President Donald Trump conducted his first direct military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime expressing deep concern about the children of Syria who lost their lives in the devastating chemical attack earlier this week.
“My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians,” said the U.S. commander-in-chief, announcing the United States military had launched dozens Tomahawk missiles at an air base in Syria. “Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”
It was a barbaric attack indeed, but coming from Trump, these words sound nothing but hypocritical — after all, his administration has been trying to ban these very people from entering the country ever since he assumed office 13 long weeks ago.
Trump apparently ordered the military strike after seeing pictures of the young children who lost their lives to the deadly Sarin gas.
“These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated," the president explained. "My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much."
Once opposed to military action in Syria, Trump was affected by images of dead children among casualties and felt compelled to act, I'm told— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 7, 2017
The images that came out of Syrian city of Idlib were heartbreaking, but one has to wonder where was Trump’s empathy when scores of children were killed in a similar gas attack in 2013 or when the world woke up to the pictures of a lifeless toddler lying face down on a beach. What about the time when a photographer captured a dazed and confused 5-year-old sitting in an ambulance after being pulled from under the rubble?
Why the hundreds of other disturbing images showing kids trying to flee the war in their homeland did not wake up Trump’s humanity?
At the time, instead of giving these people a safe place, the former reality TV star kept arguing how dangerous they are to the national security. Assad’s government has been doing terrible things for a very long time, but just last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Trump administration saw no purpose in removing the Syrian president from power.
In fact, following Tuesday’s attack, Trump’s initial reaction to the disturbing new was pinning the blame onto former President Barack Obama, whom he vehemently criticized when he was considering using military action against Assad back in 2013.
Even if you give Trump some credit for taking such a bold step (after all, he is finally doing something, right?) what would you make of the fact that his administration is still upholding the revised Muslim ban? Not only does it bar people of six countries from entering the United States, it also places a 120-day ban on people of Syria.
If Trump really cares about the children of Syria, he should perhaps start with revoking his xenophobic travel ban and accepting refugees.
Several people on social media share similar sentiments:
Trump saw this little boy and said refugees could not come here. Don't buy his sympathy for Syria now. pic.twitter.com/XTpn7RE9NP— Sean Kent (@seankent) April 7, 2017
Some context for Trump and Syria: his refugee ban would keep those children out of the US, leave them in the bombs' path.— Patricia Zengerle (@ReutersZengerle) April 5, 2017
Donald Trump bombing Syria while turning away refugees is so cowardly and disgusting.— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) April 7, 2017
Not sure how Trump continues to call for a ban on Syrian refugees in the wake of an airstrike against the man who is making them refugees.— Alex Wagner (@alexwagner) April 7, 2017
Apparently Trump was so affected by those photos he had to "help"...but still not affected enough to let refugees into our country. #Syria— Arianna Davis (@ariannagdavis) April 7, 2017
Trump, if you are so "moved" by the children killed in Syria, and take action, does that mean you will accept Syrian refugees? #syria— Francis Maxwell (@francis_maxwell) April 7, 2017
Let's be clear: If Trump cared about Syrian children, he wouldn't ban Syrian refugees.— Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) April 7, 2017
If the atrocities in #Syria moved Trump to military action, he should also be moved to find some compassion and accept some of the refugees.— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) April 7, 2017
Go tell the Syrian father who held his twin infants as they died from a sarin gas attack about your support of the refugee ban.— TattleTaleSister (@TattleTSister) April 7, 2017
Ok Trump. Put your policy where your mouth is. Reverse your refugee ban. Open our borders to Syrian refugees. Do it now.— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) April 6, 2017
If Trump gave a damn about children being hurt, he’d open the refugee doors and let them in.— Karoli (@Karoli) April 7, 2017
We cannot listen to Trump condemn the suffering of Syria's children today when he denied refugees basic human rights his entire campaign.— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) April 7, 2017
So @POTUS cares enough about the Syrian people to launch 50 Tomahawks but not enough to let the victims of Assad find refuge & freedom here.— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) April 7, 2017
If Trump truly cared about the suffering in Syria, he wouldn't have a racist anti-refugee policy. But, hey, bombs distract from scandal!— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) April 7, 2017
Between 2011 and 2016, at least 11.5 percent of Syrian population was wounded or killed by the conflict either directly or indirectly, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters