Opinion: Trump gets a tragic lesson in Syria

(AP)

So this is how it’s going to go:

Last week, the Trump administration announced a major change in policy toward Syria. Under its theme of “America First,” the United States was no longer interested in pushing the regime of Bashar al-Assad out of power in Syria. That was their fight, not ours, and we would instead concentrate our efforts on battling ISIS.

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put it, the fate of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad “will be decided by the Syrian people,” not by the United States.

That set the stage for tragedy.

No longer afraid of American interference, Assad quickly ramped up his attacks on his own people. Four days after the change in U.S. policy, he dropped nerve gas in rebel-held towns that killed an estimated 90 civilians, including some two dozen children. When victims were rushed to a nearby hospital, Syrian jets bombed the hospital as well.

To anybody who has paid attention over the last six years, that reaction by Assad came as no surprise. Nor did Assad’s brutality. That is who he is, and who he has always been. When peaceful protests began in Syrian cities in March of 2011, Assad’s regime responded by killing hundreds of demonstrators in cold blood, touching off the spiral of violence that has left his country in ruins. He and his inner circle have since committed countless war crimes in their desperate effort to remain in power.

But somehow, that level of brutality did not seem to have registered with President Trump, not until now. “It crossed a lot of lines for me,” he said a few minutes ago, referring to the gas attack. “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal — people were shocked to hear what gas it was — that crosses many many lines.”

“That attack yesterday had a big impact on me. Big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I’ve been watching it, and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that,” he said. “And my attitude toward Syria, and Assad, has changed very much.”

One would assume, based on that statement, that the Trump administration just did a one-eighty on Syria, at least regarding Assad. It has discovered to its shock and dismay that its simplistic understanding of the world can have serious on-the-ground consequences, in this case consequences that include dead children, and it doesn’t much like that discovery. Welcome to the real world.

Another aspect of the Trump policy toward Syria is still unlikely to change, however. One of the president’s top priorities, first as a candidate and now in office, has been to try to block mothers, fathers and children fleeing that madness in Syria from seeking refuge here in the United States. He has treated them not as families seeking sanctuary but as potential terrorists out to attack and undermine us from within, and I suspect that his proudly proclaimed “flexibility” does not extend to altering that mindset.

Reader Comments 0

1282 comments
LeRoi22
LeRoi22

I would say Bookman was an embarrassment to the AJC, except that the AJC itself is so awful, no one can embarrass it.

Lee Griffith
Lee Griffith

Liberals want to be hawkish now? After having control for 8 years and did nothing?

Corey
Corey

Pour weapons and money into a hotbed of religious sectarian feuds that are centuries old. Remove strongmen who used brutality as glue to hold these societies together. What could go wrong?

rimsky
rimsky

Recent figures from the International Energy Agency cited the switch to renewables as one main reason for greenhouse gas emissions staying flat in 2016 even though the global economy grew by 3.1 per cent.

+++

That is good thing.  Now we should push for more renewable and push out fossil fuels.

KUTGF
KUTGF

Of course, the Intelligence Committee chair has been accused of quite a bit lately, so let's be more specific. What exactly will the Ethics Committee examine? A written statement from the panel explained:

"The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Devin Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct. The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), is investigating and gathering more information regarding these allegations.

"The Committee has determined to investigate these allegations in order to fulfill its institutional obligation, under House Rule X, clause 11(g)(4), to investigate certain allegations of unauthorized disclosures of classified information, and to determine if there has been any violation of the Code of Official Conduct under House Rule XXIII, clause 13."
________________

Looks like our RWers have their investigation into those who made (allegedly) unauthorized disclosures.  LOL

What was it one of the buffoons said earlier about the careful what you wish for?

rimsky
rimsky

The world added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016, according to the UN.

But the bill was almost a quarter lower than the previous year, thanks to the plunging cost of renewables.

Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuels, says the report from UN Environment.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39513339

++++

Renewables needed some help from different governments to get them off the ground.  I believe they will survive on their own now.

rimsky
rimsky

Smoking causes one in 10 deaths worldwide, a new study shows, half of them in just four countries - China, India, the US and Russia.

Despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth has seen an increased number of smokers, it warned.

Researchers said mortality could rise further as tobacco companies aggressively targeted new markets, especially in the developing world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39510728

++++

I wonder what the death rate is compared to marijuana.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@rimsky 

I had an opportunity to taste the cheaper Pappy Van Winkle.

It is all that and a bag of chips.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Donnie_Pinko

The support of people like Hillary Clinton is what really made the Iraq catastrophe possible.

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

@Donnie_Pinko @justaniceguy @Kamchak

Boy is the Clinton butthurt strong with you, DP. Con-strong.

If you're not going to forget Clinton, then you should also not forget any of the other Senators who voted in favor of the war.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Donnie_Pinko

(shrug)

Not especially.

You are just making sh it up in an effort to get that much desired attention you crave.

Just like a troll.

BTW, I never once believed you were better than that. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@justaniceguy

Yep.

The only ones with power to stop the invasion were conservative voters, but Bush had a 90% approval rating at the time and no way were they going to question his leadership. 

rimsky
rimsky

Change of pace Topic:

In an old carpet factory on the outskirts of the Belgian city of Kortrijk, an agricultural upheaval is being plotted: growing crops indoors, not out on a farm, stacked layer after layer under candy-coloured lights in an area the size of a studio flat.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170405-how-vertical-farming-reinvents-agriculture

+++++

There are plenty of empty warehouse in our region.  More and more Malls will shutter their doors in the future.  This new technology of farming will rejuvenate neighborhoods and the jobs created will be local.

BTW we have similar type of farming in America.

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@rimsky @OldJacketFan


My wife has been involved with the homeless for several years. Sick and tired of them being ignored and harassed non stop. Since they're invisible to 99% of the populace they have few voices speaking for them. 

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@rimsky

Not only that but why not transform some of them into housing for our homeless population? Instead of them having to try and live under bridges and the like? 

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@rimsky @OldJacketFan


Yep, except when the mayor or police chief needs to show "how tough on crime" they are. Then the tent cities are bulldozed and the homeless rousted out/arrested. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

A meeting Wednesday evening between top White House staffers and House Republicans derailed into heated back-and-forth after aides to Donald Trump hinted that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s leadership may be in jeopardy if he’s unable to pass an Obamacare replacement bill, Politico reports
__________________

And Boehner laughs and laughs and laughs...

TBS
TBS

No guarantees in the Senate and if they cater too much to the FC it could result in no votes elsewhere.

They have preached this for years. They have marketed and ran on it. They are now in charge and own it.

And as of today, they are failing miserably.

KUTGF
KUTGF

I bet Trump told them "I won"!  LOL

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TBS And Trump does not have any political savvy to be able to build a coalition among his own party.

TBS
TBS

Well so far those great negotiating skills the blog was told about are MIA.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Actually it is debatable.

ISIS not withstanding.

-

Wow. Liberals justifying the Iraq war for regime change that turned the country into a slaughterhouse, which it remains to this day.

You continue to amaze me.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko Not justifying the Iraq War


Just pointing out that without Saddam the conditions there can improve.


Slaughterhouse now? You think that wasn't the case under Saddam's rule ? The people in some of those mass graves might prefer to take their chances now.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar @Donnie_Pinko 

Slaughterhouse now? You think that wasn't the case under Saddam's rule ?

-

I would say that compared to the hell on earth that it is now, life under Saddam Hussein was far preferable.

kitty72
kitty72

@Donnie_Pinko @Hedley_Lammar  I tend to agree with you, DP, on this one at least in the short run. One of the reasons I was against the war. War is just hell...a bigger hell than the poor Iraqis were living before. Less of two hells, I guess.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

The last Syrian election Assad got 89% of the vote. Ridiculous.


There have been studies done which show the higher that % gets the bigger the autocrat and dictator in power. 


89% may not be much to the likes of Kim Jong Un. But its up there.


Nobody with any brains in their head would recognize this as legitimate. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Kamchak But Bush sure does seem a whole lot better than Trump in hindsight.  ;)

Fl0ydLiberal
Fl0ydLiberal

The bottom of the barrel keeps getting lower.

kitty72
kitty72

@Fl0ydLiberal  Ain't that the truth. I hate to think of the GOP candidate next time around.

rimsky
rimsky

(Reuters) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday it was a scandal that the United Nations Security Council did not pass a resolution condemning a suspected chemical attack in Syria this week which killed at least 70 people.

“It was a barbaric attack that must be cleared up. The use of chemical weapons is a war crime,” Merkel told a news conference in eastern Germany, adding there were some indications it was carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/merkel-says-lack-u-n-resolution-syria-attack-scandal/

+++

Unfortunately Chancellor you are going against Putin and his protege Trump.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Infraredguy Extra, extra read all about it.


Senate Republicans Are Blocking Obama's Judges at a Nearly Unprecedented Rate

The Senate is on pace to approve the fewest judges in more than half a century.

I am sure you were not as opposed to Republican actions during that time as you are now with the Dems blocking  Gorsuch.

rimsky
rimsky

No wonder they didn't really hold Hillary Clinton's Iraq war support against her.

+++

Why don't your buddies call you on your glaring (or willfull) mistakes.

What Hillary voted for authorization and the actual war.  There is a big difference.  The authorization was to look for political solution first and foremost and war as the last resort.  You swallowed the RW talking points.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@rimsky 

The support of people like Hillary Clinton is what really made the Iraq catastrophe possible. 

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

LOL! microwave boy got called on his lies about there being ONE D is the 6th general election and now he's doubling down on his stoopdity when asked for prove his assertion! 

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@TBS


That would be a little t, now he wants to know how much support from the DNC and PACs the 4 are getting. Glad them goalposts are so moveable. 

TBS
TBS

Are you surprised?

Dude is still trying to come up with his first funny joke of his life.

He is a joke but I mean coming up with and delivering a joke. He is somewhere around 0 for a million at this point.

But let's give him a T for trolling and trying.

TBS
TBS

At this rate he is past goalpost moving and working on moving the stadium.

Desperation mode - which is basically what he is in on a daily basis.