Kassem Eid, a survivor of the 2013 gas attack in Syria that led President Obama to try and fail to get congressional approval for military action, was on CNN a few days ago, talking about President Trump’s missile attack on Bashar al-Assad’s airfield.
It seems obvious from the anchor’s expression during Eid’s interview that she was hoping for some bashing of Trump either for launching cruise missiles or for his travel ban on immigrants from Syria and six other countries.
What she got instead was some serious schooling about the realities of war and people who live in foreign lands.
In describing the day of the U.S. attack on the airfield, Eid, who now lives in Germany, said:
“I saw the news, I cried out of joy, I jumped, I thanked God. I don’t know. I was overwhelmed. We’ve been asking for protection, we’ve been asking for consequences for more than six years, and today, for the first time, it happened. For the very first time, we see Assad held accountable, just for once, held accountable for his crimes against humanity.
“I was overwhelmed. I felt grateful for President Trump, I felt grateful for the United States, I felt grateful for each and every person who … kept on talking until somebody listened.”
Anchor Brooke Baldwin made a transparent play to coax an anti-Trump sound bite out of Eid. She admitted that Trump has been praised for his leadership in the attack by both Republicans and Democrats, but then she added, “At the same time, he doesn’t want Syrians to come into this country with this refugee ban.”
To drive home her point, Baldwin played a tape of none other than sore loser Hillary Clinton calling Trump a hypocrite because he won’t open America’s gates to just anyone. (It should be noted that, shortly before Trump ordered the airstrike, Hillary had given a speech saying she regretted the Obama Administration’s weakness against Assad and calling for … tada … striking his airfields so he could no longer drop poison gas bombs on people.)
Eid, however, wasn’t buying what Baldwin was selling.
“With all due respect,” he said, “I didn’t see each and every person who was demonstrating after the travel ban, I didn’t see you three days ago, when people were gassed to death. … I didn’t see you raising your voice against President Obama’s inaction in Syria that let us refugees, that made us refugees get kicked out of Syria.”
He had more to say about the liberal narrative regarding immigration, and you could see that Baldwin by that point just wanted to unplug his microphone and crawl under her desk.
Eid accused people who are pushing for looser immigration laws and opposing the travel ban of being hypocrites who aren’t truly motivated by the desire to help.
“If you really care about refugees,” Eid said, “if you really care about helping us, please help us stay in our country. We don’t want to come to United States. We want to stay in our country. … With all due respect, this is hypocrisy.”
Then Eid seemed to address the president personally, much to Baldwin’s obvious chagrin: “Please, sir, what you did was amazing. What you did was a powerful message of hope, for a lot of people inside and outside of Syria. Please don’t stop on this.”