My Unelected President “Mike Medlock” already dealt with Syria in my novel. He was asked what he wanted to do, asked why it would be the business of the US president, and upon hearing no good answer, said, “I will do nothing. It’s none of my business.”
Would poison gas change his mind? No, the first poison gas attacks had already happened by 2013 when my novel is set. The terribleness of the various regimes around the world does not make them the business of the US. It is arguably not even the business of the neighboring countries. If it is the business of neighboring strong countries, it would be Europe’s problem long before it ever became our problem. Damascus is 6,000 miles from DC. Horrible behavior by Assad, but that does not make it our business.
“Medlock” would reject using Tomahawks saying, “Why spend $50 million to do what you can do for $500? Why spend one million to destroy a two-million plane? Plus I don’t like all the war movie, bang bang, boom boom, drama queen, bullshit fireworks. We are supposed to be quiet professionals. There is no need to bomb an object that contains flammable liquid. A match or spark or thermite grenade is quite sufficient to accomplish the mission. Use your head. Lose the reflex that every military action has to involve loud noises and big flashes of light.”
Thermite burns through the top of the wing and sets fire to the fuel in the wing. Because it is a small amount of thermite, it does not burn through the bottom of the wing. Rather, it burns into the rubber bladder containing the fuel and sets the fuel on fire. All of which likely totals the aircraft. A thermite grenade of that size probably costs about $10. The enemy aircraft I would guess might be a couple of million each.
You know what Trump really did tonight? He enforced Obama’s red line, nothing less, and he did it to send the message: “new sheriff in town,” which is a message “Mike Medlock” was eager to send in my novel.
Putin said there would be “negative consequences” if we did this. Bullshit! He’s bluffing. Trump called his bluff. When he does nothing but symbolic consequences, Putin will be revealed to be the new main paper tiger in the world.
Putin’s a one-trick pony. He rattles nukes, but he cannot use them, which will be revealed by Trump’s calling his bluff. So by tomorrow I expect Putin will be a NO-trick pony. That would be a major foreign policy accomplishment, but Dems and media will spin it as “unhinged” or some such.
Trump launched 59 Tomahawks tonight. Those are a million dollars a copy. Medlock would regard the destruction-to-weapon-cost ratio as being way too low. He would have little drone package delivery helicopters place tuna-fish size cans of thermite on one wing of each enemy aircraft.
Yesterday, Trump said he was looking for an international coalition to punish Assad. I condemned such dithering. But it was not dithering. It was misdirection and use of the element of surprise. Bravo! And all while China President XI was spending the night at Mar A Lago. Nice touch.
Supplement added the day after the attack
Other than its shock and new-sheriff value, Trump’s attack on Syria was dead wrong and, as I belatedly learned, he screwed up the execution.
There are three rules for getting involved in other people’s civil wars:
2. Pick a side.
3. Make sure your side wins.
He violated rule one.
He picked a side, for the moment, but the side he picked is the side of Turkey and the Kurds, who hate each other, IS, and the Sunni Muslims (the ones who did 9/11). I thought IS was the enemy. Why is he helping them?
The attack was a direct attack on Syria and indirectly on its allies: Russia, Iran, the Yemeni clients of Iran, and Hezbollah.
Trump is NOT going to make sure his side wins—Thank God. He is just going to back off again.
He set the precedent that any atrocity means U.S. cruise missiles. So are we doing that retroactively against IS for the beheading and burning alive and drowning in steel cages? Rwanda? Murdering Kim Jong-un’s half brother by lethal nerve agent?
He told the Russians in advance, thereby giving up the element of surprise. So the Russians immediately told the Syrians, and if they had a brain and full gas tanks and pilots on alert, they flew all the military aircraft out of the way before the missiles coming from 45 minutes away arrived. I have not yet heard that happened. I just got up. But what would we have done if the Japanese had given us 45 minutes notice before Pearl Harbor?
Bad policy. Bad execution. And the boots on the ground in that area are another dumb mistake.
Some seem to think the missiles destroyed the runways. Bull! Craters in runways were repaired within hours during World War II. Bulldozer pushes the dirt back in the hole. Maybe a dump truck puts a load in because not all the dirt blown out can easily be pushed back in. Then they covered the surface with Marston Mats—steel plates that link together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marston_Mat
Even if you resurface with asphalt or concrete, repairing a hole in pavement is one of the cheapest, fastest repairs there is. It would cost far less than the missile that did it. We spent $60 million to inflict, what, $100,000 worth of damage? And this from our billionaire, businessman commander in chief?
If you want to destroy the Syrian Air Force, you need to destroy the lanes and pilots, not the runways. And you don’t destroy planes and pilots by giving them 45 minutes notice of the attack.
Where the heck were “Mad Dog” and H.R. in the planning for this mission? They should know this stuff.
I still however like the “all options really are on the table” message that was sent.