Susan Rice laughed out loud in a TV interview on Wednesday at Donald Trump’s justification for abandoning Syria’s Kurds – that they hadn’t been America’s allies during the Second World War.
‘What is he smoking?’ the former national security adviser to Barack Obama asked on CNN.
‘The Kurds were the pointy end of the spear who fought ISIS on our behalf,’ Rice told host Anderson Cooper, referring to the terror-state caliphate that has been reduced to an Islamist husk during the Trump presidency.
‘They bled and died because they believed in the partnership they had established with the United States. … And we just threw them under the bus in 24 hours,’ she said.
Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s national security adviser, laughed out loud on CNN at Donald Trump’s suggestion that Syria’s Kurds had been fighting ISIS only for their own selfish interests
Trump had complained on Wednesday that the Kurds hadn’t come to America’s aid at Normandy during World War II
Smoke rose from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad on Thursday after a mortar fired from Syria landed in the garden of a Turkish government building, as Turkey launched an operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria
Kurdish fighters took up positions as they prepared to counter the Turkish offensive on Thursday at Ras al-Ein in northeastern Syria
‘It’s appalling and it’s disgraceful,’ Rice declared, saying Trump will bear the judgment of history for a ‘slaughter’ to come.
Syria’s Kurdish minority had provided the U.S. with counterterrorism assistance for years. But the president turned on them Sunday, ordering military commanders to stand aside and allow Turkey’s armed forces to attack them, crossing into areas of northern Syria that they control.
‘Today when the turks quite predictably are bombing the bejeezus out of Syria, and Trump allegedly orders the U.S. military not to come to their defense – not to protect them?’ Rice asked Wednesday night.
‘We’ve crossed a rubicon here of betrayal that i think is going to haunt us for decades to come.’
Cooper compared abandoning the Kurds to the Gerald Ford administration’s failure to evacuate South Vietnamese allies after the fall of Saigon in 1975, and to America’s more recent inaction as Iraqi and Afghan translators who have helped the U.S. military abroad struggle to get American travel visas.
‘All of which is wrong,’ Rice conceded. ‘But this is an order of magnitude worse than that.’
‘We are handing over our Kurdish allies to slaughter, and that blood is going to be on Donald Trump’s hands,’ she said.
‘We are handing over our Kurdish allies to slaughter, and that blood is going to be on Donald Trump’s hands,’Rice said
Turkey-backed fighters are pictured Thursday, heading toward the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, as Turkey’s president boasted that there had been 109 ‘terrorists killed’ – a reference to Syrian Kurdish fighters
Trump complained Wednesday at the White House that Kurdish militias had only been acting in their own self-interest as they partnered with the Pentagon to round up ISIS militants and keep the peace in the northernmost one-third of Syria.
‘The Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand. … They didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example.’
Trump complained that the U.S. has ‘spent tremendous amounts of money on helping the Kurds in terms of ammunition, in terms of weapons, in terms of money, in terms of pay.’
But ‘with all of that being said,’ he deadpanned, ‘we like the Kurds.’
The president on Wednesday referred to ‘a very, very powerful article’ as he cited Normandy. It was written by columnist Kurt Schlichter, a retired U.S. Army colonel, for the conservative TownHall.com website.
‘The Kurds helped destroy ISIS, true. It’s also true that the Kurds would have fought ISIS anyway, since the psycho caliphate was right next door,’ Schlichter wrote. ‘Let’s be honest – the Kurds didn’t show up for us at Normandy or Inchon or Khe Sanh or Kandahar. The Syrian Kurds allied with us in their homeland because we shared a common interest in wiping out the head-lopping freak show that was ISIS.’
As Turkey’s tanks rolled into Kurdish Syria on Wednesday, the White House washed its hands of the military push that Trump enabled three days earlier.
Declaring Turkey had ‘invaded Syria,’ Trump said in a statement that ‘[t]he United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea.’
As if anticipating howls from Congress, Trump added: ‘There are no American soldiers in the area.’
Rice was on CNN promiting a book, ‘Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.’