President Trump’s Big League Mistake

Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

By Zachary Sobeck, Columnist

On the night of April 7, President Donald J. Trump ordered an airstrike against an airfield run by President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The strike was reportedly in response to the alleged chemical attack which took place just a few days prior on April 4.

The United States government has accused the Syrian government under al-Assad of using chemical weapons (likely sarin gas) on civilians, killing about 75-100 people in the town of Khan Shaykhun, which was under the control of a radical Islamic Syrian rebel group called Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as the al-Nusra Front) at that time.

The reports from the Syrian and Russian governments differ however, as they assert that Tahrir al-Sham had been storing chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun and a Syrian bomb struck the warehouse where those chemical weapons were stockpiled causing the catastrophe.

According to a November 2015 Newsweek report, at least one Syrian rebel group — perhaps ISIS — used chemical weapons in the past.

Due to the incident involving the use of chemical weapons, President Trump has made a complete foreign policy pivot and has effectively gone against everything on which he campaigned for pertaining to international relations.

It was very refreshing for many Trump voters to see a Republican who was not on the neoconservative bandwagon of regime-change wars in the Middle East which, in the end, just cause more problems for the United States.

Trump condemned the Iraq War, which saw the ousting of President Saddam Hussein, and he also condemned the United States’ involvement in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power. Since the removal of both Hussein and Gaddafi, their respective countries have been overrun by radical Islamic groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Useless neocon regime-change wars have cost the United States trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives. If President Trump chooses to go ahead with such a war in Syria against President Assad, he will effectively betray his campaign promises, drain trillions of dollars from taxpayers, and condemn American soldiers to die.

A nonsensical regime-change war in Syria will not help to make America great again; it would do just the opposite.

President Trump was not elected so he could drag the U.S. into yet another useless war in the Middle East. Voters elected him to engage in an “America first” foreign and domestic policy which included not engaging in disastrous, costly and ultimately useless regime-change wars.

President Trump’s Syrian intervention is a clear departure from the America-first policy proposals on which he campaigned. He should focus on forging fair trade deals, rebuilding American infrastructure, protecting American industry, eradicating radical Islam and invigorating American civic nationalism.

Only when the President stops involvement in nonsensical foreign regime-change wars and starts truly putting America first can he make America great again.

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Author: Zachary Sobeck

Zachary Sobeck '20 intends to major political science and minor in German. He is from Malvern, Pennsylvania and graduated from Great Valley High School in 2016. He has volunteered with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign during the Pennsylvania primary election. He currently serves as president of the Gettysburg College Republicans and is also a member of Young Americans for Freedom.

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