Judd Legum in this morning’s subscribers post at popular.info updates us on what Trump has said and done regarding Turkey’s incursion into Syria.
After functionally giving Turkey the go-ahead to invade Kurdish controlled territory inside of Syria, Trump broadcast mixed messages.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off-limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”
But in spite of that bit of megalomania, Trump took no action against Turkey but instead denigrated our ally in the war on ISIS.
Kurdish forces … asked for U.S. assistance to create a no-fly zone to reduce the carnage. Trump reportedly refused. In remarks on Wednesday afternoon, Trump dismissed the alliance between the United States and Kurdish forces.
Trump on the Kurds: “They didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy.” He says they’re only interested in fighting for “their land.” He adds, “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.”
Goes to show ya: you don’t want to be liked by the U. S.
Trump’s mysterious motivations
The question is: Why? Why would Trump sell out a close U.S. ally to make Erdogan happy? What, exactly, is he getting in return?
The answer might have less to do with U.S. policy than Trump’s private businesses.
Trump has maintained ownership of his wide-ranging business operations as president. This was an unprecedented and unconstitutional decision that created a host of conflicts-of-interest. Among them is Trump Towers, Istanbul.
Trump’s property in Turkey opened seven years ago and “Erdogan, then the country’s prime minister, attended the grand opening of the twin skyscraper project.” Ivanka Trump “praised him for doing so.”
Trump has earned “earned between $100,001 and $1 million from the Istanbul project in the past year.” Meanwhile, “Turkish officials, including the trade minister, the defense minister and the ambassador to the United States, have made 14 separate visits to Trump’s hotel a few blocks from the White House since his inauguration.”