It seems like, for the first time in his presidency, President Trump has managed to momentarily suppress the left’s inordinate criticism of his every move. Not because he is carefully navigating around their political soft-spots—in fact just the opposite—he is confronting them head-on in his trademark Donald Trump fashion. The president has spent his first 88 days making substantial moves according to many of his campaign promises, most recently his commitment to restoring America’s supremacy with regard to international politics.
In the last two weeks under the Trump administration, America has made several strides in the “Great Again” direction. For one, the Assad regime occupying Syria was finally held accountable for its track record of violence against its own civilians. Following the April 7th U.S. missile strikes on the Shayrat airbase housing the fleet of aircraft responsible for several chemical attacks, Kassem Eid, a Syrian survivor of a similar attack in 2013, was able to express his gratitude for the long-awaited recourse from the United States. In a CNN video, he commends Trump for addressing the long-ignored pleas of Syrian citizens by taking aim at the oppressive regime responsible for the horrendous chemical strikes. Eid also silences liberal critics who vouch for Syrian immigration into America by stating that most refugees wish to remain in their own country, not move somewhere else. Is it possible that Trump has found the answer to the real Syrian problem?

In the following days, further steps were taken to impede the nuclear threat of North Korea, while ISIS finally received a surprise attack which was not publicized weeks in advance; a strategy of past administrations which Trump admonished many times during his campaign. In a brilliant strategic gesture, the United States was able to stage a “sneak attack” on a system of ISIS-controlled caves in Afghanistan when it seemed the national attention was focused on other enemies in other regions. The body count of ISIS members killed in the strike is now 94, up from the initial estimate of 36.

In ordering an airstrike in Syria, reaching a deal with China to take a stance against North Korea’s nuclear program and dropping the “mother of all bombs” on an ISIS command post, Trump has prompted a realization among Republicans and Democrats alike that he is a president of action. Frankly, he is a welcome alternative to the painful idleness of the Obama administration, which pompously tooted its tolerance-horn all the while dodging any kind of intervention in the Middle East (unless of course Israel was in the discussion).

Unfortunately, under Obama, such had become the modus operandi for American foreign relations. Our strategy was founded on the fear of causing a stir with foreign enemies like ISIS, North Korea and Russia, which spent eight years taking advantage of our country’s submissiveness in humiliating fashion. How refreshing it is to see a president who not only understands, but makes use of the influence that is instilled in the United States of America. While Trump’s fast-and-loose approach to sensitive foreign issues may receive criticism, so far the results seem to be speaking for themselves, as made clear in North Korea’s two failed missile launch attempts in the past week, suggesting they may be making some empty promises regarding their military capabilities.

The past 14 days may have been Trump’s most impressive yet, delivering on his promise to re-establish international respect for America’s diplomatic and military capabilities, and finally taking action in regions where diplomatic lethargy had once prevailed. The gross shortcomings of Obama’s foreign policy have finally been exposed by just a few strong, symbolic moves by the Trump administration. Though the long-term response to these moves is still rather uncertain, the rest of the world has been notified that there is, indeed, a new sheriff in town.

italiaij@miamioh.edu

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