Donald Trump – who should probably stop talking to Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the phone for obvious reasons – chatted with NATO’s favorite autocrat again on Friday.
“Just spoke to President [Erdogan] of Turkey”, a giddy Trump tweeted, tagging the Turkish dictator’s Twitter handle. “He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated”.
Trump was apparently referring to reports that at least five SDF fighters were killed on Friday in a Turkish airstrike.
Trump continued, delivering a macabre gaffe in the process.
“[Erdogan] very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen”, a clueless Trump remarked.
Got that? Trump says that everyone involved wants the “ultimate solution to happen”. Maybe something was lost in translation. Perhaps Erdogan told Trump he wanted a “final” solution for the Kurds.
The US president then claimed that some European countries are now all set to acquiesce to his demands that the EU take in ISIS prisoners. He also reminded that world that “WE” captured them. To wit:
….I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them. Anyway, big progress being made!!!!
Ironically, “WE” definitely includes the Kurds, who Trump abandoned, and who, according to anyone who isn’t Erdogan, were still dying on Friday even amid the “ceasefire”.
On the Hill, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy is now looking to put the brakes on the sanctions push “based upon the success of the president and the Secretary of State”.
One can only laugh (or cry).
The bottom line is that Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo flew all the way to Ankara this week only to tell Erdogan that the US now supports Turkey’s cross-border land grab, if not the massacre it entailed.
That is the only plausible interpretation of the “deal” Trump made with his incorrigible Turkish counterpart, who will visit the White House next month.
Meanwhile, asked if he was inclined to forget that a reality TV show host called him “the devil” this week, Erdogan said “it should be known that when the time comes, necessary action will be taken regarding the issue”.