We must stand up against brutal tyrants

Parliament Street CEO, Patrick Sullivan writes an Op-Ed about the recent events in Syria and the challenges facing the International Community.

Donald Trump has passed the first real leadership test of his young Presidency and shocked many in the process.

In the abstract it is easy to say that we should not get involved in situations involving “far away people of who we know nothing” and in the abstract that might seem sensible.

I commend Trump for being willing to reverse his stance when confronted by the images of children, innocents, the most vulnerable dying in the most inhumane way.

Those children were not hypothetical casualties but were instead real sons and daughters, brothers and sisters whose only difference from our own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters was the geographical location of their birth.

Trump is no longer a reality TV show star or armchair pundit and I am damn glad he did not feel wedded to the opinions he had as a man with no power to influence anything.

When faced with real evil, with the power to confront that evil: he made the only decision anyone with a shred of humanity and compassion could make.

In contrast Vladmir Putin has once again shown himself to be what we have always known him to be him; ruthless and cold-blooded. His reign will always be a stain on the soul of Russia.

I was not surprised that Trump was so willing to take on the former KGB thug but many have been; some pleasantly and others very unpleasantly.

Whether people like it or not the American President, by virtue of his position is the leader of the Free World and ought never to cower to any tyrannical despot of a starving country.

With his actions on Syria, President Trump has not only, once more shown the unrivalled might of the United States but has also restored America’s position as the moral leader in the World.

The situation in Syria has for too long been a mark on the conscience of the world. We have sat back and watched almost as perverse spectators, as the bombs fell on Aleppo killing and maiming civilians and fuelling the rise of ISIS.

We were disgusted and appalled but those that governed in our name, sat back and did nothing, in our name.

This week, President Trump has shown courage where different leaders, whatever their other virtues, had shown cowardice.

Some who thought Trump would govern according to their prejudices are sure to be disappointed. He is sure to have lost many political allies, who thought he would be putty in Putin’s hands but he is well rid of those people anyway – they hardly had his or his county’s best interests at heart anyhow.

Those politicians who would take the side of Putin, and the barbaric Assad, and not that of dying and vulnerable children tell us all we need to know about them.

There are those who for whom any criticism of a Uncle Vlad is sacrilege, who feel so indebted to him they would turn a blind eye for war crimes.

Those people can be called many names but they must never be called British or American Patriots.

For Russia’s sake, I hope they had no role in the recent chemical weapons attacks beyond pushing propaganda for the murderous tinpot tyrant Assad.

For far too long the Russian state has been allowed to get away with pure villainy by the international community.

They have assassinated political opponents on British soil. They have provided resources and support to extremist parties and politicians, from the right and the left, both in Britain and across the continent. They have shown no regard for the sovereignty of their neighbours and have annexed part of a country (Ukraine) that we are treaty bound to protect. During that conflict, they cold bloodily shot down a civilian airliner killing amongst many others 50 Australians.

More recently, despite their claims that they were bombing ISIS and jihadis, they have been providing military support to the Assad regime; propping it up when it would otherwise have fallen.

For this, they are complicit in all the atrocities Assad and his gang of thugs have committed in order to cling on to the last remnants of power.

As for Assad, I am pleased that President Trump had now decided that there is no way this heartless killer should be allowed to cling onto his office and can only hope that he decides we chase him to the gates of hell!

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