President Trump is feeling the heat from both sides of the aisle after he defended his decision to withdraw support for the Kurds in Syria because "they didn't help us in the Second World War."
Trump made the comments during a press conference on Wednesday, as Turkey launched a military offensive against the Syrian Kurds, who have been one of America's most consistent allies in the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.
"The Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand."
"They're fighting for their land and as someone wrote in a very, very powerful article today: They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy, as an example…"
"But they're there to help us with their land. And that's a different thing. And in addition that, we've spent tremendous amounts of money on helping the Kurds, in terms of ammunition, in terms of weapons, in terms of money, in terms of pay. With all of that being said, we like the Kurds."
NEW: Asked about the Kurds, President Trump says they "didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us… https://t.co/aDDj0WPyfl— Yahoo News (@Yahoo News) 1570656076.0
Trump on the Kurds: "They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy." He says they'… https://t.co/3T2WDEi3gF— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale) 1570653246.0
The article Trump appears to be referring to is from the conservative website Townhall, although Trump's explanation seems to be quite a bit less coherent.
In the article, writer Kurt Schlichter argues that the Kurds didn't help us in Normandy or any number of historical battles in the past because it was outside their interests and territory. For instance, where were the Kurds during the American Civil War?
Schlichter claims the only reason they Kurds helped the U.S. in the fight against ISIS was because both parties shared a common enemy. Which is sort of how every military alliance works.
Maybe if someone in the last five generations of the Trump family served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Iraq War...the President would have a better grasp of military alliances?
But using that same theory, since Trump feels that ISIS has been defeated—although even Senator Lindsey Graham called that a lie, defending the Kurds from Turkey isn't particularly in America's interests or territory.
The article states:
"The Kurds helped destroy ISIS, true. It's also true that the Kurds would have fought ISIS anyway, since the psycho caliphate was right next door."
"Let's be honest–the Kurds didn't show up for us at Normandy or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Kandahar. The Syrian Kurds allied with us in their homeland because we shared a common interest in wiping out the head-lopping freak show that was ISIS…"
"This idea that some sort of obligation for America to defend another people can arise outside the treaty ratification process is as bizarre as it is unconstitutional. Now we're supposed to shed our blood because our elites feel we owe it to foreign strangers?"
Trump appears to have gotten his "Kurds didn't help us at Normandy" line from a Kurt Schlichter column.… https://t.co/ZKqGJ9nh8x— Will Sommer (@Will Sommer) 1570654792.0
And while the move has been slammed by Republicans and Democrats alike, Trump isn't backing down.
When asked if he believes future alliances could be impacted, Trump confidently replied:
"Alliances are very easy."
He said the same thing about trade wars.
Trump when asked whether abandoning the Kurds could impact US ability to form alliances in the future: "Alliances are very easy."— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1570653146.0
Trump has continued to assert that he'll take certain measures against Turkey if they don't attack Syria in a "humane" way, although he's declined to elaborate on what those measures would be.
Trump says that if Turkey "doesn't do it in as humane a way as possible," he will impose "far more than sanctions"… https://t.co/HbXFt9mi91— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale) 1570651742.0
Trump says Erdogan "could do it in a soft manner," or a "very tough manner," but if he does it in an inappropriate… https://t.co/SvoMvwdUAj— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale) 1570651798.0
People couldn't believe the pettiness and absurdity of Trump's remarks.
The landlocked Kurdistan, which was still under occupation, didn’t send its navy and marines to help us in Normandy— Mohammad Taqi (@Mohammad Taqi) 1570667372.0
The Kurds should have known that one day they were going to have to pay the price for not taking part in the Norman… https://t.co/zxxVQRw0dc— Kevin M. Levin (@Kevin M. Levin) 1570664224.0
Neither did Turkey, which joined the WWII effort only when it was almost over. As if that matters now, when Kurds h… https://t.co/cqHkZbpTFz— Chris Bury (@Chris Bury) 1570654763.0
@washingtonpost Neither did any member of the Trump family. They all avoided service.— Spin Doctor (@Spin Doctor) 1570665917.0
ok…. All else aside, this logic makes no sense, and doesn’t dictate anything in American foreign policy. The Viet M… https://t.co/MqyTTvjtex— Asawin Suebsaeng (@Asawin Suebsaeng) 1570654868.0
@washingtonpost trump didn't help in the Vietnam War— VBLes (@VBLes) 1570665934.0
If helping the U.S. in Normandy is a prerequisite for being an ally, then a lot of countries would be out of luck.
@washingtonpost If I recall correctly, neither did Germany, Italy or Japan... or how about China & North Korea in the Korean War...— Moshe Yehuda (@Moshe Yehuda) 1570667186.0
Here are countries that did not fight with the US at Normandy whose leaders Trump nonetheless helps or praises: -… https://t.co/Uy9CFVLJZE— Wajahat "Fasting" Ali (@Wajahat "Fasting" Ali) 1570656749.0
Hypocrisy at its finest.
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