Temple Chima UbochiWednesday, April 12, 2017
[email protected]
Bonn, Germany




Continued from Part 2

Syrian Strike Leaves 'more Questions Than Answers' (Chuck Todd)

I fully concur that the regime has to go, because as long as Assad is there that fighting is going to go on, that terrible war is going to go on. But this is not something that can be accomplished via the air at a standoff location (Rep. Adam Schiff)

Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do. It is incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it (Charles Schumer)

The crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes. Tonight's strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the regime's use of chemical weapons. If the President intends to escalate the U.S. military's involvement in Syria, he must to come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is tailored to meet the threat and prevent another open-ended war in the Middle East (Nancy Pelosi)

residents Trump and Buhari's comparison would continue in subsequent parts of this article; but for now, let me decipher further the missile attack on Syria.

Trump notified the US Congress of the Syria missile strike many days after ordering it. A big mistake indeed - a dereliction of duty! Trump was supposed to get the nod from the Congress first before attacking Syria.

Another question is why the haste? Trump should have engaged the Congress before the attack on Syria. And that's what so many lawmakers have been saying. While many lawmakers, such as McCain, Graham etc, supported that missile attack, some others, according to The Hill, called on Trump to ask for congressional authority to use military action in Syria. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) warned that the U.S. cannot act 'unilaterally' in Syria, as it runs the risk of getting involved in "perpetual warfare", if it doesn't work with allies in the Middle East.

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, warned that military strikes alone will not unseat Syrian President Bashar Assad. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also offered measured support, but asked Trump to seek approval from Congress before any further action. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), said Trump should have requested approval for the actions from Congress. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) warned that such attacks could put U.S. troops already stationed in Syria at risk of retaliation. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was blunter in his criticism. He quoted a 2013 tweet from Trump himself arguing that that former President Barack Obama "must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria." Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) issued a statement offering general support for Trump's actions, though he also said he looked forward to Trump engaging with Congress on Syria.

President Trump has nepotic tendencies, and that's too bad. No wonder people have been asking whether he's mentally stable to rule America. One of his sons, Eric Trump, told a British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, on Monday, April 10 (published the following day), that his father's decision to bomb Syria was influenced in part by Ivanka, the president's daughter, who he said was "heartbroken and outraged" by the chemical attack. Imagine a president striking another country, because, one of his daughters was "heartbroken" by the images she saw on TV. Is that how Trump will be the leader of the free world? Was that the reason he rushed it, before getting the Congress' approval, so that Ivanka will stop "crying"?

This was what Ivanka Tweeted that must have influenced her father's action. One day after the Syrian government launched a chemical attack that killed an estimated 30 children, Ivanka tweeted: "Heartbroken and outraged by the images coming out of Syria following the atrocious chemical attack yesterday".

Was that not outrageous that a president will bomb another country partly to succor his daughter's heart?

The People.com wrote that Ivanka Trump is now called the 'Henry Kissinger with a Fashion Line', as many people slammed her over suggestion she influenced her dad to bomb Syria. The Website wrote that critics on social media are blasting Ivanka Trump after it was revealed that she may have influenced her father President Donald Trump's decision to launch a missile strike on the Syrian government last week in response to its use of chemical weapons on its citizens.

President Trump's son, Eric Trump, told The Daily Telegraph, in an interview published on Tuesday, April11: "Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I'm sure she said, Listen, this is horrible stuff.' My father will act in times like that."

Asked about Ivanka's role in the decision to strike Syria; White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said, during his Tuesday briefing: "There's no question that Ivanka and others weighed in to him. I think there was a widespread acknowledgement that the images and the actions that had been taken were horrific and required action".

Americans on both sides of the aisle sounded off their disapproval on Twitter, with many questioning Ivanka's ability to advise her father on military action.

Ivanka, whose resume includes overseeing a fashion brand and working for the family's Trump Organization, officially became an assistant to the president two weeks ago after long serving as an informal adviser to her father.

Here's what some people are saying on Twitter:

Telegraph.co.uk tweeted: Eric Trump has said he is "sure" his sister Ivanka used her influence over their father to encourage the US president to launch military action against Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

CJ Werleman: Oh, cool. A mediocre handbag designer is now guiding US military strategy.

Cathy: WOW a clothing retailer making decisions to bomb countries. Only in Russia America

Siddharth Kanaujia: Welcome to the "Trump and Sons/Daughters USA"

Manuel Montalvo: We are doomed! The Trump coalition -Father, daughter, son in law are directing America right down to the abyss.

J.S.: "Trump just reacts to things he sees on TV. That is no way to formulate a coherent foreign policy!"

The People.com ended the story with this tweet from someone: "If this is true, Hillary was right. Trump could really start a war based on a tweet."

The missile strike on Syria achieved only little, as we have learned that Assad's planes started flying out from the same bombed airfield, hours after the attack, in defiance of President Trump. Sen. Graham then added that Assad was saying 'F You' to Trump by flying from bombed airfield.

Just as Reuters noted, Assad could see U.S. strike as just a "slap on the wrist" The U.S. cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base may persuade President Bashar al-Assad to be more cautious with some of his tactics, but will not deter him and his allies from pressing a full-throttle military campaign to crush rebels. But the single volley of Tomahawk missiles was of such limited scope that it will reinforce the view held by Damascus and its allies that the United States is no more eager than before to take the sort of strong action needed to defeat him. David Lesch, professor of Middle East history at Trinity University, and an author on Syria said: "Assad now knows there is a red line with regard to the use of chemical weapons. But I think he also probably just sees it as a slap on the wrist. Assad has to recalibrate but not fundamentally change his military approach that they've been engaging in since the Russian intervention. I really believe they are not feeling too bad today, if this is the extent of what the U.S. is going to do."

Assad has responded with characteristic defiance, vowing to accelerate efforts to wipe out rebels he calls terrorists. A joint command centre, representing his Russian, Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies, said the U.S. attack would only cause them to redouble their support for the Syrian government. Air strikes have continued unabated since the U.S. attack on Friday. Eighteen people were reportedly killed in one strike alone in Idlib on Saturday, April 8. Reuters confirmed that though damaged, the Shayrat air base near Homs is partly operational, and flights have taken off. As I insinuated in Part 1 of this article, the Reuters confirmed, on Tuesday, April 11, that the base was largely evacuated before the U.S. strikes, after Washington forewarned Moscow, which in turn alerted the Syrian government, according to a senior military source in the alliance fighting in support of Assad. Describing the U.S. attack as a "limited strike" that was quickly over, another senior ally of Assad in the region said toppling him did not seem to be a priority for Trump. There is still no clear American policy on Syria. Though the attack had shown Trump to be unpredictable, but it's not a major shift in the U.S. approach. A member of pro-Assad alliance said: "Is this a strategic shift by the Americans? Do they want to get into a big problem with the Russians? I don't think there is a strategic shift."

Ed posted: "Assad apparently just shrugged off the missile strike and ordered another bombing of the same city. Unless Trump wants to get rid of Assad like Bush got rid of Hussein (look what happened to Iraq), which he neither has the guts of doing so nor has the wisdom to think through the whole scenario involving Syria. All the posturing by fringe military strikes (which is against international law) serves little purpose. Trump is just trying to get people's attention off his unsavory ties to Russia. And someone else tweeted: "After 49 Tomahawks, the airport still operational, and they dropped more chemical bombs. What a waste of time and money, a total Trump disaster".

One of my questions is the rationale behind Trump's utterances in 2013, if he has done what he didn't want his predecessor to do? How can someone be so mischievous? The Quartz Media LLC wrote that indeed, Trump's approach now seems quite different from opinions he expressed in 2013, when then-president Barack Obama was considering a retaliatory strike on Syria following a chemical attack. At that time, Trump spoke out forcefully against an attack by the US.

On August 30, 2013, Trump tweeted: "The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not"!

The question is why Trump didn't get that approval before ordering the attack on Syria?


Can we ask Trump what the United States gains now from his own attack on Syria? If not only to "bind his own daughter's broken heart"!

On September 7, 2013, Trump tweeted: "President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your "powder" for another (and more important) day"!

The question is what made the situation now different for Trump to order the attack? When, how and why did Syria become so important for Trump to waste his own "powder" on it?

Trump also attacked Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent for president, in the days before the November 2016 election, claiming she planned to attack Syria if she was elected, suggesting that that would be a bad idea: Trump tweeted then: "We're spending $6 trillion dollars on wars in the Middle East, while our own country falls into total disrepair. Now, Hillary wants to start a shooting war in Syria, in conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia, which could lead to World War 3."

The question is why Trump decided to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles, costing about US$1.5m each, into Syria, while most infrastructure in the United States are in total disrepair? The money "wasted" here could have solved many pressing problems at home. The irony is that The Hill reports that the White House budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, will this week send a memo to federal agencies instructing them to prepare for future cuts to funding and staff, but look at what was wasted in Syria that could have upgraded infrastructure and saved jobs at home.

In one respect, Trump is consistent with his previous advice: Thursday's attack on Syria appears to have been planned hastily in the hours before it was launched, and with little warning. This was what Trump tweeted on August 29, 2013: "If we are going to continue to be stupid and go into Syria (watch Russia), as they say in the movies, SHOOT FIRST AND TALK LATER!"

Why then did Trump order the missile strike only two days after the alleged chemical attack on Syrian people?

On August 29, 2013, Trump tweeted: "No, dopey, I would not go into Syria, but if I did it would be by surprise and not blurted all over the media like fools".

Then, why did the U.S. military inform Russia in advance before the attack?

It's unclear what the scale of casualties, military and otherwise, was from the Thursday's attack on Syria. But Trump should have heeded his own warning to Obama in 2013:

On September 3, 2013, Trump tweeted: "If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S."

Why didn't Trump stay away from Syria, so as to fix the United States instead?

To be continued!






Continued from Part 2