Barack Obama made a vow to the American public: If Syria’s Bashar al Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, America would get involved. He drew, in his own words, a red line.
Following that vow, there was a chemical attack on Syrians by Assad’s regime. Obama’s response? Nothing.
In recent days, Assad’s regime unleashed a horrifying chemical attack on his own citizens. The images have haunted social media in recent days, and President Donald Trump said it was absolutely unacceptable.
Assad crossed Obama’s red line, but Trump was having none of it. Last night, the United State military launched between 50 and 60 missiles at Syrian targets. It was Donald Trump’s first use of the military since he assumed office.
In the coming days, of course, we’ll have discussions over whether or not the strike was the correct action. We’ll have the talks over our relationship with Russia and Syria. We’ll have to listen to the people who say this is only going to create more enemies for America.
However, while all the political discussions are going on, we have to take a moment and offer Donald Trump some praise. He saw a great humanitarian crisis. He saw an atrocity. And, unlike his predecessor, he did not just sit on his hands and wait for the news cycle to move on.
Had Hillary Clinton won, the very first thing she would have done is commission a poll to see what the American people think about the United States getting involved in another conflict in the Arab World. She and her advisers would have paced around the White House, trying to figure out the best PR outcome of any action they take.
Trump, to his credit, said “to hell with it” and made something happen. Assad’s regime got a spanking. The Russians got a warning. America isn’t putting up with this kind of thing.
That is a message the world has needed for quite some time, and it’s a message that should rekindle hope in our allies and fear in our enemies. America is back on the main stage, everyone, and we’ve brought fireworks.
Whether or not you agree that the strikes in Syria should have taken place, it is very hard to argue that the world has grown more unstable since the Obama administration did everything it could to remove the U.S. from as much of the world stage as possible. A strike in Syria shows a reversal of that policy.
Donald Trump made a good decision. But, he will now be judged on every decision he makes on Syria from here on out. One good call does not a victory make. If Trump has kept his word and hired “the best people,” then you’re looking at the world waking up to find that America is back, baby.