On Thursday night, phantom Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R.McMaster were fairly clear that these strikes wouldn't have any effect on the actual political situation in Syria.
"He's there and I guess he's running things, so something should happen," Trump told pool reporters when asked whether he thinks Assad should leave power. "I think what Assad did is terrible."
So we bomb an airfield.
What’s crucial here is that Trump’s justification for launching the strike isn’t to end the Syrian civil war, or even to slow down Assad’s killing of his country’s civilians. It is a “targeted” strike designed as punishment for one specific crime: the use of chemical weapons.
“Trump's statement makes it clear [that] US cruise missile strikes are for enhancing [the] international norm against chemical weapons use, not protecting Syrian civilians,” Zenko tweeted.
The implication here is that Trump has no desire to launch any more strikes unless Assad uses more chemical weapons. If Assad sticks to his normal tactics, and kills children with explosives rather than banned chemicals, then the United States will leave him alone. This attack will, it seems, be a one-off — or at least part of a relatively small battery of punitive strikes.
Well, as long as Trump got that out of his system; that's what really matters.
Nothing like bombing an air field to make me feel like God is on our side.
Be careful what you wish for....