Trump: Saddam and Gaddafi Should Have Stayed

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Another day, another explosive interview from Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. The real estate mogul appeared on Meet the Press this weekend to talk guns, poll numbers, and – most interestingly – the current problems in Syria. As usual, Trump was not the least bit shy about presenting his own unique view of what has the potential to be a very dangerous situation.

“We are going to get bogged down in Syria,” Trump said in a pre-taped interview with host Chuck Todd. “If you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that’s when they went bankrupt. They went bankrupt.”

Trump went on to predict that Putin, who launched an airstrike campaign against anti-Assad forces in Syria last week, would meet a similar fate this time around. “Everybody that’s touched the Middle East, they’ve gotten bogged down.”

Todd asked him if the region would be better off if brutal dictators like Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein were still around.

“Of course it would be,” Trump said. “You wouldn’t have had your Benghazi situation which is one thing which was just a terrible situation. But, of course, it would. Libya is– is not even– nobody even knows what’s going on over there. It’s not even a country anymore.”

It’s impossible to disagree with Trump on this issue, even as complicated as this situation has become. Now that Putin has stepped in to fill the blank space where a competent president’s foreign policy would typically be, it’s time for the U.S. to take a step back. Our involvement in Syria has been one disaster after another, the inevitable fruit of trying to fight two mutually exclusive battles at the same time. Our country needs to stop trying to force these backwards Middle Eastern hellholes to become more like the United States. They don’t want democracy; they want Islamic revolution.

At some point, we need to start learning from our mistakes. Every time we do this dance, we wind up creating an enemy even worse than the one we deposed. We launch these wars against terrorist armies, only to realize that it’s akin to trying to shoot every fish in the Pacific Ocean. It’s a waste of money, a waste of time, and a waste of American lives.

That said, we have a responsibility to address ISIS in Iraq. That’s our problem, like it or not. Now, if Putin wants to take that on, too, great! If not, we need to step up our attacks and drive these maniacs right out of the country.

At that point, we need to seriously reconsider our approach to foreign policy, especially as it pertains to the Middle East. You can’t force these people into the 21st Century if they are determined to stay put. Instead, we should do what we can to export Western culture and show them what they’re missing. Show them how much better life can be when you have a little bit of liberty. Let those seeds take root and compete with fundamentalist Islam. Let the people realize that their real enemy isn’t the United States but their own sad religion.