Saturday, April 14, 2018
Rockets Red Glare
It seems there is nothing His Trumpness likes more than a surprise fireworks show at someone else's expense. He lit up the Syrian sky once again in a feeble attempt to "show force" after a chemical attack in the Eastern Ghouta town of Duoma, which Russia says was staged to cast a bad light on the Assad regime. This follows closely on the heels of the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England, which Russia also says was staged.
All could be. There are dark forces at work that could very well want a monumental clash between the US and Russia, using England and Syria as staging grounds. It took less than this to launch WWI but so far both parties have remained relatively restrained. Secretary of Defense Mattis called it a one-time shot, not planning to follow up with anymore actions against Syria or its comrades in arms Russia and Iran. For all we know this missile strike was staged to lend the appearance of a punitive strike for the alleged dirty deeds of Russia and Syria. It remains to be seen how Russia will react, having vowed to do so.
None of it makes any sense, as this "civil war" has been going on for five years with massive destruction and casualties. Why should a presumed chemical attack up the ante? From all reports Syria with the help of Russia and Iran has brought the rebel forces under control. These rebel forces are part universally loathed ISIS and "freedom fighters" backed by the US and Turkey. For its part, Turkey worked out a deal with Russia after their little brouhaha back in 2015 when Turkish forces shot down a Russian plane that supposedly had strayed into Turkish air space.
The US also seems relatively content with the situation in Syria, with Trump even vowing to withdraw troops now that ISIS has been defeated. Of course, we heard this before and Congresspersons were quick to remind His Trumpness of the dangers of "coitus interruptus," It was only days after his surprise pronouncement that this chemical weapon attack occurred, leading Rusophobe "Mackie" McCain to chastise Trump for emboldening Assad.
I'm almost inclined to believe Assad in this case. What did he have to gain from this chemical attack? What he wants most is for the US to pull its troops out of his country, not bring more forces down upon him.
So, either we are seeing a number of staged events in a renewed Cold War between Russia and the West, or a sinister third party provoking both countries with the hope of creating a very hot war. Given that Russia would approach such a war asymmetrically, this makes them all the more dangerous. They could open up this war on numerous fronts, as they already appear to have done, forcing the US and its Western allies to try to put out a wide array of "fires" rather than just one or two.
The US has proven very vulnerable in open conflict in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Here they are now in Syria on the edge of Israel, which has already launched strikes of its own on its embattled neighbor, supposedly over the same chemical weapon attack. Whereas the US is ostensibly looking to warn Russia, Israel appeared to be warning Iran.
Is Syria simply a proxy for foreign leaders looking to boost their own esteem back home? This would help explain Erdogan's ongoing presence in Syria. The five foreign leaders involved take pot shots at each other to boost their flagging popularity in their home countries, with Syrians forced to bear the brunt of this military posturing. It seems Assad is OK with it as long as he remains in power.
Trump gets his little rocket show, carefully calibrated by Defense Sec. Mattis with all parties notified in advance, probably even the target agreed upon. Not much harm done. Russia may or may not launch a counter strike. The Kremlin was vague as to what type of retaliation it would take, but we can expect more terrorist attacks in Europe in the coming months, possibly even the US. For now, Iran, Israel and Turkey lurk in the background.