So, it looks entirely possible that the Assad regime may once again have used chemical weapons against rebel forces. As you know, this is incredibly surprising given that the Trump administration demonstrated its credibility and resolve last year by firing 59 cruise missiles at a nearly empty Syrian airbase, possibly disrupting air operations for several hours.
Fans of Credibility Fairy theories of international politics were nearly orgasmic about the fifty-nine discrete launches last year, but you might expect a degree of circumspection regarding the evident failure of this impressive display to dissuade Assad’s military from doing what it wishes, when it wishes. But of course, the Credibility Fairy can never fail; it can only be failed. The latest chemical attacks will undoubtedly be written off as the result of President Trump’s (shockingly laudable) desire to get US forces out of Syria. The need to “not look weak in front of the Russians” or the Iranians, or the Chinese, or the North Koreans, or the Taliban, or possibly the Mexicans, or even the Canadians, will predictably now be trotted out as a reason why the US can’t even consider pulling back from any of its most misconceived adventures.