Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Man of Peace

From the Spectator USA:
Donald Trump is the only peace president the United States has had since the end of the Cold War, and his enemies hate him for it. ‘Peace president’ is a relative term, of course, but as yet there is no Trump war comparable to George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War, Bill Clinton’s war against Yugoslavia, George W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Barack Obama’s gruesome regime-change bungle in Libya. Instead, the most conspicuous foreign-policy achievement of the Trump administration to date is de-escalation on the Korean Peninsula, along with the stamping out of ISIS. And with ISIS broken, Trump is bringing America’s soldiers home from Syria in victory – a startling contrast to the interminable, slow-motion defeats that are characteristic of most other presidential wars of the last 25 years. Afghanistan, to name one – a war-zone that everyone fully expects the enemy to reconquer the minute US forces leave. 
Peace, after all, means two things: either not fighting in the first place or else fighting and winning, so that the conflict ends. Curiously, America’s political establishment, in what purports to be Trump’s party as well as in the party opposed to him, finds peace of either kind unacceptable. So the president’s announcement of a withdrawal of US forces from Syria has been met with predictable outrage from Democratic House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi and from Republican Senators like Cory Gardner and Marco Rubio. The elite pundit class reflects exactly the same range of opinion – or rather, lack of range, with formerly antiwar left-wing commentators joining NeverTrump Republican writers in condemning the president for winding up a military intervention. 
The contrast between the alarm felt by elites over this move by Trump (and over his efforts at peace with North Korea as well) and their gushing enthusiasm for Trump’s missile strikes against Syria last year is revealing. As personally reviled as Trump is, he won instant accolades when he seemed to be on the verge of committing himself to the same interventionist path his recent predecessors have followed. The one thing powerful enough to annul the political and opinion elite’s hatred for Trump is that same elite’s love of military intervention. Peace is antithetical to the anti-Trump elements in Washington, whether they are Republican or Democratic, liberal, progressive, or supposedly conservative. (Read more.)

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