Why Syria could become a repeat of the Iraq War
I’m here to argue that sane, anti-war, citizens should unfortunately prepare for President Trump to return to Bush-era foreign policies, as anti-war Trump supporters, like Paul Joseph Watson, (from InfoWars) get burned.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Trump showed support for the Iraq War when asked about it in a 2002 interview, and later called the war a “tremendous success” in another. John Bolton being actively considered for, and eventually becoming, Trump’s deputy Secretary of State, also does not help assuage these fears.
Even though it is too early to tell with certainty if another ground war in the Middle East is on the horizon, the political climate in America is slowly enabling President Donald Trump to launch a full attack into Syria, with the intention of replacing the Assad regime.
Similarity in administrations
There are endless ways that the Trump administration, and cabinet, resembles the second Bush administration.
First, both Dick Cheney and Mike Pence are seasoned, older politicians from very conservative states, both have served in the House, and are far more well spoken than their presidential counterparts. Further, both have ties to major Oil companies, with Vice President Dick Cheney being the former CEO of Halliburton, and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson being the former CEO of ExxonMobil.
Both presidents appointed a plethora of neo-conservatives to their cabinets, and they both placed the warmongering John Bolton to high positions.
While Bush chose Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld as his incompetent advisors, President Trump chose Nikki Haley and H.R. McMaster, who is advocating for 50,000 troops on the ground in Syria.
Trump, like Bush, entered office with a Republican majority in the House and an almost equally divided Senate; Trump also has a cooperative Speaker in Paul Ryan.
Thus, we are left with a barely literate president (who has no foreign policy experience), a manipulative vice president, the former CEO of an enormous oil company, and a plethora of war-hawk advisors and establishment puppets; add to this a cooperative congress, military contractors and oil companies that are thirsty for blood, and the appeal of profits and self-gain. Does this seem familiar?
Massive media effort
While I would argue most of the media has a liberal bias, Trump and conservatives in the media are launching a coordinated effort to spread misinformation about foreign policy.
Professional liars, Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway, have already taken to social media. Spicer recently made a comment implying that Assad is worse than Hitler, despite the fact that, while Hitler killed millions, there’s no evidence to prove that Assad had anything to do with the gas attack. In fact, most of the evidence proves the contrary.
A UN report in 2013 found that the Syrian rebels were in possession of Sarin chemical weapons, before and after the multiple gas attacks in Syria in 2013; attacks that targeted both soldiers and civilians. The (2013) UN report also said that the Syrian government was, at the same time, eliminating its stockpile of chemical weapons.
Aside from the above evidence pointing to the contrary, there is also no motive for Assad to blatantly attack his own people, not right after Rex Tillerson stated that regime change in Syria isn’t on the U.S. agenda, and when Al-Nusra and ISIS were already losing ground around the country.
Yet, despite all of this, the media has largely backed Donald Trump, and not just conservative pundits like the sleazy male hosts of Fox News. Brian Williams of The 11th Hour, Fareed Zakaria of CNN, and Nicholas Kristof of MSNBC are just a few of the “liberal” media pundits that praised Donald Trump’s continuation of both Bush and Obama’s foreign policy.
This further proves that Democrats also support expensive conflicts, war crimes, and foreign bombings. This collaborative media effort is only drawing the support of the American people for a conflict that will benefit no one except media outlets, oil companies, and defense contractors.
Fact-free claims against a secular Arab leader
Just like how Iraq had no “weapons of mass destruction,” and multiple CIA officials informed the Bush administration that claims otherwise were nonsense, these accusations are equally false, despite bi-partisan rhetoric. As spineless Democrats like Chuck Schumer blatantly ignore facts and instead back Trump’s claim, similar to how Hillary Clinton made absurd statements prior to the Iraq War.
The UN report found that – not only will Al-Nusra (a terrorist organization that has actively been working with the “rebels” that we’ve been aiding) be the only group that has chemical weapons; they’ve also been trained by specialists to use the chemical weapons in a contract with the Pentagon.
Given the opportunity to call out the Obama administration for an actual scandal (rather than a wiretapping claim that is more of a conspiracy theory) President Trump chose not to tell the truth to the American people; instead he launched 59 tomahawk missiles at an airbase, and blamed a secular government, similar to what happened with the Hussein administration in Iraq.
Thus, President Trump has exactly what he needs for widespread support for a costly war that will likely cause the deaths of many American soldiers: a reason. The chemical attack triggered an emotional response; even though, in all likelihood, there is more than sufficient reasoning to believe the CIA is behind both arming and training the perpetrators of the attack.
Trump has all the tools he needs to drop more ground troops in Syria and wage a massive ground war – it seems that he is just waiting for more public support to do so. He has a cabinet of cooperative neo-conservatives, a new budget that will increase the defense spending by $54 billion, and he even has bi-partisan support in both the media and in congress; although it’s uncertain if he would even bother going through congress for a larger military action.
I’m not going to say with utter certainty that President Trump will begin a larger war in Syria, but I believe that it is probably going to happen during his first term in office.
One caveat with this prediction is that the chemical weapons attack didn’t harm any Americans; because of this the public doesn’t support a war as much as they did after 9/11. Of course, one could speculate that Trump will either cause another chemical attack in Syria or have Kellyanne Conway makeup another massacre in a conservative state like Kentucky, like when she talked about the Bowling Green massacre; we shouldn’t rule anything out.
Regardless, taxpayers and Americans serving in the military should brace for impact, because the political discussion of Syria is sounding an awful lot like the press rooms prior to the Iraq War.
* Jake Dorsch is a college freshman at Drake University double majoring in quantitative economics and political science. Currently, he is the founder and President of Drake’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter and has been politically active before college.