NBC News London correspondent Bill Neely explains why Trump's Syria move is so dangerous, but also to make a damning comparison to another disgraced appeaser: Neville Chamberlain.
October 8, 2019

Bill Neely joined Velshi & Ruhle this afternoon to offer insight into the global diplomatic implications of Trump's decision to withdraw our troops from Syria. Ali Velshi introduced Hërr Twitler's tweets by saying they "seem to underscore that he does not understand the problem on the Turkey/Syrian border as it relates to isis fighters and the Kurds." Understatement of the day, that is. The REAL problem, of course, is that withdrawing our troops will allow the Turks to enter Syria, and capture and/or kill the Kurds, who are our only allies in the region fighting ISIS.

Neely explained the situation and its consequences in more urgent terms:

NEELY: What we have here is a betrayal. What we might have in the coming weeks is a bloodbath. U.S. troops abandoning those allies who've lost thousands of their own fighters, and U.S. officials today absolutely still unsure, blindsided by this because they don't know what the Turkish offensive would look like....But either way, Syria's Kurds live in that area, and they're certainly not going to lay down their weapons and run because they are mortal enemies of the Turks. And I think there are other consequences. Once the fighting starts, I think it could lead the Kurds to seek some sort of agreements with President Assad....So, President Trump will have push pushed his former allies, the Kurds, into the arms of his enemy and, of course, principally, it may well lead to a resurgence of ISIS. The Kurds guard around 10,000 ISIS prisoners. But, you know, they're not going to do that for much longer if they are being attacked by Turkey, because those guards will go to the front line and become fighters again.

I think the bigger picture, and perhaps the most important thing is damage to America's reputation. You quoted Lindsey Graham calling this a stain on America on earth. When you got him and Nikki Haley saying leaving the Kurds to die is a big mistake, when you've got your former allies saying things like that, it is not a good day for president Trump.

Stephanie Ruhle asked if, indeed, anyone besides Senator Rand Paul was happy about this. The answer is a resounding NO. Then, Bill Neely took one of Trump's tweets, and explained how it demonstrated just how little this fake president knows about foreign policy. He made a devastating comparison to another case of spineless appeasement that took place across the pond in 1939.

NEELY: Not many people are happy about it. And, interestingly, in his statement last night the president brought it under to the bottom line of dollars and American taxpayers. In one of his tweets earlier on he said, "Well, let's just leave it to Turkey, Iran, Russia because we're 7,000 miles away." I mean, who does that remind you of? That reminds me of Neville Chamberlain, the former British prime minister in 1939 who said, in betraying Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, he said, "It's a faraway country, of whom we know nothing." So, in foreign policy terms, this is deeply damaging and there is plenty of evidence, Steph, that he didn't consult or warn in advance Britain, for example, which had special forces, fighters on the ground. And I understand he may not even have run this past Israel. If you are not running it past Israel and the UK, two of your closest allies, then what does this say about your alliances and who will be loyal to you going forward?

There's a big difference, though, between Chamberlain and Trump (besides the capacity for speaking in full sentences.) Chamberlain pursued a policy of appeasement, disastrous though it was, because he thought it would work to keep England out of war — a way to keep the peace. Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria in order to induce chaos in the region, as a means of distraction from his impeachment troubles here at home. To him, the alleged benefit of a shifting focus is worth the cost of the loss of god-only-knows-how-many Kurdish lives and a resurgence of ISIS in the region, not to mention further destabilization of our relationships with our allies around the world.

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