You Can’t Separate ?s About Trump From ?s About His Syria Policy
He has been critical of Obama for years for all kinds of vague sins. But in the end it’s this: Obama wasn’t interventionist enough for him.
“It’s remarkable just how little the basic contours of the Syria debate have changed, despite more than five years of brutal civil war. The same perceptions and misperceptions about intervention dominate today. In some ways, they are even worse now because of the distorting figure of President Donald Trump. Is it possible to separate one’s feelings about the man from the recognition that he is, whether we like it or not, our commander-in-chief?”
No it really isn’t. Think of an analogy. Can I separate my feelings that I need to fly from NY to California from the fact that the pilot is drunk and never spent a day at pilot school? And by the way, this is his first day?
Only if your answer is yes, does Hamid’s question add up. Dan Rather put it very well.
“The role of the press is to ask hard questions,” Rather advised, citing “ample evidence” that the Trump Administration must face scrutiny and a “healthy skepticism” in all of its actions, a response to “the lies we have heard, the chaos in governance, and the looming questions about ties with Russia – itself a major player in Syria.”
“Perhaps it was the right thing to do. Perhaps a strong and wise policy will emerge. But that judgement is still definitely hanging in the balance.”
“The number of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning,” the celebrated journalist cautioned. “War must never be considered a public relations operation.”
“It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative.”
Dan Rather is a national institution. Hearing him today is amazing as I grew up listening and watching him. Yet his effect never changes. Just as when I was nine years old even till today, he strikes you as America’s conscience. Of someone who challenges us to meet our own aspirations.
Certainly he’s the conscience of the news media after what the miserable way he was destroyed by Roger Stone and Karl Rove, etc in 2004.
So, no Mr. Hamid, questions about Trump can’t be separated from questions about his policy. If we had less questions about him, we’d be better able to look at the policy.
The fact that Trump’s a pathological liar colors how we see his policy. The fact that his election is tainted and tarnished colors it. How can you see a Commander in Chief whose very legitimacy is open to question the same way as a legitimate one?
How can the fact that everything Trump ever said about Syria-and he’s said a lot-until last Tuesday, was diametrically opposed to what he did Thursday night?
If you say it doesn’t matter then you’re telling us this is 1984 and we must battle Oceania.
Words matter. Especially the President’s. His radical dishonesty and ignorance matter. You can’t disentangle this from him taking strikes in Syria. Strikes that the Shadi Hamids of the world probably hope is the start and not the end of military action in Syria.
Whether you think we should have shot the missiles into that Syrian airport on Thurdsay night or not, or whether you think we should do more in Syria or not-is there a way to do more without regime change?-you still have to be concerned about Donald Trump being the one to do it.
Even if we agree that we want to travel from NY to California, maybe we can wait for the next pilot? You know, who isn’t drunk, went to flight school, and this isn’t his first day?
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