President Donald Trump ordered an attack on Syria yesterday as retaliation for a chemical bomb attack believed to be initiated by Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. 59 Tomahawk missiles were launched at the Shayrat Air Base in Homs Providence, where the chemical attack took place two days before the airstrike, killing at least 86 innocent civilians.
Although Trump had repeatedly stated that he is not – nor does he want to be- the president of the world and even tweeted asking president Obama not to attack Syria, back in 2013, he changed his mind after seeing disturbing images of the chemical attack victims. Assad has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of children since he preceded his father as president.
“I think that what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity,” said Trump to reporters while boarding the Air Force One in route to Florida. “He’s there and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen.”
The Syrian government condemned the chemical episode as illegal and blamed rebel groups fighting in the county’s civil war for it. President al-Assad feels like Trump’s attack had no reason to be, and now he is describing the United States as an ultimate enemy locating it at the same level of ISIS and Al-Qaeda –which remain active in Syria. Whenever the Assad’s regime is weakened it’s sort of a win for the terrorists organizations and categorizing the U.S. as that, sets the tone for danger.
Russian president, Vladimir Putin, also expressed his discontent with Trump’s decision and deemed the strike “as an aggression against a sovereign nation.” It is well known that there is a Putin-Assad alliance and Trump’s military action might undermine any U.S. relation with Russia. According to Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State, they did not discuss the military strike with Putin before it occurred, but U.S. military communicated with Russian military to minimize any charge of Russian causalities.
But why are people so surprised about the attack? If we look at Trump’s proposed budget, he wanted to cut many programs to increase military spending. Back in February, he sought a $52 billion increase in defense spending claiming it was needed to protect the country and this attack could be a justification as to why the increase is needed. In 1999 each Tomahawk would go for over $500k -according to the U.S. Navy. Today, however, it has double its value. We are talking about $1 million per missile; in other words we just spent $59 million dollars in the past 24 hours. This very much sounds like we – the taxpayers- could, potentially, be paying for another war; while Trump’s proposed tax cuts are only for certain people.
Cynthia Paola Bautista