April 9, 2018

Today on Fox News, Bassam Rifai of the Syrian American Council looked directly into the camera to address President Trump and plead with him to take out Assad's Air Force. Is this how we make foreign policy decisions now??? A guest on Fox News giving the President of the United States military advice?

Apparently, it is. I mean, why rely on the State Department? It's barely a shadow of itself, anyhow...despite warnings from, well, pretty much anyone who knows anything about policy and diplomacy and foreign affairs. Last November, Senators John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen penned a letter to then Secretary of State Tillerson warning him of the detrimental short-term and long-term effects of having only a shell State Department at their disposal.

On the day John Bolton replaces Rex Tillerson, and the day after Israel responded to Syria's attack with strikes of its own, we're left feeling the way many teachers feel with the common core curriculum - that the plane is being built in the air. This is no way to run diplomacy.

Of course, anyone who ever thought Trump valued diplomacy likely also has a degree from Trump University. But instead, we are left with him being advised by the only people he ever listens to. Those at Fox News and whomever they feel like bringing on as guests.

Transcript below:

Eric: The president tweeted out and named Vladimir Putin by name. do you expect there could be air strikes later on tonight or this week similar to what we saw last year with the chemical attack at that point? When the president sent 59 tomahawk missiles into that...

Bassam Rifai: I would be surprised if I didn't see any strikes. The president needs to take swift and decisive action right now. President Trump, I'm speaking to you directly. Do not take the same mistake that President Obama had made. The action that you had taken to take out the air base, that was important. That was strong. That was a very strong message. What we need to do right now is to take out the Assad's air force. If we ground all of his air force, he won't have the capability to attack Syrians by the air anymore.

Eric: That is a plea from your heart. It's astounding that chemical weapons are still being used. They were outlawed in 1925. This is a strike against the heart that we stand for.

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