At an explosive meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Saturday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned Syria and Russia that the U.S. was perfectly ready to launch another round of devastating airstrikes against the Assad regime should the country’s psycho dictator choose to gas his own people again. Haley, speaking in the aftermath of the nearly-100 missiles the U.S. – in conjunction with France and the UK – launched against Syria this weekend, said that any further use of chemical weapons on the part of the Assad regime would be met with the same response.
“I spoke to President Trump this morning and he said if the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded,” she said. “When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line.”
Haley’s defiant remarks came on the heels of sharp criticism from Russia’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia, who said the U.S. and its allies were guilty of an “illegal military adventure” in Syria.
“You are constantly tempted by neo-colonialism,” he said. “You have nothing but disdain for the UN Charter and the Security Council which you are unjustifiably trying to use for your illicit aims. You want to throw this country back into the Stone Age. You want to finish off what your sanctions haven’t achieved yet.”
The Russian ambassador called the accusations against Assad an example of fake news, telling the Security Council that the West was merely using this chemical attack as a pretense for more intervention.
To which Haley forcefully replied: “The pictures of dead children are not fake news.”
From all reports (and this was an echo from last year’s strikes against Syria as well), those pictures played a decisive role in inspiring President Donald Trump to respond to the chemical attack. Some of Trump’s supporters have lashed out at him for further military intervention in the Middle East, but it’s clear that this is a president who cannot bring himself to stand aside and watch innocent people choke to death on chlorine and sarin. As much as we worry about the longterm trouble that a serious Syrian engagement could cause our country, we cannot fault Trump for these airstrikes. Appeasement of a sociopathic madman is not a justifiable option.