Aleppo. Put a big red bow on a burning city.
It would be better (for Putin) that Donald Trump not be asked to do anything about Syria. It would be better (for Putin) if images of human suffering and massacre had safely moved off the front pages by Inauguration Day.
Of course, Donald Trump is not (yet) in the same category as Bashar Assad or Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed Ukrainian puppet that Paul Manafort used to work for. That will come after the Russian Navy has docking rights in Newport News.
It was threats to the Russian Navy’s bases in Crimea and Syria that moved Putin to action. Aleppo might not be burning if Latakia and Tartus had not been threatened. But now that the Russians have been forced to move, it is better (for Putin) if this act of the play be finished quickly.