The U.S. military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles from the USS Porter and USS Ross warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the al-Sharan air base near the western city of Homs early on the morning of Friday, April 7. According to the Pentagon, this base was used to store chemical weapons. Prior to that bombing run, many more Syrians died in what seems to be a chemical attack by President Bashar Al-Assad—on his own people.
In the wake of this attack, President Trump decided to bomb the Syrian air base that was reported to have launched the chemical attack. After warning the Russian and Syrian Governments of the incoming attack, the bombs hit after an evacuation was in progress. Six Syrian soldiers were reported to have been killed in Friday’s missile strike, which destroyed as much as 90 percent of the base. Syrian officials said nine civilians, including four children, were also killed.
Later, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad decided to launch warplanes from Shayrat Airfield just hours after it was bombed by U.S. cruise missiles. Though the act of pushing back on the Assad regime seems as though it makes sense, it also forces questions of why are we going about the scenario this way.
The irony of this situation brings us back to Donald Trump’s campaign trail. Donald Trump told Hugh Hewitt that America is going to have to stop being the policemen of the world, saying that we have to fix our own house or we aren’t even going to have a country. If this isn’t policing the world, what is? Humanitarian organization Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) found the U.S. and coalition forces killed more civilians in Syria in March than ISIL or Russian forces did, killing 260 civilians including 70 children and 34 women.
Not only this, but The U.S. military said Saturday that a U.S.-led coalition strike hit an area in the Islamic-State-held Iraqi city of Mosul, where officials on the ground said around 200 civilians may have been killed. Those figures would make the strike one of the U.S.-led bombings in 25 years in terms of civilian causalities. With these statistics, it seems fair to say violence only incited violence on both sides.
But, if I might add that each U.S. Cruise Missile costs about $830,000, what we did was waste $48,970,000 on attacking a Syrian air base that was back in use a few hours after the strike. Shouldn’t that money be used to make America great again?
Now, the chemical attack on Syria was a horrific incident and it had to be addressed, but not in this way. This is only provocative. The U.S. and its citizens are more at risk, domestically and abroad, if we continue to mindlessly police the world. Instead of launching missiles, we should take in the refugees that came for our help in the first place.
These men, women, and children have not come to us asking for us to bomb their homes, but to give them a home and safe place for them to continue their lives in peace. The widely inflated numbers of refugees who have been arrested on suspicion of planning terrorist activity are not backed up by statistics.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, of the 784,000 resettled refugees taken in since September 11, 2001, only three resettled refugees have been arrested for planning terrorist activities—“none of which, by the way, resulted in attacks here.” So to do the math out, the terrorist-to-innocent ratio is 1:261,000. Therefore, it is only pure ignorance that keeps them out of the country and in harm’s way.
So, we are willing to kill the innocents abroad in the name of their protection, but refuse to allow them shelter in the United States? That math doesn’t add up. Instead of policing the world, which again Trump vowed not to do, we should open our doors the refugees who seek safety for themselves and their families.
Every refugee goes through an intensive vetting process, but the precautions are increased for Syrians. Multiple law enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies perform these checks, which are an arduous process that will only show us that the majority of these people are, in fact, innocent civilians. Not to mention, the entire vetting process takes on average two years to complete, according to TIME Magazine. No terrorist would ever choose this option, for the other option of applying for a visa requires far less effort and time.
In October 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, “Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.”
With Trump’s approval ratings hitting a historic low at 42%, I think hypocrisy must be cited in saying: Now that Trump’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch his launched strike in Syria or Iraq. He is desperate.