Thoughts on Syria
One of the biggest struggles I have is to evaluate a situation objectively. We all view reality through the lens of our own experiences and weigh information on a scale tipped with our biases. Add to that emotion, and it is a miracle if you can find the truth. I prefer to take the situation apart and examine the components to better understand how they work together.
Middle East Politics: People get the government they deserve; the one they will tolerate. BOB (before Obama & Bush) many countries in the middle east were run by brutal dictators. Why? Because that is what it takes to govern a culture that promises heaven if you die killing your enemy. What we call crimes against humanity, they call Tuesday. These cultures have evolved to have a keen sense when someone is weak. Obama's 'apology tour' sent the message that he was weak and the inevitable chaos followed. Some say by neglect and some say it was deliberate, when in fact it does not matter 'how'. We are where we are. The only important question is, "What now?"
Trump: Trump is a deal maker. That is his party trick. He spells it out in his book "The Art of the Deal". If you haven't read that book, and most talking head pundits haven't, then you have near zero chance of understanding what Trump does. You will be watching one movie while listening to the sound track of a different movie and nothing will make sense. This is why CNN and others describe Trump as irrational, unhinged, dangerous, and every other pejorative because they don't understand the situation while being paid to understand, so their explanation is "Trump=crazy". Trump is not crazy and he consistently follows patterns.
Chemical Weapons: Why is there a ban on chemical weapons? Because they are not "humane"? If so, then are weapons not banned humane? If you die from a nerve agent or by stepping on a land mine or being shot or..... are you any more or less dead? Is the horror of war somehow less horrible? How do you draw the line. Shouldn't war be horrible so that it is avoided? That has worked to prevent nuclear war since 1945. Chemical weapons are banned because they are cheap and effective. Wars used to be highly profitable. Raid your neighbor and take his stuff. Wars are still highly profitable, for the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about. We can't have people being killed with 10 cents of Chlorine when there are $1000 rifles that fire $300 worth of bullets per minute. Remember the Star Trek episode "A Taste of Armageddon"? Look it up. If you want continuous war, make war "civilized".
Syria situation: What information do we have about Syria that we know is true? Nothing. We have no information that we know is true. Everything we know comes from proven unreliable sources, but that doesn't stop people from becoming experts and arguing about who's inaccurate information is less inaccurate. Besides, since nobody reading this can actually do something about the situation then the veracity of the information we have is irrelevant. The next question is then, "Does Trump have accurate information?" Maybe or maybe not. Have people in his administration lied to him in the past? Yes. Could they be lying now? Yes. Does Trump know he may be lied to? Yes.
It is reported that there have been more than two (NY Times says 34) instances of chemical attacks in Syria. If true then another chemical attack is an excuse, not a reason, for a retaliatory attack. What relevant events can we correlate to this particular chemical attack? Trump expressing a desire to egress Syria. Have you ever seen Trump walk away from a fight?
What I think is happening: If you apply the "Trump the deal maker" paradigm with the objective of getting out of Syria without it becoming a bigger problem then the first thing you would expect is an Anchor Move to set the stated objective beyond the desired outcome. This gives you room to negotiate. The surgical air-strike that was twice the size of the last air-strike (1 year ago) fits the bill nicely. It establishes that Syria and Russia are powerless to stop an attack, the world will allow it to happen, Trump does not need congressional approval, and that Trump will back up his words with force and during the attack. Trump states that he would like to get along with the players in the region. Boom. Anyone else want to negotiate?
Having established his alpha make dominance, Trump will now open the door to negotiating with Assad and Putin. Expect peace negotiations in the coming weeks unless further demonstrations of power are needed.
Brent Regan has over 23 years experience in designing and building sophisticated electromechanical devices including electric cars, robots and tele-manipulators, medical devices, airplanes and computers. He has also successfully managed large engineering teams in corporate/government contract efforts. He owns Regan Designs located in Coeur d' Alene, ID and services clients all over the world.
He's counts among his friends well known aerospace engineer Burt Rutan (who now lives in Coeur d' Alene), and flying enthusiast conservative Bill Whittle.