When Donald Trump made the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, Democrats blasted the president as being reckless and wrongheaded. However, this is not how Democrats reacted when President Barack Obama pulled American forces out of Iraq.
Few Democrats have been more outspoken against Trump’s Syria withdrawal than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, but they sang an entirely different tune eight years ago when Obama made a similar foreign policy move.
Maxine Waters’ Hypocrisy
“As the war in Iraq draws to a close, it is my hope that this conflict will serve as a solemn reminder of the costs of war,” Waters said in October 2011. “We must carefully reexamine our approach to national security and how we view the United States’ role in promoting international peace and security.”
“If we are to remain leaders in the world, we must always use our best judgment to determine when and how we engage other nations and other actors – particularly if we are considering the use of military force,” Waters said.
— @Finn_McCool (@AnonimousSource) October 17, 2019
How is what Waters said in 2011 much different than President Trump today warning against “fighting other people’s wars?”
Nevertheless, here’s what Waters said just last week about Trump leaving Syria and what that might mean for the Kurds.
“If the United States abandons the Kurds, these courageous allies will never trust us again,” Waters said, adding that “Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds is a gift to Russia, Iran and ISIS.”
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Nancy Pelosi’s Hypocrisy
On the same day Waters blasted Trump over Syria, Nancy Pelosi slammed him as well.
“This reckless, misguided decision undermines the efforts by our brave servicemembers and our allies to end ISIS’s tyranny,” Pelosi said.
But when Republicans criticized Obama in 2011 for his troop withdrawal, Pelosi had nothing but praise for the president, thanking him “for a promise made and a promise kept, honoring the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement and the wishes of the American people to bring all our troops home by the end this year.”
Contrast this with reports Wednesday that Pelosi barged angrily out of a meeting with Trump after he hd what she described as a “meltdown.”
On Thursday, Trump tweeted about his frustrations with Democrats.
“I am the only person who can fight for the safety of our troops & bring them home from the ridiculous & costly Endless Wars, and be scorned. Democrats always liked that position, until I took it,” the president said.
I am the only person who can fight for the safety of our troops & bring them home from the ridiculous & costly Endless Wars, and be scorned. Democrats always liked that position, until I took it. Democrats always liked Walls, until I built them. Do you see what’s happening here?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
Many Republicans have stood with Democrats regarding Syria withdrawal, with 129 GOP leaders voting for a resolution opposing Trump’s decision. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has led this pro-war charge, which prompted Trump to say Thursday, “Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers, fighting other people’s wars.”
While Trump is correct that Graham never saw a war he didn’t want the U.S. involved in, Republican Thomas Massie had a more sober take before the resolution vote.
“Congress never voted to send troops to Syria, but in five minutes we will be voting on a resolution that disapproves of Trump removing them,” Massie tweeted on Wednesday. “We should have never gone to Syria. We should leave Syria. I’m voting no on this resolution.”
Congress never voted to send troops to Syria, but in five minutes we will be voting on a resolution that disapproves of Trump removing them. We should have never gone to Syria. We should leave Syria. I’m voting no on this resolution.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 16, 2019
Thomas Massie also opposed Obama’s wars, making him one of the few in Washington who has been consistent on this issue.
The Democrats can’t say the same. It’s perfectly clear they are more concerned with being anti-Trump than antiwar these days.
Do Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters now agree that Obama’s Iraq withdrawal was bad, too? Would they agree with Syria withdrawal if it was Obama and not Trump doing it?
We already know the answers to these questions – whether Democrats would admit it or not.