OPINION: What you need to know about U.S. Troops withdrawal from Syria

Trump ordered American troops out of Northern Syria who worked alongside the Kurd-led Syrian group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

This is an action that paved the way for Turkey to attempt to wipe out the Kurds in Syria who have allied with the U.S. in the war against terrorism, specifically with ISIS.

The Kurds were originally promised their own homeland in the agreement established in the Treaty of Sèvres after World War I, but then a following agreement spread them throughout Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. In Turkey , Kurds are oppressed and are seen as a threat.

What happened since Trump called out U.S. soldiers? 

First, Turkey covered 125 miles in the North East of Syria. The invasion alone displaced at least 130,000 people and have a reported 100 civilian casualties; thus, prompting the Kurds to reach out to Russia and Syria for help due to the area’s airstrikes and lack of resources.

The Kurds now had to fight a Turkish invasion on one end and prevent fleeing ISIS prisoners on the other. In fact, because of the removal of American troops, ISIS families and supporters northeastern Syria had escaped from a detention center.

Trump’s “America First” foreign policy mentality has received critical comments from scholars, Republicans, Democrats, and even the military themselves. Retired Gen. Joseph Votel, former head of U.S. Central Command, said,

“abandonment threatens to undo five years’ worth of fighting against ISIS and will severely damage American credibility and reliability.” 

Taking it a step further, it was even announced in a nonbinding resolution that the House voted 354 to 60 in opposition to Trump’s decision. Putting it into perspective, this is over two-thirds of the House and includes many high-profile Republicans.

Supporters for the decision, like those at recent Trump rallies, draw on Trump’s campaign promise to bring the troops back home and an overall agreement of less U.S. involvement in the Middle East. However, looks can be deceiving as it has been known that troops have not been sent home, but are rather just dispersed throughout the region. 

As of October of 2019, officials have been meeting to come to agreements but the area is still at war and is considered to be a humanitarian crisis. 

Even thousands of miles away Trump’s decision impacts the world today.

Knowing this, I turned to the San Diego State University community to get some more opinions on the matter. 

Professor Allen Greb, an International Relations professor, said,

“This undermines U.S. credibility. No one will join us if we are just going to abandon treaties. This decision did not make sense and was not oversought by professionals, it’s as if it was as personal as a real estate deal.”

Greb said Trump pulling American troops is detrimental, “the area is much less stable and safe now. By abandoning our trusted partner in the fight against ISIS we have made Russia, Turkey, and Iran main players in the Middle East.” 

Taking America out of the mix as a major player in the Middle East has let autocratic regimes have more influence. Good or bad, one thing is for sure, humanitarian needs have drastically declined in the short time since the U.S. pulled out.

SDSU graduate student, Patricia Abella, said she had an overall shock about the whole situation calling it disappointing and a shame.

“This doesn’t seem diplomatic, which is not one of Trump’s strong suits. It concerns me how unsupported this decision was and there will surely be consequences from it.”

Tom Derig, Geography major, said he is embarrassed about the move out from Syria.

“We now have turned our backs on our allies that helped us beat them [ISIS]. The biggest shock to me is that the United States military took a stand and actually disagreed with Trump’s plan,” Derig said. 

Personally, the decision by Trump to pull out troops from Syria is not only misleading but also foolish. Our troops are not being sent home and our relations with the Middle East just became way more complicated. America looks unreliable and unstable to our allies and to the overall international community.

Ten steps back or 10 steps forward? Well, that’s up to you but what we can tell is that the crisis in the Middle East is not getting solved anytime soon.

Written by Ali Goldberg

National Emergency Takes a Toll On SDSU Students

Border wall prototypes being built along the San Diego-Mexico border after the national emergency was called.

On Feb. 15, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency concerning America’s borders; this executive action poses concerns for SDSU students.

Due to the building of the border wall after Trump declared a national emergency, SDSU students who live in Mexico had their morning commutes extended. Dulce Sanchez, a junior and commuter from Tijuana, said her commute has been impacted by the building of the wall due to increased security and lane closures.

This has affected me more as a commuter, because now they close many lanes at the border to be able to revise the cars/persons more in depth, which takes a long time and long lines,” said Sanchez.

Kim Marbella, a Junior and Liberal Studies major, faces similar conditions and is concerned about the national emergency. “I feel like immigration officers have gotten stricter and make slow progress when crossing the border,” said Marbella.

So far Congress has approved 1.4 billion dollars for the wall.  However, under the national emergency, President Trump hopes to get an additional 6.5 billion dollars to fund the border wall. Trump cited the primary reason for the wall is, “…an invasion of our country with drugs, human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”

Sanchez said that Trump’s reason is unjustifiable, “I believe he is overreacting, but if he feels that building a wall would make the U.S. safer, and a better place, then he has all the right to do what he thinks is better for the country.”

“Unfortunately, to build this wall will cost millions of dollars that could be invested in other areas to help the country,” said Sanchez.

Public Domain: U.S Customs and Border Protection

Additionally, Trump’s views on immigration is another idea that has gained him supporters on the border wall. The wall that would be built would be designed to prevent illegal immigration in the U.S. It has been an idea that has won him many supporters since immigration is a very important issue to many Americans.

Sanchez does not believe that a wall will stop illegal immigration, “People have found ways to cross the border illegally in the past and will continue to find other ways if the wall actually happens.”

A  2018 poll conducted in mid-November found that 59 percent of Americans disagree with Trump’s plan to build the wall. Additionally, the poll cites that 79 percent of Republicans support the wall.

In a New York Times article, on Feb. 18, 16 states challenged President Trump’s emergency declaration for the funding of the border wall.  A federal lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco by states ran by Democratic governors, except  Maryland. The suit argues that the President does not have the authority to redirect funds for the wall when Congress is the ultimate and final authority on government spending.

Mabella said that the national emergency is ridiculous, “He [Trump]  is wasting his time and taxpayers money on a foolish national emergency when sincerely nothing of actual emergency is happening.”

Written by: Marco Arreola

The Sounds of State-Carmen Huerta and Marissa Ochoa

When I first began The Sounds of State last October, the first person to ever respond to me was Carmen Huerta, it took a very long time for us to finally sit down for our interview but here it is! Once we finally met up, we realized that we had actually known each other from our radio shows the semester before. Their show, Aztec Beat, preceded my show, Talking Aztec Sports with Cameron and Jackson, last semester. They always had colorful guests and interesting conversations related to San Diego State topics. Usually I interview music people, so I was caught somewhat off guard and had to improvise questions for the duo, so bear with me on this one. But either way, Carmen and Marissa were wonderful guests and without further ado, here’s the interview:

Cameron Satterlee: I’m sitting outside of the KCR studio, roughly, with Carmen and Marissa. Thanks for being on here.

Both: Thank you.

CS: So when is your show?

Marissa Ochoa: It’s Fridays from 12 to 1 pm.

Carmen Huerta: Isn’t it 1 to 2?

MO: It’s 12 to 1. I dunno, you’re the one that’s on air.

CH: No it’s 1 to 2!

MO: Okay, it’s Fridays 1 to 2 pm!

CH: It’s 1 to 2 cause I have class afterwards!

MO: Sorry sorry, I’m on the internet so I don’t remember sometimes.

CS: Well let’s just say listen in on Fridays to KCR and we’ll get you covered.

CH: It’s 1 to 2!

MO: Yeah it’s 1 to 2 (laughing).

CS: You’re the first news show I’ve ever had, so this is exciting, I’ll ask you some news related questions. Well first I want to ask how long you’ve been with KCR. I know you’ve been on for at least one semester cause my show followed yours up last semester. So how long have you been with us?

CH: For me, a year and a half.

MO: I’ve been with KCR for two years now.

CS: Alright cool, yeah I guess that’s as long as I’ve been with KCR. So as a new show, our normal news block is earlier in the morning, right?

MO: We’re not really a news, hardcore news show.

CS: You’re talk radio.

MO: We’re talk radio, yeah.

CS: Well so, what do you do for the most part? I mean, I know that’s an open ended question but I’m curious.

MO: Well in terms of news we don’t focus in on local news,, we focus in on SDSU news, so we get guests that are SDSU students or directors or…

CH: Organizations.

MO: Organizations and we interview them. So our news show isn’t for the public, it’s for SDSU students specifically.

CH: It’s like a features show.

MO: Yeah that’s a good way to describe it.

CS: Yeah I remember you had all these cool guests when I followed you up. I can’t remember any of them specifically, but I think one of them was in charge of the gardens here.

MO: Yeah.

CH: Oh the garden guy!

MO: And we also had a really cool guy, a comedian come on our show.

CH: That was our big guest.

MO: That was a huge one cause he is a legit comedian and he came to do our radio show with us.

CH: Cause he actually tours.

MO: Yeah listening to a celebrity is pretty cool, having him as a guest.

CS: Yeah yeah I remember the comedian, he had a whole posse come into the studio.

Both: Yeah!

MO: He did.

CS: That was interesting, you got a pretty neat show going on. I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed anyone who has regular guests on so that’s pretty cool.

CH: Well we were pretty lucky cause of Jocelyn.

MO: Yeah Jocelyn would give us guests, cause the guests we get on our show are normally SDSU based, and the guests Jocelyn gets are bigger in terms of who they are. But Carmen does a good job of finding guests and I do my part as well, so it’s really a group effort when we find who our guests are supposed to be.

CS: And so what made you want to go to KCR to do this kind of show? Because most people do music and sports, sort of.

CH: Well when I joined I didn’t know which section I wanted to do, when I saw news I was like “oh well that’s something I’m interested in” but I’m not a news CNN type person. So I thought “okay I’ll do a talk radio thing” and then my previous host, Jocelyn, she wanted to do something in the same way so we came up with Aztec Beat. And so it was from her that the idea came out, and when she couldn’t do it this year I was lucky enough to have Marissa. She was still on board with the same idea so she came on.

MO: Yeah, well my shows before her were very entertainment based. My first show was a movie-based show, so I did a lot of movie reviews. Then after that I went a lot into entertainment news. And it wasn’t until I got on board with Carmen that I transitioned more to SDSU news. And it’s been a lot better cause it’s much more relevant to listeners any ways.

CH: Yeah.

CS: Yeah that’s pretty cool, especially the movie reviews thing. I know that’s not what you do anymore.

MO: Honestly since it was the first show I ever did it was bad, I look back on it and go “oh my god.” Well what was funny was that I was right before our general manager’s show, our old one, Matt Anderson, and so his show was always really great and my show was before his and I always thought “why did you guys put me in this slot?”

CH: But she’s brought some really good ideas, often we did it more last semester, the trivia games at the end and playing with the guests.

MO: So just try to keep it lively, keep the guests entertained and make sure that the listeners are entertained at well.

CH: Cause you can’t just talk for an hour, that’s weird.

MO: No.

CH: Or our guests ramble and we’re like “what?”

CS: Yeah so where are you planning on taking the show in the future, or are you just kind of on a roll.

CH: I wish our show could get more recognition. I really don’t listen to the other shows but I think we’re doing a really good job and I don’t think we get enough credit. And that might sound a little bit biased, but I don’t think we get enough credit, we do a lot.

MO: Yeah I think we do a good job in terms of shows and all the other news shows do tremendous jobs as well. But the news section in general could get a lot more recognition. I think that a lot of the time they don’t know how much effort goes into talking for an hour. I mean, you should know, you’re a sports guy so you know how talking for an hour is really difficult and so yeah I guess in terms of recognition it’s something we can always strive for. But the show’s direction for next year, I think we need to keep going on what we’ve been doing. Each show is a learning experience, you learn from your mistakes and you build off them. And it’s just continue off of what we’ve already done and make it better than what it is now.

CS: Alright well thanks, this has been a great interview.

Both: Thank you.

So there you have it, my first ever interview with one of KCR’s great news programs. Be sure to tune in to Aztec Beat every Friday from 1 to 2 pm, that’s 1 to 2. Only on KCR College Radio, the Sound of State.