Jeb Bush would be proud. Trump unwittingly made all the lobbyists, rich donors, and special interest groups pushing Little Jebbie back in 2016 happy when he struck Syria. This once again raises frustration from the populist class of the country: why are we friggin’ bossing the world around again? Why are chemical weapon attacks the only instance in which we intervene? Why are we attacking Assad at the end of a battle against terrorists, and why aren’t we arming the Kurds to fight instead?
However, among the questions flung from the disgruntled outcry comes another: why is Trump getting flak for standing true to his red line in a specific foreign policy? The last president drew a so-called “red line,” then sat on his hands and bent over to kiss the feet of foreign dictators his next trip across the pond. The message America sends now compared to the message it sent just a few years ago might actually deter future transgressions on such a scale as chemical attacks against defenseless swaths of the population.
Think about it. America sends Assad to his mommy’s lap, quivering and crying, how likely is the next benevolent dictator to pop up and know he will run with unopposed atrocities? Beat up one bully at the school and the rest will dread waking up each day and seldom show their piggish faces. The argument in favor of nationalism is one I am completely sentimental towards, but sometimes there are benefits, not just setbacks, when a president does that which few want him to do.
Trump is well defined by his desire to keep focus on America, and his Syrian policies are almost entirely directed towards the eradication of ISIS (which he is actually killing as opposed to Obama) and stopping Assad’s taunting of America’s weak “red line in the sand” also courtesy NObama. Anyone arguing that this is a win for the “deep state” I believe misunderstands this case entirely. They have enough problems of their own–in fact, they are in the process of attempting to cover their own asses at this very moment in some extremely high-profile cases. I doubt this is their coup rallying behind a common cause. It’s merely been a Pentagon policy for a long time to stop Assad’s atrocities in Syria and prevent further destabilization in the Middle East.
Would Jeb Bush be proud? Yes, but that wouldn’t even be a bad thing.