What better way to send a message that terrorist acts against innocent children won’t be tolerated than to launch 59 $1.87 million in Tomahawk missiles at the supposed culprit — a show of force would, after all, surely emphasize a nation’s resolve and moral imperative.
Because killing people who allegedly killed kids would absolutely prove killing kids is wrong — until you destroy the airbase from which albeit opposition forces launch attacks against terrorists of the Islamic State — and, in disgusting irony, kill kids in the process of making that already dubious point.
Four children perished in Syria from the barrage of missiles delivered by two U.S. destroyers, hastily ordered by President Donald Trump in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack by President Bashar al-Assad — alleged, because, as yet, precisely who was responsible, or if the killing of nearly 60 people was in actuality an attack at all, remains unclear.
Folly in war, however, has likely never been clearer than in the reckless, ill-advised, not Congressionally-approved, and falsely sanctimonious military strike undertaken by the Trump-led United States this week.
Killing in the name of killing people is wrong innately proves the hypocrisy of war — that the politicians send our youth to be molded into callous mass killers by hardened hawks of military brass, but will never themselves touch the weapons of death, is only one facet of this madness.
That those weapons of death found their target in four children and five adults who had no designs for anything but survival — and who would not, under Trump’s maliciously hollow travel ‘ban,’ be permitted the ostensively safe landing spot inside the U.S.’ borders — screams mockery of intent.
Conflict-ravaged and decimated in their homeland, Syrians — in vain, attempting only to survive the proxy wars of arrogant statesmen — could not possibly benefit in yet more death from above.
No matter the smug, self-satisfaction with which Trump and his ilk moralize the need for further killing, there will be civilian casualties — as there already have — and guiltless, blameless, innocent children, women, and men will be robbed of life for the unfortunate happenstance of their location in the path of American revenge.
What gall it takes to dismiss the Constitution, bypass Congress, shirk diplomacy, and carry out a hapless offensive ultimately counterproductive to the wellbeing of the very people for which that shamelessly pompous act was undertaken — there is a damned good reason scorn, derision, and bullying best describe the U.S. to the people of the Middle East.
But the hypocrisy of mass killing to undermine terrorism isn’t only hypocritical in itself — the United States has an unseemly history of vocally pious but morally bereft military campaigns, as well as an uncanny knack for thwarting peace when it finally looms on the horizon.
In fact, the $110,330,00 in Tomahawks were fired into Syria on the literal eve of peace negotiations — including, incidentally, resignation by the United States that Assad would indeed remain in power.
And, as Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco and Middle East expert, writes for Yes! Magazine,
“The United States also has a long history of trying to undermine the peaceful, law-based efforts to eliminate chemical weapons, including opposition to the UN-mandated goal of ridding the Middle East of such weapons. Indeed, both Israel and Egypt — the largest recipients of U.S. military aid — have stockpiles larger than that of Syria.”
Yet chemical weapons, and the potential future use of them, provided the putative impetus for the first American direct bombing campaign in Syria — a campaign attempted previously by President Obama in 2013, but thwarted by a massive uproar.
Trump avoided public outrage by taking the coward demagogue’s route — bomb first, don’t bother asking questions later. If kids die because we need to teach Assad — who probably isn’t responsible for the gassing deaths of 86 civilians — a lesson about killing kids, then so be it.
Damn the geopolitical consequences. Damn any independent investigation to determine the culprit for the Idlib dead. Damn potential humanitarian ramifications. Damn the flirtation with World War III. Damn logic, reason, diplomacy, and the rules of engagement.
Damn the stupefying hypocrisy.
But most of all, going rogue with the largest military on the planet against a long-suffering nation whose children Trump won’t even allow solace inside the borders of this supposedly great nation makes resoundingly clear one message: Damn Syrians.
This feckless mission won’t save children. It will damn them to a childhood of war.