The Syria Debate
A Rasmussen poll released this morning confirms the findings from yesterday's CBS poll -- 57% of likely voters approve of President Trump's missile strikes against Syria.
Regardless of what you think about the strikes, they have stirred up a debate in the media about infighting within the Trump White House. A theme has emerged among many commentators that the strikes are a victory for the "globalists" within the administration over the "nationalists."
I think this is nonsense. Under recent presidents we have seen two approaches to American foreign policy, both of which were ill-conceived.
The first globalist approach was tried by George W. Bush when he decided it was the job of the United States to "nation build" in the Islamic world. That policy was and continues to be a disaster.
Every time that a Middle Eastern dictator was removed, chaos resulted and a growing radical Islamist movement took root. We have seen the bitter fruits of this reality from Paris to San Bernardino, not to mention the enormous suffering in the Middle East. By the way, there are now open slave markets in Libya.
When Bush utilized American military power, even he attempted to follow the globalist view that said we need permission from the bureaucrats at the United Nations to intervene in any conflict.
While there is some dispute as to whether Bush in fact received their permission, he addressed the U.N. General Assembly in September 2002 and two months later the Security Council passed Resolution 1441, which the president referenced during an address to the nation in March 2003.
Many brave young men and women lost their lives or were maimed for life in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not surprisingly, the American public grew weary of wars we did not win and regime change that made things worse.
Enter Barack Obama. He too was a globalist who started from the premise that the best way to solve the world's problems was a combination of American withdrawal, abandoning traditional allies and appeasing enemies. I think history will judge that Obama's approach was worse because it has created an atmosphere -- like today's flashpoint in Syria -- in which another world war is more likely.
A Better Way
Contrast Bush and Obama to another president, the one I worked for, Ronald Reagan. He built up America's strength, pushed for freedom in Eastern Europe, where, unlike the Islamic world, there was a tradition of Western Civilization.
When U.S. Marines in Lebanon were murdered in their beds during an Islamic attack, Reagan did not invade Lebanon. He sent the U.S.S. New Jersey to fire 300 16-inch shells at various targets.
When Libyan terrorists bombed a Berlin nightclub killing an American soldier, Reagan did not send thousands of troops to Libya. He ordered airstrikes that sent a clear message to the Gaddafi regime.
When an American ship was badly damaged by an Iranian mine, Reagan did not invade Tehran. He ordered strikes that badly damaged the Iranian navy.
Fast forward to today. Donald Trump campaigned on the idea that we should avoid massive commitments of troops to the Middle East. But if forced to go to war, he made it clear that we would win as quickly as possible by crushing the enemy.
When Assad used chemical weapons, which were banned under international law in 1925, President Trump's response was "America first." He didn't go to the U.N. to get the world's permission. He sent a message to the world's thugs that while Barack Obama may not defend his red lines, Trump would defend his own.
Meanwhile, he has sent a budget to Congress that rebuilds America's military, while massively reducing U.S. subsidies to international organizations. He has appointed a U.N. ambassador who has clearly sent the message that American leadership is back.
Trump's approach is a far cry from Obama's appeasement. But only in the fevered brows of Washington elites could this be described as "globalism." In my view, what we witnessed last week was a Reaganesque selective use of force. Sounds pretty good to me.
The Left-wing Mind
While normal Americans are asking serious questions about the proper use of American military force, the so-called "progressive left" is fretting about political correctness.
Clara Jeffery is the editor-in-chief of Mother Jones. If you are reading this report, you probably are not familiar with that publication. But Mother Jones is to the left what National Review is to the right.
So what do you think most concerned Ms. Jeffery about the Syrian strikes? She gave us a glimpse into the left-wing mindset when she tweeted this: "That the missiles are called tomahawks must enrage a lot of Native Americans."
Thanks for "elevating" the debate, Ms. Jeffery.
The Fascist Left
Heather MacDonald, a widely respected researcher, was prevented from speaking last week at Claremont McKenna College by a violent mob of demonstrators. I don't know how MacDonald defines herself politically, but I do know she is very pro-law enforcement. And that was too much for the left-wing students and Black Lives Matter radicals on campus.
MacDonald wanted to explain that the police "are the most dedicated workers in government who make sure black lives matter." But the "tolerant" left once again employed fascist tactics to shut her down.
Hiram E. Chodosh, president of the college, issued a statement saying that "any forced interventions or arrests would have created unsafe conditions for students, faculty, staff, and guests."
Sorry, President Chodosh, but silencing free speech and giving in to the demands of radicals is the wrong response. Your cowardice only emboldens the real fascists in America -- the radical left.
The left's disrespect for our most basic constitutional rights must be aggressively resisted. Radicals who disrupt public events should be arrested and prosecuted. Institutions of higher learning that cannot or will not protect free speech should lose taxpayer funding.
And more of our political leaders on both sides of the aisle should speak up and condemn the violence and harassment that is routinely committed by progressive storm troopers.