A version of this article was published in The Sunday Post on 9th April 2017. © Richard Kemp
President Trump’s attack on the Al Shayrat airbase in Syria has made the world a safer place. It was a return to US global leadership and resolve that hasn’t been seen for eight years.
Thursday night’s Tomahawk cruise missile strike was made necessary by President Obama’s weakness, appeasement and poor judgement that destabilized the Middle East and signalled a free pass to despots everywhere. Russia received the green light for intervention in Syria and aggression in Ukraine.
President Assad previously used Sarin in August 2013 in an attack at Ghouta. Despite Obama’s declaration the previous year that use of chemical weapons by Assad was a red line he failed to respond, with far-reaching consequences for American credibility and authority. Instead, with Russia and Syria, he agreed the surrender and destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons under international supervision.
Ever since, Obama, his Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice have been bragging about how they ended Syria’s use of chemical weapons by diplomacy rather than force.
Tuesday’s Sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikhun conclusively exposed their miscalculation and naivety.
The Chemical Weapons Convention bans production, stockpiling and use of these munitions worldwide. Whenever anyone attacks with chemical weapons without consequences their subsequent use becomes more likely and threatens us all. Because of that, not only was Trump’s counter-attack legitimate, lawful and proportionate — it was vital for global security.
Why did Assad attack with nerve agent? Support from Russia, Iran and Lebanese Hizballah prevented the total collapse of his regime but the war against his own people is far from won. Continue reading