Last week, President Trump ordered a military strike on a Syrian base after seeing pictures of victims of a Syrian chemical attack on the town of Ibdil. On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained that Americans should be “very, very worried” about the retaliation.
“There are some serious questions that need to be answered regarding these airstrikes, which were in retaliation against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons to target his own people—which is undeniably horrific, but as many have noted, when Assad did the same thing four years ago, Trump’s reaction was significantly different,” Oliver said, noting Trump’s tweets in 2013 urging Obama to ask Congressional approval before bombing Syria (something Trump failed to do).
“Look, maybe a symbolic airstrike was strategically the best move for Trump, but I don’t think he’s thinking strategically, because there is no indication that he’s taken the time to answer some fairly basic questions, like: If this was a warning shot, what are we warning against? Do we only want to stop Assad using chemical weapons, or are we going to push for regime change? If he does it again, are we prepared to go to war to stop him? If so, are we prepared for how significantly this may deteriorate our relationship with Russia? And how will that affect our fight against ISIS?”
“This is complicated. And I’m not saying there are right answers here,” Oliver said, “I’m saying there needs to be a tangible strategy acknowledging how difficult taking on Assad actually is, because right now, we have a president who feeds off praise and he just got a lot of it for bombing someone. And that should make everyone very, very worried.”
Watch the clips below for more. [Apologies if the videos are removed. HBO does not make Oliver’s opening segments readily available.]
[Back-up clips below if above clips are taken down.]