No doubt, the U.S. strikes on an airbase in Syria yesterday were symbolic. No one was killed, apparently, and there was limited damage.
But the missile strikes send a message to Syria, North Korea, China, Russia, Iran and other nations: the United States now has a president who won’t sit idly by while other nations threaten the world’s security — and American security.
The timing of the missile strikes was no coincidence: they hit as President Trump was about to enter a meeting with the leader of China, during which he was to press that leader to use his influence to put a lid on North Korea’s missile program. North Korea and China should know today that Trump could order air strikes on N. Korea any time now, with no warning.
The strikes also deflect attention away from some of the other nagging issues Trump & co. have been facing, and they might — I say, might — quell some of the suspicion that Trump and Putin have been in cahoots. But the fact that Russia didn’t deploy its air defence system in Syria to stop American missiles from hitting their targets suggests otherwise. Conspiracy theorists will probably see this as Putin helping Trump. More on that later, no doubt.
From what I am seeing, Western nations are applauding Trump’s decision to hit a Syrian government base in response to what is widely believed to have been a chemical attack by the Assad regime on its own people. And many readers commenting to reports about the strikes seem to be supporting Trump’s decision to launch them.
Where will it lead?
Well, at the least, it puts the world on notice that the United States — the most powerful nation in the world — has a president who is not afraid to use force, and who will do so quickly.
Trump has raised the ante.
He means business.
Photo: President Donald J. Trump gives his acceptance speech on Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Source: Screengrab taken by Jillian Page)