a position to make absentminded, ill-advised, incautious decisions that might harm the livelihoods of people, or even worse, get people killed.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Muslim Ban

Trump signed executive order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” on January 27, 2017. This initial abuse of power, this unilaterally imposed anti-religious edict transparently cloaked as a national security initiative, was Trump’s first thought-free effort to punish those he considered to be “the other”. It was also the very, very beginning of the end of his Presidency.

Shortly after the ban was enacted news reports began to surface about US Muslim residents, who temporarily left the country, being denied access upon return. Senior advisor Stephen Miller and Donald Trump effectively tested a strategy of religious intolerance and the separation of families of color.

While thousands of concerned citizens protested at Airport terminals across the country news reports of sick Muslims traveling to the US for treatment began to materialize. Seriously ill and terminally ill travelers, previously approved for treatment in our country, were being rejected at the point of entry or departure. Superior American healthcare services, once the benchmark hope of patients around the globe, were instantly replaced with bigoted rhetoric and closed-door death sentences.

Then I read the story about Ahmed Hameed, an Iraqi translator anxiously waiting to emigrate to the US. Hameed faced possible retaliation at home for helping US armed forces during the Iraq war. A translator for US troops, he was denied entry to a flight from Qatar to Atlanta because of Trump’s executive order. His pregnant wife was with him.

Hurricane Maria

A boy accompanied by his dog watches the repairs of Guajataca Dam, which cracked during the passage of Hurricane Maria, in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. The dam was built around 1928, and holds back a man-made lake. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A boy accompanied by his dog watches the repairs of Guajataca Dam, which cracked during the passage of Hurricane Maria, in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. The dam was built around 1928, and holds back a man-made lake. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico in September, 2017. While FEMA intentionally or unintentionally bumbled relief efforts and thousands of desperate residents needlessly perished, Trump spent most of his time complaining about the territory’s antiquated electrical grid and its alleged propensity for bureaucratic corruption. Trump also found time to brag ad nauseam about his irreverent success while insulting the Mayor of San Juan on an almost daily basis:

It’s impossible to know how many of the 3,507 people who died might have been saved had a competent Chief Executive, who respected all US citizens, been at the nation’s helm. Trump’s presidency further devolved, absorbing a 20% polling decline in his handling of natural disasters

Zero Tolerance Policy

A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the border Monday, June 25, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the border Monday, June 25, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A bit later in his presidency, the Trump administration announced it’s Zero Tolerance policy at the southern border. Once again, families were torn apart. This time, thousands of them. Young, migrant children were literally kidnapped by the US government and sent to inadequate detention facilities around the country. Some of those children were distributed to US families never to be reunited with their deported parents.

Toddlers, often left to fend for themselves, languished in government-funded, privately managed, haphazard shelters. Co-incarcerated, unrelated, traumatized, migrant teens and tweens did their best to parent these despondent babies.

Then people started getting sick. Flu and other communicable diseases ran rampant in Trump’s publicly funded, privately owned, makeshift, concentration-camp-like holding cells. People started dying. To date, at least six children and 18 adults have died in ICE detention.

Turkey’s Kurdish Ethnic Cleansing/Genocide

Fast forward to October 6, 2019. Trump sells the lives of our Kurdish allies in Syria to the Turks. What the great deal maker got in return, if anything, is still a mystery.

President Erdoğan wasted no time initiating a well planned military offensive in the region just a day after reports suggested he “called Trump’s bluff” during another deplorable phone call. Almost on cue, an embarrassed, clueless US president tweeted a threat to the Turkish government:

The threat is ridiculous just because it’s ridiculous. It could have been a line uttered by Sasha Baron Cohen’s character in his satirical comedy, “The Dictator”. The meaningless tweet bluff is even more ludicrous when you consider how Erdoğan willfully ignored all US, bad actor threats in recent memory.

  • The US demanded that Erdoğan not buy Russian missiles. He did.
  • The Turks arrested and temporarily held two US citizens after a failed coup and suffered no consequence.
  • In an elaborate scheme, Turkey helped the Iranians work around US’ maximum pressure sanctions.

Shortly after the invasion began, and after Trump failed to deflect a barrage of attacks at home from Republican allies, the White House released a written statement suggesting that the US did not endorse the Turkish surge, that the invasion was a “bad idea”, that Turkey should protect minorities “including Christians” and that Trump, the five-time draft dodger, didn’t want to fight “endless wars” in the Middle East.

Last Friday, just as Trump was doubling down on that argument the Pentagon announced that it was sending thousands of additional troops to Saudi Arabia. It’s unclear what the soldiers will be doing. Perhaps they’re being sent to protect US interests. Perhaps they’re being deployed to protect the Saudi oil fields, or a 282 foot, repossessed Trump yacht, or maybe the personal interests of Saudi Government officials who own the entire 45th floor of Trump World Tower.

Also, the US still has 1000 troops embedded with Kurdish fighters in Syria who are currently being removed from Northern Syria.

Trump isn’t interested in US efforts to police the Middle East. He’s interested in saving himself. Desperate to shore up the support of a small, cult-like, the-king-can-do-no-wrong base of true believers in and outside of Washington DC, his unintelligible assertions and meaningless threats create nothing other than mildly confusing, unsophisticated diversions. These are the breathless gasps of a dying presidency.

That reality combined with Trump’s weak mind, his inability to learn, his malignant incuriosity and a neurotic lack of empathy for the multitude of human beings who are not inner circle, loyal ass kissers, is getting people killed, right now.

President Trump is not a viable deterrent. He will not, cannot stop the Turks from slaughtering the Kurds. He doesn’t understand, nor does he care that Erdoğan intends to remove all the Kurds and replace them with three million Arab refugees. Foreign Policy called the effort “demographic engineering”.

If Erdoğan’s “demographic engineering” efforts are fully realized, it’s not unreasonable to expect an aggressive ethnic cleansing campaign. Trump is worried that the term “impeachment” will soil his fabricated, garish, gold plated resume. How about “genocide” Mr. Illegitimate President?

Trump could care less about the people he’s indirectly murdering and he’s more than happy to wipe them out while he self-immolates politically. He’s free to ignore to-little-to-late Republican pushback. The president’s handpicked lackeys, his loyal cadre of unqualified inquisitors even joined Russia at the UN last Thursday to block a resolution drafted by the European Union calling “upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action.”

Trump doesn’t care about the fate of the Kurds because he doesn’t care about anything but himself. His supposed “deal” with Erdoğan, whether it be real or imagined is more important to him than the lives of a few hundred thousand allies. He’s a perpetual, unteachable fool who cannot learn. In way too deep and well over his head he initiates endless states of stupefied chaos to camouflage his conspicuous, obvious limitations. That chaos has now mutated into geopolitical betrayal and soon-to-be mass murder. We cannot, we must not stand for it. If we do, if we don’t speak out, we are also culpable.

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Opinion // Donald Trump / Kurds / Syria / Turkey