President Donald Trump has been calling for American troops to leave the Middle East since he announced he was running for president back in 2015.
Now that he’s in office, the president made good on his promise and announced last week that he would be pulling American troops from Syria, arguing that he didn’t want more “senseless” deaths and “endless wars.”
Soon after Trump’s announcement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi put a measure to a vote on the House floor, and several Republicans sided with Democrats.
The House voted 354-60 on Wednesday on a resolution condemning Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which led to Turkey carrying out military operations against Kurdish forces who allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.
As noted by the Associated Press, the resolution calls on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease his military operation and urges the White House to “present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS,” which could see a resurgence as the U.S. plans a total withdrawal from Syria.
Sources said the House debate on the resolution was “extraordinary for the intensity of lawmakers’ opinions.”
In the Senate, Republicans Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen have sided with Democrats and will unveil a bill that would introduce crippling sanctions against Turkey for its military operation.
Just consider that: dozens of Republicans in the House voted with Democrats to condemn Trump and support this resolution.
Now, Graham and Republicans in the Senate are going to introduce a similar measure, which is a direct rebuke to Trump.
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are turning their backs on Trump because he made an attempt to bring home American troops rather than leave them in the Middle East to continue fighting other nation’s wars.
On Monday, the White House called for a cease-fire, threatened to impose economic sanctions, and offered to dispatch Vice President Pence to Ankara to meet with Turkish leaders.
In an executive order issued Monday, Trump declared that Turkey’s offensive “undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region …”
The order halts a $100 billion trade deal being hammered out between Ankara and Washington, raises tariffs on Turkish steel to 50 percent and imposes sanctions on senior Turkish officials and the country’s defense and energy ministries.
“I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” Trump wrote.
Statement from President Donald J. Trump Regarding Turkey’s Actions in Northeast Syria pic.twitter.com/ZCQC7nzmME
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Monday that the U.S. would consider ramping up the sanctions unless Turkey “is willing to embrace a cease-fire, come to the negotiating table and end the violence.”
Trump on Monday took to Twitter to respond to critics of his recent decisions.
“Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land,” he wrote in one of a series of tweets on the subject.
“Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!” he wrote.
“I would much rather focus on our Southern Border which abuts and is part of the United States of America. And by the way, numbers are way down and the WALL is being built!” the president tweeted.
What are your thoughts on Republicans siding with Pelosi and Democrats?