For all of President Trump's limitations, give the man credit: He has surrounded himself with some tough cookies. (If only they and their boss could get on the smae page.) There's defencse secretary, "Maddog" Mattis, secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and the fiery Nikki Haley, Ambassodor to the United Nations.
Haley is the one who, as governor of South Carolina, shed tears when nine of her constituents - African-Americans at a prayer meeting - were shot dead by the racist, Dylan Roof. Days later, she looked up at the confederate flag flying over her capitol - the most prominent symbol of America's racist past - and demanded that flag come down, forever.
While Trump is loathe to impugn the Russians in any way, neither Mattis nor Tillerson has hesitated to call them out. And, Nikki, if she wasn't such a fine lady, would spit in their eye. Of America's attack on that Syrian air base, Nikki stood toe-to-toe with her Russian counterpart and assured him, "there is more where that came from."
Trump has been quick to call out the Chinese over North Korea's provocative behavior, (despite China having less control of its client than Russia has over Assad.) Yet, in the days leading up to America's attack on the Syrian air base, and in the days that followed, Trump has not once let the words "Russia" or "Putin" escape his lips. Senators Graham McCain has called Putin everything from a "thug" to a "war criminal." Trump will not so much as call Putin "contrary."
What is this wedge that rives that Republican leadership? How odd becomes this American president when faced with the spectre of Putin. Trump is blinded to what everyone else seems to know: Without his Russian benefactor, Assad would be toothless, and as dead as Khadaffi.
This has left many ordinary Americans shaking their heads and wondering, "What do the Russians have on Trump?" Perhaps the ongoing FBI and congressional investigations into Trumps's ties to the Russians will tell us.
Meanwhile, chew on this: Russia has sophistacated anti-missile systems - the S-300 and S-400 - deployed in Syria. If the Russians had chosen to use those systems against America's incoming Tomahawks, chances are they could have stopped many of those missiles in their tracks. They did not choose to do so. Trump got a freebie. Putin cannot afford to let that happen again. The next time Trump sends a tomahawk cruise missile anywhere near Putin - or Putin's boy, Assad - America had better be ready for a fight. Just sayin'...
So, why did trump bomb Syria? (Believe me, it wasn't for the babies.) It would appear, with his approval numbers tanking, the only thing Trump fears more than Putin, is low ratings.