Apr. 10th, 2017

leblon: (Default)
It is a bit surprising to see journalists and politicians celebrating Trump's decision to strike a Syrian airbase and declaring that it sent a "clear signal" to all dictators that "there is a new sheriff in town" who will not let them kill their citizens with impunity. One may think so only if one totally ignores history. As a candidate, president-elect, and president, Trump and his team made it very clear that they do not care about human rights violations in other countries, are perfectly willing to deal with dictators, and even admire some of them.This is the kind of "new sheriff" that every dictator assumed to have, until last week's strike. Now the message is a bit confusing: was it a one-off decision, done on a whim? But it is by no means a "clear signal". My hunch is that it was a one-off event, a slap on Assad's hand done in order to appease the world appalled by the chemical attack and put some space between Trump and Putin. We will see soon enough if I am right.

Update: here is an nice article which comes to esentially the same conclusion.

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