Published: Fri, December 28, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

Trump declares end to U.S. policeman role in surprise Iraq visit

Trump declares end to U.S. policeman role in surprise Iraq visit

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.

Trump spoke to about 100 primarily special forces personnel and separately with military leaders before leaving three hours later.

US President Donald Trump's surprise visit to Iraq did not include a meeting with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and enraged local lawmakers, exposing rifts between Baghdad and Washington.

During the call, Trump invited Abdel Mahdi to visit Washington and he accepted, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The President and First Lady were seen shaking hands with the soldiers, who were wearing full battle gear and night vision goggles.

Morale-boosting presidential visits to U.S. troops in war zones have been a longstanding tradition in the years following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The president also announced that he had secured a sizable pay increase for troops. Once at the base, the president treated everyone to a heaping serving of the usual bravado and lies, claiming he was right to withdraw from Syria because ISIS has "been knocked silly" (defeating them will still take years) and that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will finish mopping them up for us, without offering clear evidence he agreed to any such thing.

At the Iraqi military base, Trump sought to defend his "America First" policy of pulling back from multinational alliances, including what to many Americans seem like the endless wars of the Middle East.

Trump has argued that the USA now no longer needs to be present in Syria as the ISIS terror group has been defeated.

He said: "If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price - and sometimes that's also a monetary price - so we're not the suckers of the world". On the one hand, he still wants to demonstrate the intention to abandon the role of global policeman with the subsequent mission where American blood is spilt for the sake of a country, about which a lot of them can't find on a map. "Frankly, it's ridiculous", Trump added.

"I gave notice in Syria, you know, the way it was reported was like I just pulled out; I didn't just pull out", Trump said to reporters when asked about his announcement to pull out 2,000 United States troops from Syria last week.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. "I got you a big one", he said.

India had felt encouraged, in fact, by a larger role the Trump administration envisaged for it in Afghanistan in its South Asia strategy unveiled previous year.

Trump has also taken criticism from France and other foreign partners as well as senior figures in his own Republican party.

"They should be sharing the burden of costs and they're not", the US President said.

IS, which once controlled swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, has been driven mostly into hiding.

Despite his order for a withdrawal of USA forces from Syria, the president made it clear that he is not abandoning the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

President Donald Trump may have inadvertently unmasked a Navy SEAL team during his short visit to a U.S. base in Iraq this week. "We're respected again as a nation", Mr Trump said.

Pressure is also mounting from a series of criminal probes into Trump's finances and links to Russian Federation.

Certainly, the Iraq that Trump is visiting is in a very different neighborhood than the one that Obama visited in 2009.

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