Why Aren’t We Celebrating Trump’s Middle East Wins?
On July 31st, The Independent reported that President Trump is considering withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The leftist UK publication presented the story as bad news – as though Trump was defying his top military advisors.
The military officers who serve the President chose to serve him voluntarily, understanding that his position on war is not nearly as hawkish as those of his establishment Democrat and Republican predecessors, some who have profited off of the very wars that we’re still fighting. Looking at you, Dick Cheney.
President Trump campaigned on utterly destroying ISIS, and a foreign policy that he described as “peace through strength.” He was openly adversarial regarding the invasion of Iraq during his campaign, and questioned whether or not our taxpayer dollars could be spent more effectively in other areas besides endless conflicts in the Middle East.
“It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The middle east is totally destabilized – a total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion dollars or $5 trillion dollars; I wish it were spent right here in the United States on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart,” he said during a debate on CNN.
His campaign message was a popular one among war-weary Americans, particularly those who are currently serving in the military. The Military Times reported in late 2016 that in a poll of 2200 active duty troops, 55% “strongly oppose” or “somewhat oppose” nation-building activities, defined as “establishing democracies in the Middle East and North Africa.” In a similar exercise, CNN, in collaboration with ORC International, a polling company, found in 2013 that 64% of Americans were “very reluctant” to use military force around the world.
So with President Trump mulling over the removal of the troops from Afghanistan – potentially ending the longest war in U.S. history – one might think that mainstream media would be supportive of the measure. Instead, we have deafening silence. It’s almost as though they have an anti-Trump agenda to protect! The American people want this. They want peace in the Middle East. They recognize the futility of putting boots on the ground to fight an enemy that continues to regenerate itself after 16 years of nonstop fighting.
The same goes for the recent announcement of the end of the United States’ covert arming of “moderate” Syrian rebels who were seeking to overthrow the Syrian president, Bashar Al-Assad. It’s the same tactic that our government has used to topple other regimes in the Middle East, including the Gaddafi regime in Libya.
It is well-known that the “moderate” rebels that we’ve been supporting are not moderate at all. In fact, they’re not even rebels. Rather, they’re radical terrorists.
Professor Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, points out that “every rebel group in Syria has been affiliated with Al Qaeda at some point.” Historically, the “rebel” groups in the Middle East are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and Al Qaeda. Often they go by different names – al-Nusra, Boko Haram, al-Shabab – but they’re not inherently different. They’re one in the same. They fight for the same purpose of establishing an Islamic caliphate. They worship the same warped radical Islamic ideology. They behead, rape, and pillage in the name of Allah, no matter where they are located geographically, or what they call themselves.
Why would our elected representatives choose to arm these dubious groups in the first place, especially with taxpayer funding? It deserves intense public scrutiny. It is decidedly opposed to the idea that framers of our Constitution had in mind regarding how America would conduct itself in foreign affairs. The Jeffersonian crowd would be appalled. Our founders were true nationalists. They believed in America keeping to itself unless it was directly provoked. That has not been our policy in the Middle East for quite some time. It’s refreshing to see an administration that is genuinely interested in finishing the never-ending Middle Eastern quagmire.
Instead of hailing the new “dis-arm the rebels” policy that will save countless lives and help to prevent the spread of terror in the Middle East, the media has spun it as a victory for Vladimir Putin. The suggestion is that the President Trump is working on Russia’s behalf, as Putin is aligned with Assad. It’s a small amount of life-blood for their rapidly deteriorating Russian election influence conspiracy theory.
President Trump is insistent on destroying our enemies, rather than arming them. Victories against ISIS have been overwhelming under the Trump presidency.
In early July, Iraq’s Prime Minister declared victory against ISIS in a “liberated” Mosul. ISIS is quickly losing control of it’s headquarters in Syria, which is located in the city of Raqqa. They have been driven out of 40% of the city since June. The militants have not been able to leave or enter the city, and are subject to daily airstrikes from the U.S. Military.
Consider the significance of these events: ISIS stands for the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Their goal is to set up a Muslim caliphate in the land that makes up the two nations, and now they are failing miserably. President Trump is delivering on his promise to defeat ISIS, while simultaneously de-escalating U.S. involvement in regime change and the long-fought War on Terror. This is the most significant positive development in Middle Eastern War on Terror since the death of Osama bin Laden. It is the true realization of the “peace through strength” tactic that President Trump campaigned on. We are showing strength by driving out ISIS through air raids, and promoting peace by discontinuing the flow of their weaponry so that they cannot continue to de-stabilize the nations in which they inhabit.
This should be celebrated. Instead, the stories of victory and the Trump’s push for peace in the Middle East has been largely ignored by the media. We should not expect that to change, and instead should focus on shining light on Trump administration wins.