Trump card could offer some hope in desperate war zone
by dumping chemical weapons on Douma.
The town, a suburb of Damascus, saw more than 500 mostly women and children affected with at least 70 dying a tortuous death.
Trump, who criticised his predecessor Barack Obama for allowing red lines in Syria to be crossed without retaliation, ought now to recognise the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies are as happy to take advantage of any perceived fecklessness as they did in the past.
Last year’s air strikes by Trump following a similar attack by Assad proved that the despot and his enablers have not been deterred.
Vladimir Putin and the ayatollahs came to believe they could do what they wanted in Syria, backed up recently by Trump’s plans to call for an early withdrawal of 2,000 troops there.
The President further reinforced a sense of impunity every time he exempted Putin from direct criticism for Russia’s disgraceful actions.
So this week was a major step forward when Trump finally drew a line, saying in a tweet, “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad”.
The question is what comes next, as a few cruise missiles won’t change anything in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
As welcome as forceful military action against the despot and his regime will be, there’s no guarantee it will alleviate a single Syrian’s suffering.
An easier non-military step would pay far larger dividends in that respect, but it is one Trump is loathe to take.
Since 2012, as a savage civil war has left more than 500,000 Syrians dead, two American presidents have toyed with using the military to punish the Assad regime for chemical attacks.
Both came to nothing, only strengthening Assad’s resolve while tightening his grip on the country.
But now, with Trump’s professed concern for the victims of the chemical brutality, hopefully it may bring about a swift change in American policy.
The cruel, collective refusal to accept more than the tiniest trickle of refugees fleeing the humanitarian disaster is at odds with the President’s supposed compassion.
More than five and a half million Syrians are registered as refugees.
Some 60 per cent are in Turkish camps or settlements while most of the rest are in Lebanon or Jordan.
In the face of this mass exodus from Assad’s barbarity, Trump has capped America’s refugee resettlement quota at 45,000, the lowest in history.
What’s more America – historically a haven for victims of war-torn countries – has resettled fewer than 11,000 refugees.
Just 44 of those are from Syria.
In an attempt to justify the brutally low numbers allowed in, Trump continues to vilify would-be refugees, women and children included, as immediate security threats. It is beyond ridiculous.
By all means send a message to Assad with air strikes and missiles but more importantly, as the world grows ever more numb to the slaughter of civilians in Syria, open the doors to those in need. SO Elvis Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla has claimed the King knowingly took his own life when he died from a drug-related heart attack. The bombshell revelation comes just four months after the discovery of two suicide notes purportedly written by the star. The 72-year-old made the admission ahead of the premiere of the new HBO documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher, which looks into the singer’s connection to Memphis, Tennessee. In the programme, which is due to air on Saturday, Priscilla opens up about the depths of addiction of her late ex-husband. She said he “knew what he was doing”. It baffles me, why after all these years, the King’s memory is now all shook up. Didn’t Priscilla once say “Rest in peace, Elvis”. If only that were the case.
An easier nonmilitary step would pay far larger dividends but it is one Trump is loathe to take