We have returned to George W. Bush’s foreign policy:
“Strong American action can dramatically change the attitudes of other countries. It makes enemies more cautious, friends more supportive, and fence-sitters more cooperative. It provides leverage in negotiations and improves opportunities for coalition building. Last week President Trump demonstrated American resolve by retaliating against the Syrian government after Bashar Assad used chemical weapons. Now Mr. Trump must follow through with a broad diplomatic effort to end the country’s bloodshed.
Among the most interesting reactions to the American strike were two from Iraqi Shiite leaders. Last Thursday Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a moderate, and the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a firebrand, both called for Mr. Assad to step down. Mr. Sadr predictably denounced the American strike. Mr. Abadi indirectly praised it by noting how Iraqis had suffered from Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons. …
America can now lead the effort to bring some semblance of stability to Syria. Washington should recognize that peace is impossible with Mr. Assad still in power, but also that millions of Syrians—particularly the Christian and Alawite minorities—may feel endangered by the strongman’s departure. The aim should be to replace Mr. Assad’s regime with new governance arrangements that can provide assurance to these minorities while also ending the current government’s oppression of the country’s Sunni majority.”
Read the whole thing.
There is no daylight here between Paul Wolfowitz and Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster and Nikki Haley on Syria. I’ve seen Trump apologists try to say that this is a Ronald Reagan “peace through strength” foreign policy, not a George W. Bush neocon foreign policy. No, it is a regime change policy.