Following president Trump’s decision to order missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria last week, many are beginning to wonder if the United States is headed towards another Middle East entanglement.
Michael Goodwin, a columnist with the New York Post, spoke with president Trump on Tuesday by phone to clear the air on this topic gaining national attention.
“We’re not going into Syria,” Trump told Goodwin. “Our policy is the same, it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”
During the interview, Trump reportedly called Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a “butcher” and a “barbarian” for using chemical weapons against his own people.
Trump added that the mission last week was a move to strategically send a message, not one that will drag the United States into another drawn out war in the Middle East.
“Our big mission is getting rid of ISIS,” Trump said. “That’s where it’s always been. But when you see kids choking to death, you watch their lungs burning out, we had to hit him and hit him hard.”
Trump indicated that the strike, which used 59 tomahawk missiles fired from two navy destroyers sitting in the Mediterranean Sea, was “an act of humanity.”
Goodwin moved on and asked Trump whether or not the decision was difficult for him to make this early in his presidency.
“It’s very tough to give that final go ahead when you know you’re talking about human life,” he said. “We went back and forth and also back and forth about severity. We could have gone bigger in terms of targets and more of them, but we thought this would be the appropriate first shot.”
Trump added, “We hope he won’t do any more gassing.”
This is one of those interviews where we save it for later and hope that the president honors his commitment.
“America first” must be more than a catchphrase and implemented into U.S. policy.
The United States has a plethora of options when it comes to the Middle East instead of committing ground troops for a long, drawn out war that costs millions of dollars, takes lives, and leads to no solution in the end.
Let’s hope Trump remains true to his word.