Trump’s actions in Syria have negative consequences that were unrecognized by his heedless decision-making

In Opinion
Instead of thinking about the effects that this strike would have with foreign relations, Trump decides to make a move. (Cathryn Edwards / Daily Titan)

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.

Russia also chimed in with displeasure during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

“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.

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2 commentsOn Trump’s actions in Syria have negative consequences that were unrecognized by his heedless decision-making

  • This opinion is completely inconsistent with recent historical events. In 2013, outlawed chemical weapons were used in Syria. Both Obama and Kerry publicly “drew a line in the sand” on behalf the the US. Just because an administration changes, doesn’t mean State global policy (established through many predecessors) changes in the least.

    One can speculate that the airfield that was attacked was the source of the weapons. The vast intelligence capabilities of the US (from space to electro-magnetic signals) make Google Earth look like child’s play. I wouldn’t be surprised if a E-3 AWACS tracked them. They gave Russians notice, because they were attacking the source of chemical weapons.

    National policy is to view chemical weapons or other WMD the same way we view human right’s abuse. Recent elections and internal political focus has diminished the geopolitical view. The line in the sand was crossed, and Trump followed pre-established policy.

  • The authors write, “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.”

    And why didn’t Obama do this?

    More so, under Obama’s presidency the Syrian conflict (Muslim v Muslim) escalated to where we find it today. Obama was spineless. He spoke of red-lines but then ignored them when they were crossed.

    If you really cared about Syria instead of about promoting liberals and fighting republicans then you should welcome a new approach even when no one really knows where it will lead.

    But maybe more to the point we all know that whatever America does in Muslim lands we will be criticized and condemned. If we do nothing we are criticized. If we do a lot we are criticized. If we try to follow an in-between path we are criticized.

    Meanwhile Muslim nations offer no sound policies of their own. Meanwhile, and thanks to Muslims, there are an endless supply of countries in desperate need of help.

    If the Muslims were truly a compassionate people then why is it no Muslim countries will welcome these Syrians into their homes? Why is it the wealthy Gulf states have not welcomed any refugees? Why is it the west that is always responsible for fixing these self-inflicted Muslim problems?

    Maybe we would take you more seriously if you grappled ,with these questions instead of always blaming America – and especially republicans – for Islam’s constant horrors.

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