Kabuki Warfare by James Howard Kunstler
When this chapter of US history is finally written, it will look like a deep dive into a vat of lentil soup. In Syria Friday night, we came, we saw, and we slung 103 cruise missiles into largely symbolic targets, including a supposed chemical weapons plant just outside Damascus, and some other places where we were not likely to kill Russian military personnel. The Russians apparently decided to just suck it up, knowing that the civil war in Syria is nearly over. Then what?
Will the US tolerate what has effectively become a Russian client state in the Levant, with some Iranian sprinkles on top? The Saudi Arabians clearly don’t relish that prospect, and one wonders how much the nominal Saudi leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, put the squeeze on US officials (including the Golden Golem of Greatness) to do something (!) when he paid a call here a few weeks ago. Israel may not like having Hezbolah’s patron, Iran, camped on their doorstep, but there’s reason to believe that Bibi and Putin understand each other well enough, and that Russia will do what’s necessary to moderate the Iran-Hezbolah-Shia axis of maniacs. Israel’s February strike against Syrian air defense installations was a reminder to all concerned that they will act on their own when they choose to. Finally, Russia certainly has no interest in protecting the caliphate maniacs, since the Bear has plenty of restive Islamic factions in its neighboring former soviet republics.
The various moves and statements having been made, the balance of power in Syria may be settling into a sort of freeze. Actually, anything that arrests the process of Syria turning into another failed Middle East state is better than the alternative. Before al Qaeda, Isis, and their many mutant armies showed up, before Russia came on the scene, before the US set this regional meltdown in motion next door in Iraq, Syria was not the world’s problem. But neither, really, was Vietnam in 1963.