One of the funniest things about the letter Trump wrote to Turkish resident Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 9 is that it was so outlandish, and so ridiculous, that originally most news outlets believed it was some kind of hoax. Every tweet about it is like the one below from NBC News’ Peter Alexander, where the writer already knows you’ll think it’s fake unless they tell you about how they triple-checked with the White House itself:
Dear Mr. President:
Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. I’ve already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson.
I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.
History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!
I will call you later.
The combination of weird flattery, outrageous threats, and near-insults is really something to behold. It was sent three days after the call between the two leaders that led to the U.s. abandoning the Kurds who had helped us defeat ISIS, and gave Erdogan the permission to send his troops across the Syrian border, displacing more than 100,000 Kurds and leading to death and slaughter, all of which led to a situation where the Kurds allied with Syria and the Russian army is now very much on the ground filling the power vacuum.
Hilariously, Erdogan’s reaction to receiving the letter was apparently to throw it in the trash.
Mike Pence is in Ankara Thursday attempting to negotiate a ceasefire, which seems very much like trying to close the barn door after the horse ran out.