W hatever one may think of Donald Trump, he of the shaky associations and in desperate need of brain-between-mouth editor, the man is moved to action by moral outrage. That was proven last week, when the president led a coalition of the United States, Britain, and France in a bombardment of Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructure.

Both the president and his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stressed that a fundamental “red line” had been crossed by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad when he used chlorine gas as part of an offensive to retake the town of Douma, just outside Damascus. In a statement from the White House, the president said:

The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead.

Following the horrors of World War I a century ago, civilized nations joined together to ban chemical warfare. Chemical weapons are uniquely dangerous, not only because they inflict gruesome suffering, but because even small amounts can unleash widespread devastation.

The purpose of our actions… is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States… We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.

Nikki Haley, taking the baton from her boss, launched into a seven-minute harangue at the United Nations (the kind that one day might be noted in history books) against Russia and its cynical use of Security Council vetoes to prevent any action against its ally Syria.

We cannot stand by and let Russia trash every international norm that we stand for, and allow the use of chemical weapons to go unanswered. And just as the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons last weekend was not an isolated incident, our response is part of a new course charted last year to deter future use of chemical weapons....

With yesterday’s military action, our message was crystal clear. The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue to use chemical weapons.… When our President draws a red line, our President enforces the red line.

It is almost cruel to point out the contrast between the Trump-Haley tandem and the Barack Obama team, who wriggled into pretzel-like contortions to explain their lack of action in Syria, even after Assad violated Obama’s “red line.” But an important contrast it is. During the Bush II years, neo-cons (read: Jews) were accused of bungling the foreign policy of the United States by introducing the ludicrous notion that democracy is good for nations and peoples. Neo-cons also insisted on the insane idea that morality has a place in politics, and that the United States, as a shining light among nations, has a duty to export that principle. While their experiment failed, their heart, if you will, was in the right place. And now, a little bit of that neo-con spirit is back in the White House. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 706)