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Middle East Policies

U.S. Abandons Kurds To Turkey!

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Graham Ledger: Page Six, now. The Turkish invasion of northern Syria is happening. The only question is, how far will the Turks go into Kurdish occupied territory? The mainstream media is beating up President Trump over this move, and so are some Republicans. The question is strategically, and long term, is this move by Team Trump a decision that will keep that region of the Middle East free from terrorists who would be a threat to us, the United States? Joining me now, the founder of the American Truth Project and Daily Ledger contributor, Barry Nussbaum. Barry, two warnings, two very specific targeted warnings from the White House today. One from the secretary of defense saying, hey, Turkey, you better cool it, or we're going to possibly mobilize some military options and return our troops to the areas that we're pulled out. That's a possibility. The second warning was more economic. This came from Steve Mnuchin, secretary of the treasury, saying, hey, listen, Turkey, we have sanctions the President of the United States can unilaterally impose on Turkey in a situation like that. Very stern warnings. I think the administration is trying to take some steps here to send a very clear message to Turkey that this incursion better stop where it is now.

Barry Nussbaum: Not only that, Graham at the briefing this morning at the Pentagon earlier today, both the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs made the same message, which was this was not what the agreement was. You weren't supposed to invade when we pulled out our 50 troops, and it was just special ops troops in northern Syria that got moved. And Turkey grabbed that opportunity to go after the Kurds. They have made no secret their intention is to destroy the Kurdish independent movement wherever it comes from. And unfortunately, the reason why everybody's upset and ironically, you've got Republicans and Democrats unified on this issue is they believe, as the world believes, that our pledge to stand by the Kurds who were instrumental in helping us destroy ISIS has been well abandoned. And Israel especially is concerned that an American pledge that seems so strong just a few months ago has vanished. I sincerely doubt Mnuchin's threats and Trump's threats at this point, Graham. I've never seen such a rapid turnaround in American foreign policy where an ally that helped us so much for all intents and purposes has been abandoned.

Graham Ledger: Ok. All right. But let's look at the map because I think the map tells the story and that kind of maroon area up there, that's the Turkish incursion into the green area. That green area is the Turkish occupied territory of Syria. You know, if you look at the big picture and I think that's what we got to do here, right? The question I asked just a couple of minutes ago is the important one. How does this affect the United States? If Turkey continues its incursion into Syria, I think that's a problem, number one. Number two, I also think it's a problem if somehow the Islamic State prisoners that are still in this Turkish occupied area escape and are able to regroup and re-terrorize the Western world I think that's a problem. And number three, if these terrorists somehow affect American assets and can harm Americans, that is a problem as well. So when I look at things, I try and look at things through an American prism. And I think that's what this President is doing as well. He's asking the question, when is it over? When is the point where we pull out? And let's face it. You know this, Barry, the Kurds are no angels. They just happen to be the enemy of our enemy, right?

Barry Nussbaum: You're 100 percent right. And actually, on this, I agree 100 percent with everything you've just said. The problem is the optics. If Turkey goes in there and continues what's happened the last few days, Graham, they're bombing civilians no different than Syria's Assad did. And civilian targets are off-limits under all world engagement regulations going back to the Geneva Accords. There are hundreds of thousands of people now as refugees that weren't refugees just a few days ago. I'm concerned about that. I'm concerned about the American pledge to stand by the Kurds because the Kurds stood by us. You have a tremendous number of U.S. military forces, some active-duty coming forward and saying we can't betray these people. There are volunteers in the IDF volunteering to go fight alongside the Kurds, because, quite frankly, Erdogan has made it very clear Graham he wants a caliphate. He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a radical anti-western, anti-American, anti-Israel stance by a group that believes that the only government is Sharia government and anybody that stands in the way of that is the enemy. So, right now, we have moved out of the way. It remains to be seen if Mnuchin's threats will come true. Trump has threatened to destroy the Turkish economy, and Turkey, a member of NATO, has basically told everybody in NATO, get out of the way. We're going to do right. We want to do it so far, Graham. That's what they're doing.

Graham Ledger: And that leads me to the bigger question, why they're a member of NATO. I don't believe they should be a member of NATO for the aforementioned reasons that you delineated so well, and their economy is in dire straits. I think a little bit of sanctions may end this incursion that's going on in Syria because, at some point, I mean face it. This is a sovereign nation. We don't agree with its leader, Bashar al Assad. But this is a sovereign nation. And at some point, the sovereign nation is going to have to have its borders put back to where they belong, I assume. Barry, thank you.

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