Lee Smith’s seminal The Strong Horse: Politics, Power and the Clash of Arab Civilizations (2010) explains how the Arab world typically follows the leader with the most strength and power, i. e. the strong horse.
This proclivity for the powerful does not restrict itself to the Middle East, however. Xi Jinping these days is a pretty strong horse. Nor does it even restrict itself to dictators. Winston Churchill may have been the strongest horse of the last hundred years, having led the allies from the brink of defeat to victory in World War II, sometimes through sheer force of will.
Now it’s Donald Trump’s turn. Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, among other countries and non-state actors, not to mention a whole host of domestic foes, have all aligned themselves against him (and consequently America) in various degrees.
At the same time, an investigation into his inner circle threatens to sweep up virtually everyone from his personal lawyer to his son while his adversaries chortle.
But these adversaries, ambitious and vengeful as they are, have little idea of the chaos that will ensue in this country should Trump fall, the ruptures that will occur. And if they do understand that, they are the vilest of men and women. It is a chaos that will engulf Western Civilization itself, because Europe, the weakest of horses for decades, is in no position to defend its own values. They have already abdicated.
So Trump must be the strong horse and he must do it swiftly and thoroughly. In response to Assad’s use of gas, he must deliver a heavy punishment (huge, in his words) all at once to the Syrians and their allies — Russia, Iran and Iran’s lackey those international drug pushers Hezbollah.
This does not mean getting ensnared in a war. Just administer a deep, serious and paralyzing wound they will never forget and get out. Destroy Syria’s air fields and planes, as an example, laying waste to Russia’s missile defenses in the process. Increase economic sanctions on Putin to the max. The ruble is already tanking. Keep up the pressure until Putin blinks or the Russian people rise up against the dictator. Blast every discernible Iranian presence in Syria to kingdom come while warning the mullahs the same will happen to them at home if they make a peep. And, of course, void the absurd nuclear deal with the added warning that even the slightest move to atomic weaponry on their part will mean a massive air attack.
And assassinating Assad would be a benefit to humanity into the bargain, no matter what Vogue magazine may have said.
Do not wait for the UN to authorize any of this because that would never happen. If a coalition of the willing joins us, whether it’s the French, the British, the Saudis or whoever, so much the better. But again — don’t wait.
What Trump does will be viewed carefully in Beijing and Pyongyang, and the Chinese and North Koreans will react accordingly.
Already he seems to have been making headway with them. Xi Jinping announced a series of conciliatory trade measures Monday; Little Rocket Man wants to talk. If things are to change, if these pronouncements are to become reality, Trump must be the strong horse.
Let Mueller stew. Let the Wag the Dog useful idiots at NBC natter on. Just do it. If not now, when?
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.