In A Trump Administration, Red Lines Don’t Run
We have asked our partners to take a greater responsibility in securing their region. Increased engagement from friends including Saudi, UAE, Qatar, Egypt and others will ensure that Iran does not profit from the eradication of ISIS… America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria.
President Donald J. Trump
April 13, 2018
On April 14, 1986, President Ronald Reagan ordered premptive strikes in Libya, as a direct and swift response to the April 5 bombing of a Berlin Nightclub which killed an American soldier and wounded over 200 others. President Reagan worked with European allies to carry out the mission. Reagan stated:
“Today, we have done what we had to do, and if we need to, we will do it again.”
Tonight, President Donald Trump has done what he needed to do again–although tonight’s strikes are not unilateral targeting one site, but an allied mission targeting multiple sites within Syria to eliminate the production of and use of chemical weapons that Bashar al-Assad has used dozens of times against the Syrian people.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
In 2014, we were told by the Obama administration that all chemical weapons had been removed from Syria in a deal made with Russia and Bashar al-Assad.
In 2015, David Rutz chronicled the Democrat/MSM victory lap:
“the New York Times editorial board praised the deal and call its critics “wrong,” writing the “chemical weapons are now out of the hands of a brutal dictator — and all without firing a shot,” in a piece entitled, “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done.” ThinkProgress, acknowledging these were the only the “declared” weapons, wrote a post June 23 entitled, “Nobody Thought Syria Would Give Up Its Chemical Weapons. It just did.” Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione co-penned a piece declaring the elimination of the stockpiles “a major victory.”
“Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) told Fox News Sunday on June 1 “we’re getting the chemical weapons out of Syria,” and Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) said on the same program on July 6 that “we should commend the administration for the result that they got.”
As recently as Feb. 24, Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “we got, as you know, last year all the chemical weapons out of Syria.”
Although the fawning by the Obama media remained and still remains, the Democrat victory lap didn’t last long– as months later the Obama administration was alerted by OPCW inspectors that traces of sarin and VX nerve agent were found in inspections. The Red Line continued to move while ISIS grew and diplomacy languished.
President Trump doesn’t move red lines, he moves after intelligence is gathered and much thought is given. Warnings of a potential strike earlier this week became promises in a show of allied force through targeted strikes and regional, Middle Eastern engagement. In a modern interpretation of of President Reagan’s words in 1986, if Iran, Russia and Syria counted on America to be passive, they counted wrong.