I’ve noticed that the typical sources that are normally all too excited to “explain the news” to you are doing reporting on this issue that requires more back-story to make any sense. I suspect that this is the case because the details behind this story don’t fit a sensationalist narrative or partisan agenda. Whatever the case – Since I happen to have been following at least the base components at play, here is my Rich-plaination for y’all on the key points of what just happened and why…
Since 2011 there has been a Star Wars style “Rebels vs The Empire” war going on in Syria.
President Obama announced to the world that if that if the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against the rebels there (really dirty painful internationally illegal cruel way of killing opponents) then that would be a “red line”, implying a line that, if crossed would come with severe consequences.
Assad used the weapons and Obama did nothing, exposing the empty threat and embarrassing the United States to a degree to where even The Obama Administrations Secretary of State John Kerry had to later admit was a costly disaster.
Thanks to this Obama failure, ISIS now has chemical weapons.
Fast forward to 2017: Assad used chemical weapons on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which, at the time of this writing is reported to have killed at least 85 civilians, 23 of whom were children.
As a direct response to this, the new Trump Administration launched missiles at a Syrian airbase. President Trump explained:
Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread of chemical weapons.
That announcement was made Thursday night from Trumps Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Many are scared about what this means for international policy while others (read: this guy) find it refreshingly badass to have a president working out of his Florida luxury resort where he pauses meetings with foreign leaders to announce that it didn’t take more than a day for the country he leads to follow up with a punishing military response to a country killing children and civilians with chemical weapons. More:
The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles from the USS Porter and USS Ross destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean against the Shayrat air base, where the U.S. says the planes that carried out a chemical weapons attack originated. The missiles targeted aircraft and aircraft shelters, ammunition, air defense systems and radars.
U.S. officials said planners did everything possible to avoid civilian casualties and are still doing battle damage assessment to determine the exact results of the raid.
Whether you too find this response refreshingly badass or not, you shouldn’t be scared about too much further foreign war entanglements. Trumps stated intentions are to curtail the spread of chemical weapons, so if Assad stops using them, there is no reason to believe there will be further strikes against Syria by the United States. That appears to be the deal.
Trump ran a non-interventionist campaign that was backed with promises to also not allow “red line” moments to happen under his watch. At the time of this writing, this test on those claims appears to have been passed.