Trump’s Vetting Process For Political Appointees Is Inadequate

Donald Trump is setting new records for turnover of cabinet officials and advisors. The administration’s vetting process obviously needs to be revamped.

Too many recent appointees have skeletons in their closets that warranted immediate dismissal after their discovery. The situation is becoming embarrassing, and, frankly, it’s making it difficult for Trump to govern effectively.

All this is exacerbated by the fact that the press and Trump’s political enemies are looking to abase every choice made by the president. The groups are determined to find faults and missteps in the resumes of appointees, so the administration must follow suit and dig deeper into the backgrounds of all political appointments. All subjects are fair game.

The first step in the vetting process is to ask questions, really tough questions that drill deeply into the character of the people being interviewed. This will not guarantee that all the warts of a prospective cabinet member or advisor will be surfaced (an interviewee can lie). But together with follow-up by the FBI and other investigative resources available to the president, it will decrease the odds of a bad choice.

I pieced together a list of personal questions. Many are extraordinarily intrusive. The problem is if the president and his staff do not vet any of the issues discussed below, surely Democrats and the liberal press will.

 

  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony?
  • Have you or do you currently use illicit drugs?
  • Have you ever sexually harassed another person?
  • Has anyone ever accused you of sexual harassment?
  • Have you ever physically accosted your significant other or your children?
  • Have ever committed adultery?
  • Have you ever lied to the people you worked for?
  • Have you ever driven a vehicle while intoxicated?
  • Have you ever been charged with DWI or DUI?
  • Have you ever stolen anything?
  • Are you acquainted with any foreign officials?
  • Do you know anyone who works for a foreign government?
  • Have you donated money to political campaigns
  • Do you frequent bars known as strip clubs?
  • Have you ever paid a prostitute for sexual favors?
  • Do you ever drive over the speed limit?
  • Have you ever received a ticket for a moving violation?
  • Have you paid all your taxes?
  • Have you ever cheated on your taxes?
  • Do all of your household employees pay taxes?
  • Have you ever cheated on medical reimbursement forms?
  • Have you ever physically attacked another person?
  • Have you published any articles in college or after?
  • Have you ever incited a riot?
  • Have you ever marched in protest?
  • Do you have any foreign bank accounts?
  • Do you own common stock of any companies, private or public?
  • Did you ever cheat on a test in high school or college?
  • Have you ever been in a car accident?
  • Have you ever provided inside information about a company to another person?

 

If the answers to any of these questions are yes, then follow-up should ensue. [Note: A positive response does not automatically disqualify an interviewee.] A response to one of them could result in an extensive investigation. The questions exclude those that are necessary to determine the ability of an interviewee to do the job.

It’s mind-boggling that individuals are being appointed to significant positions without being properly vetted . The character of a person matters, so the aforementioned questions are appropriate and will enable an interviewer to judge the quality of the person being interviewed.

It’s possible that some interviewees will lie. If this occurs and is uncovered at a later date, the person should be fired immediately. Interviewees should be warned about this contingency beforehand.

Society is becoming more judicious about people that govern, legislate and advise members of our government. Moreover there are watchdogs, including some that are inspired by political motives that are carefully assessing all political appointments. Trump is no longer running a privately held company in which he has total control. He must ensure that each staff member is competent. They must also have proven that they are people with great integrity.

 

 

Trump’s Mission- Denuclearization Of North Korea and Iran

President Trump is facing two of the most important challenges of his administration. One is the impending meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea. The second is the decision whether to abrogate the Iran nuclear treaty. Both involve nuclear proliferation in rogue countries.

For years, during the latter part of the 20th Century, fellow presidents had to deal with an existential nuclear challenge from the Soviet Union. But, it was very different because the US and its foe, to a great extent, acted with restraint based upon the reality of mutually assured destruction. If one party launched a nuclear attack, the other would respond resulting in compete annihilation of both attacker and defender.

The US is the only superpower in the current day drama. The other principals are relatively insignificant nations, military, who have, or are about to possess, a nuclear capability. A nuclear device makes any two-bit despot a force to be reckoned with.

Several former presidents kicked the can down the road in negotiations with North Korea. Ironically three generations of the same family cheated and lied over the years enabling their scientists to develop a nuclear capability. Who would have ever thought a nation that can barely feed its people and is completely dependent on China for its very survival would be able to build a nuclear weapon, put it atop a ballistic missile and launch it thousands of miles to strike the American homeland?

Well it is now a reality, and Americans are depending upon President Trump to negotiate a treaty to rein in North Korea. There is only one satisfactory end to this saga- the denuclearization of North Korea.

Kim has promised not to launch any more missiles and end his nuclear research. But, he has not agreed to give up his nukes. They are the reason his country is relevant in the global community. Americans should manage their expectations about this ending peacefully.

Iran is a slightly different situation, but the end game should be the same- denuclearization of the country. The ayatollahs that rule Iran sanctioned the development of nuclear weapons and missiles to transport them hundreds and thousands of miles. Fortunately the crisis with Iran is at an early stage, much like North Korea 10 years ago.

Iran supposedly is close to being able to build a nuclear bomb, but it will be years before it develops the technology to launch them great distances. Nevertheless its enemies in the Middle East that include Israel and all Sunni countries are at risk existentially.

Complicating the situation is Iran’s aggressive behavior towards its neighbors. It has destabilized a number of states in the Middle East including Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.

Considering all this and the well-established fact that Iran’s leaders are untrustworthy, Barrack Obama signed a treaty that gives Iran a pathway to a nuclear capability. In this regard Trump has repeatedly said the Iran nuclear is good for Iran and terrible for the rest of the world.

To make matters worse Obama eased sanctions that were beginning to cripple the country economically and sent Iran a boatload of money ($150 billion), which is mostly being used to build more armaments, including nuclear apparatus, and to create havoc in its region. But most important is the fact that Iran will have a bomb that it can use to threaten its enemies in less than ten years.

Trump should not allow this treaty to continue no matter how much France, Germany and other European countries scream. They have significant commercial business with Iran, so their judgment is clouded. America must protect its allies in the Middle East that includes Israel and Saudi Arabia from Iranian aggression.

Trump’s mission is clear- denuclearization of North Korea and Iran. There should be no negotiation of these terms. If the two rogue countries are allowed to plow ahead, our world will become exponentially more dangerous.

 

 

NY Times Columnist Charles Blow And I Agree, Trump Will Not Be Impeached

Charles W. Blow, the New York Times columnist, is Trump’s slanderer-in-chief. Blow has been a huge advocate of impeachment (of Trump) since Election Day 2016, when his world came crumbling down. But he’s giving up his impeachment dream. He indicated “Everyone still hoping for Donald Trump’s removal from office is hoping against the odds.” At last we agree on something.

Two presidents have been impeached in American history, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. Both men were impeached by the House of Representatives, and were let off the hook when the Senate was unable to muster a 2/3 majority for removal from office.

For Trump to be impeached and removed from the White House, the following events need to take place:

  • Democrats must retake the House and impeach the president with a simple majority. Blow thinks Democrats will win the House even though the odds makers think it’s about a 50/50 chance at this point in time.
  • Democratic senators then must find 67 votes to confirm the House impeachment. The odds are slim that Democrats will have 67 seats after the 2018 Election, or will be able to achieve a 2/3 vote including Republican turncoats.

Of course there’s still time for Trump to do or say something that would qualify him for impeachment. By the way, the President may be impeached and removed only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Every day the Trump administration is doing battle with persons, states, municipalities and various investigators. Americans know that Trump is likely to do things that push the edge of the envelope constitutionally, so his haters might be able to craft a rationale for a legitimate impeachment proceeding. Democrats don’t give up hope yet.

Robert Mueller’s investigation and James Comey’s scandalous tome are the best chances for Democrats to achieve their dream of impeachment. But Mueller is now investigating a pornographic actress and a Playmate. And most everybody thinks Comey is a sanctimonious liar who is likely to be indicted.

If the Democrats gain control of the House they just might impeach Trump with their majority. The caucus is pretty solid, and it’s doubtful any of them would put the nation ahead of a chance to embarrass Trump. Getting 2/3 of the Senate would stall the removal of Trump.

What’s pathetic about this conversation is that Democrats have not one issue that will help them win over voters in 2108 or 2020 except Trump’s un-statesmanlike behavior and demeanor.

Immigration is a loser for Democrats. Except for New York and California and a few urban centers across the US, there is no great desire to see more illegals enter the country. In fact the sanctuary city and state movement is fizzling out.

Most Americans think California radicals who want to protect illegals at the expense of US citizens, are whacky. Even in California, some are separating from those that want amnesty for all illegal interlopers.

The wall is controversial, but Trump is convincing Americans that you can’t have a secure country without a secure border. And although many Americans want DACA kids to be saved, they don’t accept continued illegal immigration into the US. The wall will decrease the magnitude of this problem.

The Trump tax cut is making our economy soar. Americans are now seeing more money in their net pay. The stock market has remained strong. Businesses are growing. Employment is up. Wages are increasing. Economics will definitely have a great impact on the Elections, stupid.

Internationally, Trump might be on the brink of reining in North Korea. This blog has been skeptical that Kim Jung-un will ever give up his nukes. But the summit is going to happen.

Unfortunately no one has confiscated Trump’s IPhone. The president can’t stop tweeting and exaggerating. He’s been unable to ignore the Mueller investigation. He’s unable to just allow Comey to shoot himself in the foot.

As for Blow, he will continue to be rude, disrespectful and un-journalistic about Trump. Fewer people every day care about Blow’s opinions. But he is right about one thing, Trump’s not going to be impeached and removed from office.

 

 

 

A North Korean Deal Is Not Going To Come Easy

The global community and most Americans are excited about the possibility of peace on the North Korean peninsula. Kim Jong-un has made several concessions prior to a yet to be scheduled summit meeting with President Trump.

It would be wise to manage expectations about the forthcoming meeting. Kim, his grandfather and father have buffaloed previous US presidents on numerous occasions.

The following is a list of substantive issues that may impact the success of the Trump/Kim negotiations:

 

-The most important question is why would Kim give up his nuclear weapons under any circumstances? Keep in mind he has tentatively offered to stop testing missiles and close down research facilities. He has not said he was ready to dismantle his nuclear arsenal.

-The most important objective of Trump should be the destruction or dismantling of Kim’s nukes. Unlike the Iran situation NOKO is already armed with deliverable weapons of mass destruction.

-Regarding denuclearization, it’s true that without a nuclear threat NOKO is nothing more than an insignificant satellite of China. The country will have little if any influence over others without the threat of a nuclear weapon.

-Kim wants to prevent a US military strike on his country and will do say or do anything to prevent it.

-Kim wants to end sanctions against his country, which will improve NOKO’s economy and reduce the chances of financial destabilization in the country. If the US rescinds sanctions, it will be difficult to manage Kim if he decides to go rogue again.

-Kim hopes to get foreign aid from the US. Would it be possible to gain approval from Congress to fund NOKO? It’s going to be a tough sell.

-Kim would like to encourage dissention between the US and South Korea. This could possibly lead to less support of South Korea militarily in the long run. If unification becomes a viable option, NOKO would have more influence in the process without the US standing behind South Korea.

-It would be a great disappointment if Trump, for whatever reasons (ego, too much faith in Kim, misreading his adversary, etc.), falls into the same trap as President Obama. The desire to make a deal should not overwhelm the importance of denuclearization.

-It is unclear whether NOKO is colluding with China, but it’s probably so. Therefore we must appreciate what is important to China. The most important issue is the possible unification of Korea, especially with South Korea taking the lead. It is not in the best interests of China for the two Koreas to collaborate. Secondarily mass migration of NOKO citizens is anathema to China.

-If a nuclear deal is consummated, verification will be a major issue. If NOKO continues to produce nuclear material after a deal is consummated, it will be difficult to substantiate. NOKO is not going to give outside inspectors uninhibited access.

-It would be a mistake for the US to make demands beyond denuclearization. The tendency of US diplomacy is to encourage democratic evolution and decreased human rights violations. These issues should be explored at another time. The more urgent consideration is eliminating nukes.

-A frightening thought is what would happen if the negotiations were unsuccessful? Will the situation resort back to US threats of military action and new missile tests by NOKO? The world would become exponentially more dangerous overnight.

 

This is the biggest deal in Trump’s life. It is not an ego trip or one that should fail before extraordinary efforts on both sides. Let’s hope both principals can get past their own character issues and make a deal for mankind.

Tom Friedman Predicts A Growing Conflict Between Israel And Iran

Tom Friedman of the New York Times wrote an interesting op-ed about an impending war between Iran and Israel.

Iran has become the greatest occupier in the Middle East. It’s currently entrenched in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. All this is a prelude to an inevitable showdown with Sunni Arabs in the region.

Simultaneously Israel is no longer the most important focus of a swathe of the Arab world. It’s now mostly Sunnis against Shiites.

Saudi Arabia has already indicated that it’s willing to work with Israel in its struggle with Iran. This change in emphasis is not coming easy to the Saudis. Great mistrust still exists, and the Saudis remain committed to the rights of their Palestinian brothers and sisters. At some point peace between Israel and Palestine will be necessary to foster normal relations between the Saudis and the Israelis.

Iran is now the most dangerous threat to Saudi Arabia. Radical Shiite leaders in Iran have targeted Sunni strongholds for violence and destabilization. The centuries old conflict between the two sects of Islam supersedes all other issues. Many believe that in the long run only one of them will survive.

Sunnis have a large advantage in membership and financial support from oil producing countries. But the ayatollahs, with the help of a previous US administration are poised to gain ground if they ultimately develop a nuclear capability. The controversial nuclear deal is the most critical existential threat to the Saudis and its Arab allies in the Middle East. Unfortunately the previous Obama and company were so intent on doing a deal with Iran that they miscalculated the extraordinary influence that a nuke will afford to Iran versus all its neighbors.

At the same time Iran is focusing on Israel. The latter is determined to not allow Syria to become a belligerent neighbor like Lebanon, which is a launching site for rockets directed at Israel.

Recently the Israelis shot down a drone that carried weapons and entered Israel airspace. A short time later Israel launched an attack in Syria that killed Iranians near the border. Tensions are ramping up. The confrontations are no longer by proxy. Israelis and Iranians are going head to head.

The US is committed to the security and well being of the State of Israel. It should do whatever possible to foster relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, while strongly indicating that it will protect Israel from any aggression. Nevertheless the odds of more violent encounters between Israel and Iran are high, especially in the light of the new axis consisting of Iran, Russia and Syria.

Obama Minion Offers Inane Plan For Syria

Former members of the Obama administration are forever trying to convince America that their performance was exemplary. It was not as measured by almost any standard. Susan Rice, the ex-president’s National Security Advisor and United Nations Ambassador, orchestrated the latest effort by Obama groupies.

It’s no wonder that Obama had such poor results in the Middle East with advisors like Rice. For some reason she decided to give her take on recent events in a New York Times op-ed titled “A Way Forward in Syria.”
For the most part, the recommendations made are non-starters.

The most stunning fact is that Obama’s reticence, or inclination not to engage Syria after Assad attacked his countrymen with poison gas, is the principal reason why the situation is now so dire.

You know the story. Obama drew a line in the sand and did nothing to back up his threats. This emboldened Assad to solicit the support of our enemies, and then he continued to wreak havoc on millions of his people.

At the time Assad was not being propped up by Russia and Iran, and now it is, making the situation exponentially more explosive. Obama passed up an opportunity to take out Assad, and now that option is really not available without escalating the conflict.

Here are the important items in Rice’s “way forward.”

America should maintain its current level of troops in Syria “to defeat Islamic State and Qaeda elements.” The current number of troop (about 2,000) and their current engagement with the enemy (limited) will only have a negligible impact on the remaining radical forces still at large. The coordination between Syrian soldiers and US troops is sketchy, and it’s hard to believe that they are working in unison to rid the country of these radical groups. It’s America’s support of rebels and Syrian Kurds that really matters. These fighters are doing most of the dirty work.

Rice suggested, Washington must help secure, rebuild and establish effective local governance in liberated areas. Nation building is difficult when the exiting federal government is cooperating, consider Iraq and Afghanistan. To throw money at local leaders to build new local governments is laughable thought when Assad is attacking them and Iran is encouraging more violence.

The US should not try to depose Assad. It would be difficult to dethrone the leader with force while Russia and Iran are protecting him. Also it would be impossible to apply the necessary firepower to defeat federal forces without also killing Russians and Iranians.

The US should make the occupation of Syria by Russia and Iran an expensive proposition. Arming and rearming the rebels will eventually stretch the financial limits of Russia and Iran. The resulting quagmire would force both to abandon Syria, which would be the beginning of the end for Assad. It also may encourage radical elements to fill the void, unfortunately.

The US must sustain its generous humanitarian assistance to Syrians. Why does every global crisis cost American taxpayers more money? Other than arming the rebels why should the US spend money to rebuild anything?

Regarding true humanitarian expenditures, why would Assad allow this to occur while he is trying to kill all the people who would benefit by aid?

Rice calls for more immigration of Syrians to the US. Refusing refugee requests by Syrians is the wiser policy for the US. Massive immigration of un-vetted individuals guarantees more expenditures by the US and increased social discord when the immigrants arrive. Where will these people settle? Who is willing to accept them? Americans will not be receptive to a potentially unstable group.

The US should pursue a negotiated settlement. With whom should the US negotiate? Assad? Russians? Iranians? Kurds? Turks? Will any of these groups accept US standing in this matter? Will our sage counsel sway any of these individuals?

President Trump has the correct strategy. Punish Assad and the Syrian government every time a weapon of mass destruction is used. Keep our soldiers safe and out of direct contact with hostiles. Better still bring them home. It’s time that America recognizes that it cannot make peace everywhere. And it’s difficult to make peace when no one really wants it.

 

 

Everyone’s Dumping On Comey, But He’s Laughing All The Way To The Bank

James Comey, the former head of the FBI, who was ceremoniously fired by President Trump, and who some people say single-handedly destroyed Hillary Clinton’s chances to be elected president, has written a controversial book (just in case you live in a cave and haven’t heard).

Comey prides himself as person of honor, professionalism and truth. Unfortunately very few Americans would endorse his assessment.

How is it possible for a man to be so despised by both ends of the political spectrum in the country? Trump lovers are outraged by Comey’s very personal and unfiltered onslaught of the president in public appearances (to hype the book) and in the book itself (many juicy excerpts have already been shared with the public to encourage book sales).

The high and mighty Comey sarcastically addresses Trump’s orange hair and the white rings around his eyes (probably from a tanning bed that was secretly brought into the White House). He stoops even lower by suggesting that Trump’s hands are not impressively large (meaning you know what- wink, wink). That’s a lot of trash talking for an over-sized man that can barely fit through a normal sized door who destroyed his own legacy.

Trump advocates resent Comey’s attack on the president’s character. He has used every conceivable negative adjective to describe Trump. They include misogynistic, narcissistic, liar, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, and condescending. He did indicate that he thought Trump has above average intelligence (in the context of knowing right from wrong). Whew!

Comey would not be satisfied if Trump were to be impeached by Congress. Rather he wants the electorate to publicly savage him in an election to atone for voting for the president in the first place. How can one man hate another to such an extent? I guess it’s to be expected because Trump discarded Comey.

For such a high and mighty and principled person, Comey is quick to criticize others who did not live up to his standards. These include Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General, who has been scrambling trying to save her reputation. Comey said that her actions were detrimental to the Justice Department because she politicized the Clinton investigation.

But the most outrageous acts by Comey were his inane announcements that Hillary was, at first, not being investigated further, and then, right before the election, was being investigated.

Republicans believe that Clinton lost the election because she conducted an incompetent campaign that included bad decisions about where to focus in the final days before the election.

Democrats believe that Comey sanctimoniously opened his big mouth just before the elections to announce that Clinton was being investigated, and it cost her the presidency. The strangest part of Comey’s actions is that he ran afoul of FBI policies relating to comments about ongoing investigations. Then again the man leaked information like a rusty can, which is also against FBI policies.

America does not need bureaucratic lawmen like James Comey to save them from anything other than dangerous criminals. Politics is clearly not among Comey’s strong suits. Just ask Hillary if you think otherwise.

Comey has gone too far with his mouth and his pen. The book is a way for a very disgruntled and abject failure of a government hack to try to save his reputation and make a lot of money.

Regarding the latter Comey will be successful because Trump haters are dying to read more about all of the president’s character flaws, even though they’ve already been identified, analyzed and promoted endlessly.

Regarding Comey’s reputation, it’s too late for redemption. Writing salacious books may the only way for Comey to support himself because no self-respecting company will hire him.

Lauding The Syrian Missile Attack Does Not Mean One Is A Trump Lover

I can hear the mumblings across the Internet. “This guy is a Trump lover and an apologist. He’s hopelessly smitten by the worst president in history.”

It’s not true. But problems began to surface after I published my Sunday essay entitled “A Masterful Response To Syrian Atrocities, Yet Americans Criticize Trump.”

In the piece I offered a laundry list of reasons why Trump and the US military deserve kudos for a job well done in Syria. The mission of the US airstrikes was to degrade Bashar al-Assad’s ability to conduct chemical warfare on his own people. What could be wrong with this objective? If you watch CNN and MSNBC, and listened to liberal lawmakers, there was plenty wrong. Even some conservative members of Congress found fault with the airstrikes.

These criticisms emanate from a deep-seated hatred of Donald Trump. Forget he’s the president and responsible for the safety and well being of our country. Forget he will be representing every American for the next two plus years- unless Congress can figure out a way to impeach him.

The fact is many Americans will continue to be unhappy with Trump regardless of any achievements. At an earlier point in his presidency I wrote on this blog that if Trump were able to keep his campaign promises, he would be unbeatable in 2020. I no longer believe this to be true. Many Americans want him out no matter what. I think it’s disappointing that this president is judged solely by his personality, and everything he does is irrelevant.

The Syrian attack is a perfect example of misguided loyalties in this country. The missile onslaught led by the US was a righteous decision by our government. The reason for the military action was to stop Syria from using weapons of mass destruction, chemical agents, against its own citizens.

Syria’s chemical actions were universally criticized by almost every nation and the United Nations. Women and children were poisoned and suffocated by these chemicals. Is this justification for the US to attack the perpetrator’s chemical facilities? How can the answer be anything but a resounding yes?

The US did everything possible to avoid collateral damage. As far as we know few if any civilians were killed or injured in the attacks. The military action took place at 4 a.m. local time when few people were not working at the chemical facilities. Also the US gave Russia a heads up about the impending assault so that it incurred no losses. This was done to avoid retaliation by Russia.

American armaments worked perfectly. The missiles were aimed at chemical facilities and hit those targets.

And finally a substantial part of Syria’s stock of chemicals and ability to use them for military purposes were severely impacted.

In my last blog I indicated that Americans should be grateful that Trump approved a measured strike and innocents were spared. Additionally no coalition military personnel were killed or injured. Why isn’t it reasonable for Americans to be proud that the US attacked weapons used by a mass murderer?

People on the left are finding many reasons to criticize, and not congratulate, the president and our proud military.

If lauding this military action makes me a Trump lover in the eyes of Trump haters, so be it.

 

 

A Masterful Response To Syrian Atrocities, Yet Americans Criticize Trump

The president and his military advisors decided to destroy chemical warfare assets of Syria after Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels several days ago.

The Trump administration has made it perfectly clear that the strike was a one-time proposition to significantly degrade Assad’s capability to use chemical agents against Syrians dissidents. It was not an attempt to destabilize or overthrow the current regime or start a war, as many in Congress are now saying. Department of Defense officials reiterated that the primary objective of the US’s presence in Syria continues to be the total elimination ISIS.

By all accounts the mission was a success. The DOD provided photos of obliterated structures that housed Syria’s chemical warfare infrastructure. Pentagon officials stated that Syria’s ability to produce more chemical weapons has been seriously impacted.

Over 100 missiles were launched by a coalition including the US, Great Britain and France. They rained down on three critical locations. The attack took place at 4 a.m. to decrease collateral damage. All missiles fired hit their targets. As of yesterday morning the DOD indicated that there were no civilian casualties. All US warplanes returned safely, and there were no coalition casualties.

Neither Russia nor Iran retaliated during the attack. The DOD indicated that no defensive systems were employed by Russia to repel the incoming missiles.

The US government and military are to be congratulated for a well-planned and measured response to Syrian’s use of weapons of mass destruction. President Trump’s diligence and restraint is admirable. The attack will give Assad second thoughts about using chemical weapons in the future.

The US coordinated with Russia to ensure that its personnel, weapons and equipment were not jeopardized, and that the incident would not escalate into a more dangerous conflict.

It should be recognized that US missile technology proved to be very effective, and that American military power is second to no other country in the world. To accomplish so much without casualties is a blessing made possible by excellent planning and execution by our military.

There is a risk that Russia and Iran could increase tensions in Syria by taking action against American forces in the region. The DOD has said they are prepared to deal with such a contingency. Presumably US war assets will now remain on high alert for the foreseeable future.

Almost immediately the liberal press and, surprisingly, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were looking to criticize the Syrian offensive. Most significantly they indicated that Trump did not solicit approval of Congress for the military action. The president responded by saying he was acting in the self-defense of our nation, and the use and continued proliferation of chemical weapons justified the attack. It should be noted that many presidents in recent history have acted without congressional endorsement for similar actions.

As far as international law is concerned, the aforementioned self defense argument coupled with a desire to stop further atrocities on the part of Syria were reasons enough for the US and its allies to act.

More than one liberal lawmaker said that if we were so concerned about the Syrian rebels, why don’t we welcome more immigrants from the country? It’s an inflammatory comment. The US is not required constitutionally to come to the rescue of any other nations or groups of people. We do it because it is appropriate for us as a world leader to do so. Immigration is a totally separate issue.

The US acted righteously. I predicted this would happen in my last blog, as the US must ensure that rogue regimes know that we will act if they commit atrocities.

The unfortunate part of this episode is the role of Russia in Syria. Trump rhetorically asked Russia how it could justify being an ally of a vicious murderer who employs chemical weapons. It’s doubtful that Putin will respond.

The Murderous Syrian Despot Must Be Stopped Now

The decision facing President Trump is daunting. The Commander-in-Chief must resolve whether to retaliate against Syria for once again deploying chemical weapons on his own people.

There are many issues at play. Trump and his advisors have a plethora of military options available to them. They may unleash several dozen cruise missiles on Syrian offensive targets, similar to the American response last year. The missiles, at that time, were supposed to destroy warplanes delivering poisonous gas to rebel-controlled areas. The mission was moderately successful, but it did not stop future chemical attacks by the Syrian regime.

The US might increase the number of missiles launched in an attempt to wreak more havoc on Syrians military assets such as airfields, anti-aircraft installations and even command and control facilities. The elimination of Syrian leadership could also be an objective.

The risks of increasing the response intensity are great. Bashar al-Assad is a coward who hides his army among civilians, so collateral damage will be much more significant in a larger attack.

Also Russia and Iran are scheming with the Syrian government. The probability of killing their soldiers and/or destroying their military assets will be higher if the attack is intensified, potentially creating a greater conflict and retaliation.

Previously the US warned Russia that an attack was imminent giving it an opportunity to protect ground troops, equipment and weapons. In any case escalation of hostilities that include Russia and Iran is definitely something to be concerned about.

Why is the US threatening Syria so soon after indicating that it would exit the ongoing conflict? Trump, like Obama, has drawn a line in the sand relating to Syrian war crimes. He indicated that using chemical agents and committing genocide against Syrian rebels would result in US military action. To preserve his reputation and that of the US, he may have no choice but to take action.

What’s more important is the responsibility of the US to come to the aid of people anywhere in the world that are subjected to crimes against humanity. Our country should not turn a blind eye to mass murder being perpetrated by the animal namrd Assad.

It’s highly unlikely that Russia will directly engage against the US and create a larger conflict, especially after the US gives its commanders a heads up about a retaliatory strike. And if Trump assembles a coordinated effort against Assad, the global community will laud the intent of the US. What’s puzzling is why Russia would intercede and protect Assad. Everyone in the Middle East despises the man. There is no upside for the Russians to become embroiled in a larger conflict.

Iran is a different story. Its regime specifically espouses turmoil that challenges American intervention in the region and all Sunni activity. A war-torn Syria is a favorable outcome for the despicable Iranian ayatollahs.

The Secretary of State designee, Mike Pompeo, who is currently head of the CIA, and John Bolton, the National Security Advisor, are hawks unafraid to use violence in lieu of diplomatic options. Yet their perspectives will likely help Trump make a measured decision because they will layout the ramifications of excessive action. Nevertheless it is difficult to see why the international community of nations would criticize a Syrian response given the actions by its leader and its military.

It is the duty of the US to meet those challenges that arise across the world when significant human rights are at stake. To walk away would be crime in and of itself and would encourage other murdering world leaders to follow the lead of Assad.