Bill Clinton & Donald Trump on Syria & Assad


Yesterday we heard two smart conservative Republican women use the term “our guys” for Sunni Syrian rebels fighting Assad. That was a flashback for us. Because we instantly thought of the first, the original, and the most iconic “our guy” – Osama Bin Laden.  It is common knowledge now that Osama Bin Laden was a cherished American asset from 1979 to 1989, trained & supported by the CIA in a holy “jihad” against Russians in Afghanistan. Every one also knows how that turned out after 1990.  

Listening to these two bright, successful, and articulate women was surreal. It would have depressed us had it not been for two extraordinarily bright and successful men, Donald Trump and President Bill Clinton. Since Trump is the only one with the potential opportunity to implement his ideas, we begin with him.

We remember the Donald articulating the following to CNN’s Erin Burnett this week:

  • “We know Assad is a bad guy but the guys fighting him may be worse. We don’t know who we are supporting; nobody knows who they are. Let Assad and these guys fight each other. Russia wants to kill ISIS in Syria. Let them. Why do we have do everything everywhere? We will  handle Iraq and let Russia handle Syria.”

So eminently sensible and rational. And so 100% pro-American. Just because we have the ability & resources to get in the midst of every fight in the world doesn’t mean we should. In fact, the best way to stop being the dominant empire is to squander our will & resources on fights that are not material to us.

That brings us to President Clinton and our recollection of what he said to Erin Burnett this week about Assad. He referred to the awful putdown of Sunni insurgents by Assad’s father and then added:

  • “They became inclusive by bringing in other minorities and women; they had more women in the Syrian Government than any other country in the middle east”

This is totally contradictory to the highly colored descriptions of Assad by otherwise smart & intelligent TV commentators and to the claim made by President Obama yesterday. 

President Clinton was gently saying that, while Assad is bad guy, he is not the worst of rulers in the middle East. It is well known that most of the non-Sunni minorities in Syria support Assad because he is a known devil and he is a lesser evil than the Sunni Jihadi crazies fighting him. Remember the “moderate” Sunni fighter who tore open the chest of a dead Syrian soldier and ate his heart or lung on TV?

We think Donald Trump is 100% correct. We don’t believe either Senator McCain or the Obama Administration have any idea who these so-called “moderate” rebels are. All of us just saw our “moderate” allied Syrian soldiers, “trained” by America at great expense, surrender to Al-Qaeda and handover US supplied weapons & supplies to Al-Qaeda.  

Our own position has been simple and clearly stated for awhile. Assad is bad and we can deal with him. To quote ourselves, “An America that worked with Stalin can work with Assad“. And Putin is even easier to work with than either Assad or Stalin. His aims in Syria are clear, crystal clear.

  • First he wants to protect the Russian presence in Syria and the Syrian ports. To do so, he needs to keep Assad or someone like Assad in power.
  • He is smart enough to realize that you don’t get rid of a regime without being sure you have an alternate & better regime ready to take its place.
  • And he wants to kill anti-Russian terrorists in Syria than fighting them inside Russia just like President Bush wanted to kill anti-American terrorists in Iraq rather than waiting till they get into the US. Don’t forget, Bush did so and fixed Iraq before he left in 2008.
  • Finally by entering Syria with his military, he does instill a sense of worry in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other sponsors/funders of Sunni jihadi terrorism in the middle east. Don’t forget, Russia invited Saudi Arabia to Moscow for serious discussions about Syria. The Russians thought the Saudis were nuts or madmen and Foreign Minister Lavrov disparaged them under his breath in their joint press conference. It is quite likely that, after failing to get a deal with the Saudis,  Putin felt he had no choice but to intervene militarily in Syria.

The smart TV commentators we hear know this and follow this completely. But their obsession is very different and very macro. Their main goal is an important one – maintain & raise the prestige of America on the world scene. They are mainly angry at President Obama for squandering America’s position in the world & exposing America to ridicule. Syria is just one theater for them and a relatively minor one.

We understand & sympathize with what they feel. But getting involved in another quagmire in Syria is not the way to regain America’s prestige. If Putin succeeds, then that’s good for America. It will help cool down Iraq. if Putin fails, then he would need American help to extricate himself. The way to gain prestige & respect is to win. And you can often win by doing little.

Bill Clinton & Donald Trump are brilliant successful men who became so by being smart, street-smart. Today, they represent the two opposing political parties. So when these two guys agree, the Obama Administration and TV commentators should listen & learn.


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