Of course historical "parallels" are misleading. What history teaches -- if it "teaches" anything -- is that the past, present, and future are unpredictable. Granted, historical "patterns" can be "discovered" -- but that may have more to do with the "discoverer" than the actual "discovery."
So. Putin's foray into Syria is strangely reminiscent, at least to me, of George W. Bush's "shock and awe" adventure in Iraq, although of course Dubya was supposedly "attacking" a dictator rather than supposedly "supporting" one (Russians in Syria re Assad).
But there are similarities --"lessons" being too strong a word: Outside powers (declining powers?) trying to impose their will on parts of the world their "experts" really know little about (ok -- Russians did/do have a "relationship" [geopolitical, military, even religious] with their clients in Syria for many years; and so did the USA in pre-U.S. Embassy hostage-taking Iran or, arguably, with post-Saddam Iraq.
And, of course, being "tough" regarding international affairs for domestic political purposes. Dubya, arguably, got into the Iraq mess because of upcoming congressional elections that were predicted not to be favorable to Republicans after the national humiliation of 9/11; as for Boba, he doubtless realizes that Russians may look at state-controlled Tee-Vee, but what's more important to them -- bottom line -- is what is in their refrigerators. So he's PR-temporizing -- some would say -- by sending Russians to kill/die in Syria to support Russia's "ally."
Yet another "international" triumph may keep the ex-KGB's agent opinion-ratings up, or so his cronies would say. But Putin and his boys may have miscalculated; people, in all parts of the world, are not that stupid, as we found out (perhaps too late) in our very own USA re Bush and Iraq. Remember the comedy of "Mission Accomplished"? (Dubya Papa ran the CIA; perhaps a sweet fact-music to Boba's ears).
But essentially these international interventions by "global powers" in a globalized world -- powers actually no longer "global" in their power militarily to influence global events -- are quite similar in their hubris:
We can make 'em furreners as/like what we want 'em to be. Just bomb 'em to death.Forget about it. Or better, rethink about it.