The most horrible thought just occurred to me. It is at once too evil and too ridiculous to possibly be true, and yet I can’t just dismiss it.
We are, unfortunately, in the midst of an investigation of Russia’s apparent meddling in America’s electoral process. The degree to which our president has been involved in this treachery, and whether he actually colluded with the Russians, is unknown at this point. Someone in this administration shares guilt in this affair, and it is certainly true that the president would like the whole investigation to go away. Trump talks about everything and anything else, but has been notably silent on what the Russians apparently did. He has tweeted, trying to distract us with bogus inquiries into President Obama and Susan Rice. What he really needs is a distraction that can’t be ignored, like some big military action.
What is interesting about the Syria situation is that then-candidate Trump was very much against any military action there when Obama was commander-in-chief. Now he claims the reason it is still a problem is that Obama was too weak in dealing with Assad. He should have taken action (militarily, I assume) against Syria when they used gas to attack their own population.
What most commentators (other than Ambassador Michael McFaul) seem to be forgetting is the reason Obama did not send troops to Syria. He asked Congress to decide the matter. While they were trying to not do anything controversial, Assad agreed to destroy his weapons of mass destruction, under pressure from Putin. We managed to get out of that situation without committing ground troops. I suspect Putin did not interfere over concern for the civilians being gassed. Perhaps he doesn’t want to see the Syrian regime go head to head with the US.
Now, however, we have a less effective administration. It may be that Putin would like to see his puppet president propped up by some flash bang action. That’s my horrible thought. Could it be that Putin whispered to Assad that this might be an opportune time to resume his chemical cleansing?
We will probably end up in a war with Syria. I don’t see any way to avoid it. I just really would have liked Obama to be guiding the effort to topple Assad with the backing of our allies, rather than watch our current president take us down some poorly thought out path.