If it feels like this has happened before, your senses aren't wrong.

As the administration of President Donald Trump weighs options for a response to the deadly Syrian gas attack that killed dozens of civilians, including women and children, we are reminded of another recent Chemical Attack that took place in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. The 2017 attack that killed over 80 Syrians with sarin gas is also believed to have been carried out by the Assad regime.

While last years attack was followed by dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles ordered by President Trump into the regime-controlled Shayrat airbase, the move was considered, by some, to be nothing more than a waste of artillery, due to the fact that the same airbase launched strikes against the rebels mere hours after the cruise missiles struck the base.

The failure of the U.S. launched missiles to incapacitate the functionality of the airbase was attributed by some to be the result of the U.S.

informing Russia prior to the attack. Russia has provided material support to the Assad regime for years, while the U.S. has supported the Syrian rebels.

This time around, a mediocre airbase strike is not sufficient.

Chemical weapons: one of few illegal forms of warfare

The Geneva protocol of 1925, created following the terrors that chemical weapons wrought in the first world war, expressly prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons in international armed conflict.

The briefest way to break this down is that chemical and biological weapons were deemed to be so cruel and heinous in their effects on humans that they were deemed unfit for use in war.

It is difficult to comprehend just how awful a weapon must be in order to be deemed too terrible to be used against one's own enemy, enemies that are able to be killed in just about any other way imaginable, including nuclear attack.

The necessity of swift and devastating retaliation

While the United States, among other countries, undoubtedly abhor and condemn the latest chemical attack by the Assad regime, the time for talk and wrist slapping is over.

A response similar in nature to the 59 cruise missiles the U.S. sent into the Assad controlled airbase last year is tantamount to doing nothing at all this time around. This attack, while sickening and devastating to the people of Syria caught in the now 8-year long civil war, has implications that stretch far beyond Syria.

Anything short of an overwhelming response this time around sends a message to other rogue nations, such as North Korea, that international protocols can be broken with little to no retaliation from the world's superpower. The response to this attack needs to send the message that this kind of inhumanity will not be tolerated and that the United States is committed to bringing justice to those who believe they can skirt the will of the civilized world.

So far, the Trump administration has signaled that there will be a steep price to pay for the alleged actions of the Assad regime.

Until then, the world waits.

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