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Tags: trump | syria | strike | criticism

Trump Unfairly Criticized for Successful Syria Raid

Trump Unfairly Criticized for Successful Syria Raid
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida on April 16, 2018. Trump is heading to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach for a summit with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 17-18. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Dorstewitz By Monday, 16 April 2018 03:37 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Friday’s airstrike on Syria was further proof that President Donald Trump rejected his predecessor's muddled, ineffective “lead from behind” approach to foreign policy. Nonetheless, both liberals and conservatives are screaming foul. They’re all wrong.

Last week, Michael Reagan implored the president to do to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad what his late father, President Ronald Reagan, did to Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi 32 years earlier — to strike without notice or permission and thereby leave a lasting impression.

Trump not only accomplished that, but he did “The Gipper” one better. While France denied the U.S. access through its airspace to launch the April 14, 1986, raid, Trump actually made France — along with Great Britain — a partner to the operation.

Even before the raid, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., blasted the raid as foolhardy.

“There is no plan, no exit strategy and no authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Syria,” Gillibrand, often named as a probable 2020 presidential hopeful, said during an appearance at the Women in the World 2018 conference.

After the airstrike, Trump’s detractors came out in droves, each clamoring for network airtime.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., called the action “illegal,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the president has to give Congress a comprehensive Syrian strategy and get their approval.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., lamented that this was Trump’s second Syrian raid.

“Last year, @realDonaldTrump struck #Syria (w/o congressional approval). What’s changed?” he asked. “Zero. They’re still using chemical weapons. This is the result of a failure to have a strategy and engage Middle East countries to solve this problem.”

The issue came up last year following a missile strike on a Syrian air base. The president is generally required to consult with Congress prior to engaging hostilities; however, he’s also given "leeway to respond to attacks or other emergencies" in a limited way, according to the Council of Foreign Relations (emphasis mine).

Defense Secretary James Mattis addressed the issue of the second strike, saying, "Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time, our allies and we have struck harder."

The airstrike was also clearly legal under international law. Russia called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to address that very issue. Council members rejected the Russian resolution, and U.S. Envoy Nikki Haley warned that America was “locked and loaded” in the event of another chemical attack.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow went completely off the rails. Her cynical suggestion that there may be a “perception” the raid was ordered to distract the public from alleged presidential domestic scandals doesn’t warrant comment.

The president was also hit from the right over Friday’s raid.

Referring to what may be called the Trump doctrine — “America first” — some conservatives were saddened and angry over the U.S.-led strike, telling the president that Syria’s civil war isn’t our fight.

While that may be true, American interests go beyond the mere financial and political.

As the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher observed, “Europe was created by history; America was created by philosophy” — and that philosophy includes a commitment to the dignity of the human spirit and the elevation of the human condition.

"The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air," Trump said in announcing the raid. "These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead."

Still others agreed with the strike, but claimed it didn’t go far enough. But no matter how corrupt Assad may be, regime changes seldom work out well.

In early 2011, then-President Barack Obama approved “Operation Freedom Falcon,” a prolonged military intervention of Libya. As a result, insurgents captured and killed Qaddafi later that year — an event Obama hailed as a “foreign policy success.”

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took it further — she was delighted and actually laughed that she had a role in the Libyan dictator’s death.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked between network interviews.

Trump knew something Obama and Clinton never understood: The vacuum created by deposing a tyrant is seldom filled by a Mahatma Gandhi — he’ll more likely be replaced with an Osama bin-Laden, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

And the United States paid dearly in Libya a year later. Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were murdered in Benghazi during a brutal 13-hour raid on the American diplomatic compound while the Obama administration did nothing.

Friday’s raid had exactly the effect that was intended — it dramatically got Assad’s attention. The message was also received by Russia, Iran and, to a lesser extent, North Korea.

And in the event Syria’s dictator needs another lesson, we’re ready, “locked and loaded.”

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Friday’s airstrike on Syria was further proof that President Donald Trump rejected his predecessor's muddled, ineffective “lead from behind” approach to foreign policy. Nonetheless, both liberals and conservatives are screaming foul. They’re all wrong.
trump, syria, strike, criticism
Monday, 16 April 2018 03:37 PM
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