When Donald Trump ran for president, he made it clear that he wanted to end “Endless Wars.” He wanted to bring American troops home and opposed the very notion of American Empire.
Strangely, now that he’s doing what he promised on the campaign trail, political insiders are all upset. How can he withdraw from Syria? The Kurds! They are being abandoned! The U.S. should have stayed to “protect” them, these analysts and politicians argue. For how long? Well, that’s a question they’d rather not answer.
Trump is right to withdraw the troops from Syria. They were there to defeat ISIS. That mission has been accomplished. It is not America’s job to remake the Middle East — to give this or that people their own nation-state, and then to protect them for, well, the rest of time. America’s foreign policy should be aimed at protecting its own interests. Those interests have been taken care of. Now it’s time to withdraw and let people in the Middle East decide their own future (and present).
What’s more, the “allies” Trump supposedly turned “his back on” are actually members of an internationally recognized terrorist organization. The PKK and its affiliated branches — all those “Kurdish groups” in Syria are branches of the PKK — have been responsible for many thousands, even tens of thousands of deaths. Turkish members of the security forces and Turkish civilians have been murdered by these Marxist-Leninist thugs.
The International Crisis Group is keeping track of the death toll in “the conflict” between Turkey and the PKK. The numbers speak for themselves. The PKK — constantly referred to as simply “the Kurds” by their fanboys in the West — is one of the most deadly and destructive terror organizations in the world. Just look at this while keeping in mind that TAK is the PKK branch responsible for terrorism in the western part of Turkey:
While the bulk of the PKK conflict has remained highly localised in the country’s majority Kurdish south east, since January 2016 violence has increasingly spread to the west of Turkey. Two bombings by TAK struck Ankara on 17 February and 13 March 2016, killing a total of 38 civilians and 28 security officials. A TAK suicide bomber also detonated herself outside of the Great Mosque in Bursa, a city in north west Turkey, injuring thirteen on 27 April. This was followed by a May 2016 attack in Istanbul’s Sancaktepe district that narrowly missed a bus full of police. TAK also claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a police bus on 7 June in central Vezneciler district of Istanbul killing seven police officers and four civilians.
Between 1 February and 19 July 2016, of the 312 security force members killed, 150 were victims of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks (48 per cent), while in the four months prior (October 2015-January 2016) of the total of 115 security force deaths, 33 were from IED attacks (29 per cent). This suggests the PKK is engaging in more high-profile attacks, killing more security forces with single IED attacks, which has resulted in an increase in monthly security force casualties since March 2016 (a daily average of 1.8 between March 2016 and June 2016; compared to a daily average of 1.3 between November 2015 and February 2016).
It’s bad enough that the PKK is killing Turkish soldiers on such a large scale (hardly a day goes by without such a ruthless murder), but it becomes even worse if you realize that Turkey still has the draft. Many Turkish soldiers are young boys who have to serve for a little over a year after finishing high school (or college).
These same killers are now active in northern Syria, where they are attempting to create their own little nation-state… from which they can then, undoubtedly, launch even more operations against Turkish soldiers and civilians.
The PKK and its affiliates do not deserve American support. It doesn’t serve America’s interests to support them, and, as the facts above prove, you cannot make a moral case for doing so either.
Trump, then, is one hundred percent right to bring the troops home and to let Turkey deal with the PKK as it sees fit.