Mr. Buchanan reminds us of what Bob Gates said in February 2011 to the cadets at West Point, “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.” Buchanan, regarding Aleppo, writes:
Bashar Assad is Russia’s ally and provides Putin with his sole naval base in the Med. Assad’s regime is the source of Hezbollah’s resupply and weapons to deter, and, if necessary, fight Israel.
To Iran, Assad is an ally against Saudi Arabia and the Sunni awakening and a crucial link in the Shiite Crescent that extends from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut.
All have greater stakes in this civil war than do we, and have been willing to invest more time, blood and treasure. Thus they have, so far, prevailed.
The lessons for Trump from the Aleppo disaster?
Do not even consider getting into a new Middle East war — unless Congress votes to authorize it, the American people are united behind it, vital U.S. interests are clearly imperiled, and we know how the war ends and when we can come home.
For wars have a habit of destroying presidencies.
Korea broke Truman. Vietnam broke Lyndon Johnson. Iraq broke the Republican Congress in 2006 and gave us Obama in 2008.
And the Iran war now being talked up in the think tanks and on the op-ed pages would be the end of the Trump presidency.
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