The most recent chemical attacks in Syria, that left around 50 civilians dead, are raising the potential for American intervention.  American President Trump declared that there would be a “big price to pay” for the attacks.

The Syrian conflict has been raging since the early 2010s, and has accumulated almost half a million deaths, stemming from the larger protests for more democratic governments in the Arab Spring.

The most recent attack has raised the potential for further US involvement in the country.  The US has been conducting bombings in the region for some time now, and has funded both sides of the war monetarily.

Last year, the US responded to similar attacks with tomahawk missile strikes and mainstream media fawned over the event.  It see almost certain that the Assad government carried out these previous chemical weapons attacks.  However, it doesn’t seem that the former US intervention had much, if any effect on Syrian behavior post-strike.  So then the topic of what the US and its allies do should be raised.

It seems that the previous attacks have had little to no influence, so will future ones?  The question of cost also comes to mind, especially if it is going to have little to no influence.  It also should be noted that technically, our current strikes in the country are illegal, as the United States has no congressional authorization to be conducting military operation.  Even if the US had such permission from congress, it seems that it would not be of much value to pursue.

It also seems that it would be against what Trump thinks is the best route, at least according to his statements from 2013.

Trump seems to have had the idea that going into another illegal war would be too costly.  I think he’s right.  I also believe that this is a gross waste of tax payer money.  Currently there are millions of Americans who are underpaid and around 30 million Americans who have no health care, schools are underfunded and our infrastructure gets a grade of D+, and the list goes on.

Certainly things should be done in Syria.  Saudi Arabia, which the US backs, could back off, and allow aid to flow more freely into the country.  Though this is unlikely as the Saudis seem to believe that they would benefit from regime change in Syria, due to the potential afterwards to gain more geopolitical power against Iran, their sworn enemy.  The US could send money to help those who have been affected rather than spend millions more on bombings and drone strikes that almost always kill innocent civilians.

With the people that Trump has been surrounding himself with, not the least of whom John Bolton, it seems that reasonable action is unlikely.  However, we can hope that sense will prevail and that the US president will return to his older ideas instead of his recent forays into trying to be a war hawk.

Photo credit: Aladdin Hammami