Trump's Syria withdrawal causes prominent critics to do a 180 on troops in Syria
It's great fun watching critics of President Trump twist themselves into pretzels in order to denounce him. They evidently don't mind making fools of themselves by doing a 180-degree reversal of previous positions simply because Trump is now doing what they formerly supported, so it must be wrong.
Two amusing examples follow. Joe Simonson of the Daily Caller News Foundation:
As President Donald Trump announced his decision Wednesday to withdraw the nation's 2,000 troops from Syria, a bipartisan cadre of opinion-havers attacked him as recklessly abandoning allies in the region and jeopardizing America's influence over foreign affairs.
One newspaper was particularly harsh: The Times.
Quickly after Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced his resignation (in part as a protest against Trump's decision on Syria) Thursday, America's paper of record quickly produced a scathing editorial, proclaiming "Jim Mattis Was Right."
"Who will protect America now?" The Times asked.
But the Times took an opposite position earlier:
[A]lmost a year ago, on Jan. 19, 2018, that same editorial board raked the president over the coals for even daring to continue America's policy of military adventurism.
The Times expressed concern that more American troops beyond the 2,000 initially deployed could soon be sent overseas in a mission without any clear goals.
"Syria is a complex problem. But this plan seems poorly conceived, too dependent on military action and fueled by wishful thinking," The Times said.
While on Thursday The Times worried that leaving Syria could leave the Kurds vulnerable to Turkey, at the beginning of 2018, the paper also believed that the U.S. would be setting up a clash between the minority group and a NATO ally.
"Turkey, which views the Kurds as an enemy, has threatened a cross-border assault. All of this raises the grim possibility that American troops will clash with Turkey, a NATO ally," The Times wrote last January.
Nowhere in Thursday's editorial does The Times ever point to an alternative timeline for withdrawal for American forces in Syria. Such an omission is quite startling, considering last January the paper's chief criticism of sending forces to the region was setting up just another forever-war in the Middle East.
Update: The source material for quoting Max Boot has been taken down, so I have deleted comments based on what appears to be a fake news report - TL
Update: A couple more (hat tip: Instapundit):
This is the guy who first rose to national political prominence because he opposed the Iraq War. Amazing how irreparably Trump has warped brains. https://t.co/71808SKTzv— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 21, 2018
The most bizarre aspect of Rachel @Maddow's deep anger over troop withdrawal from Syria is that she wrote an entire book in 2012 denouncing illegal US Endless War without congressional approval - exactly what Syria is. I interviewed her about it here: https://t.co/Zg7K1a3bUy https://t.co/js74z4iGUN— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 21, 2018