Trump's Syria Strike Decision Was Hypocritical
President Donald Trump's decision to launch a military strike against an airbase held by the Syrian government oozes hypocrisy.
The strike was a response to a recent chemical attack against civilians in Syria.
Out of context, you might argue Trump's decision was a justifiable reaction to a crime against humanity.
But if you're at all familiar with how Trump approached the Syria conflict prior to the strike, it's hard to see this as anything but hypocritical. This one tweet sums it up perfectly.
In the wake of the strike, as Trump offered the world justification for his actions, he expressed sympathy for the children impacted by the chemical attack.
The president said,
On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of god should ever suffer such horror.
But there's just one problem: These "beautiful babies" are the same ones Trump has repeatedly tried to ban from the US.
For months, Trump has demonized Syrians, portraying them as potential terrorists.
At one point during the US presidential campaign, Trump said Syrian refugees represent "a great Trojan horse."
Since his inauguration, Trump has pushed to temporarily ban Syrians from the US.
This is tamer than his call to ban all Muslims from coming into the US after the San Bernardino shooting, but it still means the president of the United States wants to shut the door on some of the world's most vulnerable people.
In the wake of the chemical attack on civilians in Syria, which the US and others blame on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Trump suddenly began to sound more compassionate to the plight of the Syrian people -- especially children.
But during this time, Trump has not shifted on his stance regarding Syrian refugees whatsoever.
The fact that Trump is willing to bomb Syria before he's willing to accept Syrian refugees speaks volumes.
This is more or less like saying, "I'm content to destroy your home, but you can't come into mine."
The military strike on Thursday was the first time the US has directly targeted the Syrian government, but the US military has been active in Syria for awhile at this point.
Since August 2014, the US has conducted 7,469 airstrikes in Syria against ISIS.
It's already played a central role in the violence that's plagued the daily lives of Syrian civilians.
The US and its allies have killed their fair share of civilians. The human rights organization Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) found the US and coalition forces killed more civilians in Syria in March than ISIS or Russian forces did.
In March, 1,134 civilians were killed in total, according to an SNHR report.
The report found forces believed to be Russian killed 224 civilians, including 51 children and 42 women.
Meanwhile, ISIS killed 119 civilians, including 19 children and seven women.
But US and coalition forces topped both, killing 260 civilians, including 70 children and 34 women.
Trump just added to the violence and destruction in Syria under the false notion he actually cares about the Syrian people.
If Trump actually cared, he'd change his stance on refugees, and he wouldn't be cutting foreign aid.
Moreover, the chemical attack in Syria on Tuesday was hardly the first of its kind.
After a chemical attack against civilians in Syria back in 2013, the Obama administration considered taking military action against Assad.
It ultimately decided not to, which former President Obama continues to face criticism over.
At the time, a majority of the American public was against military intervention in Syria -- including Donald Trump.
But this week, Trump blamed Obama's inaction for the recent chemical attack, scoring political points off a terrible tragedy.
In attacking Assad, Trump did exactly what he told Obama not to do.
This is yet another major element of hypocrisy surrounding how Trump responded to Tuesday's events in Syria.
Trump was apparently unaware of how bad it's been in Syria for the past six years until this week.
It's also very problematic that it seems as if President Trump only just discovered Syrians are being murdered by their government.
Is this really who we want leading us into a conflict with another government in the Middle East?
Trump did a complete 180 on Syria, a subject he doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable about, and we should all be concerned about that.
The Syrian government has been slaughtering its own citizens since 2011.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed in Syria, including 55,000 children, since the war started six years ago.
Where was Trump's sympathy for these innocent, "beautiful babies"? Why the sudden change of heart?
Could it have something to do with the fact that his administration is under intense scrutiny regarding its ties to Russia, and bombing Assad, an ally of Russia, offers a great way to distract from and diminish this?
We don't have clear answers behind Trump's motives for the strike.
What is apparent, however, is there is much more the US could be doing for Syria from a humanitarian standpoint that doesn't involve dropping more bombs.
But, with Trump as president, that approach seems highly unlikely.