Don’t take Syria for face value

As you may have heard, late Friday night President Trump authorized the bombing against the Syrian government, along with bombings being carried out by France and the United Kingdom. The bombings came as a show of force against the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people. This seems to be the standard news coverage on the subject, that Syria used chemical weapons, and the West being absolutely appalled by their use, has made clear that they will not stand for it. If you don’t take a deeper look into the issue at hand then everything seems completely justified. But if you look at it with the smallest amount of skepticism – well, to put it simply, things seem very suspicious.

To start off the chain of strange events, the timing of the alleged attack seems to be very off. The chemical attack happened conveniently a week or so after Trump tweeted to the world that the US would be leaving Syria. As the US has signaled many times before they are not going after the Syrian government and aren’t looking for a change in power, why then would Assad do the one thing that would draw the US into conflict with them? It makes no logical sense to draw a major world power further into antagonism during a war that they were already close to winning. It seems a little too good to be true that Assad would use chemical weapons to fight a war he will soon win. Since we’re on the subject, if Assad did use chemical weapons on his own people why then would he invite the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to run an independent investigation to determine if there was a chemical attack in the first place? If he did in fact do it, wouldn’t he make more of an effort to block them from coming in? There is, of course, the other side, that he could be playing along to make it seem like he didn’t do it, or that he tampered with the investigation. But if that is the case, then how come the US-led strikes were carried out before the OPCW team was supposed to be on the ground in Syria? The strikes were also carried out before a consensus on whether or not chemical attacks actually happened and before bringing solid evidence to the international community that Assad was indeed responsible.

This strike has brought on a whole host of issues outside just the effects of a chemical attack. There was a gross negligence, whether intentional or not, to share evidence with the citizens of countries. It has brought on stark condemnation from Russia which said they would shoot US missiles out of the sky headed for Syria. A complete disregard to inform congress, the body of government meant to decide if we should do things like this, has brought about even more unnecessary cold war era fighting with Russia. And most importantly, it has brought more suffering for the people of Syria, because at the heart of it all, they are the ones dealing with a horrifying civil war and massive humanitarian crisis being amplified by the meddling of foreign powers vying for power in the region. These missile strikes on Syria were dangerous, they were careless, and they seem to have caused more harm than good.

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Dalton is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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