I was quick to commend President Donald Trump on splitting with the GOP to call out the Iraq War as a failed endeavor. While the mainstream-media reeled from conspiracy theories, I welcomed better relations with Russia.
But as many ardent supporters of “America First” have felt betrayed by Trump’s recent targeted airstrikes in Syria, I have gained a newfound respect for our dealmaker-in-chief and a stronger sense of security in our future.
Regardless of how it may be presented, this attack was neither an emotional vendetta nor a humanitarian intervention. With a death toll of half a million, there is no humanitarian difference between another 70 by Sarin gas or bullets. It was, rather, a question of President Bashar al-Assad’s accountability and the United States’ credibility.
In 2013, Russia, negotiating on behalf of Assad, agreed to surrender the stockpile of chemical weapons. Evidently, both of them either lied or proved incompetent. Trump, in return, launched a surprise missile attack on a single Syrian air base, thereby sending a message to Assad without effectively changing the dynamics of the war or risking an altercation with Russia. Hopefully, it will change Assad’s calculus on chemical weapons and thus usher in a permanent end to U.S. interventions in Syria. I pray this strike will be the last.
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Trump killed two birds with one stone: he undermined his detractors at home, and sent a clear message to our international challengers and allies alike: The U.S. will no longer enforce global justice, but we will always stand by our word.
Adam Barsouk, State College