How To Blow Up the Middle East In One Week

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Is it possible to overstate how insane the Syria situation is? On Sunday President Trump talks to the Turkish president and tells him to go ahead and invade northern Syria. He is then informed that our allies the Kurds occupy this territory and will be in big trouble if the Turks roll across the border. Trump doesn’t care. He follows up this warning with a tweetstorm that basically boils down to, who cares about the Kurds anyway? Then he withdraws all US troops. Any ten-year-old could predict that this would be viewed by the Turks as a green light to do whatever they wanted, and that’s exactly what happened: the Turks began massacring Kurds and eventually the Kurds teamed up with the Russians in an act of self-preservation. Now, having made a colossal mess out of everything, Trump plans to sanction the Turks and broker a cease-fire. You betcha.

And this happened in the span of a week!

It’s easy to pretend that a president doesn’t really need to know much. After all, that’s what aides are for. But it’s really not true. Everyone makes mistakes, as Obama did when he talked about a “red line” in Syria. But Trump’s unfathomable ignorance and bloated ego is light years beyond that. A lot of us figured from the start that Trump probably wouldn’t deliberately start a war, but that he might start one by accident. As it turns out, that was exactly right.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate