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What we’re reading: Bombing in Syria

News & Commentary  |  By AFSC, Apr 7, 2017
Photo: AFSC

On Thursday night, President Trump fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Al Shayrat airfield near the city of Homs in Syria. Here's what we're reading to learn more.

 

U.S. launches cruise missiles on Syrian airbase, via Al Jazeera

"The United States on Friday fired dozens of cruise missiles at a government-controlled airbase in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town that killed scores of civilians. The Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield in Homs province, targeting the base from where U.S. officials believe Tuesday's attack in Khan Sheikhoun had been launched."

 

America should use latest tragedy in Syria to end the war, not escalate it, by Ann Wright and Medea Benjamin via AlterNet

"The U.S. military is already heavily involved in the Syrian quagmire. There are about 500 Special Operations forces, 200 Rangers, and 200 Marines stationed there to advise various groups fighting the Syrian government and ISIS, and the Trump administration has been contemplating sending 1,000 more troops to fight ISIS. To bolster the Assad government, the Russian government has mobilized its largest military deployment outside its territory in decades.

This recent chemical attack is just the latest in a war that has taken the lives of over 400,000 Syrians. If the Trump administration decides to escalate U.S. military involvement by bombing the Syrian government's power centers of Damascus and Aleppo and pushing rebel fighters to hold territory for a new government, the carnage—and chaos—will increase.”

 

Donald Trump's own defense secretary warned in 2013 against rushing to war against Syria, by Zaid Jilani via The Intercept

"He talked about his own experience visiting with traumatized Syrian war refugees, but stressed that the compulsion to 'do something,' shouldn’t alone justify a poorly though out intervention. 'We all want to do something to stop this. But the desire to do something, the intention to do good, does not take the place of pragmatic, 'What is possible?' We have no moral obligation to do the impossible and hawk our children's future because we think we just have to do something,' he said."

 

Trump Launches Missiles at Syria, Legislators of Color Respond, by Kenrya Rankin via Colorlines

"Congressional reaction to the move was mixed. While there were many people on Capitol Hill who cheered the action—including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations—there were also detractors on both sides of the aisle. Several legislators of color took to Twitter to comment both on the purpose of the attack and the fact that Trump made the decision without Congress."

 

Peace Advocates: If Trump Wanted to Help Syrians, He Would Lift Refugee Ban & Fund Humanitarian Aid, via Democracy Now!

 

"What We’re Reading" is a weekly feature on AFSC’s News and Commentary blog, where we share a curated collection of recent articles on timely issues. "What We're Reading" is meant to spark discussion, debate, and knowledge sharing, and the articles we highlight do not necessarily reflect the official organizational positions of AFSC. We encourage you to tell us what you're reading on these issues in the comments below.