Once again the political divide in America — no, the political divide in Washington, D.C. — is front and center for all to see: the war of words regarding the Syrian air strikes. The fact that the opinions of the governing representatives in D.C. do not really represent those of Americans are daily thrust into the media forefront on every American issue from where the U.S. government should buy toilet paper to how many recess days Congress should have. Everything is politicized. In almost every instance, necessity is lost in the world of political expediency. And the measuring stick used to determine actions in every case is one of political correctness rather than necessity. This lunacy is illustrated no where else more literally than regarding the air strikes in Syria. Let’s look at how many of our elected officials view President Trump’s actions:
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham: “Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action. For that, he deserves the support of the American people,” McCain and Graham said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is also one of the more hawkish Republicans in Congress, similarly praised the strikes. “President Trump has made it clear to Assad and those who empower him that the days of committing war crimes with impunity are over,” he said. He also called for a “comprehensive strategy” going forward.
Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement calling the strikes “appropriate and just.”
And unsurprisingly, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has long vocally criticized his party’s interventionist wing, spoke out against this strike, saying it will do “nothing to make us safer.”
Meanwhile, some Democratic members of Congress with military experience, like Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a former Marine Corps officer, and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a colonel in the Air Force reserves, minced no words in their criticism of Trump’s action:
@POTUS cares enough about the Syrian people to launch 50 Tomahawks but not enough to let the victims of Assad find refuge & freedom here.”
Lieu: “If true, this is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Congress never authorized @POTUS to engage in war on #Assad in #Syria.”
Senator and Hillary Clinton VP running mate Tim Kaine says Trump’s “failure to seek Congressional approval is unlawful.” Kaine further started that the warning given to the Russians prior to the attack further proves there really IS a Trump — Putin “Bro-mance” of sorts.
Senator Bill Nelson, (D-Fl) said “I support the Administration’s strike on the airbase that launched the chemical attack. I hope this teaches President Assad not to use chemical weapons again.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-Ca) said, “Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the the regime’s use of chemical weapons.”
“It is incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it. I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today,” Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) added.
The above are just a few of the opinions expressed by lawmakers about the Syrian missile strikes. And they are all over the spectrum of possible opinions. And they all are starkly political — the fuel that unfortunately drives the decisions our government makes on daily basis. Too often the actual circumstances in particular situations are not even considered when decisions are made. What do I mean?
Why did President Trump order the tomahawk missile strike against that particular Syrian airfield reportedly where the gassing air strikes against civilians originated, and why did former POTUS Obama NOT take action against Syrian President Assad after his first use of chemicals — you know: the “red line” that Obama drew? Here’s why: Obama’s reasoning for all decisions from his White House was always determined by political expediency. Nothing else mattered. He felt that any actions he might have taken when Assad first gassed his people would have done nothing to assist his political standing in the world. So he did nothing regarding the crossing by Assad of his red line. Compare that decision to that of Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump — the businessman — viewed the landscape of circumstances and made a decisive move because of the circumstances, not for political purposes. The circumstances: 500,000 Syrians slaughtered by their government; 4 million reported Syrian refugees scattered around the Globe escaping Assad’s genocide; and the last straw — the chemical weapon attack early this week that played out on international television as all watched Syrian parents carrying their dead babies, and small children and adults alike fighting for their lives from the attack against them by Assad using sarin gas. Trump made a factual decision and attacked the source of the distribution of the sarin gas.
In the analysis in the aftermath of the strike, Americans actually really DO care about how this looks on the world stage. But far more important to them is that this probably will stop Assad’s illegal and incorrigible attacks against his own citizens. Sure this sent a message to Assad, other Middle Eastern leaders and leaders around the World. But that is secondary to stopping the genocide.
Will it take a nuclear holocaust to awaken Washington D.C. to the necessity of making decisions based on actual circumstances instead of the rhetoric of politics they bathe in every day? Wouldn’t it make more sense to rather than stand on opposite sides of the room and shout at each other, do some work and investigate, and listen to real humans who live and work to claw out a life for themselves and those they love. I’ll end this by asking you to watch and listen not to a politician, but a Syrian refugee who comments on CNN in a “reachout” to President Trump: