Donald Trump has said before (and God knows I believe him on this point) that he doesn’t “like [Bashar al-]Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS.”
And now, in the 11th week of his presidency, Mr Trump launched 59 cruise missiles at an airbase near Homs, effectively destroying some of Mr Assad’s key assets.
Why did he do it?
It’s hard to accept that Mr Trump’s heart is touched, his conscience stirred by the sight of Khan Sheikhoun’s poisoned children. It’s difficult to believe that Mr Trump really, truly, deeply cares about the suffering of people in faraway lands.
But the missile attack makes Mr Trump look strong, decisive (and faintly moral, something he hasn’t managed, ever.)
If you’re Donald Trump, that’s a good deal.