Students respond to United States airstrike on Syria

The United States carried out a missile strike on a military base in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack earlier this month. The chemical attack targeted civilian populations and killed over 80 people, according to the New York Times, and violates international treaties.

“Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air base in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” President Donald Trump said in his remarks. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”

U.S. citizens have taken many different stances in response to this attack. Students at John Brown University were no less divided. Several students shared their opinions on the missile strike.

In an online poll of 55 JBU students, 31 said they did not agree with the decision to attack the Syrian base, while 24 said they did agree with President Trump’s decision.

Josh Kruntorad, senior Bible and theology major, said he supports the missile strike. “Christians throughout history have theorized on what exactly makes a war ‘just’ or ‘right.’ One of the questions always asked is, ‘Are there extreme acts of injustice taking place against those who bear God’s image?’ I think the situation in Syria fits this bill,” Kruntorad said.

“The U.S. taking acts of war against Syria (i.e. dropping a bomb) would then be considered ‘just’ in my eyes if it is for the right motive. The image of God is actively being disrespected through the use of chemical weapons and no one seems to be doing anything about it. As a Christian, this disturbs me and I want to see an end to it. If military action is the best way to end it, then we should seek that,” Kruntorad continued.

Marisa Jacobson, junior history major, also said she supported the decision. “Action needed to be taken to show everyone in the world that the United States will not stand by and let chemical weapons be used, period. Our response was calculated to show that stance while not endangering civilians,” Jacobson said.

However, other students took an opposing stance. Elizabeth Jones, sophomore music major, shared her reasoning as to why she opposes the missile strike.

“I just think it’s inhumane to attack a country so senselessly when they’re already hurting and dealing with this power struggle, and to then still not take in refugees from that country – that’s just a horrible and preposterous thing to do,” Jones said.

“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world,” President Trump said. “We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who passed. And we hope as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will in the end prevail.”