Every so often, Vladimir Putin tests us to see how we'll respond: with weakness or with strength. The instrument of his tests is his puppet, Assad, and his chemical weapons.
Barack Obama showed weakness in August and September 2013 when his "Red Line" was crossed without consequence. Not long thereafter, Russia attacked Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and carpet-bombed the Syrian city of Aleppo (targeting the hospitals first).
Putin expected the same weakness from Donald Trump when another chemical attack was launched in April 2017. But on April 7, 2017, Trump proved Putin wrong.
From the moment those 59 missiles hit their Syrian targets, Putin's war machine began to face serious obstacles for the first time in years. The anti-ISIS, anti-Assad Syrian rebels rallied to the side of American special forces and destroyed the ISIS caliphate, seizing control of nearly a third of Syria and began to build a safe haven from terror and tyranny.
Beyond the Middle East, NATO was expanded and strengthened while anti-NATO politicians who embarrassed themselves trying to defend Assad and Putin went down in defeat. American sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles were sold to Ukraine for the first time.
Trump told the nation, "We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail."
Saturday, April 7, 2018, was the 1 year anniversary of Trump's Syrian missile strike. It seems that it is no coincidence that Saturday saw a new chemical attack. Putin is sending a message. It is a direct challenge to President Trump to test his strength and his resolve.