President Donald Trump is blustery and bellicose and tweets alarming and unseemly things. However, one thing that the media is not touching on very much is the fact that the self-described master of the art of the deal is moving the ball diplomatically where his predecessors found themselves stuck on the 50-yard line. The latest proof, as reported by Hot Air, is how The Russians have taken an about-face on the hammering Bashir Assad is about to get for gassing his own people.

Old Russian stance was we’ll shoot down your missiles!

When the Syrians dropped chemical bombs on their own people in Douma and subsequently captured the rebel stronghold, Trump announced that Syria’s leader Assad should expect to receive the mother of all consequences.

The Russian response was to declare that any cruise missiles fired at targets in Syria would be shot down and that the ships shooting them might come under attack. The media arose in hysteria that once again Trump was threatening to start World War III. Some of the president’s isolationist allies hinted at conspiracy theories about the rebels gassing their own people and that the interventionist conspiracy, led no doubt by newly minted National Security Advisor John Bolton, was plotting another ill-advised war.

New Russian stance is maybe we can help you out here

Trump was undeterred. He tweeted about “smart missiles” hitting their targets. Also, he brought the British and the French along for a coalition ready to smack Syria.

Meanwhile, Israel has been hitting Iranian targets in Syria despite Russian entreaties not to do so.

The first sign that the Russians were beginning to cave was the news that its fleet was sortieing out of its Syrian port, not to take on the allied fleet, which would have been ill-advised, but to get out of the line of fire.

Now the Russians are signaling that they will accept a strike against Syria so long as no Russians are put in the range of fire.

The bottom line is that Assad is now being abandoned by his allies, with Russia standing down and Iran having their own problems with the Israelis. Clearly, if Assad survives the next week or so, he is going to have to rethink his military strategy.

Winning through intimidation

Roughly four and a half decades ago when Trump was just getting his start, a man named Roger Ringer published a self-help book called “Winning Through Intimidation.” Despite the title, the book described how to succeed by refusing to be intimidated rather than being intimidating, but Trump seems to have taken the title to heart.

Previously, when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was testing missiles and threatening to drop nuclear weapons on his neighbors, Trump mocked him as “rocket boy” and followed up with demonstrations of military might around North Korea. The result was not a second Korean War, but rather, Kim agreeing to a summit meeting to start the process of giving up his nuclear arms.

Later, Trump slapped some tariffs on steel and aluminum from China. China responded in kind. However, a full-on trade war has yet to materialize. Instead, China has offered to stop tariffs on auto imports and to stop stealing American intellectual property.

The lesson is that Trump may be unseemly and sometimes frightening. However, he also seems to be getting the diplomatic job done. Future presidents should take note.