Trump’s critics LOVE to frame situations in the worst possible light. And then when their criticisms prove unfounded, they forget to tell the vindicating side of the story.
It’s a one-way ratchet. Bad news about the President; bad news only and always.
For example, when COVID shutdowns lead to record job losses, the media was all over that, and making sure they could attach Trump’s name to the story. But when the country began opening up again, and they saw record-setting jobs growth, we hear crickets.
So should it really surprise us that we’re not hearing much about Trump’s foreign policy successes?
That’s right… successes. Surely they’ve been reported on the evening news, right?
You see, Trump’s Syria policy is working.
For all the times ‘quagmire’ has been invoked as a way to denigrate Trump’s activites abroad, the place we are seeing an actual ‘quagmire’ is actually one Trump intentionally made to frustrate his foreign adversaries.
Paging all ‘Russian collusion’ hoaxers. You’re going to want to pay attention to this part. You might just get educated about what’s happening in the world, something Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper would never do for you.
Two years after celebrating victory in the Syrian civil war, the regime of Bashar Assad is facing renewed unrest. A mini-insurgency is under way in Daraa province, the birthplace of the 2011 revolt. Stormy demonstrations are under way in adjacent Suwayda. The economy is hurtling toward the abyss.
…What has changed, in two short years? How has Assad’s triumph turned to disaster? The answer is the Trump administration’s Syria policy. The application of quiet but unrelenting pressure is transforming the Syrian president’s victory into ashes. What it has yet to do is persuade Russia to cease backing the Assad regime, which means the strategy remains at a stalemate.
When James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syria, said on May 12 that his job was to make Syria “a quagmire for the Russians,” the remark went largely unnoticed. Jeffrey’s words were not merely, it turns out, intended to convey a general sense of opposition to Russian designs in Syria. They headlined a series of measures intended to prevent the return of normality to regime-controlled Syria, to foment renewed crisis, and thus to turn Syria from an asset to a burden for both Moscow and Tehran. — ForeignPolicy
So, with a little clever diplomacy, Trump has turned what everyone thought was Syria becoming a win for Iran and Russia was not quite the win they thought it was. In fact, Syria was more of a White Elephant than a meaningful victory.
The main method for achieving these goals has been the strangling of the Syrian economy. Assad urgently needs money for reconstruction. The United Nations estimates the cost of Syria’s rebuilding at roughly $250 billion, which is four times Syria’s prewar GDP. Assad’s main allies, however, have no money to give. Iran is currently reeling from U.S.-led maximum-pressure sanctions; Tehran’s disastrous response the coronavirus pandemic; the cost of imperial commitments in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza; and the loss of the man who managed those commitments, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike early this year. Russia is facing collapsing oil and gas prices, as well as sanctions.
The urgent need for reconstruction and the absence of funds have created a lever against the Assad regime that the United States has been diligently working. First, the United States has maintained with the European Union a united front on demanding that no reconstruction funds will be made available to Syria so long as the regime refuses a “comprehensive, genuine and inclusive political transition, negotiated by the Syrian parties to the conflict on the basis of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254”—a long way of saying that for as long as Assad refuses to negotiate his own departure, his regime won’t get any money. — ForeignPolicy
The other two aspects are blocking off escape routes for the regime with sanctions that severely penalize any 3rd nation doing business with them and the prevention of a total Regime military victory.
The immediate goal of the Trump administration’s Syria policy—which emerged from and is being run by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office—is to secure regime acceptance of a nationwide, unlimited cease-fire. That would freeze the current battle lines in place and allow negotiations about the country’s political future to begin. Free elections and the departure of Assad are what the United States hopes would follow, but Washington would retain the ability to dial economic pressure up or down, depending on the extent of cooperation from Assad and Russia.
In the absence of such cooperation, the strained status quo in Syria will persist. That includes the growing scarcity of basic goods for Syrian civilians and the collapse of the Syrian currency (today, 3,000 to the dollar on the black market versus 50 to one before the war). It also includes armed attacks of the sort seen in Daraa over the last year, and growing rifts at the top of the regime, where Assad has recently struggled to pry money from family members, including his billionaire cousin Rami Makhlouf. — ForeignPolicy
What are the Trump-Is-Putin’s-Puppet losers going to say about Trump when they find out Trump has just slammed yet another door in Russia’ face?
Probably nothing. Because CNN and MSNBC will never cover it.