The Donald's missile "attack" on Syria's al-Shairat air base is surely the most impetuous, thoughtless, reckless and stupid act from the Oval Office that we can remember — and that covers 50 years at least. And we put "attack" in quotes because it's now evident that virtually every one of those $1.4 million per copy Tomahawks amounted to a big fat nothing-burger.
To wit, 36 of the 59 missile were duds and landed somewhere that was not the al-Shairat air base, including a nearby village where apparently a number of civilians were killed. The 23 that did hit the base actually missed the main runway, which, by the way, was back in operation launching Syrian air force sorties within 24 hours. None of Assad's operational warplanes were hit, either — just a handful of old MIG-23s that have apparently long been languishing in the base's "repair" boneyard.
Yes, the Donald's sharpshooters did annihilate several glorified Butler buildings, otherwise referred to as "hangars", and a few fuel tanks — the better for some post-attack fireworks to be posted to the War Channels (CNN, MSNBC and Fox).
But what the Tomahawks surely did not hit was the chemical weapons storage facilities alleged by the Pentagon to be at the base. With Washington's satellites monitoring al-Shairat like a cloud of bumble bees, there was not a whit of evidence of Syrian personnel running around with gas masks after the missiles hit.
Had there been, the War Channels would have been playing it in an endless loop all weekend. Naturally, the Pentagon says these apparently non-existent stores weren't even targeted owing to humanitarian (?) reasons.
Right, copy that!
Worse, launching this feckless attack in the midst of sharing Caesar salad with the leader of China was surely an amateur ploy right out of the pages of The Apprentice. That's because within 24 hours of Xi Jinping's departure from what will now be known as War-A-Lago, the Syrian air force had not only resumed launches from the base, but was actually bombing the very site of the original offense at Khan Sheikhoun!
Upon hearing the news, China's supreme leader would have presumably browned his Changshan (traditional tunic) in the fear of it — save for the fact that he is the reincarnation of Mao Tse-tung in a business suit, and just as ruthless.
That gets us, of course, to the purpose of attacking any sovereign government that has not attacked or threatened America; and, most especially, one waging a determined fight against the one threat to America's peace of mind, if not actual physical security, extant on the planet today.
That is, the radical jihadist head-choppers of ISIS, and particularly the al-Nusra terrorists desperately holed up in their last redoubt in Idlib province. Even if Assad had used chemical weapons — and there is zero proof he did — what possible purpose was there in a pinprick attack on Assad's military capability that was hailed by jihadists all over Syria and the greater Middle East?
Does the Donald really wish to attack both sides in the most tangled, bloody, sectarian and convoluted civil war in modern history — a course of action he has long, and rightly, criticized.
Did he really reverse in a mere two days, the anti- "regime change" line he had held for years? And one he had wielded to great effect with a "don't do it" tweet storm in August 2013 in the wake of what now is clear had been a false flag chemical attack staged by radical jihadists at Ghouta designed to lure Obama into attacking the regime?
The weekend talk show huffing and puffing by Secretary Tillerson and the ignorant little nincompoop he appointed as UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, would leave you to guess, but not really. At the time of the attack Thursday evening, Administration spokesmen made it clear that the attack was "punishment" for Assad's violation of international norms about the fair way to kill civilians when waging urban warfare.