Trump has threatened sanctions on Turkey if it goes too far but he hasn’t defined too far
Turkey continues to push into Kurdish territory in Syria and the global criticism is rather confusing. Especially from the Trump administration – it gave Turkey the green light in the first place but now threatens sanctions if it goes too far. Neither Donald Trump nor his secretary of state, the oleaginous Mike Pompeo, have defined how far is “too far”.
Then there are members of Mr Trump’s Republican Party. They express opposition to the Turkish incursion but have been rather slow to legislatively slap Mr Trump down for allowing it. The tardiness about introducing a sanctions bill against Turkey for its offensive in Syria suits everyone. Republicans can pretend to be concerned and empathetic. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan can get on and complete the job. Mr Trump can flail on the sidelines, alternately expressing opposition and qualified support for what he allowed in the first place.
This is all posturing and base playacting at that.
Consider the following:
Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney said Turkey must face “serious consequences for mercilessly attacking our Kurdish allies” in the region.
Mr Trump said he hoped to mediate in the conflict, surely the most ludicrous take of them all in the midst of a shooting war that he set in motion with that very significant phone call with Mr Erdogan on October 6.