There were plenty of zingers that informed Republican voters will latch onto when reviewing the interview that 60 Minutes had with Donald Trump. From repealing Obamacare and replacing it with more socialized medicine to taxing the rich to pay for the poor, his perspectives sounded more like something Bernie Sanders would say instead of a GOP Presidential nominee. I covered the impossibility of his plans in another post.
One thing that stood out but that was, of course, widely ignored by mainstream media so far is his perspective on the Islamic State. RedState readers are clearly concerned with ISIS; a scan of some of today’s posts alone reveal concerns over dirty bombs, Syrian refugees, and radical Islam leadership, all of which are closely tied to the rise of the Islamic State. When it came to ISIS in Iraq, Trump was concise and decisive – we have to go in and obliterate their presence in the place President Bush discombobulated and that President Obama left in shambles. So far, so good.
His two perspectives on Syria took a turn for the worse. They were back to back idiotic recommendations that could have come from a Dumb and Dumber sequel. First, he recommended that we let the Islamic State take out the Bashar al-Assad regime, then we’ll go in and clean up the mess. I could write a couple of chapters of a book about why this is an extremely naive and dangerous concept, but I’ll assume that readers will see it for what it is: asinine. Briefly, the Islamic State isn’t gunning for Damascus at this point. They want land, resources, and recruits that have nothing to do with standard geographic demarcations. They don’t need to take Damascus to control the parts of Syria that they want. If left unchecked, it would be years and hundreds of other fallen cities and towns before they choose to go after Assad directly.
That was dumb. It gets dumber.
With Russia digging in deeply into Syria, Trump suggests letting them take care of ISIS. It’s not only a weak statement to suggest that the country that many believe is our greatest existential threat should take the lead in securing and controlling the Middle East. It’s practically suicidal. Russia is already filling gaps in leadership that have been left by President Obama. Vladimir Putin has met with most if not all of the major leaders in the Middle East over the last few months. His alliance with Iran and Syria are secure. His relationship with Saudi Arabia and possibly even Israel is improving.
If the Russians “take out” ISIS in Syria as Trump suggests, they will have full license to position their military and their financial interests in the most important parts of the Middle East.
The irony is that one can trace back the roots of al Qaeda to American assistance of freedom fighters in Afghanistan with the sole intention of removing the Soviet Union from having a footprint in the region. President Obama, candidate Hillary Clinton, and candidate Trump seem to be lockstep in allowing Russia back in, this time with the upper hand logistically. Throw Turkey into the mix with their tenuous NATO allegiance and we would see an immediate shift of power if Russia takes out ISIS. At that point, they will have the moral high ground. To suggest that we allow that to happen is too ridiculous to put into words.
Donald Trump has some good ideas. It’s unfortunate that his bad ones are terrible beyond belief.