Last week, the United States issued a tomahawk strike on Syria, on the order of Donald Trump. These strikes were in response to the Syrian government chemically attacking its own people. Even under President Obama it was understood that President Bashir al-Assad, should be removed from power, as he is a danger to his own people. However, United States involvement in Syria is a delicate geo-political game, because Assad is being supported by the Russian government.
Putting aside the recent and undoubtedly troubling controversy about Donald Trump and his cabinet’s involvement with Russia and Russian officials, the United States refused the Syrian refugees fleeing Assad, on the grounds of potential threats to national security. That means that the people Donald Trump is claiming to protect are the same ones that he refused to give sanctuary to.
With consideration to Donald Trump’s involvement with Russia and Vladimir Putin, this strike on Syria is conveniently timed. As his administrators are investigated for their involvement with the Russian government, he ordered a strike on the site of the chemical attacks. Some journalists and citizens (myself included) believe this is an attempt to distract the public and the media from questions about his administrations loyalties. Especially because of Trump’s own accusations against President Obama for this very tactic
As of his fourth month in office, two of his cabinet members have had to resign because of their ties to Russia. The president’s own monetary ties are documented, his political connection is highly suspect–especially after he asked Russian hackers to interfere with the election, and his personal ties to Vladimir Putin are often speculated about. This is important, because with all of these connections to Russia, one wonders if there is a hidden agenda behind the attacks.
But it is even more important because it is indicative of the president’s attitude toward foreign relations. It is already well-known that Donald Trump is not well-spoken, well-versed in affairs of government and diplomacy, or well-received by either the American public or by foreign nations. Rather than a strategic, inclusive approach to delicate geopolitical problems, his solution is to seal America’s borders to those who need help, and bomb the country, with both the threat and the refugees contained.
A lot of the concerning issues we see in the media are connected to this precedent of violence that is being set. For instance, the proposed budget that would cut nearly every government program from PBS to the National Parks Service to Meals on Wheels to increase military spending is greatly disquieting.
The American people would be deprived of things like NPR, and of arts and culture and different perspective, all the things that help make our country great, so that we could afford to go to war against anyone who opposed Donald Trump. His attempts to lessen media coverage of White House affairs and presidential policies are frightening, because we would be left with only one-sided far-right coverage and his own, incoherent tweets for information.
These are difficult times for informed Americans, but they are even more difficult for the refugees of Syria, who’s people just want to survive this proxy war.