Trump Blew It With World Condemnation of Assad
Trump didn’t use diplomacy in the Assad sarin attack, because he only had a Secretary of State and no connection to the 70,000 serious, experienced diplomats in the State Department. He also proposed a 37% cut of the State Department budget, and obviously personnel, which has demoralized it and probably also started draining its ranks. Even the Russian ambassador pointed out that Trump should fill the highest levels of the State Department so that Russia could fully deal with issues with us.
The whole world condemned Bashar al Assad of Syria, and it would have been the best time for them to become more serious about a settlement in which he was removed. The latest resolution in the Security Council was only blocked by Russia and Bolivia. When it became clear that the Russians were at the air base where the attack originated, they would have been condemned also. They were also supposed to supervise Assad’s complete destruction of such weapons.
Then, without any negotiation attempts, or advise and consent from the Senate, or announcement or discussion with the American people, Trump took over and made a very limited and somewhat useless retaliatory attack on the military airfield. Then he said that was all. Having taken credit for what he called sufficient and limited retaliation, he essentially removed the world’s motivation for acting against Bashar al Assad and Putin.
A calmer President would have used his State Department advisors and conferred with world leaders, and the UN, and put together a coalition to add sanctions that could pressure Assad and Putin, as well as possibly concentrating more power on the war on ISIS. On top of this, Trump couldn’t wait another day or two for China’s President Xi Jinping to leave Mar a Lago, but made him lose face by pulling it off behind his back, and taking away his importance in world news of meeting with the American President.
I and others think that there was no coincidence in Assad’s making the attack just days after Trump assured the world that we were going to cooperate with him and Russia to defeat ISIS. When Obama became President, Trump had sarcastically tweeted that Obama would take some military action to boost his popularity. It’s up to the reader to decide about these things in Trump’s case. Trump also refused to allow in any Syrian refugees, while other ones from the other seven banned Muslim countries could be let in after three months of figuring out how to do “extreme vetting”. This again showed Assad that we didn’t care how much the Syrian civilians suffered in the rebel contested cities. About a half million Syrians have died and 11 million have had to relocate. As we have all seen, their cities are rubble, and they have lost everything.
Our whole involvement in Iraq started when George H. W. Bush’s ambassador to Iraq acted indifferent to Sadam Hussein’s policies. On August 2-3, 1990, Sadam invaded the oil rich country of Kuwait. On the border of Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves that were going to power most of the world for centuries, the US had to step in, and remove Iraq from Kuwait. We all learned a lesson then. And that is why, 27 years later, we are still in Iraq.
I wrote a recent article showing how, undoubtedly unknowingly, Trump’s civilian budget cuts are harming children in America, and abroad, and in millions, not just tens. To that article I have to add that 15 million are starving in Africa, and of course the kids are first to go. Child survivors will be physically and mentally harmed for life. Trump is cutting most of our $10 billion of foreign aid under the Bannon policy of “America First”.
Any hopes of a Russian compromise, which Trump took so much criticism for up to now, have vanished with Trump’s, Tillerson’s, and the intelligence organizations accusations against Russia. Trump seems to have finally realized that Putin is as thin skinned as he is and even more of an egotist and narcissist. You would think that Trump would understand his mirror image better than anybody. Putin’s policies are Making Russia Great Again, having his oligarchs exploiting Russia’s natural resources, establishing sea ports to build his navy (following Peter the Great), taking over Crimea for its port and Black Sea oil reserves (as did Katherine the Great in 1783), taking eastern Ukraine for its mining resources, working to weaken NATO, restoring the Iron Curtain, eliminating all “fake news” press, locking up any political opponents, and banning all immigrants from Muslim countries. Enough coincidences? Oh, I forgot, having Russians running your re-election campaign.