What does it say about a nation that is unable to reach a consensus on whether or not to open its arms and embrace the truly needy, but is all too quick to embrace the militaristic actions of a president who once said we should avoid a war in Syria at all cost? We are about to find out.
By launching a cruise missile attack on Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons by a government on its own people, President Trump has finally learned just how much the American people support a president who doesn’t take shit from a dictator. Well, unless the dictator is named Vladimir Putin. But when he is named Bashar al-Assad, it goes over really well. Still, one has to wonder what might have been had we as a nation been more willing to let in refugees whose only crime is having been born in the wrong nation?
While it is fair to argue president Obama failed when he made his line in the sand remark regarding the use of chemical weapons, it has to be noted that Trump seems to have found the usefulness of having the most powerful military at his disposal to help improve his sinking popularity. But did he accomplish anything with his response?
Let’s face it, he gave the Russians plenty of notice prior to the attack so not only could they clear out of Dodge, but the Syrian government could as well. While the attack may have rendered a much needed and used airport useless, it didn’t change the Assad regime. If anything, it will just dig in its heels more.
The attack may have been the first major test of who has the biggest set under their belts between Trump and Putin, but does either leader want a full scale war in Syria at a time when neither can afford one? Sure, it is bound to complicate relations, but with Trump, there is no telling when he will flip-flop on any issue, including Russia or Syria.
For now, he appears to be a president who will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons when in reality, he had no choice but to respond because of his horrific poll numbers. However, do not confuse his measured response as anything other than just a test to see how accurate our cruise missiles are.
Do not think for a second Trump is about to have a change of heart and let in the massive number of Syrian refugees, you know, the ones he says are really terrorists, the ones he got much of America to hate as well and insist be left to remain behind to choke to death on gas dumped on them by a sick leader.
No, if Trump had any balls, he would have taken out Assad and told the Russians to stand down. But we all know, this would take real strength and courage, just as it takes the same to let in those same victims before they become statistics.
I am not sure taking out an airport stands as a courageous response. It seems to me the millions of dollars in cruise missiles might have been better spent in other ways.
Again, taking out Assad is an actual solution and sends a message to other nut cases around the globe that if you do the sorts of horror Assad has done, you will pay for it with your life. Instead, Trump simply chose to drop his drawers and show Assad and Putin how big his missile is and challenge them to show him theirs. In the end, nothing much is shown or accomplished.
If we have a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, and if a leader can be labeled a terrorist for killing his own citizens with chemical weapons, why do we bother sending him messages? It does not make sense. Assad does not listen, or apparently answer, to us. He has been given nothing more than a slap on the wrist and we have seen enough in the past with how he responds to our slaps. Expect more genocide to follow. Then what?
We won’t let these victims into our country out of our own sick sense of paranoia, but we will gladly bomb the crap out of what little is left of Syria just to send a message. Isn’t a greater message one where we take in their innocent victims and take out their horrific leader so we can return refugees to their homeland? Then, isn’t it better to rebuild a war torn nation once it is freed of the evil behind it rather than spend our money on destroying it further while leaving a killer in power to kill again?
I am not a fan of how we fight our wars. We are too quick to get involved in something that has no real plan in place that can work. Nation building while nation destroying does not work. You cannot fight a war by sending in our troops and then placing far too many rules of engagement because you do not want to see any loss of life other than just bad guys. This just leads to long drawn out affairs that yield few, if any, results.
A far smarter way to fight a war is to use our military with such overwhelming power our enemy has no choice but to surrender on our terms. If the Russians want to stick their noses into places where they are just adding to the problem, then they have to decide just how badly do they want a war with us. My guess is Putin would prefer to avoid it at all cost since such a war cripples his economy and causes him to fall out of favor with the oligarchs he answers to.
If we lack the desire to take on such a war, then we have no business sending messages that fall on deaf ears and should engage ourselves in the business of opening our borders, and arms, to the men, women, and children who are left behind to die the most horrible of deaths imaginable.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.