Is the United States the world’s policeman? That question or proposition is often put forward and certainly President Trump’s Syria strike brings this issue up.
My thought is: yes and no or sometimes.
I think we are almost forced to be at times because we are the world’s super power, and as tough as the responsibilities come with that position I don’t think we would want to lose that position. Like I always say, if nothing else, we have too many enemies who would do us harm if we lost our power.
It is not or should not be up to the U.S. to run other nations or meddle in their affairs in general, but there are times…
President Bashar Assad of Syria was warned many times not to defy world norms and use poison gas (on his own citizens no less), after having done so more than once. He even supposedly took the U.S. and Russia up on a deal to get rid of all of his poison gas stockpiles. He reneged. Or more accurately, he lied. He played a con game and did not get rid of it all. And he used it again against his own people a few days ago.
(While some claimed others did it and the Syrian government is being framed, the general agreement seems to be that the evidence is clear it was the Assad government.)
And President Trump, who had just said he wanted to work with the Assad government and not entangle the U.S. further in Syria’s civil war, apparently saw Assad’s treachery as a game changer, something he could not ignore. Cynics (and sometimes I am one) might argue that Trump just saw an opportunity to wag the dog and change the subject on various pieces of bad publicity plaguing his new administration. I think both suppositions might have merit.
But one dependable liberal pundit I often listen to claimed that with the strike against Syria, and the meeting with China’s leader, as well as other world leaders, Trump in the last several days has in his words: “become president”. I don’t think he meant Trump is necessarily correct in his actions, just that he has been faced with the pressures and is dealing with them and has sent a message.
And one high-level player I listened to observed that diplomacy is preferable but sometimes you have to back it up with power. Trump did that.
We now have a naval task force steaming toward the waters off North Korea.
This is where the danger to the U.S. really lies I would think (although it is in Syria too).
The crazy man with the nukes in North Korea, Kim Jong-un, must be held at bay (or deposed of). How to do it? I don’t know.
Maybe, just maybe, he has gotten the message from the Syria strike. Most speculators doubt it, though.
Doing something could put us in peril. But doing nothing all these years has kept us in peril.
Oh, one more thing, a caller into a talk show said that the world is in danger because of three crazy men: Assad of Syria, Jong-un of North Korea, and Trump of the U.S.
While I tend to see his point, all I can say is that for now Trump is our crazy man.
I intend to write more on this within the next day after I do more reading and see more points of view. All of this was based on my own immediate thoughts and what I heard on NPR and some other sources.