There are few appeals circulating now in US blogosphere and publications. First, is Colonel Pat Lang who I respect deeply despite not always agreeing with him. He doesn't mince his words and is very down to the point in his appeal to Mattis.
I beseech you, sir, to consider the possibility that the supposed chlorine gas attack at Douma, Syria may have been a carefully constructed propaganda fraud on the part of the rebels encircled in Douma. Such a fraud would have as its purpose the elicitation of exactly the kind of response that we are seeing in the Western media. The rebels have been defeated in East Gouta Their fighters and families are being evacuated to Idlib Province by air-conditioned bus. How would it benefit the Syrian government to make such an attack in this situation? I hope that you will determine the exact facts of what occurred at Douma before any action is taken. I recommend that you send someone competent to Syria to make an on the ground investigation.
I already expressed my deep appreciation of human and professional military integrity of Colonel Lang. The next appeal is by Daniel Larison who, while being moved by noble intentions, still thinks that Washington D.C. could be "reasoned with".
The prospect of yet another illegal U.S. attack on another government is disturbing for several reasons. First, it makes a mockery of our constitutional system of government and blatantly violates the U.N. Charter. The U.S. no longer respects domestic or international constraints on the use of force, and most of our political leaders have long since surrendered to the idea that the president can initiate hostilities against anyone at any time for virtually any reason. Each new illegal use of force builds on the last one and becomes the normal practice. That’s a disaster for the cause of peace and restraint, and it needs to be opposed vigorously.
I think Larison is a bit too late with recognition of the fact that US Constitution today is nothing more than a fig leaf for a coterie of corrupt political demagogues and ideologists who do not possess a modicum of a statecraft which is required for anyone who gets into the politics of a nuclear superpower. This all is completely gone today from the US—it is literally run by disgruntled, sore loser, middle-school kids who do not understand what they are dealing with. And Larison is very incorrect in his conclusion:
Unlike the attack last year, there is a greater chance this time that Russian and Iranian forces will retaliate against U.S. or U.S.-backed forces. The potential for escalation is greater than it was in the past, and that threatens to drag the U.S. into a much bigger war. The U.S. has no vital interests at stake in Syria that merit taking such a huge risk, and there are no benefits to the U.S. from doing this. Our government is once again contemplating committing acts of war against a state that hasn’t attacked us and doesn’t threaten us or our allies. That makes no sense, and we will come to regret it.
Such an attack makes a perfect sense for Washington crowd. It is akin to kids getting excited on the 4th of July while starting a fireworks. That is until the big one explodes and kills them. This, plus a complete ignorance on anything real war related and a childish desire to prove that US can win a war—that is can look cool and mighty. It makes total sense because D.C. has no adults left in it. So, the question is:
Will Trump order an attack on Syria?
My take is that he will, because whole contemporary Washington's discourse is all about appearances and how one looks. Giving an impression of "weakness" is a no go among all those draft-dodgers, lawyers, journalists, political "scientists" and military brass good only for fighting in Appropriations, who constitute so called Establishment, or Deep State, or Borg, what have you. In fact, it is precisely the environment Trump understands perfectly since he was (and possibly remains) a huge part of the American show-business. But in the end, it is all about sour grapes—the West is collapsing and Russia and China are ascending. As I already stated a year ago—the window of "opportunities" is closing. Something should be done about it the logic of the D.C. self-proclaimed "strategists" goes. It is, as I already stated not for once, is a case of Jeanna, from famous Russian power metal stalwarts Aria timeless hit The Rose Street, breaking the clock trying to extend own life. Obviously the only thing she achieves is—she breaks the clock, she cannot break or stop the time. Many in D.C. think that they can, if it requires wrecking the world, they think that Buck Turgidson had a point and that they have a chance. Of course, they don't.
So, at this point we have to wait and see how a "stellar" Trump's national "security" team would decide to drag this country to its end, while wrecking the rest of the remaining world order in the process. As ever brilliant Publius Tacitus noted couple of days ago:
On a more practical operational note, I, frankly, lost the count of what Russia stuffed Syria with in terms of Air Defense. What was revealed today was that Syria (not Russian contingent there) took the delivery of 40 Pantsir complexes, plus, as was stated before, there is confirmed presence of the unconfirmed number of advanced Buk-M2s, plus some other things of EW and Radar-Optronic nature. The question, however, is: if shit hits the fan, the probability of which is growing, will Russia use Kinzhal. But if the attack comes, and if we are still alive and relatively well after the events which will unfold, the first phase will be repulsing of TLAMs salvo. Let's hope that it will not come to this, but I do not hold much hope for any US Administration because the question in Russian media which circulates for days now is:
Are they really that incompetent?
Yes, they are.