Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Post # 80, Bob McKnight's Florida Political Commentary
As this writer has said on a number of occasions, President Barack Obama got snookered by Russian President Putin in Syria. It was just as the 2014 elections were starting up that Obama complained of the ISIS role in Syria. Although Russia has long supported Dictator Assad, Putin did share the objective of eliminating ISIS. Rather than take on ISIS directly and risk US forces killed, Obama accepted Putin's offer of taking care of ISIS by himself. Well, Putin did, but he also destroyed the innocent Syrians opposed to Assad. That was a major driver in today's international Immigration crisis. This points out the complexity of the Middle East for America.
Now we have another example of the complexity, this time in Turkey. Turkey was a NATO ally, but then Trump began attacking NATO. As a result, Turkey bought a sophisticated Air Defense Tracking System from Putin. Trump responded by withholding sale of F35 Stealth Fighters to Turkey. Turkey is still aligned with Russia in Syria, so Trump has to be very careful on how to handle the Sanctions mandated by Congress against Turkey. Trump's staff all understand the law and supports Sanctions, but Trump doesn't think the law applies to him, and he opposes Sanctions. Our military has no idea who is our enemy or ally is in many of our disputes the Middle East.
Last week Trump wanted to host the Taliban at Camp David to negotiate peace in Afghanistan. But Ambassador Bolton objected, saying the Taliban killers from 9-11 should never be allowed on American soil, and was promptly fired by Trump. Trump said he wanted to negotiate a peace with Iran, without any pre-conditions. Then Secretary of State Pompeo said the same Iran government attacked and destroyed critical Saudi oil supplies, suggesting a serious response by the U.S. Again, what are we doing?
It is well known that Trump likes to act on his own, as he has done repeatedly without consulting his own team, and is often confused with Foreign Affairs. His senior staff positions covering Foreign Affairs are largely vacant. Forget Trump--our country needs a strong Chief of Staff in the White House right now.
This Commentary is also part of my new Blog, which can be found www.flpoliticalcommentary.com