The present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a capricious and undisciplined man. He does not read anything but balance sheets (perhaps those are briefed to him). He watches 24/7 cable news incessantly and forms his understanding of the world from these citadels of superficiality and corporate agenda. His advisers and counselors are family members, cronies and seemingly heroic and photogenic generals who seem to represent an adolescent self-image of what he might have been.
STOP LISTENING TO THIS GUY WHEN HE TWEETS OR PRESS ANNOUNCES TO THE WORLD!
His latest blather sent to the world a few nights back through the long suffering press secretary Spicer was evidently based on nothing but the visible movement of trucks and other ground equipment around and on the Syrian air base that he last attacked with a hundred million dollars worth of TLAMs after his daughter cried over the jihadi propaganda film production from Khan Shaykhoun.
The after the fact support of DoD for DJT's wild Spicer delivered statement means nothing. Mattis undoubtedly feels that his choice is either to support the CinC or leave.
IMO President Trump has too shallow and trivial a mind to be taken seriously on foreign policy and military affairs. Hey, pilgrims, in the military we kill people and destroy things. That is what we do. The application of lethal violence in support of state policy is why we exist. The necessary corollary to that principle is the expectation that state policy will be relatively sane.
Thus far, the foreign policy of the Trump Administration seems lacking in fact based logic and overwhelmingly based on the "hobby horses" of various splinter groups represented among his counselors.
If I were the Syrian government, I would request, nay, demand that international observer groups be stationed at ALL SAF airbases to ascertain exactly what ordnance is uploaded for combat operations. Americans and Russians should be included in these groups. The observers need not be briefed on targets but they would need to be able to verify ordnance loads.
Unless that happens we face the prospect of yet another false flag gas "attack." It seems likely that Christian or other non-Sunni captives were used as props in the last one. We should be careful not to enable future attacks of this nature by giving credence to the wild statements of the man in the White House unless they are backed by credible evidence. pl