RUSH: Speaking of people who are not happy with what happened, Andy McCarthy, my buddy at National Review Online, tweeted last night — and has now published a lengthy piece — that none of this is legal. That there are no vital U.S. national interests at stake. That Trump needed congressional authority or a resolution, and he didn’t get one. And besides Trump on the campaign trail never said he would do it this. In fact, he said he would never do this. He campaigned on doing just the opposite of this.
Now, Andy knows he’s going against the grain here with the conventional wisdom or the popular support for this. And I’ve got another piece here that I have referenced that’s a Trump supporter who’s not happy with what happened, which I will get to in due course. Now, Nikki Haley is at the U.N., and she is giving them hell right now. She’s saying that Assad could get away with gassing because they knew Russia had their backs, but that’s no longer the case. It doesn’t matter if Russia has their backs, because Russia has nothing to do with our foreign policy.
I mean, she just smacked ’em! She laid it right out for every one of these Democrats and leftists that think that Trump’s in collusion with Putin. She nuked the hell out of that. She called out the Iranian government. She called out the Russians. She was firing both barrels. She said the USA not gonna allow Assad to get away with any more murder. She called out the Russians, said they were supposed to get all the chemical weapons out, and they did not. And I’ll… Folks, about this: The Obama administration’s complicit in this. The Obama administration actually lied.
Well, let me back off of that. I don’t know if they lied. But the Obama administration assured everybody that after they told Assad to get rid of these weapons, that Assad did. And the Russians backed up Assad. “Yep, we’ve talked to him. These chemical weapons and WMD, they’re gone.” Now, some people suspected that what happened was that Assad just transferred the weapons to Russia and that Russia then turned around and gave them back to Assad when nobody was looking. But whatever is the case… Susan Rice was on NPR back in January.
Yeah, that Susan Rice that can’t tell the truth about anything. And she — on NPR in January — assured everybody that the Obama administration had succeeded in demanding that Assad get rid of all of his chemical and WMD. She assured everybody that that had happened when obviously it hasn’t. Clearly, the previous administration either was incompetent or they were lying to us. They either accepted Assad’s word for it — that he had gotten rid of the chemical weapons and WMD — or knew that he didn’t and just lied to us anyway.
Susan Rice lied in January. So Nikki Haley is taking it to the Russians, taking it to the Iranians, and she’s laying a lot of this on Russia, by the way, by reminding everybody that Putin was supposed to get all of those chemical weapons out of Syria and that they didn’t. And then she dropped the hammer and said the world is waiting for Russia to act properly in Syria because they have not yet. And that’s just gonna blow everything sky-high when it comes to this notion that Putin are inseparable and Trump has been co-opted by Putin and is a — for all intents and purposes — secret Russian agent.
I mean, this is what the left would have you believe as a result of the Putin-Trump so-called collusion on the election. So Nikki Haley has left no doubt what soever. And Tillerson yesterday! Tillerson said the Russians are either complicit or incompetent, in regard to getting rid of the chemical weapons and nuclear weapons that Syria has not gotten rid of and has continued to use. Now, in The Daily Caller today, there is a piece by Elliott Resnick. It is entitled, “What’s Changed on Syria, Mr. President? —
“During the campaign, you promised not to embroil the United States in the Middle East’s petty wars. You correctly stated that we have no clue who the Syrian rebels are. You wisely argued that as bad as dictators like Bashar al-Assad may be, they at least keep terrorists at bay. What’s changed? Do pictures of dead innocents render irrelevant all the logical points you raised while running for office? Is America to go to war every time a leader around the world kills innocents? ‘But he gassed babies,’ pundits say.
“True, but why is death by gassing worse than death by bullets? Death is death. Some people evoke Hitler’s gassing of Jews. Well, I am a Jew,” writes Mr. Resnick. “I grew up reading Holocaust memoirs. And I don’t recall anyone ever making a moral distinction between the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz and the gunning down of 35,000 Jews over two days at Babi Yar. President Trump, you were the one who bucked the entire establishment.
“While everyone else’s brains turned to mush upon seeing a picture of a bloody Syrian boy, you wisely reminded us that America must come first; that it is not our job to fight everyone else’s wars; that with $19 trillion in debt we literally cannot afford to make it our job; that an American president’s duty is to his own people, not to the world. Mr. President,” writes Mr. Resnick, “please don’t become Bush III. All we need is more intervention in the Middle East. You yourself said that if our politicians had done nothing during the last 15 years — that if they had just gone to the beach — we would be better off today.
“What’s changed? Why get involved in this Syrian mess? Why oppose a man fighting radical jihadists?” That’s Assad fighting ISIS. “Please, President Trump: Please return to your common-sense approach to world affairs. Please only commit American troops to battle when America’s national security is at stake. Please don’t listen to your Russophobe advisers. Russia doesn’t threaten us.
“Under communism, Russia was ideologically committed to worldwide domination. But communism is history. All Putin wants is to make Russia great again, just like you want to make America great again. Russia has zero interest in America. Russia’s glorious period under the czars never included domination over Western Europe, let alone the United States.” Please, Mr. President, don’t do it again.
RUSH: Now, for those of you who are alarmed at Trump’s military action in Syria last night, and specifically those of you who are alarmed because this is not to type. The president during campaign — all those tweets even before he became a candidate — was suggesting that action like this is uncalled for.
It’s unproductive, it’s not useful, it’s a waste of money, and it potentially lures America into Middle East wars that we have no business being in. If you are of that mind-set, then I need to share this bit of news with you. This is from the Washington Examiner, and it’s actually from earlier yesterday. This was Rex Tillerson. I believe this was after Trump landed here in Florida. Trump got here after the ChiCom leader. The ChiCom leader arrives, Rex Tillerson is at the bottom of the stairs to greet the ChiCom leader, Xi Jinping, and his wife, Peng Liyuan Jinping.
And then after that meeting he went in and had a press conference in some room in the FBO at the airport. And I guess there weren’t a whole lot of people paying a lot of attention to it. But one of the things that Tillerson said is that in the United States… This is before the attack. The United States is organizing a coalition to remove Assad. Now, what happened last night was are not aimed at removing Assad.
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday steps are ‘underway’ to organize an ‘international community effort’ to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, a major policy shift triggered by the latest chemical weapons attack in the country’s ongoing civil war. With the acts that he has taken, it would seem that there would be no rule for him to govern the Syrian people,’ Tillerson told reporters.
“‘The process by which Assad would leave is something that I think requires and international community effort, both to first defeat ISIS within Syria, to stabilize the Syrian country to avoid further civil war, and then to work collectively with our partners around the world through a political process that would lead to Assad leaving.'” That’s the big deal. You start talking regime change? That’s not just 59 Tomahawks launched at a bunch of chemical weapons depos.
“Tillerson added that ‘those steps are underway’ already.” This “adds a new layer of complexity to Tillerson’s upcoming trip to Moscow, as Russia has provided Assad with major military and diplomatic support.” Nikki Haley today took it to the Russians at the United Nations essentially say they’re complicit. They’re either complicit or incompetent. Tillerson said the same thing last night. “‘It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime,’ Tillerson said.”
Now, if you are thinking this is not the stuff we heard from Trump during the campaign, you’d be right. I mean, there’s no arguing that. Tillerson is still scheduled to go to Moscow next week. If the attack had not happened, then I guarantee you the story today would be that Tillerson going to Moscow would be used as further evidence of a collusion between Trump and the Russians. But now that’s kind of kind of been blown to smithereens, hasn’t it? This whole notion of Trump collaborating with Putin?
I mean, if that’s happening, how did last night happen? And if we’re colluding with the Russians… I mean, Syria is a very important client state of Putin. If we’re now engaging in regime change, we’re at odds with the Russians. We’re at odds with the Iranians on this. We would have the support of the Saudis, no doubt, and the Israelis. “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s team signaled that Assad might not enjoy ‘unconditional support’ from them, as they disclaimed responsibility for the Syrian gas attack.
“‘It is not correct to say that Moscow can convince Mr. Assad to do whatever is wanted in Moscow,’ Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. ‘This is totally wrong.'” So the Russians are backing off here. After the attack the Russians are saying (paraphrased), “Hey, hey, hey! We don’t have sway over this guy.” Now, you might want to call that backing off; you might not want to call it backing off. But that’s not upstanding, flat-out defiance, either. This is not the Russians standing up and saying, “You better be careful! You’d better not take out Assad! You better not make a move on Assad or else you’re dealing with us.”
They didn’t say that. They’re saying, “Ah, ah, don’t blame us. We can’t get this guy to do everything we want.” They are putting distance between themselves and Assad. I mean, this is a huge backpedal on the part of the Russians. And I’m just telling you this, folks. We would have never seen this during the Obama days. We would have never seen any foreign government backpedaling. (sigh) This is the one thing that is just a stark difference to me. During the Obama presidency, there is no way Putin would have acted frightened or deferential.
Putin would not have cared whether Obama thought they were associated with Assad or not because they literally had no… I don’t want to use the word “fear,” but they clearly had no concern. They weren’t worried about what Obama might do either in Syria or vis-a-vis Russia, and that clearly has changed now. Tillerson also said last night that Putin himself did not have advance notice of the strikes but that there was a deconfliction — a deconfliction notice — and those are practically required by international law.
It’s more like a heads up. “We’re coming. You’d better get out of the way.” It’s not asking permission of anybody. It simply says, “If you’re Russia, and if you’re on the ground in this area, we’re coming.” So we telegraphed. I mean, it’s not like it was a total surprise. And we made sure that no Russians were killed or harmed in the attack. And at least if they were, it was because they chose to stay and didn’t follow the instructions to get out. So in that sense, the proper steps were taken.
Let’s also remember that Trump’s support base here includes the Egyptian president el-Sisi and King Abdullah of Jordan. And, by the way, both of them Trump was supposed to have alienated for all time. The media has been trying to tell us that Trump’s alienating all of our former allies. The media’s trying to tell us that Trump has got all of our allies nervous and on edge because, “My God, the guy’s uncontrollable! He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s an outsider. He’s just… He’s unpredictable!”
And we’ve been told that all of these allies of ours are scared to death and just wish Obama were back. We’re finding out that’s not true, which is also no big surprise. Department of Defense further stated that it went to great pains not to hit Russians at the Syrian military base. So you’ve got all kinds of news here that we gave ample warning to Russians on the ground to vacate the area. More on General Keane, the Fox News military analyst. He was asked, “How do you square what Trump said in these tweets about never doing things like this? This is a mistake for the U.S. to do. How do you square what Trump said versus what he did last night?”
Jack Keane said, “Listen. This is a limited strike. It sounds like a lot, 59 Tomahawks, but it’s a limited strike. It was one target. And Trump is sending a message to a lot of people here. He’s telling the Chinese. He said, ‘Listen, the North Koreans are trying to weaponize ICBMs, and the rhetoric is they’ll use ’em against my country and some people. Don’t push me into a corner where I have to use the military option to deal with North Korea.'” Keene’s point is that this attack last night sends a signal.
If you’re North Korea and you keep taunting us, you can expect the same kind of retaliation. And the message was to the ChiCom leader who’s having dinner after the attack, “You make sure they get the message here. Don’t push me into a corner.” Jack Keane said, “I think Trump will get the Chinese attention for sure, and as a result of that, it’s gonna be a much better situation. This is not just rhetoric from the American president. We’ve had rhetoric for eight years with passivity and no action, and that changed tonight.”
Jack Keane, retired military general, all ecstatic and happy over what happened last night. And how about Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi breaking from the Democrat Party to heartily endorse this? But let’s not forget, they did the same thing in the Iraq war, folks. Don’t forget that. You may think the Democrats always opposed the Iraq war, 2003, George W. Bush. No way. They were as eager beaver for it as they appear to be for this.
And then after the media finished shifting public opinion, these Democrats — including Dianne Feinstein and Hillary and all the others that voted for it — began to act like they had never voted for it. And of course the media let ’em get away with it. So we have to keep these two statements from Pelosi and Schumer nearby for the day down the road when they start acting like they were never supportive of this, that they think Trump made a tactical, big time mistake.