The Russians are coming.

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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:26 pm

Vice has a good episode on fighting IS which includes the Russian air base in Syria.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:38 pm

onebir wrote:
Michael wrote:Imagine if USA and Russia made a non-treaty commitment to Israel that no attacks would ever come from Syria?

Erm, why would (/should?) Israel trust them? Bashar Al Assad eventually ceased to credibly threaten Israel, but his the extent of his son's reliance on Iran probably means regime change in Iran would be a minimum prerequisite for this. But a further complication is the oil/gas find in the Golan Heights, by a company with some really influential Neocon directors.

Michael wrote:Should the inability of these small countries to reach agreements be allowed to threaten the rest of the world for another 50 years?

Is this the main threat to world peace? Looks like much of this thread has been about large countries manipulating smaller countries, ethnic and religious tensions, in their struggle for world hegemony. Should the inability of US, Russia, Germany, & to some extent UK & France to reach agreements be allowed to threaten the rest of the world for another 200 years?

That's a good counterpoint. To clarify, I think the Syrian war shows how things line up behind USA, Russia, Turkey/Saudi Arabia/Israel and that if the top dawgs like USA and Russia find common ground, such as limitations on destabilization tactics that include terrorism, in order to facilitate, or even to some extent impose, a peace deal in Syria, the same diplomacy could be directed toward other problems, such as Israel/Palestine or toward problems such as the one you mentioned, "inability of US, Russia, Germany, & to some extent UK & France to reach agreements be allowed to threaten the rest of the world for another 200 years?".
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:19 pm

grzegorz wrote:Vice has a good episode on fighting IS which includes the Russian air base in Syria.

Thanks for the tip.

18 minutes in and it's mainly about how a ragtag group of locals with a few AK's have stopped ISIS in their area, but ISIS is undefeatable. Captured ISIS fighter says "they are undefeatable on the ground" and have a great strategy, discounting their loss of Ramadi, which he implies they can retake any time.

Might watch the rest later, but had enough of ISIS is invincible myths for now.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:11 am

Michael wrote:I think the Syrian war shows how things line up behind USA, Russia, [Iran*], Turkey/Saudi Arabia/Israel and that if the top dawgs like USA and Russia find common ground, such as limitations on destabilization tactics that include terrorism, in order to facilitate, or even to some extent impose, a peace deal in Syria, the same diplomacy could be directed toward other problems, such as Israel/Palestine or toward problems such as the one you mentioned, "inability of US, Russia, Germany, & to some extent UK & France to reach agreements be allowed to threaten the rest of the world for another 200 years?".


Sadly that's a huge 'if'. There's a huge conflict of interest between a Russia (a big resource exporter, & huge chunk of the McKinder 'world island') and the US (recipient of the 'exhorbitant privilege' of printing the world's reserve currency, thereby paying for the military superiority necessary to keep the reserve currency, especially post 2008 & QE). And that's just one pair of interested parties; it seems like the factions and interests in Syria might be so numerous, varied and unpredictable that the situation could continue running off the rails.

Even this thinking also presupposes that the 'top dawgs' are more or less who they should be, and aligned with the 'interests of the people'. But most (all?) of the actors involved have huge, somewhat-to-totally opaque 'national security' structures, elements of which may have gone rogue. They're don't care much about legal limitations on their activities (eg Iran-Contra) and they seem more or less unaccountable.

I just hope there is common ground somewhere short of world/nuclear war.

*http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/ncri-statements/terrorism-fundamentalism/19909-iran-regime-deploys-60-000-irgc-forces-and-foreign-mercenaries-in-syria
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:50 am

Heard some news from Voltaire Network last week that Kremlin and White House have a deal for Syrian peace plan, made without other state apparatus, necessary because of factionalism and the rogue national security structures, like the one who prevented the possibility of this happening summer 2013 with the Snowden item. Obama and Putin were going to meet then and might have averted 3 years of tragedy, but there are other interests at play.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:24 am

Michael wrote:Heard some news from Voltaire Network last week that Kremlin and White House have a deal for Syrian peace plan, made without other state apparatus, necessary because of factionalism and the rogue national security structures, like the one who prevented the possibility of this happening summer 2013 with the Snowden item. Obama and Putin were going to meet then and might have averted 3 years of tragedy, but there are other interests at play.

Couldn't find the article (here: http://www.voltairenet.org ?). I think Snowden had deep state sponsorship of some kind. But this interpretation seems only to fit in retrospect: how would sponsors keen on disrupting US/Russia relations have known Snowden would get asylum in Russia? (Unless the Russian deep state was cooperating, perhaps?)
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:08 pm

Snowden was stranded by US State Dept. in Moscow, who did not have many options about refusing him political asylum (maybe partly because of typical USA brazen behavior grounding the Pres. of Bolivia in Austria), and Moscow's "meddling" was at the center of Obama's change in plans to meet privately with Putin at the G20 (or G sth. can't recall now which one) that was happening around the time of Snowden's arrival. So Snowden's appearance prevented, in my view, the chance for Obama and Putin to come to the agreement that has now occurred, which was probably predictable to have happened back then as Obama is the least hawkish person in the administration.

For a few reasons I've gone over before, it seemed obvious to me at the time that Snowden, whether he knows it or not, was simply a way to throw a spanner in the US-Russia "reset", as well as release information that was conducive to Arab Spring color revolution destabilizations. He popped up in Hong Kong, China and Russia both told him no thanks, then he goes to Moscow anyways and gets stranded.

Russia is not cooperating on Snowden, they really don't care much, he's an obvious trouble maker, but they couldn't refuse him asylum. The theory would be that Obama and Putin are making deals and trying to avoid interference from the national security apparatus and other interests that prefer the strained relations of the past 70 years.

The report from Voltairenet was something I heard in an interview between Webster Tarpley and Thierry Messan here.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:08 am

Michael wrote:Snowden was stranded by US State Dept. in Moscow, who did not have many options about refusing him political asylum (maybe partly because of typical USA brazen behavior grounding the Pres. of Bolivia in Austria)

So why did he go to HK first, and spend months there:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Sn ... ted_States
(Perhaps trying to claim asylum in China?) If HK (& China??) could refuse him asylum while he was in HK, why not Russia? I don't think it would have looked weak - Russia has secrets to keep (eg Ryazan).

Michael wrote:So Snowden's appearance prevented, in my view, the chance for Obama and Putin to come to the agreement that has now occurred

Quite possible, but 'Snowden as premeditated US/Russia wedge" doesn't really stack up IMHO.

Michael wrote:The report from Voltairenet was something I heard in an interview between Webster Tarpley and Thierry Messan here.

Thanks - I'd missed that one. I listen to Tarpley, & find him interesting. But I bear in mind he was high up in the (old school fascist) Larouche Movement, not sure he's entirely detached from it now.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:31 am

I don't know what the deal was with Tarpley and Larouche, but there doesn't seem to be any connection now. If you know other good sources, I'd like to check them out.

About Snowden's time in HK, I don't know, but maybe he was hanging out (in his limited fashion) for the right moment to create the wedge? It was a few weeks, not months, but whatever.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:04 am

Michael wrote:I don't know what the deal was with Tarpley and Larouche, but there doesn't seem to be any connection now. If you know other good sources, I'd like to check them out.

I believe he was pretty senior in the Larouche organisation, including setting up their European branch (Schiller Institute - 'We need a movement that can finally free Germany from the control of the Versailles and Yalta treaties...' Think I've heard that one before ;) ).

Frankly the whole mess is so complicated it's difficult to know what even constitutes a good source; I just bear in mind that while a lot of his commentary is valid, there's probably also significant bias around some issues. (Much like mainstream news, Al Jazeera, RT, Press TV, Global Research, etc.)

Michael wrote:About Snowden's time in HK, I don't know, but maybe he was hanging out (in his limited fashion) for the right moment to create the wedge? It was a few weeks, not months, but whatever.

Not sure he could have been certain he'd get to Moscow to present Putin with that fait accoompli/sticky choice - airlines can reject passengers easily enough. Overall, probably an op, but exact motives a bit imponderable. (US/Russia wedge, damage US relations with other countries, damage US dominance in cloud computing, damage Obama, create reservoir of leaks for selective future use, limited hangout for US deep state - take your pic... & add a few more! The Op that keeps giving ;) )
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:36 am

Frankly the whole mess is so complicated it's difficult to know what even constitutes a good source; I just bear in mind that while a lot of his commentary is valid, there's probably also significant bias around some issues. (Much like mainstream news, Al Jazeera, RT, Press TV, Global Research, etc.)

That's about the size of it.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:22 pm

Russia and USA announce cessation of hostilities to begin this Saturday for all who want to do so, except ISIS, Al Nusra and other UNSC designated terrorists.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/02/253115.htm

Putin's statement
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:25 am

Hope it sticks. Any idea who's on the UNSC list? (Particularly Hezbollah & IRGC -- Google wasn't forthcoming.)

ISIS, Jabhat Al-Nursa, and other terrorist organisations designated by the United Nations Security Council, are excluded from the cessation of hostilities.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:19 am

That's the only clear thing I could find, that it's designated by UNSC.

Other articles said there were differences on Hezbollah. Russia and Syria said they weren't, USA said they were since 1997.

Another article somewhere, "One dispute is over the groups Ahrar-as-Sham and Jaish al-Islam. Russia and Syria consider terrorists; Saudi Arabia, the United States and others view as legitimate opposition groups."

Apparently Jordan has the primary responsibility for determining terrorists groups.
Statement of the ISSG wrote:The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan agreed to help develop among intelligence and military community representatives a common understanding of groups and individuals for possible determination as terrorists, with a target of completion by the beginning of the political process under UN auspices.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:28 am

Sounds like it could be another "PR agreement (papering over non-agreement on key points public is won't dumb to notice, disputes/breakdowns over which can be blamed on the other side)" :-\
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