Foreign Death Before National Protection: The US Bombs Syria


Jasper Coen, Staff Reporter

On February 25th, under the Biden administration, the USA made a drone strike on a Syrian military base. One person died, and several others were injured in the strike. This bombing cost over $119 million of taxpayer money. $119 million for a military attack with next to no result, the necessity of which was questionable at best. This attack, more than anything, feels darkly ironic. The administration calling for peace, unity, and love seems to have forgotten the foundations on which their campaign was built in little less than a mere 40 days. And, the worst part, it seems that our administration has prioritized the death of foreign military members over its promises (student debt elimination, covid relief, $15 minimum wage, etc.) to its own citizens. 

The drone strikes were in retaliation for an attack in Iraq a few months ago which killed one civilian contractor. In no way should we discredit this event or act as if it was alright in the slightest. However, the US launched 85 missiles. Overkill would be an understatement. If we were to retaliate violently in the first place, which was not a necessity in the first place, there are plenty of ways to do it that don’t use over $100 million in US tax-payer money.

Looking back at President Joe Biden’s campaign promises, we see many gaping holes in what has yet to be fulfilled. Biden promised to pardon student loans, make public colleges tuition-free for people making under $125,000 a year, give childcare money to those who need it, end pay discrimination, direct funds to help protect transgender women from violent assault, lower the costs of prescription medication, and so much more. However, none of these changes have occurred. Instead, we now have one dead middle-easterner and 119 million fewer federal dollars. The administration whose promises were formed around improving the quality of our lives has backstabbed us not even forty days in.

Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to foreign intervention Biden has been much better than our previous president. However, this strike seems to indicate something much deeper about our establishment, and much more disheartening than one misled missile strike. What it indicates is that, to the surprise of a surprisingly high populace, our current president and our last president may not be as different as many had hoped. Sure, at first glance, Democratic and Republican candidates can seem like two opposite sides of a coin. But, if you take a second to look at the actions of each, you start to realize that even if they are two sides of a coin, they are still just that. A coin.

Now, I can understand the protest that may follow my claim; “Isn’t this just a single event? Yes, it’s terrible but it’s not nearly as dramatic as you make it sound”, or something of that nature. But this is not exactly about the strike in and of itself; this is about something much broader. This is about the fact that our current system makes it so that our leadership can focus on harming people of other nations before serving the people they are sworn to protect. And this is not an isolated incident. If we were to apply the criteria of the Nurnberg trials for what measure war crimes should be punished by, every post WW2 president would be executed.

In my opinion, there are three main takeaways from this tragedy: One, this is cause for large unrest as our government has prioritized foreign suffering over national protection; two, this is no isolated incident and should not be a shock to us; and, finally, that we must better hold our government accountable to their promises as –unfortunate as it may be– as sometimes they may need that little reminder of who put them there in the first place. Who they serve, and who they protect. Us, the American people.