Chemical Weapons in Syria and Emotion-Driven Foreign Policy [Video]

Was President Trump right or wrong in deciding to bomb a Syrian airfield in retaliation for the government’s use of chemical weapons against citizens? When a similar question arose in 2013 on President Obama’s watch, Ayn Rand Institute executive chairman Yaron Brook recorded this prescient video, questioning whether the use of chemical weapons threatens American interests. Here are some excerpts from the video:

“The Syrian regime has used chemical weapons . . . . America will not step in, does not intervene, does not need to do anything, if you’re just slaughtering people using bullets and bombs and other so-called conventional weapons. But if you use chemical weapons, now that’s bad. Why is it bad? Nobody can really give you a reason. . . .

“What American interest is differentiated between the use of chemical weapons versus conventional weapons? . . . Look, at the end of the day this is basically an appeal to emotions. This is an emotional response. . . . It’s one of the most brutal ways to die — but you’re still dead. It’s emotionally wrenching to watch somebody die of chemical weapons. . . .  But that’s what this is — this is foreign policy based on emotions. This is foreign policy based on fear. This has nothing to do with interests. This has nothing to do — even on the humanitarian ground, this has nothing to do with the number of people dying. This is purely emotion-driven. This is purely nonsensical. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Image: M-SUR via