MARK POPE: Syria Strike: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly [OPINION]
Military strike on Syria: the good, the bad, and the ugly
What is your assessment of the trilateral military strike Friday evening on Syrian targets? I believe the strikes were necessary, justified, measured, and well-planned. The U.S., Great Britain, and France did what needed to be done in responding to the murderous tactics of Bashar Al Assad using poisonous gas to kill and injure dozens of innocent people – women and children included – in Syria. He violated international law in using the chemical gas. And don’t forget about 2013, when Russia promised to have all chemical weapons eliminated from Syria. Over the weekend, I sought the opinions of others, so let’s examine some other responses to the military strikes in Syria.
One individual told me he thought the strikes were a “wag the dog” tactic used by President Trump to distract from the news about Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. I think that is a very cynical view. The news networks that obsess over the Trump-Daniels situation will very quickly return to that topic in short order. My friend also thought that the strikes accomplished very little.
Another opinion I heard was that the strikes were totally unnecessary, and could possibly lead to retaliation by Russia. “Are we [the U.S.] supposed to be the policeman of the world,” my friend asked. Besides, why would Assad use poison gas on rebels when he is winning the civil war, was another thought I heard from my friend. The military experts I’ve heard say that Syria is nowhere near winning the civil war.
Senator Rand Paul is of the opinion that even one-time, surgical military strikes should be approved by Congress. I disagree with Sen. Paul. The U.S. Constitution specifies that the Commander in Chief is within his rights to use military force in protecting the interests and national security of the U.S. The 2,000-plus military troops stationed in Syria are solid justification for “protecting the national interests” of the U.S. The president cannot unilaterally enter the U.S. into a declaration of war – the Senate must vote to declare war. The Syria situation was not a declaration of war.
Let’s face it, the protracted civil war in Syria is a complicated mess. In fact, the entire Middle East is a cauldron of primitive, tribal warfare. The situation in Syria is but a piece in the complicated Middle East puzzle. Assad is a murderous tyrant, who is being propped up by Russia and Iran. Both countries are vying for control of parts of Syria. If Russia or Iran secure territory in Syria, this will place our democratic friends in Israel more in peril by further threats from outside their borders.
I believe that the military action against Syria that was taken by the U.S., Great Britain, and France was long overdue and will pay dividends. Barack Obama “drew the line in the sand” for Syria not to use chemical weapons. Syria used chemical weapons and Obama did nothing. Tyrants and terrorists prey on weakness and inaction, such as was demonstrated by Obama. Pray that Syria stops using chemical weapons and that further military action by the U.S. is unnecessary. I also believe that the U.S. and other freedom-loving nations should consult with one another and determine a proactive coalition plan of action if Assad should continue to use chemical weapons. If further military action is required against Syria, the U.S. Congress should be consulted. Pray that “strike three” on Syria will not be necessary, which could foment full-blown warfare involving the U.S. Pray for the United States of America and its leaders.