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Brooks: ‘It Was Incumbent Upon the US’ to Act In Syria, ‘There Is Some Upside’ to an Unpredictable POTUS

On Friday’s broadcast of “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks praised the Syria strike by saying “it was incumbent upon the US to do something when chemical weapons were used.” And “there is some upside to having somebody who’s a little unpredictable.”

Brooks said, “The question what’s next strikes me as a secondary question. The primary question is, what are we going to do about chemical warfare? A hundred years ago, right now, World War I was going on, and there were people were being gassed in the trenches. And the fact that the world community has basically tried to eliminate chemical weapons since that time strikes me as a great achievement. And to go back on that would be a great step backward for civilization. And Barack Obama, unfortunately, didn’t do anything when chemical weapons were used. So, I think it was incumbent upon the US to do something when chemical weapons were used.”

He continued, “Does this signal some grand change of strategy in the Middle East? I sort of doubt it. But at least we set this precedent on this particular issue. Now, the question –, I think it was probably totally impulsive of President Trump to do this. He’s an impulsive person, and we’re stuck the downsides of his impulsivity. But there are upsides to having an impulsive president because nobody in the world, and especially in places like North Korea, quite knows what’s going to happen. And so, frankly, there are some advantages to that.”

Brooks later added, “I would rather have a strategy, obviously. But I’m just pointing out there is some upside to having somebody who’s a little unpredictable. … I suspect it was a one-off case…but I think it was the right one-off thing to do.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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