Sarin gas is a horrible nerve agent that should never be used on human beings. Even if one doesn't die from exposure, there could be permanent damage to the nervous system after even a short encounter with the life-altering chemical.
Bashar al-Assad, Syria's dictatorial leader, once again violated the Geneva convention by attacking his own people with this deadly nerve gas. He had used it before in neighborhoods where he claimed rebels were conspiring.
That's why President Obama drew that red line, challenging Assad not to cross it by using chemical weapons. Assad did cross that line during Obama's presidency, but Obama decided not to strike back, not even to send a message.
That message was sent Thursday by President Donald Trump who had been clearly shaken by images of small children gassed to death by the nerve agent. He ordered a surgical strike of the Syrian airfield that had launched the gas attack. And, he did it smartly. Fifty-nine tomahawk missiles launched from destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean hit their target. At $1.59 million a piece, the attack cost the Defense Department $93,810,000.
Trump called in leaders from both parties to alert them to the missile attack and why it was discreet. Russian soldiers in Syria were alerted shortly before the strike as well.
Correction: An earlier version of this story used the wrong unit cost of each missile, $1.59 million is based on DoD FY2015 report.