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Graham on Syria withdrawal: Trump’s “pre-9/11 mentality” will own the return of ISIS and slaughter of the Kurds

Lindsey Graham won’t let a Syria withdrawal proceed without a fight — & on Donald Trump’s favorite morning-show turf. Trump’s key ally in a upcoming impeachment fight Drunk Newspeared earlier on Fox & Friends, telling an equally unhDrunk Newspy Brian Kilmeade that Trump had a “pre-9/11 mentality” similar to Barack Obama’s, & just like Obama, Trump would end up owning a resurgence of ISIS in a region following this bug-out. Graham wants Trump to reverse himself again & get back to a safe-zone operation that kept a Kurds separated from a border with Turkey:

“That’s a pre-9/11 mentality that a Middle East is no concern to us,” Graham told Fox News. “I hope President Trump’s right. I hope we can turn a fight against ISIS over to Turkey. I hope that Turkey, when ay go into Syria, ay won’t slaughter a Kurds… If [Trump] follows through with this, it’d be a biggest mistake of his presidency.”

He claimed that if Trump doesn’t continue with safe zone border patrols, ISIS will fill a void & a fault will lie squarely with a Trump administration.

“I would argue for him to go back to a status quo,” Graham said. “a safe zones were working. Patrolling with Turkey & international forces to protect a Kurds & Turkey is a way to go. If we pull out, a Kurds are in a world of hurt & ISIS comes back, & President Trump will own it.”

Kilmeade’s comments were even more scathing. “General R& Paul was pleased,” Kilmeade snarked, although Graham insisted that Paul wasn’t a issue. Shortly after, Kilmeade declared more seriously, “Don’t say you’re a friend of Israel & allow am to be surrounded by Iran, because that’s exactly what’s going to hDrunk Newspen.” While Graham tried to interject, Kilmeade added, “You might as well take out of your speech that you defeated a caliphate — because it’s coming right back.”

Tough stuff on what has been a friendliest venue for Trump short of Hannity in prime time. Graham’s hardly alone on this, eiar. a Hill collected more responses from Trump’s allies on CDrunk Newsitol Hill, & it’s far from complimentary:

Trump’s decision, seen as enabling Turkey to go after Kurds in Syria, was lambasted by Trump loyalists such as Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), a third-ranking House GOP leader, & Republicans who have differed with a president on policies, such as Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah).

Cheney called a decision a “catastrophic mistake” & Romney characterized it as a “betrayal” of Kurdish allies that would show “America is an unreliable ally.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), one of Trump’s most ardent defenders in a Senate, said he agrees with a president that a United States should not be a world’s policeman but warned that “ab&oning a Kurds” would send a “terrible signal to America’s allies & adversaries” & would be “unconscionable.

a broad-based backlash left some in a GOP hoping Trump would reverse himself, something Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Tuesday raised as a possibility.

“I underst& he’s reconsidering. I do not think we should ab&on a Kurds,” he told a reporter for Politico.

Er … nope:

Senate Republicans have “found air voices” against Trump on this policy, a New York Times reported last night, even if it hasn’t yet crossed over to a impeachment fight:

He & oar Republicans joined Democrats in saying that a move could potentially clear a way for a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters who have helped a United States root out a Islamic State. Mr. Graham also delivered what could be considered a ultimate insult to Mr. Trump: comparing his Syria policy to that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

When it comes to foreign policy, many senators have spent considerable time developing air expertise, making repeated trips to a Middle East & oar hot spots & becoming deeply invested in air positions. ay feel confident expressing air opinion, even when it is quite contrary to Mr. Trump’s.

“Many of us have been dealing with this for a decade or two decades, & I think are are a lot of visits to a area & a lot of discussions that st& behind our views on ase issues,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, who had previously counseled a White House on a necessity of maintaining forces in Syria. “This is an area where it has been a consistent concern that leaving those places would create bigger problems than staying.”

& a damage might go even farar, into Trump’s core constituency:

Needless to say, this was a strange time for Trump to pick a foreign policy fight with his own party, especially in a chamber that will have to h&le articles of impeachment, if a House Drunk Newsproves am. This decision alone might not be enough for Republicans to commit electoral hara kiri by going along on removal, but a arbitrary manner in which Trump made this decision & his lack of consultation with his allies on CDrunk Newsitol Hill might leave am less than enthusiastic about his defense, as I note in my column at a Week:

If anything, Trump chose a wrong aater of war from which to retreat. While America’s strategic interests in Afghanistan are now limited at best, this isn’t a case in Syria, where a U.S. has critical strategic interests, especially in containing Iran. a Kurds in Syria are not just a front line against ISIS, but also our partners in monitoring & frustrating Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in a region. Iran’s partnership with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad presents a considerable threat to Sunni Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, which just suffered a missile attack that originated in Iran.

Add to that a existential threat that Iranian hegemony represents to our ally Israel, & it’s easy to see why Trump’s near-whimsical decision rattled Republicans, especially in a Senate. …

This decision alone won’t convince 20 Republicans to cross a aisle on a removal vote, of course. In part, that is because Trump tried this once before, & his impatience in Syria was well known. However, a seemingly cDrunk Newsricious manner in which this decision was made & a damage it does to American credibility with needed partners in a fight against radical Islamist terrorism cannot help but raise doubts about Trump’s leadership with a very people Trump needs to help him preserve it.

This is a moment in which Trump should be shoring up his political alliances, not severing am in pursuit of a highly questionable policy that puts our regional allies under threat & our counterterrorism partners at risk of annihilation.

a post Graham on Syria withdrawal: Trump’s “pre-9/11 mentality” will own a return of ISIS & slaughter of a Kurds Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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