Twenty-four hours ago, Chuck Schumer was taunting Donald Trump as a “98-pound weakling” on China before Xi Jinping’s visit. What a difference a day makes. Now, after the cruise missile attack on Syria, Chuck is singing a different tune:
“Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do,” Schumer said in a statement released late Thursday. “I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today.” [He didn’t quite say “President Trump,” but we know what he meant.]
And then there’s Nancy Pelosi, suddenly jumping on the bandwagon: “Tonight’s strike in Syria seems to be a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons.”
I’ll say. But why the sudden change on the part of the Democrat leaders? It’s obvious. Pelosi and Schumer — though they wouldn’t admit it even if waterboarded — are reacting like human beings to Trump’s rapid, indeed practically immediate, response to Bashar Assad’s horrific gassing of children. He did something. Thank God!
They also know — though they wouldn’t admit this one even if their toes were being cut off and their eyes plucked out — that Trump is doing precisely what Obama should have done after his famous “red line” against chemical weapons was violated. Trump took it to Assad. Obama did nothing. In the process, Barack rolled over for Russia — more of that in a moment — just as he rolled over for the mullahs when the Green Revolution students were pleading for his help from the streets of Tehran, one of the darkest days in recent American history.
For Trump, this is a win-win-win-win-win, because, as we used to say in the sixties, “the whole world is watching.” And what’re they seeing? America as world leader is back. No more “leading from behind,” whatever that meant. And, no, this doesn’t mean we have to get into nation building, Ann Coulter. It just means we will act when we see evil. And gassing children, I think most people can agree, is definitely evil.
This was no doubt noticed by the aforementioned Xi Jinping, who had to take a back seat temporarily while Trump was dealing with this pressing matter. Will this help nudge the Chinese finally to do something about the crazy North Koreans? It won’t hurt.
It won’t hurt either with the rest of the evildoers in the world, including especially the Iranians who, thanks to Obama’s financial generosity, now have upwards of 100,000 troops in Syria. Will they start to act out, attack our people? It’s possible, though more likely they will cower at the slightest display of American power. (John Kerry’s gone? Oh, no!)
But if the mullahs do try to pull something in response, I imagine Trump, Tillerson, and Mattis are sitting there channeling their inner Clint Eastwood — “Go on, Ayatollah. Make my day!” (The Sunnis would be ecstatic, though Ben Rhodes would probably be unhappy..)
And then there’s Russia. Somehow I think Putin is too shrewd to react heavily to this, but I don’t doubt he’s a little upset for a variety of reasons. One of the lesser ones is that Vlad must have been enjoying the spectacle of the Democrats and the mainstream media endlessly excoriating Trump for collusion with him. (Whatever you might think of him, imagine what that must be like from Putin’s perspective — mind-boggling.)
Anyway, CNN et al. probably won’t give it up entirely — addictions are hard to break, as we know — but one outgrowth of Trump’s attack on Russia’s longtime favorite client Syria will be to make the “collusion meme” seem more than a little absurd. If there was any colluding going on, it was between Obama and the Russians, not to mention Hillary and Kerry, over a number of years. Just ask Sergey Lavrov.
But that’s an old story. The new story will be this. If Trump cares so much about those babies being gassed, why doesn’t he admit more refugees?
Fair question on the surface, but not a good one. In reality, if you’re concerned about Syria — or the Middle East in general — you know the decent people have to stay in the region for there to be any hope at all. Otherwise, you can just cede it to ISIS and their brethren. The answer is improved refugee camps in the Middle Eastern countries. Whoever said life was simple?
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.