April 9th, 2017
Response to a question on Quora “Where are Donald Trump’s approval ratings going to go after the missile strike on Syria?”
Days before the horrific chemical “Sarin” weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said removing Assad was not a priority and Mr. Assad’s fate would be “decided by the Syrian people.” It was clear given recent remarks that actively seeking regime change was no longer a priority, also given the disastrous results in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
This all changed with the chemical weapon attack on Klan Sheikhoun, however this didn’t move Trump to accept refugees into the US; in fact despite the crocodile tears and nice words about morality Donald Trump is no humanitarian, he is a draft dodger, unpredictable and is spreading misleading rhetoric.
The reality is the Trump administration needed desperately a distraction and Assad gave him one and the networks are complicit again. The same Media is wearing self-imposed shackles limiting its own freedom.
There is not easy solution for Syria and the US attack was not based on a real strategy, it was a symbolic action not meant to cause real damage. Donald Trump has no strategic vision for Foreign policies, it’s based on opportunism. It’s an urgent “feeling good” action without much thought, with great inconsistencies, with no follow-up plan, exit strategy and no allies.
The fact remains that the only place for Assad is in front of the ICC “International Criminal Court” in The Hague to be prosecuted for “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”
The attack by the US is an “act of war” and not surprisingly the UN was circumvented, just like Congress was. But the atrocities in Syria cannot justify departure from Constitution, which vests in Congress power to commence war. This act requires a vote of Congress, contrary to what Trump claims since Syria is not an imminent threat against the national security interests of the US that demanded immediate attention.
To some it’s obvious the airstrikes are empty gestures of a weak and unpopular President with the purpose to make him look decisive and strong. The President having anti-refugees policies uses war to increase his popularity, which is disgraceful. This has all the hallmarks of a Trump PR campaign which will improve his approval ratings, given the complicity of the networks in normalizing Trump again.
“War” is the prefered strategy Authoritarians often use to divert attention from the real issues. It’s also called “rally around the flag syndrome”.