Trump 2013: “Forget Syria”

By Laurie Kotka

In the hours following Tuesday’s chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Syrian President Assad denied responsibility. Meanwhile, Assad pointed the finger at Russia and Iran. Trump blamed Assad and former President Obama. Russia excused the incident, claiming the chemicals were released when the Syrian government dropped bombs on a former chemical weapon factory.

And while leaders play the Blame Game, the death toll continues to rise. It’s at 75.

On Wednesday, another series of airstrikes hit the factory said to be a former chemical weapons plant. There were no fatalities associated with the more recent attack because citizens had been evacuated.

In a speech delivered to an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, United States Ambassador Nikki Haley presented the 15 member committee with photographs of the youngest of the bombing victims. Urging a swift response, she stated, “When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action.”

Prior to meeting, French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters, “We urge Russia to exert much stronger pressure to the regime … Frankly we also need an America that is seriously committed to a solution in Syria and that puts all its weight behind it.”

Those looking to Trump for action and leadership on Syria should look elsewhere. Even prior to the election, Trump stumbled, “I would have stayed out of Syria and wouldn’t have fought so much for Assad, against Assad because I thought that was a whole thing.”

There is no way to sufficiently underscore this is why voting must be informed by the candidate’s stance on the issues that shape our world instead of hot rhetoric and self-adoration. His Twitter feed is a testimony to that. But immediate to the events in Syria, Trump was silent.

He had plenty of advice for President Obama though…

As much as he claims to want to make America great again, he should understand that an unstable Middle East will never provide for a world where America can realize the security necessary for his vision of greatness.

Beyond Trump’s attempt to stay out of a conflict that might upset his friendship with Russian President Putin, his refusal to address this issue has a real human cost associated with it. Before it was Aleppo, now it is Khan Sheikhoun. As Ambassador Haley implored, how many more must die?

While Trump claims “horror, horror” from his ivory tower he would be wise to realize that the convenience of dissociation is afforded by the distance of the crimes. What you fail to address today, Mr. Trump, will be the loss of America’s own sons and daughters in the future. 

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