The Americans attacked not only Syria, but also Russian public opinion. A hot discussion began as to how Russia should respond, humiliated us or not, defeat it or victory. The most important thing in this situation is to keep cool, the ability to analyze the situation and the memory of your own and world history. If we proceed from this, it will be possible to draw the right conclusions from the 14 April.
In the American strike there are two or even three important components. With the first two everything is simple - they relate directly to Syria and the international situation as a whole. The third one concerns Russia - more precisely, our attitude towards what is happening.
In terms of the course of the Syrian war, the United States will not have any impact whatsoever. An attack on nine targets in Syria will not stop the Asad army's march to victory, nor move to the beginning of the peace process. The victory of Damascus does not cause any doubts, and the withdrawal of Assad, on which the first years of the war the West insisted and most of the Arab countries, as it was, remains the empty dreams of its enemies.
The positions of the Assad's allies: Russia and Iran - will not change with the impact of 14 April, both countries will continue to help the central authorities regain control of the country and force the opposition to negotiate. Turkey, formally supporting the American strike, will not change its course on joint actions with Russia and Iran on the Syrian settlement. Moreover, in response to its support, Ankara expects long-awaited concessions from the Americans on the Kurdish issue, and, if they are not in the near future, the US-Turkish relations will once again worsen.
In the international arena, Trump's actions will not have any serious effect.
Participation in the attack of Britain and France, as well as moral support from the EU countries, does not mean anything, because it is a demonstration of the same "Atlantic solidarity", that is, the geopolitical dependence of European countries on the United States. At the same time, Europeans and all the Middle Eastern countries, including those who supported the current strike, understand perfectly well: this power action will not raise US influence in the Middle East.
America has lost a large part of its positions, that is, no one doubts that it has a huge military strength, but everyone sees its lack of a strategic plan of action not only for Syria, but also for the Middle East as a whole. Attempts to play the Iranian and Jerusalem card that Trump is undertaking only exacerbate the problems of the United States in this region and the Islamic world as a whole, which they first smashed through their invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, the defeat of Libya and the "Arab spring", and then confused and betrayed there are all, including their allies. Demonstration strikes against Syria do not compensate for a part of American losses, especially since everyone understands the imitative nature of the American attack.
Yes, Trump really wants to leave Syria, that is, pull out those two thousand military and advisers who, in fact, are stuck on bases in the desert and in Kurdish areas. They have no prospects there - and Trump wants to take them away before they have to be evacuated to prevent a clash with the Turkish army or the Syrian troops. Therefore, the blow of 14 April is perceived as having nothing to do with the military component of the Syrian war - he needed Trump to show his coolness to the Americans. Which, unlike the Arabs, are able to believe in it, because they do not understand anything about what is happening on the other side of the world.
But even this demonstration of coolness is not caused by the militancy or adventurism of Trump - he simply has to look for any way to switch the attention of American public opinion from the endless series "Russian connections of Trump" to another topic. Especially if this topic allows him to show his independence from the Russians, the readiness to go almost to a conflict with Putin.
This is an imitation conflict, which smart people understand even in the US. It's not that Trump plays a contractual match with Putin, but that he is trying to solve his internal problems so as not to hurt the Russian army in Syria in any way, not to enter into conflict with Putin. He proceeds from the fact that Putin understands this - and our president really adequately assesses the alignment of forces in the United States. But do they understand this in Russia as a whole?
And here the most interesting begins. The paradox is that the American blow to Syria has the most painful impact on Russian public opinion.
"Where's the answer? We are specially checked for "weak", but we are silent. This humiliation of a great power, how they dare to beat in our Syria? Dare to treat them like this with the USSR! We are inferior now, and then we will get a blow to Khmeimim, "- there are many such and similar comments today. It's amazing how people do not see - or do not want to see the obvious.
First. All our statements about the violation of international law and condemnation of aggression, over which "patriots" are laughing at weak and inadequate ones, is simply an element of a geopolitical game. Its obligatory part is diplomatic, verbal. It can not and does not exist. Russia does not rely on an appeal to international law - it defends its national interests by all available means. It would be strange not to notice this.
The second. Russia's position in the world did not cause any damage - until 2015, the West believed that Assad would fall, and Russia's influence in the Middle East would be undermined. And not only in the Middle East - after the Crimea, Russia tried to pinch the geopolitical corner, block and demonize. Today Russia's positions both in the Middle East and in the world are stronger than three years ago, the war in Syria has been largely won, and the position of the United States not only in the Middle East, but also in the world as a whole, has significantly weakened. If we assess the situation in the geopolitical dimension, then we advance, and the US defends itself.
Third. Comparing the attack on Syria with a blow to Russia is not just stupid, but also funny. Yes, Syria is under our protection - but we came to her aid at a time when there was already a full-fledged war involving forces tied to different countries. We win the Syrian war - irrevocably and steadily. Americans do not strike at us, but on Syrian targets, which defend the air defense systems delivered by us. Beat neatly and not at all for damage - and that, we should in return kill their soldiers at their bases in Syria? The current Russian-American confrontation in Syria is not even close to what was during the Vietnam War. Although it is with this situation that it is worthwhile to compare what is happening now.
Then we helped the Vietnamese fight with the Americans - in Vietnam there were thousands of our advisers and air defense forces. Officially, the USSR did not announce its participation in the Vietnam war, but it was our soldiers who, with the help of C-75, shot down American aircraft. Now in Syria we do not officially fight at all - our military base is located there, there are advisers and peacekeepers. We are not just defending them, we warned them openly about the retaliatory strike in the event of a threat to their lives. The Americans understood everything perfectly - and as a result not only Russian, but not even a single Syrian was harmed during the missile attack.
In connection with current events, the US attacks on Yugoslavia are often recalled in the spring of 1999 - that's what the Yankees want, they do. Although it is on the example of Yugoslavia that one can see how the world and the weight of Russia in it have changed over the years.
If we compare 14 April with Yugoslavia, it is not with bombing, but with a throw to Pristina of our Airborne Forces in the summer of 1999. Not in the sense of belittling the feat of the battalion under the command of Evkurov, who committed that heroic cast, but in the sense of the consequences. The current US blow to Syria is as symbolic and hopeless as the taking of the airport of the capital of Kosovo under our control, because it can not change the course of history. In 1999, Russia could neither protect Serbia from NATO missiles and bombs, nor prevent Kosovo from withdrawing from it, nor change the situation in the Balkans as a whole. In 2018, the US can not do anything to damage Syria and our positions both in this country and in the Middle East. And even to harm Russia itself - even more so.