Saturday, April 15, 2017

Is the president showing small signs of humanity?

It's hard for me to give any credit to Trump, but he actually had a pretty good week.  As much as I hate the idea of getting involved in the tar baby of Syria and the religious wars in the Middle East, his swift and punitive missile strike against a Syrian air base last week in response to Assad's horrendous gassing of his own people felt like the right thing to do.  Obama drew a line in the sand about chemical weapons and then analyzed himself out of overt action against Assad when he crossed that fundamental line that the world had decided was beyond the bounds of acceptable human behavior during a war - way back in WWI.  Assad's actions were so inhumane that Trump's daughter was able to persuade her father to do something.

I don't know if it was a smart thing to do, but how do we sit by and watch such human degradation and atrocities at the hands of Assad?  And of Isis? and of so many in the Islamic religious wars?  

I think the missile strike shocked Russia and China as well, and that might be a good thing to have them see America as an active force in the world in the role of moral leadership - moral leadership?  Trump?  A humanitarian hawk after all? This is a hard concept to grasp, but there is at least a glimmer of hope that it is true.

What I am encouraged by, in addition to his being able to have his heart touched by his daughter, is his willingness to turn to what may be the only three competent and able adults in his administration - Secretary of Defense, Mattis - Secretary of State, Tillerson - and National Security Advisor, McMaster.  It is tempting to think Trump acted on a whim, but I hope that his action was at the council and advice of these three in his foreign policy team.

Now if only he would find some humane adults to help shape his domestic policies as well.