Public Comment


Tejinder Uberoi
Friday April 07, 2017 - 06:31:00 PM

Never failing to lose an opportunity to score political points over his erudite predecessor, Trump faulted Obama for not following through on his red line ultimatum in Syria’s civil war.

Trump rightfully condemned the recent “chemical attack as reprehensible” contradicting his earlier advise in 2013 “not to attack Assad” citing it was not America’s problem.” This was followed by a barrage of tweets repeating the same advice, NOT to attack Syria” as “there is no upside and tremendous downside” and telling him to “stay out of Syria.” In a further statement which should have raised multiple red flags, Trump endorsed Russia’s support for the demonic Assad. 

In May 2016, in a further clarification of his “hands off” policy, Trump tweeted “bigger problems than Assad.” He even ignored the advice of VP Pence who favored air strikes. In 2015 Trump told CNN “Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why do we, care?” In the general election, Trump admonished Hillary Clinton and Obama for pushing for “immediate regime change in Syria.” Then in another major flip-flop, Trump criticized Obama for failing to remove Assad. His invisible secretary of state, Tillerson, also flip flopped initially advising a “hand’s off” policy then changed to a more hawkish position. 

A “shock and awe” strike on Syria would in the short term, dispel Trump as a weak and indecisive president and distance himself from the bare chested czar of Russia.