Trump drew his gas-attack red line 6 months ago

‘You have to go after them big league’

By GARTH KANT, WND

Tomahawk missile fired at a Syrian air base from the USS Porter April 6, 2017

WASHINGTON – Many of President Trump’s supporters are wary, some even critical, of the cruise-missile strikes against Syria because he had so severely criticized previous U.S. foreign interventions, particularly in the Mideast.

However, candidate Trump actually gave a warning half-a-year ago that the use of chemical weapons would be a red line for him.

In an interview with Sara Carter of Circa News in September, the candidate said an ISIS mustard-gas attack on U.S. troops at a training facility in northern Iraq that had just happened was intolerable.

“When you look at [the fact that] they’re starting to hit us with gas now on top of everything else, that’s a total lack of respect and you cannot let them get away with it,” candidate Trump told her. “You have to go after them big league.”

Carter wrote that Trump said anyone who uses chemical weapons should expect military action.

“You have to hit them so hard and the people that did it,” said Trump. “Don’t forget they’re out there looking to do it again.”

Still, some voters and pundits seem to feel double-crossed by the president after he ordered 59 cruise missiles to hit a Syrian airbase on Thursday in retaliation for the gruesome and deadly gassing of Syrians.

As WND reported, perhaps the president’s biggest supporter in the 2016 campaign, columnist Ann Coulter, tweeted, “Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates.”

Talk-show giant Michael Savage declared, “This beating of the war drums with Russia has to stop.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, “Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different.”

On Tuesday, the Washington Times’ Byron York cited a Washington Post poll showing only 35 percent of the public would support another round of airstrikes, and 54 percent opposed that.

York asserted, “[L]eaders don’t surprise the voters with an out-of-the-blue act of war. In the case of Syria, Trump moved so quickly, and with such little effort at public persuasion beforehand, that he maintained the element of surprise on his own voters. That’s not a good idea.”

York cited comments made by radio host Laura Ingraham on Fox News Tuesday morning that Trump’s campaign had “focused on America first. Jobs, the economy, wages going up – that’s it.”

She also quipped, “I’m not sure getting rid of Bashar al-Assad was at the top of the list of the people in Pennsylvania.”

But, also on Tuesday, the president’s top military man sought to reassure the public that America was not heading into another war.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was confident that “it will not spiral out of control,” and that the cruise-missile strikes were a one-off mission to deter any more chemical attacks by the Assad regime.

However, he did add that any more such attacks would cause Assad to “pay a very, very stiff price.”

WND spoke with one of the nation’s top Middle East experts, who, like the president, is opposed to expanding U.S. intervention in the region but considers the missile strikes the right thing to have done.

Clare Lopez is vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy and has an impressive array of credentials. In addition to spending two decades in the field as a CIA operations officer, Lopez was an instructor for military intelligence and special forces students; has been a consultant, intelligence analyst and researcher within the defense sector; and has published two books on Iran. She also served as a foreign-policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Lopez said: “I’ve long opposed U.S. intervention in the middle of an intra-Islamic sectarian fight between Sunnis and Shiites, now much muddled by all kinds of external actors and powers. I still do.”

But, she looks at President Trump’s strike on Syria “in a couple of ways,” detailed in comments emailed to WND:

  • “Iran, Russia, Syria and the U.S. are all signatories to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, and the Chemical Weapons Convention, which obligate us to enforcement of its provisions. President Trump accepted and fulfilled that obligation, not so much in opposition to Assad or in support of any opposing force(s), but in defense of whatever international order still exists.
  • “I believe in so doing, the president not only reasserted U.S. power and influence in the region and put other international leaders on notice, but, in a way, reshuffled the deck in the Middle East to set the stage for what will come next.
  • “Al-Sham (a historic name for Syria) is splintering and will not be put back together again. The best we can salvage out of all that are some autonomous, and perhaps more stable, regions: a Kurdish one (but one that does not touch Turkey’s borders); an Alawite one under the control of a leader in Damascus, but not necessarily current President Assad; and a Sunni-controlled territory to replace the Islamic State – but one that is not, and must not be allowed to be, jihadi.
  • “I think Russia could be a constructive partner in achieving something like this. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not personally wedded to al-Assad remaining in power, and he does not seek to empower Hezbollah to destroy Israel (like Iran does). Moscow wants an arms client in Damascus; its two military bases in Latakia and Tartus; a foothold in the southeastern Mediterranean and influence in the region. It will have those anyway, with or without the involvement of the U.S. government. It’s better, I say, that we are involved than not involved.
  • “At the February 2017 talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, Russian officials already openly and explicitly expressed a willingness to see Assad go. They even suggested, as a temporary placeholder, retired Brigadier General of the Syrian Republican Guard Manaf Tlass (from the regime of Assad’s father) who defected and went into exile in 2011. Why aren’t we jumping all over that, especially as I know for a fact that a number of Free Syrian Army rebel commanders (officers who defected from the Syrian Armed Forces) would also accept such an arrangement? As an interim replacement, Tlass would only serve a while, but he’d keep the Damascus regime in Alawite hands, and not ones from an Assad clan. The Sunnis will fight from now until Armageddon unless the Assads go.
  • “The Islamic State is not now and never has been an existential threat to the USA. Let the regional forces take care of them. But Iran is an existential threat to us and to Israel. It is a nation state, has nuclear programs plus ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles), chemical and biological weapons, and has been enabled to solidify a Shiite crescent around the region (including Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Tehran and maybe Yemen). And it projects power via terror militias like Hezbollah all over the world, including the Western Hemisphere and right here in America.
  • “The Trump team needs to focus on a broad strategic vision for region that prioritizes core, compelling U.S. national security objectives. It must first establish a strategic policy, then react only within that when events demand and exigencies arise – not the other way around. No knee-jerk responses in response to everything that happens but without the framework of a national strategy to guide us.
  • “We can only hope the National Security Council, Pentagon and White House will be able to develop such a plan with some good advice from knowledgeable experts. And at all costs, avoid any more U.S. troop deployments over there. As Caroline Glick wrote in the Jerusalem Post a few weeks ago, ISIS is a vanguard for Iran, which is why neither Damascus nor the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its foreign-specialist Qods Force, nor Hezbollah, nor the Russians ever really went after it in a serious way. ISIS served their purpose, which was to advance and expand Iranian power. Wherever ISIS is, or even recedes from, Iran and Shiites fill in. Is that what the American military is for?! To clear the decks for a Shiite crescent across the Middle East? I don’t think so.”

 

April 16, 2017 | Comments Off on Trump drew his gas-attack red line 6 months ago | 92 views

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  1. “perhaps the president’s biggest supporter in the 2016 campaign, columnist Ann Coulter, tweeted, “Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates.”

    Maybe she should speak for herself; people don’t necessarily vote for the same candidate for all the same reasons. I voted for Trump in the general election because he supports Israel and Hillary doesn’t. As it happens, I agreed with most of his platform, though I disagreed with his criticism of Dubya, the war, and the attempt at nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I respected his integrity and honesty but none of that was relevant to my decision to vote for him. In national elections I vote as an American Jew for a Safe Greater Israel. PERIOD. End of story. And didn’t Ann Coulter get discredited for saying something anti-semitic not long ago? I don’t want to hear from Ann Coulter about anything to do with the Middle East.

    “Ann Coulter rants about ‘Jews’ and Israel during GOP debate
    USA TODAY NETWORK Mary Bowerman , USA TODAY Network 8:23 a.m. ET Sept. 17, 2015”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/09/17/ann-coulter-comment-jews-gop-debate-israel-relations/32543837/

  2. The President is also a master chess player, it seems. He not only did the right thing, but he is dividing his opposition in a way that it is novel to watch. What a showman. Could be coincidence, I suppose. When I made a joke out of my own mistake, HoneyBee didn’t believe it wasn’t deliberate all along. But, everybody, I think, is starting to have fun wondering how he will go about maneuvering next. He will be another Churchill that way.

    There are wonderful stories about Churchill — who also switched from Labor to Conservative, flamboyantly walking across the aisle in Parliament. My favorite two stories I remember reading when I was a kid are about how he distracted attention from an opponent’s speech.

    On one occasion, he sat quietly smoking his cigar, as the ash got longer and longer, until the audience was so raptly watching his ash wondering when it would finally fall, that they didn’t hear a word of his opponent’s speech. Later, he revealed that he had stuck a long lady’s hat pin in the cigar ahead of time so the ash would build up instead of falling.

    On another, he began looking for something in each of his pockets, discreetly at first, but more and more frantically as his opponent’s speech went on. Naturally, nobody heard a word of the speech, they were watching him and wondering what on earth he was searching for. Later, he said, incidentally, “I was just looking for my jujubes.” Nothing to do with Jews, as far as I know, a jujube is like an old-fashioned gummy-bear.

    Watch Dianne Feinstein defending the President’s action to the boos of her own constituents!

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/feinstein-jeered-at-town-hall-for-not-speaking-out-against-trumps-missile-strikes-against-syria/

    I wonder if there is not some of this reasoning behind his apparent capitulations in appointments. Trump is an avid student of TR’s history. I distinctly remember hearing him say in a televised interview that he had read everything he could get his hands on about his hero. That means he is familiar with U.S. government history in the first quarter of the 20th century.

    TR’s successor, President Wilson — I learned this in High School though I couldn’t find it when I looked on the internet — wound up opposing his own 10 point program for post-war Europe and membership in the League of Nations, his dream, because instead of sending his most dangerous political opposition to France to negotiate for him, he sent one of his own people, and this other guy, who had leadership position in the Senate, attached some kind of tax-I-think rider to the Wilson’s Bill, that Wilson found so unacceptable that he wound up opposing his own bill.

    That, incidentally, is why there had to be an Anglo-American Agreement of 1925, in addition to the unanimous Congressional Resolution signed by the President in 1922 endorsing the Balfour Declaration; the U.S. was not a member of the League of Nations.

    Would the League of Nations had invaded Germany and kicked Hitler out in 1934 or at least imposed sanctions when Hitler violated the rearmament clause if the U.S. had been a member, I wonder.

    Incidentally, you may recall that the Tony Blair, I think gave Dubya a statue of Churchill for the White House which Obama rudely returned. I think it would a marvelous gesture on so many levels, if President Trump were to ask for it back and for it to be returned to its place of honor in the White House.

    I’m sure Obama hated Churchill for saying:

    “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. THOUSANDS BECOME THE BRAVE AND LOYAL SOLDIERS OF THE QUEEN; ALL KNOW HOW TO DIE; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/churchillislam.asp

    and

    “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow…From what I have seen of our Russian friends and Allies during the war, I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness. For that reason the old doctrine of a balance of power is unsound. We cannot afford, if we can help it, to work on narrow margins, offering temptations to a trial of strength…Except in the British Commonwealth and in the United States where Communism is in its infancy, the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization…They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement… If the population of the English-speaking Commonwealths be added to that of the United States with all that such co-operation implies in the air, on the sea, all over the globe and in science and in industry, and in moral force, there will be no quivering, precarious balance of power to offer its temptation to ambition or adventure…”

    https://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1946-1963-elder-statesman/the-sinews-of-peace

    Obama being the loyal child and grandchild of non-English speaking Communists and/or Muslims on both sides of his family. Churchill also started out as pro-Zionist even if he later kinda changed his mind. I could see why he would find Churchill repugnant.

    P.S.
    I have gotten into the habit of copying and pasting my text to clipboard (control a, control c) before posting because what just happened is so typical. It said, 1 minus 0 = and I put in 1, and hit post. It said, “You must put in a valid captcha. Hit backpage and do it again.” When I did that, My post had been erased.
    So, I positioned the cursor, pasted my text (control v) and started again.

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