Mollie Hemingway opines on President Trump defending his decision to withdraw from Syria amid a Turkish offensive. From Wednesday’s ‘Special Report’ on FOX News:
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: This is really not a debate about Turkey so much as a debate about what foreign policy we will have. In the Republican party, you had, going back to Eisenhower, a fairly consistent approach through George H.W. Bush, a realist, a principal realist foreign policy, an idea that we fight wars that are in our interest and we stay pretty focused on that.
Beginning with George W. Bush, you see it with Lindsey Graham, John McCain, you see support of an interventionist foreign policy that’s built more around democracy promotion abroad.
In 2016, you had Republican voters given a chance between Lindsey Graham and people like that and Donald Trump and they pretty decisively went with Donald Trump. You had a general election, where people chose Donald Trump. But among the foreign policy intelligentsia in this town, which came to power as part of that meddling in the Middle East in the early 2000s, you have a lot of people who really want to say that that was a good approach and they want to defend that approach and that’s really what we are fighting about here…
Trump isn’t the one who flipped that alliance. That’s actually the rest of the foreign policy establishment which went from saying that Turkey needed help to be defended against any Assad issues to now being on the other side. I think people should remember that.
I also think this discussion of the way that he departed is, it can’t be had without thinking about the fact that the bureaucracy is very much opposed to Donald Trump and that he has been explicitly clear for years about his desire to leave the region. But you’ve had resistance within the bureaucracy, including some of the people that he himself has appointed.
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