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Young Leo

Trump launches military strike against Syria

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http://www.cnn.com/2...tary/index.html

 

 

(CNN)The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government target in retaliation for their chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier in the week.

 

On President Donald Trump's orders, US warships launched between 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks were based, US officials said.

 

"Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air field in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched," Trump said during short remarks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago. "It is in this vital national security of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons."

 

He added: "There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically."

 

A US defense official said the strike was targeted on runway, aircraft and fuel points. The missiles were launched from warships in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Strikes are over "until another decision is made," the official said.

 

The strikes are the first direct military action the US has taken against the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's six-year civil war and represent a substantial escalation of the US' military campaign in the region, which could be interpreted by the Syrian government as an act of war.

 

Trump was very affected by the images of dead children among the civilian casualties in the Syrian chemical weapons attack and felt compelled to act, a senior administration official said.

 

The US began launching airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 under President Barack Obama as part of its coalition campaign against ISIS, but has only targeted the terrorist group and not Syrian government forces.

 

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Looks like a bit of a symbolic "the line is drawn here."

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Doesn't matter that much. I think it sends a perfectly fine message, which is "The United States is under new leadership, we have the power to draw the line, and the line is drawn here." I think Assad might think twice before deploying chemical weapons now.

 

I agree that it would be better if the place was completely destroyed, but it's pretty tough to do that to a big strip of land. The US government also warned Russia about this beforehand, so clearly they weren't going for maximum damage. Besides, according to the article the fueling area was wrecked. Tough to do much when you can't fuel the planes.

Edited by Sobend

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Don't really see what the big deal is. Maybe he should have asked Congress first, that's the only issue I can see. Even though he ran against this type of thing, preventing the use of chemical weapons is probably in everybody's best interest.

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I thought the last administration promised there were no chemical weapons in Syria. The fact that we were lied to about Syria's weaponry makes the current president's actions look like the only obvious response to Assad murdering his own population.

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The fact that we were lied to about Syria's weaponry makes the current president's actions look like the only obvious response to Assad murdering his own population.

I don't understand this line of reasoning at all.

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The fact that we were lied to about Syria's weaponry makes the current president's actions look like the only obvious response to Assad murdering his own population.

I don't understand this line of reasoning at all.

Syria was told they cannot possess chemical weapons, as per the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention). (Actually it outlaws chemical weapons in a multilateral treaty. No county can either own or use them. It is an update to the 1925 Geneva protocol that initiated the ban on chemical weapon use, and now it extends that to use and possession.)

 

Syria broke the convention. They not only lied about not having chemical weapons, and used those chemical weapons to attack Syrians. Thus the only response other than sit by and watch them break the law and kill their own people is to step in and take action.

 

Hope that explains my thought process better!

Edited by Chaoss

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Now Trump has dropped a Massive Ordinance Air Blast in Afghanistan. This weapon cost at least 10 times more than what 95% of people will earn in their lifetimes. Certainly many times more than I expect to earn in my lifetime.

Edited by Traviesa

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I fully support this. The political conversation in the U.S seems to think that any U.S stance should be a choice between two extremes; a) Do nothing (Insisted on by Ann Coulter and the alt-right) and boots on the ground taking Damascus (Sen. McCain, Graham et al). I've said it before here. You can do so much by taking the middle ground. Safe zones can be run by secular Kurds in northern Syria and the U.S can guarantee immediately response against chemical weapons use.

 

This is a refreshing change from 8 years on inaction by the Obama administration. Assad is a butcher and I reject the notion of powerful countries not doing anything whilst children are gassed on prime time TV. Something can be done.

 

I thought the last administration promised there were no chemical weapons in Syria. The fact that we were lied to about Syria's weaponry makes the current president's actions look like the only obvious response to Assad murdering his own population.

 

Let's not forget the the compromise in 2013 was for Syria to surrender all chemical weapons and that this will be supervised by the Russians. That clearly did not happen. The Syrians lied and the Russians were either tricked by Assad or were complicit in his madness. Lo and behold, the Russians at the UN Security Council are vetoing calls to send UN investigation to Syria. Any diplomatic move against Syria at the UN will always be vetoed by Moscow. The time for talk is over. Tyrants like Assad must understand that they cannot use chemical weapons with impunity.

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Now Trump has dropped a Massive Ordinance Air Blast in Afghanistan. This weapon cost at least 10 times more than what 95% of people will earn in their lifetimes. Certainly many times more than I expect to earn in my lifetime.

I fail to see how the cost of the bomb is anything to complain about. I also don't know why people look at a CNN headline and take it for truth.

 

The bomb dropped cost $170,000. If you can't make that in a lifetime in America then you're doing something wrong. If you want to be pedantic then yeah, well over 70% of the rest of the world won't make that much in their lifetimes but I've never seen how that argument is relevant. 70% of the rest of the world doesn't live with the amenities we do. Even our homeless have iPhones. I know I'm digressing.

 

Not saying this is you, but I dislike how people are complaining about how much this bomb cost one hand while on the other hand fully support the government spending billions and billions on bloated governmental agencies that make little to no difference about anything. Why not complain that for the price of 3 MOABs you could have paid Bill Clinton for 15 minutes of a speech. Why not complain about the obscene amount of money involved in funding abortions or funding protests where the message from one protester to the next is vastly different. Ben Carson found over half a TRILLION dollars in errors by the government after an audit. Why don't we focus on clearing up governmental corruption? For that money we could have dropped almost THREE MILLION MOABs. I know big numbers are hard to picture, but seriously! Three million bombs could have been dropped for the amount of money that was found misappropriated in the audit. That's sickening!

 

Just take some time to read about things rather than reading the headlines and feigning outrage. It will do you a world of good and you'll be much more prepared when it comes time to defend your position. Left, Right, Up, or Down, I don't care, the price of the bomb would be absolutely irrelevant no matter your political beliefs if it wasn't for the fact that it was dropped during this administration.

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According to The Guardian, the project that developed the bomb costed $314 million and produced 20 bombs as a result. According to what the air force told Business Insider, the cost of producing one unit is $170,000; they don't go into much detail, unfortunately, but I assume that $170,000 would be the theoretical cost of producing an additional unit now that the development is finished. If a headline or article says, "The bomb costs $170,000," that's misleading because the costs of a project, I imagine, are typically far in excess of the cost of each unit produced by it as a result (especially for something to be deployed as circumstantially as this particular bomb), and if somebody says, "The bomb costed $314 million," that's also misleading, obviously, because that isn't the cost of each additional unit.

Edited by Guitarguy

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Even if the bomb was $10 million, which it's not, my point stands. It's also the message the bomb sends that makes it worth it.

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The bombs were developed for Middle Eastern conflicts like the Second Gulf War. They ended up never needing to use them and they've been in storage for over a decade. They've already been paid for. Why not use them? :P

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I was thinking of the cost in millions, which includes shipping the bomb to wherever the aircraft was launched, buying the fuel for the aircraft, paying the salaries of all the people to manufacture, ship and drop the bomb and so on. The idea that the bomb only cost $170.000 is like saying your car only costs what you paid for it on the lot. This weapon is emblematic of American military spending, which far outstrips every other country on the planet. The Department of Defence and its subsidiaries top the list of "bloated government agencies that make little to no difference about anything."

 

You could buy several hundred (<500)abortions for $170.000, depending on what method you used, the stage of pregnancy, the exchange rate of the currency where the abortion is done, and whether the abortion is legal there (Illegal abortions always cost more). Abortions have become cheaper and safer overall in the past 50 years. If you see abortion as murder, a MOAB is still a much more efficient use of your money to kill people.

 

I agree something must be done, @Phoenix Rider. But a military response is uniformly unhelpful. Until Trump is willing to take his nation's share of the refugees and address the present human costs of the conflict, he has no standing to unilaterally bomb a sovereign nation that doesn't pose a direct threat to the US. Even if that sovereign nation is ruled by a despot, Trump must learn to use diplomatic tools other than force. If he worries so much about the suffering of Syrian children, why won't he let any of them come to the United States?

 

Edited by Traviesa

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I agree something must be done, @Phoenix Rider. But a military response is uniformly unhelpful. Until Trump is willing to take his nation's share of the refugees and address the present human costs of the conflict, he has no standing to unilaterally bomb a sovereign nation that doesn't pose a direct threat to the US. Even if that sovereign nation is ruled by a despot, Trump must learn to use diplomatic tools other than force. If he worries so much about the suffering of Syrian children, why won't he let any of them come to the United States?

 

The issue of refugees is a wholly different issue. I agree more with the approach argued by the United Kingdom and Jordan which is giving more aid to refugee relocation and aid programs in neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon. I'm a right-wing conservative but I'm even willing to see more children and families into Western countries. The king of Jordan has been pleading to Western countries to send more aid and I feel that's where work can really be done. By promoting economic development and resettling in the neighbouring countries, we prevent the refugees making dangerous voyages to Europe. There's also the options of safe zones run by the Kurds. A UN zone in Northern Syria can be just as successful as Iraqi Kurdistan was in the 90s when it was shielded from Saddam Hussein. Look at Kurdistan now. A prosperous secular oasis in the heart of a violent region.

 

We can debate but when a madman gasses his own people, are you seriously saying we can't do anything to help unless Trump allows X number of people in? I find that extremely arbitrary. It does nothing to save people. I fact, it uses the Syrian people as bargaining chips and takes the immoral stance of doing nothing. I cannot support just inaction in the face of such evil.

 

You say Syria poses no direct threat. I like to think civilised nation states have the moral duty to save civilians despite having no moral obligation to do so. Inaction leads to the deaths of millions as seen in Cambodia, the Balkans, Rwanda...etc. Those countries no threat to the West too. I refuse to see gassed children on the evening news then shrug it off by saying, "meh, they pose no risk to us'.

 

You mention diplomacy. I agree, there must be diplomacy but up until what point? every attempt to sanction or punish Assad has been vetoed by the Security Council thanks to the Russians who are using Syria as a staging ground in the Mediterranean. The Russian delegation has even blocked moves to send an independent fact-finding mission into the affected area. They guaranteed the world in 2013 that these weapons would be taken away from Assad. That was their compromise and that convinced Obama to stay his hand and not bomb Assad despite him drawing his pathetic red line. The Russians have either been manipulated by Assad or they're complicit in his madness. Either way, they're stonewalling any serious investigation. Meanwhile, US radar tracking, satellite images and Turkish intelligence all confirm that it was Assad who gassed these people.

 

The time for talk is over. Assad will never negotiate because he knows he faces jail or execution if he were ever to step down from power. He has broken a centuries old norm of international law and snuffed out the lives of his own people in a systematic and brutal fashion. To hell with the sovereignty of Syria. You lose sovereignty when you commit such madness using WMD. Something must be done and thank God that something is finally being done.

Edited by Phoenix Rider

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I hope the Kurds get a better deal out of this in the end and their autonomous zone is enforced and acknowledged by the rest of the world. They also shouldn't be the dumping ground for people who have hurt them in the past. The Kurds have well-defined interests and will fight everyone for those interests. The creation of a UN Zone (whatever that means) might be useful in the short-term, but look at the Sudan. How would this be different from the decades of refugee camps there or on the border of Guatemala and Mexico? Europe has destroyed what is today Syria through centuries of imperialism -- the danger of crossing the Mediterranean or going through Turkey is no more dangerous than the situation in Syria itself.

 

The US has a history of blundering into places it doesn't belong with ill-defined objectives that shift and change over time until they run out of steam. When the US went to Iraq, they weren't there to topple a dictator. They wanted to destroy (nonexistent) WMDs. Getting rid of Saddam was not the goal. In order to save face destroying Saddam became the new goal once the world knew they'd been lying about the WMDs. Then it took forever for the US to leave -- there are still American soldiers in Iraq. Trump's use of the missiles was an exercise in phallic overcompensation -- it didn't actually do much. Nor did the use of the MOAB in Iraq. The American empire is already stretching itself thin.

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