CNN's Fareed Zakaria: Were Obama Still President, He Would Have Ordered "Similar If Not Identical" Strike In Syria


CNN's Fareed Zakaria discusses his experience with "Trump derangement syndrome," where people's hatred and anger towards the president is so intense that it impairs their judgment. He talks about Obama speechwriters attacking Trump for doing exactly what President Obama would have done in Syria.

"And then came the strike against Syria. On that issue, Trump appears to have listened carefully to his senior national security professionals, reversed his ealier positions, chosen a calibrated response, and acted swiftly. I supported the strike, and pointed out both in print and on air that Trump was finally being presidential because the action 'seemed to reflect a belated recognition from Trump that he can not simply put America first, that the president of the United States must act of behalf of larger interests and ideas.' On the whole, I was critical of the president's larger Syria policy, desribing it as incoherent," Zakaria said.

"From the response on the left, you would have thought I had just endorsed Donald Trump for Pope," the CNN host said. "otherwise thoughtful columnist declared my views to be nonsense. One of them declared on telvision that if I could have sex with this cruise missile attack, he thinks I would do it. A gaggle of former Obama speechwriters discussed how my comments were the stupidest on the subject."

He continued: "White House speech writers must have written the lines that Barack Obama spoke... announcing the U.N. deal in which the Syrian regime agreed to give up its chemical weapons stockpile... In other words, the Trump administration watched a violation of Obama's 2013 deal, and enforced it in precisely the manner that Obama had implied, which is why virtually every major Obama foreign policy official, from Hillary Clinton to Thomas Donilon to Leon Panetta to David Petraeus, has supported thhe Trump administration's action."

"Two senior Obama officials I spoke with told me that were Barack Obama still president, he would have likely ordered a strike that was similar if not identical in scope. Presumably, those former speechwriters would then have used different words to describe the same strikes," Zakaria quipped.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives