All of which makes it noteworthy that Trump’s Kurdish betrayal has elicited such a political backlash, including among some of his more reliable lackeys in the Republican caucus. People like Senator Lindsey Graham understand that what the U.S. is now doing isn’t simply foreign policy folly. It’s a national disgrace.

It’s a signal that Americans are the friends you never want: there for you when, and only when, it’s convenient for them. It’s evidence that our moral values are tissue paper around the glass fragments of our president’s ego. It’s proof that the idealism that stormed Normandy, fed Europe, democratized Japan, and kept West Berlin free belongs to an increasingly remote past.

It means that American sailor or soldier seen on the horizon is no longer “freedom man.” He’s fair-weather friend.