Except that there were more missiles, this year’s kabuki missile lob on Syria looks just like last year’s. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:
t appears from the very limited US missile attack, most of which were intercepted and destroyed by Syrian air defenses, that the US military prevailed over the crazed John Bolton and carefully avoided a strike that would have resulted in a Russian response. No significant Syrian site appears to have been targeted, and no Russians were endangered. https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/in-depth-syria-stuns-world-thwarts-us-attack/
The US ambassador to Russia said that the US strikes were coordinated with Russia to avoid a great power confrontation. https://www.rt.com/news/424132-us-russia-syria-strikes/ Russia Insider concludes that the exercise was a face-saver for Trump https://russia-insider.com/en/out-whimper-trump-blinks-delivers-limited-strikes/ri23132
The main effect seems to be that Trump has further discredited himself and the US by violating the UN Charter and international law and committing an act of aggression, which is a war crime for which Nazi civilian and military officials were executed. Russia’s President Putin said that the wanton and illegal use of force by Washington has had “a devastating impact on the whole system of international relations” and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. China also condemned the illegal US attack. https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/china-says-us-led-attacks-against-syria-are-illegal-and-against-international-law/
How was the feared conflict between the US and Russia avoided? From what I have been able to learn, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff would not accept the risk of conflict with Russia. The reason is not that the Joint Chiefs are more moral, more caring about the deaths and injuries that would result, or less inclined to go to war based on lies. Their objection was based on the lack of protection US Navy ships have from the new Russian weapons systems. An attack that brought a Russian response could sink the US flotilla and present the US with a humiliating defeat that would discredit American military prowess.
Bolton’s position was that Putin is a pussy who, as in every previous case, will do nothing. Bolton’s postion is that the Russians are so scared of US military might that they will not respond to any US attack on their forces and Syrian forces. The Russians, Bolton says, will do what they always do. They will whine about the crime to the UN, and the Western media will ignore them as always.
The US Secretary of War, Mattis, represented the Joint Chiefs opinion. What, Mattis asked, if the Russians have had enough and do what they are capable of and sink the US flotilla? Is Trump prepared to accept a defeat engineered by his National Security Adviser? Is Trump prepared for a possible wider conflict?
To continue reading: Are We Over the US/UK Fomented Crisis In Syria?