Ignorance

JOHN YOUNG

Williamsport

On Dec. 19 President Trump announced the U.S. would be leaving Syria in 30 days. Stating “We have defeated ISIS in Syria.”

A remarkably absurd decision made with absolutely no forethought or input from other U.S. Middle East experts. Trump’s hasty decision prompted Defense Secretary General James Mattis to resign on the spot.

A week later Trump said about ISIS, “We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly.”

The aftermath of that decision required National Security Advisor John Bolton to rush to the Middle East to meet with shocked Allies and calm their fears on a dangerous and early U.S. troop exit.

Bolton is now indicating the troop withdrawal could take several months, or more, depending on meeting other logistical conditions on the ground.

Knowledgeable adults in the room evidently stood up and pulled Trump back from his questionable and dangerous decision. Since that rather ignorant 12/19 Trump declaration, Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo have been back peddling on his announcement faster than a Michael Jackson moonwalk.

How could Trump have misjudged the potential repercussions of this so badly? It’s because he is ignorant (inexperienced, lacking knowledge and information). He resides in a state of supreme confidence that he is right, and the people with facts and decades of experience are wrong. Trump doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

Tragically, on Jan. 17, 4 Americans and 10 others were killed by a reported ISIS suicide bomber in Syria. The ISIS threat obviously has not been defeated. Was this bombing the result of Trump’s exaggerated public statements?

Many experts believe so. ISIS and other groups continue to exist throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The best way to keep the United States safe is to keep pressure on terrorists abroad. That pressure is brought to bear with, among other tools, boots on the ground. Trump is still doesn’t share this view.

Then on Jan. 29, Republican Senate Leader McConnell proposed new legislation that would officially declare ISIS and other groups in Syria still a threat to the U.S. at home. This legislation was passed overwhelmingly in the Republican held senate 68-23.

The continued ISIS threat was then confirmed in open testimony by leaders of the CIA, FBI, and Dan Coats, Director of the National Intelligence Agency. “ISIS is intent on resurging and commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria,” per Coats.

Trumps reaction to these informed, professional perspectives from the heads of U.S. intel agencies was to utter; “They should go back to school.”

Really?

Meanwhile, on Fox Sunday Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said that it is “imperative” for Trump to take the advice of the intelligence experts.

It appears ISIS has not been “knocked silly”, but perhaps Donald Trump has. Maybe the tumbleweeds in his head are getting bigger.

You can’t fix stupid or ignorance. But maybe you don’t elect it next time.

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