The Harry Truman Strike Group has been dispatched. Apparently it was scheduled for a routine deployment anyway, but either way an aircraft carrier laden with strike fighters accompanied by six destroyers is currently on its way to the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Trump was on the phone with the leaders of France and Britain, the only two other Western powers with serious force projection capabilities, although their militaries pale in comparison to that of the United States. A team of inspectors will go to Syria to confirm whether the April 7 chemical weapons attack occurred and, if so, if it was carried out by Assad.
The question is whether the United States and her allies will wage war on Syria.
Many pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle feel like the question has already been decided. Of course the President should act in the face of such immorality. America has a responsibility to lead, to not let tyrants commit atrocities with impunity. Despite the partisan rancor that normally characterizes Washington, there is a remarkable amount of unity around the idea that Trump ought to authorize at least some military action in Syria.
There are many good reasons to support such a position. Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro forcefully argued the case against Assad on Fox News, highlighting the vital importance of maintaining deterrence against chemical weapons attacks.
But opposition to the war is bringing a strange medley of personalities from across the political spectrum together.
Tucker Carlson, one of the most watched right-of-center talk show hosts on American television, delivered a blistering rebuke of the pro-war crowd on his show. He said that even if Assad did order a chemical weapons attack that killed children (which Carlson acknowledges he is perfectly capable of doing), to remove him would only bring further chaos at the expense of American lives and billions more dollars.
In this opinion, he is joined by none other than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour party, who called for restraint and a multilateral solution brought by the United Nations. Corbyn has links to Islamist figures, has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and is embroiled in an on-going anti-Semitism scandal. In the UK, Corbyn’s position was supported by none other than Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party. Griffin tweeted that he would vote Labour and support Corbyn if he stopped U.S. airstrikes in Syria.
Left-wing journalist and self-described “anarcho-psychonaut” Caitlin Johnstone wrote in Medium “We All Need to Unite Against War in Syria Regardless of Ideology.” She cites Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald, who got famous breaking Edward Snowden’s Wikileaks as also being against the war.
Patriarcha, an ultraconservative Christian Facebook page even shared her article, calling it “compulsory reading,” despite that page’s longstanding visceral hatred for anything emanating from the left.
The prospect of war is uniting people who normally couldn’t stand to even be in the same room without screaming at each other. The conventional partisan alignments are breaking down in the face of the ever-changing political reality.
Watch Tucker Carlson’s case against war: