Trump and Erdogan have much in common – and the Kurds will pay the price

Robert Fisk – The Independent Oct 13, 2019

Turkish troops near the border with Syria. Click to enlarge

What perfidy. Is there any more solemn a word that can be developed in the English language for such treachery? The west’s Kurdish allies are being betrayed all over again. Like Kissinger, like Trump. And here come the Turks again, once more playing their border games, pretending they are fighting against “terrorism” when they were perfectly prepared to assist al-Nusra in Afrin while oil from Isis flowed into the country. And Trump now suddenly realises that the Turks are not good allies when he was perfectly happy to let them invade northern Syria four days ago.

If anything could be more illustrative of the madhouse in Washington it has been the divisive, insane “policy” which the Americans still claim to uphold in northern Syria. A hundred thousand displaced, dozens of civilians dead. In Damascus, the Assad regime must be appreciating this farce, although the chances of taking back territory from Turkey probably looks a good deal more dangerous. But the prospect of Syria’s invaders fighting each other will evoke only bitter reflection in a state where the government had almost won its war.

As for Trump himself, his preposterous remarks about Turkey and the Kurds – and Normandy, for heaven’s sake – and even the Second World War – merely prove once more that the US president is crackers. The Americans are leaving Syria, he told us some months ago. Then he says it again. And this is before anyone has thought about the resurrection of Isis, perhaps fleeing from their prisons along the border. Are we to have Isis back in Europe once more? Or fleeing along with the 3.6 million refugees with which Turkey has threatened Europe?

It is not just Trump who is causing chaos. It is the entire American empire, its maniacal foreign policies and the stream of Trump supporters whose ignorance is now at the heart of Washington’s establishment. How can the EU stand so idly by while Turkey has adopted what looks like ethnic cleansing on a vast scale? For it is their Arab militias who are now appearing in northern Syria. How can anyone justify this vile business?

How tragically, how terrifyingly, how pitifully the Kurds were betrayed. Is this how Erdogan intends to go down in history after 16 years of power? First he accuses his own army of being behind the attempted coup against him in Turkey – then he sends the same army into Syria. Maybe Erdogan and Trump have more in common that we imagine.

But the events of this past week have also shown how international governance has broken down across the Middle East region, how failure at the centres of power has – especially in the most powerful nation on earth – led to an endemic and hopeless war. Because of Trump’s foolishness – his arcane stupidity – dozens are now dying again in the region. It is a sad and dangerous world in which the Middle East now exists and it will become more so in the coming weeks.

How long ago seem those revolutions of 2011, how the small lights of hope have disappeared so fast. Egypt is now a brutal dictatorship. Libya remains in chaos. So, too, Yemen. There is not a functioning democracy in the Arab world (save perhaps, for Lebanon). And the Americans still believe in new freedoms in Saudi Arabia – though not, of course, for one missing journalist and American resident whose body parts we may never find. Jamal Kashoggi’s voice would have been one to listen to today. But his memory has also been besmirched by Trump’s total abasement to the Saudi royal family. Perfidy indeed.


Correspondent for the Independent, Robert Fisk is resident in the Middle East and comments on events unfolding there

5 responses to “Trump and Erdogan have much in common – and the Kurds will pay the price”

  1. Wow, just wow! Dozens, literally dozens of civilians are dying!

    It is long past time for us to get out of this unholy forever war for the benefit of Israel and the Wahabis.

  2. John Pilger said in New Rulers of the World that British planes paused their protection of the Kurds in the Nothern No-fly zone & as the RAF pilots left the region, they saw Turkish planes heading in. The following day, RAF pilots saw the devastation inflicted on Kurdish settlements. The British government supporting genocide. The RAF pilots said: “If it happens again then we won’t fly.”

  3. All is focused on US and the Kurds. Important but remarkable for it is just half of the story.

    Firstly, US had nothing lost in Syria and true, Mr Trump promised to get the troops back home, out of Syria as a start but he was blocked by his “Advicers in War” last year not to.

    Secondly everybody is forgetting to mention that a neighbouring country, Turkey, is “just” invading the souvereign state of Syria as if it does not exist for it doesn’t like a certain people group living in Syria, the Kurds.

    But of course 30 million Kurds being threated genocide by Turkey is not so much of a problem for the West. The greedy West started the entire mess in the ME in the past.

    I believe now the Kurds might have noticed they betted on the wrong Horse, finally will be better off to cooperate with their legitimate Government in Damascus, the Kurds’s Government as well.
    After having solved the Turkey’s problem together with SAA they could start negotiations about their wishes. Why not?

    Better talking than shooting.

  4. Everyone has got this Turkish invasion and Kurd thing wrong. For once Trump did a good thing, he is pulling out and allowing Turkey to clean up the mess that Obama left behind.

    A caller today on Mike Rivero’s What Really Happened radio show (RBN) got it exactly right:

    listen Steve in West Virginia starts at 10:20 in link below:

    When all the talking heads are against what Trump did then you know it went against the Zionists.

    The same is true in all the Israel newspapers – Trump has betrayed God’s Chosen Lunatics, and Bibi’s has failed in his strategeries. Just go read Haaretz, they are all in a panic because what is really going on is Bibi’s proxy army in Northern Syria is being wiped out.

    All the talk about Turkey shelling US Troops and ISIS escaping is meant to stampede Trump into attacking Turkey and stop the disintegration of ISIS. You here stories about stealing oil and invading Syria blah blah blah.

    No one is paying attention to what Erdogan says (Erdogan is hated just like Putin in the Jewish owned press):

    “Our aim is to destroy the terror corridor which is trying to be established on our southern border and to bring peace and peace to the region,”

    It looks to me Trump punked Bibi – because he knows Bibi is behind his impeachment.

  5. great article!