One of the liberal media’s themes these days is that President Trump has changed his position on a variety of issues. I think this is about 25% true and 75% false. What is most notable, I think, is how strongly Trump has moved to fulfill his campaign promises.
One of many areas where President Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do is the war against ISIS. On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to “bomb the s*** out of ISIS.” That is what he did today, by dropping the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in our arsenal on a remote complex of caves and tunnels near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Parenthetically: this is the zone I associate with al Qaeda. I have seen headlines about ISIS in Afghanistan, but haven’t followed those stories closely. If ISIS is now the dominant force along the Afghan-Pakistani border, it surely has supplanted al Qaeda as the epicenter of Islamic terrorism.
The best commentary I have seen on today’s bombing comes from Jason Dempsey, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and former Army infantry officer, at Military.com:
“I’m sure this is ISIS making a pretty big mistake of setting up something remotely and massing,” he said in a telephone interview with Military.com.
Dempsey also downplayed the symbolism of the military’s decision to use this particular munition.
“It’s a bomb, it’s the same as dropping 20 smaller bombs,” he said. “And it’s going for very distinct effect. It’s a cave complex, and to destroy a cave complex you need a giant bomb. So for one, I’m not too wrapped up on the uniqueness of the bomb.”
Dempsey added, “This is a reflection of our future in Afghanistan, and it’s the best tool we have with the reduced footprint. As Afghanistan transitions to what will be almost solely a counterterrorism mission, we’ve got a group of folks there monitoring transnational terrorist threats, and when they pop up, we’re going to bomb them. We certainly can’t send the Afghans into a complex like this. This is the new normal for Afghanistan.”
I, along with many others, advocated this reduced role in Afghanistan a long time ago.
Some say the ISIS bombing may have been intended as a shot across North Korea’s bow. President Trump was asked about that:
When asked whether use of the bomb — known as the “mother of all bombs” — sends a message to North Korea, which has threatened to test more missiles and nuclear weapons, the president said, “I don’t know … It doesn’t make any difference if it does or doesn’t. North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of.”
Which was appropriately non-responsive.
In recent days, President Trump has moved to distance himself decisively from the supine Obama administration. This is why Russia, Syria, Iran and North Korea are whining hysterically about war. They liked having an inept American administration, and would like to lock in fecklessness as a permanent condition. Trump has made it clear that this isn’t going to happen, so they are howling, hoping no doubt to stir up domestic opposition to the administration.
Michael Ramirez sums up today’s news in “Bombing From Behind.” Click to enlarge: