Is Trump Finally Giving a S*** about Syria?

Is Trump Finally Giving a S*** about Syria?

A recent gas attack and an airstrike that followed has made me shift my views a little.
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I never actually thought that I would find myself in a position like this. I have been critical of Trump's presidency from the beginning, specifically on his views of Islam and immigration in conjunction with the rise in xenophobia and islamophobia. Considering my last article was an angry open letter I literally wrote at the last minute, this article is going to be a big contradiction on my part. If there is one thing I am guilty of, that I think most Democrats and other leftists are, is that we never give time to listen to the conservative side. Its easy for us to simply shout "xenophobia" when we hear conservatives talk about immigration and Muslims. But we should all learn to do our research to know what views we are argueing. This article will anger some of you, but its not my fault.

On Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, a nerve gas attack was lauched on Kahn Sheikhoun, a town occupied by rebel forces in Northern Syria. 72 people have been declared dead, including 20 children. The rockets lauched contained Sarin gas, a chemical that is banned from use by international law.

Videos and pictures of Syrian children, dead or dying have surfaced all over the internet, sparking up a firestorm in the media.

Trump responded to the attick, saying in a speech given in West Palm Beach, Florida, "Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruely murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer..." He followed up announcing he authorized a military strike on the airfield where the rockets contained the gas agent were launched. It seems to me that Trump is genuinely shaken by the thought of innocent children being murdered, regardless of ethnicity.


On Thursday night, two American warships, the U.S.S. Ross and U.S.S. Porter, launched 59 tomahawk missles upon the airfield which the gas attack was launched from. According to officials of the Syrian army, 7 Syrians were killed and 9 others were wounded. This attack marked the first direct military action by the United States on Syria since 2011.

Trump's decision has been criticized by both the media and politicians on both sides of the political coin on the supposed grounds that he didn't call a meeting with congress to approve the authorization of military action, and the possible tensions increased between the United States, Syria and their allies, China and Russia. Also to consider the fact that Trump was meeting with Chinese President, Xi Jinping at the time the airstrike was taking place. However, many Chinese officials have spoken on the issue and based on what they said, they are still willing to cooperate with the United States on other matters.

However... this military action did not go without congressional awareness.

The United States senate held an emergency meeting on Wednesday, April 5th, at 9:30 am. The purpose was to condemn the Assad regime for its continued use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. By the end of the session, it was resolved that the Senate held the Assad regime responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, which the Syrian government entered in agreement back in 2013. This was after a similiar gas attack took place on the rebel-held suburb of Ghouta, which resulted in 1,429 deaths and over 3,600 injuries that same year. I'll get to that later.

While Trump's authorization of the airstrike has recieved harsh criticism in the media but a handful of praise as well.

Kentucky's U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell has expressed support of Trump's actions during a meeting held by the Senate on Friday, the day after the airstrike.

Kassam Eid, a survivor of the 2013 was interviewed via skype by CNN's Brookes Baldwin. In the interview he expressed praise for the airstrike. In the interview, Eid said: “With all due respect, I didn’t see each and every person who was demonstrating after the travel ban. I didn’t see you three days ago when people were gassed to death, where civilians were gassed to death. I didn’t see you in 2013 when 1,400 people were gassed to death. I didn’t see you raising your voice against President Obama’s inaction in Syria that led us–refugees…that made us refugees, get kicked out of Syria. If you really care about refugees, if you really care about helping us, please help us stay in our country. We don’t want to come to United States. We want to stay in our country. With all due respect, this is hypocrisy." He closed the interview pleading with Trump to establish safe zones and not to stop the airstikes and then he said, "Please, sir, what you did was amazing. What you did was a powerful message of hope."

Syria is a country torn by civil war. As it enters its seventh year, under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, it has claimed the lives of over 465,000 Syrians, and millions wounded and the number has been rising in the light of these gas attacks. While the United States has expressed opposition to Assad's regime over the years of the war. Former President Barak Obama had been hesitant to get involved with the conflict, and in the aftermath of the 2013 gas attack, Obama called Assad's use of chemical weapons a "red line." Obama did planed a military strike on Syria in response to the 2013 gas attack but was met with hesitations due to domestic opposition from both political parties, and recieved congressional disapproval. Instead, Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who proposed a deal to have all chemical weapons removed from the Assad regime. This is where Syria entered the Chemical Weapons Convention, as I mentioned before. By June 2014, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons declared that all chemical weapons have been removed from Syria.This recent gas attack not only violated the Chemical Weapons Convention, but also reflects the visciousness of Assad's regime. His wilingness to break international law and slaughter innoncent people in the effort to fight the rebels. It doesn't matter if its war or not, nothing justifies the killing of innocent people, especially children, the most innocent of humanity.

I think that bein said, its safe to say that the Syrians have more then enough reasons to flee their own country. Since the United States has closed its immigration to the refugees, they have fled to Turkey, Lebenon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and parts of Europe. The UNHCR stated that since the beginning of the war, over four million Syrians have fled the country since 2011, and over half of them were and are children.

If I haven't been made myself clear, I fully support Trump's decision with the airstrike. Considering we aren't letting Syrian refugees into the country, due to our own fear of ISIS attacking us, its good to know that our President gives some sort of a damn about the conflict in Syria. Of course, it wasn't what I wanted to see, but its ten times better then turning the other cheek, which we have been guilty of doing. Rather then opening out borders, we might as well secure their homeland, because when you get right down to it, they don't want to leave their country, but its their only option. If the conservatives don't want the refugees coming in, then they better do something to make them want to stay in their country, and that could only happen by ending the bloodshed the Assad regime has committed.


Cover Image Credit: google images

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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When Words Are Not Enough

Sometimes you just need to be.

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Life is a roller-coaster of ups and downs. We all desire easy fruitful lives where no one ever dies and no one ever leaves. Instead, we suffer through hardships and great trials that test our faith. These conflicts often leave us worn down and feeling helpless. This is the time when words become a languid breeze, going through one ear and out the other. This is what you should do when words are not enough to satiate the pain you hold in trembling hands.

Focus all your energy into just being. No one expects you to get over the tragedy that occurred in your life, so don't force yourself. Just eat, breathe, and sleep until you feel up to doing normal tasks. Whatever circumstance that has stolen your breath and turned your life upside down won't go a week in a couple of days or a week. Wounds like yours don't go away instantly; instead, they take time and nurturing. Sometimes it's best to keep a sore covered but in some circumstances, know that seeing someone is okay.

These tragedies you face are real, and they try to break down the very substances that make you who you are. Counselors and therapists can help you make sense of the burden you carry. There are many reasons why you might be hesitant to see a therapist, but if the burden you carry becomes too much, a therapist can help you lighten that load.

Know that what you are going through is real and it is tough, but you will make it out on top. You are a survivor and a success story. Every single bad thing that has tried to tear you down hasn't succeeded, and this will be no different. Trust me, your story is not over.

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