Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather spoke out about President Trump’s missile strike in Syria on Friday, critical of media figures who were quick to say that the strike was a presidential move.
“The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning,” Rather said in a Facebook post. “War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.”
Committing the use of force and American men and women in uniform is about as serious as it gets. But the truly great presidents understand that knowing when NOT to act is as important as knowing when to act.
It is a whole lot easier starting wars than finishing them. And there are many historical examples of where a promise of limited engagement quickly metastasized into something much bigger….
Whether this should have been a unilateral action is something we all must consider. Whether President Trump has a plan for what comes next must be debated. Whether there is a coherence to this missile strike fitting into a larger foreign policy strategy is a question that should give us all pause.
The role of the press is to ask hard questions. There is ample evidence that this Administration needs to face deep scrutiny. The lies we have heard, the chaos in governance, and the looming questions about ties with Russia—itself a major player in Syria—demand that the press treat this latest action with healthy skepticism.
Rather’s post came after several media figures, including CNN host Fareed Zakaria, said Trump’s missile strike in Syria shows him displaying the same qualities as America’s past leaders.
“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night,” Zakaria said Friday on CNN’s New Day. “I think this was actually a big moment.”
What do you think? Trump’s sudden reversal of policy and his Syrian air strike—was that truly “presidential”?
*Please let us know in the comments section below!*