Donald Trump's, Theresa May's and Emmanuel Macron's moral posturing on Bashar al-Assad's latest chemical weapons outrage left them no choice but to launch a retaliatory attack on Damascus.
But as some critics have noted, it has also proved convenient timing for the trio, seeking diversions from their own domestic issues.
Trump's problems, which include the ongoing Russia investigation, the "Stormy" Daniels saga, and the release of James Comey's intriguing memoir, are well documented.
Macron, who was voted into office in the hope he could restore order to the troubled French economy, has been taking heavy fire over both the nature and extent of some quite unpopular reforms and May is still working through the fallout from the Brexit vote.
While such cynicism is understandable - princes, presidents and demagogues have been in the habit of unleashing diversionary doses of "shock and awe" on alleged enemies of humanity whenever they wanted to look statesman-like for millennia - that doesn't mean it is justified.
It seems very likely Trump, Macron and May told the truth when they said the strikes were a "carefully calibrated" response to the use of chemical weapons against his own people by Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad.
If so, it is hard not to support the action; even though it targeted facilities in and around a city of almost two million and put hundreds of British, French and American servicemen and women in harm's way.
The successful execution of the strikes with no reported civilian casualties on the ground and no losses to the attackers' forces demonstrated both the commitment and the skill of the men and women from the nations involved and their ability to work together.
Multi-national joint operations have always been hard to execute; a reality acknowledged by Winston Churchill in 1954 when he said: "There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies... fighting without them".
The fact the attacks were carried out by an alliance gave them a legitimacy they could never have had if America had acted alone.
The joint action would have also contributed to Russia's president, and al-Assad's long term protector, Vladimir Putin's, prudent decision to reconsider coming out swinging in response as he had promised to do.
And, as an aside, such an unflinching display of military virtuosity would have given al-Assad and key individuals in Tehran, Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang food for thought.
While it remains to be seen if al-Assad and his foreign backers will heed the warning they have received about the dangers inherent in using weapons of mass destruction, the sad reality is the long term consequences will be minimal.
It is not even a fortnight since President Trump instructed his military chiefs to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria with a view to clearing the way for America's Arab allies, including the Saudis and the UAE, to take over stabilising and reconstructing areas liberated from Islamic State.
Saturday's attack was all about proscribing the deployment of chemical weapons, not claiming Syria for the rebel forces or toppling al-Assad.
So long as the dictator sticks to the conventional weapons he has used to kill more than 400,000 of his own people over the past seven years he is likely to face little or no interference from the West.