Trump a menace to the world

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Just when the world thought the United States president's behaviour could get no worse, Donald Trump unilaterally and against military and civilian advice decided to remove his country's troops from Syria.

Typically, he conveyed the news via a tweet. ''We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.'' His announcement blindsided advisers and allies and, again typically, was based on a falsehood.

Although the larger Isis caliphate has largely been overcome, Isis still controls pockets in Syria, and it still retains close to 17,1000 fighters, plus about 13,000 in Iraq.

That is not far from the peak numbers four years ago. No credible observer thinks Isis is ''defeated''.

Interestingly, this time some Republican senators, who generally support Mr Trump, condemned the move. Analysts believe the withdrawal of the about 2000 troops will let Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad strengthen his position. Russia and Iran will be able to operate with few restraints and able to pursue their long-term goals and cement long-term influence.

As for the Kurds, the United States' partner in fighting Isis, they are abandoned.

Turkey, which sees Kurdish nationalism as a threat and Kurds as potential terrorists, will now be able to use its power to crush the homeland they have established.

To be fair to Mr Trump, he has long said he wanted US troops out of Syria.

If he had a coherent strategy and had worked with his advisers and others in Western coalition towards this goal, that would have been a reasonable approach. Of course, the hapless Kurds would still have been deserted.

Instead, Mr Trump's Secretary of Defense, the respected James Mattis, resigned after the heedless decision. Tellingly, this was over more than just a difference in policy.

General Mattis said US strength was inextricably linked to the strength of its alliances and partnerships and that it must be resolute and unambiguous in its approach ''to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours''. Clearly, Mr Trump and Gen Mattis had diverged in fundamental ways.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said he deeply regretted the withdrawal decision and that ''an ally must be dependable''.

Mr Trump at home contributed to the Government shutdown on his insistence on funding for his Mexican wall. The rest of the world can look on with incredulity at the way the United States can tie itself up. Fundamentally, however, and whatever anyone's personal views, this as a matter of domestic policy is for the US to sort out.

Likewise, most of the other Trump scandals are American affairs.

International policies are different. Mr Trump has been embolding the dictators of the planet, including Vladimir Putin in Russia, and undermining rational and careful diplomacy.

His erratic and impetuous words and behaviour make the world a more dangerous place.

He has supported an horrific war in Yemen and his enthusiasm for tariffs threatens international prosperity.

It is also frightening that he could indulge in nuclear war or attack Iran. The unthinkable becomes possible under the worst president in US history. He is a menace to the world.

Mr Trump still has two years to run as president.

Nearly all the senior officials who might have acted as a brake on his worst excesses have resigned or been fired, Gen Mattis being the most serious loss.

Those of us far away, affected like everyone else by Mr Trump's folly, must hope the negative reactions of some Republican senators to the Syrian withdrawal is a promise of things to come.

Somehow, Mr Trump rides out every scandal and every misstep.

Democrats and honourable Republicans should join to block whenever possible Mr Trump's imprudent and unwise actions.

 

Comments

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With luck trump will nuke these countries /problem solved/.

That is the purpose of Christian fundamentalists behind the President: nuclear holocaust. This brings on their anticipated Armageddon.

Its nice you agree /

Unusual conclusion, but it's fun carrying on like social media on Msm.

Ideology rushing headlong to destruction will be stopped. In the end, humanity will choose Life, and continuance.

Yes I agree trump will save use all/ that what hes trying to do/ destroy the countries that want to destroy /the united states and the west/

Oh, dear. Trouble. Have you any idea of the effect of retaliatory nuclear war?

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