The attack of United States to an airbase in Syria is more a political action to favor the derailed presidency of Donald Trump than a reaction to the chemical weapons attack that the regime of Bashar al-Assad launched against his own people.
Let’s be honest. Bashar al-Assad didn’t do anything different to change Trump’s opinion on him. The dictator of Syria has launched many chemical weapons against civilians in the past, and he has been killing innocent people for a long time, even during the last 2 months –during Trump’s presidency- striking schools and hospitals. Trump didn’t feel bad for those kids and those women; he didn’t feel bad for innocent Syrian refugees when he banned them; he didn’t apologize when he ordered an air strike in Mosul that killed 200 civilians including kids. He doesn’t care.
Donald Trump was in desperate need of a win, so he picked the easiest and most effective one.
Donald Trump had promised incredible victories for America and for himself; he said that we would win so much we would get tired of winning. But after two months in power he has been summing defeat after defeat, and his popularity is the lowest in history for a president of US at the beginning of the tenancy.
Attacking Syria with a justified cause is a safe bet. Nobody is going to neither disagree nor protest. Everybody is going to applaud.
The world has been waiting for the United States to lead military actions against the regime of al-Assad. Obama failed to do it in 2013, when he didn’t get the approval of the majority of republicans and many democrats in congress. He opted for a negotiated solution and let a free highway for Russia to take over supporting al-Assad.
By attacking Syria, Trump complies the debt Obama left there, but he also accomplish something most important for himself: Trump has changed the conversation that was hurting his presidency. At least for a few days nobody is going to talk about his failure to negotiate a health care reform with his own party, and most important, nobody is going to talk about the connection of his campaign with Russia.
Trump is attacking one of the main allies of Russia in Middle East, so we could say that he is somehow attacking Russia.
The action is perfect to dissipate the smoke of his connection with Putin. Donald Trump has been unable to dodge the attention over the obvious links between his campaign and Russia. He failed trying to put the attention on his unsupported allegations against Obama for wiretapping him, and failed trying to put the attention on the massive liking of classified information. All the noise he made before failed.
But this time he is attacking Russia to demonstrate he is not linked to any Russian interest, and this time it may look credible.
The reality is that this strike against Syria is not going to hurt the relations between USA/Trump and Russia. We will see protest and threatens from Moscow, but we will not see retaliations. It is more likely to see Russia, Syria, and the United States reaching an agreement that compromises Bashar al-Assad to be a good guy than having Russia or Syria taking military or diplomatic actions against United States.
Trump got a sounding wining, a dangerous one. He now knows that throwing bombs away is an easy way to attain political victories.