• Bobby Zitzmann

"No Child of God Should Suffer Such Horror"

The recent chemical weapons attacked launched by the Syrian government against its civilians seems to have had a real effect on President Trump. I would like to largely give the President credit for how he has reacted to the attack. Contrary to his normal “America First” ethos, Trump has struck a surprisingly internationalist tone. In his address the night of American airstrikes against Assad’s military, Trump made appeals to the authority of the United Nations, and, in a bit of unprecedented rhetoric, Trump ended his speech by saying “God bless the entire world,” instead of just “God bless America.”

But more than anything else, the attacks seem to have affected the President emotionally. He said that seeing pictures of children killed in the attack convinced him that protecting Syrian civilians from such attacks was now his responsibility. He summed up his emotional reaction in his Thursday address, declaring that “no child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

But there is a cruel irony in this statement, coming from Trump. This man, whose heart now apparently bleeds for Syrian children, has issued two orders banning Syrian refugees from the country, and he is still fighting in court to re-impose one of those bans. In so doing, he has done his part to condemn those children to a life of hellish uncertainty and turmoil, ripped from any sense of home, fleeing from barbarous dictators and terrorists, and struggling to eke out existence in crowded camps, barren of food. Should any child of God suffer those horrors, Mr. Trump?

Some refugees are lucky enough to physically make it out of the Levant. For them, the lack of asylum by countries like the United States forces them to embark on treacherous raft trips across the Mediterranean. Hundreds drown. And we’ve seen that sometimes, children’s bodies wash up on the beach. Should any child of God suffer those horrors?

Banning refugees from our country was unhuman and inexcusable before. As I’ve written, there is no valid reason to do so. But for Trump to continue doing so while also adopting a new humanitarian face is an unbearably malign contradiction. The United States has plenty of room for more refugees. Germany has admitted three refugees for every 1,000 people. Sweden has 14. America has less than one. If President Trump truly cares about the lives of Syrian children, he should not condemn them to suffer such horror.

Photo credit G. Gia, Creative Commons


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