Syrian Chemical Attacks Forces Trump to Make Tough Call
On Saturday, another brutal chemical attack was launched against the people of Syria. The number one suspect is, again, Bashar al-Assad and his government. The last time Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, Trump responded with a 59-missile strike against the air base in which the chemical weapons came from. Trump promises a strong reaction this time as well.
Difference is, this time Trump has a European ally by his side: French President Emmanuel Macron.
President Trump spoke in depth with President Macron, and the team agreed to a "strong, joint response" to the attack.
The two leaders have decided to wait until certain questions are answered concerning the attack. Primarily, they want confirmation that sarin and chlorine were used in this attack, and they want confirmation that Assad is the perpetrator again.
US Senator, Lindsey Graham, does not share the same patience. He claims that it is clear that the attack comes from Assad, and he hopes that Trump responds by destroying the Syrian Air Force and allowing special operations forces to purge Assad from power. Graham claims that if Trump fails to act against Assad, it shows that he is all bark and no bite. He also claims that it will also hurt him in the upcoming negotiations with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. "It is a defining moment for his Presidency." Graham says.
Complicating things is Russia's alliance to Syria. Russia's Air Force conducts military operations on behalf of Assad's government, and if the US were to obliterate the Syrian Air Force, it could be seen as a direct attack on the Russian military.
I am personally not sure if I care. I have very little patience with leaders who openly kill or maim citizens, and this is a line that Assad has crossed too many times. To me, there is very little difference between people like Assad, Saddam Hussein, Muamar al-Gaddafi, Robert Mugabe, and Kim Jong-un. We do not need world leaders like these.
And the United States needs to tread carefully, because we do not need a situation similar to the ones we got when we saw Hussein and Gaddafi lose power. If Trump and Macron decide to respond with direct force, they have to be prepared to commit to Syria 100%. They need to be prepared to handle the repercussions of their actions, and need to be ready for the long haul.
Assad has proven time and time again that he cannot rightfully lead his nation. I will be closely watching Trump and Macron in the coming days. I expect nothing more than a targeted missile strike similar to the one from last April, but until we know for sure, there is a chance that things will escalate to a level not yet seen in Syria. Things could get hairy real quick and each decision can drastically impact the US's long-term foreign policy for years.