Granted, the American news cycle has moved on, especially after United States air strikes against Syria and U.S. - Russia discussions.
But so far, I’ve not been completely distracted from the reasons for those air strikes. And I hope others aren’t either.
Looking into those strikes, The New York Times reported (on the front page, right column, no less) that the President said he “would not tolerate the ‘heinous’ chemical weapons attack in Syria…”
Despite saying earlier that he was going to take a hands-off approach to Syria and its President, Bashar al-Assad, President Trump is now quoted as saying, “...my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.”
That change of attitude came, President Trump said, because of the “horror” of seeing “innocent children, innocent babies” suffering and dying from the poison gas.
I completely agree with President Trump: killing children and killing babies are airtight reasons for attitude change. And all the more so when the cause for those dead children and babies is a chemical attack.
Of course, that’s also what air pollution is. It’s a chemical attack.
And, according to UNICEF, air pollution contributes to the death of more children annually than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. “Around 600,000 children under age 5 die every year from diseases caused by or exacerbated by outdoor and indoor air pollution,” according to the agency’s report in 2015.
Those deaths could be significantly reduced – maybe eventually eliminated – if the world were to continue to take steps to address climate change, and if the the United States were to continue on the path that President Obama put in place with his Clean Power Plan.
But President Trump has already taken action to reverse those global and American steps.
Maybe, just maybe, somebody needs to show him some photos of those 600,000 children and babies.
Whatever the means, we now know the President is capable of changing his attitude.
Photo Credit: The White House (Public Domain)