This did send a message.
To whom was the message sent, and who received it? Sending messages to madmen is pointless. Once both sides of a conflict have killed troops of the other side, it’s war, no matter what clever terms of art may be used to disguise the issue. I hope message was understood by our despairing allies, who had been wondering which side we were on, and what we intended to do about it. I suspect the same message might have been understood by some of our competitors/potential enemies.