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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pres. Trump blames Assad for attack-may take unilateral action

President Trump spoke at a joint press conference in the Rose Garden with Jordan's King Abdullah II. He condemned the deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria and clearly put the blame on the Assad regime, saying it "cannot be tolerated." 

This statement came just minutes after his U.N. envoy, Nikki Haley, hinted at a possible unilateral action.

Trump condemned the strike against "innocent people including women, small children and even beautiful little babies," adding that "their deaths was an affront to humanity."

"These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack."

Never the POTUS to show his hand, he declined to spell out what, exactly, he might do in response, but indicated his record of resistance to intervention in the region might be changing. 

"My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much," Trump said, declining to use polysyllabic terms to clarify his meaning. He said Wednesday that the latest attack "had a big impact on me."

Of course, he couldn't help but point out once again how Obama's 'red line' was a joke. President Trump was asked if the latest attack crossed such a line and he responded: "It crossed a lot of lines for me . . . That crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line." 

King Abdullah, standing beside Trump, said the "threshold of inhumanity and savagery" is being crossed daily and he fully supports Trump on the issue.

Although the White House says the Assad government is responsible for the attack, Russia says anti-Assad rebels are to blame. A Russian military expert said the chemicals were dispersed when Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were building chemical weapons.

And if you believe that, you might also believe that chickens can fly.

"When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action," Ambassador Nikki Haley said, addressing an emergency meeting of the Security Council. The council is weighing a resolution condemning chemical weapons use in Syria. Russia, which has veto power, is opposed. They enjoy using chemical weapons.

I'm surprised the UN didn't blame Israel for the chemical attack. 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be in Moscow next week and will discuss Syria with Russian leaders. It's the first visit by a senior U.S. official to Russia since President Trump's inauguration.