There Is No Winning In The Middle East

By now I’m sure everyone knows about what happened in Syria. President Trump ordered a strike on a Syrian military airfield. This was in response to a chemical weapons attack allegedly by the Assad regime on its own citizens.  You can see some of the aftermath of these chemical attacks here. Be warned, the videos are very graphic and disturbing.

When I first heard the news that a retaliatory strike occurred, I was upset. I thought “Here we go again… just jumping headfirst into more war in the middle east.”  This is the very thing Trump was promising not to do while bashing Bush for Iraq, and yes, you can also see him on twitter condemning former President Obama for doing the same thing in 2013.

I’m sure you’ll hear plenty of back and forth in the media for the next few days on whether an attack like this was constitutional (which they suddenly care about now that Obama has left office). I have heard that the proper congressional authority was granted, and others argue it had to be put to a vote first. I don’t know yet what the truth is, but it is important to note that war in Syria has been going on for years. It was started (again, without a vote in congress) under the direction of Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was bad then and it’s bad now.

A few things are giving me reason to believe this may be justified. And I stress that I am not for more intervention, only trying to perhaps find a silver lining to what has already happened.  First, the above video of the victims of these chemical attacks.  Such a disgusting disregard for humanity should not be allowed to go unpunished.  Some people are saying that this is a ‘false flag’ attack and that Bashar al-Assad would have no reason to do this. I’m inclined to believe he did do it, mostly because he has been doing this for YEARS. From the New York Times:

“Yet, rather than an inexplicable act, analysts say, it is part of a carefully calculated strategy of escalating attacks against civilians.

“For years, at least since it began shelling neighborhoods with artillery in 2012, then bombing them from helicopters and later from jets, the Syrian government has adopted a policy of seeking total victory by making life as miserable as possible for anyone living in areas outside its control…

” ‘It makes us feel that we are defeated,’ said Dr. Khalil, whose gums bled after he was exposed to scores of chemical victims on Tuesday. “The international community will stay gazing at what’s happening — and observing the explosive barrels falling and rockets bombing the civilians and the hospitals and the civil defense and killing children and medical staff — without doing anything.’ “

Second, the strikes were not aimed at citizens but rather at suspected weapons caches and the planes that may have launched the gas bombs. I haven’t seen any reports on how many people were killed or injured.

Finally, the gratitude shown from Syrian citizens was really unexpected to see.  The Daily Wire points out some positive reactions on twitter, and MSNBC discusses ‘measured praise’ from Syrian refugees. While Obama drew a ‘red line’ that was crossed repeatedly and poorly enforced, Trump is taking action.  In this interview on CNN you can see the emotion involved and the relief that this man feels that something is finally being done to help.

I do not want more war and I very much hope that this doesn’t escalate into a greater conflict. I’m sick of it and I’m sure everyone else is too. But if we were able to hinder anyone’s ability to conduct these kinds of atrocities, I think lobbing a few missiles is definitely worth it. I sincerely hope they got the intelligence right on this, it would be awful if it was wrong. That means that the rebel groups (of which include ISIS and al-Qaeda) have an easier path to control of Syria. But if we did destroy some of these chemical weapons so they can no longer be used on innocent people, then bravo.

I don’t have all the information yet, so it’s hard to be fully informed.  I know that intervention in the middle east thus far has been a terrible idea, and a lot of people are worse off now because of it. But at some point, should someone step in and say “no more!” to ruthless dictators? My libertarian side says it’s not our job to do that. But it’s hard to ignore such massive suffering. In this case, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

Side note: Can this be the thing that ends all the Russia conspiracy surrounding the election? As you may or may not know, Russia is a big ally for Assad and Syria. And Russia and Putin are PISSED about this attack. Why would Trump give such a big middle finger to the guy that supposedly helped get him elected? I mean, at the very least all you can say now is that Russia was betting on Trump to be the lesser threat to its schemes.  For that it was willing to expose a lot of DNC wrongdoing. But it seems they lost that wager. 

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