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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria.

But there’s something distinctly missing from the piece: the words “Donald” and “Trump.”

Unbelievably, however, another name does appear in the piece: former President Barack Obama.

In fact, McConnell personally criticizes Obama three times in the op-ed.

McConnell’s refusal to say Trump’s name while criticizing Trump’s decision has been a theme this week. Other Republicans have made similar criticisms of Trump’s policy, also without using Trump’s name.

The first mention of Obama’s name comes in the opening paragraph of McConnell’s piece.

“Withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria is a grave strategic mistake,” McConnell wrote. “It will leave the American people and homeland less safe, embolden our enemies, and weaken important alliances. Sadly, the recently announced pullout risks repeating the Obama administration’s reckless withdrawal from Iraq, which facilitated the rise of the Islamic State in the first place.”

Next, McConnell calls out Obama’s leadership style, saying Obama led from behind, but he doesn’t criticize Trump for sidling up to dictators and sending embarrassing letters to world leaders that sound like a third-grader wrote them.

Lastly, McConnell uses Obama’s name to blame Obama for the rise of ISIS. McConnell says ISIS is poised to rise again thanks to Trump’s decision, but again, he never used Trump’s name.

“We saw the Islamic State flourish in Iraq after President Barack Obama’s retreat,” McConnell wrote. “We will see these things anew in Syria and Afghanistan if we abandon our partners and retreat from these conflicts before they are won.”

Meanwhile, one terrorism expert said this week that Trump’s retreat “created a perfect situation for ISIS.” Current and former intelligence officials have warned that the withdrawal could increase the ISIS threat to Americans.

In reading the piece, you’d almost think Obama was still occupying the White House and not Trump.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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