President Donald Trump's betrayal of the Kurds in Syria may be the worst thing — it's certainly the deadliest — he has done since taking office.
The Kurds, it is often said, helped us defeat ISIS in Syria, but that is wrong — we helped them defeat ISIS. For the Kurd military forces were the ones on the front line as the terrorist organization was rooted out of the country.
The United States merely provided logistics, intelligence and air support as the Kurds fought ISIS on the ground. Consider: More than 11,000 Kurds, both men and, famously, women, died in the various battles over a 5-year period.
Americans lost? Six. If that doesn't tell you who really won the war against ISIS, I don't know what will.
After the fight was won, American forces remained in the region mostly as a deterrent against Turkish, Russian, Iranian and Syrian aggression.
Those various armies could go around killing each other almost with impunity, but were they to have attacked and killed Americans, there would have been hell to pay and each side knew it.
But now that Trump has decided to pull out of Syria, apparently with no preparation or plan, all that is off and the region has become all but a free-fire zone, especially for Turkey, which has stormed the Syrian border and killed hundreds of the more than 3 million Kurds who live there.
The blood of those Kurds, who two weeks ago were our loyal allies, is surely on Trump's hands.
Russia, meanwhile, has moved into the space formerly occupied by the United States even as our retreating armies have taken to blowing up their former bases in their haste to leave.
We brokered a temporary ceasefire in the region late last week, but once that ends the fear is that Turkey will resume its aggression, which could easily devolve into genocide and ethnic cleansing.
As for ISIS, the fear is that it could reconstitute and emerge, once again, as a threat to the United States. If so, who will we find to be our ally in the region the next time around?
As I said, Trump's Syria debacle is probably the worst of his presidency. But is it yet another ground for impeachment? Probably not, although the backlash in Congress has surely not bolstered Trump's chances of avoiding impeachment and then conviction in the Senate.
The "impeachment inquiry" continues to move along apace in the House of Representatives, with the White House doing all it can to prevent officials from testifying and the relevant House committees meeting with some success in getting witnesses to testify despite administration opposition.
A full House vote to formally open impeachment proceedings appears to be only a couple of weeks away, with the process in the House projected to conclude as early as Thanksgiving.
If, as expected, the House votes to impeach it will be on to the Senate where 67 votes will be needed to throw Trump out of office.
That seems at this time to be an impossible mountain to climb for the Democrats, but given the velocity with which the news moves these days, who knows what is possible?
Tommy Stevenson is retired associate editor of The Tuscaloosa News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-292-2236.