Blood On Our Hands II: Trump Again Bumbles Into Encouraging Assad To Use Chemical Weapons.
Blood On Our Hands I.
An amateur in foreign policy heads an administration of amateurs in foreign policy. The foreign policy bumbling of this President, and his Administration, has gone beyond embarrassing tweets and awkward meetings with other heads of state. The clowns running this show have blundered into encouraging the use of chemical weapons against women and children. The blood of those victims, at least partially, stains the hands of the United States.
I also quoted Republican Senator John McCain at the time condemning Trump and describing the predictable nature of this “disgraceful” American role in contributing to this catastrophe.
“Bashar Assad and his friends, the Russians, take note of what Americans say. I’m sure they took note of what our secretary of state said just the other day . . . I’m sure they’re encouraged to know that the United States is withdrawing and seeking some kind of new arrangement with the Russians. It is another disgraceful chapter in American history and it was predictable.” — John McCain, April 2017.
The thing about predictability is that it is predictable. Sadly, Trump’s inability to learn from his mistakes was also predictable.
Blood On Our Hands II.
A week ago Trump stunned his own advisors, in both the Departments of State and Defense, declaring he wanted withdraw American forces from Syria very soon. In a speech that was supposed to be about infrastructure, Trump surprisingly declared:
“We’re coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon — very soon we’re coming out.” — President Trump, March 31, 2018.
Only a few days later Assad launched a devastating chemical attack on his own people, killing dozens.
History replayed itself as John McCain again condemned the President for emboldening Assad into the attack.
“President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria. Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma.” — John McCain, April 2018.
In the words of Yogi Berra “It’s deja vu all over again.”
The sense of deja vu continues with Trump’s similar naivete induced incredulous response that this could happen. A year ago Trump responded by strongly condemning Assad’s use of chemical weapons, blaming Obama for not enforcing a “red line” (that at the time Trump said Obama should not enforce), and launching a largely ineffectual (but expensive) cruise missile strike on a mostly deserted Syrian airfield that returned to operations the next day.
This time around Trump took to twitter to strongly condemn Assad’s use of chemical weapons, blame Obama for not enforcing the red line, and threaten more military action.
This President has led a disastrous foreign policy of unnecessarily alienating allies, encouraging despots, and incompetently blundering (twice now) into encouraging the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons against its own people. It’s not surprising. The State Department is in complete disarray from large scale firings, to include that of Trump’s Secretary of State less than ten days ago.
There is a price to be paid for such chaos and incompetence. Once again that price was paid by Syrian women and children.