Trump Called ‘Too Cozy’ with Russia As Moscow’s Chemical Attack Cover Story Crumbles
Trump Would Rather Blame Obama than Russia for Brutal Chemical Attack
Sooner or later, one can hope that President Trump will realize it’s not the campaign trail anymore. Blaming Former President Obama may help excite a political base, but in the global climate it amounts to little more than cowardice. Especially in matters of life and death. After what the New York Times described as “one of the worst chemical attacks in Syria” on Tuesday, Trump attempted to score cheap political points by passing responsibility to his predecessor. The lack of leadership in the White House was magnified by reports from Russia that pushed a theory that “poison gas belonged to rebels and had leaked from an insurgent weapons depot hit by Syrian bombs.” The Russian hypothesis was widely rejected by the international community.
Trump’s well-documented relationship with Russia — both known and speculated — has led to uneasiness in Washington about the president’s ability to hold Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for the atrocities. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), the 2016 Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee, expressed such concerns to CNN:
“I worry they are trying to be cozy with Russia — so cozy with Russia that they are unwilling to call out Russia’s henchman, Bashar al-Assad, who is only able to carry out these atrocities because of the support from the Russians and the Iranians”
“That statement of President Trump’s is rich. He is president now. He’s commander in chief. When something happens and he tries to blame President Obama, give me a break. He is the President now. He has to put on his big boy pants and own up to the job.”
Evidence and Witnesses to Chemical Attack Point To Syria and Assad
Aside from Assad’s well-documented history of using chemical weapons on his own people, there were plenty of other reasons to dismiss Moscow’s theory of a gas leak. Social media accounts shared images of the horror. Eyewitnesses on the ground described the hell reigning from above to Buzzfeed:
“It’s so hard to picture what happened. Mostly it’s a state of loss and chaos. Everyone is feeling lost,” said Hadi al Abdullah, a Syrian journalist who went to report from the site of the the attack in Khan Sheikhoun, told BuzzFeed News. Abdullah said four separate rockets were launched by the aircraft on Tuesday morning. “The fourth one was the chemical one, which caused all the scourge,” he added.
Outside of the Kremlin, the overwhelming global opinion was that Assad did, in fact, launch the chemical attack. British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said “all evidence” suggests the government of Syria was to blame. Fench Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault labeled the attack “atrocious” while French President Francois Hollande blamed the governments who prop up the Assad regime for ignoring their “strategic, political and moral responsibilities“.
Yet Trump blamed Obama:
These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.
One could only imagine if our past presidents owned such a low threshold for accountability. Could you picture Abraham Lincoln reacting to Fort Sumter by saying “These despicable cannon shots fired by the Confederate regime are a consequence of President Buchanan’s weakness in the Kansas Border War! Sad!”
This is not leadership. This is not “winning”. And it is certainly not accountability. There are now three major investigations into whether or not the Trump Administration has been compromised by Russia. In the wake of the White House response to the chemical attack, it appears that regardless of those findings, it already has been.
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