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Trump: Judge his actions not his words (Photo: Michael Vadon CC BY-SA 4.0)

Last month’s joint operation in Syria was not only “perfectly executed”, as Donald Trump modestly put it, but reunited the core members of the Atlantic alliance. The chorus of vituperation from Assad’s patrons, Khamenei and Putin, tells its own story. The ghoul of Tehran and the spectre of Moscow did their utmost to delay and if possible prevent retribution for the chemical carnage at Douma. But the schemes of pandemonium failed.

This could be a turning point in the fortunes of the West. If they are willing to be led by America, Britain and France, the democracies could now cease to turn a blind eye to subversion, abandon appeasement and refuse to be blackmailed. The sponsorship of terrorism and assassination, the proliferation of propaganda and intensification of cyberwarfare, the lobbying and corrupting of Western elites, aimed at lifting sanctions and creating energy dependency: these are just some of the methods deployed by Russia, Iran and other enemies of the open society. They should have been stopped long ago. They still need to be stopped. And now they can be stopped.

President Trump may not be the ideal leader of the free world. But he understands what is at stake, he knows what must be done and he has the willpower to see it through. It is time for the high-minded to set aside their low expectations and judge Mr Trump by his actions rather than his words. There is method in his “madman diplomacy”. And it seems to be working. North Korea is negotiating with him on denuclearisation. Iran may soon be forced to follow suit. China is negotiating on trade. And Russia is no longer under any illusions that America will give it a free hand, either in the Middle East or in Eastern Europe. For the first time in a decade, a US administration is taking the lead, not “leading from behind”. Western leaders of very different political views, such as Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau, are eager to work with Mr Trump. The transatlantic establishments have underestimated this president, just as they underestimated Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush — but overestimated Barack Obama. A little humility from the great and good, who took it for granted that they had a better grasp of reality than a reality TV star, would not go amiss.

Airstrikes, however, are not enough to save Western civilisation. We need to win the battle for hearts and minds, as John Ware explains. In British debates about intervention in Syria of recent weeks, the Labour leadership, plus assorted Greens, Scottish Nationalists and Islamists, have been dancing to the tunes of the Russian, Iranian and Syrian regimes. It suits the world’s most depraved despots to sow panic and inhibit punitive action. The awkward fact remains that Assad has used chemical weapons at least 50 times. “They are,” in Mr Trump’s words, “the crimes of a monster.” And monsters never lack for useful idiots.
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May 10th, 2018
2:05 PM
It`s totally disgusting the way poncey politicians and the mass media sides with terrorist Iran against non-poncey President Trump and Israel. The EU is not protecting the west or any civilisation. Nor is any political party in the UK. Why do the tories want to do business with the disgusting liars of the Iranian govt mafia ? Only our glorious Brexit will prevent the UK sliding further into the near gothic horror described in The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray. Melania Trump is also fabulous. If the Labour Party doesn`t kick out the anti-semites and islamist infitrators it is committing suicide. Is anyone bringing a camel and a bag of sand to our next royal wedding ? It won`t be Tariq Ramadan for sure.

Lawrence James
April 28th, 2018
7:04 AM
What exactly has the great powers proxy war for paramountcy in Syria got to do with the saving of 'civilisation' ? Cynics might consider this struggle to reflect badly on the values of 'civilisation'.

April 27th, 2018
3:04 PM
A statue of Amber Rudd made of mud. A statue of Theresa May made of hay. A statue of the Pope made of soap. A statue of Julie Burchill made of stainless steel. The 17.4 million Brits who voted Leave surpassed `the spirit of 1968`. Brexit is more famous than Trump who will be in London on Friday 13 July. He shares several delusions of adequacy with the Tories so it should be a great media day. The Trumpophobics will also be there adding to the gaiety of nations. The May 3 elections may well be the next `quiet revolution` and glorious dawn. With a Labour victory.

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