Features

How Putin outwitted the West

10 October 2015

9:00 AM

10 October 2015

9:00 AM

Saddam Hussein hanged: is Iraq a better place? A safer place? Gaddafi murdered in front of the viewers: is Libya a better place? Now we are demonising Assad. Can we try to draw lessons?

— Sergei Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, United Nations, 1 October

Russia was right about Iraq and Libya, and America and Britain were dead wrong. Regime change doesn’t seem to have changed Middle Eastern countries for the better, as Vladimir Putin has been warning for years. His policy is not to support any armed groups ‘that attempt to resolve internal problems through force’ — by which he means rebels, ‘moderate’ or otherwise. In his words, the Kremlin always has ‘a nasty feeling that if such armed groups get support from abroad, the situation can end up deadlocked. We never know the true goals of these “freedom fighters” and we are concerned that the region could descend into chaos.’

Yet after a decade and a half of scolding the West for non-UN-sanctioned military interventions, Putin has now unilaterally committed Russian forces to what the former CIA director General David Petraeus calls the ‘geopolitical Chernobyl’ of Syria. Russia finds itself allied with Syria, Iraq and Iran — a new ‘coalition’ no less, as Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad described it on Iranian state TV last week. How and why did Putin fail to take his own advice about the unintended consequences that breed in middle-eastern quagmires? And most importantly, how has he managed — so far at least — to make Russia’s intervention in Syria into something close to a diplomatic triumph?

Russia’s decisive intervention has left Barack Obama and David Cameron looking weak and confused. When the usually steadfastly patriotic readers of the New York Daily News were asked whether Putin or Obama had ‘the stronger arguments’, 96 per cent said Putin. In Britain even hawks like Sir Max Hastings — no friend of the Kremlin — are arguing that Russia can help beat Isis. And most importantly, Putin stole the show at the United Nations General Assembly last month with an impassioned speech denouncing the whole US-backed project of democracy in the Middle East at its very root.

The Arab Spring has been a catastrophe, Putin argued, and the western countries who encouraged Arab democrats to rise against their corrupt old rulers opened a Pandora’s box of troubles. ‘Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster,’ he told assembled delegates, in remarks aimed squarely at the White House. ‘Nobody cares about human rights, including the right to life. I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realise what you have done?’ It was quite a sight: a Russian president taking the moral high ground against an American president — and getting away with it.

It’s a message that encapsulates Putin’s world-view. Stability and predictability are better than the uncertainties of democracy and revolution — that’s been the Kremlin’s line ever since a wave of ‘colour’ revolutions swept away Putin’s allies across the former Soviet bloc. When the Arab Spring obliterated Russian buddies Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, he had just the same idea. The Assad family — allies that Putin inherited from the days of Leonid Brezhnev — are simply the last of Moscow’s allies left standing in a world turned upside down by people power and its unpredictable consequences. In backing Assad, Putin is pushing back not just against the West and its support for democracy, but against the whole idea of popular revolt against authority.


Putin has emerged from his Syria gamble looking decisive because he at least knows who his allies are — and, no less importantly, who his enemies are. The US and UK, on the other hand, are against almost every major group fighting in Syria. The West opposes not just Assad and his allies (in the form of Lebanese Hezbollah forces and Iranian Revolutionary Guards) but almost every one of his opponents, in the form of Islamic State, the al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. True, there are a handful of moderate Syrian Sunni opposition groups which have received arms and training from the CIA. In Washington, you still hear fantasies of an ‘apolitical, nonsectarian and highly integrated’ new Syrian opposition army being sent forth to hold territory against both Assad and the jihadis, creating an inclusive government for all. Just this week David Cameron said he wanted Assad out because he would not be accepted by all Syrians. It is as if he still thinks straightforward regime change is possible. That kind of strategy might have sounded good in 2001 — but it’s hard to swallow after the utter collapse of US-trained local forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

In Syria the most effective US-backed, anti-Isis troops on the ground are the Kurdish rebels of the YPG — but the US has been powerless to stop its Nato ally Turkey from bombing the YPG in retaliation for a Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey that has little to do with the Syrian civil war. Nor has the US been able to protect two of the Syrian Sunni opposition groups that it backs from Moscow’s airstrikes — Russian jets have already hit the front-line positions of Tajammu al-Aaza in Talbiseh and Jaish al-Tawhid (part of the Free Syrian Army) on the outskirts of Al-Lataminah. ‘On day one, you can say it was a one-time mistake,’ a senior US official told the Wall Street Journal after an allied rebel group’s headquarters was destroyed. ‘But on day three and day four, there’s no question it’s intentional. They know what they’re hitting.’ Protests by London and Washington have been politely ignored by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who speaks of ‘fighting terrorism together’.

 

But it’s precisely because Putin has been proved right about the dangers of intervention that his own adventure in Syria is likely to end badly. For one, it’s a myth that Assad is the main bulwark against Isis in Syria. According to figures from IHS Jane’s, only 6 per cent of the Syrian regime army’s 982 operations last year were actually directed against Isis. Most of Assad’s attacks — including with Scud missiles and the infamous barrel bombs dropped from helicopters on residential areas — targeted groups that opposed Isis, thereby helping pave the way for Isis to take over Raqqa and the oilfields of northern Syria.

And as Nato found out in Libya, air campaigns can produce unpredictable results. Even with hundreds of thousands of boots on the ground, as the coalition had in Iraq, US commander David Petraeus found that ‘you can’t kill or capture your way out of an industrial-strength insurgency’.

The Russian operation in Syria is minuscule compared to the vast bases like Camp Victory that Halliburton built for the US military in Iraq, which looked like major airports and boasted full-scale food courts, shopping malls and acres of air-conditioned accommodation. Reports so far show a shipshape but tiny Russian operation, complete with a field bakery, a portable laundry and a single squadron of aircraft as well as some combat helicopters.

With this relatively small military force, Putin has achieved remarkable diplomatic leverage — and halted any renewed western attempts to depose Assad. But even the Kremlin cannot believe that Russian air power alone can deliver Assad victory. One senior British diplomat in the region expects the Russian airstrikes to be followed up with an Iranian-led ground offensive — possibly led by Iran’s general Qasem Soleimani, who visited Moscow earlier this summer. ‘That puts Russian-backed guys in the field into hostile contact with US-backed guys,’ says the diplomat. ‘That’s what we used to call a proxy war.’

There is also dangerous potential for direct escalation — deliberate or accidental — with Nato too. Russian and Nato planes could be flying in the same skies against different targets with no co-ordinated traffic control. Already a Russian jet has been intercepted by Turkish Air Force F-16s after allegedly violating Turkish (i.e. Nato) airspace. If Cameron calls for airstrikes on Syria — and the body language from Westminster suggests that a parliamentary vote is in prospect — then this should give his MPs pause. Why send the RAF into this mess, and risk entanglement with Russia and a far wider conflagration?

Putin’s intervention has certainly cast Assad a lifeline. Russian TV regularly shows images of happy Syrians watching Putin on the television with rapt attention, or waving Russian flags. But it may end up prolonging the war, since the Russian deployment has put paid to western plans for a no-fly zone to protect civilians in built-up areas. Assad will doubtless now attempt the impossible — recapturing the 80 per cent of Syria that he has lost since the beginning of the insurgency that has cost 220,000 lives so far. So Russia’s intervention may, ironically, end up strengthening the hand of Isis and other Sunni extremists who see Assad’s Alawite sect as apostates, who are now backed not only by Shia Iranians but Russian Orthodox infidels too.

But fundamentally, Putin is much more interested in being seen to project Russian power than in fixing Syria’s war. His aim is to hold up Britain and America as paper tigers whose indecision has created a policy vacuum on Syria, into which Putin has confidently stepped. The Russian operation is small and portable enough for Putin to be able to roll it up in a week — and declare victory if and when the going gets tough. That, as he knows, is more than Britain and America have been able to do in any of our recent wars.

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Show comments
  • sandy winder

    Putin is doing more to destroy ISIS than all the ineffectual west combined.

    • WFB56

      Ridiculous. To destroy ISIS he would have to attack them. So far, its all about attacking the US backed opponents to Assad.

      • sandy winder

        Well that is what western propaganda would have you believe. It seems you have fallen for it.

        • WFB56

          Your preference for Putin’s propaganda over broad based Western reporting illustrates what you’ve “fallen” for.

          • The_Missing_Think

            Putin has whooped the invaders in 7 days. He now owns them.

            The West failed to even scratch them, in over 365 days.

            The West’s hardware is on a par with Russian hardware.

            Facts trump emotional propaganda.

          • Clive

            The West’s hardware has never been on a par with Russian hardware – it is vastly superior. Saddam Hussein lost in large part because his Russian-supplied military hardware was rubbish compared to the USA’s. Where did his MiGs go ?

            Putin has hardly attacked ISIS. He is probably nervous of doing so in case they destroy his base at Tartus.

          • The_Missing_Think

            The facts still stand.

            Putin owns IS. The West ‘failed’, despite its alledged superiority.

            The new Russian SAM 350 system(s) makes the sky almost impenetrable, 12 missiles per vehicle, (up from 4), and with each missile having its own on-board radar system. Control of the sky is pivotal… so… you know, have a think about it.

            SAM 350 photos

            Also, Putin is getting very strong Chinese support, this is very relevant… if… the West opts to attack Assad, they attack China, which is an absurd suggestion, given the West’s stated future plans with China.

            Putin is King of the hill, and holds all the aces.

          • Clive

            Ah, you’re a Russian troll. Where do you work ?

            http://www.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2015/jun/05/guardian-view-cyberwars-enter-trolls
            …The phenomenon of the troll factory is a particularly egregious example of its exploitation. A troll factory is not some happy Scandinavian workshop peopled by happy elves, but a profoundly nihilistic and disturbing use of the internet. Only six weeks ago, the Guardian tracked down a building in St Petersburg and talked to some of the paid bloggers who work to establish an inoffensive online personality in the comment sections of media outlets, and on social media, and then seed their posts with pro-Putin or pro-government remarks. The Guardian has experienced this kind of organised assault on reports from Ukraine and, presumably because of implications for the Russian-hosted world cup in 2018, on corruption at Fifa…

          • The_Missing_Think

            No, you’re being paranoid, I’m Knobby Pleb, now go lie down in your safe space room.

            But don’t take your teddy grizzle Putin, because you’ll not relax.

          • Clive

            I’m hardly being paranoid when you trot out a load of Kremlin propaganda which you cite no source for.

            Make sure you get your pay. This Syrian adventure is going to use the last few dollars in the Russian central bank.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Wow Russian troll accusation, how original and how utterly paranoid you are Clive.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Whereas, as we all know, in the Guardian Troll resort the bleedin heart trendy-lefty “liberals” do something similar for free as an unpaid hobby, like their interns!

          • goodsoldier

            Somebody the Guardian doesn’t like is a racist, a bigot or a troll.

          • Cyril Sneer

            ISIS is nowhere near their Tartus base.

            Get an understanding of the actual military situation and where each rebel group is located before repeating MSM lies.

            A clue – the rebel forces opposing the SAA in that general region are Nusra and FSA, not ISIS.

          • Clive

            ‘Repeating MSM lies’. Meaning theya re saying things you don;t agree with.

            Sorry but you can journey into Fairyland on your own.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Yes Clive I don’t agree with the MSM lies because it’s not the truth.

          • Clive

            This ‘truth’ you have access to – that comes from where ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, it’s a simple google search – search for ‘military maps syria’, find numerous sources, read them all and understand where ISIS is located – an example., https://pietervanostaeyen.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/the-situation-in-syria-2014-in-review/

            Another example: http://www.agathocledesyracuse.com/archives/category/country-map

            So please tell me how far away ISIS is from the Russian base in Tartus? If anyone is going to threaten the Russian base there then it isn’t going to be ISIS.

          • Clive

            Cyril, these maps cannot be right – they attribute large areas to the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups

            I believe you have said in other posts that these groups did not exist ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, from my first link, the big green area – that’s Al Nusra, FSA, Islamic Front etc. The black area that’s ISIS. The red area, the SAA and allies.

            The big green/red area to the East is a desert, largely uninhabited. If you’re not aware of this then you should be.

            “I believe you have said in other posts that these groups did not exist ?”
            I never said anything of the sort – please quote what I said?

          • Clive

            Cyril, despite your constant assertions you would not be so tiresome if you could just stay away from invective in your posts.

            FSA and its allies – like the Christian Syriac Military Alliance – are fighting ISIS. Assad wants to destroy these allied rebel groups because then the West will have no toehold in Syria.

            In supporting him, Putin will eventually pull out and leave behind an Iranisan Shi’a state in Syria.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Assad wants to destroy these allied rebel groups”

            Are these rebel groups fighting Assad?

            Yes.

          • Shazza

            Putin has played a blinder.

          • Clive

            Putin is an idiot stuck in his KGB past who is bankrupting Russia fairly quickly, depending on the oil price

          • WFB56

            He hasn’t whooped anyone except Obama.

            Russia is quickly going broke and won’t be able to sustain the military effort, just the propaganda one; of which, you appear to be following in the time honoured tradition of one of useful idiots.

          • The_Missing_Think

            Scoreboard, (more facts), in just 7 days:

            Russia has destroyed:

            71 armored vehicles
            30 other vehicles
            19 command facilities
            02 communication centers
            23 depots with fuel and ammunition
            06 plants used to make IEDs, including car bombs
            several artillery pieces
            several training camps

            ISIS has destroyed:

            Nada, nicht and SFA.

            Conclusion?

            “Whooped”.

          • Clive

            And your source for this detailed information ? Russia Today ?

            By the way, who did all of this hardware belong to ?

          • The_Missing_Think

            A source I trust a million times more than your BBC clowns.

          • Clive

            Good, fine – and this source is …?

          • The_Missing_Think

            Rotherham?

            Savile?

            Londonistan?

            I repeat, “a source I trust a million times more than your BBC clowns”.

          • Clive

            Still, you cite no source.

            Did you just make it all up ?

          • The_Missing_Think

            Sixth article down in the previous link, (refresh this page), or this direct one:

            https://www.rt.com/news/317922-syria-week-russian-op/

          • Clive

            Ah, at last, Russia Today. Even then, this piece does not suggest that its targets were only ISIS. Otherwise, you would have to wonder what allied forces have been bombing for the year before the Russians finally appeared.

            Russia Today. Wholly owned, wholly operated by the Kremlin

            The channel which made a huge fuss about Vlad finding an amphora in the Black Sea – only for the Kremlin to admit it was just a put-up job.

          • The_Missing_Think

            A dazzling light of great integrity, when compared to the long stretching shadows of Western murky silences.

          • Clive

            Well, you keep following Russia today.

            Why would anyone believe that a news outlet wholly owned by a government like Russia would not follow that government’s propaganda line ?

            You may find this interesting.
            http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/russia-uses-state-television-to-sway-opinion-at-home-and-abroad-a-971971.html

          • goodsoldier

            Yes I do wonder what the allied forces have been bombing for this last year. I would think they would have wiped out ISIS by now. It seems that they are not to anxious to do so. I suppose Putin decided it was too dangerous to go so slowly. I hope he manages to rid us of ISIS completely and finally.

          • Sue Smith

            The BBC, like our ABC in Australia, should carry a permanent disclaimer on the bottom of the screen for all non-entertainment programs:

            “The opinions of the BBC/ABC do not represent the views of the majority of the English/Australian people”. Yeah, that would work!

          • Pioneer

            Iran is about to come into a bit of money.

          • Derek_V

            Your tears are delicious.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Do some research on where this SAA offensive is concentrated and understand why it’s concentrated there.

          • sandy winder

            I never get to hear Putin’s propaganda machine but Western reporting is as accurate and believable as it is over the migrant crisis in Europe. Some of us can read between the lines.

          • WFB56

            Ahhh yes, “reading between the lines”, another way of saying that you’re making it up as you go along.

          • Cyril Sneer

            We’ve already established that you’re closed minded and unwilling to research sources outside of the MSM.

            So you think the coverage of the migrant crisis in the MSM was accurate? The constant photos of desperate women and children despite the fact that 75% of them were young males of fighting age.

          • Clive

            Who is ‘we’ ? You and your imaginary friends at Russia Today ? which is the only source you have even mentioned for your assertions but still not cited. You have not cited any source yet.

            Did you go there yourself ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, the UNHCR provides the stats that you seek.

          • Clive

            Good, then you will have a source for them that you can cite.

            Please cite that source.

          • Cyril Sneer

            UNHCR

            Oh I forgot you don’t do research you need to be spoon fed like a baby.

      • Cyril Sneer

        No it isn’t, it’s about supporting a forthcoming offensive that is concentrated in the Assad heartlands and opposing them there is Al Nusra and the FSA.

        ISIS is further north and further east.

        One only needs to look at a military map to understand why the bombings to date have been focussed in areas defended by Nusra etc.

        The western MSM ignores the facts of this offensive and instead reverts to conspiracy theories.

        • WFB56

          As opposed to being led by the nose by the Moscow Times – Matthews former employer.

          • Cyril Sneer

            I don’t agree with everything the author of this article has written but which parts do you not agree with?

            Like I said I get my information outside the MSM and I’m not talking about Russian media here. The last time I checked RT was during the summer of 2014 and the daily shelling of civilians in the Donbass – they showed all the home videos that the residents had took of the devastation. The western MSM didn’t bother to cover the shelling of the Donbass in any detail. Other newsites across the world… did.

            Western MSM coverage of Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya etc is nothing more than state sponsored propaganda.

          • Clive

            So you’ve been sucking up propaganda from RT which is wholly owned and controlled by the Kremlin and you don’t think that information is corrupt ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Sigh… I’ve already told you that I don’t get my news from Russian sources.

            There is a big world out there and we have this tool called the internet. It’s amazing what you can find out that hasn’t been tainted by state sponsored propaganda of either side.

            That being said, Rt’s coverage of the Donbass shelling was first rate, they played videos taken by the residents of the devastation – these same videos can be found on Liveleak, Youtube etc.

            As you haven’t seen these videos that were released daily during the shelling, because you only look at the MSM then how can you say these videos taken by the residents of the Donbas was propaganda?

          • Clive

            You can employ all the histrionics you like, they are no substitute for someone else’s view of the world other than your own.

            If you have a source, you can cite it. Any source, MSM or not. Then everyone can evaluate it.

            All you have offered are your own assertions and vague stuff about lies in the MSM – a Russia Today staple.

            Cite something supporting your case.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, go on Liveleak, under the Syria tab and look for videos released last summer and you will find the wealth of evidence of the shelling of Donbass during the summer of 2014.

            As you haven’t seen these videos then how can you say they’re propaganda?

            It’s no good looking on the MSM for these videos, you won’t find them. It’s 2015 Clive, people have camera phones. Citizen journalism > state sponsored journalism.

            Russia does not own Liveleak.

          • Clive

            I will not do your work for you.

            Cite a source

          • Cyril Sneer

            Liveleak.
            Youtube.

            Start with that.

            These are sites where regular people upload their own videos. Check the comments at the foot of each video – you can quickly see if a video is correct in its description or if it isn’t.

          • Clive

            Cite a source

          • Cyril Sneer

            I just did but you’re not willing to do any research, instead you swallow the MSM narrative without doing your own research. You want a one link to thousands of videos, I’ve just directed you to the site that contains many of these videos.

            Cite your sources Clive that support your view that the majority of Druze, Christians etc are fighting against Assad?

          • Clive

            I’m not willin g to do any research which you shoudl be doing to support your assertions

            Cite a source – a URL I can link to

            http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/25/world/meast/us-syria-rebel-agreement/
            More than 20 Syrian rebel commanders, including members of Christian opposition groups, have signed off on what they called a historic agreement to unite in the fight against ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

          • Cyril Sneer

            And what does your link support? A year old article from a known MSM propaganda outlet who is entirely one sided on coverage of this war that refers to a handful of minor rebel groups who are fighting ISIS and Assad.

            What are you trying to prove with this link Clive?

            Does this link prove that all minority rebel groups are united against ISIS and Assad… nope.

            I can only presume this is you scraping the bottom of the barrel.

            Earlier I provided you with a link that lists and NAMES the minority groups fighting for Assad – this article was date March 2015.

      • George_Arseborne

        Remember Blair and Bush created ISIL by falsely invading Iraq while Cameron and Sarkozy created the Migrants Crisis by falsely invading Libya. No lessons learned.
        I do not think their focus should be ousting Assad which they are incapable of.
        As Jeremy Corbyn said, dialogue is the way forward to defeat ISIL through collective isolation with the help of Russia, Iran, Syria ( Assad),. Cut off ISIL supply chain.
        Cameron is just an empty man.

        • WFB56

          mmmm, yes, lets follow the wisdome of Jeremy Corbyn.

        • Clive

          In fact Saddam Hussein would probably have created something like ISIS if he had survived. ISIS are Sunni warriors and Saddam was the Sunni strongman in the region.

          One of the key founders and planners for ISIS was a Colonel in Saddam Hussein’s airforce intelligence. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/islamic-state-files-show-structure-of-islamist-terror-group-a-1029274.html
          …Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi was the real name of the Iraqi, whose bony features were softened by a white beard. But no one knew him by that name. Even his best-known pseudonym, Haji Bakr, wasn’t widely known. But that was precisely part of the plan. The former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years. Former members of the group had repeatedly mentioned him as one of its leading figures. Still, it was never clear what exactly his role was.

          But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated…

          Saddam would have had his own Hezbollah, to counterbalance the Iranian’s use of Hezbollah.

          • George_Arseborne

            Get yourself together buddy. Try to understand your own write up. Saddam was the ruler of Iraq though Sunni. Everything was under control though the Shia (all society has inequality with Britain inclusive) were not treated well but there was peace.
            So by you concluding that Saddam would have created ISIL, means you need another person like me to make you understand your comment.
            Hope you grasp something?

          • Clive

            Nope, I grasped nothing – including your point

            I am saying that Saddam Hussein would cheerfully have created ISIS or a similar organisation and used them in the same way that Iran uses Hezbollah. What are you saying ?

      • flydlbee

        When engaged in a three-sided war, the best strategy is to defeat the weaker opponent first, then bring your full strength against the stronger one.

        • Clive

          Even if the weaker opponent is on your side ? Not an obvious strategy

          • flydlbee

            “Opponent on your side”??? That would then be a TWO-sided war, wouldn’t it?

          • Clive

            Well, you know, it’s all a bit of a pretence.

            The West says there’s a 3-sided war, the Russians say it’s 2-sided so that they can attack anyone who is opposed to Assad.

            It’s interesting that in recent times the Russians have gone from saying that the alliance of rebel groups does not exist to saying that they are not attacking them

            The best hope for the West is these rebel groups but such is the grip Russian propaganda has on the West that I seriously doubt the rebels will survive long under Russian attack – propagandist and military.

      • Cyril Sneer

        He’s currently supporting an SAA offensive which is focussed on Assad’s heartlands taking back the territory they lost earlier this year. ISIS do not feature here.

      • Derek_V

        First get rid of the rebels that block access to ISIS. Then ISIS is next. You need to learn a bit about military strategy. And yes all the rebels are scum and deserve to be killed.

    • Y K

      The reasons for Putin’s intervention are tthree-fold: 1. Deflect attention from the Ukrainian situation, especially with the MH17 downing investigation results due on October, 13; 2. Prop up Assad while showing every tyrant in the known universe that Russa is a reliable ally; 3. Poke a finger in Obama’s eye and expose him as a wanker. Actually confronting the Islamic State has not been an issue for him ever since it emerged.

      • Sue Smith

        Well, he did get the Third one right!!

        • Y K

          Well, that one didn’t really need much effort :-).

          • Sue Smith

            John McCain should have been President: he said earlier on in the week something to the effect that “Russia had better NOT violate our air space”.

            Honestly, Putin’s military is below par since the breakup of the Soviet empire in the late 80’s. Virtually his only ally is Syria; we need to call that bully Putin’s bluff. And now.

            Obama is just a preacher-man who likes the sound of his own voice and the moral vanity of his isolationism.

          • Y K

            I also have a feeling that McCain, for all his faults, was a tragically missed chance for America.

          • Sue Smith

            Putin is testing the “rope limit” and seeing what he can get away with. Plenty, if you ask me!!

          • goodsoldier

            McCain said the US should attack Russian’s planes. He’s crazy. Perhaps Putin has a better plan for destroying ISIS which may include destroying the rebel groups first to make way for the big attack. it has never been clear who these rebel groups are except that Obama and Cameron say they are ‘good’. the Arab spring was great too! The top priority is to destroy IS which Obama and the allied forces can’t seem to manage, How long does it take? Why are they delaying?

          • Sue Smith

            It will take a LOOONG time because fighting-age men have abandoned Syria (and their families) for Europe. Talk about self-preservation; and these are the new EU citizens!!!!! I’d call them “craven”.

      • Cyril Sneer

        1/3

        Must try harder.

        • Y K

          On your orders, Comrade!

        • Y K

          On your orders, Comrade!

  • Shazza

    Putin understands a basic fact about Islamic countries which our Western leaders don’t.

    There is no such thing as Western style democracy in Islamic countries – Erdogan is on record as saying words to the effect that ‘democracy is a bus ride and when you reach your station, you get off’ and that Western democracy is not in line with Islamic values and culture.

    ‘Different strokes, for different folks’ and all that……

    • WFB56

      “There is no such thing as Western style democracy in Islamic countries..” The same applies to Russia so what’s your point?

      • Shazza

        Stay out of their countries – did we not learn the lessons of Iraq/Libya? Our foolish interventions have unleashed an orgy of killing and to what end?

        We might not like Assad but he is a secular leader – Christians and other minorities were relatively safe in Syria, headscarves, burkas etc. were not obligatory clothing, women were entitled to education – as they were in Iraq/Libya before we unleashed the forces from hell – the same forces that are hellbent on spreading their ideology to Western shores.

        • Clive

          That is not true in Syria and it was not true in Iraq:

          The Iraqi regime was not secular. It had been but it was moving closer to the Wahhabi model as Saddam wanted to become closer to the Islamists:

          http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/wrd/iraq-women.htm
          …Women and girls have also suffered from increasing restrictions on their freedom of mobility and protections under the law. In collusion with conservative religious groups and tribal leaders, the government issued numerous decrees and introduced legislation negatively impacting women’s legal status in the labor code, criminal justice system, and personal status laws.

          In 1998, the government reportedly dismissed all females working as secretaries in governmental agencies.30 In June 2000, it also reportedly enacted a law requiring all state ministries to put restrictions on women working outside the home.Women’s freedom to travel abroad was also legally restricted and formerly co-educational high schools were required by law to provide single-sex education only, further reflecting the reversion to religious and tribal traditions. As a result of these combined forces, by the last years of Saddam Hussein’s government the majority of women and girls had been relegated to traditional roles within the home.

          http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/syria-leader-assad-seeks-russian-protection-from-ally-iran-a-1056263.html

          • Abie Vee

            Cause and effect old son. Saddam was driven by US sanctions (a near total financial and trade embargo which began in 1990) to seek help from Sunni Arab states. In order to get it, he had to show his true devotion to Islam.

            The NYT carried a piece (1/12/95) suggesting that 575,000 Iraq children had died because of Security Council sanctions (even medical supplies were limited!). Iraq was near to collapse long before the illegal invasion. No wonder they turned to religion.

            A Gallup International opinion pole showed that, by a huge majority, the USA is considered to be the biggest threat to world peace. I agree totally.

          • Clive

            Yet you have not cited a source for this ‘pole’ ?

            Interestingly, Iraq was a net exporter of baby milk http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/423533.stm during the sanctions regime.

            It was also interesting that although infant mortality increased in most of Iraq during the sanctions, it did not increase in the northern, Kurdish governorates.

            That was because Saddam Hussein was known to be an enemy of the Kurds so although the same sanctions were applied on the Kurdish areas in the same way as the rest of Iraq, in accordance with UNSC resolutions, they were administered directly by the UN, not through the Iraq government. Infant mortality in the Kurdish region did not increase.

            So perhaps Saddam was spending his money on something other than his people’s welfare ?

          • Abie Vee

            Really? I really cannot say. Spending his money on what with who? Did the international trade embargo not include arms? Though something like that would not surprise me at all. Do tell.

            The children were not malnourished: they were sick. The leading causes of death were: childhood illnesses, then diarrhoea, followed by accidents, illness and poisoning, in that order. In 5-years old and under group, diarrhoea was the case of almost 50% of total deaths.

          • Clive

            Yet you have not explained how the northern governorates remained immune to these sicknesses. Nor how Iraq came to be an exporter of baby food ?

          • Abie Vee

            This will astonish you. I don’t know (and I don’t care) Baby food had nothing to do with it. You can’t cure a childhood contagions with powdered milk. D’oh!
            And, sanctions were imposed on Saddam because of his violations AGAINST the Kurds… it beggars belief that those sanctions were applied equally against them! Or were the Americans killing them out of kindness? But, as I said, I don’t know.

          • Clive

            The sanctions were applied because of the development of WMD in Iraq.

            Saddam Hussein spent many ‘oil vouchers’ bribing people in the West – not least in Russia and France – to get him out of trouble.

            He may even have bribed a politician in Britain but that might be a court case for The Spectator.

          • Abie Vee

            Or for you. Watch it, gorgeous George is extremely litigious… something of a hair trigger.

          • Clive

            Well if you understand all of this why are you still coming out with that propagandist drivel about babies dying in Iraq ?

            It comes from those like the people you mention who are paid advocates for the regime.

          • Abie Vee

            Propagandist drivel? A sure sign you’ve lost the argument.

            Google “Infant mortality rates in Iraq” for yourself, and away you go; there are well over half a million pages to pick from. You can refute each one of them personally, your Omniscience.

          • Clive

            I have already cited a source which shows Iraq exporting baby milk and food.

            The northern governorates were under the same UN sanctions regime because they were part of the nation of Iraq which was under sanctions but they were administered directly by the UN because they were Kurds – and the UN knew Saddam would discriminate against them.

            The northern governorates suffered no increase in infant mortality.

          • MickC

            And he would be quite right to do so! He effectively made mincemeat of the Senate committee which accused him of such. It was hugely entertaining to watch.

          • Abie Vee

            Smuggling across the Turkish border?

          • Heil Hitler

            The wooly liberal cúnt oxen are always worried about the wrong borders.

          • Abie Vee

            Speak up darling, don’t beat about the bush… just what is it you are trying to say? You must make yourself clear dear… don’t mumble. Oh, and sit up straight, there’s good boy.

          • Abie Vee

            You’re safe. Nobody wants to invade your khazi.

          • Heil Hitler
          • Abie Vee

            Does your vocabulary ever stretch into the realm of polysyllabic words Otto? Or do you normally converse in grunts and other animal noises? Ugh!

          • christianblood

            Hitler was a PURE EVIL who directly caused the death of 55 million innocent lives and YOU MUST BE ANOTHER PURE EVIL IN PRAISING HIM. ROT IN HELL FOREVER WITH HIM!

          • Cyril Sneer

            Hysterical much?

            Religious much?

          • balance_and_reason

            troll….you just sucked up the labour spin

          • Heil Hitler

            These wooly liberal cúnt oxen must think they will have fun playing “spread the other cheek” with their new Islamic masters in Saudi Britain…

            The Orthodox Christians have it right and so do the Russians… The pedophile Pope and the fággot Bishop of Canterbury can let all of these hijab wearing dóuche bags go live with them, I just hope the Russians kíll millions of them first… if Putin sends me an AK12 and a uniform, I’d seriously consider it.

          • Abie Vee

            Have you got an armoured mobility scooter then?

          • Terrierman.

            Looney.

          • Ianbeale Steeplecoque

            Wierdo Alert!

          • Heil Hitler

            The British PM is a píg fúcking kíke.

          • Ianbeale Steeplecoque

            No. He is a chinless toff PR stunt.

          • Heil Hitler
          • PaD

            How the f…k did this newspaper allow you on here with that f…kng stupid name+badge…? You piece of filth…when tbey come for you i hope youre o the bog with no chance to wipe your a..se

          • Heil Hitler
          • Abie Vee

            Not really old chum, as even five minutes research will prove to you. You know, Google something along the lines of Infant Mortality in Iraq. That should start you off. Even the New Yoork Times says 575,000 Iraqi children dies even before the illegal war (hardly a Labour rag, eh what?)

            Happy hunting.

          • Clive

            Well, you might cite your own sources

            I already pointed out above the Iraq was a net exporter of baby milk and that the northern governorates of Iraq did not suffer the increased infant mortality. That was because they were administered directly by the UN – despite being under the same sanctions – rather than through Saddam’s government

          • Abie Vee

            Why? Just give it some thought, instead of gobbing-off. Iran, Syria, and Turkey all border the kurdish area. Thousands of miles of open borders. Not too difficult to imagine why, eh?

            Your unfounded, uncorroborated, ustated assumption being that Saddam kept all the necessary medical supplies for himself. Evidence please.

          • Clive

            No, Saddam Hussein kept his army supplied with upgraded weaponry.

          • Abie Vee

            Weapons? From who? There was a UN Security Council ban on. British businessmen nearly went to prison for exporting copper tubes.

            Come on… lift your game!

          • Abie Vee

            They worked so well those sanctions, eh? They increased Saddam’s power and support in Iraq, and Bin Laden gave them as one of his main motivations in a tirade on YouTube shortly before Twin Towers.

            Suffer the children, eh… you heroes… you big brave man.

          • Abie Vee

            So he bought this non-existent upgraded weaponry from Jordan?

          • gh79

            If Saddam had managed to keep his army updated US would never have invaded. North Korea keeps its army updated and US didnt invade even when they exploded nukes. US is a bully who strikes weakened countries. Gaddafi gave up his nuclear program and he got bombed

          • Abie Vee

            “Same sanctions”? Evidence?

          • Clive

            Well, I think it’s time you supplied some evidence don’t you ? I already gave you the link to the story about baby food and baby milk.

          • Abie Vee

            The UN had to approve every request for export licences to Iraq. Up until the invasion they routinely refused licences for anything of a remotely military use.. from pain-killers and bandages to trousers and shoes.

          • Frank

            Sorry but that is piffle, a colleague of mine applied for o export various drugs, IV Drips, etc, and the UN approved these requests immediately. They were shipped out and very nearly had to be thrown out as the Iraqis were so negligent in keeping the items adequately refrigerated (something that we were told happened all the time, so a lot of medical shortages were not due to the items not being delivered but due to incompetence once delivered to Iraq).

          • Abie Vee

            Not true. Becsauase of the backlog, the sysem was changed.

          • Frank

            Since we did it, I think I can be pretty certain of what I have written.

          • cartimandua

            The children who died at Fallujah had the same birth defects as those born to Kurds after Saddams attacks. Saddam manufactured stored and used chem weapons without any regard to those who made or handled them. One has to wonder how contaminated the land and water was.
            There is a whole report about it.

          • Abie Vee

            One also has to wonder where he got the technology and the ingredients. Why, it was from us (specifically the USA).

          • cartimandua

            gold taps and weapons

          • Abie Vee

            Weapons from who?

          • Heil Hitler
          • Heil Hitler
          • Christian

            the difference in the current rate cannot be attributed to the differing ways the Oil-for-Food Program is implemented in the two parts of Iraq. The Oil-for-Food Program is two and a half years old. Therefore it is too soon to measure any significant impact of the Oil-for-Food Program on child mortality over the five year period of 1994-1999 as is reported in these surveys. We need to look at longer-term trends and factors including the fact that since 1991 the north has received far more support per capita from the international community than the south and center of Iraq. Another factor maybe that the sanctions themselves have not been able to be so rigorously enforced in the north as the border is more “porous” than in the south and center of Iraq.”

            http://www.casi.org.uk/guide/north.html

          • Y K

            Saddam turned to Islam long before the invasion, illegal or not. Try reading Amatzia Baram’s “Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968–2003.”

          • Abie Vee

            I doubt he did. He used Islam as another weapon.

          • Y K

            The genuineness and depth of Saddam’s private religious beliefs are about as relevant as the degree of Stalin’s personal attachment to the tenets of theoretical Marxism (though Baram does address the question at lenghth in his book). What matters is that under Saddam the Iraqi society became progressively islamized. And the gradual islamization started not even with the Gulf War, but rather with the Iran-Iraq conflict.

          • Abie Vee

            Indeed.

          • cartimandua

            He thought he should lead the Muslim world and be in charge of its holy sites.

          • Kennybhoy

            Sound, but ye’ll get nae takers for such hereabouts man… 🙁

          • Y K

            I don’t think all the commenters here are of “Heil Hitler” variety. I’m an optimist :-).

          • Kennybhoy

            “HH” is a passing troll. The Speccie Coffeee House on the other hand is, alas, a long standing bastion of what no’ so long ago was called “Michael Moore Conservatism”. 🙁

          • Y K

            “Michael Moore Conservatism” – an even uglier incarnation of Michael Moore – if that’s even possible :-).

          • Heil Hitler

            Ingen land kjører sitt eget løp under denne invasjonen, for det hele er en politisk agenda som ledes av FN, og som pushes frem av jødene og deres nikkedukker(politikerne)

            Derfor er vi maktesløse og kan ikke gjøre noe fordi folk flest vil ganske enkelt ikkevite eller forstå at dette er en politisk agenda.

            Noen klarer imidlertid å forstå at politikerne bevisst jobber for å importere muslimer og skifte ut folket, men der stopper det, de er som en computer som ikke kan gå videre fordi programmet ikke tillater det.

            Jødiske bankfolk er oversvømmelser Europa med muslimer.

          • freddiethegreat

            Vat jou goed en trek, Ferreira!

          • Heil Hitler
          • Clive

            Why don;t you go back to frightening schoolchildren like you probably sped most of your time doing noknob

          • Abie Vee

            That’s your mother! I can see the likeness (your gob’s just that bit bigger)!

          • Bonkim

            Is that your terminal photo?

          • cartimandua

            You know those obscene pictures are illegal.

          • Kennybhoy

            Jesus. Where is a censor when you need one…? 🙁

          • Heil Hitler
          • Y K

            Censorship is bad. The demented Nazi should be ignored.

          • Kennybhoy

            Difficult to ignore such imagery man…. 🙁

          • Y K

            I sympathize with your viewpoint, but hiding atrocities from grown-ups is never a good policy.

          • Kennybhoy

            I do hear you but the Speccie is not restricted to grown-ups.

          • Ianbeale Steeplecoque

            Demented Nazi. What? As opposed to sane ones.

          • Y K

            Well, Himmler was certainly clinically sane :-). But you are right, of course, nowadays any Nazi is by definition a mental case.

          • No Man’s Land

            He can say what he wants but there are house rules on this privately run website. Personally I rather like it not being full of Nazis who post images like that.

          • Y K

            I don’t run the website, and I sure as hell hate Nazis, open or camouflaged. My only problem is with the slippery slope.

          • Heil Hitler

            I’m 6’7″, carry a pistol every day… fuck the British police.

          • Abie Vee

            Look out Rambo… they’re behind you.

          • Heil Hitler
          • Abie Vee

            Who presses the keys for you? Your mother or your nurse?

          • Terrierman.

            I saw worse in NI during Op Banner. Now F off. You are lowering the tone.

          • Heil Hitler

            Chinga tu madre, pinci joto…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukg72n1E_h4

          • Marian Hunter

            Why are you posting this stuff here do Kombat18 not have a website, if not try The Stormtrooper its more likely to float YOUR boat.

          • Heil Hitler
          • Marian Hunter

            Hierdie poes maak my tieties lam! Freddie, go the Boks!

          • Abie Vee

            I had one of those, but the wheels fell off.

          • Ianbeale Steeplecoque

            Noggin the Nog has gone bonkers again.

          • Heil Hitler
          • Heil Hitler

            The Golden Calf has grown up to be a hollow Bronze Bull... The “chosen parasites” couldn’t give two shiites about the US border…

            1. UN chief of Migration, chairman at Goldman-Sachs bank.
            2. Sydney Blumenthal, not a Muslim, he works for Hillary.
            3. Rupert Murdoch: ‘Bloomberg would make a good president.’
            4. Bloomberg sells Sharia financial services.
            5. Syrian “rebel” terrorists met Keating 5 Senator McCain.

          • Abie Vee

            NURSE!!! He’s got out again! He’s over there>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • Heil Hitler

            Gehen sie saugen eine Schrotflinte… Kommunistische Schwuchtel.

          • Abie Vee

            I was watching Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of The Will only the other day. As one does. It was incredibly moving, I thought… all those fit, young, Aryan, blonde butch bimbos, in their kinky leather boots and their black figure-hugging Hugo Young uniforms, high-kicking like something out of a Busby Berkeley chorus-line! I found it all quite, er, arousing. Don’t you dear?

            It’s such a pity their bones were ground to dust on the Steppes, eh? Mind you, all that blood and bone-meal must have done wonders for future harvests. And so ahead of it’s time too… organic farming is all the rage now isn’t it dear.

            Must rush, I’ve got to finish stripping a tallboy.

          • MickC

            Hugo Young uniforms? Obviously one of his sidelines, but a much missed journalist…

          • Abie Vee

            Oops. Carried away thinking about all those fit young men.

          • MickC

            Oops indeed!

          • Abie Vee

            … where DID you get that picture of my dear Uncle Yossi?

          • Heil Hitler

            You “chosen parasites” couldn’t give two shiites about Europe.

            1. UN chief of Migration, chairman at Goldman-Sachs bank.
            2. Sydney Blumenthal, not a Muslim, he works for Hillary.
            3. Rupert Murdoch: ‘Bloomberg would make a good president.’
            4. Bloomberg sells Sharia financial services.
            5. Syrian “rebel” terrorists met Keating 5 Senator McCain.

          • Abie Vee

            Brrrring… repetition!

          • Y K

            This one’s in Belarusian. Actually has some historic value.

          • Bonkim

            Nazis were more intelligent than this idiot.

          • freddiethegreat

            And THAT isn’t difficult.

          • Heil Hitler
          • Clive

            So intelligent he shows a picture of a man covered in beetroot juice somebody probably sold him

            What a dickhead

          • Heil Hitler
          • Clive

            Now it’s Madame Tussauds – got any more Rooskie ?

          • Heil Hitler

            Слава Богу – победа Православним Хришћанима!
            (Glory to God – victory to the Orthodox Christians!)

          • Clive

            What Orthodox Christians ? You mean Putin’s Orthodox Christians ?

            He owns you

          • Abie Vee

            Oh no… not another God-botherer. That’s ALL we need…

          • Bonkim

            God is dead. Orthodox Christians are scum particularly you.

          • Ianbeale Steeplecoque

            Not scum. But they are given to distrust and lies.

          • Abie Vee

            They must have been playing cards… one of them has thrown his hand in.

          • Abie Vee

            Is that a selfie?

          • Clive

            Given the quality of comments from him it might be

          • Bonkim

            Proves the point.

          • cartimandua

            Muslims overpopulate then fight or migrate.

          • Heil Hitler

            David Camoron fúcks pigs…

          • cartimandua

            No he had to suck up to overpopulated and unemployed Sunni tribes.

          • christianblood

            “…A Gallup International opinion poll showed that, by a huge majority, the
            USA is considered to be the biggest threat to world peace. I agree
            totally…”

            And I may add that USA is an EVIL EMPIRE whose goal is destroy Christianity and replace it with islamic barbarism and with radical “LGBT” moral relativism and this will back fire on the USA and as it will receive it is own karma! USA is an islamo-phylic Anti-Christ hellhole controlled by homosexual fascists and it will be destroyed.

          • Frank

            Yes, but you are a sandwich short of a picnic!

          • goodsoldier

            Kofi Annan’s son reaped some benefits from the sanctions against iraq but the MSM didn’t seem to mind.

          • Abie Vee

            And neither of us will mention Mrs Thatcher’s idiot son (so mysteriously enriched) will we.

          • Heil Hitler

            Der Spiegel? Kommunistische Schwuchtel.

          • gh79

            Saddam was secular till Clinton’s humanitarian blockade.As Iraqi children started dying from lack of Medicines and cancer from DU ammunition left from the first gulf war , the Religious sects started getting stronger in Iraq as desperate people turn to religion. Saddam tried to get in front of it by adopting some outward signs of religion so that disgruntled young men would support the state instead of becoming Islamic militants. If the US had made a fair peace in 1991 Saddam would have stayed secular but USA never makes a fair peace. US is very vindictive. After a war US always wants to destroy the entire system of a country and remake it into a pale mirror image of itself – witness that they still have soldiers stationed in Japan, Italy and Germanay even though WW2 was over 70 years back

          • Kennybhoy

            Nope.

          • Y K

            I would have pointed to my post below, but it seems like you’re one of “Heil Hitler’s” buddies here, so I wouldn’t.

          • cartimandua

            Saddam made honour murder legal.

          • Olesja Dalko

            Employing this approach we can expect that the US will mount a coup (or start
            bombing) in Saudi Arabia soon.
            http://www.theweek.co.uk/60339/eleven-things-women-in-saudi-arabia-cannot-do

          • Grace Ironwood

            I read an article several years back written by an Australian Catholic priest who had toured around Syria seeing how it was for different communities of ME Christians in that country, given the threat of civil war, they respected Assad & had always felt safe in Assad’s Syria.

          • Andre

            the reason to move closer to Islam was that Saddam needed internal support after sanctions imposed after the 1 Gulf War crippled the country, the Baath Party was not religious in any shape of form

          • Christian

            Reportedly, reportedly, reportedly. Must be true Ay?

        • cartimandua

          Births per woman under Saddam 8 (and polygamy). In Syria it was 6 (and polygamy. Libya 1990 5 births per woman.
          When you breed like that you fight or migrate unless “natural causes” keep population in check.

        • Jaria1

          Good advice 100 years ago but they have been able to hold a gun to our heads due to our reliance on their oil and now they are on the brink of obtaining WMD they cannot be left to hatch up their plots which unfortunately have us in mind.
          Ive never believed that Asaad is more than a figure head and a group used him or more his name to take over when his Dad died.
          Speaking of killing it is claimed over one million died under Saddams rule , like you say they keep their subjects under extreme control

        • christianblood

          So right! Very well-said!
          I think Americans and their Western allies are totally crazy
          for replacing secular Arab dictators with barbaric islamic jihadists. Americans and their “transgendered” Western allies are indeed very STUPID!

        • Grace Ironwood

          This is true, I spoke to a visitor to many different religious communities before the war.
          Your diagnosis is correct, but not your prescription to stay out of the ME. They are too much of a risk to the West now.

          Currently Assad needs help to keep the couple of million Alawites from genocide and the extension of the crypto caliphate through all of Syria. The world cannot afford yet another country lost, although the West seems to think every time each one can become a social democracy exactly like them.
          Syrian situation is different and offers the opportunity of a partial recuperation. If Russia is willing to commit, as we are not, they deserve the rewards. They have already dealt themselves In on geopolitical decision making on the future of the Alawite sector.Russia’s interests don’t require the huge task of reconquering of the entire thing to help fulfil Assad’s dreams.

      • Cyril Sneer

        What’s your point?

        What do you say when Obama and his gang talk abour democracy and moderates in that region? Do you believe their rhetoric?

        • Heil Hitler

          The “chosen parasites” couldn’t give two shiites about the US border…

          1. UN chief of Migration, chairman at Goldman-Sachs bank.
          2. Sydney Blumenthal, not a Muslim, he works for Hillary.
          3. Rupert Murdoch: ‘Bloomberg would make a good president.’
          4. Bloomberg sells Sharia financial services.
          5. Syrian “rebel” terrorists met Keating 5 Senator McCain.

      • Hamiltonian

        All that proves is that it’s about culture and not skin color.

      • christianblood

        America and the West should make ONE BIG FAVOR FOR THE WORLD: Stop Spreading Your Radical “Liberal Democracy” To The Rest Of the World and These Are The Reasons: Wherever Western “liberal democracy” takes root, what will immediately follow are political-correctness, moral relativism, multiculturalism, consumerism, materialism, “gay marriage”, “gender fluidity”, “LGBTQ” activism, destruction of traditional family values, down-grading of common sense and Christian-based moral & social principals, complete emasculation and the enfeeblement of the local nationals, hugely emboldened and assertive local muslims who are not afraid to start jihad and take over the weakened infidels there. America and the West should Keep their ‘democracy’ in their countries otherwise they
        will be spreading ALL the social ills that I mentioned above and the only group that will surely benefit from the emasculated and weakened local infidels are the muslim jihadists who will NOT hesitate to start jihad, introduce their sharee’a law and take over on the defenseless emasculated local infidels in that country.

      • newotark

        That is very true – there were many attempts to “westernize” Russia but they all ended in murdering millions of Russians. Last one was in 1991. Please, stop killing us or at least then you are killing us don’t pretend to be our friends.

      • Dodgy Geezer

        The same applies to ‘Western Democracies’ as well. Our ‘democracy’ only allows us to chose between a select group of figureheads, while establishment policies continue happily no matter what party is in power…

      • Cobbett

        Who gives a toss?…can’t see ‘democracy’ work8ing out too well for the ‘West’.

    • Clive

      Turkey was a democracy from the days of Ataturk until Erdogan tried to change it. He has not succeeded. Tirkey is still a democracy.

      • Yorkieeye

        They are weak because they head governments and populations tired of this Santa Claus approach to civil war.

      • Shazza

        It won’t be for much longer – it is a very different country now under Erdogan.
        Ataturk dragged them into the 20th century, was largely successful but soon as is with the rest of the ME, it will return to 7th century values.

        • Clive

          All very interesting but uit hasn’t actually happened – and the biggest Muslim country in the world is also a democracy

          • Heil Hitler

            Bok yemek ibne yahud.

      • Y K

        Atatürk’s achievements are indeed enormous – even more so in retrospect. However, democracy was never among them. In fact, Turkey had one-party authoritarian rule until 1950. Ironically – or probably logically – the advent of multi-party politics brought with it a resurgence of Islam.

        • Clive

          I bow to your superior knowledge but 1950 was the point of transition from one government to another. I believe this is still – even at one party – a lot closer to democracy than any Arab state of the time.

          http://www.atam.gov.tr/dergi/sayi-19/ataturk-populism-and-democracy
          …Turkey’s political and cultural evolution since 1923 thus may be considered to have followed exactly the recipe prescribed in that speech of 1919. First organization was spread downward, through schooling, through People’s Houses and Village Institutes, and through an ever more comprehensive system of military conscription. Under Atatürk’s successor İsmet İnönü, there began the reverse process of “structuring upward,” first through greater liberalization of discussion and organization within the single Republican People’s Party and then through invitation to a competitive multiparty system, and most important, İnönü’s willingness to accept his own party’s electoral defeat in 1950 and to become leader of the opposition…

          When people in the West talk about Islam in the context of politics in Muslim countries, it covers a multitude of political perspectives.

          I wonder what Muslims make of all the ‘Christian Socialists’ in western countries, for example ? In the West, the ‘Christian’ part is just an anachronsim.

          • Y K

            Not really into opening a huge new discussion here on the matter of Turkey here. I certainly agree that Turkey under its secularist rulers since the 1920s has been an infinitely more attractive place than any of the Arab countries, the stinking-rich Gulf monarchies included.
            As to what Muslims think about European “Christian Socialists”: not an expert on Muslims, but my impression is that the genuinely observing/believing ones couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Europe’s “decadent” politics – in any of its variations.

          • Clive

            The point I was trying to make is that we see all forms of ‘Islamism’ as the same. The ‘Islamism’ of Ennahda in Tunisia is plainly nothing like what we see as Islamism like the AKP in Turkey or further yet, Islamic State.

          • Y K

            You’ve forgotten Morocco’s “Justice and Development Party”, which is nominally in power there since 2011! Somehow, nobody’s impressed or even paying attention.
            On a more serious note, there are certainly differences in the degree of commitment to the actual implementation of the Islamization project. The underlying authoritarianism and abhorrence of Western values as ideological underpinnings are present in all of those movements, however.

          • Y K

            In any case, Erbakan – Erdogan’s spiritual father – was neither a socialist nor a democrat, but rather a hardcore Islamist, pure and simple. Erdogan seems to follow in his footsteps, just more cautiously and with more skill and luck.

          • Clive

            Was it not the Gulen movement that brought Erdogan to power – yet they seem to have fallen out ?

          • Y K

            Erdogan was brought to power by Anatolian voters – most of whom previously voted for various incarnations of the historical Democrat Party – the one that manged to depose the Kemalists in 1950 :-).

          • Clive

            I meant this kind of thing (from 18 months ago) about the Gulen Movement (GM) and the AKP and Erdogan:

            http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/gulen-vs-erdogan-struggle-thre-2014311144829299446.html
            …Previously, most observers had wrongly assumed that these groups were inherent allies because of their faith-based worldview. In sharp contrast to this misperception, these groups came from entirely different pasts and political orientation, although they share a common interest in free market economy and cherished upward socio-economic mobility.

            In fact, these two pious Muslim groups have not cooperated with each other with the exception of a five-year period during the first term of the AKP (2002-2007). Historically, they come from two different branches of Islam in Turkey. The leader, Fethullah Gulen, and his followers have never approved of – or stood close to – Necmettin Erbakan’s more radical Islamism, embodied byMilli Gorus (National Outlook).

            Although the GM at large shifted their votes from centre-right parties to the AKP in the 2002 election, Gulen never truly trusted Erbakan’s tradition and his protege Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has served as the prime minister since 2002.

            Nevertheless, similar to the liberal democrats of Turkey, the GM stood close by the AKP during its first term, when the AKP was conducting consistent political reform and respecting principles of secular democracy. This conditional partnership started to weaken in the aftermath of the 2007 elections, and cracked in the last term of the AKP (2011-present), when the latter developed an increasingly self-confident and authoritarian attitude in the absence of a strong opposition….

          • Y K

            The analysis seems to be solid.

          • Heil Hitler

            Украина должна забыть о Крыме и НАТО… НАТО бомбили христианские сербов… власть на Украине находится в сговоре с олигархами, им никто не противостоит.

            Армия Украины обстреливает мирные города. Мирные города не обстреливает ополчение и тем более армия России. Украинская армия убивает мирных жителей… и это факт.

            сатанизм является еврейский культ… Съ нами Богъ!

      • sfin

        Turkey is, in fact, a perfect microcosm of what is happening in Europe.

        We tend to focus on Istanbul – but Ataturk’s Kemalists are being massively outbred by the Sunni adherents in Turkey’s vast hinterland to the East.

        Europe is going through the same process. Our demographic decline has rendered our addiction to welfarism unsustainable. That is why we are importing muslims – to be and produce the children that we’ve stopped having.

        All utterly unsustainable, of course. Chapter one of the next major conflict in Europe has already been written.

        • Heil Hitler

          Hitler was right…

          • freddiethegreat

            Du bist ein dummkopf!

          • Abie Vee

            Indeed. As he said about the invasion of Russia, just before he shot himself ; It all seemed like SUCH a good idea at the time.

          • Clive

            Let’s hope Putin has a similar idea. Maybe his judo instructor will jilt him…

          • Abie Vee

            Oh, had enough of Iraq for now have we? Gosh… you got through those half million pages quickly. Are you a speed reader?

          • Clive

            Do you mean Syria ?

          • Bonkim

            Right may be but died a coward –

          • sfin

            Nope!

            As leader of the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany – an extreme collectivist organisation – Hitler was decidedly left.

    • MickC

      In reality, there isn’t much democracy in Western style democracies, and as for a free, unbiased press…

    • cartimandua

      Except they export their failed state culture.

    • Dryermartinithanyours

      What is troubling about our Western government attitudes to post Soviet Russia is the opportunistic, shallow, populist play to maintain hostility and Russian ‘otherness’ and keep those “untrustworthy foreigners” in check. Now everyone knows our governments have been playing geo politics with the lives of millions, pursuing the Soviet era alignments, and it has blown right back to us at home. This article reflects on our failures while still falling into the same trap. Same mistake Britain made vis a vis Russia in Afghanistan in the 19th century, and America in the late 20th. Andrew

      • Heil Hitler

        Ingen land kjører sitt eget løp under denne invasjonen, for det hele er en politisk agenda som ledes av FN, og som pushes frem av jødene og deres nikkedukker(politikerne)

        Derfor er vi maktesløse og kan ikke gjøre noe fordi folk flest vil ganske enkelt ikkevite eller forstå at dette er en politisk agenda.

        Noen klarer imidlertid å forstå at politikerne bevisst jobber for å importere muslimer og skifte ut folket, men der stopper det, de er som en computer som ikke kan gå videre fordi programmet ikke tillater det.

    • Grace Ironwood

      Celebrating Difference ?

    • Frank

      Owen Matthews, excellent piece of puffery for comrade Vlad.
      We should start a book on how long Vlad survives this exciting extension of Russian foreign policy!
      Fascinating to see the wonderful Russian cruise missiles crash landing in Iran as they attempt to over-fly to get to Syria!

    • Andre

      Iran 1953 democratically elected President i.e. Western style democracty

      Britain and the US actively had him removed to be replaced by a dictator…..greed and common sense seem to be opposites

    • Victor Charlie

      Word …
      absolutely correct
      Secularist or theocratic take your pick … but NOT democratic
      the popular democratic process in Islamic countries leads straight to Sharia based theocracy
      in direct conflict with all Western democracy .. to the point of eradication
      that’s why ME is such a continual morass
      the voters tend not to believe in separation of church and state
      In their eyes the church IS the state … and always will be
      Secular autocratic rule, and of course a lot of weapons, are the only things standing in the way of non-stop religious crusade after crusade
      Most individuals not blinded by ideology see and realize this
      the Leader of the Free World is apparently not one of them
      he would potentially learn a lesson but he’s too smart to be taught
      … and so it goes

    • Cyril Sneer

      Very true but democracy was never the intention of the US and allies in that region. Democracy or human rights is just a smoke screen for their real intentions.

  • AJH1968

    Putin has
    one advantage over the west; the rebels will not be able to use civilian
    casualties to halt strategic operations. The media will continue to show
    atrocity after atrocity, but Putin will ignore them. What we have in Syria is a
    war of annihilation against an apostate minority and their fellow travellers (Shiite,
    Druze and Christians). Putin seems to grasp the obvious, democracy in this part
    of the world can only lead to misery. Islamists are the most fecund part the population;
    the demographic reality is that they will dominate any democratic process and
    ultimately they will subvert it. This Neo-con leftist fantasy that led to the
    Arab spring has bought nothing but misery in its wake. The only light in the
    middle-east is Egypt and perhaps Tunisia (for now at least).

    • Clive

      Tunisia – which is a Muslim democracy

      • Cyril Sneer

        Tunisia is not in the Middle East.

        Please list the true working arab democracies in the Middle East and list the ones that are anything but a democracy.

        Which list is longer than the other?

        • Clive

          Why does it matter whether or not Tunisia is in the Middle East ? Turkey is another Muslim democracy and the largest Muslim country in the world is also a democracy

          Why would you expect democracy to prevail in the absence of dictatorship ? This notion that you must just jump from totalitarian government to democracy is absurd – but why would you support a totalitarian state ?

          The point is where you get in the end – even if it is a long journey

          • Cyril Sneer

            What evidence do you have that supports your belief that removing Assad will eventually lead to a working democracy?

            If the two largest rebel groups (by a mile and a half) are ISIS and Al Nusra, then who from these two groups will endorse democracy should Assad fall?

            So you’d be happy for the entire Druze, Alawite and Christian communities to be wiped out? Because they won’t exist should ISIS or Nusra take over.

            That’s the reality that faces Syrians, they can’t afford to listen to western hopes of some democracy that will just magically appear from nowhere. This war is a fight for survival for any minority group in Syria.

          • Clive

            More of the myth that Assad supports the Christians – he does not, he attacks them

            All of these groups are allied to attack Assad and they are also opposed to ISIS and Nusra. Something you have consistently denied probably because Russia Today (the clue’s in the name) wants Russia to look good by attacking these Druze; Christian and Free Syrian groups

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, there are Druze, Christians, Sunnis and Shias fighting in the SAA and fighting for Assads various militias across Syria.

            The minority groups that oppose Assad are just that – a minority. ISIS and Nusra are the only large rebel groups there – the others are tiny in comparison to Nusra and ISIS.

            If you think that all the Druze, Christians etc are fighting against Assad then you really need to research some more my friend.

          • Clive

            More mere assertions without any support

            Please cite a source for your assertions, so far you have offered nothing but Russia Today as a source and you have not offered a link to even any of their pieces

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, I only referred to RT re the Donbas shelling. Many of these videos you will also find on Liveleak. You can also find videos on Syria, Yemen etc here.

            You’ve already admitted that you’re not willing to do your own research but would take everything the MSM said as gospel.

          • Clive

            I have already admitted that you have not done any research at all because you will not cite a link

          • Cyril Sneer
          • Clive

            If you had read it more closely and more to the point, followed its sources – you would have found this – you also failed to mention that it is from more than 3 years ago:
            http://www.news.va/en/news/asiasyria-the-jesuits-christians-have-fled-from-ho
            Homs (Agenzia Fides) – The faithful Christians living in the Bustan Al Diwan and Hamideh neighborhoods, in the city of Homs, have left the area and fled on their own initiative because of fear and conflict and were not forced to leave their homes because of threats on behalf of Islamist militia: this is what is reported to Fides by the Jesuit community of Homs. In past days, some sources in the Orthodox Christian community had told Fides that some Christian families in the two districts had been thrown out by militant Islamists. Other sources in the Middle East countries have repeatedly spoken of the militant Islamic extremists travels from Libya, Iraq and other nations toward Syria, with the aim to infiltrate in the ranks of the Syrian Army of liberation. The Jesuits of Homs told Fides that “as far as we know, the Christians in the city of Homs have not been threatened and forced to flee their homes”. “There were some incidents – they explain – where houses left empty (by Christians) were occupied by displaced families. But when the owners returned, their homes were given back in a peaceful manner. One of the imams of the area – they add – apologized to the priest of the Jesuit church, because of these unfortunate incidents”. The Christian areas of Homs, note sources of Fides, are at the center of the crossfire between army and rebels. In Homs there are about 1,000 Christians. A year ago, before the start of the fighting, there were in town, on the whole, 160 thousand faithful and four Bishops of various denominations. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/3/2012)

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, Clive, you’ve just cherry picked one source and ignored all the others.

            *slow clap*

            I can do that too:

            “On 26 February 2012, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya
            claimed that Christians in Syria were being persecuted by the
            government, the majority of those claims were refuted by official
            Christian sources in Syria.[75] The Al Arabiya article claimed that the government was targeting churches for alleged support to the opposition.[75] Independent and official Orthodox sources have maintained that the attack on Saidnaya was perpetrated by the FSA”

            All this was in response to your assertion that the minorities are united against Assad. This isn’t the case Clive.

            See here:
            http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=59215

          • Clive

            You still have not acknowledged that the material you are quoting is 3 years old whereas this CNN citation is a year old.

            http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/25/world/meast/us-syria-rebel-agreement/
            More than 20 Syrian rebel commanders, including members of Christian opposition groups, have signed off on what they called a historic agreement to unite in the fight against ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

            The deal came out of a meeting Thursday in Turkey facilitated by staff from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Washington-based Syrian Emergency Task Force. Two U.S. congressmen sat in on the final negotiations between the groups, just days after Congress signed off on President Barack Obama’s call to arm and train moderate rebels to fight ISIS.

            Under the agreement, moderate Muslim rebel groups fighting under the Supreme Military Council of Syria agreed to form an alliance with the predominantly Christian Syriac Military Council. It marks the first meeting between Syrian rebels and members of Congress since Obama announced the new policy.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, that CNN article is over a year old.

            The link I provided to you but you haven’t responded to names the minority groups fighting for Assad,

            This dismisses your false opinion of “More of the myth that Assad supports the Christians – he does not, he attacks them”

            The article identifies those groups fighting for Assad and yet you still try to maintain that Assad attacks them all.

            More truth Clive, your lies won’t wash here.

  • Sue Smith

    “The price of liberty is ETERNAL vigilance”.

    • Atlas

      I think we perhaps took our eye of the ball when we started importing islamists.

      • Sue Smith

        Have you noticed, of late, how many naysayers in politics are starting to spruik. Blair, Cameron and the changing fortunes of Mamma Merkel!! As if these hypocrites can escape blame for all the damage they have personally done!! I don’t think so.

  • WFB56

    When you are weak and confused, as Obama and Cameron are, it is inevitable you will be seen that way, with or without Putin.

  • Clive

    I agree with much of what’s in this piece – which is at variance with some previous rubbish which The Spectator has published.

    The war has taken a turn which has hardly been reported at all if you believe this piece, much of it from a ‘Russian diplomat’ who would, of course, be at least partly peddling a Kremlin line:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/syria-leader-assad-seeks-russian-protection-from-ally-iran-a-1056263.html
    “Assad and those around him are afraid of the Iranians,” the Russian says. Anger over the arrogance of the Iranians, who treat Syria like a colony, is also part of it, the Russian continues. Most of all, though, the Syrians “mistrust Tehran’s goals, for which Assad’s position of power may no longer be decisive. That is why the Syrians absolutely want us in the country.”

    Using a variety of pathways, both civilian and military, Tehran is currently in the process of establishing itself in Syria. Military means are being employed to strengthen the holdings of the Shiite militia Hezbollah in areas near the border with Lebanon. To serve this goal, the Syrian National Defense Forces were established, troops that exist alongside the regular Syrian army and which includes tens of thousands of fighters who were trained in Iran. Still, the National Defense Forces have begun to disintegrate into local mafia militias and have actually accelerated the loss of state control over those regions.

    It is, however, primarily in the civilian sector where significant changes are afoot. Just as in Damascus, Latakia and Jabla, increasing numbers of hosseiniehs — Shiite religious teaching centers — are opening. The centers are aimed at converting Sunnis, and even the Alawites, the denomination to which the Assads belong, to “correct” Shiite Islam by way of sermons and stipends. In addition, the government decreed one year ago that state-run religion schools were to teach Shiite material.

    All of this is taking place to the consternation of the Alawites, who have begun to voice their displeasure. “They are throwing us back a thousand years. We don’t even wear headscarves and we aren’t Shiites,” Alawites complained on the Jableh News Facebook page. There were also grumblings when a Shiite mosque opened in Latakia and an imam there announced: “We don’t need you. We need your children and grandchildren.”

    That’s why Assad has now decided to place his fate in the hands of the religiously unproblematic Russia, which last week transferred aircraft and troops to its military base in the northern Syrian town of Latakia and began flying airstrikes. The fight against the Islamic State terror militia served as a pretext for the operation, but the initial air strikes have not targeted the Islamists at all. Rather, they have been flown against areas controlled by Syrian rebels.

    • sidor

      Bismarck said: a diplomat is an honest man who lies for his country. Only an idiot would base the assessment of a war situation on what diplomats say.

      There are only two sides in this war: Iran and KSA. The rest are proxies.

      • Clive

        So if I understand you correctly, Russia is a proxy of Iran and the USA is a proxy of the Saud ?

        • sidor

          Right. With one correction: the US, for some inexplicable reason, is supporting both sides. It supported in Syria, Egypt and Libya the same people who it fights in Afghanistan. A peculiarity of the American political thinking.

          • Clive

            Who exactly are these people that America is supporting who are attacking it elsewhere ?

          • sidor

            The Sunni radicals who are the KSA proxies: Taliban, ISIS, Moslem Brotherhood. The Arab spring, promoted by the US (and France) was the strategic Saudi operation.

            The disposition is very simple: this war within Islam has been running for many centuries, and its roots are deeper in history that Islam itself.

          • Clive

            The USA created the Taliban but no longer support it; they certainly do not support ISIS or the Muslim Brotherhood.

            The Arab spring is too nebulous a term to conjure specific political or military support – for instance, the USA will have been glad Mubarak went but not happy with Morsi.

            So I believe you are completely wrong. In the meantime, Iran is creating an Iranian Shi’a state in Syria.

          • sidor

            Strange that you failed to see the obvious: Within the last 15 years two most important secular Arab regimes were overthrown by the US: in Iraq and Libya, and other two were unsuccessfully attempted to: Egypt and Syria. It is obvious who was supposed to benefit from that: KSA. I don’t think madam Clinton or anyone else in the Dept. of State understood what they were involved in.

          • Clive

            The Iraqi regime was not secular. It had been but it was moving closer to the Wahhabi model as Saddam wanted to become closer to the Islamists:
            http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/wrd/iraq-women.htm
            …Women and girls have also suffered from increasing restrictions on their freedom of mobility and protections under the law. In collusion with conservative religious groups and tribal leaders, the government issued numerous decrees and introduced legislation negatively impacting women’s legal status in the labor code, criminal justice system, and personal status laws.

            In 1998, the government reportedly dismissed all females working as secretaries in governmental agencies.30 In June 2000, it also reportedly enacted a law requiring all state ministries to put restrictions on women working outside the home.Women’s freedom to travel abroad was also legally restricted and formerly co-educational high schools were required by law to provide single-sex education only, further reflecting the reversion to religious and tribal traditions. As a result of these combined forces, by the last years of Saddam Hussein’s government the majority of women and girls had been relegated to traditional roles within the home.

            The Libyan government was simply a totalitarian monolith.

          • sidor

            Thanks for repeating the propaganda crap that we have been hearing for the last couple of decades. About dictators and democracy in the ME.

            So, you say that Saddam was overthrown because he was too close to wahhabi model. Then an interesting question arises: why wasn’t the Saudi regime which is the source of the wahhabism overthrown?

          • Clive

            Please stop making unsupported assertions. I have cited several sources for what I have been saying, you have offered none.

            As I said elesewhere, international diplomacy is pragmatic. The Americans use the Saud to help Israel’s continued existence and as a counterweight to Iran. It does not mean the USA approves of Wahhabism.

            The key things Saddam Hussein did to overturn his apple cart were to get closer to the Islamists as I showed above and to develop WMD which would have destroyed the balance of power in the region

          • sidor

            Let me refer to your own statement. You repeat saying that Saddam was overthrown because he was too close to “Islamists”, that is to Wahhabi. On the other hand, you claim that the source of Wahhabi Islam, KSA, is an Americal ally since it is supposed to support Israel.

            Are you sure you understand what you have written?

          • Clive

            I have awritten – several times now – that the American like all diplomats are pragmatists. They support the Saud to help support Israel and to counterbalance Iran, they do not support Wahhabism.

            Part of the reason the USA attacked Saddam was because he was getting too close to the Islamists but mainly because he was developing WMD, espeically nuclear weapons, an endeavour in which he would eventually have succeeded. He already had chemical WMD which he had used and which was found in Iraq after the invasion.

          • sidor

            Why then didn’t the US attack Pakistan who has developed WMD and is supporting Taliban? Or you mean that the US pragmatism overwhelms logic?

          • Clive

            USA pragmatism says that the Pakistani ISI controls the Taliban which gives the USA at least some influence in the region.

            Anyway, starting a war of the borders of India and China is not going to end well, fairly obviously

          • new_number_2

            What business was it of the West to overthrow these governments?

          • Clive

            In the case of Iraq, that they had WMD

          • new_number_2

            Ah yes, those old shells manufactured in the 80’s that were found after the invasion. North Korea also has weapons of mass destruction, why doesn’t the West invade them too?

          • Clive

            Because North Korea are a client of China, obviously.

            Did you mean those 5,000 chemical weapons shells found in Iraq ? Or did you mean Saddam Hussein’s admission in his interviews before he was hanged that he intended to resume his WMD program as soon as surveillance on his country was eased – which is what the Russians and French were pushing for. ?

          • sidor

            The schools in Pakistan were Taliban is trained were organised and financed by KSA. The US just bless it, until 9/11. But KSA is still regarded as an ally against terrorism”.

          • Clive

            The Pakistani ISI in some ways control the Taliban because they want to control Afghanistan. The Americans certiainly do not approve of that. The whole operation to kill Osama Bin Laden showed the rift between the USA and Pakistan on the Taliban.

            Similarly with the Saud – the USA have to use them but that does not mean they approve of their spreading of Wahhabism, far from it.

            There are few ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ in international diplomacy. It’s a matter of pragmatic exploitation.

          • sidor

            Do you really fail to see what is going on? Pakistan is a client of KSA. The US is fighting with KSA proxies in Afghanistan.

          • Clive

            The Saud give many nations money to spread Wahhabism, Pakistan is one of them. The USA also gives a lot of money to Pakistan.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “The USA created the Taliban”

            No, the USA supported the Mujahadeen (spelling) which part of that later became the Taliban. The Northern Alliance was also part of the Mujahadeen but later fought the Taliban after the Russians left.

          • Clive

            The USA created the Taliban through the Pakistani ISI to whom they gave money to do it. http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/the-isis-great-game-in-afghanistan/
            …As is well known, the Afghan Taliban were themselves a creation of the ISI, and a de facto proxy by the time they took over Kabul in 1996. In 1999, Benazir Bhutto’s minister of interior, Nasrullah Babar admitted it quite explicitly, pronouncing, “We created the Taliban.”…

            Now please cite your sources for any of your increasingly mindless assertions

          • Cyril Sneer

            From the same article:
            “During the Soviet-Afghan War – during which American arms were shipped
            into Afghanistan through the ISI – Pakistani spymasters channeled funds
            and arms into the hands of their favorite militant groups, often the
            most retrogressive and extremist of the Mujahedeen”

            The Taleban was not formed until 1994. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

            It was the Afghan Mujahadeen that was provided with US support through the ISI during the Afghan Russian war. The Taleban was formed after the Afghan war.

          • Clive

            What I said was that the USA created the Taliban, you have now acknowledged that they did.

          • Cyril Sneer

            No Clive they didn’t create the Taliban.

            The Taliban created themselves.

            The USA through the ISIS supported the mujahadeen part of which later became the Taliban, they didn’t create either movement, they supported them and according to wikipedia they supported them for just two years.

            Clive you’re light with the truth and light on the detail.

          • Clive

            The USA created the Taliban. The piece I cited said it and I cannot understand why you keep arguing about it.

          • Cyril Sneer

            The piece you cited did not say that.

            Supporting a religious movement and being responsible for it’s creation are two vastly different things.

            What you’re saying is that the USA created a hard core religious movement 10 years before they even existed,

            Laughable Clive, laughable.

            Oh and neither did the USA create the Afghan mujahadeen. They simply supported them in a proxy war.

          • abrogard

            what credence to the idea that the overall plan is simply to keep the middle east in turmoil and disarray so’s the dollar denominated oil trade can continue?

          • Clive

            Why would they care ? They have shale oil

            Oil’s not what it used to be

          • abrogard

            I only have it from pundits – perhaps such as yourself? – or the article writers that such pundits respond to. And what I consequently google. I’m a seeker after wisdom and truth, not the possessor of any.

            As I understand it the point is not the cost of oil to the usa. That’s nothing to do with it, really. It is a question of the value of the american dollar to the rest of the world.

            The world has to value the american dollar because that is the only currency the Saudis will sell their oil for. By agreement with america, years ago.

            Many people dislike this and try to change it. Saddam Hussein for instance. Didn’t end well.

            You can google it, of course. Many hits. Some quite lurid : http://ftmdaily.com/preparing-for-the-collapse-of-the-petrodollar-system/

            some terse and only basically informative:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrodollar

            some somewhere in between:
            http://www.glennbeck.com/2015/08/14/is-something-really-bad-about-to-happen-to-the-u-s-dollar/

            Having learned some cynicism especially in recent years this theory sounds very possible to me. For it is based purely on money. It is ‘economically rational’ you might say.

            p.s. as you’ll find from your googling, it turns out Putin and Iran have interest. ain’t that coincidental?

            http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/12/30/2180

          • Clive

            It is true that Saddam Hussein changed his oil dealings to euros instead of dollars. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2003/feb/16/iraq.theeuro but he did that 3 years before the Iraq War started. In terms of the oil market at that time, Iraq did not amount to much and because of sanctions over WMD it was negligible.

            I don’t believe cynicism is a good approach to international politics, not by itself. Most people are trying to act well. The trick, I think, is to understand the underlying motivations nations have.

            At present, the Saudis are pumping oil at a constant rate despite the drop in price. That has a consequence they like – it makes a lot of oil elsewhere in the world uneconomic to dig out. The North Sea is becoming a casualty of that. It also means that American shale producers do not produce at such a great rate.

            The Americans don’t mind that because it also undermines the Russian regime which is almost totally dependent on oil revenue.

            The dollar is the world’s reserve currency, as sterling used to be. It is not just oil that is traded in dollars, it is all sorts of commodities and manufactures. The dollar will be in real trouble if that all unravels, that is true.

            The people with the greatest interest in maintaining the value of the dollar are actually the Chinese who have huge dollar holdings, They probably wish they didn’t but it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

            If the dollar did unravel, I doubt it would hurt the USA as much as it would many other countries. That is because the USA is so big it is nearly self-sufficient in many commodities and certainly in food. Dollars might lower in value overseas but the US economy could sail on.

          • sidor

            The reason is probably much more simple. The US foreign policy is as usual manipulated by external players. Like it was in the case of Vietnam.

      • Clive

        Incidentally, Bismarck did not say that and the man who said it was making a pun:
        http://www.diplomatmagazine.com/issues/2012/july-august/665-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly.html
        Indeed, one of the most famous definitions of a diplomat was coined 400 years ago by Henry Wotton, three times ambassador to the Venetian Republic for King James I as well as occasional envoy to The Hague and Savoy. He wrote in a friend’s commonplace book that an ambassador was ‘an honest person sent to lie abroad for the good of his country’. The pun on ‘lie’ – also meaning reside – was lost on most people. The King was far from amused. ‘Yt was no jesting matter,’ he sniffed.

        • sidor

          And much before that Sun Tzu said that diplomacy is an art of war.

          • Clive

            Yes but it isn’t relevant.

            Putin was in the KGB and very well understands the usefulness or propaganda. In that endeavour, you are cooperating with him.

            Putin wants to keep Tartus open. He also has some scores to settle like some Chechen fighters in Syria. Beyond that, he hopes ISIS will create trouble for NATO on Turkey’s border.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Chechens are fighting on both sides.

            There are Chechens that support Russia, have fought on the side of Russia during the Chechen war and there are those that fought the Russians.

            “Beyond that, he hopes ISIS will create trouble for NATO on Turkey’s border.”

            Turkey has been colluding with the Jihadists allowing them to freely cross the border to and from for the last 4 years.

            See the Guardian article (if you can still find it) on the Jihadists getting medical treatment in Turkish hospitals close to the border, seen in the flesh by a Guardian reporter.

          • Clive

            Why don’t you cite the Guardian article and anything else you can find to support your assertions. You have offered nothing.

            It is hardly a secret that the Turks want the Kurds destroyed more than anything else.

          • Cyril Sneer

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/apr/01/syrian-rebels-across-border-in-turkey

            “It is hardly a secret that the Turks want the Kurds destroyed more than anything else.”

            I never said they didn’t. Stop making sh t up Clive.

          • Clive

            I didn’t say that you did, you just made another straw man.

            The article mentions a lot of Free Syrian Army people getting treatment and ‘a salafist imam’.

            Where are these Jihadists ? You also failed to mention that that piece is from 3 1/2 years ago.

          • Cyril Sneer

            The FSA are Jihadists Clive.

          • Clive

            No, you are making the assertion – you prove that they are

            Is it because Russia Today said it to you ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            One example, there are more, many more, but you won’t want to read them because you’re unable to do your own research.

            https://spectator.com.au/2013/05/a-corrupted-revolution/

            “This is partly over spoils, partly ideological. Elsewhere, however, the
            FSA is so close to Nusra it has almost fused with it. Some of the most
            powerful FSA brigades have dispensed with the language of democracy and
            are now talking unambiguously about waging a war to impose sharia law.”

            FSA and democracy eh Clive… nothing but wishful thinking when there are peoples lives at stake.

          • Clive

            Well, your piece ( I am glad you are finally citing pieces to back up what you say) is from June. Here is your favourite RT, from today:

            https://www.rt.com/news/317880-putin-syria-settlement-hollande/
            The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to assist Assad’s military and the Free Syrian Army in uniting forces against Islamic State jihadists and other terror groups, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

            In a statement Wednesday, Zakharova said that such diplomatic efforts are “based on the position voiced by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin,” adding that Moscow will carry on with contacts with the “whole spectrum” of Syrian opposition.

            Following Putin’s orders, the Foreign Ministry is now also seeking to establish contacts with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) leadership to discuss the possibility of their involvement into the process of political settlement of the Syrian crisis.

            Earlier Wednesday, the Russian president revealed that his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, had proposed uniting the FSA forces and President Assad’s army to battle Islamic State terrorists. It could create the ground for political settlement in Syria, Putin added.

            …and here’s the Daily Mail:
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3263651/France-rebuffs-Putin-Syria-govt-rebel-force-comments.html
            …Bashar al-Zoubi, who heads a group fighting under the banner of the FSA in southern Syria, told Reuters it was illogical to suggest it could join forces with Damascus against Islamic State…

    • jeremy Morfey

      Yet another reason why peace can only come about when the Kurds colonise the place, at least for as long as the Syrians are incapable of forming a functioning nation. The Kurds are ethnically-Persian tolerant Sunnis, who therefore provide a bridge between the two warring cultures.

  • George_Arseborne

    Cameron has no say in the world and European politics. In short he is just Obama bag carrier just as Philip Hammond does for John Kerry.
    He does not even have the power to press the button of the nuclear weapon without authorization from our President in the USA.
    The point is British people fail to realize that the UK is 51st State of US of A

  • sidor

    “So Russia’s intervention may, ironically, end up strengthening the hand of Isis”

    ==========

    It is like saying that participation of the USSR in WWII strengthened the hand of Hitler. Instead of repeating this idiotically meaningless statement, the West must discuss a technical problem: how to get rid of that wahhabi crap. Unless the US is indeed happy to live in friendship with those who organised 9/11.

    • Clive

      Please explain how it’s like saying “…that participation of the USSR in WWII strengthened the hand of Hitler..” – how did the Russians attack Hitler’s enemies as they are attacking the enemies of ISIS ?

      • sidor

        What “enemies of ISIS” did the Russians attacked? Who else is fighting with ISIS besides Assad?

        • Clive

          The Russians have attacked the alliance of rebel groups which is opposed to ISIS and Assad as I am sure you know from the endless sources I have cited below.

          You have so far cited no sources

          • sidor

            Could you please refer to any fact when these “alliance rebels” attacked ISIS? And why should they do it when both are financed by KSA?

            You have so far challenged no fact that I presented. And cited no sources to support your point.

          • Clive

            You are still making assertions without citing any sources.

            I have answered these points several times, you just keep repeating them like some propaganda machine.

            You have presented no facts but I have disagreed with pretty much everything you have said but that’s all it is – what you have said with no-one else’s view to back it up.

          • Cyril Sneer

            There is infighting between the rebel groups – Nusra has fought ISIS and has also allied themselves locally with ISIS where it suits. Same with the FSA, it has fought alongside Nusra and ISIS locally when it suits and it has also fought against them.

            The glaring thing about this is the touted moderates of the FSA have fought alongside the headcutters of AQ and ISIS when it suits them. Atrocities by the FSA are also well documented.

          • sidor

            In any civil war there are many groups who may fight each other. Like it was e.g. in Ireland. That doesn’t deny the fact that there are only two sides.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, I have already provided you with the reasons why Russia is focussing on the rebel groups around Assad’s heartlands – to support an offensive that is to take back territory Assad lost early this year. Opposing the SAA in this region is Nusra (aka AQ), FSA, Islamic Front and other minor rebel factions.

          • Clive

            http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/25/world/meast/us-syria-rebel-agreement/
            More than 20 Syrian rebel commanders, including members of Christian opposition groups, have signed off on what they called a historic agreement to unite in the fight against ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

            The deal came out of a meeting Thursday in Turkey facilitated by staff from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Washington-based Syrian Emergency Task Force. Two U.S. congressmen sat in on the final negotiations between the groups, just days after Congress signed off on President Barack Obama’s call to arm and train moderate rebels to fight ISIS.

            Under the agreement, moderate Muslim rebel groups fighting under the Supreme Military Council of Syria agreed to form an alliance with the predominantly Christian Syriac Military Council. It marks the first meeting between Syrian rebels and members of Congress since Obama announced the new policy.

        • jeremy Morfey

          What’s left of the Free Syrian Army for a start. Also the Kurds. Also other Al Queda factions are fighting ISIS for supremacy. The Shi’ites will have a pop at them too if they can get near – they are none too happy about the destruction of their shrines. The Turks and the Israelis are largely leaving ISIS alone, and the Arabs seem to be funding ISIS.

          • Clive

            No-one needs to fund ISIS, although I believe the Saud did originally.

            They have money of their own. Looted banks and oil sales – some to Assad.

          • sidor

            The Israeli position is the most funny. For them to act as a KSA proxy is just schizophrenic. Suicidal.

          • Clive

            Your understanding of Israel and schizophrenia are both lacking. The Israelis act in their own interest.

  • Rob Harris

    Do the leaders of western democracies ever stop to think why these benighted Islamic countries had ‘strong men’ in the first place. Riven by a primitive web of tribalism and sectarianism – both of which have been exacerbated by arbitrary state boundaries imposed by former western powers – national cohesion can only be maintained by force, not consensus.
    Western propaganda demonises Assad because it panders to the liberal notion that removing a dictator must be a good thing. Yet far more lives have been lost or disrupted (see refugee crisis) in pursuit of this myopic, self serving, shambles of a policy than can ever be attributed to the likes of Assad, Hussein or Gaddafi.
    Putin, the realist, has seized the initiative and, by so doing, highlighted the bumbling ineptitude of his western counterparts.

    • Clive

      That presupposes that the West started the war in Syria – it did not.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Clive you are truly without a clue.

        • Clive

          Mere invective now.

          You have still cited not one single source for all of your assertions.

          You just say the MSM are wrong and – lately – that Russia Today are right. At least cite a Russia Today source, I need a laugh.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive I’ve already cited my sources and it isn’t RT.

            You have yet to cite a single source to support anything you have posted to date.

            Cite your sources Clive – cite the source that believes Syria will embrace democracy once Assad has been removed. Oh and make sure that source reveals which moderate democratic group will take over Syria?

          • Clive

            Look below and you will find – as you well know because now you have made the logical move from invective to lying – about 10 different sources which I have cited.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, I flicked through your comments, I don’t see any link that supports your laughable view that democracy will be embraced post Assad.

            Link it here.

          • Clive

            Another comment, another straw man

            You will find a comment of mine below – not far below, I think – which says that there is no reason to believe that you can jump from a totalitarian regime to democracy but that’s no reason to support a totalitarian regime

          • Cyril Sneer

            Link it here.

            What’s your reason for supporting AQ?

          • Clive

            I am not doing your work for you – go and find it.

    • new_number_2

      I don’t approve of dictators but nor do I approve of Western nations or any other nation deciding who can and cannot rule a country. Such imperialism belongs in the past.

      • Clive

        Who should decide who rules a nation, then ?

        • new_number_2

          It is none of the West’s business.

          • jeremy Morfey

            What do we do with all these refugees and economic migrants then?

          • Clive

            Answer the question – who should decide who rules a nation ?

            Come on, say ‘the people of that country’ which leads to democracy.

            If it’s not the West’s business, why should we be attacking ISIS ?

          • jeremy Morfey

            ISIS has already declared a state of intent to invade the UK and make it part of its Caliphate. The employ a number of traitors within my own country with malign intent, and an unknown number of their partisans are laying siege to our borders under cover of genuine refugees seeking asylum from both ISIS and Assad. It is therefore very much the business of the UK, and anywhere else in the West where they pose a threat.

            We are also signatories to UNESCO, which seeks to preserve heritage that defines our own civilisation and gives it context. Many an English stately home and public building was inspired by Palmyra.

          • Clive

            I am fine with attacking ISIS, it is new_number_2 who disputes it.

            He says it is none of our business how a foreign state is ruled which presumably includes Islamic State

          • new_number_2

            “Islamic State” isn’t a state. It is Syrian and Iraqi territory occupied by a terrorist group.

          • Clive

            Are you sure you are not becoming a propagandist for the western fascist media, saying things like that ?

            So we should attack ISIS but nobody who is a registered state ?

          • new_number_2

            I didn’t say the West should play a role in fighting ISIS. After what the Americans and British did in Iraq, it is like the arsonist putting out the fire. In any case, a year of airstrikes have proved utterly ineffective.

          • Clive

            Yet the Russians are claiming their airstrikes are incredibly effective. Could it be because they are not attacking ISIS ?

            What the Americans and British (and many other nations like Italy; Poland and Denmark – a majority of the EU in fact supported the Iraq War) did in Iraq was the right thing to do and what people who are against that war never discuss is what would have happened if Saddam Hussein had not been deposed.

          • new_number_2

            Russia is attacking both Jihadist rebels (as the West is doing in Afghanistan) and ISIS. As to whether their airstrikes are effective or not is another matter.

            It is likely that had Saddam had not been deposed in an an illegal unprovoked invasion, the West would have seized the opportunity the “Arab Spring” provided to support al Qaeda linked groups to fight against him as they have done in Syria against Assad.

          • Clive

            The invasion was neither illegal – see UNSC resolution 678 which is a chapter 7 resolution – nor unprovoked since Saddam Hussein had not complied with a series of resolutions which flowed from 678 up to the date of the invasion.

            Why would Al Qaeda fight against Saddam Hussein ? They would be best friends. Sunnis together in a hostile Shi’a world.

            The leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Ahmed Khalayleh, professed that the people he really wanted to kill were Shi’a. Not westerners, Shi’a. Like they have in Iran and much of Iraq. That is why Al Qaeda planted car bombs at big Shi’a festivals, etc.

          • new_number_2

            No country has the right to decide who rules another country or interfere in their internal affairs.

            I never said the West should be attacking ISIS.

          • Clive

            My apologies, so you didn’t.

            So you don’t think ISIS should be attacked ?

            How would your philosophy about interfering in other countries have applied to WW2 ?

          • new_number_2

            The British and French acquiesced to German aggression in breech of treaties and handed over parts of Czechoslovakia to Hitler against the Czechs will then did nothing when Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia.

            It is quite a different matter to today where the West breaks international law to meddle in the affairs of other countries and launching unprovoked aggression against other countries.

          • Clive

            The West did not break international law. They acted in compliance with UNSC resolutions.

            Suppose Hitler had not invaded Poland (because Czechoslovakia was not what caused WW2 to start with us) but had just set up concentration camps – still not intervention ?

            There are international legal reasons why nations may interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Humanitarian reasons and ‘Responsibility to Protect’ are two of them.

            Incidentally, presumably you are saying NATo acted illegally in Kosovo ?

          • new_number_2

            Yes, NATO acted illegally in Kosovo and set the precedent for Russia to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia.

            Britain and France had an agreement to come to the aid of the sovereign government of Poland in the event of aggression being perpetrated against it

            I note that only the West takes it upon itself to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries for so called “humanitarian reasons” and “Responsibility to Protect”.

          • Clive

            Well, no – Responsibility To Protect is a UN protocol.

            How did Germany’s invasion of Poland allow Britain and France to interfere in the internal affairs of Germany ?

            I know it sounds silly but I am following the logic of your contention. Why would a treaty with a country allow interference in the internal affairs of a third country ?

          • new_number_2

            Following Germany’s invasion of Poland, Britain and France gave Germany an ultimatum to withdraw. When this did not occur, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

          • Clive

            Yes but why would they have the right to declare war on Germany ?

            Germany always had arguments to support what it did – the Anschluss in Austria, for instance – and the unification of German speakers – of whom there were many in the Sudetenland and Poland. They are not dissimilar to the kind of propaganda that gets spouted today

          • new_number_2

            “Yes but why would they have the right to declare war on Germany ?”

            Because they had a treaty with the Polish government to defend Poland in the event of an invasion.

          • Clive

            We also had an agreement with Saudi Arabia to attack Iraq, American troops were based there and it was where part of the invasion was launched from. The Saudis feared invasion by Saddam Hussein. Similarly Kuwait, which had been occupied by Saddam.

            He had invaded Kuwait in search of money to fill the hole after the Iran-Iraq war and when that didn’t work he was skint, hence the Saudi fear.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Come on, say ‘the people of that country’ which leads to democracy.”

            No it doesn’t. It certainly doesn’t where you have a deeply religious society that is firmly divided along sectarian lines.

            You state that as if it’s fact. It simply isn’t.

          • Clive

            Ah so how exactly do the people of a country arrive at a government that they want ?

            Many countries have internal divisions yet still operate successful governments

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, the onus is you on to answer that as you’re the one touting a democratic future for Syria.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Controversy here.. the people of that country.

          Yeah I know it’s radical thinking and the United States would vehemently disagree with that but yeah I think it should be the people of that country and not the state sponsored foreign fighters that invaded the sovereign country.

          • Clive

            …and how would they decide who rules them ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Better question Clive – how would Syrians decide on who should rule them?

            They don’t seem to be embracing the democratic method Clive.

  • Boleslaw Bierut

    WHAT?! “When the Arab Spring obliterated Russian buddies Hosni Mubarak in Egypt ” Mubarak a Russian buddy? So why US propped him with 3 billion/annum gift?

  • Peter Stroud

    If, as Einstein is said to have uttered, “that the definition of an idiot is a person who makes the same mistake, over and over again”, then the leaders of the democratic West are idiots. Obama, Cameron and other upholders of democracy have made a mess of the lives of millions by intervening against, at least three dictatorships – and failing miserably.

    • Clive

      How have they failed ? Because those countries did not become model democracies overnight ? That takes time.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Wow so you think Syria will embrace democracy after a genocidal war?

        Or do you think Syria will embrace democracy only after every minority has been wiped out?

        Clive, please tell us who will take over Syria if Assad should fall. Which rebel group will control Syria Clive? Name them.

        • Clive

          Who is ‘us’ ?

          You are merely engaged in sophistry now having failed to cite any sources to support your views.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, support your belief that Syria will embrace democracy after the war if Assad falls.

            How will this happen? Who will take over Syria? What of the Jihadists – ISS, Al Nusra etc?

            Clive, you’ve just stated that you think Syria will revert to democracy yet you haven’t named any rebel group that supports democracy and not an Islamic state with Sharia law.

            So Clive, NAME THEM. Assad falls, rebels win. Who will take over Syria?

            Clive reckons it will be the 1%ers Christians and Druze and not the JIhadists.

          • Clive

            You have still cited no source in support of your views about what is happening in Syria now.

            I am glad to see that you have started citing sources at all but your Wikipedia source is more than 3 years old

            Nor have I ever said that Syria will become democratic immediately after the fall of Assad, if that ever happens with people like you on his side.

            It is unlikely that you can go directly from a totalitarian regime to democracy – although the West Germans and Tunisians seem to have managed it.

            That is no reason to support a totalitarian regime.

            Your comment also contains a flat lie. The comment of mine you are referring to says How have they failed ? Because those countries did not become model democracies overnight ? That takes time.

          • Cyril Sneer

            So your entire view on Syria is based on the belief that Syria will ‘eventually’ turn to a democracy once Assad is removed.

            ;D Laugh out loud.

            Talk about blind faith, you should join the Jihadists you share the same ‘head in the a s s of a camel’ mindset.

          • Clive

            Most nations that come to democracy – including England which was one of the first – get there by a hard route

            We went through centuries of totalitarian government before we started with a flawed democracy which got progressively better

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, we’re still waiting for democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

            There is a big difference between reaching democracy in an evolved Christian European nation to that of democracy is a deeply religious society divided along sectarian lines where democracy has never existed before.

            It’s that type of neo liberal mindset that has helped to cause so much carnage in the Middle East in the name of ‘freedom and democracy’.

          • Kennybhoy

            Totalitarian?

  • sandy winder

    What we should not forget is that the west have interfered several times in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria to try to depose its leaders with varying degrees of success. But in every case it has led to chaos and untold misery for millions of civilians. Now these leaders like Assad, Gaddafi and Hussain were not ‘nice’ people but their country was much better off before the west interfered than after. So don’t go blaming Putin (not a nice person either) for the west’s incompetence and naivety.

  • sidor

    If anyone is interested in understanding the roots and the aim of the current war in the ME, look at the map:

    https://bmssancientcivilizations.wikispaces.com/Ancient+Persia

    The conflict is running along the borders of the Empire. Nothing has changed since 2500 years ago.

  • Gilbert White

    The Chinese solved terror in Sri Lanka. Hopefully they will help the Russians in Syria. The question ordinary people need to ask is are their leaders at all levels prepared to be legally responsible if there is a massive attack here in Europe?

  • jeremy Morfey

    Around the southern flanks of Russia are a number of ex-Soviet dictatorships with Muslim populations that have been suppressing all dissent, democratic or Islamic, for decades. Craig Murray was reporting the boiling alive of dissidents in Uzbekistan on the pretext they had links to Osama bin Laden – someone most of them had never heard of. The result has been that they remain stable dictatorships, similar to those in the wistful years of Gaddhafi, Mubarek, Assad and remains so under the Saudi kings and under the Iranian clerics. Russia, with its own dabblings in Chechnya and Georgia, is perfectly relaxed about stable dictatorships. Russia itself, another stable dictatorship under Putin, is only a democracy because the Russian people themselves prefer strong leaders and keep voting for him.

    I do wonder though if Assad has had his day, since he went mad in 2011 and started smashing up the infrastructure and the national heritage as well as driving most of his population into exile. There are limits to what a dictator can do and still claim to be preserving stability. Russia needs another champion there, which is why I maintain Putin would be wise to start talks with the Kurds, even at the expense of winding up Turkey, who would probably call in NATO for assistance. If the Kurds are clever though, like naughty children playing off Mum against Dad to get their way, they could claim an equal liaison with the West, isolating Turkey as a petulant troublemaker. Iran would be quite happy with a Kurdish neighbour, since their own Kurdish provinces have long preferred to be governed from Tehran.

    The Arabs, of course, would be furious, and we cannot underestimate the power of Saudi money. The way forward here, is to challenge their Wahhabi version of Islam to be offensive to Allah, disrespectful of the Prophet and thoroughly unislamic, according to the intentions of the Qu’ran. The destruction of the two most holy places of Islam, Mecca and Medina by the Wahhabis in a gross display of commercial ostentation and extortion is enough evidence to condemn them by the most faithful observers of true Islam.

    If the Russians could see fit to pave the way for the Kurds to take over the whole of Syria and consider taking on Iraq too, then the Turkey problem could be addressed by a State visit to the region from Angela Merkel, who could use her influence to persuade the Kurds there to co-exist peacefully with Turkey in return for a few helpful words in favour of Turkey joining the EU, and both Turks and Turkish Kurds gaining valuable trade with the EU, but only on condition that Turkish Kurdistan remains a stable and peaceful province of Turkey.

  • new_number_2

    I don’t agree with the Russian intervention in Syria, such as using cruise missiles used to destroy tank formations to fire at areas held by Jihadist fighters where civilians might live, but at least they have a coherent strategy.
    The West on the other hand is bombing the Jihadists of ISIS, while simultaneously supporting the Jihadist rebels fighting Assad with no plan on how to stabilise Syria.

    • Clive

      How do you know they don;t have a plan on how to stabilise Syria ?

      How is the West supporting the Jihadist rebels fighting Assad ?

      • new_number_2

        The BBC had a report today showing the rebels fighting the Syrian Army with anti tank weapons the BBC said were provided by the Americans. These rebels were bearded and shouting “Allah Akbar”.

        • Clive

          Everybody shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ – you may recall some Americans doing it when OJ Simpson won his court case.

          I certainly think it’s possible that American-trained forces have defected to Islamist groups, there have been reports of it.

          That is not the same as saying that the West is supporting Jihadist rebels.

          • sidor

            Everybody shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’

            ============

            Do you?

      • Cyril Sneer

        “How do you know they don’t have a plan on how to stabilise Syria ?”

        Please enlighten us as to what their plan is for Syria? It’s been going on for 4 years, so what is their plan to stabilise Syria? And please tell us who will take over Syria should Assad fall?

        • Clive

          Who is ‘us’

          You are merely engaged in sophistry because you can cite no source to support your views.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, who will take over Syria should Assad fall?

            You won’t answer Clive because you can’t answer without revealing yourself to be full of blind hope and US sponsored bullshit,

          • Clive

            I have no idea – nor do I think there’s much chance of Assad falling now

            The Russians will hold him up until their money runs out – then the Iranians will have a puppet government. No idea what it will be called.

          • Cyril Sneer

            I see you avoided answering the question again. You support a democratic solution for Syria yet you cannot elaborate any further on what that entails.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Indeed you will note that the US doesn’t bomb Nusra.

  • Antonia Willis

    Is it not arguable that we are looking at a really interesting, new ideological realignment: Putin is an old-fashioned conservative nationalist (one could say patriot), whereas Obama/Cameron are social democrat internationalists? If so, many of us will be in the uncomfortable position of having less sympathy with NATO than with Mother Russia.

    • Clive

      Putin is a totalitarian who is bankrupting Mother Russia while filling the pockets of his cronies

      Why should we have sympathy with him ?

      If he ever gets round to attacking ISIS seriously we can be glad as we were that Stalin won WW2 for us, it will never make us his friend

      • Cyril Sneer

        He already has attacked ISIS, enlighten yourself.

  • Bluesman_1

    “His Syrian intervention has made Obama and Cameron look weak and confused”

    Look?

  • CalUKGR

    Personally, I’m delighted to see the Russians seizing the initiative in Syria. We know Putin is hostile to Islamic State and all forms of extreme Islamism – good enough for me. I just want someone with some cojones to stand up and face down the threats from the likes of Islamic State.

    Our western leaders have been utterly pathetic, to the point of being contemptible. I’m ashamed that in the face of a clear and unmistakable evil – a genuine existential threat every bit as bad or even worse than that of Nazi Germany at its height – not one western leader has been possessed of the moral or intellectual courage to commit to a full-on military assault against it. Absolutely disgraceful.

    I say ‘go Putin!’ – let’s see if aggressive military intervention can actually stabilize things in the long-term. I would rather have Assad retain his power than see another five years of this absolute carnage in the Syria/Iraq region while weak-willed illiberal progressive cowards dither and debate about ‘migrant quotas’.

    For chrissakes.

    • Clive

      What “full-on assault” has Putin started ?

      He is just doing airstrikes – as Obama has for a year.

      • Cyril Sneer

        I quickly googled, first link I clicked on:

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-07/russian-warships-launch-rockets-on-islamic-state-in-syria/6835518

        Read the article – “In another major development, Russia also coordinated air strikes with a Syrian army ground offensive in Syria’s west, taking on rebels who have
        threatened Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s home province of Latakia.”

        Another example:

        http://news.yahoo.com/syria-army-vast-offensive-backed-russian-strikes-102832818.html

        “Syria army in ‘vast offensive’ backed by Russian strikes”

        I don’t believe Yahoo is owned by the Kremlin, Clive.

        “Moscow carried out new air raids Thursday on Assad’s coastal heartland of Latakia as well as the central province of Hama and near the northwestern city of Idlib, according to a monitoring group.

        Russian bombardment came in support of a ground assault by Syrian troops and allied militia seeking to push rebels back from the Sahl al-Ghab plain in Hama, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

        The plain, which borders Latakia, has been the focus of a months-long offensive by a rebel alliance including Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate Al-Nusra Front.”

        From the outset Russia has made it clear that it is providing air support for the SAA offensive. No it doesn’t have thousands of Russian soldiers to commit to a ground assault, it doesn’t need to, thats what the SAA and arab allies will do.

        • Clive

          The Russians are only doing airstrikes. They are not doing any ‘full-on assault’

          • Cyril Sneer

            So you just ignored my previous post explaining why currently the bombing is mostly focussed on the non-ISIS rebels.

            The Russians currently don’t have enough soldiers in Syria to conduct any offensive. Their position has been clear since the start – they’re providing air support to Assads forces in an offensive.

            I find it quite amazing how you’re unable to understand this?

            Also, the Russians are bombing ISIS. That has already been reported.

          • PasserBy

            Actually, the Russians have made strikes against ISIS, but the bulk of their attacks have been on the similarly nasty Al-Nusra and its allies.

        • Clive

          Cyril – you actually upticked something by this comedian ‘Heil Hitler’ below ?

          Is it that bad ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Clive, I’m not going to respond to you about this, it’s off topic and doesn’t further the discussion.

          • Clive

            Regretting it already ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            I don’t even know which post you’re talking about neither do I have the desire trawl through this thread looking for it.

            In summary – I don’t give two shits Clive.

      • Derek_V

        My god you are so in love with western leaders. Monitoring the entire thread. What a pathetic way to live a life.

    • Y K

      If you actually believe that Putin is going to do anything substantial against “all forms of extreme Islamism”, let alone for the benefit of the West, you are delusional.

  • Mr Creosote

    So, as with many other things (migrant crisis, Ukraine), the prescient Nigel Farage has been proved right again in relation to Mr Putin’s ability to outmanouvre the West.

    • Clive

      Not really – and I am a UKIP member

      The West consistently loses in propaganda wars because we can say whatever we like whereas Putin’s Russia is nailed down by violence against journalists, etc. I am not sure Nigel would say the same thing now.

      Putin is running Russia into the ground. This latest adventure will just hasten its bankruptcy.

      • Cyril Sneer

        ” I am not sure Nigel would say the same thing now.”

        He hasn’t changed his opinion on Putin and the West.

        But you carry on making shit up.

  • freddiethegreat

    “How Putin outwitted the West
    His Syrian intervention has made Obama and Cameron look weak and confused”
    Not to diss old Vlad, but it didn’t take a lot of doing, considering that leadership is an absent quality in the West.

    • Heil Hitler

      The gay wedding holiday Cameron had with Obama was his political end.

  • Bonkim

    Islamic countries in the Mid-East and North Africa are unfit to become democracies, Only brutal dictators or even brutal head-chopping Islamic Caliphates are capable of controlling their dark ages populations.

  • Fraser Bailey

    It is not difficult to ‘outwit’ the West when it’s leaders are so irredeemably stupid.

    • slavatvp

      Russia needs order and peace in Asia. Writhing West Anglo-Saxons cheat, dissemble, ruin the country.

  • MickC

    Russia has not “unilaterally” done anything in Syria. It has responded to a request for help from an ally, which ally is recognised by the UN as the legal government of Syria.

    Regrettably it is “the West” which is unlawfully supporting Islamic extremists, either directly, the “armed opposition” (presumably the UK did not consider the IRA as such, but as terrorists…), or indirectly via Saudi Arabia, ISIS.

    Bombing by the West in Syria is unlawful, and can legitimately be stopped by Syria by such means as it chooses.

    The UK becoming involved in this total clusterfcuk would be madness.

  • cartimandua

    There is no way to deal with Daesh without civilian deaths. Russia can deal with that but the West cannot because of the press and morality.

    • Kennybhoy

      This more than ANY other single factor may be the death of us. The story of my working life alas. 🙁

  • Cyril Sneer

    Russia is operating within the realms of international law at the request of the leader of Syria whilst the west works outside international law supporting a rebellion that has a large non-native contingent.

  • Spivy

    Under the seductive ideology of globalisation, the integration of the world’s cultures and the pursuit of profits for western global corporations the USA and its allies have fallen into a terrible double-bound trap: either they continue to support the insane chaos their strategy is creating around the world, or they admit defeat of their ideology. There is no way this side of 500 years of evolution that the Muslim world will integrate with the democratic post-enlightenment nations. We are watching a medieval religious war unfolding, which will come to the West sometime soon. Putin knows this. And boy will he make hay in the mess the West is making for itself.

  • huw

    let putler and his dad`s army get boxed in……. :O)

    • Cyril Sneer

      So you swallowed the Langley propaganda hook line and sinker.

      Personally I think it’s insulting to ones intelligence but it seems to work for you.

  • Jacobi

    Putin’s policy is to support Assad, temporarily, and to destroy any group fighting against Assad.

    That includes ISIL, as well as many other pro-Saudi, Saudi-backed and financed, and therefore USA -backed and financed, since the USA because of Saudi weapon sales, does what the Saudis want. The pro-Saudi forces also would appear to have included RAF personnel detached and acting within USA forces and now probably the RAF itself direct.

    We, the British and the USA have got our knickers in a complete and utter bad twist in supporting the unsupportable, namely aggressive expansionist Sunni/Saudi Islam.

    Putin has got it right.

    Good for Putin.

  • paul

    Obama & Cameron have taken the moral high ground and they are reaping the consequences of their ill advised foreign policies backing rebels trying to undermine existing regimes trying to tell Countries how to behave they are a pair of self delusional Clowns !!!

  • TrippingDwarves

    “The Russian operation in Syria is minuscule compared to the vast bases like Camp Victory that Halliburton built for the US military in Iraq, which looked like major airports and boasted full-scale food courts, shopping malls and acres of air-conditioned accommodation. Reports so far show a shipshape but tiny Russian operation, complete with a field bakery, a portable laundry and a single squadron of aircraft as well as some combat helicopters.”

    I am reminded here of a story about the differences between the US and Soviet (it’s an old story) space programmes. Apparently, Nasa spent millions developing anti-gravity pens that would work in space, enabling astronauts to write their notes upside-down. The Russian cosmonauts, on the the other hand, simply used pencils.

    Whatever the merits of their operations in Syria, do not write off the Russian methods too soon.

  • Zhang Wei

    As if the West is important anymore….

  • No Man’s Land

    I have no time for Putin or Putin fanciers.
    However, his cynical manipulations are underpinned by a realism. Do any of us now really believe there is any other least worst option for Syria than Assad? Sure we would prefer to moderates to win, but it’s not going to happen is it? Why? Because unlike Putin we are unwilling to fully commit to a strategy and accept the consequences. The West virtue signals, Putin acts.
    If we’re going to act, we should do so and accept all that comes with it, likewise if we do nothing we should accept the consequences of that. The Wests current posture of threatening, signalling but not acting, is the worst of all possible decisions.

  • FactsWillOut

    Remember the good old days, when the west backed the good guys in proxy wars?

  • Grace Ironwood

    The best thing for the world would be for Obama to pipe down and offer to hold Putin’s jacket for him.

  • Grace Ironwood

    This one of the most naive articles I’ve read on the topic.
    “Unilateral”? Putin was invited by the Syrian government & its allies.
    “People Power” ? The US Senate has just got a report confirming that the “Arab Spring” was prosecuted by the Brotherhood and other Islamist terror groups.
    “Moderate Opposition” ? Hilarious.
    “Colour revolutions” were fomented by the US state department & its EU buddies.
    Obama, just shut up and hold Putin’s jacket for him until there’s a leader in the White House.

    • Clive

      Here is a major reason why Assad wants the Russians. What is going to happen is that the Russians will stay this until they run out of money and/or political capital at home and then the Iranians will set up a puppet regime in Syria. Putin is helping that along.

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/syria-leader-assad-seeks-russian-protection-from-ally-iran-a-1056263.html
      “Assad and those around him are afraid of the Iranians,” the Russian says. Anger over the arrogance of the Iranians, who treat Syria like a colony, is also part of it, the Russian continues. Most of all, though, the Syrians “mistrust Tehran’s goals, for which Assad’s position of power may no longer be decisive. That is why the Syrians absolutely want us in the country.”

      What the Russian diplomat, who wants to remain anonymous, has to say is a bit jarring at first. Without the Shiite auxiliaries from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Lebanon — whose recruitment and transfer is organized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard — Assad’s rule would long since have come to an end. Yet his comments are complemented by a number of additional details that add up to an image of a behind-the-scenes power struggle — one which casts a new, scary light on the condition of the Syrian regime and on the country’s prospects as a whole.

      The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has long planned and carried out the most important missions and operations of the Syrian regime. They were responsible, right down to the details, for the sporadically successful offensives in Aleppo in the north and Daraa in the south, which began in 2013. In Iran, the Revolutionary Guard is one of those groups intent on continuing the “Islamic Revolution” — the victory of Shiites over the Sunnis. They are a state within a state, one which owns several companies and is answerable only to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. President Hassan Rohani has no power over the Revolutionary Guard whatsoever.

      Their goals go far beyond merely reestablishing the status quo in Syria. In early 2013, Hojatoleslam Mehdi Taeb, one of the planners behind Iran’s engagement in Syria, said: “Syria is the 35th province of Iran and it is a strategic province for us.” For several decades, the alliance between the Assads and Iran was a profitable one, particularly in opposition to the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, which long had the upper hand in the region. But today, Assad depends on Iran to remain in power, and Tehran is taking advantage of the situation.

      Using a variety of pathways, both civilian and military, Tehran is currently in the process of establishing itself in Syria. Military means are being employed to strengthen the holdings of the Shiite militia Hezbollah in areas near the border with Lebanon. To serve this goal, the Syrian National Defense Forces were established, troops that exist alongside the regular Syrian army and which includes tens of thousands of fighters who were trained in Iran. Still, the National Defense Forces have begun to disintegrate into local mafia militias and have actually accelerated the loss of state control over those regions.

      It is, however, primarily in the civilian sector where significant changes are afoot. Just as in Damascus, Latakia and Jabla, increasing numbers of hosseiniehs — Shiite religious teaching centers — are opening. The centers are aimed at converting Sunnis, and even the Alawites, the denomination to which the Assads belong, to “correct” Shiite Islam by way of sermons and stipends. In addition, the government decreed one year ago that state-run religion schools were to teach Shiite material.

      All of this is taking place to the consternation of the Alawites, who have begun to voice their displeasure. “They are throwing us back a thousand years. We don’t even wear headscarves and we aren’t Shiites,” Alawites complained on the Jableh News Facebook page. There were also grumblings when a Shiite mosque opened in Latakia and an imam there announced: “We don’t need you. We need your children and grandchildren.”

      • Grace Ironwood

        Interesting post.
        If the “moderate opposition” wins they with murder a couple of million Alawites. The Iranians, like the Borg, will assimilate them, Putin just wants a stable and grateful enclave around his port.

  • Simon_in_London

    “But it’s precisely because Putin has been proved right about the dangers of intervention that his own adventure in Syria is likely to end badly.”

    This article is definitely a curate’s egg. How is Putin’s “miniscule” “easily wrapped up” operation “bound to end badly”? A ground invasion to overthrow the established government as the US did in Iraq – that is the opposite of what he is doing. An air campaign to stabilise the Syrian government’s position seems almost bound to succeed. The Syrian Arab Army might not be the world’s best fighting force, but they are light years ahead of the Iraqi army that collapsed in the face of a few thousand ISIS irregulars. With Russian air support they can definitely hold off Al-Nusra & co, and retake some territory.

    An air campaign in support of a larger Syrian/Iranian ground offensive to retake eastern Syria may not happen, and might not succeed, but has few downside risks unless Turkey attacks Russia and drags in the USA & NATO.

  • newotark

    It seems West can sacrifice indefinite number of Syrians, Libyans, Egyptians, Palestinians for democracy. It seems that your democracy is very bloody religious cult. Like Islam.

  • Ivan Night Terrible
    • Abie Vee

      That’s terrible Ivan.

      • No, this is just super! I do not know who you are, or Mahmoud John …

        Нет, это просто супер! Не знаю кто ты Махмуд или Джон…

        • Abie Vee

          And i do know what, or who, you are. But you seem disturbed.

          • You yourself understand what you wrote?

            Ты сам понял что ты написал?

          • Gilbert White

            Very ironic this to think this man makes Abie Vee seem normal!

          • Abie Vee

            I dread the day I am understood.

  • Ivan Night Terrible
  • Ivan Night Terrible
  • Ivan Night Terrible
  • Ivan Night Terrible
  • slavatvp

    Author idiot !. What kind of a democracy project the US, he says ?. It is the collapse of the Iraqi !, Libya !, Syria !. Do not you think that you are a hypocrite ..?.

  • Aidarenok
  • warmingmyth

    Apart from this article it might be helpful to review the general tenor of “news” reporting and comment about Syria in the Western media:
    http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/10/07/a-brief-guide-to-western-media-propaganda-for-syria/

  • Zone control a military base in the Russian Federation Syria.
    Excluding the Russian Navy in the Black and Caspian Seas.

    Зона контроля военной базы в РФ Сирии.
    Без учета ВМФ РФ в Черном и Каспийском морях….

  • Russia from the very beginning of the Syrian conflict to adhere to strict interpretations of the events and had a pretty stable position on the issue. In addition to the theoretical hypotheses and fictions there are obvious reasons for Russia’s participation in the conflict.

    1. The Syrian war is separated from Russia only in Turkey, but if we take account of the state of Central Asia bordering Afghanistan, where the outcome of the war with the Taliban are not predictable – Russia must stop the expansion of the conflict, which is already beginning to threaten our borders. The war in Chechnya Wahhabis essentially has the same roots and we know firsthand the causes and consequences of the war with IG. Accordingly, the war in Iraq, Syria, and directly threaten Russia.

    2. In fact, Syria is a war of civilizations, the terrorist organization of the IG and other terrorist gangs, using a vacuum of state institutions established in the territory of Syria and Iraq’s bloody inhuman civilization – the purpose of the organization is to eliminate the borders established after the division of the Ottoman caliphate and the establishment of a Sunni Islamic state at least on the territory of Iraq and Sham (the Levant) – Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt (Sinai
    Peninsula at least) as the maximum – in the whole Islamic world.

    Russia believes the IG criminal organization using bloody methods to achieve their goals, as well as their duty to prevent the said IG achieving these goals. Russia has consistently supported the legitimate government of Syria and Iraq to combat this scourge.

    3. The war in Syria and Iraq take the form of global conflict – the threat of world war. The war is actually already involved – Syria and Iraq. Iran, Russia, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Turkey, Israel, the US, EU and other countries. There is a war in Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen. The conflict threatens to spread of the territory of Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Central Asia, the Caucasus.

    In Syria and Iraq, the conflict could escalate into a world war, and unpredictable consequences. Ripen world conflicts of interests – political, religious and economic. Russia can not remain on the sidelines and using its political, military and economic potential is obliged to intervene and stop this conflict. No less concerned about non-compliance with international law, NATO and the Gulf
    states – which essentially call for the international community to discredit the principles of the United Nations.

    Putin at the UN is openly said he compared the IG with the Nazis and urged the international community to join forces. If you are not satisfied with the existing international law and the principles of the United Nations – you need to engage in dialogue with other countries and not to act from
    a position of strength.

    Россия с самого начала сирийского конфликта придерживалась строгой трактовки всех событий и имела довольно таки стойкую позицию по данному вопросу. Помимо теоретических гипотез и вымыслов есть очевидные причины участия России в этом конфликте.

    1. Сирийская война отделена от России только территорией Турции, а если
    принять внимание государства Средней Азии граничащие с Афганистаном, где
    итоги войны с талибан не предсказуемы – Россия обязана остановить
    расширение этого конфликта, который уже начинает угрожать нашим
    границам. Война в Чечне с ваххабитами по сути имеет те же корни и мы не
    понаслышке знаем причины и последствия войны с ИГ. Соответственно война в
    Сирии и Ираке непосредственно угрожает России.

    2. В Сирии фактически идет война цивилизаций, террористическая организация ИГ и
    другие террористические банды, используя вакуум государственных
    институтов, создают на территории Сирии и Ирака кровавую нечеловеческую
    цивилизацию – Целью организации является ликвидация границ,
    установленных в результате раздела Османского халифата, и создание
    суннитского исламского государства как минимум на территории Ирака и
    Шама (Леванта) – Сирии, Ливана, Израиля, Палестины, Иордании, Турции,
    Кипра, Египта (минимум Синайский полуостров), как максимум – во всём
    исламском мире.

    Россия считает ИГ преступной организацией
    использующей кровавые методы для достижения своих целей, а так же
    считает своим долгом препятствовать ИГ достижение этих целей. Россия
    последовательно поддерживала законные власти Сирии и Ирака для борьбы с
    этим злом.

    3. Война в Сирии и Ираке принимают формы всемирного
    конфликта – угрозы мировой войны. В войне фактически уже участвуют –
    Сирия, Ирак. Иран, Россия, Египет, Катар, Саудовская Аравия, Иордания,
    Ливия, Турция, Израиль, США, ЕС и другие страны. Идет война в Ливии,
    Афганистане, в Йемене. Конфликт грозит расползанием на территории
    Турции, Израиля, Египта, Средней Азии, Кавказа.

    На территории Сирии и Ирака конфликт может перерасти в мировую войну и
    непредсказуемыми последствиями. Созревают конфликты мировых интересов –
    политические, религиозные и экономические. Россия не может оставаться в
    стороне и используя свой политический, военный и экономический
    потенциал обязана вмешаться и остановить этот конфликт. В не меньшей
    степени беспокоит несоблюдение международного права НАТО и странами
    Персидского залива – которые по сути призывают мировое сообщество к
    дискредитации принципов ООН.

    Путин с трибуны ООН в открытую это заявил, он сравнил ИГ с нацистами и призвал мировое сообщество объединить усилия. Если вас не устраивает действующее международное
    право и принципы ООН – вам нужно вести диалог с другими государствами а
    не действовать с позиции силы….

  • Калашников (псевдоним)

    This is a lie – the ousted President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak محمد حسني سيد مبارك‎‎ was never a friend of Russia. Mubarak has never been a friend of Putin. He was a friend to USA always. Hosni Mubarak is a friend of AmericaWhy are You lying. You write a lie. Your lies have constantly. You see how Assad kills civilians. You don’t see how Poroshenko is bombing his people. Ukrainian soldiers kill innocent people. There is no difference for someone who kills children. You have the difference. You have dishonest journalists.

  • “How Putin outwitted the West: His Syrian intervention has made Obama and Cameron look weak and confused”

    That’s the purpose for the West’s policy of causing chaos across the globe, allowing Moscow to play the part of the sane, mature actor on the international scene, which is intended to be used to bring about the destruction of the West’s preeminence in the world along with the collapse of the EU, after which a new union will take the EU’s place, a union from the ‘Atlantic to Vladivostok’…

    The so-called ‘War on Terror’ is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending ‘War on Terror’; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the ‘alternative’ media. When determining whether the ‘former’ USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the ‘former’ USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the ‘collapse’ was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the ‘freed’ Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of ‘Perestroika’ (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West ‘lost’ China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

    The following is a discovery I made in April regarding the fake collapse of the USSR, and what that fraudulent collapse proves about the institutions of the West…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR is a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,* otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/12/20-years-since-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union/100214/

    Notice, however, the Kremlin staged anti-government demonstrations that took place in Russia (and other Soviet republics) in the years immediately preceding the ‘collapse’, yet ZERO celebrations after the ‘collapse’!

    For more on this discovery see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

    Conclusion:

    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.

    ————————-

    * The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) taught Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/now-you-see-me-now-you-don-t

    • Part II

      Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Soviet minister of foreign affairs Eduard Shevardnadze on the upcoming new European union with Russia:

      “Editor’s Note: The phrases ‘From the Atlantic to the Urals’, ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’ and ‘From Vancouver to Vladivostok’ are interchangeable in the strategists’ lexicon. In the course of his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, delivered in Oslo in June 1992, Gorbachev said: ‘Our [sic] vision of the European space from the Atlantic to the Urals is not that of a closed system. Since it includes the Soviet Union [sic], which reaches to the shores of the Pacific, it goes beyond nominal geographical boundaries’. Note that Gorbachev, who had been out of office for six months, referred to the Soviet Union, not Russia. In an interview on Moscow Television on 19 November 1991, Eduard Shevardnadze continued speaking as though he was still Soviet Foreign Minister: ‘I think that the idea of a Common European Home, the building of a united Europe, and I would like to underline today, of great Europe, the building of Great Europe, great, united Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, including all our territory, most probably a European-Asian space, this project is inevitable. I am sure that we will come to building a united military space as well. To say more precisely: we will build a united Europe, whose security will be based on the principles of collective security. Precisely, collective security’. These statements by key implementers of the strategy reflect the central strategic objective of asserting ‘irreversible’ Russian/Soviet hegemony over Eurasia, thus establishing the primary geographical component of the intended World Government.” — ‘The Perestroika Deception’, by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn.

      http://www.spiritoftruth.org/The_Perestroika_Deception.pdf

      …and here’s more on the upcoming “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union…

      https://web.archive.org/web/20140210090314/http://www.russkiymir.ru/russkiymir/en/publications/interview/interview0004.html

      …and here’s Vladimir Putin in 2012 (the year before the anti-Communist Ukraine emergency erupted—the eruption due to the weakened security situation, where a critical number of Ukraine Ground Forces were in Turkey preparing to enter Iraq—placing a hold on the EU collapse operation) pushing the new union with Europe…

      “Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans. We are by no means indifferent to developments in united Europe.

      That is why Russia proposes moving toward the creation of a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – a community referred by Russian experts to as “the Union of Europe,” which will strengthen Russia’s potential and position in its economic pivot toward the “new Asia.”‘

      http://valdaiclub.com/politics/39300.html

  • Sherri

    You are an idiot, or feel like idiots citizens of their countries?
    Tearing to pieces of Yugoslavia. With bombs, return to the stone age
    Libya, Iraq, Syria, you still have the heart “analyze”, when normal
    people clean your shit for you? Das ish Fantastic!.. ))) Fieria! LoL )))

  • SYRIA: A WITCH’S BREW – ON THE ROAD TO TEHRAN
    February 27, 2012
    http://ray032.com/2012/02/27/syria-a-witchs-brew-on-the-road-to-tehran/

  • Cobbett

    What has America and it’s poodles(A.K.A.The ‘West’) achieved against ISIS in the last year? At least let’s see what the Russians can do before wetting ourselves over their invitation by a sovereign nation(unlike the US etc.)

  • slavatvp

    The intervention – military, political, informational or economic intervention of one or several states in the internal affairs of another State violates its sovereignty. Assad Head of State, requested military assistance from Russia. Where intervention ..!? :).

  • LoudonCleary

    The West’s folly was to think the only reason for tyranny (Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad) was the populace’s inability to throw it off. Empower them, went neocon theory, and democracy would bloom. They should have read some Montesquieu: democracy requires a people who respect reason; where people respect only strength, tyranny is the sole option. Who would better understand this than Vladimir Putin?

  • cdvision

    I stopped reading at ” In backing Assad, Putin is pushing back not just against the West and its support for democracy”.

    It was the US and its puppet the UK which backed the overthrow of the democratically elected Govt in Ukraine; Assad was elected by the Syrians. The CIA have been funding and training ISIS and the moderate Al Quaeda in Syria. The whole Syrian gig is about a gas pipeline that the US wants from Qatar. The US Nobel Peace Prize recipient has killed literally millions of innocents in the Middle East, and only this week had to apologise for bombing a hospital. Not to mentions the countless millions whose lives are ruined.

    This article is mis-informed rubbish.

  • Owen Matthews and I never agree on anything. I find myself agreeing with him. We should have all left Assad, Gaddafi and Saddam alone. Whether it’s UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi or many other Arab nations with no elected democracy. They are no different to Syria, Libya, Egypt or Iraq. Where religion influences a populous to such an extent they act, not think. A strong leader without dissent is possibly needed to rule effectively?

  • RJ45

    I bet that Putin and his allies will crush the revelation, followed by ISIS and restore order. Unlike UK and US forces in recent conflicts, Russian forces will not constrained by lawyers with unrealistic rules of engagement. Cameron was a fool for thinking that friendly democratic governments could be installed in these countries, thank god parliament stopped him from getting us struck in another quagmire.

    • Gilbert White

      Exactly what happened in Sri Lanka. With the UN involved this war would have lasted for ever. Leader tried to escape in a UN ambulance!!! Money for this war came out of London. China helped significantly here. Same as MSF supported by you and the UN. Does anybody know of MSF reporting when armed terror merchants take over a hospital at any time in the past. If terror merchants use hospitals or mosques or amnulances they must be dealt with. Never donate to MSF.

  • ata777

    It doesn’t take much to outwit a couple of nitwits.

  • bscook111

    It seems hubris and recklessness are on the rise in Russia’s circle of previously tamped down allies. Russia’s success or failure is not settled until it is evident whether she can control the level of chaos these allies will pursue. America has an opportunity to shut-up, clean up her debt level, restore competent leadership in civilian and military matters, and generally become prepared to perform more competently on the world stage.

  • Christian

    “full-scale food courts, shopping malls and acres of air-conditioned accommodation.” don’t win wars. Perhaps the Russians have realised this?

  • jeremy Morfey

    I do wish there were a public forum to discuss breaking news, rather than relying on total ignorance because we can no longer trust the British with free speech and open debate.

    I have analysed the situation and decided that the only force capable of bringing peace to Syria and Iraq is the Kurds, ran from Irbil. The main foes of the Kurds are Islamic State and Turkey. The mass murder yesterday in Ankara of pro-Kurdish peace protesters points to Islamic State or Erdogan. If it were Islamic State, surely they’d be crowing about it by now, boasting how they are escalating their terror and issuing dark warnings to Europe that they’re next, but Islamic State have been silent. Erdogan’s official pronouncements glibly stating out of disingenuous ignorance that it could only be PKK or ISIS suggests to me that he may have blood on his hands, and could well be threatening the stability of the whole of Europe by perpetuating the terrible calamity in Syria and the mass emptying of its population by refusing to negotiate with the Kurds an arrangement that could be mutually satisfactory -Turkish military support for the Kurds against ISIS and Assad in Syria and Iraq in return for a recognition of Turkish governance of the Kurdish provinces in Turkey.

    For the sake of Turkey and for the sake of Europe and for the sake of Peace, I hope and pray now that the truth will out about Erdogan and that voters in Turkey will take the necessary action to deal with it.

  • dannyboy116

    NAMBY PAMBY: It is true that we have lost some global influence to
    Russia (and others) because of foreign policy mistakes – but the USA is
    becoming a global leader in the “namby-pamby” arena, where we are still
    way out in front of other countries.

    Bruce Jenner is proclaimed a hero for pretending to be a girl!
    Gay couples can now force Christian bakers to make their wedding cakes for them!
    While
    Putin has been beefing up his military, we have been actively beefing
    up our “gender equality” and women’s studies programs.
    While Koreans
    and Chinese are studying Science and Technology, we are teaching our
    youngsters to be politically correct and sensitive to all!
    As a
    bonus, we have had the opportunity to learn that Black Lives Matter –
    but that it is very insensitive to say that “All Lives Matter”…
    So
    you see – while we may be getting our butts kicked over-seas, in the age
    of Obama we are making strong strides in much more important areas.

    • Darby42164

      And don’t forget the push for gender neutral bathrooms. A very important issue that, thank god, Democrats are finally addressing. Obama is on the ball and needs to advance gay issues and the hundreds of thousands being killed in the mideast are just not as important as gender neutral bathrooms. God save us.

      • snowshooze

        That isn’t God’s job.
        It is ours. With the sacrifice of Jesus, you’d think it wouldn’t be that hard.

  • Ebst

    Russia has it’s own oil and gas so can do as he, and a very large section of the worlds population, want…and that’s bomb Assad back into power. Like it or lump it, the game is up and it’s Putin that’s won. No Shira law is coming to Syria now….

    • jeremy Morfey

      Really? Russia cannot bomb Assad back to power by concentrating its fire on the Free Syrian Army and the hapless civilians.

      • Ebst

        A week or so ago NATO et al couldn’t tell you much at all about any incidents in Syria, but now they know where the bombs are landing etc?
        Only Russia knows the detail of the Russian strikes but their pilots are pretty well trained and accurate…do you really think they will target fire on civilians?
        There is no popular support for the FSA or any other “rebel” group, which is why this has dragged on for years despite the supply of weapons courtesy of the CIA and shadowy friends. Reaffirming the Assad government will be welcome among the wider population of Syria.

      • Cyril Sneer

        For godsake do some research – the Russians have been hitting ISIS.

        They’ve also hit the FSA and Nusra, Islamic Front, Al Sham all wahhabi throat cutters that fight alongside each other.

        They’re supporting the SAA offensive which is going on at the moment and that is in the Hama area – no ISIS there but all the other jihadist/terrorist groups are.

        Please do some f cking research before regurgitating MSM lies.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Turkey shoots down Russian Jet”
    Cat, pigeons.

    • Cyril Sneer

      This story is fake. The Daily Mail reported it days ago but the report come from ‘unconfirmed sources’ aka eye witnesses and both the Turk and Russian governments deny this happened. The Daily Mail has had the unconfirmed story up for days – you’d think by now they’d be able to find out whether it actually happened or not. This is just propaganda.

      Elsewhere on sites like Liveleak the report is regarded as fake by the users and it’s pretty unanimous.

  • boonteetan

    Putin is not confused, only the west is muddled. His goal is clear, and he wants his way not just in Russia but also in global affairs too.

  • snowshooze

    Speak for only yourself.

    Putin never got a thing over on me.

    You and Obama, Cameron and the rest…
    Fine. Don’t attempt to include me with the idiots.

  • mcgirv

    It’s easy to outwit the witless one in the White House.

  • jeremy Morfey

    So we have Russia claiming to be going for Islamic State and actually attacking the Free Syrian Army.

    We have Erdogan claiming to be going for Islamic State and actually attacking the Kurds.

    We have Israel claiming to be going for Islamic State and actually attacking Palestinians.

    We have the West claiming to be going for Islamic State and actually supplying them with mercenaries. weapons and money.

    Just who is taking on Islamic State?

    • Cyril Sneer

      Russia – they have been bombing but the airstrikes are currently focussed on supporting the SAA offensive which is mostly against the FSA, Al Nusra, Al Sham, Islamic Front etc in the Hama area.

  • will_ford

    not hard to lose when you have obozo up front.

  • itsy_bitsy

    Not hard to do when idiots are running our government!

  • A Simple Guest

    The so-called Syrian ”opposition” financed and armed by those who want to oust an elected president, killing those who support the legitimate president = TRAITORS – which do NOT have any moral right to be involved in negotiations.

    British citizens – how do you feel IF there will be ”freedom fighters” in your own country – payed and armed by ”foreign powers” – trying to overthrow the elected gov?

    What will be your reaction?

    Will you accept a coup in your own country?

    WHY the Westerners think that it is their RIGHT to change other country gov?

    The US & allies arrogance and aggressiveness (”exceptionalism”) already DESTROYED Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and killed Saddam and Qaddafi. And the consequence is the HUGE tsunami of illegal immigrants crossing Mediterana and coming in Europe.

    Coups should be made ILLEGAL and punished by International Court.

    Why west EU countries & US are ”friends” with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain – knowing that their gov imprison and torture and ultimately kill their opposition?

    Hypocrites – why do you cover the proofs of the cruelty of those regimes?

    Where are the PICTURES showing the people killed by those extremely repressive regimes?

    And more recently – here in Europe – do you REMEMBER that your emissaries in Kiev: Nuland & Pyatt phone conversation about installing ”Yats our man” in front of a new gov… France FM + German FM + Polish PM signed an agreement with Yanoukovich and the Ukrainian ”opposition” (US payed poopets) on the 21st of Feb 2015. Than agreement was NOT respected by Ukr opposition- and the result was a WAR with more than 8000 victims in the Eastern Ukraine! Even today – nobody knows for sure WHO shot the demonstrators and the Berkut security forces in Maidan… Ukraine is a FAILED state… because of a coup d’etat…

    Only-and-only Syrian people should decide WHO will be their president – not UK, not France, not US – or any other country for that matter.

    You have NO right what-so-ever to impose your arrogant mindless decision on the Syrian people!

    • Cyril Sneer

      Stop blaming the citizens. In case you haven’t noticed we have a media and government that no longer listens to us whilst producing nothing but propaganda.

      “Will you accept a coup in your own country?”

      As a matter of fact yes I would.

      But yes, the financing of foreign rebels to overthrow the legitimate ruler of a country is not within international law and is essentially illegal.

      The British public, the vast majority of them do not support our US led foreign policy.

    • warmingmyth

      You are right in what you state about regime change, but the following phrase “WHY the Westerners think that it is their RIGHT to change other country gov?” is not wholly accurate in that increasing numbers of Westerners are becoming opposed to that idea and many of the rest have their brains switched off and just do not think about these things as they have sub-contracted critical thinking to the main stream media who do it for them via incessant propaganda and lies.

    • somewhereinthesouth

      I suppose its all a question of legitimacy. I agree the future of Syria should largely be a matter for Syrians to decide – the question is how . Your statement assumes that power, opportunity and influence are fairly distributed in the country and between Syrians and various groups generally . That of course is questionable assumption to say the least . The question therefore is is this – Assad was certainly in control in Syria [and maybe that was a good thing for stability ] but was he legitimate leader ? – Arguably not , since he stayed in power by use of force , coercion and manipulation . So a coup, if led by the Syrians in opposition, might arguably be seen as more legitimate in such circumstances – especially IF the end result were the rule of law and democratic elections .Intervention by foreign powers [ on either side ] whether it be Russia, Iran or the US is however not legitimate [ although some will say on both sides it is desirable ].

  • Perched precariously on top of a mountain of unserviceable debt, Obama is reduced to huffing and puffing on the sidelines. Russia on the other hand has a budget surplus and more gold than the rest of the world put together. Money talks, that is real money, not the imaginary stuff cooked up by the Fed.

  • warmingmyth
  • StrategyKing

    Something resembling good analysis for a change. The questions about Putin’s goals and whether he can succeed are appropriate. What is Putin’s exit plan? At least on paper it seems a negotiated peace, bringing the warring factions to the table (minus ISIS) and some compromise political settlement. That is the only sensible exit plan, anything else means he has to send in a a few hundred thousand troops at least. If this is his plan, can he achieve this? Maybe, maybe not. If he can’t and the conflict just drags on what will be do?

    Reports of Iranian troops entering the fray seem exaggerated. Iranians have no reason to get caught in a bad land war either. And the whole part about Assad being only in control of 20% of Syria is a red herring. The parts he is in charge of are the highly populated areas by the coast. A vast amount of the other 80% of Syria is desert, where few if any live and no one would want to be in control of.

  • Bodkinn

    If is truly amazing that western leaders have never clued into the fact that our style democracy will never be workable in the Near East. There are too many disparate groups who will never make the concessions to each other necessary to make it possible. A strong man will always arise who will give a country stability and all the basics the people want. The tap water will flow, the power will stay on, commerce will do its thing, children will go to school and cities will not be bombed to destruction and thousands killed or turned into refugees as happens when mindless outsiders interfere in a culture they do not understand. The strong man will not be nice man if he wants to survive but of course he must not be too bad.

  • mikewaller

    To anybody with any sense, Putin is a very unpleasant throw-back to the middle period of the 20th Century and we all know how that ended. However, the wider analysis is correct. Mixed our motives may have been, but the idea in Iraqi, Libya and Afghanistan was to get rid of deeply unpleasant rulers so that the locals could set up decent replacements. After all, it had worked in Germany, Japan and Italy. This time, we and the locals failed comprehensively. Rather than heaping coals on our own heads, we should be trumpeting from the roof-tops what a pack of prats we think they are and that we would not make the same mistake for a fourth time! It would have been a lot fairer to have made that clear to the “good” Syrians before it all kicked off.

    • Grace Ironwood

      “get rid of deeply unpleasant rulers so that the locals could set up decent replacements”
      How many “goes” d’ya should we have at this?

      • Clive

        How many revolutions go well the first time ? It’s actually rarer than fans of, say, the American Revolution would think.

        Mostly, when a totalitarian ruler is removed, some kind of anarchy prevails for a while

        So it was and is in Iraq and Libya. They have a chance – they may not take it but they have a chance.

        With the dictators in charge, they had no chance.

        Afghanistan is another matter. It is a country so steeped in traditional culture you might as well try and turn the Vatican into a democracy.

        • Grace Ironwood

          Anarchy now. Come on, what’s the next step. What has been the next step everywhere else except for one country that has already been through this and is, to say the least, atypical.

  • Emerson Faria Cabral Paubel

    The world which was born after the end of Soviet Union was a New World Order ruled by the United States. However, it´s not the United States of the Founder Fathers, that is, those United States which emerged from a war against Great Britain´s oppressive rule and that were based upon freedom, republic and democracy; on the contrary, this New World Order – which is based upon political chaos, moral relativism and globalism and uses the military strength of the United States – is leading the world to a Third World War. Putin has realized this situation and encouraged the return of the nationalism in Russia with the support of Christian Orthodox Church and other conservative idealists. That’s why there´s a campaign in the Western world based upon infamous lies against Putin, because he´s not bent to the New World Order interests.

  • John Major

    My understanding is that, as of 17 Oct, Iran is already starting to send troops into Syria. I don’t understand, then, why Putin must fail in Syria. With the Russians providing air cover, why can’t the Iranian army units decimate ISIS? Getting all of Syria back under Assad’s control doesn’t seem that important, as long as, that is, the Shia-controlled government in Iraq is able to assert control of most of what used to be Iraq. ISIS, it seems, would find itself hemmed in on all sides and unable to sustain itself in the middle of a wasteland.

  • Richard Eldritch

    We don’t have the stones for interventions, hobbled as we are by cissy ‘uman rights, courts and assorted social democratic wibbling.

    • Grace Ironwood

      That is the reason why I suspect the Russians will be more effective with 10% of the firepower.
      The decadent social democracies can no longer prosecute War.

  • Grace Ironwood

    Putin has his own objectives, which don’t need Assad to be back in control of 100% of Syria.
    This writer does not provide a very nuanced or informed analysis.
    Interested readers may like to check out some of the writers at Asia Times Online for that.

  • twinscrew

    “Russia’s decisive intervention has left Barack Obama and David Cameron looking weak and confused”
    Hardly difficult is it to make these two look like idiots, I only wish we had as strong a leader in the UK, instead of following the EU down the path of sanctions we should embrace Russia and ignore the unelected commissars of the EU, the Russian people have more in common with us than the EU not least their wish to free the west from the islamic threat currently approaching.

  • Nockian

    Look: Iran, non secular hot bed of anti western religious fundamentalists and sponsors of terrorism. What about North Korea ? Instead we go and soft target secular countries by sponsoring and training the very same jihady thugs that hate the West. The government of the West are stupid kids playing games for the financial gains of bankers and corporates. Our foreign policy is a joke. We make deals with enemies who laugh at our attempts at negotiation. We have made a great big mess of things and Putin has capitalised on the soft, cretinous, muddled thinking of our bureaucratic fools, who think only about their political careers, biographies and bank accounts. It’s pitiful.

  • Clive

    Here is what is happening in Syria:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/syria-leader-assad-seeks-russian-protection-from-ally-iran-a-1056263.html
    …The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has long planned and carried out the most important missions and operations of the Syrian regime. They were responsible, right down to the details, for the sporadically successful offensives in Aleppo in the north and Daraa in the south, which began in 2013. In Iran, the Revolutionary Guard is one of those groups intent on continuing the “Islamic Revolution” — the victory of Shiites over the Sunnis. They are a state within a state, one which owns several companies and is answerable only to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. President Hassan Rohani has no power over the Revolutionary Guard whatsoever.

    Their goals go far beyond merely reestablishing the status quo in Syria. In early 2013, Hojatoleslam Mehdi Taeb, one of the planners behind Iran’s engagement in Syria, said: “Syria is the 35th province of Iran and it is a strategic province for us.” For several decades, the alliance between the Assads and Iran was a profitable one, particularly in opposition to the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, which long had the upper hand in the region. But today, Assad depends on Iran to remain in power, and Tehran is taking advantage of the situation.

    Using a variety of pathways, both civilian and military, Tehran is currently in the process of establishing itself in Syria. Military means are being employed to strengthen the holdings of the Shiite militia Hezbollah in areas near the border with Lebanon. To serve this goal, the Syrian National Defense Forces were established, troops that exist alongside the regular Syrian army and which includes tens of thousands of fighters who were trained in Iran. Still, the National Defense Forces have begun to disintegrate into local mafia militias and have actually accelerated the loss of state control over those regions…

    Remember as well, the west did not create this war. The Syrians did. The Russians; Syrian govt of Assad and Iranians with Hezbollah have formed an alliance to keep Syria under Assad’s power. In fact, it will be under Iran’s power with the Russians keeping their base at Tartus at least for the time being.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/report-syria-arming-hezbollah-with-75-soviet-era-tanks/
    …According to the report, the move comes as Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia have launched a “joint operations room” to coordinate their campaign to defeat the extremist Islamic State group, which has captured swathes of Syrian territory during the country’s four-year civil war, as well as the opposition groups, some linked to al-Qaeda, seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad….

    The Russians are bombing Assad’s most immediate threats who are for the most part not ISIS:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/putin-continues-aggressive-foreign-policy-in-syria-a-1057379.html
    …Indeed, the first few days of the Russian military operation in Syria were quick to show that Putin isn’t primarily interested in destroying Islamic State. Rather, he wants to keep Assad in power, an aim which he confirmed in his interview with Russian television this weekend. “Our task is to stabilize the legitimate government and to create conditions for a political compromise … by military means, of course,” Putin said.

    That explains why the Russian air force is primarily targeting rebel groups that pose a significant threat to Assad and his regime. As such, the Russians are fighting against one of the few, if not only, alternatives to the bloody, repressive dictator in Damascus. And they are fighting against the West’s allies in Syria…

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