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Telegraphing Our Plans Makes Things Worse

We will now have no chance of leaving Syria because telegraphing our intended departure has escalated matters.

Did we not learn this with Barack Obama? He would announce a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan and the insurgents knew they could just wait him out. Donald Trump rightfully criticized that. Time and time again, when the prior administration would announce it would withdraw or alter policy in Iraq or Afghanistan, the enemy would just decide to wait us out and that would make the situation worse.

You would think, given Donald Trump's reticence on this matter with Barack Obama, he would have kept his mouth shut about wanting out of Syria. And, if not him directly, those who reported it. The President should have known something this big would leak.

And what has happened? The Assad regime has used chemical attacks on its citizens and we have potentially now been drawn further into an already destabilized situation. Wanting out of Syria altogether, given what is going on, is stupid. We cannot cede that fight to Russia. Publicly saying we want out is insane.

Now we will not get out. In fact, we cannot get out now that chemical weapons have been used. To leave now would be an eradication of American moral leadership in the world. This administration needs to be smarter.

This article makes absolutely no sense, Eric. Obama gave an actual timeline, as you rightly pointed out, while Trump stated that we needed to wind down our presence in Syria by making plans for withdrawal. At no time has he publicly stated a timeline for our exit in Syria. It seems that you, along with most Trump haters, have used this tragedy as another opportunity to blame Trump for for something beyond his control just because you hate him. Nice.

Being uninitiated in these matters, it occurs to me that the “announcement” of possible withdrawal from Syria was a feint to see if Assad would react; that there is no firm intent to withdraw. That Assad would do something to test whether Trump’s ‘line in the sand’ was as easily wind-blown as Obama’s was predictable, but gassing his own people could not have been foreseen. And this event gives Trump all the reason he needs to stay the course and not withdraw.

That said, Eric, I detected an undertone in your comment that suggests the gassing is somehow Trump’s fault … that he should have known better. I pray I’m wrong, because that would be a stupid notion, and you don’t strike me as a stupid person … zealous, perhaps, but most assuredly not knee-jerk stupid.

This after days of reading articles from panting Conservatives thundering "Why are we still in Syria!?" almost blissfully unaware of what a "Mission Creep" is and that this is all because Assad wasn't deposed in 2014 when he was supposed to be. This is all the end result of talking a good game but not having the moral courage to do what's right when it's needed. Because nobody wanted to "start a war to get stuck in Syria", we're now stuck in Syria. #GoodJob

Are you saying that Assad or Putin want the US to remain in Syria? I would think they would like us to withdraw so that we are no longer an obstacle. This attack with chemical weapons would have the opposite effects I don't think the announcement of intent to withdraw at some future undesignated time is unrelated to the chemical attacks.

"You would think, given Donald Trump's reticence on this matter with Barack Obama, he would have kept his mouth shut about wanting out of Syria." No, I wouldn't think that. You're assuming Trump is capable of learning or that he listens to people who are. Trump changes his tune from tweet to tweet. Sometimes phrase to phrase in the same sentence. "Publicly saying we want out is insane." ... and thus it's the most likely course of action by this administration. Putting these clowns in charge was insane too. "To leave now would be an eradication of American moral leadership in the world."

B

whahahahahahaha! As if that's of any concern of Trump (or the sycophants and yes men that surround him). "This administration needs to be smarter." ... and yet they lose brain cells by the second. Not going to happen.

Jamesbo, what law do you refer to? The use of chemical agents against citizens is a war crime in international law. Our presence in Syria is legal by that law. The UN charter, while not completely worthless, has been mostly so, and leaves a lot to be desired in fulfilling its duty to quell such uprising. The threat in Syria is not from Assad, it is from Russia. Remember the "agreement" that Russia would assure that Assad gets rid of chemical warfare agents. Let us not forget that Obama entered into agreement with Islam terrorists to fight Assad; and those same terrorists were killing Syrian citizens in the resistance. It seem Russia (Putin) is testing the US resolve; but should we ignore the war crime? No!

You can bomb women in children in Syria to oblivion, as long as you don't use chemical weapons. This always amazes me, that you can abide by genocide so long as you don't use the gas. It's fundamentally an immoral position. Chemical weapons are a war crime, yes, but so is targeting medical facilities and shooting at Red Crescent workers. There are no good sides in this civil war. Obama's policy was muddled, and wrong. Trump's is worse. Lob a few cruise missiles in there like a tough guy, and then create a new distraction. Trump wants out of Syria because he has wagered that Russia can prop up Assad, and Trump can still be pals with Putin.

Eric, take your analysis one step further. The Trump leak occurred before the chemical weapons attack. So wouldn't Assad know that a chemical weapons attack by his regime would prevent American withdrawal? How does that serve his interest? Does he have a death wish? How confident are you in the Syrian regime as the source of the attack? Why?

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