Finding messages in the attack ordered by Trump on Syrian airfield

President Donald Trump’s decision to strike Syria sent a powerful message around the world -- one that could be read very differently in Moscow, Pyongyang and Beijing.

For Russia, it may finally put to rest expectations from the 2016 campaign that Trump will pursue closer ties with President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

For North Korea, it was a warning the U.S. is willing to act unilaterally.

And for China, whose leader Xi Jinping was dining with Trump right before the missiles took flight, the attack was a potent sign of the new American president’s unpredictability.

The U.S. cruise missile strike, in response to a Syrian chemical weapons attack on April 4 that killed more than 70 people, also showed a president who will dramatically shift his policies in response to changing world events. In 2013, Trump slammed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for considering military action against Syria after a poison gas attack killed more than 1,000 people near Damascus, tweeting “Do NOT attack Syria,fix U.S.A..”

“This gets us back on the track to restoring American credibility,” Andrew Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said in an interview. “That’s why this is more than about just Syria. It’s about nonproliferation. It’s about a lot of things.”
The Russians appear to have gotten the message and have signaled their displeasure.   Secretary of State Tillerson also had harsh words for Russia about the gas attack in Syria saying the Russians were either complicit or incompetent in their commitment to find and destroy the WMD stockpile of Assad.

As for North Korea, there a new calculation that they are not dealing with Obama anymore and their main trading partner was being hosted by Trump at the time of the attack.

There is also a message for Democrats who have been pushing the absurd notion that Trump was some kind of Manchurian candidate put in office by Russia.  While this meme was always ridiculous, it is unsustainable now.

You can see images of the attack here.


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