The American pilot, after U.S. planes had been involved in several close passes with Russian MIGs, believed he could get in a missile shot before the Russian MIG returned to base. He chased the MIG then fired in a hyped up frenzy but the missile went awry hitting the Russian naval base and killing dozens. The Russians kept quiet about it until the early morning hours some days later when they knew American defenses would be at their most relaxed - then let loose with hundreds of ICBMs.
We read next of fireballs erupting in Miami, Tampa (McDill AFB), Jacksonville, and other Florida cities as observed by people in Fort Repose, now aware they will be in a fight for survival as all the usual services, including electric power, water and grocery stores soon cease to exist.
The novel reminded me that such a scenario could definitely play out today given Latakia still exists and the Russians have now fortified it further. This is after engaging in Syria to back Assad against the dozens of radical groups that want to take him down.
Russian SU-24 jet over Syria.
Flash forward now to a missive from "51 diplomats" ensconced at the State Department (most of them "mid-level bureaucrats" according to today's NY Times) who signed a document "calling for the United States to take stronger military action against President Bashar al-Assad ...to force him to abide by a cease fire and to agree to a transition of power."
And what, pray tell, does this "memo" from the illustrious 51 call for? According to the New York Times (p. A7, today):
"The memo simply recommends that the United States carry out targeted airstrikes on Mr. Assad as a way to force him into negotiations."
One is led to inquire if these diplomats, and I use that term with a sense of deliberate irony, got the memo that the Russians (as in the scenario from 'Alas, Babylon') are also involved in Syria and on the side of Assad. And have these diplomats been paying attention to recent news reports of perilously close U.S.- Russian jet encounters, such as 2 days ago? No, didn't think so.
This might also explain why these neocon (and "liberal hawk", an oxymoron) critics of Obama aren't sitting anywhere near the nuclear codes in the CIC position, but instead pushing papers at mid-level jobs in the State Department.
But think for a moment if Obama was actually foolish enough to abide by this absurd proposal to appease these nitwits. How soon do you think the Russians, might - just might - get involved and retaliate? I'd say within about 50 nanoseconds of the first U.S. air strikes, and that would not only include targeting the U.S. -backed radicals (for whom there isn't a scintilla of evidence that they're not as bad or worse than Isis) as well as U.S. bases themselves. And how long do you think before that escalates to yes, an attack on Latakia from U.S. warmongers or a crazy, hyped up American pilot wearing the 'Stars n' stripes? From there, the Russians retaliate in a limited tactical nuclear strike that quickly escalates to 'all out'.
The point is these diplomats clearly have their brains up their asses and, to tell the truth, they shouldn't even be allowed near sharp objects. (Please, State Dept. bosses, remove all letter openers from their desks. Also please place locks on their keyboards and cell phones until they receive therapy!)
As I took pains to point out last year (Sept. 10), like it or not Assad's government is the one currently recognized by the U.N. and hence, despite these diplomats' protests, remains the only legitimate one. Further, I cited a Financial Times article noting that Vladimir Putin has a "vested interest" in Assad's stability and Syria in general, given over 2,000 Russians have left to join the ISIS vermin.
Given the aggressive use of Russian planes (SU -24s, SU -25s and now SU-35s) it is clear Mr. Putin is serious regarding Russian commitment to Assad, and the U.S. would intervene with air strikes only at great peril of making a bad situation much worse.
The 51 diplomats need to shuck their Gen Curtis Lemay personas, chill out, take some time off and get their deranged brains in order before challenging the decisions of their commander - in-chief again! I suggest a good psychotherapist dealing with intermittent explosive disorders coupled with reality detachment syndrome.
See also 'The State Department's Collective Madness':
"In short, it appears that the State Department has become a collective insane asylum where the inmates are in control. But this madness isn’t some short-term aberration that can be easily reversed. It has been a long time coming and would require a root-to-branch ripping out of today’s “diplomatic” corps to restore the State Department to its traditional role of avoiding wars rather than demanding them.
Though there have always been crazies in the State Department – usually found in the senior political ranks – the phenomenon of an institutional insanity has only evolved over the past several decades."