Liberals and Media Lose Credibility on Syria


In the wake of Trump’s cruise missile attack on Syria, conservatives have done a better job criticizing Trump’s actions than liberals and the media. Once again, the media is falling all over itself calling Trump “Presidential”.

Most Democratic politicians have released “measured responses”. Most are critical only because of lack of congressional approval, not critical of the attack itself.

Democrats did this in the second Iraq war. They are so damn afraid of seeming unpatriotic that they tacitly support whatever ill-thought out military adventurism we engage in. Military actions have broad costs and consequences. We need to be thoughtful, if not cautious, in our use of military power.

It is not that challenging Assad is a bad thing. Assad is a murderous dictator, and I would love to see him removed – just like Saddam Hussein – but look at the mess we made in Iraq. We did not have a plan to stabilize the country or to deal with the sectarian divides in the country, and because of our failure, Iraq remains unstable and a source of insurgents.

Things are even worse in Syria, because ISIS and Russia are also involved. Fighting in Syria risks conflict with Russia. I would also love to see us challenge Putin, but how do we do that without it escalating into a global catastrophe? If we could remove Assad, the risk of a resurgence by ISIS that would also further destabilize Syria and Iraq is huge.

I am not saying we should not act. I am saying that if we act, we need a coherent plan for the attacks and the consequences, and I am saying we need international support for dealing with the problems that follow.

Personally, I do not believe this is about Syria at all. Trump didn’t care about Syrian children being murdered when he banned the U.S. from accepting Syrian refuges. Trump informed Russia of the attack, and it appears Russia informed Syria, because personnel and equipment were removed from the target area before the attack. We intentionally did not use cratering bombs that would have destroyed the runway. The airfield that was targeted is already being used by Assad to launch more attacks against his people.

This was not an effective attack. It was a media stunt to distract us from Russiagate and the general mess that is the Trump Presidency. It worked, because major Democrats and the media responded to it like fools.