8 October 2019   Leave a comment

US President Trump announced that Turkish President Erdogan will visit the White House sometime next month. The visit is being scheduled in order to redress a diplomatic injury suffered by Erdogan, who wanted to meet with Trump at the UN last month but was told that there was not time in the schedule for a meeting. According to press reports, Erdogan was angry at the slight and communicated his anger to Trump in a telephone call. Apparently, at the spur of the moment, President Trump decided to pacify Erdogan by withdrawing troops. Many analysts, both Democratic and Republican, attacked Mr. Trump for his abandonment of the Kurds. President Trump justified his action, as described by The Washington Post:

“Trump predictably justified his actions not with a strategic vision for a troubled region, but campaign talking points. He told reporters on Monday afternoon that he was following through on what he ‘got elected on’ — in this instance, disentangling the United States from the Middle East’s intractable conflicts. He said it was the responsibility of other countries, including Turkey, to deal with what’s left behind. For good measure, he threatened Ankara with crippling economic sanctions if the Turks did anything ‘outside of what we think is humane.’

It is difficult to determine what Mr. Trump regards as humane given his reluctance to call out Saudi Arabian Crown Prince bin Salman for the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Or his embrace of North Korean leader Kim despite the well documented atrocities of the North Korean regime. We shall have to see how the Turkish military deals with the Kurds who most likely will seek to make an alliance with Syrian President Assad or Russian President Putin–a profound strategic defeat for the US. We should also keep in mind the rather sordid history of Trump associates such as the first National Security Adviser, Flynn, in their dealings with Turkish President Erdogan.

Trump Towers Istanbul

President Moreno of Ecuador has moved the government out of the capital city as protesters broke through a security cordon surrounding the Parliament building. The protests against the International Monetary Fund’s structural adjustment program which resulted in a 100% increase in fuel oil prices in the oil-rich country. The protests are led primarily by the indigenous peoples of Ecuador who have pressured the three governments in Ecuador to collapse over the past decades.

Posted October 8, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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