I was among many who was hopeful that the foreign policy practices under Donald Trump would break from precedent. But with last night’s act, we have been let down. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate decisive action when circumstances render it necessary. It is reassuring that, on the one hand, Trump isn’t afraid to act, instead of just give strong statements. On the other, it is becoming increasingly clear that he was scammed into this act by the desperate Syrian rebels, at the end of their rope.
It is hard for us to visualize what exactly the Syrian conflict is. Let’s be clear: the rebels are not majestically fighting for freedom and democracy in Syria. No, they are fighting a secular, moderate state in the interests of expanding Islam’s power in the country. Assad maintaining power in Syria means that the region will be stable and moderate.
I say that Trump has been scammed because it makes no sense that Assad, who has practically won the war as it is, would draw the ire of the entire international community by using chemical weapons – just as the war is drawing to a close in his favor. Nikki Haley says Assad did it because he “thought he could get away with it.”
Assad is not your usual bumbling African dictator. He would have to know that it would warrant a response from Trump. But also, the rebels would have to know that any notion of chemical weapons being used would bring automatic sympathy to their cause. Western assistance to them would have been impossible otherwise.
So then, is it not reasonable to presume that this was staged for this purpose? And now, the United States has become involved based on a fiction.
Even if Assad was using chemical weapons, that alone wouldn’t be enough to justify our involvement in the conflict. Emotional responses are not the proper way to handle crisis.
I hope that this is the end of the matter. But political forces, I fear, will inevitably push us towards a greater commitment of resources. Assad will be overthrown, replaced with a more “democratic” government which will soon be overtaken by Islam, creating more instability in the region – and more war. We can see already how this will play out, because the same thing has happened before.