Last weekend, The United States, in conjunction with its Western allies; France and the UK, launched missiles into Syria in response to the Syrian government’s apparent use of Chemical weapons on civilians. A Washington Post article says the move did not yield any significant positive results.
In 2013, after Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad crossed President Barack Obama’s red line and used chemical weapons on innocent civilians, a U.S. official told the Los Angeles Times that Obama’s retaliatory strike would likely be “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would elicit a response from Iran and Russia. In the end, Obama backed away from even such a small, feckless strike.
On Friday, Trump carried one out.
Trump deserves credit for acting (now twice) when Obama wouldn’t. He also deserves credit for getting U.S. allies to join us when Obama couldn’t. But let’s be clear: Friday night’s strikes were “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” As a result, they did more damage to the United States’ credibility on the world stage than they did to the Assad regime.
Dede is an accomplished literary critic and public commentator with a penchant for telling compelling stories. An avid Man City fan, he lives in Lagos.
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- January 24, 2023