This move turned many of Trump's supporters against him with surprising speed and ferocity. During the 2016 campaign and before, Trump repeatedly bashed President Obama's actions on Syria and strongly advocated a "keep out" approach to the Middle East country.
On more than one occasion, Trump specifically said acting against Syrian President Assad was "madness and idiocy" (source here).
And now he's done the exact thing he's harshly condemned.
This is important for the overall discussion on this blog about how Trump can never be trusted. His word is worthless. His promises are worthless. With him, truth is worthless.
That's why any promises he's made to the LGBT community are worthless. As he's repeatedly demonstrated, he'll do a 180 flip-flop on any issue, no matter what it is.
To add insult to injury, it now appears the airbase that Trump ordered bombed wasn't knocked out of commission anyway. Reuters is reporting (link here) that military jets were observed taking off from the facility on Friday.
This is not to say what Assad did with chemical weapons should be ignored or excused. At the same time, Trump himself is partly to blame for Assad's heinous actions.
Why? The answer is simple: Trump repeatedly telegraphed he would not interfere in Syria. He had no real Syrian policy except "keep out."
I'm certainly not alone in that opinion. On Friday, The New York Times published an article with the title "After Chemical Attack, Asking if U.S. Remarks Emboldened Assad" (link here).
If he actually had a policy that seemed like he might act in certain circumstances with a variety of responses, the exact approach President Obama took for which Trump repeatedly condemned him, then Assad likely would have been more cautious.
But with Trump's repeatedly stressed hands-off policy, Assad may well have thought that the United States wouldn't step in if he did something shocking. He acted recklessly and ruthlessly because Trump all but told him he would do nothing in response.