Wednesday, April 5, 2017

President Trump Says Chemical Weapons Attack Changed His View of Syria (VIDEO)

And this just days after Secretary of State Tillerson sought to rehabilitate Bashir Assad.

We've been escalating in Iraq and Syria in any case. I'm interested to see how things play out now, like the buzz of a more legitimate hard-power case for regime change in Damascus. That's something a lot of Trump supporters opposed during the campaign. Not sure what the political upside would be if Trump's looking to hang onto his hardcore base of supporters. I don't think they're primarily neoconservatives.

In any case, at the Washington Post, "Trump condemns chemical attack as his U.N. ambassador assails Russia’s role":

A chemical attack in Syria that killed scores of civilians, including children, “crossed a lot of lines for me,” President Trump said Wednesday, adding that he is now responsible for trying to end a grinding conflict he blamed his predecessor for prolonging.

Unlike his U.N. envoy, Trump did not mention Russia and its culpability for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose government blamed the chemical release on rebel forces.

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies — babies! — little babies,” Trump said, “that crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line, many, many lines.”

He suggested that the attack Tuesday had changed his mind about his approach to the conflict and confronting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, but he did not give any specifics.

“I like to think of myself as a very flexible person,” Trump said during a Rose Garden news conference with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II.

“And I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me, big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing,” Trump said. “I’ve been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that.”

Trump said the grinding Syrian conflict, in its seventh year, “is now my responsibility,” but repeated campaign-trail criticism of the Obama administration for threatening military action and then backing off.

“We have a big problem. We have somebody that is not doing the right thing. And that’s going to be my responsibility,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you, that responsibility could’ve made, been made, a lot easier if it was handled years ago.”

Earlier Wednesday, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley assailed Russia in blunt terms for protecting the Syrian government, saying that Moscow is callously ignoring civilian deaths...