By Joe Ragonese
President Trump struck back. All this writer can say is yeah, it is about time that America flexed its muscles again. Listening to conservative talk radio, there were many Trump voters who were miffed at this warlike action. The President had many voters who pulled the switch for him last November because of his opposition to war. I, like him, am tired of the endless wars that we have been fighting for little or no reason.
War; however, is more likely to happen out of weakness, rather than from strength. We do not need to look too far back in our history to see the results of both weakness and strength. We relegated our armed forces to a point of almost nonexistence, after World War I. It was done to insure that our boys never go into another nightmare, like they endured in the trenches of France, ever again. Simultaneously, politicians became completely isolationist, letting events unfold in the world without taking a stand, on any issues: like Japan attacking China or Germany invading Poland.
The majority of Americans agreed with those policies, just like those disgruntled Trump voters, who complain that he attacked Syria. Japan saw our weakness, as did Germany and Italy, and Japan attacked us, while Germany and Italy declared war on us. It led to the costliest war in American lives. It was all because we were weak at home and irresponsible on the world stage; which led our enemies to think we were incapable of defeating them. Weakness led to war.
Contrast that with the Cold War. For over fifty years America and the Soviet Union (now Russia) faced off in a mortal head to head confrontation. The Soviets declared that they would bury America and control the world. Only our military, and nuclear arsenal, prevented that from happening. The world, especially weak-kneed leftists, like Obama, decried that all this military might would lead to war. They had no idea what they were saying, because the opposite is true.
During the Cold War, to counter Soviet aggression, we built the largest and most effective armed forces the world has ever seen. The Soviet Union tried to keep up with us, their armed forces almost equaling ours. Any confrontation; however, would have led to mutually assured destruction; possibly to the end of the world. Both sides knew this and knew that the other side not only had the means to fight, but the will to do so. Rather than war being inevitable, both sides used every precaution to avoid it.
In fact, that was the plan to keep us out of war, called MAD (mutually assured destruction). Having a strong armed forces meant that we stayed out of war. Any weakness during the Cold War would have led to the world’s destruction; however, because we were not only strong militarily, but our threat to use those nuclear forces was credible, war never came. Peace was maintained through strength.
The Cold War ended because communism was unable to compete with capitalism. The Soviet Union ran out of money trying to keep up with us. And then, we did a really dumb thing, we downsized our armed forces, something the Democratically controlled congress called the ‘Peace Dividend.’ Then Barack Obama was elected President, and he went to the most extreme levels of unpreparedness that our armed forces have seen since prior to World War II. His actions placed us in the most danger America has been in for decades. Remember, weakness leads to war.
President Trump was elected to office with a severely weakened armed forces, facing existential threats to our nation’s very survival. His choices were limited, either try re-building our military, and hope that no one used this perilous time to attack us, or demonstrate to the world that we are not as weak as they may think. He understands the two pillars to peace; a strong military, and our willingness to use that force.
The President had many variables to consider in order to keep us out of war; one of his campaign promises. On the plus side, neither Russia nor China, our most dangerous enemies, were yet in a position to attack us, with a high probability of success. There is a reasonable expectation that they would not attack anytime soon. But our weakened military, combined with Obama’s complete refusal to confront aggression, left us in a very perilous position; especially with lesser, more reckless threats, like Iran and North Korea. Those two nations saw us as a toothless giant, and might use this small window, before Trump rejuvenated our military capability, to attack us.
The fastest way to respond to this perceived American deficit, was completed by President Trump on Thursday. Syria gave him the vehicle he needed to demonstrate to our friends and enemies alike, that America still has fangs that bite deeply, and is willing to use them. He sent 60 Tomahawk missiles to destroy a Syrian airfield. It was no coincidence that the attack was ordered only minutes after he left discussions with Xi Jinping, China’s President. It sent a very clear message to Xi, his surrogate, Kim, the Supreme Ayatollah of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and last, if not least, Vladimir Putin of Russia. The message, America is back in the leadership business and don’t even think about messing with us…or else! The two pillars to maintain peace in one fell swoop.
As far as the situation in Syria goes, they were just a handy platform to show the world that there is a new sheriff in town. If this writer had any sway with the President, I would suggest a follow up strike against al-Assad’s anti-aircraft infrastructure and command and control. That message would simply be to reinforce the first, as well as help our Kurdish allies secure a victory. To those Trump voters who are disappointed by his actions, please understand that weakness breeds wars, not strength. Then you will be able to understand why it was important that he did what he did. The President has no desire to get us into a protracted war in Syria. He said that while running for office, and I do not think that he has changed his mind.
There is no profit in fighting a war, and President Trump is all about profit. So much so, he is moving forward with his infrastructure rebuilding program. It is a one trillion dollar plan to rebuild roads, bridges, and airfields. As the President spoke about his plans, he was the most relaxed that he has been since taking office. And why not, he was in his element; building things. The plan is viewed skeptically by Republicans, while Democrats salivate thinking about the pork they can include in the bill. They will have a surprise in store for them; however, because Trump is a businessman motivated by profit.
The likelihood of a bridge to nowhere, or a pet off-ramp in the heart of Harlem, that serves only ten people, seems improbable. A lifetime of operating for profit will guide the how he proceeds with all projects; only those things that will benefit the many will happen in this administration. Just look at how he views cost savings. He has already been able to cut costs on Air Force One, the F-35, and F-22, by simply talking to business leaders at the companies that produce them. A President who sees the necessity to shave millions, in billion dollar projects, is unlikely to allow pork to infect his infrastructure project. That is good news.
There is a lot of good news this week, Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed by congress to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia. When he is on the bench next week, President Trump’s agenda can move forward. Because Dumbocrats forced the use of the nuclear option to have him confirmed, in one of the dumbest moves of all times, the next Supreme Court appointment will fly through congress; almost unopposed. That appointment seems to be coming within the next year, and it may actually be two. Justice Kennedy and Ginsberg both may step down in the coming months.
More good news, Attorney General Sessions issued a statement marking his concerns about the consent decree agreed to after the Obama administration forcing it down the throats of the Baltimore Police Department. Using the false narrative of inappropriate behavior by police in the handling of Freddy Gray, the Obama in-justice department mandated unnecessary changes. Let’s hope that he quashes that agreement, and then goes further, quashing the ones in Chicago, New York City and Ferguson, Missouri. Obama and his gestapo Department of Justice were the problem, not the police.
The good news keeps on coming. The EU did something right, they allowed Ukraine citizens to travel throughout Europe without visas. It was a decision hotly contested by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a rebuke to his growing power. With his setback in Syria caused by America’s missile strike and this, Putin may need to rethink his aggressive stances in the Baltic, Syria and elsewhere. He was unfettered during Obama’s terms, and was hoping that Trump would bend to his will as Obama did. This is only a setback to him, not a turning point. Putin will still flex his muscles and stretch his reach as far as allowed. It is now up to President Trump to reign him in to acceptable levels. Putin has already made his first moves, by shutting off the hotline in Syria with American commanders, and sending a warship near the two American Destroyers that launched the Tomahawk missiles. That will lead to nothing, but is a sign that Putin is not ready to cower to Trump’s pressure; at least not yet.
This has been a real busy week, and there is so much more that can be said, but I will leave you with this one last tidbit: Target Corporation has lost $20 billion since 2016. Right after the State of North Carolina passed a transgender law prohibiting men from using the women’s bathrooms, the left went wild in outrage. Target Corporation’s CEO, Brian Cornell, announced their support for transgenders and would allow either sex in either bathroom in their stores.
Customers were outraged by this and began a boycott of that chain, which led to a profit loss of 40% of their net worth; down from $50 billion when the policy was implemented, to $30 billion today. Contrast that with the calls for boycotts against the State of North Carolina by sports franchises and entertainers, which amounted to almost nothing. Today the state is doing as well as before the law was passed, all the noise on the left was meaningless; and the law still stands. It was rewritten, but the basic principles of only two sexes are upheld.
The good news is, we are winning the culture wars, we just don’t hear about it from the main stream media. Pat yourselves on the back, good things are happening because we are taking back our country from leftist extremism, little by little.