USA Today

Mike Siegel: Flip Flops, great summer footwear, but not President Trump

Mike Siegel
April 17, 2017 - 10:14 am
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The left is at it again, as are most of the mainstream media. Now that the President is making pragmatic and sensible decisions, they have to attack him for “flip flops” on issues. This is patently absurd. A characteristic of a great leader is the ability to see changing circumstances, adapt to those circumstances, then make decisions based on reality and not some dogmatic position that is no longer going to achieve the ultimate goal. Shall we analyze some of those decisions?

SYRIA

The horror of chemical weapons is well known. Thu use of those weapons on innocent civilians including women, children and babies is beyond human tolerance. In 2013, Obama drew the famous red line and did nothing when Assad crossed that line. Al President Trump did was to fulfill that promise for Obama and make it clear to Assad that these weapon attacks will not be tolerated. There is an international treaty going back to 1922 on the prohibition of these weapons. Syria and Russia assured us that Assad no longer had chemical weapons as part of an agreement made in 2014. The world community supported the act of firing the 60 1000-pound Tomahawk Missiles at the air base from which the chemical attack emanated. The opposition came from Russia, Iran, North Korea and of course Syria. It is a compliment to the President that these countries without any notion of ethics or morals were the opposition. A win for the President. And, he has assured us, consistent with his campaign promise that we will not be sending massive numbers of ground troops to Syria. This attack on the air base was proportional and appropriate and brought the United States back into the world community as a leader.

AFGANISTAN

No one who believes in civilized behavior can find fault with the MOAB 21000-pound bomb attack on the tunnels and caves in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Why? Because it was a training ground for ISIS fighters. Nearly 100 ISIS fighters were killed and there were no innocent victims. This was a flawless operation. Was this a reversal by the President on policy? Of course not. He made it clear that ISIS would be destroyed and with the cooperation of the Afghan government, we carried out this historic attack with the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in our arsenal. Kudos to the President and our military.

Thankfully, those nearly 100 ISIS fighters will not be causing harm to Americas or our national security interests ever again.

NATO

The left and mainstream media are really stretching here. We know the President believes in making deals. When he said that NATO was basically antiquated and irrelevant, it should be obvious to anyone that the President was laying out a challenge to NATO to get back in the game, have each country pay its fair share to defend Europe, and be more aggressive on the fight against terrorism.

Now the President is saying that NATO is an important partner to the United States. Why> Because the leader of NATO who met with the President in the past week made a strong statement agreeing with the President that, yes, NATO countries must pay their fair share. The President did not “flip flop. He was brilliant in moving NATO toward relevance and its responsibility for protecting its member nations national security.

NORTH KOREA

There is not a thoughtful public official or private American citizen who does not have great concern about North Korea. President Clinton had the answer of giving Kim Jung Il money in the hope he would use it for his people and stop the nuclear program in that country. That did not happen. The money was invested in the elite military of North Korea and the nuclear program continued. Since then there has been little or no standing up to this nation outside the bounds of civilization and its murderous and unpredictable dictator.

We sent nuclear armed submarines and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier within 300 miles of North Korea. On the 100th anniversary of the Founder of North Korea, the grandfather of the present dictator, there was a threat of testing a nuclear weapon. An embarrassment to the dictator was its failing almost immediately after being fired. The President stood firm and also met with the President of China and conveyed our concern about North Korea. Within days, China rejected a coal shipment from North Korea and that is certainly the result of the meeting between our President and that of China. Since China is responsible for 90% of the North Korean economy, their cooperation in deterring the nuclear program in North Korea is crucial Another victory for the President. Yes, he criticized China during the campaign, but if they are now doing what is in our best interest, it is obvious you do not criticize them for cooperating. President Trump did not “flip flop” on China; China changed its behavior. Another win for the President.

RUSSIA

Now the criticism for the President is his antagonizing Russia over the need to remove Assad and the attack on the air base that sent the chemical weapons to kill innocent people. First the attack from the left and mainstream media is that Russia and the President were coordinating the presidential campaign for Trump, even though there is still not one scintilla of evidence to support that assertion. Apparently, these leftists and their media lackeys have no idea how to handle this. Again, the President did the right thing by standing up to Syria and its mentor Russia. Secretary Tillerson was clear in Moscow and Ambassador Haley was equally clear in the United Nations. Assad must go, chemical weapon attacks will not be tolerated, and Russia is on the wrong side of this issue.

Congratulations to the President. He has done no “flip flop.” He has magnificently handled the mess he was left with clarity and resolve.

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