The Syrian Airstrike

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

President Donald Trump just attacked Syria with about 60 missiles without approval by Congress. Trump claims it was a matter of national security, but many Americans on both sides of the aisle are not convinced, and many Americans who liked Trump for his non-intervention foreign policy rhetoric are now baffled. 

In his inauguration speech, Trump said he was giving power back to the people, but this unilateral attack on Syria is anything but that. The Constitution provides that only Congress can declare war on a foreign nation. Sending 60 missiles against Syria is an act of war. Yet, Trump did not even entertain seeking a declaration by Congress, even though it was never shown or even implied that America was facing imminent threat that required an immediate defense.

Not long ago, Trump criticized Obama for attacking Syria and publicly decried any such attack. Trump told Obama to get Congressional approval. Now Trump follows in Obama’s footsteps. What’s going on? Who is really making the calls here?

Many people who supported Trump before his election are beginning to see Trump’s candidacy was mere rhetoric. The principles, albeit contradictory and nonsensical at times, he purported were seemingly not deeply held nor not held at all.

If millions of Americans’ anger was what elected Trump in the first place, can you imagine what kind of anger will be displayed in 2020?

By Joe Carbonari

Since gassing babies has helped galvanized opposition to Bashar al-Assad, he must have something else in mind. He appears to be seeking a complete capitulation of the opposition forces in Syria’s civil war. Our response makes that less likely. We have, at least temporarily, increased our involvement. Where we go next is undetermined.

We do not have a policy for ending the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Yemen, the disarray in Libya, Somalia, Sudan and the Congo, or, more importantly, the strain of Islam that allows for and is used as an excuse for the disorder. ISIS and its “caliphate” serve as its core and must be dismembered, but it is the train of thought that undergirds its attractiveness that must ultimately be vanquished. Syria is a manifestation of the problem. It must be dealt with, but it is not an end in itself. It is part of a much larger malady of disorder threatening world peace.

Syria intertwines with Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the U.S … for starters. The European Union struggles to deal with its refugees, as does Jordan, Lebanon and other near-neighbors.  As Assad, ISIS, and their supporters are eventually squeezed out of their strongholds they are likely to spread their terror even more widely and indiscriminately. It is the power of their unacceptable strain of thought that must die. The fewer the bullets and bombs the better. They do make fear, but they do not make friends.

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