Wouldn’t it have been great to be a fly on the wall at last night’s dinner at Mar-A-Lago?
President Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at his Mar-A-Lago estate. Just after dinner, as dessert was being served, Trump excused himself to bomb Syria in response to Pres. Bashar al-Assad’s April 4, 2017 chemical attack on children in Khan Sheikhun, in Idlib, Syria.
According to the New York Times, “Dozens of people, including children, died — some writhing, choking, gasping or foaming at the mouth — after breathing in poison that possibly contained a nerve agent or other banned chemicals, , according to witnesses, doctors and rescue workers. They said the toxic substance spread after warplanes dropped bombs in the early morning hours. Some rescue workers grew ill and collapsed from proximity to the dead.”
Meanwhile, the U.K. Guardian reports, “Vladimir Putin has doubled down on his support for the Syrian government despite the release of postmortem results by Turkey that confirmed chemical weapons were used in an attack that killed at least 72 people in north Syria.
“The Russian president attacked ‘groundless accusations’ that Damascus was responsible for the assault, and called for a ‘detailed and unbiased investigation’ into the deaths, a Kremlin statement said.”
The scenario is just delicious: Mr. Trump: “Excuse me, Mr. President, I have to go bomb Syria. Please, enjoy your tea and tiramisu.”
Between 60 and 70 U.S. Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs, a small installation with two runways. At least seven Syrian soldiers were killed and nine wounded in the airstrike, the country’s military said. Shayrat is generally believed to be the base from which the chemical attack on Khan Sheikun was launched.
The Trump Administration said that initially it wasn’t going to respond to the chemical attack until the president saw the pictures of all the dead children.
Congress reacted with its usual chicken coop hysterics, protesting that what Trump did was unconstitutional. Actually, it was a targeted strike against an airbase from which an atrocity was launched. Not only did Trump do the Constitutional thing, and the right thing – he did the humanitarian thing.
Even as the maintenance staff was cleaning up the flurry of chicken feathers, Rand Paul went on television to denounce the President’s actions. ‘He didn’t ask us first.’ We Conservatives think that’s pretty awesome. Not only that, but he excused himself from dinner with our chief economic and military rival, the president of China, to give the order for the attack.
Can you imagine the scene afterwards with Xin Ping? “Now then, President Xin, about the Spratly Islands. You know, those fake military islands in the South China Sea?”
“Oh, Mr. Trump, they are real military islands.”
“Yes, I know. Those Tomahawk missiles I just launched against Syria were real, too.”
“But you cannot start a military war without approval of your Congress.”
“No, but I can send a warning shot over another country’s bow. This missile strike? It was just a warning. I haven’t even warmed up yet.”
In 2009, China submitted a new map to the United Nations showing the now-infamous “Nine-Dash Line”—a series of boundary dashes over the South China Sea that it claimed demarcated Chinese territory. Since then, China has expanded at least seven reefs and islets in the sea with sand dredged from the ocean floor, including Subi Reef, Mischief Reef, Johnson Reef, Hughes Reef, Gaven Reef, Fiery Cross Reef and Cuarteron Reef.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has sent warships into the Mediterranean. They had been participating with Turkey in a joint military exercise and had just resupplied in Novorossiisk, according to reports. Supposedly, they are to visit a logistics base in Tartus, Syria.
So much for Trump’s alleged “admiration” for Vlad (or Vlad’s for Trump). Congress is still clucking nervously. Pundits are wondering about the constitutionality of Trump’s move. The Democrats are rubbing their dovish hands with glee at being able to portray Trump as a “hawk.”
The American people, though, are proud of their new president today.