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.
missiles struck chemical weapons facility after chemical weapon genocide. seems pretty reasonable.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) April 7, 2017
Um we're not at war with Syria. We took out a chemical weapons base. Trump could easily have taken out Assad himself but did not.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) April 7, 2017
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.
Needless to say, Trump has DRAMATICALLY greater information with which to make this call than the typical person tweeting disdain.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) April 7, 2017
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.
In the grand scheme of things, 50 cruise missiles is just a tap on the shoulder to say "psst there's a new sheriff in town" https://t.co/vNT7vhIrI0
— The People's Cube (@ThePeoplesCube) April 7, 2017
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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