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Thu Oct 15, 2015, 09:46 AM

"The actual strategy behind his (Putin's) Middle East push and why the NYTIMES might be obscuring it

[snip]
"This line of thinking causes me to reflect on two other questions arising from the Syria conflict.

One concerns the migration crisis combined with incessant insistence that there is, somewhere and the CIA will find it yet, a moderate opposition in Syria. It is time to reconcile these two phenomena.

Were there refugees in any number before the rise of the Islamist anti-Assad formations? Where are the refugees going now that they number in the millions?

Answers: No. As Gary Leupp, a historian at Tufts, argues in a superb piece of commentary CounterPunch also published recently, “The bulk of peaceful protesters in the Syrian Arab Spring want nothing to do with the U.S.-supported armed opposition but are instead receptive to calls from Damascus, Moscow and Tehran for dialogue towards a power-sharing arrangement…. What pro-democracy student activists and their allies fear most is the radical Islamists who have burgeoned in large part due to foreign intervention since 2011.”

Thank you, professor. Now we know why the flow of refugees runs toward secular, democratic Europe and not areas of the nation Assad has lost to rebel militias. The former represents the refugees’ shared aspirations, while the latter fight not as Syrians but as religious fanatics and/or CIA clients. As a friend wrote the other day, “There are likely moderate Syrian forces, but you will I think find them mostly in the coffee shops of Istanbul.” [snip]

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Some interesting thoughts from alleged Putin apologist Patrick L. Smith on Syria. The guy makes some cogent points though, this is a hard call -- believe what a apologist for Russia says or believe our corporate media. Hmmm, is it possible to not trust Smith but acknowledge he's making some valid points too? Decide for yourself, read the entire article at Salon:

http://www.salon.com/2015/10/14/putin_might_be_right_on_syria_the_actual_strategy_behind_his_middle_east_push_and_why_the_new_york_times_keeps_obscuring_it/

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Reply "The actual strategy behind his (Putin's) Middle East push and why the NYTIMES might be obscuring it (Original post)
uawchild Oct 2015 OP
geek tragedy Oct 2015 #1
flamingdem Oct 2015 #2
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2015 #4
flamingdem Oct 2015 #7
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2015 #3
CJCRANE Oct 2015 #14
Blue_Tires Oct 2015 #5
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2015 #6
Throd Oct 2015 #9
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2015 #12
CJCRANE Oct 2015 #15
Blue_Tires Oct 2015 #13
Oneironaut Oct 2015 #8
NuclearDem Oct 2015 #10
Oneironaut Oct 2015 #11
GreatGazoo Oct 2015 #16
malaise Oct 2015 #17

Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 10:15 AM

1. Putin's doing nothing more than trying to keep one of his pawns on the chessboard nt

 

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 10:51 AM

2. Pretty paranoid thesis

So chaos in the ME so that Israel can be more secure? Really? The NYT hiding this secret?

Plus stating the obvious about refugees wanting a better life without Islamic crazies running things.

The one thing we can be sure of is that Putin will protect his relationships and his real estate in the area.

I think the US is tired of regime change and nation building. Let the Russians try it since no one knows how to fix things in the ME.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 12:55 PM

4. And the author says he is not sure he buys it.

 

You don't need to go with the most sinister explanation of events, but our Syria policy is FUBARed beyond all recognition.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:29 PM

7. In the case of Syria we can see that it wasn't planned as an

exercise in chaos. It was more of a situation of poor understanding of the situation and US hubris. Chaos was a result of incompetence and this seems to be the case in general except for the Bush era - that was more sinister in motive.

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 12:52 PM

3. Pretty good piece.

 

I tend not to favor the more sinister explanation of US policy in the region--that we want to destabilize countries like Syria to protect Israel's regional hegemony--and instead think we're just arrogant and incompetent.

The Russians seem to have a plan to try to put Syria back together again. We should get on board.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 03:38 PM

14. There are other players

in the region who are benefiting.

Sunni fundamentalism is now stronger than it's ever been.

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:16 PM

5. The next "interesting thought" I see from a Putin cheerleader

will be the first...

I have no time for agitprop nor the useful idiots who spread it...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:25 PM

6. This "Putin apologist/cheerleader/bootlicker" schtick grows increasingly lame.

 

It seems to be applied to anyone who not sufficiently one-sidedly critical of Putin. And it reveals a black-and-white "Putin bad/US good" mindset.

Name calling isn't argument; it's just name calling. And the quick resort to name calling instead of argument suggests you have no argument.

Now, I will grant that there are crazies out there, like those who refuse to accept that an old Buk shot down that airliner, but criticism of US policy and analysis of Russian policy is another thing.

Putin appears to have a plan to put Syria back together again. Does Obama?

Oh, and here's your "Putin cheerleader":

Patrick Smith is Salon’s foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else’s Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:35 PM

9. Nobody is putting Syria (or Iraq) back together.

There will be new countries with different borders after a million or so people die.

Assad might survive as the dictator of Alawitistan, but Syria is gone.

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Response to Throd (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 02:18 PM

12. That's a distinct possibility. I can see:

 

An independent Kurdistan in Kurdish Iraq and Syria. And more trouble for Turkey.

A Shiite state in southern and central Iraq.

An Alawite/Christian state in Western Syria.

A Sunni state in northeastern Syria and northern Iraq.

But getting there from here could be pretty messy.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 03:41 PM

15. Except for the jihadis, I don't think Syrians want to divide their country

along sectarian lines.

And many of the jihadis are foreigners so they shouldn't get a say in the matter.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 03:27 PM

13. Grump, I'm just calling it as I see it...

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:32 PM

8. One maniac is better than one hundred thousand.

That's also why removing Saddam Hussein was a terrible idea. The region needs dictators to control elements like ISIS. Democracy cannot and will not ever work there.

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Response to Oneironaut (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:52 PM

10. Dictators don't create stability. They create instability.

 

Yugoslavia didn't need a foreign invasion to descend into civil war after Tito died. All they needed was for the person who repressed dissent and violently quelled nationalist tension to lose power.

Qaddafi, Hussein, and Assad created the conditions for their countries to descend into civil war once their rule was either weakened or eliminated. That's not a hallmark of "stability."

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:59 PM

11. I don't agree.

Dictators kill anything that is a threat to their power. They keep a death grip on their power. Removing a dictator releases that hold, creating a power vacuum. This creates the perfect conditions for extremists to take over.

ISIS flourished because of the many power vacuums formed by the US's failed foreign policy in the region.

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 04:01 PM

16. Beyond whatever words and postures the US adopts right now, our reaction to Russia's moves in Syria

seems clear -- the priority of the US is/was the removal of Assad and therefore the battle with ISIS was at best a second priority, or perhaps the festering of ISIS is/was to be part of the removal of Assad.

Russia is actively calling this out. Russia has invited the US to participate in the statecraft they see as the end game in Syria. We have refused so far. Apparently the post-Assad Syria they have in mind is not the one we had in mind. Or perhaps it is the proposed path to that post-Assad era that is at variance as Russia's plan looks to shore up Assad before any partitioning of Syria begins.

Within the last 24 hours:

"I believe this is an unconstructive position," Putin said on a visit to Kazakhstan, where he also called for countries with large Muslim populations to join an alliance against terrorism.

"I don't quite understand how our American partners can criticize Russia's actions in Syria in the fight against international terrorism if they refuse to hold direct dialogue even in such an important area as political settlement."
...
(White House spokesman Josh Earnest)"Russia has their own agenda, and it's an agenda right now that they're pursuing on their own."

Putin at the weekend said the goal of Moscow's air campaign was to "stabilize the legitimate authorities", while Washington has repeatedly said Syria's embattled leader Bashar Assad should go.


http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2015/Oct-15/318934-putin-blasts-us-for-unconstructive-position-on-syria.ashx

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 07:04 PM

17. K & R

Putin can't do worse than the mess left by the West (led by the US) - and at least he was actually invited.

M$Greedia continues to lie to the American people - America is hated in the ME post Iraq.

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