There was a bit of a discussion on my Facebook page on this tonight. The general consensus was it was needed, even considering the potential negatives about the actions.
My comments centered around the belief that if Secretary of Defense Mattis was supportive of this (and I mean more than simply obeying the orders of his Commander in Chief), he had to have had a pretty good grasp and belief in the intelligence that indeed Syria was behind the gas attack on Douma. He is a very, very smart man, probably the most respected member of the President’s cabinet – hell, the entire administration – and I cannot believe he could be hoodwinked into going along with something like this for any sort of pure political or other non-strategic reasons. We’ll hear all that from the left, no doubt – that this is a “wag the dog” scenario, that Trump is bombing Syria to get the news off Comey or Mueller or McCabe or Stormy Daniels or whatever. Ignore those yappy comments.
As far as if it was needed or not, I believe it was and if chemical weapons use by a rogue, dark regime like Syria goes unpunished in any way, the US might just as well do away with half our military and invest in red sharpie markers so we can just keep drawing red lines on paper maps that we have no intention of giving a damn about or doing anything over.
The alternative, I fear, if we do nothing is to cede that entire part of the world to Russia, Iran and the other dark powers in the region. Israel would be in a world of hurt, the entire region could end up a Russian backyard. That isn’t some old world/Soviet expansionism/cold-war thinking, but a practical determination of the power Russia has over Syria and Iran.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and if the US and her allies do nothing here, that vacuum created by our non-action will quickly be filled by Russia. Funny…the more things change, the more they stay the same.