Like it or not it has happened. Now we can figure out if it was the right play.
The Strike on the Syrian air base has generated a LOT of discussions — and it doesn’t break nearly as neatly as just ‘right’ versus ‘left’.
For example, there are people on both sides who line up with the ‘we had to take swift action’ angle of this story.
This is not Assad’s first time playing with chemical weapons.
Praising his decisive action are such diverse voices as Allen West, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John McCain — and even Democrats like Ben Cardin, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren.
(There’s a fairly long list of who said what in this article.)
Here’s West’s take on it. (Read the rest here.)
The United States has responded to the crossing of a red line, the use of chemical weapons in Syria. There will be no more empty rhetoric but rather action. This strike went about attacking Assad’s chemical weapons delivery systems, aerial systems. This was a targeted strike operation that seeks to ensure such a heinous attack does not happen again. This is a critical action and clearly sends a message to Russia and Iran, both major supporters of Assad. We, and the world cannot sit back and watch chemical weapon attacks against innocent civilians, especially children. And this isn’t about engaging in any sort of ground combat assault, but seeking to degrade the capability and capacity of Assad to launch such attacks.
What we must find impressive is the immediate action, unlike the previous administration that focused on obfuscation, denial, and dismissal. As well, this attack comes after President Trump’s meeting with several key leaders in the Middle East from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. My assessment is that if anyone is to take ground action, then let it be those nations, but we can assist by attacking specified centers of gravity.
Former rival Marc Rubio weighed in:
Rubio hailed both the nature of the cruise missile strike the president ordered, and the swift action that brought it following what the government says was Bashar al Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people.
‘The decisiveness is important,’ Rubio told ‘Fox and Friends. ‘What he did last night was critical.’ — DailyMail
Many others more or less echoed his sentiments. Even Schumer and Pelosi.
“Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do,” Schumer said in a statement released late Thursday. “I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today.”
“Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the the regime’s use of chemical weapons,” Pelosi said in a statement. — WashingtonExaminer
Some did so more cautiously… agreeing that this stand-alone strike was a necessary answer to Assad’s atrocity and that we could not, in good conscience, stand idly by after a Sarin gas attack. That was tempered, however, by the instinct not to get drawn into a messy conflict in which Russia and the US back opposite sides.
Voices like Rand Paul used Twitter to refocus the conversation onto whether such an attack was conducted properly.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday night that President Trump needs congressional authorization for military action in Syria after Trump ordered an airstrike in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack earlier this week.
“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” Paul said in a statement shortly after reports that the U.S. had launched more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles against an airfield in Syria.
“The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate,” Paul said. “Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different.” —The Hill
Lurking in the background of this conversation is the fact that this is NOT a war between ‘good guys and bad guys’. It’s between bad guys and worse guys. It’s a little like WWII when we worked with Soviets to defeat Nazis.
Assad — as bad as he is — is fighting against rebels. True enough. But those rebels and ISIS are often working together.
Has hitting Assad inadvertently strengthened THEIR hand?
It’s a REALLY complicated issue. You may have some thoughts on it.
Was swift action needed?
Did we make a mistake by not involving Congress?
Should we have sat this one out?
Would Isolationism have further strengthened Russia’s influence in the region?
Is there another important angle we didn’t raise here?