Daily Archives: October 1, 2015
If the drama the United States is involved in with Syria makes zero sense, there may be a startling revelation coming your way.
It’s no shock to anyone with open eyes, that Barack Obama has no love for the traditional America we grew up with. At every turn in his presidency, he’s used every opportunity to put America down, or rather, set up to fail. This is because his ideal ‘America’ is vastly different from the founding father’s intent.
America and Russia have long been set up as enemies. But how much of this is valid? Could some of this actually be propaganda to divert any guilt away from Obama? Russia prevented a U.S.-led invasion of Syria before. Did Putin see the downside of another U.S.-led war that would pull the rest of the world into it?
In this Video Putin reveals that the lines between ISIS and the Syrian rebels backed by the United States, are virtually indistinguishable. Putin makes the connection that ISIS is selling oil to American allies, and that the U.S. has influence over these allies. He basically accuses Obama of laundering money to ISIS – via our allies – who are purchasing their oil.
Here’s what Putin says in totality:
“Who on earth armed them? Who armed the Syrians that were fighting with Assad? Who created the necessary political/ informational climate that facilitated this situation? Who pushed for delivery of arms to the area?
Do you really not understand as to who is fighting in Syria? They are mercenaries mostly. Do you understand they are paid money? Mercenaries fight for whichever side pays more. So they arm them and pay them a certain amount. I even know what these amounts are.
So they fight. They have the arms. You can’t even get them to return the weapons of course at the end. Then they discover elsewhere pays a little more. So they go fight there.
Then they occupy the oil fields, wherever in Iraq, in Syria. They start extracting the oil, and this oil is purchased by somebody.
Where are the sanctions on the parties purchasing this oil?
Do you believe the U.S. does not know who is buying it? Is it not their allies that are buying oil from ISIS?
Do you not think the U.S. has the power to influence their allies? Or, is the point they indeed do not wish to influence them?
Then why bomb ISIS?”
Putin goes on to point out that the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels we armed were bombed, and they immediately went and joined ISIS.
Was this the point?
It’s strange to hear such plain talk about the situation from Putin. Are the tables flipped so much that we are receiving more truth from our ‘enemy’ than from our leaders themselves?
The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.
President Obama (remember him?) embraced the ideals espoused by the United Nations’ founders 70 years ago: Diplomacy and “international order” will win over time, while might and force will lose.
Putin, too, appealed to UN laws (as he sees them), but he also used his speech to announce the formation of a “broad international coalition” to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
“Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of forces” to fight “those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind,” he said.
And who’d lead this new coalition? Hint: Moscow has always celebrated the Allies’ World War II victory as a Russian-led fete.
Oh, and if anyone wondered which Syrian players the coalition would rely on as allies, Putin made it clear: “No one but President [Bashar al-]Assad’s armed forces and Kurd militia are fighting the Islamic State.”
That, of course, isn’t Obama’s view. America’s president said he opposed the “logic of supporting tyrants.” After all, Assad “drops barrel bombs on innocent children.”
But Putin has troops in Syria, is arming Assad to the teeth and signed a pact of anti-ISIS intelligence-sharing with Assad, Iran and the leaders of Iraq (the ones America fought to put in power).
And after meeting Obama for the first time in two years Monday, he spoke vaguely about future “joint air attacks on ISIS.” But no agreement on Assad was reached in the 90-minute meeting.
Meantime, if Obama has any realistic Syria plan of his own — beyond having Assad magically “transitioned” out of the country and simultaneously fighting ISIS — he failed to present it during his UN speech. Or any other time.
Instead, he scolded an “isolated” Putin for using force to annex Crimea and other parts of Ukraine. “Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy,” said Obama. “That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.”
Then again, imagine if Obama’s eloquence were backed by, say, American-led NATO. Would Putin so easily be able to eat up Ukraine and take over Syria? Not likely.
But even as he chided Russia, China and even Iran for being steeped in the policies of the past, it was Obama who at times sounded like a throwback to days of yore.
His celebration of the United Nations was reminiscent of scenes from 1950s movies that portrayed it as a place where problems are actually resolved. In reality, along the decades (and even more so in the last six years), the UN became so paralyzed that it can no longer serve as arbiter of global security.
Obama’s speech was, as ever, full of promise. His turn from using “might” to claiming to have “right” on his side and relying on diplomacy have led to America’s opening up to Cuba and a key deal with Iran on nukes. But these are yet to yield positive results. “If this deal is implemented,” he said of Iran, “our world is safer.” Big if.
By contrast, Putin’s deployment of forces in Syria and arming of Assad create facts on the ground. They have also propelled him to the top by taking initiative on today’s most consequential world fight.
Although Obama received much less applause during his Monday speech than in past years, he’s still well-liked at the world body. Yet those who count, the ones he scolded in his speech — Putin, Assad, China’s Xi Jinping and even Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani — weren’t in their seats to hear his words.
Because as forceful as Obama’s words are, they’re rarely backed by action.
Putin? Nobody applauded him. He’s more interested in being feared than liked. Then again, his words, at most, are meant to explain forceful action.
That’s how Putin seized leadership from America.
And that, to borrow from Obama’s speech, is bad for Syria, where the war will continue as long as Assad remains in power. It’s bad for Europe and Syria’s neighbors, which have no idea what to do with that war’s refugees.
And it’s bad for America. Because sooner or later, after more bloodshed and under even worse conditions than now, our next president will be called upon to retake the leadership baton from Putin. And that could prove tricky.
For four years, Syria’s civil war has raged unchecked, spawning both a refugee crisis that has engulfed Europe and an Islamist terror group of unprecedented reach and financial resources.
Throughout that period, while Bashar al-Assad has continued to rain barrel bombs and chemical munitions on his own people, the West has largely stood by, paralysed by indecision.
Vladimir Putin has many shortcomings as a leader, but indecisiveness is not among them. By first deploying Russian forces to Syria and then ordering air strikes in the rebel-held areas of Homs and Hama, Mr Putin has shown his willingness to use force to prosecute his own strategic goal – namely the preservation of the Assad regime.
At a stroke, Mr Putin’s rough gambit has exposed the obvious limits of Western policy on Syria – a policy of containment in which the US and it’s allies did just enough to protect the Kurds and stem the jihadist tide at the gates of Baghdad. The half-hearted air campaign was designed to create the “strategic space” for local forces to stand up against the menace of Isil, but to date that has not happened. Instead Syria’s civil war has only intensified.
The cost of indecision turned out to be all the consequences that those who eschewed all action feared intervention would bring – chemical weapons strikes, regional chaos, mass casualties, a global refugee crisis and the broader undermining of confidence in the notion of a global commons.
Even when the White House realised its policy was failing, its efforts to intervene have descended into farce, with latest reports suggesting that only four or five of the “Division 30” rebel force that was intended to turn the tide against Assad are still fighting in Syria – at a cost of $9?million (pounds 5.9?million) each.
The shabby incoherence of Western policy created a vacuum into which Mr Putin has stepped, challenging the West to join him in a bogus alliance with Assad against the jihadist threat.
This is a disingenuous offer that the West can never accept, since it would both entrench the Assad regime and very possibly further swell the ranks of Isil as mainstream Sunnis were forced to choose between annihilation at the hands of Assad or fighting alongside their co-religionists.
For now, as Russian bombs fall in support of Assad, the West has little alternative but to protest and remind Mr Putin that his intervention comes with costs both at home and abroad.
Mr Putin still boasts approval ratings of above 70 per cent, but this unilateral intervention in Syria will surely harden the resolve of both the US and Europe to maintain sanctions when they come up for renewal at the end of the year.
Mr Putin’s unspoken bargain with the Russian people is to provide economic and physical security in return for their support – but that has already been tested by a 10 per cent fall in wages and mounting casualties in Ukraine.
His move in the Middle East exposes Russia to a significant risk, in Syria but also at home. As Dr Igor Sutyagin, Russia specialist at the Royal United Services Institute, notes, Isil has only two declared foreign enemies – the US and Russia – and Russia’s borders are long and porous.
Even before things start to go wrong, public support for Mr Putin’s intervention appears lukewarm. A survey by one of Russia’s only independent pollsters this month found only 14 per cent of Russians agreed that Moscow should provide “direct military support” to the Syrian government.
Mr Putin has chosen to ignore that sentiment, which is a gamble that he will quickly come to regret if Russian forces are dragged into a protracted fight to save the Assad regime.
Russians well remember Afghanistan, the last time they became embroiled in a jihadist war of attrition. Taking casualties in Ukraine is one thing; fighting a long campaign in Syria or terror attacks at home would be a different proposition altogether.