Are we going to launch one painful attack which may not have strategic consequences but signals that we will exact a price for any use of chemical weapons? Are we now going to intervene with the intention of shifting the course of the war - a pretty tall proposition now that Assad holds the whip hand in the conflict and has forces thoroughly intermingled with the Russian army? Are we going to try to create a global coalition to oust Assad? Given the reality on the ground that seems quite hard to figure. Or are we just going to blow a lot of shit up because we are horrified by the pictures we're seeing?
Was it ever really a serious question?
After two days of deliberation, President Donald Trump authorized the military to launch 59 cruise missiles at the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. The move was conducted in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday, allegedly carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. The chemical weapon attack, which killed at least 70 people, was conducted from the Shayrat base, Davis said.
“Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children,” Trump said Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered at this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”
Trump said the attack was in the “national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” He called on “civilized nations” to join in seeking to “end the slaughter and bloodshed” in Syria.
Pardon my French, but what the fuck is this supposed to accomplish? Basically we have an intemperate clown who hasn't been paying attention to the slaughter in Syria now confronting the deaths of children and taking it seriously, and having the power to retaliate with missiles.
Oh, wait, there's more:
It is not clear what ― if any ― legal authority Trump is claiming to strike the Assad regime. The U.S. has claimed authority to bomb ISIS in Syria under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force by claiming that ISIS is an offshoot of al Qaeda. But there is no war authorization from Congress that could be interpreted to allow military action against the Syrian government, nor can the U.S. claim it is defending itself. When former President Barack Obama considered a similar retaliatory strike against the Assad regime in 2013, he made it clear he would first seek approval from Congress.
Well, what's the point of being Commander in Chief if you can't blow shit up when you're upset?
This will not end well.