Reflections On Syria

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I know conservatives have different views regarding the president’s decision to withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria. But let me tell you who doesn’t have differing views: the left and its media allies.

Their view is always consistent: Whenever a conservative president does something, it is wrong and, quite possibly, the end of the world.

When a Republican president committed troops to Iraq, the entire left-wing media and political establishment said it was all about oil. Now that Donald Trump is trying to get us out of Syria, the media say he’s weak on ISIS.

At the beginning of Trump’s administration, he hired several retired military men to fill key positions. At the time, the media complained about the breakdown of civilian leadership and fretted that it could lead to more wars.

But now that the generals are leaving, the media and the DC establishment are worried that all the “guardrails” in the administration are gone.

President Trump explained his decision to withdraw from Syria to the troops at Al Asad Air Base yesterday. Here’s some of what he said:

“American and coalition forces have had one military victory after another over the last two years against ISIS, including the retaking of both Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. We’ve liberated more than 20,000 square miles of territory . . . and liberated more than 3 million civilians from ISIS’s bloodthirsty control. . .

“I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds; we’re not nation building. . . Our presence in Syria was not open-ended, and it was never intended to be permanent. . .

“The men and women who serve are entitled to clear objectives, and the confidence that when those objectives are met they can come home and be with their families. Our objective in Syria was always to retake the territory controlled by ISIS. Some people said we’ve already retaken 99 percent. . .

“Now that we have done so, the nations of the region must step up and take more responsibility for their future. . .

“There will be a strong, deliberate, and orderly withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria — very deliberate, very orderly — while maintaining the U.S. presence in Iraq to prevent an ISIS resurgence and to protect U.S. interests, and also to always watch very closely over any potential reformation of ISIS and also to watch over Iran. . .

“While American might can defeat terrorist armies on the battlefield, each nation of the world must decide for itself what kind of future it wants to build for its people, and what kind of sacrifices they are willing to make for their children. America shouldn’t be doing the fighting for every nation on Earth. . .”

—Gary Bauer
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