Let’s get this blog started out with a bang (pun totally intended) and talk about President Trump’s decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian air base this past week. Now, first and foremost, I am a YUGE Trump supporter. Loved The Art of the Deal, The Apprentice, and the guy knows how to make a pretty fashionable hat. Up until this point, I found myself agreeing with 99% of his policy decisions as they were all the promises he made during the campaign. You just can’t Stump the Trump. However, this week, in my opinion, was the first true presidential test and at the end of the day, I feel that the Trump wasn’t stumped, but the honeymoon is over.
Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. The photos were shocking and disturbing to say the least. Something needed to be done. Of that, there is no question. You cannot be a formidable and influential force on the world scale and do nothing when one country clearly violates not only rules of warfare, but the rules of humanity. Of course, this attack had to come at a time when Trump was meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping. Looked like the hot seat had got a little hotter. All eyes were on President Trump. The Comeback Kid had to make a decision. Do nothing and appear weak or do something and suffer the consequences. Thank goodness he chose the latter.
The Pros of the President’s decisions:
- Classic power move. No more “lines in the sand” that the enemy can simply cross over and expect no consequences. You piss off America and you’ll be getting a boot up your ass straight from Uncle Sam. And doing this all with the Chinese president in attendance? Brilliant! Now Xi Jinping knows that he better roll out the red carpet when Trump comes to town and better yet, tell North Korea to shut up with their missile threats.
- Elimination of the Russian collusion narrative. This “story” is so boring and full of holes that I’m surprised that the media and certain politicians are still pushing the theory that the Russians somehow hacked the election. Might be hard to say that Trump’s a Russian puppet when he attacks the air base of a Russian supported leader.
- Peace through strength. When you’re on the world stage with leaders who are thugs and dictators with questionable backgrounds, you can’t just play the “nice guy.” You’ll be eaten alive. Trump’s showing his hand early that any threats against his country or its people will be dealt with accordingly. Hard to bully someone else when they’re willing to push back.
And now for the negatives of the President’s decisions:
- More Middle Eastern meddling. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have led to more turmoil as different groups vie for power. We don’t need to start another pointless war in a region notorious for instability. Trump’s isolationist policies are what drew me to him in the first place. I’d hate to see him reverse course.
- Are other forces at work? Is Trump falling into a trap? I was watching CNN mere hours after the missiles were launched, and I couldn’t help but notice that the anchors and contributors were a little too excited about Trump’s decisions to launch the missiles. It seemed to me that they were salivating at the possibility of putting troops on the ground, and praised the actions of the President a little too much. Now maybe that’s just my viewpoint as I hold CNN as a top example of propaganda, but I really hope President Trump doesn’t let the media, and the forces that own them, goad him into escalation that is not needed. That would only backfire.
In summary, I think the President made the right decision in this scenario. I truly think it was a lose-lose situation. Staying the course of isolation, especially in front of China, would hamper America’s leverage at the negotiating table as every leader would think they’re still working with an all-bark, no-bite leader. However, I feel the crisis in Syria is a powder keg and any sort of actions like this are only going to stoke the flames. The last thing I want to see is another costly Middle Eastern conflict.
Either way, buckle up, kids. America’s in for one hell of a ride.