The promise of a Trump presidency—that we would start looking out for our own country and own national interests first and let the rest of the world solve, or fail to solve, its own problems—appears, not 100 days in, to have been a mirage. Will more wars make America great again?
Trump explained his flip-flop: “I now have responsibility for Syria.” But that’s what one would expect the politicians he defeated to say. President Trump should recognize that he was elected as steward of the American republic and its people. To fulfill that responsibility, he should keep the United States out of the Syrian Civil War.
As in most wars, the first shots fired receive the loudest cheers. But if the president has thrown in with the neocons and War Party, and we are plunging back into the Mideast maelstrom, Trump should know that many of those who helped to nominate and elect him—to keep us out of unnecessary wars—may not be standing by him.
Nobody is claiming that America’s national interests are being threatened in Syria. Instead, the case for intervention is that Assad is a bad dictator who is doing bad things. But if that’s the criteria for intervention, why aren’t we bombing China, Venezuela, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the Central African Republic?
The Trump administration should expose this deal in its entirety to public view now. If that means Iran pulls out of the agreement -- as they have warned -- so be it. The transparency is worth whatever minimal insurance against a nuclear-armed Iran might be inherent in these evanescent documents.
The change in Trump’s Syrian position would be less remarkable were it not for its being one of many recent changes in Trumpworld and an increasing separation between the president’s current actions and his campaign rhetoric. Not even three months into Donald Trump’s presidency, the administration seems to be a very different creature from what it was on Inauguration Day, or from what it promised to be three months before that. And that’s probably a good thing.
Whenever our policymakers and hawks see another horrifying image from rebel territory in Syria, they'll remind us about the great nobility of their intentions, and the stubbornness of the American and British publics that stood in their way. Their self-regard is yet another propaganda image, and it should be discounted accordingly.
Religions are not equal when it comes to evaluating refugees. There are non-sectarian reasons to favor members of minority faiths, especially in the Middle East where religious minorities have suffered disproportionately.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first order of business at the State Department should be to eliminate the Fifth Column in his own building by showing the door to the signers of a letter criticizing President Trump’s Executive Order pausing travel from terrorist hotspots to the United States.
The United States allows a great deal of leeway for protest and disagreement. Those who disagree with the president’s executive order have taken full advantage of those rights, and rightly so. But their argument that the United States, alone among all countries, cannot restrict who comes in from beyond its shores is, quite simply, specious.
This is what winning looks like: "The President requested and the King agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts.”
The neo-con counter to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” seems to be shaping up to be “Make Russia Evil Again.” If President-elect Trump wants to drain the swamp in DC, and formulate a new national security policy focused on winning cyberwarfare battles and eradicating ISIS and militant Islam, he should start by draining Obama’s Pentagon.
Thanks in large measure to Angela Merkel, a Muslim army has successfully crossed the Mediterranean, European culture and nation-states are in full retreat, and Phase Six of the Muslim conquest of the West is well and successfully under way.
The lessons for Trump from the Aleppo disaster? Do not even consider getting into a new Middle East war—unless Congress votes to authorize it, the American people are united behind it, vital U.S. interests are clearly imperiled, and we know how the war ends and when we can come home. For wars have a habit of destroying presidencies.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has accommodated the Islamic State, allowing passage of men and materiel into Syria and facilitated the sale of oil seized by the violent jihadists. Turkey increasingly thwarts U.S. policy in the Middle East.
To find senior defense and national security officials who share his views, President-elect Trump may have to look beyond the obvious choices who, though undoubtedly talented, have a long association with the failed policies he has promised to rethink.
Senator Rand Paul says, "John Bolton more often stood with Hillary Clinton and against what Donald Trump has advised.” And Senator Paul has a point.
As of today, there is no possibility that the rebels we back could defeat ISIS and the al-Nusra Front, let alone bring down Bashar Assad and run the Russians, Hezbollah, Iran and the Iraqi Shiite militias out of Syria. Time to stop the killing, stop the carnage, stop the war and get the best terms for peace we can get. For continuing this war, when the prospects of victory are nil, raises its own question of morality.
Of Hillary Clinton's belligerent record Donald Trump observed: “Sometimes it seemed like there wasn’t a country in the Middle East that Hillary Clinton didn’t want to invade, intervene in, or topple.”
Neither party establishment is prepared to advance a strategy for victory, neither party establishment is prepared to successfully “wage peace.” Only Donald Trump was prepared to say that endless war is not just political folly, but an indecent sacrifice of American lives and treasure.