Let’s bring in Lindsey Graham with his reaction to this, who has been to the region countless times and was kind of stunned and blindsided when this news came out. Is that a wise move? Is this a policy you can support?
Oh absolutely not. If I didn’t see Donald Trump’s name on the tweet, I thought it would be Obama’s rational for getting out of Iraq.
So here’s what going to happen: This is going to lead to ISIS’ reemergence. Nothing better for ISIS than to create a conflict between the Kurds and Turkey. The Kurds will now align with (Syria) Assad because they have nobody to count on because we abandoned them.
So this is a big win for Iran and Assad. A big win for ISIS. I will do everything I can to sanction Turkey if they step one foot in northeastern Syria. That will sever my relationship with Turkey. I think most of the Congress feels that way. I will do a resolution urging the president to reconsider this decision.
The president is right about the ISIS fighters. Europe needs to do more. But he is the President of the United States and it requires leadership. When President Trump, excuse me, Obama was told what would happen in Iraq, it did and I am here to say it will lead to the reemergence of ISIS and the biggest winner of all this will be the Iranians and that is too bad.
Well senator, the president in that series of tweets, he made it very clear he ran on ending the endless wars and so nobody should be surprised he’s talking about doing this and now he’s talking about Turkey taking over for us. I think there are a lot of people in the country going we’ve been in that long enough, we get the ISIS threat, but if they’re going to take over let them.
Well here is what I would hope people in the country want allies in the war. So when somebody steps up and helps America with ISIS -- which is a threat to mankind -- and we’ve had people killed in America because of ISIS’ inspiration. So the Kurds stepped up when nobody else would to fight ISIS. If we abandon them good luck getting anybody to help America in the future with radical Islam, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
If you believe that Iran is a threat to the region they’re the biggest winner of this. And you may be tired of fighting radical Islam but they’re not tired of fighting you. I heard the same argument from President Obama.
All I can say is the campaign is over. I expect the American president to do what is in our national security interest and it is never in our national security interest to abandon an ally who has helped us fight ISIS. It’s never in our national security interest to create conditions for the reemergence of ISIS.
To all those fighters, American soldiers who died in the fight against ISIS, I feel terrible for you because they’re going to come back and you just dismembered Syria even further. So other than that, this is a good decision.
Now by the way, would we have defeated ISIS without the Kurds?
ISIS is not defeated my friend. The biggest lie being told by the administration is ISIS is defeated. The Caliphate is destroyed but there is thousands of fighters over there and no, the caliphate would not have been destroyed without the Kurds.
And I applaud the president for getting the Kurds and the Arabs to do most of the fighting. The casualties that destroyed the caliphate was very low. We’ve got less than a thousand troops now in Syria. But this impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gain we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos, Iran is licking their chops and if I’m an ISIS fighter I’ve got a second lease on life.
So to those who think ISIS has been defeated you will soon see. And to Turkey you have destroyed the relationship, what little you had with the U.S. Congress, and I will do everything I can to sanction Turkey’s military and their economy if they step one foot into Syria. I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is in my view.
Senator, what about listening to the experts, the generals, that are helping our president because I know that General Joe Dunford stepped down just a week ago and the new U.S. Military top officer is General Mark Milley. Do you think he was recommending this?
I would be shocked. I woke up this morning, you know this whole thing with the whistleblower is a political setup. I like President Trump, I’ve tried to help him. This to me is just unnerving to its core. To say to the American people ISIS has been destroyed in Syria is not true.
Senator, there are a lot of military families who would like to see our personnel come home.
I take issue with that, I know they do. A lot of military people are sad today that we’ve given back the battlefield to the enemy. I know what they thought about leaving Iraq, I’ve seen the tears in their eyes. When they die, people die in Iraq to have Obama give it back to ISIS types. So I will say this Steve, most American military people understand they want to keep the fight over there so it doesn’t come back here. We set the conditions for the reemergence of ISIS and to all those who have fallen in battle to keep this threat away, worked with the Kurds. Can you imagine how you feel today if you fought alongside the Kurds as an American military member?
And you’ve got to tell them we’re leaving and we’re quitting early.
I hope we reconsider this.
He did once, hopefully he will again. Senator thank you so much.
Thank you very much.
Video / Audio: https://youtu.be/IqvDsatVCeo