Apr 072017
 
U.S. Strikes Syria

The photo depicts the 04/07/17 deployment of a Tomahawk missile from the USS Ross on the Shayrat air base in Syria. Photo property of US Navy

 

America stood up for Muslims barred from entering the United States by President Trump’s suspended travel ban!

 

Less than 48 hours after the city of Sheikhun, in Syria’s Idlib province was bombarded with a lethal nerve gas which killed more than 80 including at least 30 children (presumably by the Assad regime), United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles from US Navy destroyers (USS Ross and USS Porter) in the Mediterranean Sea with the goal of destroying / damaging Syrian government’s ability to deliver more chemical weapons.

The US attack on Syria’s Shayrat airbase was surprising, especially given President Trump’s laconic initial reaction to the massacre in Sheikhun and his vehement opposition to US military action following a similar use of chemical weapons on Syrians by their own government just a few years ago. (It is unclear whether this was a one-time retaliatory action or a beginning of a larger U.S. military campaign.)

The unexpected military action was announced by Pentagon in advance to the Russians to warn their military forces stationed in the area and prevent accidental losses of their personnel or equipment. (It is suspected that the warning which was intended to prevent conflict between the U.S. and Russia may have backfired. According to some reports, our well-intentioned warning may have been shared by the Russians – who support Assad’s government in Syria – with the Syrian regime: several aircrafts have been seen leaving the Shayrat airbase in a hurry just before the U.S. missile strike.)

In a statement, President Trump – apparently moved by images of Syrian children, men and women dying from exposure to nerve gas – said: “No child of god should ever suffer such horror.”

President Trump isn’t easy to understand. He tried repeatedly to ban travel from Syria to the United States. He doesn’t welcome Syrian refugees. His feelings about Islam and its followers are well-known. His sudden urge to retaliate for the massacre in Sheikhun is confusing. It seems to indicate compassion. The statement “No child of god should ever suffer such horror.” suggests that the President may realize that Muslim people in Syria are God’s children even though he’s done more than any other U.S. President to keep them outside of our borders. The sudden act of U.S. retaliation against Assad puts America in a politically difficult position (the missile strike may lead to a conflict between the U.S. and Russia!) in defense of people for whom we – officially! – have no compassion….

Meanwhile, Russian media portrayed the American missile strikes in a negative light, stating that they jeopardize the fight against terrorism in Syria and can be interpreted as an act of United States’ aggression against a sovereign nation. Russia considers calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Bolivia supports it. Iran also condemned American missile strike. American allies: Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UK, Italy and Australia praise President Trump military action.

While President Trump believes that he acted in our “vital national security interest”(?), many Americans disagree. A spontaneous, one-time missile strike did little to diminish – leave alone eradicate – Syria’s capability to manufacture or deliver chemical weapons. Meeting such a goal would require a much larger military commitment and put America at risk of conflict with Russia. As it is, the single strike is nothing more than an act of interference, an inflammatory show of power by a President who referred to himself – during his presidential campaign – “Not a President of the world”. (Let’s be honest, with President Trump’s policy on immigration and his temporarily suspended travel ban, we have no moral authority to interfere or intervene in Syria.)

Neither the United States nor Syria needs a war. There are over 13 million of Syrians in desperate need and nearly a million facing life-threatening circumstances, the Syrians need HUMANITARIAN help which the U.S. under the current administration denies them.

I may not know the cost of a single Tomahawk missile (leave alone 59 of them!) but I can easily imagine that bringing survivors of the chemical weapons attack in Sheikhun to the United States, providing them with medical care, recovery assistance and – yes! – granting them political asylum would be better, wiser and cheaper, not to mention more humane – and American! – than launching missiles. Better, it would help improve America’s image in the world more effectively and lastingly than a one-time military action which can be seen as a political provocation.

Bottom line? The missile strike didn’t relieve human suffering, it won’t prevent future chemical weapon attacks on Syrians, either. If we don’t care to help the suffering, or reach a political solution, why did we waste American taxpayers money on the military action?…. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Syria won’t become another Iraq where we didn’t solve either American or Iraqi problems but sacrificed many American lives and lost money badly needed at home.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Apr 052017
 

War Crime In Syria

Yesterday, on Tuesday 04/04/17, poisonous nerve gas was dropped by warplanes on the city of Khan Sheikhun, in Syria’s Idlib province. (The city happens to be one of the last rebel bastions in Syria.)

The chemical gas – suspected to be sarin – caused the death of at least 60 (11 of the dead are small children!) and severe injuries in at least a 100 of people. The suffering inflicted by this type of nerve gas is inhumane: the unfortunates who have been exposed experience pain and other sensations that are hard to imagine. The symptoms range from foaming at the mouth, bleeding from the nose and mouth, convulsions, seizures, paralysis and eventually respiratory failure. (This is not the complete list!)

Local hospital struggling to save the injured was also hit by the toxic gas. Efforts to save the survivors are on-going in Syria; according to reports some of the injured have been taken to Turkey for treatment.

No one, anywhere in the world and for no reason whatsoever should ever experience such level of suffering. That’s why the use of chemical and biological weapons is outlawed worldwide since shortly after World War I. The world community confirmed and strengthened the ban to prohibit not only the use of such weapons, but their development, production, storage and even ownership of materials necessary for production of chemical and biological weapons again and again (in 1972 and 1993). The worldwide, total ban on chemical and biological weapons is part of an arms control treaty called CWC: the Chemical Weapons Convention. Plain and simple: the use of chemical and biological weapons is a WAR CRIME.

The international community – especially in Europe! – reacted to the tragedy in Khan Sheikhun, Syria with outrage and condemnation of the use of chemical weapons. It called for an in-depth investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators as war criminals.

Syria denied its involvement in the barbaric attack. So did Russia, the supporter of the Bashar al-Assad regime. (Syria has a history of using chemical weapons on its people. Sarin gas was dropped on Ghouta, toxic chlorine gas was deployed over time in several areas of Syria, unidentified as of yet toxic gas killed 93 in an area not far from Khan Sheikhun just last December.

In his initial reaction to the news of the tragedy President Trump called the attack a “heinous” act and after a few words of condemnation shifted blame for the attack on… President Obama(!) accusing him of not taking a more decisive (aggressive?) action against Syria.

Others blame recent statements made by current U.S. officials (secretary of state, Rex Tillerson and US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley; both of whom stated that the removal of the Syrian regime isn’t a priority for the United States anymore) for emboldening Syria.

At the request of Britain and France, the UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on Tuesday’s war crime in Syria, today.

Syrian refuges are NOT welcome in the United States.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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