The Trump Syria Strike: How to Best Handle the World’s “Bullies”…Action, Appeasement, or Apathy?

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As in the case of the bully who was twice my size in Seventh Grade, who used to torment me on a daily basis, until I finally had enough and smacked him right between the eyes with my size 2s drumsticks, the thick ones used for playing “the Toms”, President Trump has given the “bullies” of the word something to think about.

Foxnews.com reported yesterday that

The U.S. bombardment of a Syrian airbase just outside of Homs Friday was likely seen by North Korea as a clear warning that President Trump will use his military if United States interests are at risk.

The immediate focus after the strikes was on Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s reaction. Russia was not happy with the U.S., it spoke in defense of Syria and moved warships. But now the attention is on the next move by another world leader: Kim Jong-Un.

Gordon Chang, a Daily Beast columnist and author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On The World,” said in an emailed statement to Fox News Friday that the U.S. strike on the Syrian airfield “tells North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that he must now heed American military power, something that he probably dismissed before.”

“Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, disappeared from public view for about six weeks in 2003 at the time of the Iraq war. Kim Jong-Un loves the public spotlight, and it will be telling if he similarly goes into hiding,” the author said.

The airstrikes are “a warning to China’s People’s Liberation Army, which had grown dismissive of the U.S. Navy and Air Force.  Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader visiting Mar-a-Lago, almost certainly interpreted the strike as a sign of disrespect to him,” Chang said.

Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane told Fox News on Wednesday that the U.S. is “rapidly and dangerously heading towards the reality that the military option is the only one left when it comes to getting North Korea to denuclearize and not weaponized [intercontinental ballistic missiles].”

Trump made it a point to address the media about the Syria strike at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida just moments after dining with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping.

The strike was a culmination of a rapid, three-day transformation for Trump, who has long opposed deeper U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war. Advisers said he was outraged by heartbreaking images of young children who were among the dozens killed in the chemical attack and ordered his national security team to swiftly prepare military options. The Los Angeles Times reported up to 15 dead in the strikes. A Syrian official said six were killed at the base and nine others in surrounding areas. The death toll could not be independently confirmed. 

“This is Trump saying, ‘No, I am a man of my words,’” Reva Goujon, the vice president of Stratfor, told CNBC. “’When I make a threat, I will follow through.’ That’s certainly something the Chinese and North Koreans will be thinking about.”

Trump has said that if China doesn’t exert more pressure on North Korea, the U.S. will act alone. The missile strikes on Syria bring more weight to that statement.

As Trump begins to put his Foreign Policy Plans into action, I believe that is important to remember the disaster that was America’s Foreign Policy under Barack Hussein Obama.

Before Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm) ascended to the throne of The Regime, he did something no other candidate for American President has ever done.  He campaigned in Europe, where he was treated like a rock star, by both the Europeans and the sycophantic Main Stream Media.  This set the stage for Obama’s Foreign Policy efforts as President.

There were so many issues that weakened America on the world stage as Obama pursued his Foreign Policy, it’s hard to know where to begin.  Come along as I try to relate a few high (low?) points.

1.  The World Apology Tour – Shortly after he took office, President Obama set off for the first of a two-part “World Apology Tour”.   After less than 100 days, he had apologized on three continents for what he viewed as the sins of America and previous presidents.

Per Karl Rove:

Mr. Obama told the French (the French!) that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe.  In Prague, he said America has “a moral responsibility to act” on arms control because only the U.S. had “used a nuclear weapon.” In London, he said that decisions about the world financial system were no longer made by “just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy” — as if that were a bad thing. And in Latin America, he said the U.S. had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors” because we “failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

By apologizing to the world, then- White House Press Secretary Robert “Baghdad Bob” Gibbs said that Scooter had “changed the image of America around the world” and made the U.S. “safer and stronger.”

Having the British call him “President Pantywaist” made us “safer and stronger”?

2.  Global War on Terror –  In a memo e-mailed the week of March 25th, 2009, in the middle of the World Apology Tour, to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review proclaimed that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ ”  And so it began.

On Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at the University of Cairo, Obama addressed the Muslim World.  Here is an excerpt from the 6:35 a.m. speech:

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith-based lives upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.

Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld – whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.

Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.

Scooter believed that by reaching out to the Muslim world through changing and softening our terminology as it pertained to the Jihad declared against the United States by Muslim Extremists, his administration would make huge inroads in America’s relationship with the Islamic World.  It actually accompished nothing but to encourage our enemies, as evidenced by the increased number of attacks by Muslim Extremists here in our country during his time as President.

3.  Smart Power! – At her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton said:

We must use what has been called smart power, the full range of tools at our disposal—diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural—picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy. This is not a radical idea. The ancient Roman poet Terence declared that “in every endeavor, the seemly course for wise men is to try persuasion first.” The same truth binds wise women as well.

Excessive humility was never one of Hil’s problems.

Of course, Smart Power led to Arab Spring, which replaced Moderate Muslim Dictators, with Radical Muslim Dictators, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Great plan, y’all.

4.  Afghanistan – When Obama took office, he announced that Afghanistan was the true center of extremist activities.  He then told us that the Overseas Contingency Operation would be making a hard pivot from the main focus being on Iran to the main focus being on Afghanistan.  From there, he decided that the mountainous country of Pakistan (pronounced by the president, Pock-ee-stahn) was where all the truly evil Extremists were hiding.  He had two problems with this strategy:  the mountainous geography and unfriendly government of  Pock-ee-stahn.  Obama was advised by his military advisors that the best strategy was to use unmanned drones to attack Taliban (pronounced Tawl-ee-bohn by Obama) strongholds.  While the drones were very successful in killing members of the Tawl-ee-bohn, they have occasionally killed civilians as well.   That did not endeared us to that country’s government. Obama subsequently pulled out the majority of troops in Afghanistan, only recently to have had to send troops back in again.

While no President can control the actions of other countries come in their own affairs, the position of President of the United States has not historically been referred to as the Leader of the Free World for no reason.

That position has historically been the Vanguard in the fight against despotism and tyranny.

Unfortunately, for lovers of freedom the world over, instead of being the leader that the world and America itself needed, Barack Hussein Obama instead was an example of the Peter Principle.

He rose to his level of incompetence.

Obama believed in a “Chamberlain-esque” Foreign Policy of appeasement, consisting of vague warnings, pay-offs, and drawing red lines in the sand.

It didn’t work.

Regarding our present Administration’s “Warning Shot” fired against Syria the other night, I have been getting a lot of flack for my unabashed support of it.

This seems to be coming, at least in some part, from self- identified “libertarians”, who believe, like the Perennial Former Presidential Candidate, Dr. Ron Paul, that we oughtn’t “interfere” around the globe, especially without congressional declarations of war.

However, we’ve been doing exactly that to protect American interests since the country was founded.  President Jefferson, the paradigmatic states’-rights, small-government, libertarian president, prosecuted the First Barbary War against — no surprise — Islamic pirates in the Mediterranean, and did so without a formal declaration of war by Congress.  (According to Dr. Paul’s theory of foreign policy, maybe American ships shouldn’t have been sailing in the Mediterranean in the first place.)

Much to their angst and chagrin, President Donald J. Trump appears to be adopting President Ronald Reagan’s Foreign Policy of “Peace Through Strength.”

And, knowing that, I feel safer already.

Until He Comes,

KJ

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