Trump vs. Trump on Syria

Trump has swindled America. After running on a campaign of Syrian non-interventionism, Russian cooperation, and anti-Clinton foreign provocation, Trump has dumped his voter base in favor of the neoconservative warmongers. Last Thursday, without the approval of Congress, President Trump ordered the launch of scores of Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian Airfield. This marks the first time America has directly targeted the Syrian government in the conflicts history. According to Trump, this complete 180 on the policies that got him elected came after the recent gassing of 80 civilians. However, if it is civilian lives that Trump wishes to save, then he should go back and reread some of his tweets, because if there is one person more shocked by his sheer lack of respect for the total cataclysm that America is headed to, it is himself from 2013.

2013 Trump understands that Syria is a mess of tangled alliances, deep-seated ethnic strife, and dangerous radicalized groups, which is why he tweeted out: “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the ‘rebels’ are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO.”

With such a complicated climate, 2013 Trump understands that the Syrian government is only a fraction of the overall problem. And he is right. An attack on Assad does little to prevent the continuing destruction and chaos that has consumed that country. If anything, attacking Assad is one of the worst options available to the United States. The threat of a Third World War, though seemingly far fetched, is looming ever closer. Russia and Iran have not taken this attack lying down. Assad’s allies have responded by stating that any further military aggression will be met with force. Trump should listen to 2016 Trump when he says at campaign rallies, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with Russia?”

That of course, is not to condone anything that Russia or the Assad Regime have done. It is indisputable that they have oppressive tactics against peaceful protesters, human rights violations, and general disregard for human decency. However, 2013 Trump understands that we have nothing to gain from a re-escalation of the Cold War. He understands that only by working with the Russians can we ever hope to work out a peaceful solution to this terrible conflict. He understands that provoking one of the key backers of Assad can only lead to more displaced individuals, more violence, and a greater escalation of the conflict.

2013 Trump understands that he must also work with Congress, as the bombing of another sovereign state is a serious matter, and a huge decision that cannot lie with one man alone no matter how dire the circumstances. Foreign relations must be taken into account, as a single impulsive act by a man drunk on power can have long term detrimental effects on America’s relationship with the rest of the world. This is why in 2013, after gas killed hundreds in the Ghouta chemical attack, Trump tweeted “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.”

Our President needs to seriously think about the precarious position in which he has placed the United States. And if he will not listen to the many experts he has surrounded himself with, we can only hope that he listens to himself.