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International Response Required Over Chemical Weapon Attack By Assad

April 9, 2018

This blog has operated for 11 years.  Over that time there have been a number of absolutes on which I stand.    One of them is the use of chemical weapons can not be allowed to be used without a severe counter-punch.

At least 40 people were killed Saturday in a town roughly 10 miles from the Syrian capital by use of chemical weapons.  Many words can be used to describe that action but let us use the one Donald Trump provided.  Syrian President Assad’s action was “atrocious”.   We all can very much agree.

There is no way under the sun that this act can be allowed to stand without a solid reaction.

As might be imagined Russia is claiming that no chemical use was found with their aid workers on the ground making the case.  There is no room for Assad to wiggle and there should be no allowance in any corridor of power in Washington to permit that false narrative to find shelter.  Russia is trying, however, to create a lie for their favored Syrian leader to hide.

The United States and our NATO allies have a role–a mighty important one–to make sure that a strong voice is registered over human-rights abuses.  We also need to have the world’s recognition that when events warrant we will take action.  Never to be a bully, but instead a nation employing a moral voice on the most fundamental rights of man.  Not dying from chemical weapons used by one’s own government–which also runs counter to international law–is such a time for military muscle to be used.

What is needed is not another symbolic, targeted airstrike akin to what took place almost a year ago.  What is required is a strategy for Syria and the region.  The Trump White House has been adrift when it comes to seriously considering a policy that allows for the larger long-term needs to be met.  So while I very much demand to see a reaction to the barbaric behavior from Assad and his military I also want to see an actual policy be developed.

Trump made a huge mistake when stating he wanted to have an exit strategy from Syria.  Since there was no policy in place the exit would only have allowed for a vacuum which rightly has caused the Pentagon, State Department along with allies such as Israel and France to be alarmed.

The international community needs to act with strength in the hours ahead to punch hard at Assad, and then stay committed for the work that needs doing in Syria.  Might I say that the no-fly zone idea needs to be again considered and then actually implemented.

Senator McCain advocated for a no-fly zone at one point and a military message to Syria that no one would miss in what was being said.  He was right, and I supported him.   It would be the best quick action that could be taken now for the safety of the Syrian people.

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