Red lines matter to Trump

It did not take long for our nation’s enemies to learn that when former President Barack Obama warned certain actions would constitute crossing a “red line,” they had nothing about which to worry. “Red line” after “red line” was crossed with no consequences.

That no longer is the case.

Last week, President Donald Trump joined millions of Americans in being horrified and angered over the Syrian regime’s use of nerve gas against civilians in a village. No one who saw videotape of children affected and too many times killed by the gas could have failed to be upset.

But Trump did something about it. He ordered the Navy to fire nearly five dozen cruise missiles onto the airfield from which the Syrians launched their nerve gas strike.

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad will think twice before using chemical weapons against his own people again.

And, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasized during the weekend, other nations should understand the strike against Syria is a signal that when this president draws a “red line,” those crossing it will pay a price.

No one wants armed conflict between the United States and another country. But Trump’s measured action actually may make that less of a threat.

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