My god, nothing gives Americans of all stripes more of a raging hardon than launching penis shaped objects at brown people. The United States threw $82 million dollars at an airbase in Syria yesterday and there is lots of rejoicing from pretty much everywhere. “Something” needed to be done, you see. Assad killed kids with gas, you see. Well, “something” was accomplished, I guess. There are definitely holes in easily repairable runways now. A bunch of hangars appear to have a layer of soot on them. Possibly, some planes were destroyed. Possibly, up to 16 civilians have been killed, including children. Not that we should trust Syrian news agencies (or Trump’s word for that matter), but let that sink in. The only reported casualties so far are civilian. So, our grand retribution for Assad killing children might have entailed killing children.
Oh, and by the way, remember that last time Assad used gas to kill children? Turns out that the evidence that he did so was shaky at best and the “evidence” that he did so were retracted. This isn’t to say that he didn’t, mind you, because he’s certainly capable of it in both cases, it’s more to say that there is an almost zero percent chance that we can be assured that Assad was the culprit two days after the attack or that the air base we attacked was the genesis of the gassing.
“How can 59 Tomahawk missiles rain down on an active air base and kill no military personnel?”, you may ask. Actually, you’re not asking that. Why the fuck are you not asking that question? Well, here’s the answer: We told Russia that we were going to bomb the air base and Russia, of course, told Syria, just like we expected them to. “Why would we tell Russia?”, you may follow up. You see, Russia is an ally of Syria and they have many troops embedded in all areas of the Syrian army. If we bomb any Syrian facility, we need to be damned sure that there are no Russian citizens there because we are already on very shaky grounds both legally and morally, but if we happened to kill a Russian citizen, we will likely start a war. So the best we can do is tell Assad what we are going to bomb, let him clear it out, and then bomb it. This is the best case scenario. Let’s go through some worse ones.
Tomahawk missiles are not precision instruments. They’re more precision-ish. We bombed an air base that we say contained sarin gas. What if we had hit that storage and released the gas? This, to me, means that we were damned sure there was no gas present at the base. But, since we have to inform Russia, who then will inform Syria, what’s to prevent Assad from planting gas there for us to blow up? What’s to prevent him from then saying that WE were using sarin gas in our attacks? We are, after all, one of the few countries in the world to use weapons of mass destruction to further our goals.
As I said, we need to make damned sure we don’t kill any Russians in our attacks. This requires informing Russia of whatever we’re going to bomb. What’s to prevent Putin from strategically placing a few soldiers and guaranteeing Russian casualties? The results would be catastrophic.
All this should lead anyone to the conclusion that our attack on Syria was the definition of pointless. There is no way forward from this. This was not a show of strength. It was a show of helplessness to anyone that was actually paying attention. But, boy, did we eat it up!