Divisions remain strong over President Donald Trump’s recent decision to remove troops from Northern Syria.
ZeroHedge reported that U.S. House members are seeking to introduce sanctions against Turkey as a response to its latest campaign into Northern Syria. The Turkish army has ramped up air and artillery strikes along this border according to certain reports.
29 House Republicans vowed to back sanction measures against the NATO ally and are introducing legislation to do so.
In the meantime, tens of thousands of civilians have left their homes in the area, while Turkish forces have surrounded the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad. These developments have worried humanitarian groups who believe that this could provoke an outflow of hundreds of thousands of refugees. These aid groups estimate that 70,000 people have been forced out of their homes so far as violence cranks up.
Last Friday, Reuters detailed the growing number of casualties:
Turkish forces have seized nine villages near Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad, said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war. It reported at least 54 fighters with the SDF, 42 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and 17 civilians had been killed.
Turkey says two Turkish soldiers have been killed. Turkish authorities said on Friday two people were killed and three wounded by mortar shelling in the border town of Suruc, while eight were killed and 35 wounded in a mortar and rocket attack on Turkey’s border town of Nusaybin.
Last week, staunch neoconservative Senator Lindsey Graham criticized the White House for giving Erdogan leeway to mount an offensive, declaring it “will be the biggest mistake of his presidency” if Trump does not reverse course by keeping Turkey in check. In the meantime, bipartisan actors are working to draft sanctions against Turkey in the Senate.
House Republicans like Liz Cheney declared that “President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan and his regime must face serious consequences for mercilessly attacking our Kurdish allies in northern Syria.” She added that Russia could be another concern in the region: “Congress has long had concerns about the [Erdogan] regime’s cooperation with US adversaries, such as Russia.”
President Trump has remained cautious about handling Turkey.
Last Thursday, he tweeted three courses of action: “Send in thousands of troops and win militarily, hit Turkey very hard financially and with sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds.”
He then told reporters at a campaign rally in Minnesota, “I hope it’s going to be the last one.”
During the rally, Trump boldly declared that it was time to “bring our soldiers back home” and followed up by saying, “These wars produce only chaos and bloodshed.”
Trump has the right instincts here. Hopefully, he follows through.
However, knowing the power of the military-industrial complex, Trump will likely have his hands full when trying to restore sanity to U.S. foreign policy by withdrawing from the Middle East.
Ohio Republican Rob Portman Announces that He Won’t Be Seeking Re-Election
America first nationalists must capitalize on this opening in the senate.
On January 25, 2021, Ohio Senator Rob Portman announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2022. The 2022 election cycle will be a critical mid-term cycle which will determine what course the Republican Party will take in the wake of Trump’s defeat.
According to a report at The Epoch Times, Portman cited “partisan gridlock in Congress and political polarization” as his main reasons for leaving the Senate.
“I feel fortunate to have been entrusted by the people of Ohio to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Today, I am announcing that I have made a decision not to run again in 2022,” Portman said in a statement.
The Republican senator continued, “I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”
In Portman’s view, the United States has become “increasingly polarized where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground.” Portman also contended that “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.” He concluded by stating that “This is a tough time to be in public service.”
Portman accompanies his colleagues Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr in retiring from office. Portman’s presence won’t be missed. He voted for the Iraq War and even betrayed President Trump by voting against his national emergency declaration at the border. To add insult to injury, Portman has routinely talked smack about President Trump behind his back.
2022 is shaping up to be an interesting year for Republicans with numerous seats in play. With regards to open seats, there will be unique opportunities for America First nationalists to shine in. Ohio is ground zero for the emerging populist realignment taking place in America. Once a state that could go either way during a given election cycle, Ohio is now a safe Republican state.
America First nationalists should milk this opening for what it’s worth and place a staunch nationalist to run for the open GOP seat in 2022. This will be the first midterm where populists can begin purging the party of neocons and other establishment types.
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