Anti-war activists can breathe a momentary sigh of relief that a future President Donald Trump may offer at least one positive development.
Donald Trump has publicly opposed a U.S. attack on Bashar al-Assad in Syria. In his first interview since his victory, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he would likely abandon the current administration’s position on Assad.
“I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria,” Trump stated.
“My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria… Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.”
Most notable is Trump’s warning that if the U.S. goes to war with Assad, then“we will end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria.”
During his election campaign, Trump expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a sentiment that seemed to send chills down the spines of Democrats.
He also famously stated that the Middle East would have been safer if Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein had remained in power.
For those of us who are sick and tired of war and weary of where the Syrian conflict is headed, Trump’s foreign policy — for the time being — is a breath of fresh air.
As time goes on, however, we may find we will have to mobilize our anti-war resistance quicker than expected.
Further, the president-elect’s vice president, Mike Pence, is reportedly going to be no better than his predecessors on the war front. As Jeremy Scahill explains:
“Pence has claimed that he wants to ‘economically isolate’ Iran rather than engage in a military attack. But should Israel decide to conduct pre-emptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, he said in 2010, ‘if the world knows nothing else, let the world know this: that America will stand with Israel.’ He supported a failed legislative effort to make it U.S. policy ‘to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force.’ Both in rhetoric and policy, Pence has compared ‘radical Islam’ to the ‘evil empire of the Soviet Union’ and saidthat he and Trump will ‘name the enemy’ and ‘marshal the resources of our nation and our allies to hunt them down and destroy them before they threaten us.’” (emphasis added)
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.