About Donald Trump’s Let the Kids Fight Analogy

During a rally last night in Dallas, TX, Donald Trump said his approach to Syria was “unconventional what I did.” About the warring factions, he said “they’re going to have to fight a little while” and “sometimes you have to let them fight, like two kids in a lot. You have to let them fight, and then you pull them apart!” Watch:

As if the Kurds don’t know anything about war (they lost over 10k of their number fighting ISIS with us), Trump continued in his speech to talk about the nasty fighting since the U.S. pulled out. In his mind, the two sides are now ready to pause and make a deal because he made his unconventional move. He said Turkey would not have made the deal without “tough love.”

Many have correctly chastised the president for this simplistic view of the situation. The Turks and the Kurds and the Syrian Christians are not kids fighting on the playground. If anything Turkey is a bully beating up on small children. Even though, there is no analogy that works when one side (Turkey) commits atrocities and wants to rid the area of an entire group of people.

As a boy, I was in my share of playground fights, but nobody was beheaded, nobody was killed, nobody lost a home. Trump continues to demonstrate that he has little if any human compassion for anyone but himself. All that matters, it appears, is that he comes out of the situation looking good.

Think about what he is saying. In essence, he is saying that the beheadings, rapes, displacements, and other atrocities were all a part of his unconventional plan. Sometimes you have to let them fight awhile, then you pull them apart. In this narrative, he is the puppet master, letting them fight. He has the illusion that he was in control all along.

In fact, Turkey’s strong man Erdogan got everything he wanted out of the deal. He may not even honor the agreement. Within hours of the “pause,” shelling continued in the region according to reports earlier this morning. In fact, U.S. interests have not been served since the U.S. pulled out the region.

Meanwhile, the narcissistic president and his adoring followers congratulate themselves under the illusion that they are in control while the rest of us hang on for dear life.

17 thoughts on “About Donald Trump’s Let the Kids Fight Analogy”

  1. Why is the U.S. playing world policeman in Syria in the first place?

    Humanitarian interventions rarely end well. See Libya, for example; rather than supporting a democratic uprising, we helped topple a dictator that, for all his brutality, at least enforced relative stability. We ended up replacing him with a civil war between rival factions and gave an opening to terrorist groups that love chaos.

    We can’t solve every bad situation in the world. Why are we trying?

    I’m no fan of Trump, but we should be getting out of Syria altogether.

    1. Furthermore, ISIS would like to destroy America and kill Americans. They have attacked us and our interests. We weren’t there as police. We were there to defend ourselves. Now, Trump has undone all of that work and looked the other way while Turkey commits war crimes.

      1. ISIS is dead. Sure, the ideology isn’t quite gone and will probably inspire a few more attacks, but in terms of controlling territory it’s been destroyed. That reason for remaining in Syria is gone.

        Now the proxy war between Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel is their business.

        1. “The reason for remaining in Syria is gone.”

          I completely disagree and I know the Kurds do as well. Cutting and running on allies who wanted a homeland out of the deal they made with us is not in our national interest either. An emboldened Russia is not in our national interest.

          1. MG is conflating 2 different issues. MG is arguing about the larger issues of whether (or to what extent) the US should be involved in the middle east. Whereas the issue at hand is whether Trump should have withdrawn the troops in the manner that he did. Even if the argument could be made for pulling out of syria or the middle east in general, that doesn’t mean the US should suddenly do it, with out warning allies and leaving them vulnerable.

    2. “Why is the U.S. playing world policeman in Syria in the first place?”

      Because instability in the middle east threatens the US supply of oil. Further, having a bigger foothold there gets the US greater influence in how/where that oil goes.

      “We can’t solve every bad situation in the world. Why are we trying?”

      the US isn’t trying to do that. Just compare the amount of effort the US has put into the middle east to that of the rest of africa or even south america.

      1. A case can be made for the fight against ISIS, but ISIS is not a meaningful power any more, and, other than a few attacks inspired by the ideology, they won’t be coming back.

        Syria is now a messy proxy war between several different regional powers and Russia. Staying involved risks us getting entangled in a much broader war that really isn’t our affair.

        And a mess in Syria doesn’t really affect our oil supply; most of our oil is now produced domestically or in Canada. Even Saudi oil isn’t really directly affected by what happens in Syria.

        Sure, if Iran were to completely control Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, they would be able to intimidate Saudi Arabia, which could influence the supply of Saudi oil, but there are enough other regional players that don’t want that to happen (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Russia) that we don’t need to step in to stop that.

        In WWII, we learned that not getting involved soon enough allowed Hitler to become a major power, resulting in a major, costly war that could have been prevented. Since then, the U.S. has gone overboard in the other direction, meddling in things that don’t need meddled with. Is it too much to ask for a more balanced approach?

        1. Whether they are called ISIS or reform as another group is irrelevant, a whole lot of them have been released because of Trump’s sudden withdrawal. However, I never said anything about ISIS so not sure why you mentioned them.

          About 1/4 of the US oil supply comes from the middle east (as you said, most from Saudi arabia). Disrupting that supply can cause serious problems. Further, the middle east produces > 40% of all oil, if that gets disrupted it will have a significant impact on oil prices and the US, that is why the US is involved in the middle east. As for Syria specifically, it is because conflicts anywhere in the middle east can cause disruptions through out the middle east and because the US wants as big a foothold in the middle east as it can get.

          “Is it too much to ask for a more balanced approach?”

          No, that is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask for. However, your initial question was “why were we in syria to begin with?” and the short answer is “oil”.

  2. In stark but completely honest terms, we are the enablers of Turkish atrocities, and our president is a war criminal. We aren’t members of the World Court, so there’s nothing that will be done about it, but the rest of the world has even less reason to trust us than they had before our abandonment of the Kurds. The sooner Trump is gone, the better–but that’s not likely to happen, either, until January 20, 2021. Unchecked, he can do an enormous amount of damage between now and then.

  3. He’s insane… I think he really believes he’s now the master of the universe… his every waking moment is spent trying to figure out new ways and games (now on a global scale instead of just NYC) to “praise” himself, and at the expense of others, if he thinks it serves that purpose.
    Two thoughts have been taking shape in my mind as I get more and more fed up with this man… 1st, when he is dead and gone (unless it’s an unnatural cause) I swear I’m going to celebrate from the rooftops.
    Secondly, and this may be counterproductive and maybe after some emotional therapy I’ll get over it and move on, but I don’t see how I won’t be able to refrain from shoving some of this crap in his “christian” base faces for as long as I live and interact with them… “You voted this guy in… this s__t is on you! Don’t you dare try to wiggle out of that…(which I’m sure they will with all manner of weasling, whataboutism, deflection, etc.)
    Ok, deep breath and now maybe I feel better with that off my chest.

  4. As I read this, I heard CNN replay Trump’s rationalization of his betrayal from last night’s rally. This post hoc excuse-making would be pathetic from a six-year-old. A kid caught with his hand stuck in the cookie jar, trying to claim that some stranger ran in and jammed his hand into it. “It’s not my fault” should be the new presidential motto.

    In 2016 we discovered that there is a considerable swath of the voting public who are as clueless and resentful as is Trump himself. In fact, if you’re in a chipper mood, a surefire way to cure yourself of it is to take a stroll through the comments sections of any political news site. No matter what the outrage, there will be a swarm of Trumpalos rejoicing at Trump’s childish, destructive behavior. (Someone once defined a modern conservative as one who will burn his own house down just to make his liberal neighbor cough.)

    This has been a shock to those who value the Constitution and the rule of law. And it has only gotten worse. This is a cancer, rotting the body politic from within. Nikita Kruschev was perhaps right: Russia doesn’t have to bury the U.S. – we’ll bury ourselves. Meanwhile, Putin is whistling as he picks out the drapes and orders the new china, confident he’s getting a new dacha in D.C.

    1. Spot on. I’ve been referencing Khrushchev since I realized Don the Con was not going to quit his third run at the presidency. His Russian ties were hardly an unknown factor, nor were the rest of his lovely qualities. I don’t know who gave that definition of a modern conservative, but I certainly agree with it.

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