The terrorist attack in Barcelona yesterday that killed 13 innocents and injured many is an unacceptable, heinous tragedy.
It is also an opportunity for President Trump to reassert himself as an effective global leader — after what has been a damaging week for his presidency — by renewing the intensity of his military pressure and security collaboration against the Islamic State.
The president suffered major blowback for inconsistent messaging after the vile white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Then he had to shutter his prestigious jobs council after many prominent CEOs quit. If that’s not bad enough, many GOP members of Congress distanced themselves from the president at a critical time when he needs every friend — and vote — he can find to pass health care reform, then ballyhooed tax reform. Those are two major promises he campaigned on.
Adding gasoline to that dumpster fire was Trump’s inexplicable blunder yesterday, tweeting about an apocryphal incident involving General Pershing and Muslim terrorists that historians say never happened.
Despite the week’s wretchedly bad optics, Trump’s base shouldn’t blink.
He needs to stop the contradictory and even false messages. But he’s survived many challenging moments throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, on into his presidency, when many were writing his political obit. After every low point, from the “Access Hollywood” tape to floating conspiracies about Ted Cruz’s dad being linked to JFK’s assassination, Trump rebounded.
This week will be no different as fighting terror has been a bona fide area of success and achievement for the president.
Since taking office, Trump has worked hard to deliver on his promise to destroy the Islamic State.
Thanks to effective leadership and smart decision making on the ground to loosening restrictive rules of engagement to MOAB drops and other tactics, ISIS has been expelled from Mosul and is under pressure in Syria. Experts have warned that attacks in Europe could be the Islamic State’s way of trying to appear strong and viable. But despite those attacks, the so-called caliphate is collapsing before our eyes.
In the wake of the latest carnage in Spain, the president should reassert himself as leader of the free world championing freedom and democracy, while mobilizing coalition forces to intensify the fight against ISIS.
This is his moment. It’s now or never.