I worked hard to solve some of your problems, don’t let the world down, make a deal. History will then judge you positively. If you don’t, you will be seen as the devil, “wrote the president. “You don’t want to be responsible for the slaughter of thousands of people and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy – and I will,” Trump wrote.
The letter, which was made public last night, is said to have been brought out by the White House to show that Trump did not give Turkey a license to invade Syria.
In the US Congress there is great resistance to the Turkish invasion of Syria and to Trump’s policy that led to Turkish action. Earlier this month, the US president suddenly ordered his soldiers to return home because, according to him, the United States has nothing left to look for.
Immediately after the letter was announced, journalists and other politicians wondered if it was not a joke: the president of one of the most important countries in the world who urged another president – with exclamation marks – to be “not a fool”, that smelled of ‘fake news’.
But the letter is indeed authentic, the White House assures. Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley could not believe his eyes when he read the text, he told CNN. “But it does sound like Trump, in a sort of temporary vacuum, simply dictating what comes up in him.”
Also the fact that Trump writes in the letter that General Mazloum Kobani is prepared to “make more concessions than ever” also stirs up disbelief. Mazloum is the leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the coalition that fought against IS and which includes the Kurds. “I send a letter from him to me in complete confidence,” Trump writes to Erdogan.
Turkey is now fighting the Kurds, so Trump did not think it would be better to simply forward a confidential letter from the highest Kurdish leader to the Turkish president. “This gives our allies even more reasons to ever trust America,” says Ned Price, former spokesperson for the National Security Council. “How much NATO correspondence has he already sent to Putin?”
The letter was made public after an equally bizarre meeting between Trump and Democratic leaders from Congress. The letter would also have been distributed there and the president would have called Democratic party leader in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi a “third-rate politics” there. The Democrats left the room when Trump continued to swear and afterwards openly doubted his mental stability. “What we witnessed was a mental collapse of the president,” said Pelosi.
Trump later accused Pelosi himself of a “meltdown” on Twitter, with an iconic photo that Pelosi is the only one standing in the room pointing to Trump. The Democrate took the photo with pride and made it the cover photo of her Twitter profile.
The House of Representatives yesterday voted with overwhelming majority a resolution condemning the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. 354 MPs supported the resolution, only 60 voted against.
Trump, however, seemed unconcerned. At a press conference he called his own decision to pull his hands off the Kurds “strategically brilliant”. According to him, the Kurds are “no angels” and are “much safer” anyway. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, nearly 100 civilian deaths and hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced since the start of the Turkish offensive.