[Marxism] Mark Esperanto? Trump Misnames His Defense Secretary in Tweet

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Oct 20 15:12:10 MDT 2019

NY Times, Oct. 20, 2019
Mark Esperanto? Trump Misnames His Defense Secretary in Tweet
By Katie Rogers

WASHINGTON — President Trump shared an update on Sunday from his defense 
secretary that outlined “minor skirmishes” between Turkish and Kurdish 
fighters in northern Syria as American troops make their way out of the 
area. It might have passed by with little notice in the rushing current 
of Mr. Trump’s Twitter stream, but for one thing.

“Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, ‘The ceasefire is holding up very 
nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly,'” Mr. 
Trump wrote on Twitter. “‘New areas being resettled with the Kurds.’ USA 
soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. 
Bringing soldiers home!”

Even for Mr. Trump, who often lards his online missives with typos, 
caps-lock abuses, occasional gibberish and errant exclamation points, 
Sunday’s missive contained an outsize number of errors. The first and 
most glaring: The president’s defense secretary is actually named Mark 

Questions arose. Was it a typo? How could Mr. Trump’s iPhone even make 
the jump from “Esper” to “Esperanto” if it was an auto-correct 
situation? It was a mystery that several White House officials could not 
solve when asked by a reporter on Sunday.

The larger problem, of course, is that Mr. Trump made a series of false 
or unsupported statements about a chaotic situation that has unfolded 
since he stood by as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey advanced 
his forces into the area. In recent days, the vice president traveled to 
Turkey to negotiate a brief cease-fire — a nominal sacrifice from Mr. 
Erdogan that the White House has tried to frame as a win.

The quote Mr. Trump attributed to Mr. Esper could have come from a 
private conversation between them. But it appeared that it might have 
been a recounting — if not an entirely faithful one — of public comments 
made by Mr. Esper, who made an unannounced visit to meet with American 
troops in Afghanistan this weekend and delivered his own assessment of 
what was happening in Syria.

“I think overall the cease-fire generally seems to be holding,” Mr. 
Esper said, according to a Reuters correspondent traveling with him. “We 
see a stabilization of the lines, if you will, on the ground, and we do 
get reports of intermittent fires, this and that, that doesn’t surprise 
me necessarily.”

At the end of the tweet, Mr. Trump added two confusing elements of his 
own. The first was that United States had “secured the oil,” a claim he 
has repeatedly made in recent days without any explanation. The White 
House did not clarify what he meant by those remarks, and Mr. Trump has 
ignored the question when asked about it by reporters. Last year, there 
were about 2.5 billion barrels of oil in the fields in northern Syria, 
according to industry estimates.

The president also said that the United States was “bringing soldiers 
home,” which is also not correct, at least not in the short term: Mr. 
Esper has confirmed that the troops leaving Syria are heading to Iraq, 
to continue operations against the Islamic State.

Separately, the Trump administration said this month that it would be 
committing additional troops to Saudi Arabia, a decision the president 
has said was made because the Saudis agreed to pay for the operation.

“A very rich country,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference with the 
Italian president last week. “They should be paying. And so should many 
other countries be paying if they want this kind of protection.”

Hours after the original tweet was posted to the presidential account, 
the White House tried again, spelling Mr. Esper’s name correctly.

Donald J. Trump
“The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor 
skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with 
Kurds. U.S. soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zone. We have 
secured the Oil.” Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense. Ending endless wars!

Most of the other questionable assertions remained.

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