While CNN host Fareed Zakaria, among others, was quick to compliment President Donald J. Trump’s use of Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base last Thursday, it’s a stretch to say that one act has solidified his stance as a powerful and effective leader. If anything, such a thoughtless and hypocritical act shows blatant, gaping holes in the logic of the president.
The best thing to do would’ve been to implement a “no-fly” zone over Syria to continue fighting the bloody, mindless wrath of President Bashar al-Assad, while not stepping on Russia’s toes.
Instead, Trump launched 59 cruise missiles in retaliation to a chemical attack last Tuesday ordered by the Syrian government in which more than 80 people, including children, died at the hands of toxic Sarin gas.
Trump, shaken by photos of Syrian children affected by the attack, called the attacks “egregious crimes” that “shouldn’t have happened,” in a press briefing.
Unfortunately this reaction and the subsequent actions, are just for show and are undeserving of the praise that it’s garnered.
Trump sat on the decision to handle al-Assad for all of two days. CNN National Security analyst Peter Bergen called the strike a decisive action in an article published April 7, which couldn’t have been further from reality.
Trump gave Russians on the ground no more than 90 minutes to get away from the airstrike. Trump’s hot-headed and irresponsible actions aren’t deserving of any praise.
The office of Syria’s president condemned the attack in a statement and Russia suspended all cooperation with the U.S. in Syria, calling the launch a “disgraceful act,” according to the New York Times.
“The consequences of this for regional and international stability could be extremely serious,” said Russian Deputy Vladimir Safronkov.
Although Trump was in the presence of top military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, it never seemed to dawn on any of the men sitting around a table at the Mar-a-Lago that an attack like this is detrimental, not beneficial.
Now, the Assad administration has reason to flex its muscles, and Russia will, without a doubt, follow suit. Flagrantly launching missiles caused al-Assad to attack a Syrian observatory for human rights in the countryside on the same exact day from the same base that was just bombed by the US, according to Reuters.
The biggest issue is that there was a better way to solve this, and it was introduced in Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy during her presidential run. Her stance was to enforce a “no-fly” zone over Syria, effectively killing al-Assad’s military air force. However, Trump said that her policy would’ve started World War III.
Syrians have praised Trump for the airstrike. Mohamad Chaghlil, a 35-year-old refugee from Damascus, told the New York Times he hoped that the strike would trigger more action from Trump and the United States.
However, Chaghlil, like many others, questioned why this particular chemical attack triggered the American’s response rather than countless other atrocities committed on the Syrian people.
Trump is a hypocrite for saying the strike was for the children that suffered from the chemical attacks, but continues his attempt at banning Syrians from taking refuge in the U.S. from these types of atrocities.
Though the chemical attack was horrendous, it is not the first sickening attack from the Assad administration. In 2013, then-President Barack Obama was made the decision to become involved in a growing unrest in Syria. Since that time, America has bombed seven countries using methods including Tomahawk missiles and drone strikes.
Trump himself was against getting involved with Syria at all, often attacking Obama on Twitter repeatedly over the issue, which is further perplexing.
What Trump did is not brave or as calculated as his administration and members of the media would like to think. It doesn’t make any sense why America is patting him on the back and giving him a cookie for his actions.