Tags: Donald Trump | Middle East | Syria | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | democrats | turkey

Dem Candidates Condemn Trump's Action in Syria

tulsi gabbard speaks during the democratic presidential primary debate
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii (John Minchillo/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 October 2019 09:51 PM

Democratic candidates in Tuesday night's presidential debate were almost universal in condemning President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, with former Vice President Joe Biden exclaiming the action was "shameful."

"I would want those thousand troops to be protected under air cover, having to withdraw under fire, make it clear they're not going anywhere and have them protected and work my way back toward what in fact needs to be done, protecting those Kurds," Biden said. "They lost their lives. This is shameful! Shameful what this man has done!"

He said he also finds it shameful Trump has commented ISIS prisoners will escape and flee to Europe, where they will not affect the United States. 

"I've spent thousands of hours in the Situation Room and spent time in Syria, in Iraq and our commanders across the board, former and present, are ashamed of what's happening here," Biden said. "Turkey is the real problem here. And I would be having a real lockdown conversation with [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and letting him know he's going to pay a heavy price for what he has done."

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, a veteran of the war in Iraq, commented Trump has the "blood of the Kurds on his hands," as well as do "many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change."

Gabbard also took on CNN and The New York Times, the sponsors of the Tuesday debate, saying they "smeared veterans" like herself for calling for an end to the regime change war in Syria. 

"Just two days ago The New York Times put out an article saying that I'm a Russian asset and an [Bashar al] Assad apologist and all these different smears," Gabbard said. "This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia.
She then turned to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, asking if she'd join her in calling for an end to such wars."

"I don't think we should have troops in the Middle East, but we have to do it the right way, the smart way," Warren replied. "What this president has done is that he has sucked up to dictators, he has made impulsive decisions that often his own team doesn't understand. He has cut and run on our allies and he enriched himself at the expense of the United States of America. In Syria, he has created a bigger-than-ever humanitarian crisis. He has helped ISIS get another foothold, a new lease on life."

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also a veteran, told Warren she is "dead wrong."

"The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it is a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values . . . meanwhile soldiers in the field are reporting that for the first time they feel ashamed – ashamed of what their country has done."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., meanwhile, said the U.S. should work with allies on Turkey, but realize the "horror" of what has happened.

"We need to talk about this not only in terms of the horror of what happened in Turkey and the fact that our president blew it and now he's too proud to say it," she said. "What do we do now? We continue the humanitarian aid but we work with our allies and say come back, Turkey, and stop this. What Mayor Pete just said is true. Think about our other allies, Israel. How do they feel right now?"

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., meanwhile, said Trump has been "selling folks out" with his actions in Syria.

"What Donald Trump has done because of that phone call with Erdogan is basically giving 10,000 ISIS fighters a get out of jail free card," Harris said. "You know who the winner is in this? There are four. Russia, Iran, Assad, and ISIS."

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Democratic candidates in Tuesday night's presidential debate were almost universal in condemning President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, with former Vice President Joe Biden exclaiming the action was "shameful."
democrats, turkey, recep tayyip erdogan, kurds, foreign policy
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2019-51-15
Tuesday, 15 October 2019 09:51 PM
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