On Friday night, in his televised speech to the nation, Donald Trump announced its decision to launch air strikes on Syria with the support of France and the United Kingdom in response to alleged criminal acts of Damascus.
Trump’s decision to take direct military action against Syria provoked confusion and misunderstanding both in the US and across the globe.
Richard Hayden Black, a Republican member of the Virginia State Senate, described this attack as a step that can lead to a major escalation of tensions in the world, threating it with assured nuclear destruction.
Hina Shamsi, a representative of the leading US human rights organization American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would describe these strike as illegal, stressing that the US Constitution prohibits the use of military force without Congressional approval, while adding that the existing international law prohibits unilateral use of force in all cases except for cases of self-defense. However, as it was pointed out by Hina Shamsi, President Trump initiated air strikes against a country that has never attacked the US and had no intention of doing so.
It’s seems that a lot of political figures in Washington are fully aware of the fact that other countries are also critical of Trump’s decision.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin has stressed it that without the approval of UN Security Council, in violation of the UN Charter and all the norms and principles of international law, Washington committed an act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.
It is noteworthy that over the course of half a decade Donald Trump’s position on Syria has been changing pretty rapidly, as he used to describe the probability of US strikes against Syria as both meaningless and politically damaging for Washington.
Back in 2013, Trump announced for the first time on his personal Twitter that Washington should have stayed away from Syria stating:
Don’t attack Syria – an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again.
During that period Trump was highly critical of his predecessor Barack Obama as the latter was contemplating the possibility of launching strikes against Syria. Back then Trump was fully aware of the fact that a Congressional approval was needed for the sitting US President to launch military aggression against another state.
However, chose to ignore all of his own warnings Trump, as his peace-loving posture, as it seems, was nothing but a PR stun back in the days.
One can not discard the fact among the key reasons for the Republican Party nomination of Donald was that he promised to put an end to the expensive overseas wars Washington is waging, while keeping the US out of new wars like the one that has almost started in Syria.
The fact that Washington went on with the attack without any evidence of Damascus’s guilt at the moment when the OPCW team arrived to Syria to investigate to the incident in Duma is a cause of global confusion. Was that an attempt to destroy the evidence implicating Washington in a false flag chemical attack in Syria? Or was it an attempt to get ISIS off the hook together with the so-called moderate opposition group to allow these groups to stage a new offensive against Damascus?
These questions are all to relevant especially now when there’s leaked reports about the West issuing order to all anti-government groups to launch attacks against Damascus after the US military action. Is this just yet another attempt to destabilize Syria?
It’s only logical to assume that if Washington had any intentions of coming to grips with what has actually happened in Duma, it would contact Syria’s elected officials directly or indirectly in a bid to clarify the situation. If Trump can talk to Kim Jong-un, why cannot he talk to Assad?
However, the most bewildering part of this whole story is an appeal he made to Russia and Iran that reads:
To Iran and to Russia I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”
As it’s unclear why would address those two states with such a demand instead of addressing similar questions to the Pentagon and his own conscience?
Hasn’t the US been responsible for the senseless butchering of hundred thousands civilians in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia that were attacked by Washington in clear violation of the international law? According to the forestation data presented by AirWars, the first two months of this year alone resulted in 1,180 people perishing as a result of US-led air strikes against Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Al-Raqqah.
Washington’s hysteria over alleged chemical attacks has left many people wondering is there any difference between perishing from bombs or chemical agents? After the violent Western reaction to alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Ghouta, where, according to the White Helmets, 70 people were killed, one can not help but ask this question. President Trump would describe the sitting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as an “animal” in one of his tweets for the 70 perished souls, even though there’s no official confirmation that there’s been any. But how would he describe himself then, as he supervises the carnage of hundred thousands of civilians across the Middle East?
Undoubtedly, the unpredictable nature of Donald Trump with his overnight decision to strike Syria has been affected by all sorts of accusations he’s been facing, for alleged sexual misconduct and Russian connections, as there’s an ongoing investigation of the special prosecutor Robert Mueller that goes hand in hand with the legal harassment of the Trump’s lawyer – Michael Cohen. So one can expect even more unpredictable steps from Trump as Mueller’s investigation rolls on. Therefore, Trump’s attempt to use power play in Syria proved to be very timely for Trump to shift the attention from the facts he would choose to keep hidden.
Today, everyone understands the true nature of President Trump, a man hiding behind humanitarian rhetorics and chanting slogans about the imminent defeat of jihadists, in effect has been in bed with them all along. Such a calculation is confirmed by the complete lack of interests both the White House and its allies have towards the restoration of those areas of Syria that have been liberated from terrorists by the government forces.
Of course, Trump’s actions against Syria will affect the upcoming negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, as the latter has now every reason to believe that Trump wouldn’t hesitate a minute to replace the rule of the international law with a display of his macho bravado.
The only question is where such policies will take American and will Donald Trump be held responsible for them?
Valery Kulikov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine ‘New Eastern Outlook’.