SIO33: Thinking Clearly on Syria

I support Trump’s Syria strike against the Shayrat airfield. That is the punchline of today’s episode but I encourage you to listen with an open mind as I go through the reaction to the Syria strike, what different pundits and columnists and congresspersons have said, and why I think ultimately it was a good idea. There’s a lot of muddy and motivated thinking going on in our public discourse; I’m doing my best to go where the facts lead. And as always, I’m very open to counter argument! Here are some selected sources:

How Many Bombs Obama Dropped on SyriaBreakdown of Senate Support for the StrikeCongress Syria Statements 2013 vs 2017Blatant Republican Hypocrisy on SyriaOpinion Piece Alleging Liberals ‘Cooing’ Over TrumpShadi Hamid Avoiding Fallacies on SyriaPossible Anti-Trump Backlash in Special Elections

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6 Comments on "SIO33: Thinking Clearly on Syria"

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I’m by no means the first to say this, but it terrifies me to see the adulation and validation that Trump has gotten from the media when his administration engages in dramatic military action. It’s bad enough that prominent newspeople, including reliable critics of the Trump administration, equate demonstrations of military force with competent leadership, but as we know, Trump is an unfit narcissist obsessed with the approval of others, a desperate need to be viewed as legitimate, and a demonstrated history of reacting to what he sees on cable news. Putting aside, for a paragraph, the question of whether… Read more »
St. Ralph

The fact that we launched 59(?) missiles and we’re not exactly sure what they hit, just strengthens my suspicion that the plan for this strike was run by the Kremlin in advance. It was a PR strike. The Russians knew it wouldn’t hit any of their stuff and wouldn’t seriously debilitate Al-Assad either. You and Thomas are looking AT the window and describing it in Vermeerian detail. Try looking THROUGH the window.

Santa Claus Apologist
Santa Claus Apologist

I pretty much agree with what Kyle said.

I would state that what I mostly object to is that Trump did not seek congressional approval. Yes, he was not legally required to take it up with congress. However, because the US was not under immediate threat, I think congressional approval was in order. Also congressional review would subject the evidence that pro-Assad forces were responsible to a wider audience.

Derek Dadey
I disagree as well that this was a wise course of action. My reason is essentially this, is the life of a syrian civilian made any better by this action, or is this simply a theatrical and expensive show of disapproval ? Is your average syrian any safer today then before the strike? The odds of dying in a chemical attack have decreased(slightly I would guess), but the much much more likely death by barrel bomb remains unchanged. Has this intervention shortened the conflict? No the conflict remains in general as it was the day before and perhaps has been… Read more »
Roma Hicks
To me the most amazing thing is that Trump gave the okay to launch the missiles while at dinner with another nation’s leader present at the table. This could place the foreign leader in a awkward position having been present at the decision to violate a country’s sovereignty (regardless of whether it was correct to do so or not). He could place Xi in a position where he has to answer to other world leaders, or his citizens. I would feel awkward if I was attending dinner with my neighbour where he discussed robbing my other neighbour. I would want… Read more »
St. Ralph

Well, at least there were no reports of him grabbing his dinner guest’s crotch. With the Donald, no matter how bad it actually was, it could always have been worse.