The Wreck and The Wrecking Ball

Let’s begin with a small, personal story that’s indicative of a much broader and more urgent problem. The parents of a 19 year-old motorcyclist killed in a car wreck when the wife of an American diplomat in the UK drove on the wrong side of the road were invited to the White House. After meeting with the president, the grieving parents were informed that the woman who killed their child (and who had returned to the US to avoid prosecution) was right behind a door. “Trump, it seems, thought he could convince the Dunns to meet the woman who killed their son, and would do so by opening a side door through which she would walk. The whole scene would be captured by a pool of photographers who had been summoned for the meeting.” Of course, the parents declined the invitation, felt ambushed, and in the words of the president, “they weren’t ready for it.” Any person with a hint of sense, decorum, empathy, thoughtfulness, logic, or decency (and I mean any of those, not all) would have known that this was a horrific idea. But no one in the White House has the guts or common sense to warn the president against acting in a way that borders on madness. That’s a big problem, which brings us to another border, (this time) in Syria…

+ NPR: Trump Defends Syria Withdrawal. “They have a problem at the border; it’s not our border … they’ve got a lot of sand over there. There’s a lot of sand they can play with.” Trump explained that the Kurds, longtime US allies, are “much safer right now ” and added, “They’re not angels.” He continued with a series of nonsensical comments, and some talking points that will sound very, very familiar … to Putin, Assad and Erdogan.

+ Maybe you buy the talking point that this wanton betrayal of an ally and American interests is really part of an America First strategy to pull troops out of the Middle East and end the forever wars. Here’s the problem: Since May, US forces have increased the in the Middle East by about 14,000. Trump’s Middle East Policy Is a Fraud.

+ Meanwhile, Pence and Pompeo are enroute to Turkey to push for a ceasefire. Erdogan has rejected that notion, and so far, is refusing to even meet with them. NBC: Erdogan rejects Syria cease-fire call ahead of Pence meeting. Maybe he’ll change his mind if Pence and Pompeo hide behind a side door. But probably not.

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