President Trump may have thought progressives would be too busy worrying about impeaching him to pay attention to far-flung crises. Not so fast, Mr. President.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fierce advocate of removing Trump from the White House, slammed his decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria as a sign of his propensity to kow-tow to strongmen like Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Autocrats: ‘Jump!’ Trump: ‘How high?’- Trump admin foreign policy, 2019,” AOC tweeted Wednesday.
The lefty firebrand usually focuses on what she considers Trump’s disastrous domestic policies and the abuses of presidential power that have put the president on the brink of impeachment.
Ocasio-Cortez switched gears to foreign policy after Turkey launched an attack on the Kurdish region in northern Syria.
The aggressive move came less than 48 hours after Trump gave Erdogan a virtual green light to invade by informing him that U.S. troops would pull out of the region in what Kurds and their allies decried as a historic “betrayal.”
It’s unknown why Trump abruptly capitulated to Erdogan, who has long lobbied for a free hand to attack the Kurdish enclave.
He has repeated his long-held believe that the U.S. had no business getting entangled in the Syrian morass in the first place.
Turkey brands the Kurds in Syria “terrorists” and says they are allied with separatists in Turkey. But the Kurds have also been close allies of the U.S. and Israel and have fought with American troops against ISIS and al-Qaeda in both Syrian and neighboring Iraq.
Democrats have long accused Trump of being far too cozy with a rogue’s gallery of strongmen like Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un of North Korea and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, among others.
Like Putin, Erdogan is renowned for his prowess at leveraging information that might be embarrassing to enemies and allies alike.
For example, Erdogan has denounced the torture killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi embassy in Turkey, but has only selectively released Turkish intelligence reports about the brazen murder.
Despite American intelligence concluding that the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder, Trump has downplayed the murder and presidential adviser Jared Kushner has maintained his close friendship with the powerful ally.