No Way to Wake Up: Trump on Syria
Can I Just Hide Now?
I've never been more grateful to be Canadian, especially today.
The world has woken up to news that President Donald Trump has launched airstrikes on Syria, in response to Syria's chemical attack on civilians earlier this week. The Assad regime has indeed been a frightening one, and while I'm certain there is a great deal going on behind the scenes with various pockets of government intelligentsia, as a civilian, I'm wanting to grab the US president and shake him. Hard.
From what news has been released to the world through a range of media sources, we don't know for sure what Assad actually has as far as armament goes. Yes, he dropped sarin gas on his own people - what sort of leader does that, besides a desperate one? But how big is his air force? What's his ground capability like? Does he have some sort of independent rockets that can shoot this far?
Maybe I'm the only civilian that thinks this way. I don't know. But the thought of chemical warfare scares the crap out of me. Assad scares me - but then, I feel the same way about Donald J. Trump. When your world leaders seem unpredictable, and when they are responsible for a good many caches of weaponry, it's more than a little unsettling.
I also worry for my preteen daughter, who does like to read the news from time to time. She has generalized anxiety disorder, and as a preteen, she hears things a lot more easily than I ever did at her age. This is the time in our lives where I wish mightily there was no access to Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter because between the memes generated about WWIII and the questionable news sources that may or may not be reporting the "real" story about what's happening, she's going to be overwhelmed and get scared very easily.
To be sure, there is definitely something to be scared about here, but as Canadians, we must continue living our lives without fear. As people, we have to do that, like it or not.
But can I do that from the safe confines of my bed?
A Lousy Combination
How Do You Explain This?
So President Trump put the brakes on any influx of refugees from Syria, and then OKs airstrikes against the country?
Granted, according to reports he is attacking government targets. However, he even cautioned then-president Obama in 2013 (via his favorite medium, Twitter) about the hazards of attacking Syria, saying that if the United States hits the wrong targets, there could be "worldwide hell to pay."
I think a lot of us are, right now, trying to use our crystal balls and see into the future, particularly those of us who live directly beside the United States. November 8, 2016 was a frightening enough day, as that was the day Donald J. Trump became president-elect. Many of us could see an eventual clawing back of civil rights for all, particularly for women and those who identify as LGBTQ.
I don't think any of us expected something like this so soon.
That said, there had to be some sort of response, and simple sanctions wouldn't cut it. From what I understand - and I don't understand much when it comes to politics - this is not the first time that Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people, though prior to Tuesday's attack, he tended to use chlorine gas, which is less nasty than the sarin he used Tuesday. Reportedly, Assad is trying to get rid of rebels and jihadists in his country, which has led to this civil war that's stretching into six years now.
In short - Mr. Assad isn't a nice man, and he's not treating his people well. I get why, to an extent, the leader of the United States felt they had to step in, but again, this has been going on for years. Chemical warfare is not a new invention that Assad just recently started using on his people; he's done it before. Why does President Trump feel the US needs to step in now?
We learn history to avoid repeating its mistakes - at least, that's basically why I thought we learned it. Now, it's possible that Mr. Trump is bringing the United States and the rest of the world to face another mistake, one that a war-weary United States is going to have to figure out where it's going to get the money and the people.
You can only put your people through so much, Mr. Trump, before they say "screw it" and turn their backs. Will this decision be a turning point for you?