The Corner


Beating Retreat

To expand on my earlier point, only one of these two things can be true: One, the United States is so beat, broke, and terrified that our commander in chief can be backed down by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a second-rate thug representing a third-rate power; or, two, the United States is dictating its own terms and conditions, in which case let’s have no crocodile tears for the Kurds but instead point to the massacre in progress and forthrightly inform the world that that is what working with the United States gets you.

If we are going to have a nickel-and-dime model of foreign policy, then it is entirely fair to ask: What’s in it for us? We’re beating retreat in Syria, and it is easy to see the upside of that for Erdoğan, and for the Assad regime, and for Vladimir Putin and the Iranians, who wish to see the Assad regime endure. One can even see a little something it in for China.

But what’s in it for the United States? The financial equivalent of a coupon for $5 off an oil change?


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