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Trump pushes back against rising Syria criticism: Should be ‘no surprise’ … ‘time for others to finally fight’

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A day after President Donald Trump announced that he intends to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, he took to Twitter to push back against rising criticism from those concerned that America is abdicating its moral duty to essentially serve as the world’s police.

“Getting out of Syria was no surprise,” he tweeted Thursday morning. “I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer.”

Though Trump’s presidency started with a bang when, only months in office, he ordered the bombing of a Syrian airfield after dictator Bashar Assad allegedly used chemical weapons on his own citizens, for the most part the president has been seeking to reduce — not increase — U.S. involvement.

Just last spring he withdrew funding for aid programs in northwestern Syria. Around the same time he ordered the military to begin prepping for a potential withdrawal.

“Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild. #MAGA,” the president’s tweets Thursday continued.


He was right to note that ISIS is indeed the enemy of Russia, Iran and Syria. But some of Trump’s critics have noted that the U.S. is likewise the enemy of Russia and Syria.

Their specific concern is that America’s withdrawal from Syria will allow the United States’ enemies to gain a stronger foothold in the beleaguered territory.

“The withdrawal of American presence from Syria also bolsters two other adversaries to the United States, Iran and Russia,” a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers warned. “As you are aware, both Iran and Russia have used the Syrian conflict as a stage to magnify their influence in the region.”

According to Trump and those who support his decision, this is irrelevant. Opponents of America’s Syria policy have long argued that the U.S. needs to prioritize its own interests instead of interfering in parts of the world where it’s not really welcome or wanted.


Among the critics is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was one of a select few legislators who criticized the president after he launched the bombing of Syria last year.

“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked. The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different,” he argued at the time.

He, of course, is pleased by the president’s latest decision:

So are quite a few social media users.


The latter Twitter user was correct: Obama-administration-led efforts to intervene in Syria did unintentionally wind up putting U.S. weapons in the hands of terrorists.


Vivek Saxena


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