Even if the Syria Policy is Right, it’s Impossible to Trust Trump to do it
I’m sorry but for me there’s two layers to this:
1. What’s the best policy response?
2. Even if we can agree on 1 do you trust Trump carrying it out? I don’t. I honestly don’t trust him leading our armed forces for a NY second. As it is, his main legacy in Iraq seems to be to encourage the army not to worry about civilian casualities.
People always criticize Obama for not enforcing his ‘red line’ in 2013. But what no one ever does is answer what they propose Obama should have done.
So it’s not nearly as easy to answer 1 as the glib critics of Obama make it sound. But even if we have a simple answer to 1-which we don’t-I don’t trust Donald Trump.
Only last Thursday, U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley was saying, “Our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out,” and Tillerson, borrowing language from Russian diplomats, was announcing, “the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.”
Months ago, Trump was insisting that the focus of U.S. policy should be defeating ISIS, rather than ousting Assad. “You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton,” he told Reuters in an interview. “You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” he said. That was October. What happens next? It would be foolish to predict what Trump will do—he may not even know himself. But it seems we can dispense with the campaign-trail narrative that he is some kind of dove. Trump is a war president now: So far, he’s bombed both sides of the conflict in Syria; used military force in Yemen, where he dramatically escalated the number of drone strikes and authorized a special operations raid that led to the death of a Navy SEAL; and quietly deployed additional troops in Iraq (and Syria). Trump has also declared Somalia a combat zone, a designation that gives the military more leeway to launch airstrikes without seeking explicit White House approval.
Jennifer Rubin seems to think that maybe Trump is a changed man who had a Road to Damascus conversion. My guess is it’s more likely a wag the dog conversion. But she still gets there’s a problem:
We should note that Trump’s crumbling credibility and penchant for outlandish lies now come back to haunt him. He will need to make judgments as commander in chief and potentially launch new military operations. He, however, has not shown himself to be trustworthy and, as a result, will be less able to command domestic and international support for our policy.”
Therein lies the problem. Even if you agree new operations are in order, how do you trust Trump to lead them? Is there a reason to think he’s going to be more trustworthy on a foreign war than domestically?
That’s absurd as there is a lot more accountability for domestic policy. I guess what I’m saying is with a President with a legitimacy crisis and who has shown himself to be a pathological liar, I don’t trust him for a NY second to run foreign policy in our name.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will