President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to defend his “Mission Accomplished” tweet after he came under fire for using the term. Moreover, he insisted it is a “great Military term” and should be used often.
The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term “Mission Accomplished.” I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2018
Trump also claimed since the strikes on Syria were such a success, the media will pounce on the opportunity to “demean” him for the use of the phrase but he went ahead and used it anyway.
Here is where the problem lies with the usage of the phrase: The exact phrase became a punch line for former president George W. Bush after he imprinted in onto a banner in 2003, just one month into the Iraqi war, claiming it as the end of major combat. The war, unfortunately, went on for years to come, claiming many American lives deployed to the Middle-Eastern country in years to follow.
Bush later caved that the use of the words so early into the war was a mistake. For Trump to hail “mission accomplished” mere hours after the attack that was meant to cease the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime is premature and dangerous.
Similar strikes were conducted against Syria in 2017 but the use of chemical weapons is still a nuisance. One would think Trump would learn from Bush’s political conundrums regarding war and untimely celebrations but that hasn’t happened yet.
In response to a suspected chemical gas attack on a rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, which killed dozens of people, President Donald Trump ordered “precision” strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities.
The United States, France and the United Kingdom pounded Syria with air strikes and Trump said he was prepared to sustain the response until Assad's government stopped its use of chemical weapons.
Syrian state media said the attack would fail and called it a “flagrant violation of international law.” Russia's ambassador to the United States said Moscow had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences.”
As Syria was being bombed, Fox News reporter Hollie McKay claimed people in Syria are “really excited” and they wanted the U.S. to drop more bombs.
“There’s been so much anticipation all week. So many people have expressed excitement, they’re sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to see what happens next. People have really underestimated how much a lot of the Syrian people really value having the U.S. presence there,” she added.
McKay also claimed that Syrians were now waiting to see what happens next and they are also waiting for something bigger and larger to happen.
The reporter also tweeted along with a picture and said people in Syria were circulating “We love you Trump memes.”
Trump also tweeted and claimed the strike was “perfectly executed” and said “Mission Accomplished.”
“A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!” he tweeted.
However, the question is are Syrians really happy with the strikes and is Trump’s declaration of “mission accomplished” actually true?
The military strike was conducted to deter Assad’s brutal behavior with its citizens and to give a message to Russia and Iran, which have backed his government. But with Trump’s prior announcement of the strike, none of the goals could possibly have been achieved.
In 2013, Trump vehemently bashed Obama for hinting about the military actions of the U.S. against Syria. In fact, he was never in favor of the attack. Despite bashing Obama for it, he went ahead and did exactly the same and gave Russia and Iran a heads up that he would fire missiles.
According to military experts, that announcement by Trump reportedly gave Assad plenty of time to relocate forces. Syrians troops and forces have also reportedly been moved to other locations that the United States wouldn't be able to target easily.
Officials said even if Syrian aircrafts were not destroyed in the strikes, their airbases would be targeted and damaged so they wouldn’t be able to operate in future. However, airfields can easily be rebuilt.
In 2017, a suspected Syrian government chemical attack killed scores of people, including children, in the northwestern province of Idlib. In response to the attack, the U.S. bombarded Syria’s al-Shayrat airfield with 59 U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles. Despite the damage and destruction, the airbase was operational the next day and conducted bombing raids on rebel-held areas.
That was enough of a message for the U.S. authorities and the strike evidently achieved nothing.
Senior intelligence planner at the Institute for the Study of War, Jennifer Cafarella, said, “The strikes will reaffirm President Trump’s commitment to deterring chemical weapons use but will not solve the Syria problem. They are unlikely to alter the overall trajectory of the Syrian civil war and will not prevent Assad from continuing to slaughter his rebelling population with conventional munitions.”
The most affected people by the strikes are the embattled Syrians. As a result of the airstrike, buildings were destroyed. The strike turned a research center in Damascus and a storage facility into rubble. On the other hand, U.S. officials said they are unsure if reconstruction work in the areas will be continued or not.
Therefore, despite Trump’s claim, it is yet to be seen what the strike actually accomplished.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Yuri Gripas