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It now seems a foregone conclusion that the Trump White House will attack the Syrian regime for the deaths of civilians via alleged chemical weapons use near Damascus. If you listen to the Western media, the deed is almost as good as done.

Without opining on the wisdom, or the morality of the U.S. military attacking Assad, it would in my mind be interesting to discuss the geopolitical ramifications of such an assault, as the consequences would surely not just be confined to the Middle East. Simply, the world will be watching. The Russian population will be watching.

Russian President Putin has spent a lot of blood and treasure attempting to resurrect respect and influence for his country around the world, especially in the Middle East. North Korea is relying on Russian support. Iran has joined hands with Moscow. Even Turkey, a NATO ally, has hitched their wagon to Putin’s Kremlin, going so far as to buy Russian SA-400 weapons systems, an interesting choice for a member of an alliance that looks east to counter Russian perceived ‘aggression’.

Domestically, Putin has used international conflict, and Russia’s success in prosecuting them in Crime, Syria, and East Ukraine, as a way to take the public’s mind off the hard economic realities Russians are facing.

A successful strike by the American military will not just change the facts on the ground in the Levant and Fertile Crescent, it will shake to the core those tyrannical leaders who may be forced to realize that they boarded the wrong train. There is a new sheriff in town.