Pompeo & Biden BOTH have it wrong: ‘Green light’ for Turkey’s Syria invasion wasn’t for the US to give
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and US mainstream media insist the White House gave a ‘green light’ to Ankara to invade Syria. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denies it. Neither seem to understand that it’s not up to Washington.
Trump “impulsively gave Turkey a green light to invade Syria, blindsiding our military,” Biden tweeted on Wednesday, accusing President Donald Trump of a “betrayal” of Kurdish fighters that helped the US defeat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).
Two days ago, Trump impulsively gave Turkey a green light to invade Syria, blindsiding our military. Today, we see the consequences—Turkish forces attacking the fighters that helped us take on ISIS. It’s a betrayal, takes pressure off the terrorist threat, & leaves us less safe.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 9, 2019
The “green light” phrasing also found its way to most mainstream media outlets. Later in the day, Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour treated it as an established fact, asking Pompeo to comment on the Turkish operation in northern Syria.
“Does the US take responsibility for whatever the outcome is, because the US has given Turkey a green light?” asked Woodruff.
“Well, that's just false. The United States didn't give Turkey a green light,” Pompeo replied.
.@JudyWoodruff: Does the US take responsibility for whatever the outcome is, because the US has given Turkey a green light? @SecPompeo: Yeah, well that's just false. The United States didn't give Turkey a green light.(He was given time to expand on that... he did not.)— Ali Rogin (@AliRogin) October 9, 2019
He’s technically correct. As Turkey launched ‘Operation Peace Spring,’ bombing Kurdish targets in northern Syria on Wednesday, Trump issued a statement calling it “a bad idea” and warning Ankara that it was now responsible not just for the safety of civilians in the area, but the fate of IS prisoners.
However, the real issue isn’t whether Washington did or did not give Ankara the “green light” for its military adventure. The question no one in Washington or the legacy media seems to be asking is whether such permission was up to the US to give – because the obvious answer is “no.”Also on rt.com Turkey bombs Syria: Erdogan begins ‘Operation Peace Spring’
American politicians and pundits of all stripes love to talk about the “rules-based international order,” but one of the actual, written rules of that order is that the world consists of sovereign nation-states, one of which is Syria. Both the US and Turkey have had troops in Syria for years. Yet neither has been invited by the Syrian government – unlike, say, Russia, which has had an expeditionary force there on request from Damascus since 2015.
Only Damascus, or the UN Security Council, can legitimately give the “green light” for a military intervention in Syrian territory. Neither has done so.
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