April 6, 2017

THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY: U.S. launches cruise missile strike on Syria after chemical weapons attack. On the one hand, that’s more than Obama did to enforce the “red line.” On the other hand, it’s rather a sharp turnabout for Trump, isn’t it?

On Facebook, a friend comments that half the point of this was doing it while the Chinese president was with him. And Richard Fernandez notes: “The bitter fruit of Obama’s war by executive order is now upon us. Whatever happened to Congress’ war powers?”

Neither Democrats nor Republicans would assert those powers under Obama. Who will do so now? But this does seem more like a continuation of Obama’s mideast policies than a reversal of them. Which, given how they turned out, isn’t promising.

UPDATE: Bibi was right, Obama was wrong: “Benjamin Netanyahu will never be popular in America’s major newsrooms. Or among most of the think-tankers who set the tone and parameters of foreign-policy debate. His name is a curse on college campuses. So it’s worth asking whose vision of the Middle East has held up better under the press of recent events.”