Trump launches a strike on Syrian chemical weapons base

Strike

Not two hours after writing my previous post about Syria, the news broke that President Trump ordered a targeted cruise missile strike against Syria.

US Naval ships bombarded an airbase in Western Syria from which US intelligence believes Tuesday’s sarin gas attack was launched.

From what is being reported so far, it doesn’t appear that President Trump is looking to overthrow Assad. Instead, the objective seems limited to neutralizing Assad’s ability to deploy chemical weapons.

According to the Pentagon, the United States did contact Russian military in Syria to inform them of the attack on the airbase:

The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again. 
 
Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.

That being said, I stand by what I wrote in the previous post.

To launch an attack on Assad for the purposes of regime change is not in the United States’ best interests. It would put us on a collision course with Russia and Iran. And I just do not see that as a wise move at all.

However, tonight’s bombardment appears to be the United States putting a stop to the use of banned chemical weapons. The same chemical weapons the Obama Administration proudly declared it had gotten out of Syria through “diplomacy.”

Here is the President’s statement:

My hope at this point is that President Trump does not pursue further escalation into Syria to overthrow Assad. As I said earlier, we do not need to pursue regime change in such a volatile part of the world. It failed in Libya. And it would fail in Syria.

However, I do not agree with the folks who are now declaring that Trump has fallen under the spell of “neo-cons” and “warmongers.” Twitter is experiencing a bombardment of its own this evening as many Trump supporters are railing against the President for “starting another Iraq.”

But this attack on a chemical weapons base is not an invasion of Syria.

The President is not talking about regime change. And he said nothing about invading the country in order to overthrow Assad.

He spoke only of stopping the use of deadly chemical weapons and bringing an end to the bloodshed.

In the span of this civil war, Assad has had no reason to fear that there would be repercussions to using chemical weapons.

And why would he?

Obama drew his famous red line. Then he promptly retreated to the golf course.

Assad needed to know that the era of Obama’s foreign policy of appeasement and “pretty-please diplomacy” was over.

By striking at this chemical weapons base, President Trump has made that crystal clear.

As I said earlier, I trust the President to listen to the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense Mattis and weigh his decisions carefully.

For those who have decided to abandon President Trump over this strike, all I can say is you must not have been listening during the campaign. Mr. Trump was clear that if we use force, we must act swiftly and decisively. And that is precisely what he did tonight.

It is also worth noting that this evening, the President was dining with the President Xi Jinping of China.

And don’t doubt for a moment that it spoke volumes to President Xi that Mr. Trump would take such swift action to destroy a chemical weapons base.

In fact, I’m certain this sent a clear message to the Chinese President – especially with regard to the rogue state of North Korea.

I am confident that President Trump will stick to his deeply held conviction not to take the US into an unwinnable war for the purposes of regime change.

And this strike on the chemical weapons base in Syria hasn’t changed my mind about that.

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7 thoughts on “Trump launches a strike on Syrian chemical weapons base

  • April 7, 2017 at 3:52 am
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    I believe the immediacy of this strike was not only a proper response against the humanitarian outrage of the Syrian CW attack, but it was also for the benefit of the Chinese President (and his North Korean clients). The other day in the run-up to the visit of President Xi, Trump said, “Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea,we will.” I am sure President Xi came to the US armed with possible trade actions to soften Trump’s stand on North Korea. But, Trump’s strike tonight has forced the Chinese to reevaluate their position with us and North Korea. And with President Xi on our soil, he’s going to find it difficult to present a position. The strike shows how easily we can destroy anything we want to in North Korea. After 8 years of Obama, I don’t think the Chinese thought the US would ever flex its muscles. Trump’s strike tonight has certainly changed that notion. It also will give China pause to think about its own expansion in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

    Putin also received a message tonight. The strike gives Putin some unambiguous indications about Trump’s willingness to respond to adventurism (whether done by subterfuge or overt aggression).

    And I think this strike serves as a reminder to NATO as to who carries the freight in the alliance and that when the US President speaks the squishy Europeans need to listen.

  • April 7, 2017 at 8:55 am
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    OK.

    This is the first time when I don’t support Trump’s decision.

    Actually, I think that because of such actions we have terrorism spreading across the globe (of course it’s not only the cause).

    Most foreign people suspicious regarding the USA.

    Some of them hate the US.

    Not-so-many friendly.

    It does not matter whether the USA can justify those attacks or not, but it does matter that Syria – is a sovereign country, Asad — is president that elected by Syrian citizens.

    Besides Putin was invited to help Asad to fight ISIS, the USA — was not.

    What if somebody would decide that the USA is the only threat to the world’s peace?

    Will they be in the same position as the USA right now?

    I don’t see how this missile strike can improve situation in Syria but I am not a politician.

    I do not know a lot about this stuff.

    • April 7, 2017 at 9:03 am
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      Here’s the thing, Valentine. Syria and the United States are both signatories on the Chemical Weapons Convention. If any signing nation is found to have violated the treaty, force can be used to to destroy the chemical weapons in their possession.

      This isn’t just some haphazard “decision.” It isn’t like Trump just woke up and decided, “Assad is a threat to world peace, so let’s bomb him.”

      • April 7, 2017 at 9:35 am
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        I agree with everything you said.

        The problem is that there is no evidence that Syria has Chemical Weapons in possession.

        Even more: a couple of years ago UN confirmed that it’s true — no chemical weapons possessed by Syria.

        But it was reported that ISIS has it, and it used it few times already.

        See for example this: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/

        I remember that last time the USA used the same reason to invade Libya — chemical weapons.

        But as soon as Libya government was overthrown and invasion was accomplished (Gaddafi killed during that), no chemical weapons was found.

        Not a trace.

        Since that time I am highly suspicious when I hear ‘chemical weapons’ cause from the USA officials as the reason to bomb someone.
        Valentine recently posted…Machine Learning StuffMy Profile

        • April 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm
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          The Chemical Weapons plant and storage area at al-Safirah is well-known (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/syria/al-safir.htm). If you Google Earth the site (36-03N/37-20E) yourself, you will see the many facility buildings, storage bunkers, SA-2 site (the circle of six firing points just to the north of the facility at 36-04N/37-20E), and even the tunnel complex entries (road cutouts at 36-02N/37-21E). The fighting in 2013 between al-Qaeda and Syrian government forces for this area was extreme, although it is likely the Syrians had transferred most of the materials to safer stockpile locations near Damascus.

          Regarding the UN’s declaration on Syria’s CW program, the OPCW reported production facilities had been rendered inoperative or destroyed, although two of the sites were not visited by the inspectors because of security reasons (al-Safirah may have been one of those sites since the UN visit was in late 2013). Regardless, the UN report also said it DID NOT inventory stockpiles of CWs.

          A final word on the value of on-the-ground inspections — they are worthless if the target country engages in deception. Deception works against international leaders who are unwilling to accept information that has awkward political implications or who place unwarranted faith in agreements. Does that describe the UN? [The best example of how deception works is the 20 years between the end of WWI and the start of WWII when Germany went from being “defeated and disarmed” to becoming a frightening military juggernaut that nearly conquered the world…all the time being inspected by more than 1,000 military inspectors, not desk-bound bureaucrats, from the military forces of the French, Italian, Belgian, British, and Japanese (the representative from the United Nations) to insure no German rearmament. The German foreign minister won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926 for being “a fighter for international understanding and world peace,” while he covertly guided his country in rebuilding the Reichswehr, which he called “the only positive factor” in 1920s Germany.]

  • April 7, 2017 at 2:25 pm
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    This proves Obama is a pussy and Trump is not. “Just a tap on the shoulder” no phoney “Red lines”.

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