These are words I never thought I’d say, but Donald Trump is the only major candidate in either party making any sense when it comes to Syria, ISIS, and Vladimir Putin. In an interview on “Meet The Press,” Trump said that the Middle East would be far better off if Saddam Hussein and Maummar Gaddafi were still alive and if we left Bashar al-Assad alone in Syria to fight ISIS. When pressed on his statement Trump replied, “It’s not even a contest.”
He said to remember that ISIS came out of Iraq and that Libya and Iraq are a mess because of our interventions, and he is absolutely correct. ISIS is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which did not exist until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and never would have become prominent if the United States had not removed Saddam. Libya and Iraq are two examples of the exact same policy having the exact same effect: the U.S. government overthrows a dictator and the various ethnic groups begin to war with each other and commit genocide. In the meantime the U.S. throws trillions of dollars down the drain and only ends up creating more enemies for themselves. This is exactly what Trump is saying will happen in Syria and he wants nothing to do with it.
When asked why he “trusts” Putin, Trump replied that he doesn’t, but that Putin is just going to get himself bogged down in Syria and better him than us. Now if you’re John McCain and you’re criminally insane thinking it’s wonderful to destabilize the world then of course you think Donald Trump has lost his mind, but if you’re a rational individual you have to acknowledge that Trump is absolutely correct. He’s correct that U.S. intervention has only ever made things worse, he’s correct that the U.S. government’s allies in Syria are probably worse than Assad (Especially since they’ve been made up of al-Qaeda and ISIS all along), and he’s correct that the U.S. simply can’t afford to keep getting bogged down in the Middle East.
Of course Trump is horrifying on many other issues, but when it comes to Syria he’s the only major candidate telling the truth. The other demagogues can try to demonize Putin for doing exactly what the U.S. is doing in Syria, but Trump is right that the only sensible policy is to stay out. Let Assad, ISIS, and Putin destroy each other if they want to and let the U.S. focus on itself.