WaPo's David Ignatius: Fighters cheer Trump's name in Syria
The dean of foreign correspondents at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, just returned from a week in Syria. He went on MSNBC to talk about his trip and – reluctantly – report on the popularity of Donald Trump with fighters battling ISIS in Syria.
WaPo's David Ignatius has just returned from a week in Syria. He was almost apologetic in prefacing his remarks: "I'm going to say something that in some ways is sympathetic to Trump."
He then proceeded to say that he was told by top US commanders that "the most daring and decisive" attack in the battle of Raqqa would not have happened if it hadn't been for President Trump's decision to delegate authority to commanders in the field.
Ignatius' contrasting depiction of the Obama administration was incredibly damning: "under Obama, that would have taken a couple of weeks of White House meetings and they still wouldn't have made up their mind."
Ignatius also said that the name Trump was cheered whenever it was mentioned during meetings Ignatius had with Syrian forces trying to take out Assad. One Syrian commander praised Trump for having what Ignatius described as a vulgar term that in Spanish is "cojones."
The Syrian fighters are responding to a policy change by the Trump administration that seeks to destroy ISIS rather than continuing with President Obama's policy of pinprick attacks that did little to damage the terrorists. It's the sort of thing that becomes obvious when the coalition air force hits ISIS where it hurts. The unfortunate rise in civilian casualties is understood by these fighters as a tragic cost of getting the job done.
It should be noted that Obama's policies also killed civilians but were a lot less effective in denuding ISIS of military assets. From many reports, U.S.-backed forces are on the verge of victory in Raqqa, the caliphate's capital. It won't be the end of ISIS once that city falls. But without a base of operations, the terrorists become more of an annoyance than a threat.