Individuals like Donald Trump, who chronically betray others, are incapable of authentic relationships or genuine human connections. They view other people solely in transactional terms. For malignant narcissists, they themselves are the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Other human beings don’t have inherent dignity; their worth is determined solely in terms of what they can do for the person who is the betrayer. If the answer is nothing, then others are dismissed, discarded, and abandoned. There is no empathy, no sympathy, no guilt or shame.
The Kurds were a mere afterthought to Donald Trump. Turkey’s Erdoğan is the type of authoritarian leader who can easily manipulate the president. Erdoğan wanted something done, and Trump was willing to do it.
A year ago, President Trump was praising the Kurds as “great” allies, vowing to protect them. “They fought with us. They died with us,” Trump said. “We have not forgotten.” But just a few days ago, he dismissed the Kurds this way: “They didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example.”
President Trump doesn’t interpret his abandonment of America’s faithful and intrepid Kurdish ally as betrayal because he can’t even understand why betrayal is a vice. It’s like trying to explain color to a person born with no eyesight. He doesn’t appear to comprehend that a relationship without trust is not a true relationship; it’s merely an exchange of needs—and President Trump will betray anyone who no longer serves his needs.