On Thursday night, President Donald Trump launched the first direct attack by America on Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. The U.S. military attacked a Syria-government airfield with a reported 59 Tomahawk missiles on Thursday evening, and the world reacted on Friday to the aggressive act. As part of his statement about the strike, Trump said it was in response to dictator Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons attack on civilians in the country, and stated, "No child of God should ever suffer such horror." But at the same time, Trump is still acting to ban war refugees from coming to America from that country, which would include innocent children. Trump should admit Syrian refugees if he believes they're "children of God," shouldn't he?
And if Trump believes the young, innocent people of Syria are children of God who shouldn't have to live through such horrors, is he troubled by the fact that, according to The Telegraph, the U.S. missile attacks reportedly killed nine civilians — including four children?
Trump's statement about the strike specifically mentioned children in the first paragraph, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times:
My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, 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 cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.
Regardless of what any experts or pundits say now, that specific attack is over and done, and Trump is standing by the action. But if he's going to defend the attack, Trump needs to be prepared to answer for other actions he's taken in regards to Syria and the Syrian people as well.
As part of an executive order made on Jan. 27, 2017, Trump suspended entry or admission of Syrian refugees to the United States. In March, a new executive order meant that refugees from Syria were no longer banned indefinitely, but it also cut the number of refugees the U.S. would accept in 2017 by more than half — from 110,000 to 50,000 instead, according to NPR.
If Trump believes those affected by the war in Syria are children of God, it's puzzling that he would order an attack on their country with one hand but block them from safe entry for refuge here in the United States with the other. Won't an escalation of violence only lead to more murders of children? Aren't innocent civilian deaths part of his justification for the attack? So why further doom the Syrian people to possibly being trapped there, instead of offering help in the form of refuge from the war, and with a promise of safe entry to the country he is currently leading?
As Fusion pointed out, "More pointedly, a U.S. military intervention...would almost certainly cause an increase in the number of refugees attempting to flee the region." If Trump and the United States military are directly responsible for an increase in refugees, aren't they/we also responsible for trying to help them? If he is going to use their deaths as justification for action, why not try to preserve their lives in the first place instead?
In September 2015, Inquisitr.com reported that, "29 nations in the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere sheltering the refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Mideast." At that time, Turkey had taken the most of Syria’s refugees, with over 1.8 million Syrians living in that country. Lebanon, Syria’s neighbor, had taken in over 1.2 million refugees. Jordan reportedly had over 628,427 Syrians, coming in third.
Iraq, Egypt, Germany, Greece, and Sweden also held significant numbers of refugees as of the publishing of that piece. By comparison, the site reported, "currently, the U.S. has at least 1,500 Syrian refugees, with President Barack Obama open to offering more asylum." That number is abysmal when compared to the millions other countries have taken in. And if Trump is serious about feeling moved to act by the recent chemical weapons attack, he needs to commit to doing better when it comes to resettling refugees.
Political news show host John Iadarola summed it up well when he tweeted, "It sickens me to see Donald Trump claim concern for Syrian children's lives as his motivation, after years of demonizing child refugees."
On the campaign trail and during his brief time in office, Trump has pulled no punches when it comes to speaking against refugees from the region. As Salon.com pointed out, Trump and his administration have cut back on efforts to resettle Syrian refugees fleeing their country and the crisis, "based on his unfounded xenophobic fearmongering about how ISIS terrorists were embedded with the refugees to sneak their way into the U.S." According to CNN, not one person accepted to the U.S. as a refugee, whether Syrian or otherwise, "has been implicated in a major fatal terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980." So, such horrible claims are totally baseless, to say the least.
If Trump has now somehow done an about-face on his attitude towards refugees, and believes the innocent victims of the war to be children of God, he should act swiftly to admit more Syrian refugees before there's a chance for attacks to intensify and take the lives of more innocent people.