News that the US has launched missile strikes in the Middle East is not normally a cause for celebration. But there was no disguising the relief and pleasure with which the US foreign policy establishment greeted last week’s decision by the Trump administration to unleash a volley of cruise missiles on Syria. Liberal newspaper columnists, hawkish senators and allied ambassadors were united in their approval.
Their reaction reflected a widespread revulsion at the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians and children. But a crucial underlying reason for the buzz of satisfaction in Washington is the hope that President Donald Trump’s actions prove that the world’s policeman is back on the beat.
The Washington foreign policy establishment, a group derisively labelled as “the blob” in Barack Obama’s White House, is united by the belief that the willingness to use military power is crucial both to America’s global standing and to the stability of the world order. Mr Obama’s failure to use force to back up an American “red line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2013 created widespread unease in the blob. And Mr Trump’s isolationist election rhetoric led to something closer to despair and fears of a complete abdication of US power.
So the sudden conversion of the Trump White House to military intervention in Syria has been hailed as a turning point. Mr Trump’s most ardent nationalist defenders meanwhile are appalled. Ann Coulter, author of In Trump We Trust, tweeted her dismay, asking: “Why get involved in another Muslim catastrophe?”
The Syria strikes have crystallised…
click here to read more