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HORIST: Trump is becoming Obama overseas … and the Kurds will pay the price

HORIST: Trump is becoming Obama overseas … and the Kurds will pay the price

One of the major areas of criticism of former President Obama was his weak foreign policy.  It made America less fearsome to our adversaries.  North Korea moved headlong into the nuclear military age with little to no push back.  Russia invaded Ukraine and took over the Crimea – a standoff that remains today – and spread its influence in the Middle East without response from the United States other than the refusal to send Ukraine military equipment.

China continued – and even escalated — its unfair trade practices, cyber hacking of American enterprises and government agencies,  theft of intellectual property and money manipulation without consequences.

ISIS was able to grow from a “junior varsity” operation – in Obama’s own words – to an established caliphate over a large portion of the Middle East – including regions of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.  This despite some of the most grotesque murders of all who would not join their ranks.

In one of the worst examples of Obama’s “lead from behind,” America first encouraged the uprising against Syrian despot Bashar al Assad and then abandoned the rebels to the combined forces of Russia and Syria – a victory for Iran, also.  This led to one of the worst and most deadly migrations in modern history as tens of millions of Arabs and Muslims poured over the borders of Europe – destabilizing several of our NATO allies.

Part of the problem was Obama’s announced determination to have the world’s most powerful military remain mothballed.

The promise of President Trump was to reverse those trends.  He came on stage to reinstate the use of American military force – or at least the credible use of it.  In his dealings with North Korea, Trump brandished America’s might.  He got Kim Jong-un to come to the negotiating table – something no previous administration had been able to do.  His get-tough policy won the praise and confidence of South Korea and Japan.

Despite the left-wing narrative, Trump did more to push back against Russian aggression than his predecessors.  He reversed Obama’s acquiescence to Russian demands to stay out of Syrian airspace.  He struck against Syria for using chemical weapons.  He sent military hardware to Ukraine.  He moved for the expansion of NATO – much to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chagrin.

Trump changed the limpid rules of engagement imposed by Obama and brought down the ISIS caliphate, drove them out of Iraq and Syria with the surgical use of American military.  He authorized the use of the MOAB (Mother of All Bombs – non-nuclear that is) to wipe out an ISIS command center in Afghanistan.

Over time, however, the Trump policy seems to have evolved.  Yes, we always knew that he wanted to bring home the troops.  Who wouldn’t?  But it was assumed that was after achieving our international objectives – in other words, winning.  He even suggested that we would get tired of winning.

More and more, however, Trump spoke of unilateral troop withdrawals.  Occasionally, he proposed them only to change his mind or limit or delay the withdrawal.  Still, he talked more and more about never wanting to use the military – the core weakness of the Obama administration.  He underscored the new passive policy by taking no action against repeated attacks by Iran.

As a result, the Taliban in Afghanistan are waiting out the war until American troops are withdrawn.  They may well take over the country again.  North Korea feels less threatened and less interested in bowing to Trump’s demand of denuclearization.  Al Assad – and his Russian/Iranian allies – have defeated the rebels and now retain a firm grip on the Middle East.  Though far from the days of the caliphate, there are indications that ISIS is growing again.

The new more passive policy of the White House — to move our troops out of northern Syria where they are the only protection for the Kurds – has yielded to both Syrian and Turkish desires to massacre them in what will be the world’s latest genocide.  This is particularly egregious since the Kurds have been among our most loyal and effective allies in the Middle East.  This is more than bad policy it is a moral betrayal of the highest order.  It has the potential of triggering a mass migration like Obama’s betrayal of the Syrian rebels.

This is not the first time American has acted so disgracefully.  When we retreated from Vietnam, we left behind the Hmong.  Like the Kurds, they were among our best and fiercest allies.  Those who were not fortunate enough to migrate to refugee camps in Thailand were massacred by the millions.

It is almost beyond comprehension that Trump’s removal of our troops from northern Syria is in concert with Turkish dictator Recep Erdogan — who has announced his intentions to invade Syria to wipe out the Kurds.  Trump has made America complicit in the annihilation of a good and decent people – and a great ally of the United States.

While this has nothing officially to do with the effort to impeach Trump, it will not inure well among many of Trump’s defenders and  potential voters.  I can easily defend Trump from the false political narratives and the dishonest attacks on his administration, but I have no words in defense or support of this decision.  It is one hundred percent wrong, immoral – so wrong that if I were Secretary of Defense, I would resign.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Lois Irwin

    I am so disappointed in President Trump for abandoning the Kurds in northern Syria. The Kurds were the only protection the Christians in Iraq had to the atrocities of ISIS and to abandon them in Syria is a disgrace. I wish the President would reconsider a rash and ill advised move he has made and the person or persons who advised it. Lois Irwin

    • Carol

      Stop romanizing the Kurds, they are not what we have been told they are. They are Islamic just a fact, and they are just like the Palestines. People without a country. So people like you want to complain about removing our troops. Well my response is take you happy ass to Syria and protect the Kurds,

  2. aydene t Militello

    Too little too late to fall back on and say he’s keeping a promise. With no communication with our weak kneed Allies to have helped in the first place, Trump has created a disaster. Nostradamus predicted a tall blond man in the West would start the beginning of the end. That’s not Putin. What ever one does one should do it ” the firstest with the mostess, and get it done. ”
    The Kurds are doomed and he is burying them with his golden shovel. WTF,,,,,,,,,,get contrl of this guy or get him out of the Offcie!

  3. Hermilo Guzman Jr

    I believe that our president choice to remove our troops from Northern Syria was mainly due to save American Lives. I am a Veteran and I understand Military and Strategic Policy. America has lost countless lives in the protection of our allies but at some point America needs to draw the line, especially when we consider that no other country or few at less have given military aid to those vulnerable countries and people.

    If there were a stronger United Nations where all members would contribute their fair share, there would be more support for our allies in need.

    So I ask you my friend, why does America have to be the sole police of the world. We tried by example, but that didn’t help.

    Thank God, we have s President that can make the hard choices, save America lives and makes America great. Maybe some day our world will all have leaders and that can truly lead rather than be passive. And, I not talking about globalization either, but a true United Nations that can comprise and work together equally.

    I support the Trump administration.

    • Fire21

      Agreed, a line has to be drawn somewhere. I feel badly for the Kurds, or anyone facing overwhelming enemies, but why should our sons and daughters face death fighting for people that no-one else will chip in to help? Why must we face the evils of the world alone? Yeah, yeah, somebody’s gotta do it. Well, it’s somebody else’s turn!

  4. Lawrence

    This is probably why Trump fired Bolton. I will vote for Trump in the 2020 elections because the Democrats are completely off their rocker. But, Trump needs to make decisions based on what’s right, not simply to fulfill campaign promises.

  5. Bruce Cain

    I voted for Trump in 2016. And the only thing saving his ass is that the Democrats would be worse: the old binary choice. I think Trump see his base as prone to his jingoistic bullshit and easily played as “useful idiots.” The fact is what Trump is doing in Syria is as bad, or worse than what Obama did: essentially promoting ISIS and possibly allowing Erdogon to push millions of refugees into Europe. This cannot be allowed. Then there is Trumps support for 5G which is a threat to our health, privacy and freedom. This also cannot be allowed and their is a growing global movement against 5G that is being ignored by the candidates and the globalist corporate media.

    We can no longer allow 5G Proponents to silence the voices of the Global Stop5G Movement

  6. Jeffrey Grant

    The President posted a tweet explaining the hardest part of his job is greeting gold star parents on the tarmac when their children’s caskets come home. He also described “tough guys” that gaggle about keeping our troops overseas and that it is easy to talk tough. Bringing our troops home was one of his many promises that he is keeping. I suggest that anyone who is a parent look up the tweet and to think about this before talking like a tough guy.

  7. Andy

    No American lives were at stake in Syria. All Trump had to do was make clear to Turkey that they should not invade Syria. He did not do that, and in fact basically told them to go ahead. So now he is selling our allies down the river when he could have avoided it. Turkey was never going to invade without our permission.

  8. Marinevet

    I see most of you didn’t read the article on Turkeys agreement to a ceasefire until the Kurds are able to evacuate the area and return to their homes. Neither did you read that there will be a 20 mile buffer between the 2 parties involved. In other words, President Trump is smarter than you and all the politicians who bashed him. Keep up with the news.