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ploechinger@gmail.com

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A pensive Trump?
eyes on the U.S.

For Trump, What’​s Really Driving About-Face In Syria?

WASHINGTON — It is either a turning point or a welcome aberration that President Trump found the cruelly extinguished lives of Syrian children to be compelling (or at least contributory) in his decision to use force in Syria. The nerve gas attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime, he said, "crossed a lot of lines for me . . . innocent children, innocent babies — babies, little babies."

Much of Trump's appeal during his presidential campaign was based on dehumanization — the characterization of migrants as criminals and refugees as terrorist threats. This is the first instance I can recall of Trump showing public empathy for the lives of foreigners. It was jarring in its humanity. Trump engaged in the humanization of Syrian war victims. And that merits praise.

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