The countdown to U.S. military action against Syria has taken another dramatic twist over the past 24 hours, with a Russian proposal, backed by Syria, Iran and the Obama Administration, now being formulated to avert American military action. The proposal, contrary to much of the media chatter, was discussed between Putin and Obama in St. Petersburg last week, and was also discussed between Lavrov and Kerry. All of the talk about a Kerry "slip of the tongue" was media confusion. Bottom line: Obama knows that he will not get the Congressional votes he needs for authorization to use force. He also knows that the mood on Capitol Hill is such that, if he ordered military strikes without Congressional backing, he might face impeachment. Under any circumstances, the chances of Obama setting a world record for early lame duck status were soaring. The American public do not want to hear about another war that has no justification under legitimate U.S. national security concerns. They want jobs, other domestic economic improvements, and an end to the surveillance state. The consent of the governed says "no" by an overwhelming margin.
That all having been said, some astute military thinkers are worried that some other big players in the Syrian saga–Israel and Saudi Arabia to name just two–are not at all happy that the U.S. and Russia may be working on a way to avoid military action. They look beyond the immediates of Syria to the pending negotiations with Iran. If a deal is reached to put Syrian chemical weapons under UN control, and Iran is party to the arrangement, this opens the door for a better outcome to the upcoming P5+1 and Iranian-American bilateral talks. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia would be deeply alarmed at such an outcome.
In this context, some of my astute military and intelligence observers are warning of a false flag attack in Syria, staged by Syrian rebels or even Israeli covert ops teams, to put the Syria situation back on an immediate war footing.
Things are moving so fast on the diplomatic front that I feel it important to issue this warning. I hope that I am wrong and my friends who passed along this concern are just being overly cautious, perhaps even a bit paranoid.
Comments are, as always, welcome.