In the wake of Trump's criminal attack on Syria last night, this essay has an urgent relevancy:
But who and why (re: the "gas attack" in Khan Sheikhoun) are the wrong questions. The third question – the right question – is: Why is the US involved in this war?
The Assad regime has not attacked the US, nor has Congress declared war on Syria. There’s simply no defensive – or for that matter even legal – rationale for a US military presence in Syria. Whatever horrors the civil war there may entail, American military adventurism makes them worse, not better. It perpetuates instability rather than bringing peace.
Donald Trump ran for president on a platform of reducing US military meddling in other countries’ affairs. It’s time for him to follow through and order a US withdrawal from Syria.
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Unfortunately, such a withdrawal is not going to take place. Presidents who are in trouble frequently launch wars to dig themselves out of a hole. Apparently this is what Trump decided to do.
By the way, if (as suggested by the timing) Stephen Bannon was removed from the NSC because he opposed this attack, I salute him.