U.S. warships in the Mediterranean sent about 60 Tomahawk missiles blazing into a Syrian air field, reports the A.P. The bombing was retaliation for the chemical attack launched from that same field that killed dozens of Syrian citizens.
Apparently Trump was moved by the horrible pictures of victims suffocating and writhing in pain. The president’s volatility is notorious; time and again he has been swayed by what he sees on television. Now, clearly afraid of being thought weak or indecisive, he has launched missiles rather than tweets. Is he trying to prove that he is strong where Obama was “weak” for resisting the commitment of even more boots on the ground? Of starting another war we can’t afford?
Throughout his campaign, Trump insisted that we had no business in Syria, that it could take care of itself. But a picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and now Trump’s committed an act of war.
What’s next? That may depend on how many Russian nationals are killed. Syrian rebels are being massacred and the refugees are increasingly finding most roads out of the horror barricaded against them. A response, on humanitarian, if not political, grounds is severely warranted. But what form should it take? Syria is a Gordian knot. Any strategy to disentangle it will reverberate within the middle eastern minefield with unknown but definitely adverse consequences.
The Russians have been supporting Assad against the rebels who want to oust the tyrant. Syria’s weapons defense and warplanes are Russian-built, and Putin has steadfastly resisted multilateral attempts to oust Assad. Will Trump’s palship with Putin weather this military offensive or will Putin take advantage of Trump’s aggression and attack us elsewhere? Trump has opened the proverbial can of worms.
Photo: U.S. Navy
The monthly rate of killings by gunshot in the U.S. is 1-1/2 times GREATER than it is for killings by air strikes in war-torn Syria.
More than 3,300 people have been fatally shot in the U.S. since the Newtown Massacre last December. A report by Human Rights Watch estimates that death rained down from the skies on more than 4,300 people in Syria since last July.
Do the math (I did). Every month, an average of 825 people are killed by guns in the U.S., and 537 people are killed by missiles and bombs in Syria. Continue reading
Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, the plucky, intelligent, courageous and eloquent blogger and activist, has been disappeared. Her cousin Rania posted the upsetting news on Amina’s blog today. Actually, it was yesterday; it’s late and I’m still up.
For now, I’ll just say that if you don’t know Amina, read her blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus. She writes about “An out Syrian lesbian’s thoughts on life, the universe and so on …” Amina has a lot to say, and she says it very well. Her last post was a moving poem:
The bird flies free
Knowing no boundaries
Borders mean nothing
When you have wings
My heart and my soul
Long to follow and soar
Out over mountains
And deserts and seas
I have no wings
And earth presses in
Wrapped in a sheet
Forever to lie
Weighed down by dirtclods
Never to feel
Wind on my wings
Sun on my back
Soaring and flying
Freedom is coming
Here am I wanting
To know it one day
Amina is A gay girl in Damascus. She writes her superlative blog as “An out Syrian lesbian’s thoughts on life, the universe and so on …”. Though she has dual citizenship, having lived and studied in the U.S., she movingly explains why she’s chosen to fight alongside “My father, the hero” for a new Syria (“MY DAD had just defeated them! Not with weapons but with words…”). I urge you to explore her “observations from what has become a front-row seat at the Revolution”:
For an oppressive system to work … it needs just one thing: for the great majority of the people to actually believe that the state is mighty and vicious and to be afraid of it.
… And the moment that we stopped being afraid, the earth shook.
The regime cannot long survive if the people no longer are scared.
I followed twitterers in Libya until their voices were silenced. I will follow Amina, hoping she continues to be safe and keeps writing her powerful blog.
Filed under People, Women