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Georgia House members take a principled stand against a terrible Trump decision

Usually in U.S. history, troop withdrawals are met with strong applause, as Americans welcome home weary soldiers. But that was not the case in October, as the House of Representatives voted 354-60 to condemn the policy of ordering U.S. troops to abandon our Kurdish allies who were helping fight against ISIS terrorists. And Georgians from both sides of the political aisle played a role in this historic vote.

When 129 Republicans joined in with most Democrats, it was a big deal. That’s more votes than were received from the GOP to condemn Rep. Adam Schiff in the impeachment debate.

Several Georgia GOP Congressmen voted to slam the decision to turn our backs on our ally against ISIS. Those include Reps. Drew Ferguson, Buddy Carter, Austin Scott, Doug Collins and Rob Woodall. Jody Hice did not cast a vote for or against it, while Tom Graves, Rick Allen and Barry Loudermilk voted for the policy benefiting Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Those supporting the measure recognize the threat from ISIS, as well as supporting strongman Erdogan. It was the right call. Here’s why.

Kurds have protected Jews, which is why Israel supports them. Erdogan has backed Hamas, sought to run the Israeli arms embargo to help Palestinian terrorists, and even had his men fight with Israeli commandos attempting to enforce the blockade to protect Jewish citizens.

Kurds have protected Christians and fought to help the Yazidis, backed by nearly every Evangelical group in America, while fighting American-beheading ISIS terrorists. Erdogan had journalists arrested who uncovered evidence of support for ISIS, locked up pastors, and still has Christians under lock and key, even as he has forcefully taken over Syrian Christian Churches.

Erdogan has also helped Iranians evade U.S. sanctions. He also supports the Free Syrian Army, infiltrated heavily by an Al Qaeda affiliate. At least President Barack Obama had the good sense to abandon support for the Free Syrian Army after discovering this link, something President Donald Trump has failed to do with his embrace of Erdogan’s position.

I’ve been accused of simply hating on Trump on everything. This argument ignores the fact that I have written several articles in support of Trump when he listened to his former defense secretary, Gen. Jim Mattis. As Trump abandoned this wise policy, I’ve critiqued him, staying consistent with the policy.

Rep. Ilhan Omar was one of the few Democrats who didn’t vote for the Kurds. She’s also shaken hands with Erdogan. Does that change your views as well?

Meanwhile, critics who claim to hate ISIS, Iran, Hamas and Al Qaeda, and claim to back Israel and Middle East Christians, are now embracing Trump’s support of Turkey, whose leader opposes every American stand on these issues. Will you be consistent on the issues, or have your views on these issues changed?

Thankfully, most of our Republican representatives, like so many others across the Southeast, have taken this brave vote, even risking their careers to help a true ally. They understand the value of supporting a friend against terrorism, going with their faith instead of a tyrant with little use for democracy, capitalism, religious freedom, anti-terrorism, or anything else we support.

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange. He can be reached at jtures@lagrange.edu. His Twitter account is JohnTures2.

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