This was never a valid reason for the President to bring troops home from Syria

From PDT’s speech in Minneapolis on October 10. I have no doubt this is heartfelt and sincere, but as discussed here, here and here, we cannot declare a premature victory because more soldiers are likely to die. They are fighting for a worthy cause, the most important issue in the Western world today. This, unfortunately, is pure sentimentality in the face of the issues that confront us.

Donald Trump: (01:32:25)
So we have three choices. You’re ready? Here are the three choices. We don’t have any soldiers there because we’ve left. We won. We left. Take a victory, United States. We left. Take a victory, take a victory. Bring our troops back home.

Donald Trump: (01:32:45)
I told this story yesterday, I have to sign letters, it’s the hardest thing I have to do. I sign letters, “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Arkansas. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones from Alabama. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Somebody from some great state, I’m sorry to inform you, your son has been killed in combat. I’m so sorry.” And every letter is individually done because sometimes the parents, they’re grieving, and they get together with other parents, and I don’t want to see that it’s like the same letter. So we do different letters. It’s the hardest thing I have to do. Hardest’s the hardest thing I have … I was telling Tom Cotton, it’s the hardest thing that I have to do. And I sign those letters, and it just, it breaks your heart.

Donald Trump: (01:33:45)
And by the way, there’s a time to fight. Nobody fights harder than I do. But there’s a time, and there’s not necessarily a time. But I send these letters out, quite a few. And sometimes I send letters out, it’s called blue on green, where we’re teaching people how to fight and then they turn the gun on our soldiers and shoot them in the back. And that’s the hardest thing for a parent. I have all of them. I know everyone. That’s the hardest thing for a parent when they get notification, because they learn how their child has died. When the so-called people that were teaching how to fight turn the gun on them, and shoot. We’ve had a lot of that, a lot of it in Afghanistan, more than we’ve ever had proportionately before. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. But I have to sign these letters.

Donald Trump: (01:34:27)
And sometimes I go out to a place, Dover Air Force Base, it’s a very tough experience. Mike Pence goes, I go, other people go, Tom Cotton goes. We go out there, and we meet the parents and the families, the wives, the children, the sisters, the brothers. We meet them, and we talked to them, and their son or daughter is being flown in from some far away place in a coffin, and these things are just impossible. I don’t know how parents can do it, even. And I’ll meet them. And we have a particular Colonel, that’s all he does. So good. So professional. That’s what he does. He said, “I greet the dead, sir. I greet the dead.”

Donald Trump: (01:35:18)
And what happens is this big incredible machine flies in, this tremendous cargo plane, and it flies in so powerful, so big. I’ll be talking to some of the parents, and they’ll act like they’re fine. I said, “How are you doing?” “We’re fine, sir. We’re fine. We’re really good.” I say, “That’s great.” And I’ll tell the Colonel, I’ll say, “Colonel, I think they’re doing great.” “No sir, they’re not going to do great. You’ll see.” And I didn’t know what he was talking about, this is the first time.

Donald Trump: (01:35:51)
Then we went outside to the runway, and this incredible machine is flying in, and it lands, and it comes over, and it pulls up, and we have military guards, we have incredible talented musicians that do this. That’s what they do. What happens is that door opens up, and the Colonel told me, he said, “Sir, when that door opens up, those same people that you think are okay, do things that you’ll never see. You will hear sounds like you’ve never heard.” That’s what he does.

Donald Trump: (01:36:25)
I saw that door open up with a coffin with a flag over it. The door was opened, and these beautiful soldiers, five or six on each side, lifting the coffin and walking down the runway, the plank, they call it, off this cargo plane. And I see parents make sounds, that were just 20 minutes ago absolutely fine, make sounds, scream and cry like you’ve never seen before. The Colonel was telling me that, “Sir, you’ll see things that you’ve never seen before. A mother who was fine 20 minutes ago, you think, breaking the military line and jumping off, and then jumping onto a coffin of her son or her daughter, jumping on, on top of the flowers, on top of the American flag.” I’ve seen this.

Donald Trump: (01:37:21)
Then I have all these people that want to stay. They want to stay. And I don’t want to stay. We were supposed to be in Syria for 30 days. We’ve now been there for 10 years. We were supposed to be in Afghanistan for a short period of time. We’re now going to be there for close to 19 years. It’s time to bring them home. It’s time to bring them home. It’s true. Time to bring them home. We’ve done our job, we’ve defeated everyone that we’re supposed to defeat. And now we are, we are policing, we are now policing. That’s what we’re doing. We’re policing. And that, as I said, no more respect for the police, but these are military people, and those are police, but we are now policing. We’re not fighting, we’re policing. And you know what? After all of these years … One other story, and I have to tell you. I go to Walter Reed on Friday, and I do it quite often. I gave out five Purple Hearts. And I meet people that are so beautiful, so amazing. I met five warriors, and one was so badly hurt, with the loss of arms and a leg, another one … they’re just very, very devastated. But these are great, great people. And I gave out the Purple Heart. And I see the parents, and I have to say, Walter Reed, I want to just say, the doctors there, the job they do, you know, you hear so many complaints about doctors and about the vets, and the vets’ care, and nobody’s done better. We got choice for the vets. We did things for the vets that nobody thought would be possible.

Donald Trump: (01:39:26)
But I saw these young men, and I gave them their Purple Hearts. And their parents were there crying. And one of them was so amazing. I said, “What’s your problem?” “Sir, my face was blown apart. My nose was absolutely just blown apart.” He said, “Sir, it’s incredible.” And I looked at him, I said, “That’s the most beautiful nose I’ve ever seen. What do you mean?” He said, “A doctor worked on my face for 10 hours in the field. He said there were a thousand fragments.” Now I don’t know if that’s right, but well, a lot. He meant a lot. “He said there were a thousand fragments. He rebuilt my nose with glue. He glued the bones together. He rebuilt my nose.” I say, “You have the most beautiful nose I’ve ever seen,” and it’s true. And his father came over to me, he said, “Sir,” father was crying, he said, “Sir, honestly, my son looks better now.” He said, “My son did not have a good look. He knows. Now look at it, it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful.”

Donald Trump: (01:40:34)
But these doctors at Walter Reed, and these Army, and Marine, and the medical doctors, they are unbelievably great people. And they see sights that you and I hopefully will never see. They see things that nobody will ever see, and there’s nobody like them. And I have to give a shout out to those people, there’s nobody like them. So in the case of Turkey, and Syria, and the Kurds, we could send in a thousand troops for a military conflict with Turkey. No, you don’t want to do that. We could hit Turkey very hard financially. Or we could mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds. I like that. You know? Let’s mediate a deal. But remember they’ve been fighting each other for hundreds of years, and we were artificially put there, in this case by President Obama. So we did our job. We knocked out.

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