Kassem Eid survived the 2013 sarin massacre in Syria in which 1,400 people died, so it wasn’t surprising that CNN contacted him to talk about the most recent attack and the Trump administration’s response.
What happened next stunned CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin.
“For the very first time, we see Assad held accountable just for once, held accountable for his crimes against humanity. I was overwhelmed. I felt grateful for President Trump. I felt grateful for the United States. I felt grateful for each and every person who lobbied and kept on talking until someone actually listened,” Eid said.
In an apparent attempt to keep the Syrian survivor on the media talking points about refugees, Baldwin played a video of Hillary Clinton bashing Trump over his immigration plan.
Eid didn’t take the bait.
“Help us stay in our country, and if you just give me a few seconds just to tell President Trump once again, please, sir, what you did was amazing, what you did was powerful message of hope for a lot of people inside and outside of Syria,” he told a dumbstruck Baldwin.
He criticized those who demonstrated against the immigration policies but failed to protest against the sarin attacks in 2013 and now. “I didn’t see you raising your voice against President Obama’s inaction in Syria that led us refugees, that made us refugees get kicked out of Syria. If you really care about refugees, if you really care about helping us, please, help us STAY in our — in our country. We don’t want to come to [the] United States. We want to STAY in our country.”
It’s unlikely that Eid will be asked again for his comments on CNN anytime soon, but his message should be shared and shared again.
Here is his interview on CNN:
As a reporter, I covered Syria for many years. What has occurred over the past six years is one of the worst examples of genocide in history. Although Assad and the self-proclaimed Islamic State bear most of the responsibility for what has happened, the Obama administration’s lack of any coherent strategy except to make idle threats allowed these forces of evil to devastate the country. The Trump administration does not have to commit itself to full-scale involvement in Syria, but the decision to launch missiles gave aid and comfort to Eid and many like him.
Here are some of my most recent columns about Syria:
Last year, I was very encouraged by much of what the GOP platform stated. Yes, I’m one of those weird people who actually read it. Apparently, most of our elected Republican officials in DC either didn’t read it or dismissed it after they won. There are key elements that are getting missed.
Before anyone says “it’s too early to judge,” let’s take a few things into consideration. “Reducing the Federal Debt” is a big one that’s highlighted on page 8 of the platform. It discusses spending restraints as “a necessary component that must be vigorously pursued.” Thus far, the only proposals coming out of Congress have been to increase the debt. They promised to reduce it and I’d even accept it if they just kept it in check but with budget talks reaching a head at the end of the month, it’s almost certain that they’re going to raise it. Why put that in the platform if you’re just going to do the opposite?
“Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary” is a big part of the platform, as is defending religious liberties. So far, nothing positive in this regard has even sniffed the President’s desk and actions from the administration seem bent on keeping the new status quo in regards to both marriage and religious freedoms. Judge Gorsuch was a nice addition, but his presence on the bench will not be able to defend marriage if Congress doesn’t give him something to defend.
Then, we get to the least discussed promise in the platform. “Federalism as the Foundation of Personal Liberty” outlines states’ rights and how the 10th Amendment must be brought to prominence once again. Other than Scott Pruitt at the EPA, no other efforts have been hinted at by any Republicans in DC from Congress to the White House. In fact, there have been direct attacks on the concepts of Federalism within the administration as they discuss imposing Washington’s will on the states when it comes to crime, immigration, and trade.
One of the most popular Republican issues of the day is how to handle sanctuary cities. I’m not a supporter of these havens of illegal immigration, but there’s a proper way for the government to reward states who crack down on sanctuary cities rather than harm those who do not. Mandates from DC that do not include sufficient compensation are tyrannical and force states to comply or feel the wrath of the fed. That’s not how the founders intended it, nor is it necessary to achieve the end results. We can rid our nation of sanctuary cities through federal assistance. When DC uses mandates and punishments to push their agenda, the end result is never good even if the intentions are righteous.
Don’t get me started on their stated platform promise to balance the budget when we have a trillion dollar infrastructure project to pay for on top of everything else that’s been flying around DC for the past three months. At what point to do we stop accepting that the Republicans are slightly less liberal than the Democrats? When are we going to tell them that being better isn’t good enough?
The GOP platform is nothing more than a piece of digital paper. The Democrats are even worse. It’s no coincidence that the Federalist Party’s idea for holding politicians accountable to the platform is getting attention from both major parties. If our elected officials are unwilling to fulfill the promises they sign, why should we believe they’ll do anything they say?
Barack Obama’s Model United Nations style foreign policy of be-nice-to-rogue-nations-and-they’ll-be-nice-to-you is a failure.
Five years ago Syria’s thug president, Bashar al-Assad, crossed Barack Obama’s red line by using chemical weapons against his own people.
Obama did not retaliate.
Last Tuesday the brute crossed that red line–and on Thursday President Donald J. Trump fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian base from where those chemical weapons were launched. This happened the day after an emergency session of the UN Security Council called in response to this cruel attack predictably achieved nothing.
The spoiled fat boy who savagely rules the starving nation of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, keeps firing missiles in tests, those weapons violate numerous United Nations resolutions. For years the rogue state has been building a nuclear weapons program, one that can possibly be used to attack the United States.
Trump is responding to the aggressiveness of the Norks by dispatching an aircraft carrier to Korean waters. He’s reportedly considering deploying nuclear missiles in South Korea.
Obama did nothing of consequence in regards to the North Korean threat.
Trump understands the lessons of the playground that Obama and his fellow leftists never learned. Bullies only back down when confronted with force, or a credible threat of force. For bullies weakness is an opportunity to be exploited. The historical examples of strongmen attacking their own people and more powerful nations plundering weaker ones are so plentiful that I won’t insult the intelligence of my readers by listing them. And if you need examples, then you are too far gone, my friend.
There is some good news–America’s eight-year long vacation from reality is over.
Oh, is there any hope for the UN? No. Add me to the list of people who believe that the United States and other freedom-loving nations, such as Great Britain, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and lets say Chile, need to band together and form a League of Democracies.
Citizen at New Orleans Party: But perhaps the general would at least tell us what his plans are? General Andrew Jackson: Sir if the hair on my head knew my plans I would cut it off!
The Buccaneer 1958
Ian Howe:You know the key to running a convincing bluff? Every once in a while you got to be holding all the cards.
National Treasure 2004
One of the oddest things to me about the entire Syria Strike story is how so many people are so shocked that Donald Trump did what he did.
Anti-interventionists were caught off guard and upset. They see it as a neocon plot, leftists (who were blaming him for the gas attack the day before) consider it a distraction from the nefarious plot to steal the election from Hillary by the Russians, and papers like the NYT who were at the start of the week screaming Russian collusion are now worried about how this will affect our relationship with Putin.
Even Don Surber who has been right about Trump more than almost everyone else was caught off guard.
But when it comes down to it, Trump’s hit on Syria makes a lot of sense because it is so him.
First: in terms of a deal, if Trump wants to make a deal to stop the war on Syria, to stop North Korea or to take the pressure off the Baltic states afraid of a future Russian invasion he needed to demonstrate a willingness to actually strike, not only did he do so, but he did so While the head of China was his guest, meaning he was willing to demonstrate that diplomatic niceties and timing mean nothing to him when he wants to act. That’s very Trump.
Second: He was willing to do this without any public warning (yes he gave a private warning to the Russians so as not to back them into a corner since a US strike killing Russian soldiers would force Putin’s hand). There was no months of speeches, or weeks of muscle flexing, there was just action, and Trump is a person who believes in action. It was right out of this scene of the movie the Buccaneer where Trump’s favorite president Andrew Jackson (back in his general days) dealt with all those who were in panic about the British and New Orleans
If you’re a potential enemy of America, from this point on you can’t be sure if crossing us will bring a shower of missiles down on you or not. That’s very Trump too.
Thirdly: It was consistent with Trump’s sense of discipline, not in the sense that the media sees him, as an undisciplined speaker who acts rashly, but as in: This is the way things are and you’d better get used to the idea
Captain Troop, with the good of the ship and the livelihood of the entire crew to worry about, notes he can’t risk months of fishing on a boy’s yarn. When Harvey still rants Troop finally concludes: “I guess there’s nothing left for it.” He rears back and gives Harvey a slap that knocks him flat. Harvey for perhaps for the first time in his life doesn’t know what to say: You HIT me!
“Now you just sit there and think about it.” It is here, with the establishment of discipline, that the movie begins to shift.
This was the re-establishment of discipline on an international level, the United States back in the game and everybody at the table had better get used to the idea again. That’s Trump all over.
Fourth: It gave Donald Trump, who doesn’t like or trust, the UN a chance to not only demonstrate US power to it, but to show them the old games they like to play are now over, to wit:
The UN business of being on one side of the fence in public and the other in private isn’t going to be played against the US anymore, and every nation that counts on America to foot the bill allowing their diplomats and NGO’s to live high off the hog there are seeing it. It’s the art of the deal, so Trump.
(on a side note if Nikki Haley decides to run for president, this will play very well).
Fifth: By hitting now when the strike can be small it likely prevents him from having to hit harder later. Trump by his nature is, like many of his isolationist supporters who are now pissed off, a non-interventionist by nature. The problem with such a position is it tells the world that you can push me and push me and I won’t touch you. Now if your goal is a weak US in retreat, as was the Obama administration’s ,that’s fine, but if your goal is a strong US that doesn’t have to fight everywhere, it’s not.
By making his point early on in his presidency, and on a small scal,e he is likely preventing a larger US involvement, not enabling it. Think of John Wayne in this exchange in Big Jake as his party rides into town with a red box containing a million dollar ransom in front of everybody.
James McCandles: Isn’t this a bit showy Pa? That big red box and all the guns out? Jacob McCandles: I hate secrets, never knew one to be kept. They’ve all heard what’s in that chest, they all want it, what we’re doing by this ostentatious display is telling them they can’t have it. Hell, we may be saving some poor miscreant’s own life by doing this, maybe even our own.
Big Jake 1971
Perhaps by this display he will restrain a few bad actors from making moves to provoke the US into a war we don’t want, which incidentally is exactly what his base that wants to stay out of things wants. It’s the Fram oil filter ad all over again, you can pay me now our pay me later. Trump’s a businessman, it’s good business.
Sixth and last: A person who is a pol looks at kids getting gassed as part of the great game of diplomacy and considers every possible angle and tries to minimize any event that brings risk. A normal person looks at kids getting gassed to death and reacts saying: This will not stand. Why anyone would think that Trump would stand by and let this happen, when he has the power to stop it, or at least make these guys think about it long and hard about doing it again? It’s completely beyond me that anyone would think a man like Trump who is a man of emotion and reaction would sit still. Doing something that needs to be done, this is so very Trump.
This strike is completely in keeping Trump’s philosophy of doing things. What I don’t understand is why people don’t see it?
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So while the gas attacks in Syria are horrific before we consider going to war in Syria we as a country need to answer these questions.
Are we willing to go to war and pay the price in blood and treasure to topple Assad risking American lives in Syria?
Are we willing to fight that war until it’s actually won rather than fight a limited war for the sake of saving face?
Are we willing once Assad is toppled to stay in Syria for the 30 to fifty years to make sure Syria doesn’t become Iraq or Libya and leave it for Islamist to take over?
Are we willing to take responsibility for not only the military but the civilian casualties that will inevitably take place in Syria in such a war?
Are we willing to risk a military confrontation(s) with Russia and Iran in order to do this?
To these one may add questions on effects on the larger world – notice how the attack was reported while Pres. Trump dined with China’s Xi, or how North Korea and others (such as Iran and especially Russia) view this, for instance. Many of the comments focus on refugees and immigration-related agenda.
Instead, thousands of tweets, blog posts, and Facebook comments are criticism or praise of something the commenter knows little or nothing about, least of which is information on Syria itself.
In a search for knowledge it’s up to us to search for the facts and ask questions, if we are also interested in acquiring wisdom. The rest of it is just opinions, which are like navels: everybody has one.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
I met Reggie very briefly a couple of years ago, when we were speakers at a pro-life convention in New Hampshire. My job was to talk about effective use of social media. Reggie’s job was to talk about China’s coercive abortion policy. She got better billing – and deserved it. Her stories were compelling and persuasive.
She became interested in Chinese policy when as an attorney she represented a Chinese woman seeking political asylum in the United States. It was Reggie’s first exposure to the wretched effects of the One-Child Policy: forced abortion, forced sterilization, and gender imbalance as boys are more valued culturally than girls. The revelations changed her life. She later established Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition dedicated to fighting forced abortion in China.
Wherever she speaks, she points out the support China’s policies have received from UNFPA. She has called repeatedly for U.S. de-funding of the organization. She released a statement the other day when de-funding was finally announced.
“We are thrilled that the U.S. is no longer funding forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China. The blood of Chinese women and babies will no longer be on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled ‘You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China.‘ I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years…
“The UNFPA clearly supports China’s population control program, which they know is coercive. Under China’s One (now Two) Child Policy, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Some of these forced abortions have been so violent that the women themselves have died, along with their full term babies. There have been brutal forced sterilizations as well, butchering women and leaving them disabled. Where was the outcry from the UNFPA? In my opinion, silence in the face of such atrocities is complicity. Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ The UNFPA’s silence in the face of decades of forced abortion has been a sword in the wombs of millions of women and babies of China. I rejoice with them that the foot of the UNFPA is finally off of their necks.”
Well done, Mr. President.
I remember listening to Reggie speak around the time China shifted to a Two-Child Policy. She was unimpressed by the change. “What matters is they’re telling people how many kids to have and they’re enforcing it with forced abortions.” She elaborated on that in a 2015 press statement about the policy shift.
“Characterizing this latest modification as ‘abandoning’ the One-Child Policy is misleading. A two-child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-selective abortion of baby girls….Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights. The Chinese Communist Party has not suddenly developed a conscience or grown a heart. Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception.
“…In a world laden with compassion fatigue, people are relieved to cross China’s one-child policy off of their list of things to worry about. But we cannot do that. Let us not abandon the women of China, who continue to face forced abortion, and the baby girls of China, who continue to face sex-selective abortion and abandonment. The one-child policy does not need to be modified. It needs to be abolished.”
Let’s hear UNFPA speak up for Chinese women that way. Until then, the agency can get along without U.S. taxpayer support.
In 2 months, Lord willing, our fourth child will be born. He won’t be like the previous three. He has a rare heart configuration that essentially has his aorta and pulmonary artery switched up. There’s also a hole in the wall that separates the ventricles of his heart. His is a situation for which many parents would choose abortion.
They wouldn’t necessarily be perceived by society as cruel for doing so. It’s not like they would be doing it for the frivolous reasons that so many potential parents invoke in modern America. They would be doing it to prevent the child as well as their current families from having to suffer through expensive health conditions, multiple operations, and a life restrained by circumstance. There’s something noble about sparing someone from living a hard life, right?
No. There’s nothing noble nor humane about taking a human life at any stage of development. If given the choice in retrospect, would you rather go through the new challenges of a deformed heart that hampered you, the operations that constantly put you at risk, and the burden that comes to you and your family? Or, would you rather have never been born at all?
You or I can make this hypothetical choice because we’ve already been given the opportunity to live, to learn, and to grow in this world. I would challenge any God-fearing American’s honesty if they would have chosen a life cut short over a life of hardship.
Unfortunately, many couples or individuals in our situation would believe they were doing the humane thing by preventing those challenges from encompassing another’s life. They would likely be made to feel justified by their doctors who all-too-often condone or even encourage abortions when faced with the prospects presented to us.
Our doctor is different. She’s extremely caring and hopeful. She has never pushed us in the direction of abortion though she’s acknowledged that the option was on the table. Once we made it clear that the option wasn’t on our table, she never brought it up again. Today, I’ll be going in with my wife for our monthly checkup before the next phase of ongoing testing and monitoring begins. We’ll soon know some of our options on procedures to repair the heart or redirect blood flow. These are decisions that we’ve never had to make, but by the Grace of God we’re not discouraged. This is His child. We are here to bring him forth and to help him grow.
When abortions are done for frivolous reason, the lines are clearly drawn with very little doubt on either side of the aisle. When they’re done for reasons such as rape or incest, the line can be blurred a bit for some in the pro-life movement. In situations like ours, the lines are barely visible. Pro-life parents may feel justified to abort for the sake of their families and to prevent the pain and struggle that their child is certain to experience. To those of you in similar situations, please understand that everyone regardless of situation or condition has the right to live their lives. This isn’t a question of politics. It’s a cultural battle to define the God-given right of life itself even when that life is going to be hard.
The failure of the American Health Care Act was a major setback for Paul Ryan’s agenda. It may or may not have been a setback for President Trump’s agenda. That remains to be seen. What it does do is give the President the ammunition he needs to attack the conservative wing of the Republican Party and he’s taking full advantage of it.
His Tweet this morning:
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
I know that there are plenty of Republicans and conservatives out there who are supportive of the President’s attacks on the Freedom Caucus and conservatives in the Senate. They feel betrayed, as his narrative has pushed, by their willingness to derail the Obamacare repeal and replacement efforts. I’m not going to try to convince you to feel otherwise. I only want to point out that at this stage in the administration’s term, it sets a poor precedent to be pushing his agenda so far to the left.
He wants to work with Democrats. That’s great! Reagan worked with Democrats. The difference is that Reagan convinced Democrats that the conservative agenda brought value to them. What Trump is doing by vilifying conservatives and lumping them in with “Dems” as the people to attack in 2018 is dividing the party into “them” versus “us.” As a conservative, it appalls me to see this happening after years of Tea Party efforts to make conservatives the portion of the party that has more control. As a Federalist, it’s actually been a great thing. We’ve had a massive spike in interest since Trump started his leftward lurch.
As someone who will always put country before party, the dismay I feel for what Trump’s shift will do to America supersedes the excitement I feel over getting more attention for the Federalists. We need the President to work hand-in-hand with conservatives, not isolate them as his enemy. They want to move on to tax reform. The notion of a tax plan pushed out through bipartisanship is terrifying because it will certainly be a big-government tax plan wrapped in a handful of cuts to disguise the overreaching nature of it all. It’s the conservative voice in DC that truly wants to release the burden that government puts on its citizens. Without that voice, the results will not be what we want.
We need the President to abandon his push towards bipartisan growth of government and work WITH conservatives to put reverse government expansion. If he’s unwilling to change his current course, I’d expect to see more members of the Freedom Caucus and conservatives across America reaching out to us to give federalism the primacy this nation needs right now.
What, exactly, does “political correctness” mean? In the 1980s and ‘90s, the term was a sarcastic reference to Maoist or Stalinist thought police, popularized largely by conservatives in order to deride the liberal-led orthodoxy. Detractors claimed that P.C. campaigns often went to absurd lengths, turning P.C. accusations into one more feature of the roiling culture wars waged among politicians and activists. These ideological debates continue today—and are still the first thing most Americans over age 40 associate with the term.
A foreign policy that can be summarized as supporting America’s enemies, ignoring America’s friends. The Dems are all-in for easing the so-called embargo on Cuba, sponsoring a Cuba-hosted deal between the Colombian government and the FARC (the world’s largest Marxist narco-terrorist organization), sending Iran pallets of money . . . in exchange for what?
“The ability of ISL to initiate major land offense, that was not on my intelligence radar screen,” Obama admitted.
A hollowing out of all seemingly reliable institutions – what Juliette brilliantly calls the Coconut Treatment. Not only the military and educational institutions, and weaponizing the IRS, but also the legislative process; The presidential pen and a phone, the Reid Rule a.k.a. Nuclear Option
The nuclear or constitutional option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the U.S. Senate to override a rule or precedent by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of by a supermajority of 60 votes.
It is not unreasonable to notice that these behaviors are both motivated and enforced by the thirst for power. They assumed that once in office, they would remain in office: Total control.
This lead to their favored candidate: Hillary made bountiful deals through the Clinton Foundation, spent thousands of dollars at the Javitz Center in the hope of breaking an actual glass ceiling, but did not visit once the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin during her campaign. She was sure to win there.
And then Trump happened. The candidate who is not politically correct, puts America First in every speech, made several careers (real estate, TV, politics) on the art of the deal, and will not demur to use his phone, his pen, to win.
the Trump Terrorist Event — the fact of Trump’s victory — hit them much more deeply than 9/11 did.
So now the Dems are doing their outmost to discredit and illegitimize not only Pres. Trump but his entire administration in every way, most obviously through this alleged Russia connection.
Never mind that during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State a deal gave Russia control of nearly 20 percent of U.S. uranium extraction capacity while Bill Clinton received US$500,000 for a speech in Moscow. The goal is to actually illegitimize an entire administration. Trump, Pence, all the cabinet and staff. If all of them are illegitimate, all must go.
Which would lead to what?
The Dems hope they’ll get back on top after the dust settles. But the thing is, they actually do not know. Nobody knows what that would bring, but I’ll leave you with a word: Entropy,
With the European Union weakening, the Middle East perceptibly falling apart and African and Latin America their same old selves the danger is less that some rival empire will conquer the world than that power vacuums will spread entropy all over the planet.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
One of the strategies Speaker Paul Ryan used in attempting to sell the American Health Care Act was to include defunding Planned Parenthood as part of the deal. It was a good attempt to sugarcoat “Obamacarelite” with some conservative honey for positive press and leverage against right-wing opposition to the bill, but it obviously didn’t work. While the dust is settling from their repeal and replace debacle, now is the time to introduce a new standalone bill to get rid of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding once and for all.
It makes strategic sense for both Congress and the White House to make this happen quickly. Fingers are already pointing in every direction. They need a high-profile win and this is just the thing to do it. Defunding Planned Parenthood will reassure conservatives that the Trump and/or Ryan agenda was not derailed by their AHCA loss.
The next big battle they plan on tackling is likely tax reform. That’s going to take time. Defunding Planned Parenthood will not. Drafting it and pushing it through committees would take no time at all. They could have it on President Trump’s desk in April. They can initiate their next moves on tax reform once Planned Parenthood is defunded.
I’m not going to go into a long diatribe of why Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded from a pro-life perspective. Either you’re in favor of it or not and nothing I can say can sway you. However, if you’re in favor of defunding, then you should be in favor of doing it quickly. At over half a billion dollars a year, it’s not a drop in the proverbial bucket. The longer we wait, the more money gets used to kill unborn Americans. This should have been done already, but I can understand the perceived need to attach it to the AHCA for sales and promotional purposes even if I absolutely disagree with the action itself. Ryan’s strategy allowed more babies to be killed. This should have been a Day 1 issue.
As a Federalist, I’m not giving them this advice for political reasons. The AHCA debacles has helped interest in the new party to spike, so I’m not trying to help the GOP clean up their political mess. However, we’re talking about human lives. I’ll happily push politics aside if it means one more child being saved.
Instead of using defunding Planned Parenthood as a negotiating chip, Congress needs to bite the bullet and make it happen right now. It’s quick, easy, and would draw the attention of mainstream media. Considering the obliteration the GOP is currently receiving this news cycle, it behooves them to turn the narrative towards saving the unborn rather than internal bickering.