The mainstream media are calling Trump a wimp because of his decision to forgo killing a large group of people over Iran’s downing an un-manned drone. You can’t get a positive spin on this decision short of a few sheepish tips of the hat for his restraint on FOX News. If you are or have been a parent, you know of at least a few instances when you have had to change judgments as the circumstances or your view of the circumstances change. The need to save face, however, has sent many on fools errands. In this instance, the momentum in the rush to retaliate was enormous. Yet our fearless leader turned against the tide of war mongering, the generals rattling their sabers, the hawkish staffers (Michael Bolton for one), WAR!….. and at least superficially, the consent of the people, to take retaliatory action.
Saving face, popularity among staffers and the expected “fightin’ words” of both the left and right on taking action, didn’t make the decision for him. He was the man on the bubble. He knew it. But a gut check then a heart check at the last minute set his moral compass toward restraint. He took the moral high ground. But for those of you who would have the present regime gone, don’t worry. Iran, unimpressed with the very concept restraint, are more than willing to cast thousands of their own to their deaths on a whim. They will tweak our nose until we have no choice but action.
Politically, this step back from the brink puts us in the moral drivers seat regardless of what we do the next time an “incident” occurs. Our potential partners in the area will have a lot less to debate should we call for a coalition.