Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 3727 times)

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Online Taman Tun

Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2013, 06:11:11 AM »
Vlad's letter to The Times:-

You Westerners are idiots. You believed me!
Edward Lucas
A message from Vladimir Putin: I’ve humiliated Obama and undermined Europe’s leaders. My plan is working
In yesterday’s New York Times I told Americans what I would like them to believe about my aims. Today, for readers of The Times in London, I would like to explain what I’m really up to.
My offer to oversee the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal is of course bogus, but it has been a gratifying success.
First, I have humiliated the West. I have exposed the divisions between European countries, between Europe and America, and also within your political systems. Your leaders can no longer act quickly when national security or principle is at stake. They will have to think about me and my reaction.
Barack Obama, a man I despise, is now at the mercy of his Congress, just as the toadying David Cameron tripped up over his ill-judged vote in Parliament. In particular, your carelessly drawn “red line” about the use of weapons of mass destruction is a fiction. The world can see that you have lost the the will to act, even when you make solemn public promises.
In Syria, your inaction and gullibility has opened a vacuum that the Islamist extremists will fill. That suits me fine. I believe in divide and rule and thrive when I have enemies that I can demonise (you can ask the Chechens). You have demoralised those foolish rebels who believed that the West was on their side. And you have further undermined your credibility with Turkey, a large and useful country that is increasingly run along lines of which I approve.
I have bought time for the Assad regime. I do not actually care about Syria or Syrians. Our arms contracts there are small by the standards of what we sell elsewhere. Russia’s naval base there is symbolically important (and useful for electronic snooping on Britain’s base in Cyprus), but until I have finished rearming and have regained a proper fleet, it is of no military use.
I do not want the Assads to fall, and especially not at your hands. Toppling authoritarian regimes could easily become a habit and I like authoritarian regimes. I want the civil war to continue. because instability in the Middle East keeps the oil price up — which is a boon for my annoyingly uncompetitive economy.
Did I mention that the chemical weapons offer was bogus? So are most things I say. As a proud former KGB man, I know that words are merely servants of ideas. We were good at disinformation and bluff then. We are even better at it now.
I do know a lot about Assad’s chemical weapons, because much of it was sold by my Soviet predecessors, and we have been secretly selling delivery systems via Belarus in the meantime. There is a great deal of it. You do not seriously believe that we, or anyone else, are going to collect, verify and destroy it, and in the middle of a civil war? I thought not.
What my diplomatic theatre does achieve is to soak up the remnants of Western will power. It will drag on interminably and nobody will have the courage to speak out against it again. You are all privately relieved that you do not have to deal with the Syrian crisis and I’ve given you an excuse for inaction.
The biggest benefit for me is that nobody will want to confront me. My record as a diplomatic spoiler has been whitewashed. So has all the talk from America about “recalibrating” the relationship. From now on, “Russian goodwill” will be essential for the farce to continue.
So don’t criticise me for locking up dissidents (or letting them die in prison). Don’t object if I bully my ex-Soviet neighbours (I start a big military exercise on the borders of the Baltic states and Poland next week, by the way). Don’t investigate the billions of dollars that my friends and I launder through Western banks. Don’t attack my manipulation of the European gas market. Don’t try prosecuting your citizens who get caught selling secrets to my spies. Don’t complain about my attitude to gay Russians. In short, don’t do anything to offend me. Otherwise I will stop “helping” you in Syria.
Your bumbling is particularly gratifying because times were tough before this happened. People mocked my manly torso when I appeared in public. Economic growth had stalled. Several former Soviet republics were about to sign important deals with the EU. One of my most troubling rivals, Alexei Navalny, had done rather well in the Moscow mayoral election.
Now those troubles are behind me. You have put Russia back at the centre of world decision-making in a way it has not been for years. I will continue to watch your mistakes and will exploit them ruthlessly. I have no doubt that the callow and poll-driven politicians you elect will make many more. In the meantime, please accept my thanks. Russian interests are in better health today.
Yours sincerely, Vladimir
(Edward Lucas writes for the Economist and is author of Deception: Spies, Lies and how Russia dupes the West)

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill


  • Guest
Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2013, 09:55:50 AM »
I notice that that the talking heads on CNN are more concerned with their indignation that Putin dare to give advice to the US than with the possibility that we may have an opportunity to avoid the mayhem threatened by Obama. It's a pity that insularity, criticism and arrogance holds sway over the subject of the disaster in Syria and how to deal with it short of adding more fuel to the fire.

Offline Al

Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2013, 10:29:58 AM »
Saf, i would not worry too much about what the CNN talking heads are saying.  Their viewer numbers are so small they are practically invisible.


  • Guest
Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2013, 10:47:43 AM »
Al, I hope that other channels are taking a more open view of what Putin has said.

Offline Al

Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2013, 03:35:26 AM »
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan, Mr. Putin's editorial was written by a public relations firm.

Offline Al

Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2013, 03:44:00 AM »

Offline pop401k

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Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2013, 08:07:11 AM »
With all the gamesmanship and spin going on, it's easy to lose sight of one important fact.  It stiil has not been proven conclusively that it was Assad's regime who used the gas.  Until that is established, any attack on the legitimate government of Syria is simply an act of aggession.  Some folks may say that Putin tricked or trapped Obama, but I see it as a superior statesman helping a lesser, thus avoiding what could become a war crimes charge against the Obama administration.

Having said that, I'm sure Putin is savoring the moment and Obama is relieved at not having to use force (against the will of an overwhelming majority of the American public).


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Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2013, 09:45:02 AM »
Not only is there no evidence yet that Assad made the attacks but, until the UN inspectors report today, there is no proof that there was an attack.

I discount the allegations made in the US and UK. They have given no proof of their allegations and, after the Iraq WMD lies, that will remain my attitude. I also discount the several unfounded allegations that Assad has used chemical weapons on many occasions. It's unfounded propaganda for the unthinking amongst the audience.

The disparaging remarks about Putin are made from a country that likes to tell the rest of the world how to behave but can't take it back. Sure, he's a politician playing all the tricks. However, he proposed a peaceful solution when Obama did no more than reach for his gun. Perhaps Putin has demonstrated that the days of the international bully are almost over.

Offline Al

Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2013, 10:13:03 PM »
Another perspective on Mr. Putin and his motives . . .

Offline Al

Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2013, 07:26:22 AM »
It sounds reaching an agreement on the chemical weapons was the easy part . . .


  • Guest
Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2013, 07:30:13 AM »
Will the UN Inspectors' report make the process easier or more difficult?

We now have, apparently, undeniable proof that chemical weapons were used. CNN reports that the casing carried Russian markings. That suggests either Assad was the culprit or they had fallen into other hands. Perhaps now with the focus on removing such weapons we shall never know.

Offline Baby Farts

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Re: Civil War in Syria
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2013, 07:47:05 AM »