How To Blow Up the Middle East In One Week

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

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.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can 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