Everyone in the world is still talking, and thinking, and planning, about President Trump and the U.S. military sending missiles downrange and blowing up a Syrian air base last week. In American politics, we hear the phrase “the whole world is watching” all the time because we think everyone everywhere is hanging on every little change of fortunes in D.C. It’s silly sometimes. But not this time.
This time the whole world is watching.
Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has been shopping a new tagline lately, as Sooper notes at The Right Scoop, and it’s a good one.
“The Obama era for American foreign policy is clearly over.”
As Bolton explains to Hannity’s audience, those missiles hit more than an airbase, they struck a note. Rang a bell. Raised a flag. The message: things are different.
They don’t have to be hugely different for that message to have a huge impact. Trump’s base is caterwauling about globalism and perpetual war in the middle east and all their other peacenik, isolationist bellyaches, but the low-casualty, high-impact strike isn’t exactly a nuke. It was, as Bolton notes, “measured.” An explosive force to shake the ground if not the Earth.
But as a change from the Obama era, the seismic reading is off the scale. And it wasn’t wanton. They broke their agreement. They used chemical weapons. They were held accountable. See? Different.
Maybe that’s that “smart” power we’ve heard about all these years.
It matters. Even if the nutwhacks who comprise a large and incredibly vocal part of his base, and who have his ear, get their way and he retreats to the fig leaf of anti-globalism as an excuse for weakness, we have still gained from just these particular 59 wake-up calls. A reminder that we still have, and can use, devastating force. That nobody could stop us from doing it, or punish for having done it. And perhaps a hint that maybe there’s a bit of unpredictable crazy eyes on the button at the White House. And everyone knows you don’t mess with crazy.
Or as Sen. Graham put it Sunday:
WATCH: Here is Lindsey Graham saying "FU" on Meet the Press. pic.twitter.com/4K6WVzsQun
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 9, 2017
Instilling worry is good, too. Not to mention the idea of actions having consequences:
“It’s enormously important because we know that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was right at the top of the agenda in [the U.S./China) bilateral meetings, and what Trump basically said is when a country like Syria undertakes solemn commitments – in the chemical weapons convention, in the famous John Kerry deal that we thought eliminated or at least the Obama administration thought eliminated Syria’s chemical weapons – when countries violate those commitments there’s going to be consequences.”
That’s Bolton again. Of course, the world is complicated and is more complex than just “we waved our gun,” but, again, the point he is addressing is more than valid: this isn’t the Obama era anymore.
Whoever it was in the Trump administration that crafted this policy, if it can be called that, who put this first move on the board, they accomplished that. Whoever it is that told him to do it. Whoever it was.
Oh don’t give me hell for suggesting it wasn’t the Donald. His own minions and legions are crying from the rooftops that he was duped by globalist deep state establishment yeargh. His own fans. His followers. They think it. Just like they say he was tricked and deceived into endorsing that House Obamacare bill. So don’t fault me for believing his beliebers.
I’m just saying that whatever voice manipulated him into doing this, good for them. Whoever they are. In the long run, I think it’s a good thing.