Friday, April 07, 2017

Every nation has an obligation to act against chemical weapons.

Bookworm shares her thoughts about Trump's retaliation against Asaad's use of chemical weapons.
I am very pleased with the airstrike President Trump ordered in Syria. Chemical weapons are a national security threat to every nation in the world, no matter where they are deployed. Every nation has an obligation to act against them.

All poison gasses are nasty, but sarin is particularly horrible. There’s are whole Generations of Xs, Ys, and Zs, not to mention the millennials and post-millenials, who have no memory of the 1995 sarin attack in the Tokyo subway. I remember, though, how dreadful it was — and how easy it was to loose that chemical on a civilian population.

For Obama to have crawled away from his red line, and then handed the matter over to Russia, which manifestly failed to remove chemical weapons from inside Syria, was a terrifying failure of leadership. Trump did what presidents have always done and should always need room to do: he didn’t declare war; he simply sent a sharp warning shot over an enemy’s bow, with the implicit threat that there’s much more where that came from.

I’m also willing to bet that Trump, having decided upon an objective, told the military to do it and then turned his attention to other things. In this, he would be unlike Obama, who was never even a Boy Scout, but who nevertheless felt competent to micromanage military strategy. Trump has a good eye for talent and, once that talent is on board, he delegates. That’s how leadership is supposed to work.

I was out and about earlier today, and heard two women talking about the airstrike. Actually, one woman was telling the other, who was not current on the news.

What surprised me, given that this conversation took place in Marin between two women who were quite obviously Hillary voters, is that the narrator was quite supportive of Trump. You could tell she thought he did the right thing, considering the sheer horror of the attack. However, thanks to a media that has turned on a dime from hating Putin to trusting him implicitly, she was under the impression that Trump ought to have gotten Congress’s permission first. It did not seem to occur to her that these type of warning strikes are well within the Chief Executive’s power. To drag them before Congress would make it impossible to act quickly about provocations that require immediate, but limited, attention.

In the age of Trump, we no longer have politics as usual, and thank the good Lord for that. The usual politics for the past eight years have been too damn toxic.

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