by Sebastian Gorka
Ben Shapiro has become famous for the line: “Facts don’t care about your feelings!” Neither does strategy. And the last week should serve as a lesson in how to do strategy properly, and how to serve the national interest: clinically and without emotion.
Since President Trump made his decision to relocate 50 U.S. troops from Northern Syria, who were in the way of incoming Turkish forces, the commander-in-chief has been relentlessly attacked by the Left, their accomplices in the press, and the forever war neoconservatives and RINOs on the Right. After 18 years of war, thousands of Americans dead, and trillions of taxpayer dollars wasted, the president is being pilloried for not wanting to go to war with Turkey, a NATO ally with the largest Army in Europe.
Just let that sink in. After a generation of war, the “elite” is attacking President Trump for not getting us into another war.
Why are we told we should go to war again? Because the Kurds are suffering. Are the Kurds members of NATO? Are they our formal allies in any way? Are they even members of the same Judeo-Christian civilization to which we belong? The answers are no, no, and most definitely no.
In fact, the YPG and PKK Kurdish militias being targeted by Erdogan’s forces are Marxist, secular, ethnonationalist separatists organizations, the latter of which is responsible for scores of terrorist attacks in recent years. Yes, the Kurds hate jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, but not because they love America or share our values. The enmity between the Kurds and both the Shia and Sunni Muslims in the region dates back almost as far as the times of the historic warrior Saladin, who was himself a Kurd (just don’t tell the Sunnis).
Yes, civilians are suffering, and yes, the Turkish forces are using the pretext of securing their border to exact retribution on a minority that they deem a threat to the integrity of their nation. But since when did these realities become the reason for America to become involved? Haven’t we been lectured at since the Vietnam War that America shouldn’t be the world’s policeman? From Noam Chomsky to Howard Zinn and Michael Moore, weren’t we schooled that America is hated exactly because of our “imperial” foreign policy? Could the Left be any more hypocritical?
Here are the facts—not emotions—that matter. We are (or should be) in the Middle East for one reason: To ensure that groups located there do not plan and effect mass-casualty attacks here in America. Going to war with Turkey is not the reason we are there. In fact, the only purpose for our forces to be there today is to target and neutralize remnants of ISIS, the former al-Qaeda franchise that managed to become the world’s most powerful jihadist group thanks to Obama-era polices that were based more on emotion than fact.
If the Democrats, RINOs, and NeverTrumpers want another war in the Middle East, let them persuade Congress to declare one, after a full and robust debate in front of the American people, a debate during which they convince a majority of voters and the families who provide the actual soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen who actually do the fighting.
At the same time, let them explain to America how the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, long an article of faith for Obama, will be successful as long as China, Russia, and Iran have his back. Or do they want us to go to war with all of them as well?
In the meantime, the sane Americans will support our realist commander-in-chief who made it clear yesterday that Turkey must return to its stated mission. Or pay the consequences.
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Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D., is former deputy assistant and strategist to President Donald Trump, host of the nationally syndicated “America First” radio show, and author of Why We Fight: Recovering America’s Will to Win You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka.