Doing the right thing in Syria
Sir, – Fintan O’Toole (Opinion, April 8th) wrote “Donald Trump’s launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase is a classic case of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons”. While he supports this action, he manages to be critical of Trump at the same time.
I have to presume that when he was writing this piece that he was unaware that many civilian casualties arose from this attack, including women and children, otherwise I hope he would have been more circumspect in his response. He must also feel uncomfortable being in the company of many who supported this action and whose views he would normally vehemently oppose.
Many reliable independent sources have suggested that the chemical attack in Idlib province may well have been a false flag event, a scenario not unknown in past and present conflicts.
A similar chemical attack in east Mosul recently was blamed on Isis. As reported by the BBC News “IS have long been suspected of making and using crude chemical weapons in territory it controls in Iraq and neighbouring Syria”.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau had urged an investigation to determine what actually happened before any action was contemplated, citing that “there are continuing questions about who is responsible for these horrible attacks against civilians”. Having initially got it right, he subsequently issued a statement expressing full support for the attack. Such is the fickleness of world leaders.
Not withstanding the fact that the US attack took place without any democratic debate or Congressional approval and occurred without any pretext of self-defence, it was in fact also illegal under international law.
Supporting this attack by an incompetent and irrational leader should not be viewed as a “classic case of doing the right thing” and can only embolden and encourage him to act accordingly in the future and as a result compound the suffering and prolong the war in Syria. – Yours, etc,