The signs are everywhere announcing that this week's American cruise missile attack on a backwater Syrian airbase was pure Kabuki theatre, an event in which spectacle eclipsed any notion of military efficacy.
Trudeau proudly announced that Canada was let in on the attack in advance. Before we get carried away with that, let's remember that Russia (and presumably Syria) were given a heads up too.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in an official statement: "Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield."
Despite the launch of five dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles the Syrian air base was back in business launching missions the next day. A few aircraft shelters were destroyed, a few others damaged and about 9-Syrian warplanes, 60s vintage Soviet Sukhois were destroyed. Big effing deal. Those wheezy old Sukhois were probably worth a damned sight less than the estimated $70-million cost of the missiles.
The reaction, across the political spectrum, has been curious. From the far left to the far right you can find voices criticizing and praising the dark farce. Fareed Zakaria was practically giddy with praise, proclaiming that "Donald Trump became president last night." If anything that probably speaks to just how low Zakaria has set the bar for this particular president.
As the farcical reaction poured in I wondered how America and the world had responded if the attack had been ordered by Obama instead of Trump? The usual sycophants like our prime minister would have jumped on the bandwagon. The rest, probably the same.
There may be fallout over the coming weeks and months. Maybe not. Trump will sit by eager to read his reviews and see how this stunt impacts his ratings. If there is any follow up, any new policy on Syria, Trump's numbers will likely be a deciding factor.
While you wait to see if this winds up meaning anything at all, you might kill a bit of time learning about Kabuki.