Screaming about the historic horror of Trump's Syria "withdrawal" is destructive for several reasons. Not only does it whitewash previous examples of horrific US policy, it wrongly implies that the Syria mission was always virtuous and well-founded, and Trump just screwed it up— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 24, 2019
Bret Stephens has a good opinion piece in The New York Times this morning about how liberals and progressives have been driven by Trump Derangement Syndrome into embracing American imperialism in both trade policy and foreign policy.
“Donald Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria has drawn widespread scorn from Republicans and Democrats alike, and with good reason: The U.S. has betrayed an ally and ceded influence to a gallery of rogues — Bashar al-Assad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin and Qassim Suleimani, to name a few — in exchange for a hollow talking point about ending endless wars.
But give Trump this: He’s turning a remarkable number of foreign policy liberals and progressives into born-again neoconservatives.
That’s a thought worth pondering as the president pursues a foreign policy that, had it been undertaken by a Democratic administration, would likely have been met with considerable approval on the left …”
Obviously, Blompf isn’t perfect, but he has withdrawn troops from Syria to the horror of the Republican foreign policy establishment. He hasn’t started a new war yet with Iran either much to the crushing disappointment of neocons and the Pentagon. Most of them have found a new home at CNN and The Washington Post and within the Democratic Party.
A few years ago, the Democrats sounded more like Tulsi Gabbard than Hillary Clinton, but since Hillary lost the 2016 election by decisively losing the Midwest to Trump the party has embraced her positions on globalism. It isn’t clear which of the two parties is more opposed to new imperialist adventures now. Generally speaking, the Republican Party has gotten better on the issue while the Democratic Party has gotten worse although there are still loud champions of endless wars and free trade within the Republican Party like Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy is reminiscent of Obama’s foreign policy in that he makes gestures to the majority sentiment about winding down all of these wars and “bringing the troops home” while actually presiding over a military buildup and an overall increase in America’s military footprint in the CENTCOM region. The Democratic candidates sound more like John McCain and Mitt Romney in their wailing over the betrayal of “Muh Kurdish Allies.” Didn’t Barack Obama withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq? What about those allies?
I agree with Bret that it has been a remarkable turnaround. I think it is great that the “progressive stool” has added a neocon leg to the neoliberal leg and the social liberalism leg. Overall, this is certain to make it more repulsive to moderate White voters in the Heartland.