On the 4th April, a chemical attack by the Assad regime killed over 70 people in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
When the same chemical weapon was used back in 2013, Obama pulled back from making a military intervention, despite having drawn a red line against Assad’s use of chemical weapons.
In contrast, after announcing that Assad “crossed a lot of lines” in a joint press conference with King Abdullah II of Jordan on April 5th, Trump commenced armed strikes on Syria on the evening of April 6th.
There are 4 important points about Trump’s attacks on Syria.
1. Surprising Syria through swift decision-making and decisive action.
Trump attacked Syria just two days after Assad’s chemical attacks. After realizing that chemical weapons were involved, the U.S. immediately drew up a plan of action.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the strike target was planned on the afternoon of April 6th in the National Military Command Center. They decided to strike Shayrat Airbase, the suspected launch point of the chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun. The U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, gave the ‘go ahead’ later that evening. All of this happened with surprising speed.
2. Republicans have become unified through endorsements from Senators such as John McCain
Republican U.S. Senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham praised Trump for his swift action. They said that, unlike Obama, Trump took immediate action and therefore deserves the respect of the people. We finally learned our lesson from the past, they said.
Similarly, Senator Marco Rubio expressed his support for Trump’s decision: “I do believe that the administration is shifting in a different direction and rightfully so, and I’m glad to see it.”
Aside from ‘small government’ advocate Rand Paul’s comment that the strikes were unconstitutional, on the whole the Republican Party appears to be supporting Trump.
3. Consideration for Russia avoids U.S.-Russia fracture
Shortly before their strike on Syria, the U.S. warned Russia about the attack and excluded from their target zone places where the Russian army was stationed. This was to avoid any Russian casualties that could cause greater friction between the U.S. and Russia.
Likewise, the Russians refrained from attacking the U.S. Tomahawks, and neither side has cancelled the planned meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Although Russia has publically criticised the U.S. strikes as ‘invasive’, it is hard to see how the U.S.-Russia relationship will fracture.
4. Showing North Korea, China and Iran the power of U.S. decision-making and its willingness to take decisive action
The 59 missiles launched from the U.S. Tomahawk caused significant damage to the Syrian army. Trump was able to show decisiveness in setting a plan of action, and thoroughness in carrying it through. In one sense he brought an end to Assad’s ‘freedom to commit genocide’.
Trump’s Syria strike has also affected North Korea, China and Iran. He expressed not only through words but also through actions that ‘there is a line that cannot be crossed’.
In an email to Fox News, American columnist Gordon G. Chang said “North Korean leader Kim Jong-un . . . must now heed American military power, something that he probably dismissed before.”
He added that the airstrikes are “a warning to China’s People’s Liberation Army, which had grown dismissive of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Xi Jinping . . . almost certainly interpreted the strike as a sign of disrespect to him.”
Now, North Korea and China have no choice but to cautiously watch and learn what Trump’s “Peace Through Strength” foreign policy is really about.
Trump Feels God’s Justice
“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world”, Trump said in his speech right after the airstrikes. God’s will is wrapped in a veil of mystery. But what is God’s will?
In 2013, Master Ryuho Okawa, founder of Happy Science, recorded an interview of the guardian spirit of President Assad, after which Master Okawa made the following comment:
“Mr. Obama was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and he doesn’t want to strike anyone. But if we keep turning a blind eye to this sort of thing [the Assad administration], terrorist states and dictatorial powers will begin to do evil things, so something must be done. We have to stop the world from becoming like a town without a police.”
The U.S. conservative media have started to report that, “America is Back” with the coming of Trump. Bringing America Back requires us to ask ‘what is God’s Justice?’ Otherwise we cannot make swift actions in decisive moments.
Through a clean separation from the past of Obama’s withdrawal as ‘World Police’, Trump is embarking on the creation of a new world order.