President Trump made a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq, declaring to them, “We’re no longer the suckers of the world, folks.”
Although Trump remains adamant U.S. worldwide military engagement is against his beliefs, the president and his wife were very supportive of the men and women in uniform on the ground.
The Trumps made a secret overnight visit to the Al Asad Air Base, touching down on a pitch-black landing strip because of security concerns. “Pretty sad when you spend $7 trillion in the Middle East and going in has to be under this massive cover,” the president commented.
Speaking to enthusiastic troops, Trump explained the crux of his policy:
“If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price. Sometimes that’s also a monetary price, so we’re not the suckers of the world. We’re no longer the suckers, folks. And people aren’t looking at us as suckers.”
A planned meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was canceled and replaced with a telephone call for security and logistical reasons, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Although Trump has yet to mention any plans to pull out the nearly 5,000 American troops currently in Iraq, he told the troops, “The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world. We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”
He also defended his recent decision to withdraw from Syria while meeting with military and civilian officials at the base. “They said again, recently, ‘Can we have more time?’” the president related. “I said, ‘Nope. You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time.’ We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly.”
“A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking,” he added.
There is speculation that since ISIS is still active in Iraq, U.S. troops will remain in the country until the terror organization is defeated. At the same time, Iraq can be used as a base for special operations in Syria, if necessary.
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