The Only Suffering That Moved Trump On Syria Were His Suffering Poll Numbers
I have to say that all this Beltway talk about how Trump has this huge old heart that couldn’t abide seeing ‘a beautiful baby’ suffer is a bulimic’s paradise.
— Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) April 10, 2017
The real suffering are his poll numbers. Is it possible in the middle of War Fever to have a little perspective?
First of all, the Syrian people themselves may well wonder what was different last Tuesday as opposed to every other day of the last five years in this very violent civil war. For five years, Trump has been saying that we shouldn’t fight Assad in Syria. That it will be counterproductive.
“Trump Hypocrisy: Blaming Syrian Chemical Attack on Obama.”
“In 2013, Trump tweeted—repeatedly—that Obama should do nothing in Syria.”
“Whether or not Obama’s policy in 2013 was successful, this much is clear: at that point, Trump had an unambiguous position regarding Syria— do nothing. Throughout this episode, Trump tweeted up a storm about Syria. Repeatedly, he declared—occasionally in all-caps!—that Obama should not be messing around in Syria. He said there was no reason to attack Syria or take any action there. Let the Arab League deal with the problem. He was asserting that Obama should not respond to the chemical attacks—a policy certainly in sync with Assad (and his Russian patrons). Stay out of this, Trump demanded, and focus on domestic issues.”
Think about it. He has such a big, ole heart that after 2500 were killed in Assad’s 2013 attack Trump told Obama to do nothing. And that he needed Congressional approval.
“Since Assad’s 2013 chemical attack, Assad has murdered many of his own people-just not with CWs. As for last Tuesday’s attack, we have not seen hard evidence yet that Assad did use CWs. Ironic after Trump criticized W’s WMDs he just assumed there was a CW attack without any evidence.”
“But put the fact that we don’t know Tuesday was a CW attack aside for the moment. In 2013 2500 were killed. On Tuesday 70. Trump was unmoved by the 2500 in 2013. Or any of the hundreds of thousands butchered since. But the 70 on Tuesday hurt his heart.”
“Some are saying that the difference is, Assad used CWs on Tuesday. Again, that’s a rush to judgment assumption. But put the qualm aside that we don’t even know for sure Assad used CWs, Trump wasn’t always so worried over chemical weapons either.”
“Making the case for a more isolationist U.S. foreign policy, Trump, during a December 2015 rally in Hilton Head, South Carolina, lamented that “Saddam Hussein throws a little gas. Everyone goes crazy.”
Just a little gas. What’s the big deal?
And then, here’s the rub. Since Trump has been POTUS he has rolled back a lot of the procedures in place the Army employed to hold down civilian casualties.
“UNDER TRUMP, U.S. MILITARY HAS ALLEGEDLY KILLED OVER 1,000 CIVILIANS IN IRAQ, SYRIA IN MARCH.”
“U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria may have already killed 1,484 civilians in just Iraq and Syria this month alone, more than three times the number killed in President Barack Obama’s final full month in office, according to British monitoring group Airwars. For the first time, the number of alleged civilian casualties in events carried out by the U.S.-led coalition has exceeded the death toll of attacks launched by Russia.”
There are so many more civilian deaths because Trump has rolled back precautions against civilian deaths.
“The high civilian toll suggests that coalition forces leading the offensive in Mosul have failed to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”
But Trump has this big, ole heart you know? He can’t stand to see civilians killed. That’s why he’s killing three times as many as Obama, more than Russia.
And this brings us back to the issue of Syria. Obama’s Syria plan that the GOP rejected was actually much bigger.
“The Trump administration’s strike on one of Bashar al-Assad’s air bases was similar in style and objectives to the strike plan that President Barack Obama prepared in 2013 — except that Obama’s attacks were to be several times bigger than President Trump’s. At the time, leading Republicans mocked the Obama administration for what it called “pinprick” strikes, calling them ineffective. Today they praise Trump’s smaller strikes as perfectly calculated.”
“What we had in mind in 2013 had many more targets and was much more expansive,” a senior Obama administration official involved in those discussions told me.
Even Lindsay Graham admitted it for this article.
Yet, the GOP dismissed it as a ‘pinprick.’
Dan Shapiro-who was in the Obama Administration:
7. Targets were airfields &other regime targets, not CW stocks themselves, 2 avoid poison plume that could kill innocents. (Like this week)
— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) April 9, 2017
So Obama’s plan was much bigger than Trump’s but avoided killing innocents. The irony is that despite Trump’s alleged outrage that 70 Syrians were killed went out and fired those missiles that: killed seven more Syrian civilians.
So in anger about 70 dead civilians you kill 7 more. Boy, if only the rest of the world had Trump’s big, ole beating heart.
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.
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