To the Editor:
Re “U.S. Launches Missiles Into Syria” (front page, April 7) and “Striking Assad Poses Opportunities, and Risks, for Trump” (news analysis, April 7):
Since Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Democrats and most news media have been fixated on two story lines: his supposed disdain for Muslims, and his supposed obsequiousness (or worse) to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. With one decisive and necessary military strike — in defense of Muslim civilian lives, against one of Mr. Putin’s closest allies — those story lines have been called into question.
This is not to absolve Mr. Trump of his often reckless and inflammatory language, or his many policy stumbles. It is, however, to recognize that Mr. Trump takes seriously the need to aggressively revise President Obama’s hands-off approach to Syria, under which hundreds of thousands of civilians were slaughtered and Russia’s influence was permitted to grow.
STUART GOTTLIEB, NEW YORK
The writer, an international affairs professor at Columbia, has advised both Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy and national security.