First, the facts. Here’s what we know, according to Fox News:
The United States launched nearly five dozen cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield early Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians, the first direct assault on the Damascus government since the beginning of that country’s bloody civil war in 2011.
“It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”
Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles targeted an airbase at Shayrat, located outside Homs. The missiles targeted the base’s airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, officials said.
The U.S. missiles hit at 8:45 p.m. Eastern time, 3:45 a.m. Friday morning in Syria. Syrian state TV reported a U.S. missile attack on a number of military targets and called the attack an “aggression.”
U.S. military officials said they informed their Russian counterparts of the impending attack in an effort to avoid any accident involving Russian forces. Nevertheless, Russia’s Deputy U.N. ambassador Vladimir Safronkov warned that any negative consequences from the strikes would be on the “shoulders of those who initiated such a doubtful and tragic enterprise.”
Late Thursday, a U.S. government official told Fox News that the intelligence community has high confidence that the attack was carried out by Syrian government aircraft. The official said the analysis was consistent with eyewitness reports that fixed-wing aircraft launched the strike.
The official described the use of sarin gas in the attack as a watershed. The Assad government had agreed to disband its chemical weapons capability by 2014 under an agreement coordinated with the Obama administration and Russia. Tuesday’s attack was considered a breach of that agreement.
Let’s break this down, because the opinions about this act by President Trump vary as widely as there are colors in the spectrum. But the analysis I’ve seen so far is poor, mostly because there isn’t enough evidence for the conclusions everyone is reaching. People are saying Trump is about to invade the Middle East (did McCain just pitch a tent?). They say that Trump is wasting time on foreign policy when he could be focusing on “Teh Wall.” I’ve even seen several people argue that this is Ivanka’s fault, because she’s a liberal or something.
We’re going to deal with these arguments.
- We don’t know all the facts yet. One thing that never changes with breaking news is that one should never, I repeat NEVER, jump to conclusions. We just don’t know all the facts. Take Benghazi as the epitomic example of this. First thing that happened is a cacophony of fake news, mostly pushed by the Obama administration and loyally perpetuated by his State-run media machine, sought to foist a false conclusion on the American people that an anti-Mohammed propaganda video was somehow responsible for this “spontaneous” attack. We all know what happened next. So let’s dispense with the knee-jerk responses, shall we? Down to business.
- There is no evidence whatsoever that Trump is planning on invading Syria. Trump made it very clear that he doesn’t like chemical weapons, but he has said nothing at all about putting boots on the ground. Until he does, we should not make any assumptions. Sebastian Gorka makes the case for this here.
- It is very possible, even probable, that Trump really means what he says. He has demonstrated this throughout his year-and-a-half campaign and even into his presidency. Trump hates chemical weapons. He is serving notice to the world that he won’t tolerate their use.
- There is zero evidence that Ivanka is influencing Trump to do this. Well, other than Fake News pushed by left wing British internet media outlets. First, Ivanka is his daughter, yes, but she is not his boss. I have seen zero evidence that Ivanka is behind this. Look at the featured picture above. Do you see her in it? No. Is Ivanka a liberal? Maybe. But all I’ve seen so far is that she leans a little toward being a bleeding heart. “Still,” you say, “Trump clearly values Ivanka because he put her in charge of his company.” Fair enough, but he also did NOT put her in charge back in 2012 when he was thinking of running for President, because, as he stated, his children were not ready to take over the reins. Furthermore, if Ivanka is so influential and she’s such a lefty, why did Trump nominate Gorsuch, a justice reviled and vilified by the left as being a slavery-loving, misogynist, Constitution-loving originalist? Oh, I can hear it now, though: “Gorsuch is a closet lib like John Roberts!” (And now I roll my eyes at the conspiracy theorists) Again, where’s your evidence? Hey, I just thought of something. Remember when Bush invaded Iraq? Remember what the left said? “He’s got a h*rd-on for Saddam Hussein because his daddy GHWB hates Saddam!” And predictably, “Irrational!” cried the conservatives. But now Ivanka is running Trump? You know what this sounds like? It sounds just like the extreme fringe left during the campaign, accusing Trump of wanting to sleep with his daughter. You guys really want to stake out that position? Let’s take this Ivanka nonsense and file it along with the Bush/Saddam conspiracy nonsense.
- “Our intel agencies are lying!” Okay, where’s your evidence of this? Just making this claim isn’t enough; you must substantiate it. If you want to pursue conspiracy theories, you will end up on the fringes eventually. And even Alex Jones isn’t pushing this canard. If you really want to believe that this is a false flag operation, then you have a bigger problem: You will never know who to trust. Furthermore, you are trusting internet sources for the information you are getting making this claim. How do you know this is legitimate? Finally, this isn’t how Trump operates. He’s very straightforward about what he does. Again, if we see boots on the ground, we can revisit this discussion. Until then, it’s HIGHLY unlikely.
- Why would Trump launch this attack? Lacking all the classified information that Trump has access to, and lacking the perspective of being in the meetings that Trump has been in, all we can do is make assumptions and educated guesses. The best way to determine someone’s motivation is to discern what they have to gain from a particular action. So let’s do that vis-a-vis Trump. What would Trump have to gain from bombing a Syrian airfield?
- First, he sends a message to tin pot dictators like Assad and even Kim Jong-Un that he has the political will to use force to keep his word. “The God Emperor Trump hath decreed to the world that there shalt be no more deployments of chemical weapons. Go and sin no more. Selah.”
8. Trump had Xi Jinping at the White House during the attack. Nothing says “Hey Zhee, or Shee, or Gigi, whatever the hell your name is, look at how well I multitask, beyotch” better than telling the boss of the Chicoms that he’s bombing Syria while they’re sipping green tea and Diet Coke.
9. Trump is checking Russia. Everybody knows that in the last eight years Russia has been on the advance in the Middle East, and this largely due to Obama’s feckless cowardice. Trump is re-asserting his political will in that region, and in doing so is strengthening OUR brand, America’s dominance. Make America Great Again! And hey, doesn’t this really poke holes in the whole “Putin installed Trump as his puppet lolz” argument pushed daily by the left and the media? By the way, has Russia retaliated? Nope. They’re just whining. Congrats, Trump, you’ve learned how to handle bullies: Punch them in the mouth.
10. This missile attack has been praised by none other than John McCain and his Wing of Neocons. Perhaps the broken clock principle applies here. For those seeing a monster under every rock, if McCain praises something, it’s probably wrong. To that conspiracy theory, I say, every dog has his day, and McCain will likely be disappointed when we don’t invade Syria and give Juannie Mack his glorious war. But for now, Trump has gained political points with Congress, and he can use that to get his domestic agenda passed.
11. Of all the issues a President must address, Foreign Policy is by far the most tricky and dangerous. As an example, economics is governed by well-established principles and even some laws. It’s fairly simple to propagate sound financial policy in a free society. Foreign policy is a different animal. You have to factor in geopolitical forces involving literally hundreds of countries. One of the simplest ways to deal with dictators is through the use of force. For most of them, it’s the only language they understand. Trump is communicating to the world in the most effective language possible. So relax. Let’s wait and see what happens. Sparta Report’s official position on the missile attack is: Wait and See, but likely favorable.
Finally, let’s not forget the Syrian people who were victimized not once, but twice by Assad’s chemical weapons and Obama’s inaction. H/T Meezle:
Kassem Eid, who survived a 2013 chemical gas attack in Syria, expresses his gratitude to President Trump for his missile strike of a Syrian airbase.
Parting words for my dear, beloved Spartans out there: We are now living in the era of Trump Foreign Policy. We don’t know what that will be, but you know what? Neither does the rest of the world, and that’s a good thing. One thing you can count on: It will be far better than Obama’s or Hillary’s.