Some perspective on Syria move, Mattis and the shutdown

One minute, President Trump is announcing abrupt plans to pull American troops out of Syria.

The next minute, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resigned in disagreement.

A couple days later, President Trump moved up the effective resignation date from February to next week, replacing him with deputy defense secretary Patrick Shanahan.

And just for good measure, there’s this government shutdown over Trump’s insistence on funding for a border wall.

It’s easy to get caught up in the abruptness that accompanies this president’s style.

Let’s unpack the events.

First off, the involvement in Syria has been lengthy and was never said to be permanent. There is nothing to prevent the U.S. from re-entering the area should ISIS, largely overrun in the past two years, re-emerge.

It’s fair to question the pullout and we hope the administration will be vigilant about the results, but it’s not the radical decision it is being painted as. Democrats, who were fine with President Obama’s multiple questionable moves regarding involvement and pullouts in the Mideast, have suddenly become war hawks over Trump’s Syria decision.

As much as we admire Defense Secretary Mattis and his lifetime of service to this country, a defense secretary resignation is not precedent-setting, the way much of the media is portraying it. President Obama had three of them. There was no uproar during those replacements.

As for the shutdown, all but one recent president has endured at least one of them. And even calling it that is a stretch. Most of the government already is funded. At most, about 20 percent of the government is affected and the average American is not noticing it.

Part of the government is being closed over border wall funding that is less than Democrats have previously approved, less than the government spends on sugar subsidies and less than the government spends on health benefits to illegal immigrants already in this country.

When did a country protecting its border and channeling its most-in-the-world immigrant application numbers toward legal entry points become undesirable and racist?

This shutdown might not be happening if the mainstream media, instead of recklessly opining without any regard to existing border protection statistics, would do its job and ask Democrat leaders the practical questions like the ones outlined above.

We agree with incoming New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Washington’s elected leaders should not be paid during shutdowns. Let’s face it, if they can’t agree on proper protection of our country’s border, they don’t deserve the check taxpayers are writing out to them.

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