On Wednesday, Sen. John Cornyn defended President Trump’s dangerous policy of pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, a move that many Republicans in Congress oppose.
“If Turkey was planning on coming into northern Syria and trying to ethnically cleanse the Kurds, and U.S. troops were caught in the middle, I am not completely convinced that it was a bad idea to get them out of harm’s way,” Cornyn said, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Kurds had previously played a critical role in defeating ISIS. While the U.S. provided air support and special operations forces, the Kurdish-led forces provided the bulk of the ground troops in Syria. But Trump recently withdrew troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish invasion of Kurdish territory. The president’s abrupt decision has sparked fears of an ISIS resurgence.
Cornyn’s foreign policy position is yet another indication of the senator’s political strategy: let there be no day light between himself and Trump.
On Thursday, the Democrats running to unseat Cornyn in 2020 pounced, providing understandably derisive statements to the Morning News.
“If I didn’t know that John Cornyn didn’t serve in the military, I would know now,” civil rights leader Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said. “We do not put on the uniform to ‘get out of the way’ of ethnic cleansing.”
“I did not put on the uniform to be the policeman of the world, but I did not put on the uniform to get out of the way of ethnic cleansing, especially when it comes to people who we have made agreements with and understandings with a made promises to,” MJ Hegar, a former Air Force pilot, told the paper.
“We protect and work with allies, and Texans don’t run. And we sure don’t throw people under the bus,” state senator Royce West said, criticizing Cornyn’s position.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate also oppose the Trump/Cornyn policy of withdrawal from Syria.
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