By Tom Quiner
What issue worries you the most? In 2015, the heart of Barack Obama’s final term, the third biggest issue that worried American voters was the possibility of future terrorist attacks on the U.S. According to a Gallup Poll, 51% of Americans feared Islamic terrorism.
As of last month, in a different Gallup Poll, but one per cent of Americans considered terrorism our most pressing problem.
Cause & Effect
Let’s review the cause and effect of this remarkable development.
In President Obama’s second term, Islamic terrorists launched 180 terrorist attacks around the world, including 8 on U.S. soil, according to Wikipedia.
Under the Trump administration, global Islamic terrorist attacks dropped to 65, including but one on U.S. soil, a statistically significant achievement by any metric.
That’s the effect. What’s the cause?
Obama and Trump pursued different approaches in dealing with the complexities in the Middle East. Obama’s team negotiated a nuclear deal which sent billions of dollars of cash to Iran.
Trump pulled out of the deal and sanctioned Iran, costing them billions.
Obama said he wanted to move our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, but didn’t have the courage to do it.
Trump did it.
Obama claimed that Palestine is at the heart of the Arab/Israeli conflict.
Trump disagreed and negotiated deals that brought an increasing number of Arab countries into friendlier relationships with Israel, while isolating Iran, Palestine, and Syria.
Trump finished off ISIS. As Vice President Pence recently said,
“You know when President Trump came into office, ISIS had captured an area of the Middle East the size of Pennsylvania. President Trump unleashed the American military, and our armed forces destroyed the ISIS caliphate and took down their leader al-Baghdadi without one American casualty.”
In fairness, ISIS had been degraded under Obama. Honorable people can disagree over who deserves the most credit.
The point is that Trump pursued policies so opposite of Obama that the ‘effect’, to which I referred above, has to have been influenced by the ‘cause,’ Trump policies.
Travel & refugee protocols tightened up by Trump
Most pointedly, Mr. Trump reacted to 4 years of Islamic terrorist attacks during the Obama years by enacting more restrictive travel and refugee protocols with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The Left screamed, but results speak: 8 Islamic attacks in Obama’s last term; one in Trump’s first term.
Left-leaning Politico hammered on Trump’s approach to the Middle East in this piece from April of last year:
“Sure, there’s plenty of confusion, diplomatic malpractice and dysfunction in Trumpian foreign policy. But on two critical issues it is deadly functional: The administration is focused like a laser beam on irreversibly burning U.S. bridges to Iran and administering last rites to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And if you look at the administration’s actual policies, it’s clear they aren’t just meant to overturn President Barack Obama’s actions, but also to create points of no return—so that successor administrations cannot revert to past approaches even if they want to. If the administration succeeds—and it’s well on its way to doing so—it will have fundamentally damaged U.S. national interests for years to come.”
Instead of “damage” to our national interests, we have healing.
Islamic terrorism is way down, with no Islamic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 2017. Whether you love Trump or hate him, this is a significant achievement. His policies deserve the credit.