Washington Hawks like John Bolton and Lindsey Graham are eager for a war in Syria, but if Donald Trump takes us to war in the Middle East, he'll lose his second term in the White House in 2020.
With his eye on the Oval Office, Donald Trump spent the Obama years telling the world– through tweets– about his foreign policy philosophy, a practical approach to the world that would keep America out of costly and fruitless foreign military entanglements and obligations that don't make Americans safer, nor add anything to the American people's bottom line.
The Donald Trump of 2013-2014 is a completely different animal than the one sitting in the Oval Office today and tweeting bellicose words of warning to Russia and Syria's governments. Back then, Trump soundly rebuked Barack Obama for his aggressive rhetoric toward Syria, and made some excellent arguments in favor of escalating toward peace instead of more war in the Middle East.
In fact, Donald Trump warned Obama and the White House against taking military action of any kind– including missile strikes– against Syria no less than 18 times. Anybody voting for Trump in 2016 could not have possibly been more clear about his position on Syria if elected president.
Here's just a sample of what Trump said:
We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2013
Remember, all these ‘freedom fighters’ in Syria want to fly planes into our buildings.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2013
Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can't we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
If we are going to continue to be stupid and go into Syria (watch Russia), as they say in the movies, SHOOT FIRST AND TALK LATER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013
Russia is sending a fleet of ships to the Mediterranean. Obama’s war in Syria has the potential to widen into a worldwide conflict.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013
President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your "powder" for another (and more important) day!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2013
Don't attack Syria - an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2013
Obama must now start focusing on OUR COUNTRY, jobs, healthcare and all of our many problems. Forget Syria and make America great again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2013
The so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels pledged their allegiance to ISIS after Obama’s address. We should not be arming them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2014
But just weeks after assuming power, Donald Trump did a hard 180 degree turn, and instead of living up to the way he presented himself to the American people as he positioned for a White House run, Trump ordered the U.S. Department of Defense to fire 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles into Syria. Without Congressional approval.
That was in April 2017. He hadn't even been president for three months before changing his tune and signaling to the Washington / Wall Street military industrial complex that his administration would be one of continuity with the Bush-Obama years, which was exactly what many voters were hoping to avoid by electing Trump over Obama Secretary of State and war hawk Hillary Clinton.
Now Trump is warning of another U.S. military escalation in Syria, one that private citizen Trump back in 2014 would have likely called illegal and unconstitutional. If he follows through with his aggressive posturing, it will be like when George Bush Sr. promised the American people: "Read my lips: No new taxes," and then raised taxes as president.
Federal taxes and spending ballooned to unprecedented levels in the 1980s and Americans were worried about the effects it would have on their future. Americans are beginning to feel that same level of regret and buyer's remorse over the national deficit-funded regime change adventures overseas Washington has dragged us all into for the last two decades under George W. Bush and Obama.
We're also paying more attention than ever before and growing weary much faster of politicians who grossly misrepresent themselves before taking office and then give us something completely different than what was promised. I predict that as the rate of societal change accelerates, the White House will start to flip parties more often than it used to, and every four years will become the new normal instead of every eight.
I predict that if Donald Trump takes us into another conflict like Iraq in the Middle East, he will be a one term president.