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Fri Sep 13, 2013, 05:44 PM

Juan Cole agrees/disagrees with Putin's OpEd.

Putin is correct that a US missile attack on Syria could have unpredictable effects.

He then says that there are few champions of democracy in Syria, depicting the struggle as one between the ‘government’ and al-Qaeda extremists. He does not characterize the ‘government’ but surely it should have been termed a one-party dictatorship with a brutal and vicious secret police. Given that Putin sided with Boris Yeltsin against the Communists in the early 1990s, you would think he’d be a little more sympathetic to Syrians desiring the end of their own police state. The ways in which Putin himself has cracked down on press freedom and moved away from democracy make one suspicious about his inability to see Syrian democrats. He doesn’t seem able to see Russian ones either.

Putin is wrong that there are no democrats involved in the struggle. Most Syrian oppositionists support a move of the country to free and fair parliamentary elections. It is true that Jabhat al-Nusra and a few other extremist organizations favor Muslim theocratic dictatorship, and they have had the big victories on the battlefield. But that doesn’t make them representative of the opposition. They just have more battle experience (many fought US troops in Iraq). By erasing the democratic opposition, Putin has done away with perhaps a majority of Syrians, and made it easy for his readers to side with a brutal secular government against a brutal set of al-Qaeda affiliates. It is a false choice.

Putin is correct that US military intervention in Iraq did not go well. But as for Afghanistan, it was the Soviet invasion and occupation of that country that destabilized it in the first place. Putin’s old organization, the KGB, was hardly blameless in such actions.

http://www.juancole.com/2013/09/arguing-president-putin.html

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Reply Juan Cole agrees/disagrees with Putin's OpEd. (Original post)
pampango Sep 2013 OP
joeybee12 Sep 2013 #1

Response to pampango (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2013, 05:48 PM

1. He's right, Putin is right and wrong, but Cole is also right and wrong...

 

Can't blame Afghanistan entirely on Russia...we sure as phuck never knew how to deal with that country...

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