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Donald Trump on attacking syria for gas attacks

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 940 times Debate No: 117723
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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Donald Trump's attack on Syria for gasing his own people was a good decision. CHANGE MY MIND.


I would like to accept your challenge, But would like to first establish my opinion on the matter.
Donald trumps action in Syria was the incorrect course of action, This is because I believe that it fails to accomplish any of its objectives and seeks only to aggravate relations with the Syrian government and its allies in Russia.
There were two courses of action: hard action or soft action.
soft action would have been sanctions condemnation and other actions which avoid direct confrontation.
Hard action would have been to actively seek out and destroy the chemical weapon stockpiles of the regime, In order to be done effectively it would require long term commitment of recourses and perhaps even ground troops.
Trumps action manages to avoid either of these solutions by attacking Syrian military stations. This is the equivalent to a rap on the knuckles of the regime and while it caused pain it is simply not enough to ensure that Syria will not use these weapons again and would not change the course of the war in the favour of the US supported rebels.
However by launching these strikes, Trump has become a wasp irritating Syria and Russia but it sends a very ambiguous message which fails to be firm enough in its wording to actually change their actions.
By this point the US (esspesialy under Trump) has consistently failed to set it selves a objective, ISIS has finally been stamped out leaving Donald trump a man with no political experience in the middle of a political minefield with no end game surrounded by enemies who have been planning for years. Donald trumps attacks were just another blind step further into a mess and more than likely prolongs the war without doing enough to change its course if that is Trumps goal.
There are only two ways this war can now end: one: the Syrian government wins very little changes from before Assad remains in power with all of the problems that lead to the war, More likely than not continuing to inspire hostilities and terrorism from democratic revolutionaries, Kurdish fighters and Islamist militants. By this stage the US only needs to continue its current strategy to reach this outcome. The regime has always been autocratic and totalitarian if this was about protecting the people of Syria this would be a bad outcome but it would accomplish peace far sooner and would be better than a prolonged war.
two: The rebels win. I say the rebels but they are divided and by this point the USA would have to more likely than not invade to see this outcome into fruition thousands of US soldiers would die but a western friendly government would be installed and the dictatorship would end. However, There is no guarantee that this wouldn't go the same way as Afghanistan and it would bring the US into a risky confrontation with Russia.
You see now that ISIS is gone there is no morally correct or easy choice, And to enter this mess without a plan is suicide, Not for the US but for millions of civilians and soldiers.
If everything I have said seems irrelevant I would argue that it is, Because the middle east is not a simple question and solution, Years of religious divide, Political and military investment and history are about to come to a conclusion and the US doesn't want to be there when it does.
In conclusion, It was wrong to bomb Syria because it serves no end and fails to prevent such actions in the future. Trump simply lacks the ability to match the Russians or the Iranians on the geopolitical field and as such it serves US interests to seek a conclusion as soon as possible, A conclusion which can only be found in the same Syrian government they are bombing. As such it would have been far better to place sanctions on the government, Or even better join the many lawyers gathering evidence to take Assad to trial at the Hague for war crimes, In this way the future use of chemical weapons will be discouraged, And Assad will more likely than not either end up in prison for the rest of his short life (sadly as he is on the winning side it will be many years before he could be arrested, He may never be) or he will hang like the Nazis did. Regardless of if he is caught Assad and the officials of the regime will never be able to truly leave Syria and will live in fear for the rest of their lives, A fate awful enough to discourage future chemical attacks while still ending the war and maintaining good relations with Russia and other involved nations.
Trumps actions was bad enough to make a problem but not enough to fix one.
Debate Round No. 1


If I'm not mistaken, I believe there was two times when Donald Trump attacked Syria for gasing his own people. The second time he attacked them he did not go for any of their military stations, Instead, He went straight towards the chemical weapons facilities. This, In my opinion was the smartest move to make because it not only warns them that we are not afraid to attack them if we feel like we have to, But it also eliminates some of the problem by hindering their ability to produce the very chemicals that was used to gas their own people. The fact that Donald Trump acted very quickly is, In my opinion, Another good decision by him. By reacting so quickly he is sending a message that we are not hesitant to make a move. Some people interpret his quick actions as a sign of weakness because they believe that mistakes could easily be made without having the proper time to carefully evaluate the situation at hand, Making him be perceived as someone who is blatantly ruthless and reckless, Someone who acts before they speak or think. While can be true, It is actually more beneficial to us in this attack since this can be easily turned into a fear factor from other countries that wants to provoke us or defy our commands. If they fear how ruthless or reckless we are, They will more likely think twice about doing whatever they do.

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to be quick. Be quick and go hard.

Now you say that it worsens our relations with Syria and Russia. Ok, I can kinda accept that, But I still believe that it was the best decision to make. The goal here is to send a clear, Strong, And powerful message. DO NOT COMMIT WAR CRIMES OR WE WILL RETALIATE. And nothing can send this message clearer than showing our ruthless side. Going by the soft action would not be as effective since it takes too much time and punishing them over a long period of time over something they did that lasted for only a few days is not appropriate. Even after Syria learned their lesson they would still feel the pressure of the sanctions. Psychologically speaking if one learns not to do something again but feels like they are still being punished will still hurt the relations far worse than a shorter burst of punishment.

Ironically, The Assad was completely unfazed by the attacks and for some reason is even more confident that the US is not as powerful as they seem, But regardless I bet he wouldn't gas his own people again, And if he does, I'll be damned.

And really, To be honest, I really don't think our relations with Russia was ever going to improve, At least not when Putin is in charge.

You may actually be surprised at how many countries actually approved of Donald Trump's strikes in Syria. Fun fact: Most developed countries approved his attacks including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Australia, Israel, Japan, The United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

But not just most developed countries, But even the people of Syria approved as well. Before Donald Trump was even president, The people of Syria had always cried for help. For many years they wanted the US to intervene, But the US never did. It wasn't until when Donald Trump took office. The first time Assad gased his own people, Donald Trump took action and attacked Syria, The people of Syria cheered in joy. There was a video I saw online quite a while back that demonstrates how the Syrians have felt when the US finally intervened.
I would like to refer to this video https://www. Cnn. Com/videos/world/2017/04/07/syrian-survivor-thanks-trump-nr. Cnn in support of my position that it did more good than bad

Though the second attack on Syria wasn't as ruthless as some of the people of Syria had hoped for. Ironically, The Syrian people who supported Donald Trump's attacks were disappointed that Donald Trump didn't go as hard as they thought, And the people who didn't support Donald Trump's attacks actually cheered because of the same reason, They thought that the US was weak. I just thought I should mention this if you haven't known already.

To be clear again, I don't think that Donald Trump's motive to attack Syria was to protect the Syrian people as much as not allowing the Syrian government to use illegal gas weapons because that would be considered as a war crime. Crimes against humanity. I mean bombing them is already bad enough, But so much can only be done to prevent that completely. If Donald Trump was this humanitarian, I'm sure he would have done more than just protect the people of Syria, But he understands that war crimes are not to be tolerable which is why he felt like he needed to intervene. Bombing them is one thing, Gasing them is a whole other level.


Also could you tell me about the lawyers who can take Assad to trial, I never heard of such lawyers. I mean I've heard of the UN, Maybe that's what you're talking about?


First of all I shall link a article which legitimises the idea that a passive solution was also valid:
telegraph. Co. Uk/news/2016/04/12/syria-war-crimes-investigators-amass-strongest-evidence-since-nu
if you don't feel like this is a reputable source you can find similar articles from the NPR a less mainstream media source:
https://www. Npr. Org/2018/04/12/601951535/could-syrian-president-bashar-al-assad-be-tried-as-a-war-criminal? T=1534358193042

I hope that you can read both of these but if you can't I will summarise their contents. There is currently enough evidence to charge Assad with war crimes over the 7 years, He is currently being defended by Russia who have vetoed the decision to bring him to court. By provoking the Russians we make it more and more likely that they will continue to defend him and he will never answer for his crimes. The state of Syria is not a person and it cannot make its own decisions, Instead it is the individuals responsible for these crimes who must be punished. By failing to punish individuals, It shows others that it is safe to order these attacks. Assad has not suffered at all form these attacks, The war will still end the same way and he is still going to live free and protected.

It is important for many reasons to start to work with the Russians, They have done many things which deserve condemnation (the Crimea and the Ukraine), But it makes no sense to restart a cold war. As long as we continue to automatically standoff with the Russians Assad will never be brought to justice. The airstrikes were a short term solution to the problem but run the risk of putting Assad beyond out reach.

I think we can simply rule out the answer of increased action, Because short of assassinating Assad (a world leader) or invading and imprisoning him (as in Libya with Gaddafi) this would (while certainly a very efficient show of force and action) only worsen the lives of Syrians.

I must also criticise the way trump launched the strikes. I remember after the mustard gas strikes in Syria, Trump literally came onto stage and said that they would retaliate. I must add that this was about 3 days before the west did respond. This brought condemnation from the rest of NATO (namely the UK and France) and made it far more dangerous for us to carry out strikes. This overwhelming display of incompetence followed by a sudden surge in American involvement before returning to normal levels, Showed that Trump was not qualified to deal with the situation and gives the west (the USA is the symbolic leader of the free world) the appearance of being disorganised and weak the opposite of what we had wanted.

I would finally like to draw attention to the fact that Syria is a repeat offender in this area and airstrikes have proven ineffective as a deterrent so a new approach must be taken. A good example would be the Israeli destruction of a Syrian nuclear facility, However they more likely than not maintain a program according to the IAEA. In Aleppo the government used chlorine gas 8 times during the siege. I will link a article detailing the regimes consistent use of chemical weapons, Which they have done so over 140 times.
https://www. Baladi-news. Com/en/news/details/17851/How_Many_times_Did_Assad_Use_Chemical_Weapons
Conventional military retaliation has failed to send the desired message. This article was published last year in April since then there have been many more attacks.
This fox news article (people who would praise Trump had his actions prevented further attacks) we can see that there has simply not be a resolution. Http://www. Foxnews. Com/world/2018/04/10/timeline-chemical-weapons-attacks-in-syria. Html
In particular this "April 6, 2017: The U. S. Fires cruise missiles into Syria in retaliation for the Khan Sheikhoun attack, In the first direct American assault on the Syrian government. " this came before the Douma chemical attack, Which is the one we have been focusing on. Bombings while a quick and physical retaliation don't actually act as a major deterrent.

By the way having seen your comment I would be quite happy to adjust the length of the debate by forfeiting the final two rounds, Meaning that I would post one more round and you would post two. (the first round from you was not a argument so you will have the final round.
Debate Round No. 2


Placing Assad in trial, As your articles have already explained, Is very unlikely. Making Donald Trump's attack the more reasonable way to go. Not only that, Such a solution would only come into affect after the war, Not during the war in which immediate action is most critical. It also will not solve the problem of preventing innocent civilians from being gased as you can tell from the numerous times Assad gased his own people. By going by the passive solution that you mentioned, This will only allow more civilians be killed and tortured. This is not the appropriate step to take, ESPECIALLY since we have already enough evidence to put Assad into trial and make him pay the consequences. What more evidence do you need? In your articles it states that we already have enough, Millions of pieces of evidence apparently.

Going by the soft approach will not help either. In fact, It has already been tried but of course failed because of Russia's veto. So what makes you think that this time will work? Putin has an agenda, And it does not include trying to create better relations with the US. Have you heard of Sputnik? What about RT? They are both propaganda tools used by Putin to try and spread disinformation about the US, Truth or not, Doesn't matter as long as it fits the Russian narrative that the US is evil; that everything we do is evil. Russia claimed that we are using the chemical weapons as an EXCUSE TO USE MORE FORCE IN SYRIA. Of course you and me know that's not true. Which is why Russia is not to be trusted. They are not our friends and never will be, As long as Putin is in power he will veto our attempts for a resolution in Syria. Assad has already been out of reach since Putin was in power.

You say individuals like it's more than one person that's in charge of sending and ordering the gas attacks. Do you know which individuals? More importantly, Does the U. S. Know of these individuals? Because as far as I know, Assad was the main guy that sends and orders the gas attacks. He is the one in charge of it all. Regardless, Such a passive action will only take effect after the war.

You speak of condemnation to NATO but I never heard of such condemnation. I think you're talking about the first time the U. S attacked Syria when Trump was in office because the second time, As I have stated before in the previous rounds, Most developed countries actually approved of Donald Trump's attacks. Which is a very good sign and definitely strengthens relations between us.

But who cares if they see us as weak. If they see us as weak than let them, But that shouldn't stop us from preventing the deaths of hundreds of innocent lives, Which in my opinion, Is far more important than caring so much about what our enemies think of us.

I understand that Syria is a repeated offender, But I completely disagree with you when you said that airstrikes have been proven ineffective. What's proven to be ineffective is trying to take the passive approach and trying to take Assad into trial. That approach has already failed. What's different in our approach is that on our second time, We decided to go straight after their, What Pentagon calls it, "the heart of the chemical weapons program". This is what we should have done the first time but now that's it's done, This will set Assad back in terms of chemical weapons usage for quite sometime. Ever since this attack Assad has not used a chemical weapon against his own citizens and I'll be damned if he still continues.

Your articles
https://www. Baladi-news. Com/en/news/details/17851/How_Many_times_Did_Assad_Use_Chemical_Weapons
http://www. Foxnews. Com/world/2018/04/10/timeline-chemical-weapons-attacks-in-syria. Html
Does not state any chemical weapons have been used since Donald Trump's second airstrikes against Syria. I consider that as mission accomplished.

Next you argue that airstrikes are not effective as a deterrent and cite the destruction of a Syrian nuclear facility as evidence. This evidence, In my opinion, Is very weak as there are too many differences. Assuming that this is the story you are talking about https://www. Businessinsider. Com/israel-admits-bombing-syria-nuclear-reactor-warn-iran-2018-3
Were there innocent Syrian civilians killed by the Syrian government? I don't think so.

Think about it: What do you think Donald Trump might do this time if Assad still continues to commit these war crimes? Obviously knowing Trump, He is most likely to retaliate with greater force wouldn't you agree? This is the most positive effect of Donald Trump's airstrikes. That fear. The ruthless, Reckless, And relentlessness.

Now don't get me wrong, I still think that the passive solution of holding Assad into trial is the way to go, Just not now.

My sources:
same as yours


We can look at this war in lots of detail, Because it is very similar to the events of the Yugoslavian civil war back in the 1990s. The massacres of Kosovo in particular. Following the end, There were many investigations, But it is only recently that the last of them are being brought to justice ( you are probably aware of the fairly recent trial where the war criminal Slobodan Praljak committed suicide by poison). It takes time but justice does come. Bombings were also ordered by NATO here, Against the will of the UN (showing that while difficult it could be possible to act even if Russia blocks the decision). However the consequences including $30 billion in economic losses for Yugoslavia and up to 528 civilians dead; my point is that bombings alone don't change anything, And it can only throw the region further into turmoil and it will be everyday people who suffer.

The war as I have previously stated is over, Assad has won. This also means that it is highly unlikely that the regime will use chemical weapons again regardless of any actions taken or not taken. However sustaining hostilities reduces the chance of achieving compromise or cooperation with the Syrians meaning that they will continue to oppress and subjugate their people, Knowing that we wouldn't cooperate with them regardless. The sad truth is that the regime has won and there is nothing we can do is meaningful. By continuing hostilities we simply remove our ability to negotiate on behalf of the democratic rebels or Kurdish fighters; at the moment as far as Assad is concerned we are no better than Iran, Supporting terrorism. By not knowing when to stop (as Trump has) we continue to split the world into camps and I am not exaggerating when I say that the decisions we make today could lead to a new cold war.

It is also very important that we appear strong and united, Because if people see that we are strong then we can stop showing them, Governments should know that they can work with us but they should know that we are strong. Would North Korea for example be more or less likely to attack based on appearance? Would Iran? Nations which have placed themselves as our enemies by very little fault of our own will strike at any weakness they see. Strength and unity is more important know than ever esspesialy as Trump has sought to separate himself from his allies, His belligerence to China and his trade sanctions against allies in Europe and Canada has shown us to be weak and divided something which has already had consequences as the Russians have started to patrol the North sea and submarines have been caught loitering near the UK's north sea internet cables. We must never be afraid to negotiate, But we must negotiate from a position of strength. The unity of the strikes doesn't weaken relations, But when Donald trump blunders like when he literally warned Syria and Russia of retaliation. My main criticism has always been Trumps lack of a concise Syria plan. He has backtracked back and forth on his views over the years first saying we should pull out then saying we should take more action then saying we should pull out and then saying we should commit more resources. These are all from his own tweets collected into this article https://www. Nytimes. Com/2017/04/07/us/politics/donald-trump-syria-twitter. Html

finally where does it escalate from here? You state that Donald Trump would retaliate with greater force still. I agree that he would, But this is not a good thing. Greater force would either further damage military installations, Only prolonging the war and killing civilians in the surrounding area, Or would begin to target or would have to target factories and centres of government killing more civilians and further destabilising the region.

The war is over, All we can do should be directed towards finding a solution to end the conflict with as little loss of life as possible and this relies upon our relationship with the Syrian government. Treat Syria like North Korea, Offer incentives or reductions of sanctions to them as they disarm and agree to searches.

I must also add that having seen your comment saying that you wish you had chosen a three round approach, So If you confirm at the end of your next round that its your last round and I will forfeit the last two rounds if you do the same so everyone wins and this doesn't drag on.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by AleXander_01 3 years ago
Okay so now that I think about it, 5 rounds sounds alot, I kinda regret the 5 rounds rule lmao I should've done 3 rounds but oh well. I just have to deal with it.
Posted by mosc 3 years ago
Bunk on US imperialism.
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