The recent US/UK/France air-strikes on Syria have been met with underwhelming, tepid support, even among the neocon chorus who remain embedded in the mainstream media. The orgasmic outpouring of support that greeted Trump’s August 2017 missile strike was cheerleading the end of the Obama period -- and the end of any illusion that Trump was a genuine non-interventionist.

The current strikes have occurred because the earlier missile strikes failed in their ostensible purpose: to bring Assad to heel. A repetition effect has set in. The strikes have simply affirmed US powerlessness to enforce the old-skool Pax Americana; total power through conventional means, in the eyes of the world. But beneath that, business continues. If one believes that the sole purpose of the recent strikes was in response to the chemical "event" in Douma -- attack by Assad, a false-flag attack by Jaysh al-Islam, or chemical plant accident -- then it looks purposeless. But that is only the topmost layer of the event.