John Oliver: Trump’s Syria plan reveals major flaws in his decision-making

John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver explored the long-term effects of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria was criticized by just about everyone who heard the plan. World leaders, the House, and political commentators all expressed why it was a poor strategy. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver joined the other late night shows calling out President Trump and explained what the Syria situation tells us about how the President makes decisions.

John Oliver’s fellow late night hosts like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers had plenty to say about Trump’s Syria plan. Colbert lampooned Trump’s victory speech while Meyers called the decision another indefensible act.

Many people have looked at how the Kurds reacted to their apparent abandonment by their U.S. allies. Even more have looked at why Trump’s decision falls in line with the strategic plan of Russia and benefits Turkey.

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver touched on those topics while keeping the spotlight on President Donald Trump himself. Oliver did an excellent job of summing up what Trump’s Syria plan tells the rest of the world about how the U.S. Commander-in-Chief makes decisions.

Oliver starts right away by hammering home just how bad of a decision it was for U.S. troops to move away from the Syria-Turkey border. His use of the term “catastrophic” isn’t exaggeration especially when you see the reaction of Trump’s allies like Fox and Friends and Senator Lindsay Graham.

The Last Week Tonight host then breaks down Trump’s ” purely transactional, short-term” worldview. It’s why Trump did not bring any troops home but instead agreed to send them to Saudi Arabia to protect oil supplies. The President justified his decision by claiming Saudi Arabia would pay for U.S. military assistance but Oliver dismisses this as A. not true and B. treating the military like a mercenary force.

In this segment, Oliver is relentless in his attack on President Trump. He insists that Trump rolled over for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He argues that Trump destroyed years of U.S. foreign policy progress.

Oliver does seem genuinely incredulous at times when discussing Trump’s decision-making. The consequences were obvious yet Trump went ahead and then failed to justify his actions. Oliver condemns Trump for empowering Erdoğan, ISIS, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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John Oliver admits that it is nearly impossible to get the situation in Syria correct from a foreign policy standpoint. Yet the Last Week Tonight host also says it’s just as impossible to get it as wrong as President Donald Trump has in just a short period of time.