This is a hard post to write.
Many of the same people who posted incessantly about Aleppo as it fell are now suggesting that Trump is in the midst of starting WWIII by blowing up an airfield. This is, of course, the airfield where the chemical attack was staged. The chemical attack, I would add, that broke both international norms and law, as well as insulted fundamental human decency. In short, it was a crime against humanity.
There are many reasons to be skeptical of military actions taken by any president, especially actions taken by the inexperienced President Trump. But, there is no reason to reject out of hand all actions taken by President Trump, especially those which we would welcome, or at least accept, from any other president.
This seems to have been a symbolic, rather than debilitating, response to the atrocious and criminal actions taken by the Assad regime earlier this week. If you ask me, the use of chemical weapons, by any country, cannot be allowed and must be responded to with due force. If anything, because this display of force will hardly impact the Assad war effort, I am slightly underwhelmed.
As I have wrote this post, Trump gave a statement in which he correctly argued that it is America’s interest, and in the interest of all civilized nations, to “prevent and deter the spread and use of chemical weapons.” He expressed clearly and, to be frank, eloquently this solemn truth. “No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”
I don’t know what the impact of this attack will be–I suspect, given its small scale, there won’t be much of one. But it is a message to Assad that if he continues to use chemical weapons, we will continue to increase our military response. It is a message to the world that the United States will not stand for the use of chemical weapons.
I’ve written before about the death of principle-based politics around the world. So many of us have turned to cast our votes not based on which candidate’s vision is most moral or just, but instead on who will help us most economically. As I finish this post, I am bemused to offer praise to the man who has most epitomized that trend for me, one who has now taken much needed moral action in the face of unimaginable horror.