Bernard-Henri Lévy: Trump’s Withdrawal From Syria Is a ‘Disaster, Shame and Moral Crime’
One of the world’s most well-known public intellectuals and human rights advocates on Monday eviscerated US President Donald Trump’s snap decision to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria – at precisely the time when the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening what many Syrian Kurds fear will result in a “genocide.”
“Trump’s decision to pull out American troops from Syria is a disaster, a shame and a moral crime,” the French-Jewish philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Lévy told The Algemeiner in an email exchange on the implications for the Kurds of the US leader’s announcement.
In a tweet on Sunday, Trump praised Erdogan for having “very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria….and he is a man who can do it.”
President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria….and he is a man who can do it plus, Turkey is right “next door.” Our troops are coming home!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
But under the cover of the war against ISIS, Turkey has launched two brutal assaults on the Kurdish population in Syria since 2016. On Dec. 12 — just days before his conversation with Trump in which he successfully persuaded the US president to withdraw the American troops assisting local Syrian and Kurdish allies — Erdogan warned darkly on Turkish TV, “We will start the operation to clear the east of the Euphrates from separatist terrorists in a few days.”
Lévy — arguably the most outspoken Western supporter of the Kurdish cause — predicted that the US withdrawal from Syria would be “devastating for the security of the region.”
Wrote Lévy: “[F]or the Kurds who have been our valiant allies and shed their blood in combat against the barbarity of ISIS, it is a source of deep distress. This retreat is ‘America First’ at its worst. It offers the region, on a silver plate, to Iran, Russia and Turkey.”
Lévy’s forthcoming book, “The Empire and the Five Kings,” argues that America’s step back from the world stage in recent years has enabled the rise of five distinct powers — Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and Sunni radical Islamism — that are all fundamentally hostile to Western culture and liberal values.
“In my next book, I described the slow replacement of the ‘Empire’ by the revisionist ‘Five kings,'” Lévy said.
Examining Trump’s Syria move, he continued, “I could not imagine that the reality would catch up with my thesis — so thoroughly, so quickly and so bluntly.”