Oops they’ve done it again. Syria has launched a chemical weapons attack against its own people, with of course the main casualties being, “the children.” In fact those dead babies may have totally overturned US foreign policy. As the Guardian reports:
“I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me – big impact,” Trump told reporters in the rose garden. “My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much … You’re now talking about a whole different level.”
This was the first alleged attack by the regime using sarin since 2013, when the nerve agent was dumped on an opposition-controlled area of Damascus. More than 1,000 people perished. This latest attack – after a deal brokered by Russia, in which Assad agreed to give up his chemical weapons stockpile – “crossed a lot of lines for me”, Trump said.
He went on: “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, 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, beyond a red line, many, many lines.”
So a defining characteristic of Donald Trump’s foreign policy, to stay out of the Syrian Civil War, is now seemingly overturned by dead babies. Now, I’m anti dead babies myself, particularly babies dead due to a sarin gas attack, but these are not the first dead babies in the Syrian Civil War, and I’m a bit of a skeptic that we should allow dead babies to control US foreign policy.
So considering Trump’s past positions on Syria…
…I admit I’m disappointed that a pretty firm twitter and campaign position has been overturned by “…innocent babies, babies, little babies…” There were dead babies in 2013 too. In fact all civil wars, civil strife, famine, plague, and every other malady that smacks mankind upside the head has plenty of dead babies in them. But it’s not the first time dead babies have altered policy. Remember this little tyke?
Of course, the real story was a lot less desperate fleeing-from-civil-war and a lot more dad-wants-free-dental-care.
So although Trump disappointed me by launching a cruise missile attack because of dead babies (and made himself look easily manipulated), there is an upside for him. Politically, this attack against Syria appears popular. When McCain/Graham, the neocon establishment, and the Democrats, are all praising the President, for many the first time ever, that will probably help polling for the next few days. And who knows, maybe this action will actually give Trump some leverage with China in dealing with the North Korea situation. In my opinion, what happens in North Korea is far more important than anything that’s happening in Syria.
Meanwhile, there were more dead babies piling up like cordwood all over the world, but we don’t care about them, only the dead babies that feature a frantic western newsman or are nicely photographed for Western media consumption.
No matter our new Dead Babies Foreign Policy, Syria remains intractable. As I wrote almost two years ago, the only reasonable solution for Syria is partition, which is an impossibility as long as the Russians are standing beside their ally Bashir Al-Assad.
Hopefully this is a one off attack and US foreign policy, and Trump’s attention, doesn’t get strangled by trying to figure out how to do the impossible and wipe every tear from every Syrian eye.