First you make an announcement that "chemical weapons use" is the "red line":Check.
This has the effect of letting all opposition parties know exactly how to get the US involved. Then, SURPRISE, someone decides to announce that Syria has used chemical weapons:Check.
'Cause as the election of Obama has clearly shown, Liberals are down with imperialism and intervention and regime change so long as it's on "liberal" terms.And check. Oh what are the "liberal terms"? See the dead babies. So the only thing I missed back in 2013 was actual blatant military force as opposed to merely "supplying" rebels. Now last time it was shown in many outlets that the gas attack ascribed to Assad was actually committed by one of the Al-Qaeda aligned groups. Given that the media got the initial story wrong last time, you would think that the second time there might be a call for cooler heads and an investigation. Last night showed that wasn't on the table. There are obvious questions about this gas attack first among them is "who benefits"? One should ALWAYS ask "who benefits" when something like this happens. Lets look at Assad. It is widely agreed that Assad has been gaining ground against the various ISIS aligned groups trying to take over Syria. To what benefit does Assad gain from using gas in a fight he's winning knowing it will bring international attention of the negative sort to him AND his allies? The media's answer to this as far as I can tell is that Assad, believing that Trump meant it when he said "I have no interest in being the president of the world" and that he has no interest in involving the US [further] in Syria, could use gas against the population without consequence. This is similar to the Saddam invasion of Kuwait where it is believed he thought that the US would have no objection. It's a plausible explanation, though it doesn't prove that he did the gassing. However, what supports this line of thinking is that unlike the previous gas hoax, this gassing was allegedly accompanied by aircraft (to which we have no video or radar proof). I do not believe any of the rebel groups have airplanes so this lends support to such a claim. But the downside to this is that after the 2013 event, Russia put it's reputation on the line by essentially guaranteeing that all chemical weapon stockpiles owned by the Assad govt. would be collected and destroyed or removed. The use of gas by the Assad govt. would therefore shown that the Russians were incompetent, tricked (incompetent) or knew full well that Assad still had chemical agents to use. OR There are ISIS/rebel sympathizers within the Assad military who were willing to false flag. The former point looks bad for Russia. I have read conflicting reports that Russia was informed prior to the strike. If Russia was informed why didn't they (or did they) warn their ally? I have also read conflicting reports that Russians shot down a number of the incoming missiles. If this is the case then we have witnessed an actual shooting war between the US and Russia. Consider that. Anyway, if Russia was tricked by their ally in regards to chemical weapons, It stands that Russia would be very displeased with Assad and would probably been amendable to non-military actions against Assad since that would forestall a shooting war with the US. In any case, the destruction of the airbase where the gas supposedly was flown from, means any real attempt at finding physical evidence is gone (how convenient) so all we have is speculation. Moving on from the actual strike we have to deal with potential fallout. First, anyone who follows any of the larger "alt-right" persons and groups on the internet knows that they are NOT happy in the least bit. If these persons and groups remain unhappy, Trump has likely lost his re-election as of Thursday 11PM. Why? Because I honestly believe that it was the alt-right and those of similar interests who put Trump over the top in those states that went from Obama to Trump. Trump won due to increased white turnout in those states. By betraying one of his oft stated campaign commentary (not promise) he may have soured these people who thought they had elected someone who was a non-interventionalist. Working in favor of Trump is that folks tend to have short memories and there is still 95% of his presidency to make up. Assad may be more of a long term problem. Assad may yet go out like Ghaddafi. If that happens ISIS gets Syria. ISIS will not show it's appreciation of US help by recalling the Jihadis it has sent out to Europe. No. There will be more Jihadis going to or converting IN Europe. Even more of a long term problem is that Assad could simply decide to allow Jihadi's free exit from Syria to Europe (and elsewhere). Lastly, operatives and organizations that want Trump to intervene in places now know which button to push to get him to do things he wasn't elected to do. This could probably be the biggest problem.