Well, Trump derangement syndrome was taken to new heights with theory from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who apparently tried to link President Trump’s travel ban to the ISIS ambush in Tonga, Niger that left four American soldiers dead. No seriously, she tried to link Chad being placed on the list of nations in Trump’s executive order on immigration to possibly causing the deaths of four Americans. Adding Chad did spark criticism that it could cause instability and for those in the media who are confused why we’re there—the U.S. military is fighting al-Qaeda and its allies. This was reported back in 2013 when Obama deployed 100 men and drones to the region. The liberal Raw Story had a rundown of the theory:
When President Donald Trump’s White House instituted the travel ban and randomly added the African country of Chad to the list, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow says it may have destabilized the region. That lack of allied troops could have then been the cause of the deaths of the four soldiers killed two weeks ago in Niger.
Maddow began by walking through the extensive history of the groups of African and French fighters who have managed to battle Islamic extremists like ISIS and Boko Haram in central Africa and actually win. Most of these groups are headquartered in Chad, because the best of the best soldiers managed to run out the majority of the terrorist groups.
Yet, somehow, Chad ended up on Trump’s travel ban list. When it did, there was an uproar of foreign policy experts who warned this was a terrible decision because it would destabilize the region and isolate American troops fighting there. Both the State and Defense Departments were also opposed to Trump’s decision to put Chad on the list, because they knew it would cause military problems in the area. But the Trump administration demanded it.
A former State Department official who worked on that region went even further, telling the New York Times that putting Chad on that list could truly put Americans in harm’s way.
Chad then began to withdraw their troops from the fight against Boko Haram in Niger. In fact, Chad’s troops were gone a week after Trump added Chad to the ban list. According to Reuters, once the soldiers left, Boko Haram moved back in and people began to flee for their lives again. Shortly after the “battle-hardened” Chad fighters left, four American soldiers were attacked and killed in an ambush by ISIS extremists in Niger. Chad announced it began pulling its troops out two weeks ago on Oct. 13, which Maddow said would put their timeline for withdrawal at the end of September.
Nigerien troops are routinely attacked at remote outposts near Mali, Agadez, Diffa. Enough with the conspiracies. Tragedy ? scandal.— Ben Taub (@bentaub91) October 20, 2017
I was in Chad all summer. Withdrawal of Chad/MNJTF from Diffa is almost certainly unrelated to travel ban. Not everything links back to U.S.— Ben Taub (@bentaub91) October 20, 2017
Well, not quite, says Laura Sealy of Colby College and editor of the Monkey Cage blog that’s now featured on The Washington Post. She had a lengthy Twitter thread about how Maddow’s hypothesis was crap, how it’s conspiracy-mongering, and shocker—had zero hard evidence to back up the claim that Trump’s travel ban led to the deaths of American servicemen. Even the New Yorker’s Ben Taub said this was total bunk. I will link to the thread here; in short, Sealy noted that Chad had troops in Diffa, Niger, which is where Boko Haram activity is intense. That’s 733 miles away from Tonga—and due to the roads, it’s a 24-hour trip. Chadian troops were not a factor and this ambush would have occurred even if the nation hadn’t decided to pull out, which has caused great distress among the residents of Diffa. And not to highlight the obvious, we’re fighting al-Qaeda elements; Chad is fighting Boko Haram.
Deeply disappointed by @maddow's massively irresponsible conspiracy-mongering on Niger tonight. (Thread)— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
There is no evidence that the withdrawal of Chadian forces from Niger due to Trump's travel ban has anything to do w/the Niger tragedy. 2/n— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
Sealy added that we still don’t have all the details on the ambush other than the conditions were difficult and it occurred in difficult terrain. She also added that it’s one of many missions around the world where we have troops operating in advisory capacities against militants, especially in Africa. She adds that this ambush-like event would have eventually happened here or in Somalia, Nigeria, or Mali. It’s a sad fact. It’s the dangerous world of American Special Forces operations.
Diffa is here. As you can see, it borders Nigeria & Chad at the heart of the territory Boko Haram terrorizes. 4/n pic.twitter.com/6OZ3eHrRCo— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
The tragic deaths of 4 American & 5 Nigerien soldiers in an ambush on Oct. 4 occurred in Tongo Tongo. Which is here: pic.twitter.com/FMfwBDYbWj— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
Tongo Tongo is 733 miles from Diffa (as the crow flies). By road, that's at least a 24-hour journey. 8/n pic.twitter.com/PQKPlOsIqJ— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
Geography alone shows that there's no way that withdrawal of Chadian troops endangered American special forces operating in Niger's west. 9/— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
...against a completely different group of militants fighting in a conflict very different from that involving Boko Haram in the east. 10/n— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
Most importantly, though, the Chadians are not the important variable here. 20/n— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
Even if Chadian forces hadn't withdrawn from Niger in response to the travel ban, these men still would have been killed in the ambush. 21/n— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
I'm a registered Democrat & I think Trump is a terrible president. But I'm dismayed to see so many liberals seizing on the Niger story. 22/n— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
It will not get Trump impeached. It will not make Hillary Clinton president. It will not ensure the election of a Democrat in 2020. 25/n— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) October 20, 2017
Last, she admits that she thinks Trump is a terrible president, and that she’s a registered Democrat, but is dismayed fellow liberals are trying to turn this into the Republican Benghazi.
“It will not get Trump impeached. It will not make Hillary Clinton president. It will not ensure the election of a Democrat in 2020,” she wrote. While I disagree with her point about Benghazi (I think Clinton and the State Department dropped the ball), you have to give a hat tip for her calling out her own side for their tin foil hat antics.
This connecting the dots syndrome, which has infected the Left, which is so explicitly put on display with the Russian collusion nonsense, is starting to spill into other areas.