December 27, 2018
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2018
This was well-played.
The holidays are always a good time for a bit of jolly cheer and for ending wars.
Nearly two years into his presidency, Donald Trump has made his first visit to a war zone with a surprise trip to Iraq.
The unannounced visit a day after Christmas came after the US president faced growing pressure to spend time with troops on the frontline.
It also comes a week after the president stunned his national security advisers by announcing that he would withdraw US troops from neighbouring Syria, where they have been fighting Islamic State militants, prompting the resignation of the defense secretary, Jim Mattis.
Trump made the secret 11-hour flight on Air Force One with lights off and window shades drawn plus military jet escorts. He was accompanied by the first lady, Melania Trump, and national security adviser, John Bolton.
Asked if he had concerns about making the trip, the president told reporters: “I had concerns about the institution of the presidency. Not for myself personally. I had concerns for the first lady, I will tell you. But if you would have seen what we had to go through in the darkened plane with all windows closed with no light anywhere. Pitch black. I’ve been on many airplanes. All types and shapes and sizes.
“So did I have a concern? Yes, I had a concern.”
The president spent around three and a half hours at al-Asad airbase in western Iraq but did not visit Baghdad. He met US military leaders and addressed hundreds of troops. A scheduled in-person meeting with Iraq’s prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, was cancelled.
In a speech lasting roughly 20 minutes, Trump reportedly said he has “no plans at all” to remove American troops from the country. But he defended his decision to withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria.
“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” he told the troops. “We’re respected again as a nation.”
Trump continued: “I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip Isis of its military strongholds. Eight years ago, we went there for three months and we never left. Now, we’re doing it right and we’re going to finish it off.”
Though Isis has lost a significant amount of territory in Iraq and Syria, it is still seen as a threat.
Seen as a threat by whom?
Trump argued that the US presence was never intended to be “open-ended” and that Turkey had agreed to eliminate remnants of the Isis terror group still remaining in the country.
Earlier, Trump took questions from reporters. He described how he gave “the generals” multiple six-month “extensions” to get out of Syria. Trump said of the generals: “They said again, recently, can we have more time? I said, ‘Nope.’ You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time. We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly.”
Here’s the speech.
This asshole on CNN with this other dickhead is totally outraged that someone would say we beat ISIS.
I don’t know who beat ISIS, but someone did.
These CNN individuals are also good with the Mexican border being open, while they believe the US military should be fighting in Syria to protect the territory of the Kurds from NATO member Turkey.