Trump is (Almost Always) Wrong

Charles Hajjar '16, Contributor

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Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks and frequent hate speech make even the most conservative voters cringe. As a more progressive person trying to decide which Democratic candidate to support, peeking into the “Make America Great Again” phenomenon—while often entertaining—has served as a disturbing wake up call into the dire state of the Republican Party. Coming from a family that religiously views Fox News, however, I have been forced to keep an open mind about all conservative happenings in the United States.

The majority of Trump’s positions are without substance—completely hollow. His sweeping declarations take full advantage of the rage-filled Americans in search for their own populist messiah: Deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, enacting far-reaching tax cuts without raising the Federal deficit, and reclaiming millions of jobs “lost” to China are only realistic and humane goals in Trump’s own dreams.

In the midst of his rants and ramblings on how he is going to “knock the hell out of ISIS,” however, Trump has struck a cord with me, a liberal kid from Massachusetts. For far too long, the United States has unnecessarily involved ourselves in the Middle East. Bush 41 began this tradition by intervening in Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded the country. While at the time a swift victory providing much needed political momentum for the President, today Kuwait doesn’t seem so thankful. While countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey have taken on millions of refugees fleeing Syria, Kuwait has taken none. For a country that shares religion, ethnicity, and language with the refugees, this is egregious. Trump has called on other Arab nations to help carry the burden of refugees, and also proposed creating a safe zone in Syria to keep refugees. In Syria, the cost of living is tremendously cheaper than in Europe and America. While I fundamentally disagree with his call to bar Muslims from immigrating into the US, other candidates should follow his lead in the creating of a safe zone.

Another core tenet of Trump’s policy toward Syria from the beginning of his campaign was his call to bomb the oil fields held in the hands of ISIS. When he first announced this, the media and political establishment scoffed; CNN even published an article with headline “Donald Trump’s plan to bomb Iraq’s oil fields not a good one.” Within it, two military analysts naively bashed his platform as a rash course of action that would destroy Iraq’s already vulnerable infrastructure. While he truly called for the destruction of all oil fields under ISIS’ general possession—not just limited to Iraq—today, the elitist political pundits are regretting that they ever spoke out against Trump’s plan. The Pentagon reported as of November 14th that it had disabled nearly three quarters of ISIS’s oil infrastructure. For the richest terrorist organization in the world, this was a heavy blow. And, of course, as is within the teaching of his ever so braggadocious character, Trump instantly ran to take credit for this idea.

Trump’s ridiculous statements often draw much needed scrutiny from the media and general public. One of these statements, however, shouldn’t be turning so many heads. Ever since Russia had begun to conduct air strikes in Syria, the world has been on edge. Russia’s goal is to defend their strong ally in the Middle East, the administration of Bashar al-Assad. While most of their targets are rebel groups, they are also targeting ISIS.

Before delving into why Trump’s support for Russia is for the better, let’s review quickly the precedent set for civil wars in the Middle East: In 2011, Egyptians revolted against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. In a series of democratic elections following the President’s resignation, the Egyptian people elected the Muslim Brotherhood into power. The Islamist Mohamed Morsi began his rule by granting more and more constitutional power to his own extremist party, tightening the government’s control over the media, and oppressing religious minorities. There are countless other examples of Middle Eastern civil wars going wrong and extremist rebel groups taking advantage of a battered populace. Syrians have every right to be scared of an extremist-Sunni insurgency if Bashar al-Assad is to fall. While Assad is dangerous—he has killed thousands of his own citizens, bombed hospitals, and given no regard to the sanctity of human life—he is notably open in his thinking on woman’s rights and defensive of religious minorities in Syria. Syrians are better off with the known evil they have now versus creating a power vacuum where ISIS or other Sunni-extremists can thrive.

Trump is wise in wanting to let Russia fight the war in Syria for us. He displays foresight in his willingness to attempt to prevent another power vacuum in the Middle East—like the situation Bush 43 created after leaving Iraq, which today is to blame for ISIS.

I do not advise anyone to support Trump. Being partly right on this one issue is by no means a justification for a Trump presidency. Other presidents—even ones across the political aisle—should take note of Trump’s resignation to enter another war in the Middle East, and as much as I hate to say it, should follow his lead on this one issue.

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Trump is (Almost Always) Wrong