Breaking Down Donald Trump’s Dangerous Incompetence on Syria

Without a doubt the most dominant story of the past week was the Syrian chemical attack and Donald Trump’s subsequent response to it by way of ordering 59 Tomahawk missiles launched at an airbase in Syria. However, if you ask me, the real story should be the embarrassing display of incompetence we’ve seen from Trump and his administration in relation to all of this.

First let’s look at the reality that, back in 2013, Trump went on several unhinged rants against President Obama for seeking congressional approval to use military force in Syria following a chemical attack that killed over 1,400 civilians, including over 400 children. While both attacks are atrocious, just looking at the number of victims, the 2013 attack was far worse than the one last week.

Yet if you listen to Trump’s comments after Tuesday’s attack, it’s clear he doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on in Syria. Watching him speak, it’s obvious he had no idea that the 2013 attack was far worse than this most recent one. He said the attack was “unacceptable,” that it “crossed many, many lines,” and his “attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed.”


What’s different about Assad now? Were all the times he used chemical weapons on civilians, including the 2013 one that killed over 1,400 people, when Trump wasn’t “Commander-in-Chief” somehow… different? You know, besides the fact that some of them killed far more people than last Tuesday’s attack. Also, is he saying the 2013 attack he staunchly opposed Obama wanting to respond to with military strikes was “acceptable”?

Please, tell me, what’s different about Assad pre and post his most recent use of chemical weapons?

If you listen to the things Trump said, it’s glaringly obvious that he has no idea what’s actually going on in Syria and is completely oblivious about many of the appalling things Assad’s done to innocent people.

Then there’s always the fact that just a few days before this disgusting event took place, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley both publicly stated that removing Assad from power was not a goal or a priority of the Trump administration. Which brings me back to the question I just asked — why wasn’t it a priority before this latest attack? It’s not as if this is Assad’s first time using chemical weapons.

Next up comes Trump’s airstrike consisting of 59 Tomahawk missiles at a cost of around $94 million that was so ineffective the airbase they targeted was up-and-running again within a few hours of the last missile strike. How is it even possible to fire 59 missiles at an airbase, yet leave it in such good condition that aircraft were taking off from it within hours? One would think that if you’re “going to send a message” you’d at least completely incapacitate the facility.

As the days have passed we’ve still yet to see any hint of an actual strategy from the Trump administration on what they plan to do about Syria and Assad. They fired these missiles, didn’t incapacitate the airbase, and that’s basically been it.

Wait, my mistake, I’m forgetting about what happened Sunday when Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Haley both made public comments about the administration’s plan on Syria — that essentially contradicted one another.

Tillerson told CBS’s Face the Nation that Assad’s eventual fate is something they’ll be working with allies to determine, but defeating ISIS is their top priority. Meanwhile, Haley told CNN’s State of the Union that “there’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen” as long as Assad’s in power. She also added that it’s nearly impossible to see a “government that’s peaceful and stable with Assad [in power].”

Oh, and let’s not forget that as “moved” as Trump apparently was at the sight of these dead civilians, especially the children, he still refuses to accept Syrian refugees, often vilifying them as terrorists.

So what we have now is a “Commander-in-Chief” who doesn’t seem to have any sort of plan on what to do with Syria, one of the biggest international issues going on in the world for the last 6 years, while his Secretary of State and ambassador to the U.N. are giving conflicting statements about the administration’s position — which makes the United States look incredibly weak and inept.

It’s amazing to me that these are many of the same people who, for years, called Barack Obama incompetent — especially Trump. Forget hoping that they’ll come up with an effective plan on what to do about Syria, these buffoons can’t even get on the same page when it comes to public comments about the international crisis.

But this is what happens when you give power to an imbecile and then ask them to solve extremely complex issues that they’re clearly too incompetent to handle.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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