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'We should examine ourselves before we jump to mock Trump and his reaction to Syria'

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LAST APRIL, THE forces of Syrian President Bashar al–Assad launched a chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in Syria’s northwestern Idleb province.

This wasn’t the first time that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons. Assad had previously crossed that notional ‘red line’ set by President Obama in 2012, killing 1,500 in an attack later that year. The death toll in Khan Sheikhun of 86, including 30 children was actually – shocking as it may seem to say – relatively small when set against previous attacks.

The number, sadly, is tiny when compared to the at least 300,000 fatalities of the Syrian war, now nearly seven years old.

What set last April’s attack apart was that it elicited a response from the US administration.

It is said that advisers, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, presented the President with a dossier of photographs of the victims of the attack, particularly of the 30 children who were so cruelly murdered by the regime.

In 2013, on Barack Obama’s watch, Trump had argued against intervention in Syria.

His ‘America First’ rhetoric was hardly encouraging from the perspective of those of us who were frustrated by the paucity of the Obama response. Just a week previously, Trump’s then-press secretary Sean Spicer had said that the continuing rule of Bashar al -Assad was “a reality that we have to accept”.

This policy volte-face on the part of Trump is often cited as an example of his capriciousness.

It strikes me though, that we should examine our collective........

© TheJournal