National Review: What Syria Teaches Us About ‘America First’

Neocon Jonathan S. Tobin, the editor-in-chief of the Jewish News Syndicate, is boasting at National Review that ‘America First’ was nothing more than a campaign slogan:

“The slogan Donald Trump embraced during his campaign for president sent shivers down the spines of many Americans with a sense of history. “America First” was a phrase that seemed indelibly linked to pre–World War II isolationists. …

But as with so much else about the Trump presidency, the gap between the boasts and rants of the campaign trail, where he promised to revolutionize every aspect of policy, and the reality of governing has been immense.

That is especially true in foreign policy, as “America First” has turned out to be just a slogan and did not foreshadow an administration that overturned 70 years of post–World War II policies based on the prudent and effective use of U.S. power aboard.

Now that the fight against ISIS is in the mop-up stage, there are those who, remembering Trump’s campaign speeches, might expect him to remove American forces from Syria. Declaring victory and leaving the mess to someone else might be the impulse of a president who really was acting in the spirit of the old America First movement. But it turns out that Donald Trump is not such a president.

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced last week, the United States will not be pulling its troops out of Syria. To the contrary, the administration is in this fight for the long haul, and though it will not be labeling any of its activities there as “nation building,” the implication is clear and directly contradicts the spirit of the Trump campaign’s version of America First. …

Far from being neo-isolationist, or anything else that ought to bring to mind the phrase “America First,” Trump’s presidency has turned out to be little different from what we might have expected from almost any of the other Republican candidates (besides Rand Paul) who opposed him. It would be a stretch to call Trump a closet neoconservative, and the atmospherics and rhetoric as well as the tweets concerning foreign policy have at times been essentially Trumpian. But the actual policies pursued by the administration could be described as mainstream Republican in their reliance on the assertion of American power abroad. Rather than governing like a president who fears foreign involvement, this is an administration willing to fight in Syria and stay there even if it means antagonizing Russia.

Trump’s version of “America First” is turning out to be nothing more than a reassertion of mainstream Republican thinking about the need to assert U.S. power to defend our interests and values. Like his conservative governance on many domestic issues, Trump’s Syria policy is one more proof that if you can ignore the tweets, the gaffes, the thin skin, and the impulse to rage at his foes (which, admittedly, is often impossible because the president not only can’t help himself but is actively encouraged to behave in this manner by much of his base), the Trump presidency isn’t the revolution his fans or his foes assumed it would be. That’s good news for Republicans and U.S. allies and bad news for ISIS, Assad, and Putin.”

President Trump is currently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he is set to explain that “America First is not America Alone.” Whatever that means, Jewish neocons are pleased as punch that Trump’s foreign policy isn’t any different from what we would have gotten from President Marco Rubio. No one is a bigger than than Bibi Netanyahu.

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

1 Comment

  1. The policy in Syria is Israel First, as always. If you want to figure out what the US will do internationally, look up Israel’s position on the issue

    Trump in 2016: No more regime change wars.

    Tillerson in 2018: US troops to remain in Syria indefinitely. The goal in Syria is to remove the Assad govt.

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