The Syria strike

Having been a relentless critic of Trump, I will give the Devil his due. I approve of the Syrian airstrike. I’m glad it was done.

President Obama’s passivity on Syria was execrable. Early in the conflict we might very possibly have achieved something greatly serving our interests. Inaction as well as action has risks and consequences; in this case they were horrific. And then the “red line” fiasco made things even worse, shredding U.S. credibility. Obama let himself be played for a fool by Putin with a phony deal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, which they were never seriously going to honor. And when Assad later resumed chemical attacks, Obama had little choice but to look the other way. The latest chemical attack was indeed one of many, if perhaps a particularly egregious one.

Around a hundred were killed, which Trump said significantly changed his view of the Assad regime. A really stunning thing to say, considering the 400,000 killed in this 6-year-long atrocity, with millions (half Syria’s population) made refugees (whom Trump still refuses to help), and the well-documented reports of industrial-scale torture venues where tens of thousands, including many children, have been murdered in hideous ways. After all this, a hundred deaths changed his mind? Does he even have one?

At least, in contrast to Obama’s sorry record, Trump not only acted, but acted swiftly, with no second-guessing or crawling fecklessly to Congress for an unlikely approval. And at least, as David Brooks commented, this moves Trump toward a somewhat normal presidency, with America again the upholder of an international system.

“How many ears must one person have before he can hear people cry?”

However, while our action was long overdue, it wasn’t much of one. Hardly even a pinprick, it changes nothing (and might actually prolong the war, that we still have no plan for ending). Better an airstrike on a significant target, like a command-and-control facility. Like, say, the presidential palace. And better yet if Assad is home.

4 Responses to “The Syria strike”

  1. wolfgang Says:

    You know, I think Obama was the most maligned and white-people opposed president ever (well yeah, he was the first non-white president ever, – duh)
    Shows how much prejudice still exists in this country.
    If he HAD actually taken that initiative, congress would have crucified him. But since he did not, now everyone crucifies him. Just because it is the first thing Trump got right, everyone praises him.
    I’m. Just glad we’re back on track with a real white, American president.

  2. DAN FAREK Says:

    I totally agree that Assad needs to be removed, but at the same time we need to take out that short, fat psycho with the dork haircut in North Korea!!!

  3. bruce Says:

    leadership vacuums don’t end well in the mideast. Taking out the dictator didn’t end well in Iraq even with troops on the ground. Removing those troops caused more problems. So lets do the same thing in Syria? Perhaps if you intended to create a little America there with total americanization of every facet of society, policing, education, infrastructure, LAW, you could keep relative peace. I doubt you’d get much support from a single soul. And for the first two hundred years there would be anti American movements developing around the world.

    Wolfgang, I suppose there is a chance you are correct, but I seem to recall Obama’s “likeability” to be tons higher than most presidents. Also, doing something that doesn’t please every congressman isn’t an issue when congress’s approval is in the tank. Obama wished a new American image on a world not yet ready for it.

  4. Lee Says:

    You wrote that the bombing “changes nothing (and might actually prolong the war, that we still have no plan for ending)” and “was long overdue.”

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