Reaction to President Trump’s recent missile strike on Syria in retaliation for Syrian resident Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons was surprising in the fact that condemnation came from the far right while the left’s reaction was somewhat muted.
The left presents itself as anti-war, peace-loving flower children seeking nothing more than to live in harmony with their fellow man and believing that they only need to try a little harder to understand the grievances of others to realize this harmonious Utopia. This childish naiveté fails miserably when confronted by the real world actions of despots bent on satisfying their own lusts for power with no regard to others weaker than themselves. Of course, what the leaders of the left are actually promoting is weakness in their followers so that they may be more easily controlled by these same leaders of the left.
Traditionally, the role of strong defenders has been worn with pride by the right practicing an awareness of the world they translate into realpolitik practicality. Aggressive despots seeking to encroach upon American interests are met with a strong defense and escalating responses intended to convey their inability to counter American defense and the resolve of American political leadership. Conservatives have best exemplified this aggressive attitude towards the protection of American interests while regressives have come across as targets to be taken advantage of for displaying weakness with their sickening apologies and inability to understand power.
Former President Obama’s inability to act decisively was morphed into the policy of leading from behind as if a hands-off approach would gain America respect and new friends by tiptoeing apologetically around the world. His weakness destabilized the Mideast and led to the Arab Spring uprising which toppled many of the strong leaders who had managed to keep the region stabilized and peaceful. For all of the rhetoric surrounding former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, jailed on charges of genocide against his own people while Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi was installed in his place only to be ousted from office by the Egyptian military tired of his push towards Islamization, Mubarak was recently freed by the courts as if nothing had ever happened. It was this regional destabilization which led to the Syrian conflict as opposition leaders attacked Bashar al-Assad’s forces thinking the United States would come to their aid. When the Obama administration displayed its characteristic weakness in refusing to aid the Syrian opposition, a campaign was undertaken to force a change in political opinion.
For years, there has been a faction seeking to push America into the Syrian conflict. Senator John McCain traveled to Syria in 2013 and managed to be photographed with al-Qaeda terrorists he thought were Syrian freedom fighters. McCain enlisted his usual Senate cabal of Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte to begin agitating for American involvement, and when this failed to move public opinion, Syrians began pouring into Europe in an effort to place the Syrian war on the west’s doorstep through a massive influx of refugees. It was thought that the west would intervene to stem the migration of Syrians, but the Syrian opposition miscalculated the left’s appetite for immigrants and desire to avoid war at all costs.
The Syrian war has managed to drag on for several years without American involvement despite the best efforts of Senator McCain and the neocons that infested the Bush administration. The fact is that there is not and never was a good side to choose in the Syrian conflict, and American interests were served partially by both sides. Support for Assad would improve regional stability, but at the cost of propping up a totalitarian despot who violates human rights and supports terrorism against the U.S. Supporting the opposition is even worse as it would mean America would have to swap sides in the War on Terror to support the same al-Qaeda responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Once again, there is no good side. The American people see this quite clearly even if the politicians don’t.
Donald Trump campaigned on opposition to involvement in regional conflicts that don’t directly threaten American interests, and this resonated with Americans tired of Mideast wars with no definitive resolution. Conservatives who had chaffed at watching the neocons of the Bush administration involve America in Iraq for no good reason only to see our troops withdrawn at the very moment stability was in hand to allow the country to descend into chaos, supported Trump’s promise of putting America first over the interests of others. This issue would have resonated more with the left if they hadn’t been totally invested in Hillary to the point where consideration of another candidate was unthinkable.
Since Hillary’s defeat, lefty snowflakes have gone apoplectic over everything President Trump has said or done as if the least utterance pointed directly to the end of life as we know it. Americans were presented a choice between a crook with a bad temper, a penchant for lying, and questionable sexuality, and a flamboyant celebrity businessman with a penchant for self-promotion and unpredictability. After sixteen years of boring establishment politics which took pains to avoid offense by saying nothing at all, Americans opted for the unpredictability of Trump as a nice change of pace that might finally be the antidote of establishment control of the government.
It is one thing to be entertained by the antics of an unpredictable showman on the campaign trail, and quite another to have that unpredictable showman in charge of the most powerful office on the planet. Americans who voted for Trump were a little uneasy about his ability to govern, but their exhilaration at watching President Trump roll back the pernicious control of the Obama administration quickly put them at ease. Liberal snowflakes recoiled in horror as President Trump set about rolling back Obama administration initiatives with the very same Executive Orders Obama had used to enact them.
Their hatred of President Trump continues to increase as the left slowly ratchets up talk of arming themselves to retake what they think is rightfully theirs. You see, insurrection is usually the work of the left as rejection of their regressive agenda is translated into totalitarian control to force adoption of ideas which absolutely will not work in a free society. I’ve made the point numerous times that communism and socialism always fail even under the most oppressive totalitarian regimes while the free enterprise system succeeds under the most arduous regulations the left can devise to choke out its practice. Only the free enterprise system is capable of satisfying the wants and needs of consumers while ensuring ample reward for the hard work and sweat of entrepreneurs.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his people back in 2013 in the Ghouta chemical attack with US estimates placing the death toll around 1500. After issuing his infamous red line a year earlier in reference to Assad’s possession and use of chemical weapons, then President Obama was forced to back down from his red line threat as he had no intention of acting in a decisive military manner. Instead, he opted for diplomacy to negotiate a settlement whereby Assad would give up chemical weapons he had never previously acknowledged to avoid the threat of military action. In the end, there was never a proper mechanism to verify that the terms of the treaty were executed, and there was never any assurance beyond Assad’s word that all chemical weapons were removed from Syria.
The recent suspected chemical attack in northwestern Syria brought with it graphic images of dying children as the world turned its revulsion on Assad once again for attacking innocent people with chemical weapons. Seeing the shocking images of dying children, President Trump ordered a retaliatory strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Syrian airbase from which the chemical attack was launched resulting in the destruction of the base and several Syrian warplanes. President Trump sent the message that America would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by anyone, and also sent the message that his administration would not hesitate to use military force to achieve its objectives.
Reaction to President Trump’s military strike was surprising in that the most vociferous objections came not from the left with its emphasis on peace, but from the far right conservatives who feel betrayed by President Trump’s campaign promise to avoid military intervention overseas. For those paying attention, President Trump never promised to avoid military intervention at all costs, but sought to establish a policy whereby military force would be used judiciously to achieve attainable goals protecting American interests. After eight years of Obama administration indecisiveness and the avoidance of using any military power greater than drone strikes on terrorist leaders, it is refreshing to have a president willing to back up his resolve with military strikes. President Trump’s actions served notice to the world that America was done with Obama administration weakness and lack of resolve.
Reaction from the left has been fairly muted and for a curious reason. Leftist leaders busy bemoaning President Trump as the embodiment of evil for rolling back the regressive agenda have suddenly discovered to their delight that he is human after all. President Trump saw pictures of dying children gasping for breath and was moved to right a great wrong. In their eyes, this humanizes President Trump and leads to the conclusion that they may manage yet to co-opt him. If he can be moved to action by the same emotional prompts the left has employed for decades to move the American people, then the left sees an opening to dealing with President Trump on their terms.
I have no problem with President Trump launching the Tomahawk attack on Syria in retaliation for Assad’s use of chemical weapons. It troubles me that an attack which killed relatively so few people might have involved chemical weapons when previous attacks killed hundreds more. Chemical weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction precisely because their use is intended to kill at a much greater ratio than more conventional kinetic weapons. It is entirely possible that conditions on the ground were unfavorable to a chemical weapons attack and limited the death toll. This might have been a sparsely populated area, or the wind might have been uncooperative, or the delivery was not precisely on target, or any number of other factors might have been off to contain the death toll. If this was a chemical weapons attack, then Assad got way much more trouble for the effort and way too little effect to have made this attack worthwhile.
It is entirely possible that this attack could have been staged by the opposition as another effort to discredit Assad and lead to western involvement in the Syrian war. It is also possible that, much like the reports of yellowcake uranium supposedly in the possession of Saddam Hussein but later turning out to be false which provided the basis of the Bush administration launching the Iraq War, this report of chemical weapons is not all that it appears to be. These are mere conjectures that exist at the periphery and interest me very little, but I am certain that President Trump’s retaliatory Tomahawk strike served notice on the world that he is a man not to be trifled with. I have no problem with it and applaud his containment strategy of sending a message while limiting involvement.
I am much more concerned that the left will devise a strategy to undermine President Trump’s resolve to roll back the regressive agenda of the Obama administration through an orchestrated campaign of emotional appeals designed to protect their cherished initiatives at the expense of shrinking government through budget cuts and the elimination of unnecessary and burdensome federal agencies. It would indeed be ironic if the very display of force President Trump used to send the message of American strength and resolve to the rest of the world were cynically used by the left to draw him into the establishment sphere of political influence.
There are forces at work to undermine the Trump administration and prevent it from dismantling the regressive advances of the Obama administration. Lefties are tenacious about protecting every inch of ground they gain, and watching President Trump roll back their precious gains of the last eight years is galling to them to no end. Remember, the left criticized Obama for not going far enough in his efforts to enact regressive initiatives and urged him to go faster in the waning days of his administration. Lefties admire totalitarian dictatorships for their ability to impose the regressive agenda on their people regardless of the cost. Talk of resorting to armed violence is slowly ratcheting up on the left as celebrities and other assorted lefties post not-so-veiled threats on social media. Remember also that armed insurrections usually begin on the left, and it is not hard to realize that the left will resort to nefarious means to achieve its goals.
Was this a real chemical weapons attack? Probably. Was President Trump right in ordering a retaliatory Tomahawk strike? Definitely. Did the world take notice of President Trump’s willingness to employ American military might to protect American interests? Absolutely. Will the left cynically seek to undermine President Trump with emotional appeals now that they think he is vulnerable to that approach? Conclusively.