I sent two separate e-mails to a reader regarding the missile attack. These are clearly not ready for prime time but I assume my e-mail is being read by Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Apple, NSA, KGB, etc., so I might as well post the e-mails here to make it easier for all to read.
But clearly these are not ready for prime time. Even if I knew what I was talking about and I don't, I am basing all this on one headline (a NY Times headline) I saw on an iPhone (or maybe it was an Android) at a social event last night and one article from some news site that I forgot to note.
My first e-mail note:
1. Scott Adams had a great piece on this some days ago. Regardless of the number of US missiles downed, the article says Russia has spent the last year or so "re-building" the entire Syria defense. This was incredibly expensive for Russia, and they are going to have to do it again. [Maybe this would be a great time, to launch another barrage and see how many missiles Syria has left.]
2. World opinion and reports out of Syria suggest that the US strikes were highly successful, so the Russians can say what they want but the fact is, most consider this a US-French-British success.
3. "Everyone" is saying there were "no " casualties, which, of course, is untrue, but again, it was a huge success -- launching that many missiles, and having so few casualties.
4. I think Russia and Assad, as well as North Korea, got the message, that Trump, unlike Obama, keeps his word. That, perhaps, was the most important part about this strike. Comment applies to Theresa May and Macron.
5. It is very, very clear to me that if Assad crosses a red line again, whatever that red line is, Trump -- assuming he is still in office, will hit back even harder.
6. I think the most interesting thing to come out of this will be a) opinion polls in the US; b) Congressional reaction (that's why it was important for French and British to join in); c) Democratic response; d) Rachel Maddow response; e) UN response; and, of course, the thoughts of our most brilliant military strategists to include Kimmel and Colbert.
7. Had this been only the US responding, a lot of potential negative press, but with Brits, and especially the French responding, it's going to be hard for many people to take seriously any criticism against the attack.
8. Putin looks like the biggest loser in this, and if Syria does this again, I think Putin knows he is likely to lose much of his military assets there. As it was, Putin was given a full week or so to get his military and his jets out of Syria.
9. So, I'm waiting for US opinion polls -- I'm sure Putin is waiting for the same thing. Russia can say anything it wants, but US opinion polls will suggest whether Putin won or lost this one.
10. We will also see if Russia takes any military action against any US, French, or British base(s). Something tells me he will not risk any military response. If he does not, that's more telling than saying they shot down the majority of our missiles.My second e-mail note:
I've only read one report on the Syrian thing, but further comments.
These are the big stories (in addition to what I wrote earlier):
1. Trump keeps his word. Huge story. He has now struck back at Syria twice -- and this barrage apparently was twice as big as the one before. It's very clear (at least in the minds of many) that Trump will hit back even harder if another red line is crossed.
2. The US knew a lot about Russian defense and learned even more -- not the missile story, but a much, much bigger story. If it's true that the US used B-1 bombers, that's the big story militarily. If the US used B-1 bombers, the US knew that a) Russia might be able to shoot down many, many missiles; b) Russia could not shoot down a B-1 -- there was no way the military was going to lose a B-1 on a mission like this. (In fact, the Russians were probably secretly worried that if a US-manned bomber was shot down with loss of life, Trump would have moved to Plans C and D.
3. The US was going to make sure the strikes worked -- if the missiles missed, the B-1 bombers were Plan B. Or maybe the B-1 bombers with smart bombs were Plan A and the missiles were Plan B. And, as noted above, I'm sure, Trump had Plans C and D ready to go.
4. Best kept secret. The press says Washington is full of leaks. My hunch: 99% of leaks are "fake." There would have been thousands of US, British, French military men and women who knew of the impending strike, and yet no leaks by the press. I'm sure in some cases, the press was told to hold a story. That's fine. But as of Friday during the day I had given up on a military response, and so had Scott Adams. For as much as I like Scott Adams, even he, lost a lot of credibility for "mis-reading" this. Trump has a history of keeping his word.
5. Best decision: strategic timing. Military response delayed long enough for several reasons but not too long. And best tactical timing: Friday night so that the financial markets would have 48 hours to digest this. Can you imagine had this happened Monday morning, 10:30 EDT? The markets would have crashed.
6. Iran certainly got an eyeful.
7. North Korea and China certainly got an eyeful.
8. And Mr John Bolton is not even sworn in yet. As far as I know.
9. I guess this knocks the Comedy Book Tour off the front page.