On Thursday evening, President Trump took bold action against the Assad regime in Syria. After a deadly chemical weapons attack by Assad on innocent civilians that left over eighty five dead, the world was distraught by the horrific images. President Trump condemned the attack, proceeding to take steps that insinuated a response. Respond he did, as President Trump authorized the launch of almost sixty tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base last night. It was certainly a stark contrast in American foreign policy concerning Syria from the past eight years. Despite the conflicting reports and newfound foreign policy gurus on Twitter expressing their obviously expert opinions, Americans reacted with sound arguments on both sides of the issue.
Many supported the Trump administration’s action, stating that the United States had been silent for too long concerning Syria. With atrocious war crimes and despicable human rights violations, some Americans felt that the missile attack sent a strong message. They perceived it as a signal to Syria that this barbaric behavior would not be tolerated and that the United States would be vigilant for justice. Senators Ben Sasse, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain were among the many that supported the strike on the Shayrat airbase. In a statement, Senator Sasse said that “American troops met injustice with strength” and that in the coming days, President Trump should “propose to Congress a comprehensive strategy” about subsequent American actions in Syria. Similar sentiments were expressed from Sasse’s congressional counterparts and fellow Americans. Many also cited the pleas of Syrians from earlier this year for the world to intervene. The nearly sixty tomahawks satisfied Americans thirsting for intervention, as well as Syrians. CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted about the President’s actions, explaining that his Syrian activist friend was pleased and insinuated that it was about time the United States made a move. Expressions of support for President Trump’s actions were abundant, but so were those of disapproval.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, many accused President Trump’s action of breaching constitutional grounds for military engagement. While presidents have long since abandoned the traditional constitutional declaration of war from Congress, President Trump was still the target from everyday citizens and Congressmen alike for this action. Senator Rand Paul tweeted: “the President needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution.” Many sympathized with this point of view and took his opinion one step further. They stated that this was not the United States’ fight, and that military involvement could not yield positive results. They believed these actions were rash and poorly thought out, looking to the problems with the United States and Middle East. Additionally, it was stated that ramifications of removing Assad could include creating a power vacuum to be filled, much like the situation of the United States in Iraq with the rise of ISIS. Valid and passionate arguments against the President were certainly prevalent following the missile attack.