“Compassionate conservatism 2.0: When Ivanka hurts, government has got to move,” tweets Jim Antle.
“Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I’m sure she said: ‘Listen, this is horrible stuff,’” Eric Trump told the Telegraph.
“My father will act in times like that. And by the way, he was anti doing anything with Syria two years ago. Then a leader gasses their own people, women and children. At some point America is the global leader and the world’s superpower has to come forward and act and they did with a lot of support of our allies and I think that’s a great thing.”…
“There isn’t a single decent person in the world who saw those images and saw those kids being sprayed down by hoses to keep their skin from burning, who wasn’t deeply affected by what happened over there.
“Then a leader gasses their own people”? Does Eric not realize even now that the original case for bombing Syria in 2013, which his father opposed vehemently, was also a case of a Assad gassing his “own people, women and children”? If your stomach can handle it, here’s a clip — one of many online — of a young child struggling to breathe in the aftermath of the Ghouta attack in August 2013. Increasingly it seems like the Trump family is under the impression that Obama wanted to hit Assad four years ago for no particular reason whatsoever. “History didn’t begin on January 20th”: That’s a lesson the right usually has to remind the left of when they get selective amnesia about Obama’s expansion of executive power, but maybe the Trumps would benefit from it too.
Also, can we dispense now with the fiction that attacking the airfield was a matter of defending U.S. national security interests consistent with Trump’s “America First” philosophy rather than an obvious humanitarian gesture? If Eric cared about squaring this airstrike with Trump’s foreign policy as a candidate, “Ivanka’s a mom and the gassing upset her” is the last reason he’d reach for to try to sell it. Instead he’d say something about how WMDs are too dangerous to tolerate their use anywhere in the world; the taboo must be absolute and enforced with military power or else the U.S. will eventually be targeted too. That’s weak reasoning, essentially a “world policeman” ethos in “America First” clothing, but at least it would attempt to reconcile candidate Trump with President Trump. Instead Eric’s giving you “world policeman” logic here pretty much unvarnished — America’s the “world’s superpower,” it has to “come forward,” and so on. If we don’t act, who will?
Serious question: If the decisive factor in whether we hit Assad is him doing “horrible stuff” and us being “deeply affected” by the imagery, why shouldn’t Trump adopt Sean Spicer’s impromptu “red line” policy targeting barrel bombs, not just WMDs? Spicer had to walk that back last night after people realized that, er, bombing Assad every time he used a barrel bomb could mean thousands of attacks per year, but the Senate’s superhawks think it’s a fine idea. Here’s Lindsey Graham on CNN this morning making the humanitarian argument (at 5:40 of the clip). If Assad murdering children enrages you, he notes, why would you distinguish between murder by gas attack and murder by barrel bomb? Take out his air power. That’s a major, major escalation, one that Russia and Iran won’t stand by passively and accept, but it’s consistent with a humanitarian logic to intervening in Syria. Does Ivanka agree?