Yesterday, U.S. President Donald J. Trump ordered a Tomahawk missile attack on an airbase in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians, allegedly perpetrated by forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
This controversial action has caused many former Trump supporters to jump off “The Trump Train,” given that the President promised to not meddle in the Middle East and to put America first.
The President’s decision is also controversial in that
- some suspect that the chemical weapons attack was a “false flag,” perpetrated, not by Assad’s forces, but by Assad opponents, who fervently want the U.S. and the “global community” to help overthrow Syria’s president (Scott Adams, e.g.);
- the type of gas allegedly used in the attack has been identified variously as chlorine, cyanide, sarin, or some other organophosphate–serious questions remain unanswered;
- both sides in the Syrian conflict possess and have used chemical weapons in their civil war;
- “eyewitness accounts” as well as photographs and videos purported to document the chemical weapons attack were mostly supplied by anti-Assad militants, Muslim jihadists, and activists, who all stand to gain the most if the world turns against their secular enemy Assad;
- Russia, an ally of Syria’s president, has stated that the chemicals were stored by anti-Assad militants and that an attack by Assad’s forces upon his opposition caused these chemicals to be released;
- the U.S. intelligence community, often at odds with President Trump from the time of his inauguration and even before, wants Assad removed from power–these same people summarized and supplied the intelligence upon which President Trump acted, after Trump just this past week indicated that he had little interest in attacking or removing Assad;
- there hasn’t been enough time (<5 days) since the chemical weapons attack in which to determine whom to blame for the attack;
- President Trump says that he acted, in part, because innocent children and babies were killed by the chemical attack, and yet the Tomahawk missile attack is itself alleged to have killed 4 children and other civilians;
- President Assad entered into an agreement with former U.S. president Barack Hussein Obama in 2013, under which “international monitors” were tasked with ensuring that Syria no longer had chemical weapons (John Kerry was 100% sure all were gone by mid-2014), leading to more questions about who, then, is responsible for the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria;
- it’s alleged by some that 250 Syrian civilians went missing about a week before the chemical weapons attack, leading some to wonder whether the missing were hostages of anti-Assad militants (“White Helmets,” said to be associated with ISIS/ISIL) who later became the victims of chemical poisoning as part of a “false flag” gambit;
- it’s also alleged that anti-Assad militants talked about a chemical weapons attack on social media before it happened; and
- Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain as well as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton applaud Trump’s action, a fact that, for some, suggests that his move must have been a mistake.
In his address to the nation, President Trump stated that this attack on the Syrian airbase served the “vital national security interest” of the USA.
That, however, remains to be seen.