Middle East = Balkans ; Syria = Serbia

Balkan Wars 1913-14
July 1914 Crisis

In the early 1900s, the major powers Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia
all had clients in the Balkans.
These clients fought a series of wars which,
while not of great importance to their major power backers,
were of significance to their clients.
Finally, in an act of what we would now call terrorism,
agents of one of the minor powers in the Balkans assassinated
the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.
This led to a series of demands for satisfaction for this act
and responses to those demands.
The inability of the powers to moderate their demands led to
an increasing escalation of the situation
and, in only about two months,
the complete disaster for Western civilization that was World War I.

The analogy of the basic situation with the current situation in the Middle East should be obvious.
The U.S. has NO significant interest in the Middle East.
Russia has only a moderate interest, desiring air and naval bases there.
Yet each has clients in the region which have engaged in incessant warfare
since, oh, say, 1948.
Now (I write this in June 2017), for absolutely no good reason,
leading figures in America are claiming
we have a significant interest in who rules Syria.
What nonsense.
The U.S. military has engaged in kinetic operations,
always claimed to be in "self-defense" (ha!)
against components of the Syrian government.
Russia has a very significant military capability of its own in Syria,
and has openly and clearly warned the U.S. against
further actions against its Syrian client.

Consider the following all-too-plausible scenario.
The U.S., egged on by rotten people in the media, "think tanks", and politics,
instructs its military to continue with operations that lead to
Russia downing a U.S. aircraft,
with the loss of its crew.
U.S. blood has been spilled!
Can you imagine how the yahoos in Washington would use that
to incite an escalation in the conflict,
to "teach the Russians a lesson they will never forget"?
Well, dear reader, the Russians have plenty of ways to respond to such an escalation.
The U.S. is NOT invulnerable to Russian pressure.

Sane people in Washington, if there are any,
should be doing everything possible to insure sure an escalation can not occur.
Time (in fact, way past time) for the U.S. to state that
who rules Syria is none of the U.S.'s business.
If the Sunni states want to fight it out with Iran in Syria,
let the U.S. stand aside.
It's not our business.
The risk of involvement (namely, the possibility of escalation) is too great.

What motivated me to write this post
(covering ideas that I had been mulling over for some time)
were two articles published on 2017-06-20.
They contained the following statements, which I found alarming:

From “US signals involvement in Syria could escalate”
By Rebecca Kheel, 2016-06-20 :
Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies
at the American Enterprise Institute,
has advocated for more U.S. involvement in the civil war.
But she expressed alarm at
the United States shooting down the Syrian jet
and attacking militias at Al Tanf
without a larger strategy.

“My biggest concern is not escalation,
although I agree that there’s a real risk,”
she said.
“Escalation toward a particular end is a good thing.
Escalation for no reason with no particular goal is not.”

From “Trump still doesn't have a strategy for dealing with Assad”
The Trump administration has made gains against Islamic State but
hasn’t figured out how to deal with the Russian- and Iranian-backed Syrian regime.
By Nahal Toosi, 2017-06-20 :
“Good strategy takes time to develop.
We’re interested in getting it right,”
[a senior administration official] said.
“We’ve got to defeat the bad guys
in a way that
doesn’t offer opportunities to other bad guys.”


“I have never seen so many international and regional conflicts
playing out simultaneously in one military theater,”
said Randa Slim, another Syria analyst also with the Middle East Institute.
“At some point things will get out of control.”

What “out of control” can mean today (remember July 1914!):

(Note the “Fistful of Dollars”-style soundtrack.
Note also the heavy phallic symbolism!
And for more on this ....)