Missile strike not best way of dealing with Syria

The BDA photo shows the damage caused by the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles that impacted the Shayrat Airfield.

This past election cycle there was multitudes of hypocrisy on both sides of the political spectrum, which is to be expected, but when it comes straight from the leader of the free world himself, it’s simply unacceptable. Donald Trump has been against entering conflict with Syria since 2013, and that’s been cited on his Twitter since the attack on last Thursday evening.

Trump has an odd obsession and relationship with the Russian government, but even that might not save him from the retaliation Russia could perform if they are upset with our attack on Assad’s regime. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claims that communications based in Moscow discussed the attack beforehand. Whether or not this is the truth seems to remain in question, as does whether or not there were any Russian government employees in Moscow at the time who were open to communication about the strike.

While President Obama wanted to strike against Syria in 2013, he at least went to congress first and made it a priority to have their approval before he took any action. When the public polls of the American people showed a lack of support, and Congress didn’t support the idea, Obama withdrew his idea and did not act on it.

Trump, however, skipped the vital (though optional) step to ask for their approval or consideration. Because he didn’t check with Congress, he made an irrational and hasty decision to release the Tomahawks on the Syrian people.

Trump did not run a campaign that was based on foreign intervention. He even claimed that he wanted to work with Russia and Assad to fight against terrorism, saying that the real problem was the Islamic State rather than Assad, but immediately after seeing the aftermath of the chemical attack on the Syrian people, Trump  felt the need to throw out his long-standing foreign policy and scare the American people by changing his views at the drop of a hat — or Tomahawk.

But what’s with the sudden change? For years Assad has been killing his own people with chemical attacks, bullets and bombs without the U.S. caring. So what’s with Trump’s sudden “change of heart” and apoplectic response? As an American citizen, this is horrifying to me — that we could now be involved in a war that we should never have put our foot in. There’s something to be said for Trump’s recent pragmatism, but I highly doubt it’s headed in a good and secure path for the United States.

Another troubling factor in the Tomahawk strike was the cost, $50 million in missiles alone,  without paying the pilots and creators of the missiles included, so we can afford to get over-involved in conflicts we don’t belong in, but we can’t afford to fund Meals on Wheels? Or the National Endowment for the Arts? Right, tell me how this benefits America. We cannot afford to give our children a well rounded education filled with creative opportunities, or help out the poor with Meals on Wheels, but we can afford to drop missiles on a conflicted country we have no business with? Right.

While I’m sure a man who would attack his own people wouldn’t listen to reasoning, did Trump even attempt to speak to Assad about his actions? I’m well aware that sitting down and talking diplomatically doesn’t always work, but it’s important to at least try and solve conflict with words and reason before we jump into weapons and war. Do we want to be known as the country who jumped the gun or the country who tried to solve things peacefully before pulling the trigger?

While Trump is legally protected and entitled to make the final decisions given to him in Article II of the Constitution, “commander in chief’s inherent powers,” it doesn’t make his decision a good one. There’s only one thing that’s certain: Trump is very reflective of the people who elected him. More now than ever he remains #NotMyPresident.

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