The Russians are coming.

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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:09 am

It was one of the sticking points last October, if I recall correctly. Lavrov kept telling Kerry there had to be agreement about which were opposition groups and it basically took this long to get there, a-hem, after military operations had their effect.

If aid starts pouring in to large areas without any shots fired because they all registered as opposition, it could work even if some of those groups are disputed.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:58 am

Dave Emory also thinks Snowden's flight/revelations were partly done to mess up the Obama/Putin summit:
http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ ... dly-spook/
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:25 am

An interview from May 2015 with a German author who spent 6 months negotiating with ISIS about his coming for a proper media visit, and he spent 10 days with them. It gets better past midway when the older German politely takes control of the conversation.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zyvavEdntU
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:35 am

Russia pulling out of Syria after 6 months. They stabilized Syria and helped the government regain control, while attacking ISIS effectively and not allowing Turkey to provoke them. I think it helped the peace overall and was necessary to prevent Syria being an endless war zone until it broke up, probably worse than Libya.

When was the last time the USA pulled out of a country? Does Iraq count? Somewhat comparable to this as Russia maintains its long-held naval base and new air base.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:31 am

Michael wrote:Russia pulling out of Syria after 6 months. They stabilized Syria and helped the government regain control, while attacking ISIS effectively and not allowing Turkey to provoke them.

Did they attack ISIS much? Some sources say they + Iran (+ Assad?) wanted ISIS left as last rebel group standing, before coercing the rest of the world into helping wipe them out (potentially leaving Assad/Iran in control of Syria to original borders).

Not sure who to believe - again...
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:06 pm

1) Saying one is "pulling out" is relative, and doesn't have anything to do with actual operations. But, let's assume that it's true. How can it be a success if IS hasn't been dismantled or defeated? If IS is still operating, how is Assad safer? It's arguable that the Russian mission had little to do with IS at all. There are also reports that Russia deliberately targeted hospitals --not specifically to kill patients, but to force people in rebel areas to leave because without hospitals no one can stay.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35579767

It's true that there's no way to "believe" anyone because it'll be propaganda. However, there are tangible ways to measure if and how much IS is still in control and where. The other pressing issue is emigration. How well, if at all, has rebuilding of the Syrian infrastructure proceeded and is there any work being done in terms of repatriation? Does Russian withdrawal help or hinder future efforts, or is it "mission accomplished"?

Of course, getting troops out of danger is always good thing. But, I'm not sure that it can always be called a "victory." Anyway, people said Putin was right to go in, and now they'll say he's right to pull out.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:52 pm

I think Russia was successful in strengthening the current government of Syria, which I think is the best way to end the fighting, because depending upon whom you ask, 70-90+% of the anti-govt. fighters in Syria are foreign and this can be verified to some extent. They were shipped in with the help of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, often through a former Libya that NATO made into a terrorist transit zone, and they buy weapons from the US/NATO backed rebels in Syria.

This state-sponsored foreign terrorism could go one forever and I think Russia's efforts will be for the greater good of the Syrian people the sooner the war ends. Russia's presence, both militarily and diplomatically, is hastening the end of the war, which is clearly evident by what was happening for 2½ years before their successful diplomatic involvement to prevent escalations after the Ghouta chemical weapons attack in Aug. 2013, resulting in Syria agreeing to give up its chemical weapons. There was also the increase in ISIS territory from mid-2014 until late 2015 when the Russian air force began its attacks, which coincided with decreased ISIS territory, as well as diplomatic progress resulting in the talks that are happening now and the current cessation of hostilities.

Compare what happened with and without Russia's involvement.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:13 pm

Nothing's stopped, Mike. If there was any attempt to end IS attacks on Assad, is there evidence of success? Since Russian involvement, the refugee crisis has worsened.

I hope that it's better now, but if Russia goes back I have the impression that it will also be considered a good thing. I'm waiting to see what works, not hear what's declared. Fingers crossed for the best.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby onebir on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:29 am

Michael wrote:There was also the increase in ISIS territory from mid-2014 until late 2015 when the Russian air force began its attacks, which coincided with decreased ISIS territory, as well as diplomatic progress resulting in the talks that are happening now and the current cessation of hostilities.


Russian intervention started about the same time as (official) formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces*. Perhaps the SDF (likely heavily supported by special ops units) was the major factor in ISIS territorial losses. IDK.

Formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces* was announced a couple of days after the big Ankara bombing**. Responsibility for this remains unclaimed. Some of the Turkish opposition blamed the govt (AKP), saying they were trying to drive a wedge between joint Turkish-Kurdish anti-govt forces.

But I wonder if (part of?) the Turkish govt hadn't tacitly agreed to cooperate with the SDF, and reduce support for ISIS. With this bombing of just days before formation of the SDF - which may also represent a form of Turkish-Kurdish cooperation, since the SDF is largely Kurdish - as blowback.

(The alt media focuses on Turkish support for ISIS, & there seems to be pretty good evidence of that, but Turkey repeatedly allowed Kurdish fighter into Kobane. So thing's aren't that simple...)

*
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_m ... _Civil_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Democratic_Forces
**
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Ankara_bombings
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby chud on Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:20 am

Michael wrote:Russia pulling out of Syria after 6 months. They stabilized Syria and helped the government regain control, while attacking ISIS effectively and not allowing Turkey to provoke them. I think it helped the peace overall and was necessary to prevent Syria being an endless war zone until it broke up, probably worse than Libya.

When was the last time the USA pulled out of a country? Does Iraq count? Somewhat comparable to this as Russia maintains its long-held naval base and new air base.


Yes, the Russians seem to be have managed their presence in Syria well, they were more effective than Obama and his people expected, and they managed to avoid the quagmire and get out as soon as they completed their mission.
The US on the other hand seems to have a problem with mission creep almost every time it goes into another country.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:12 pm

Yeah, the Russians did a great job of cutting and running.

When the going gets tough you can always cut and run.

I don't buy any of it, anymore than any pro-US propaganda of what's happening over there. Some suggest that the Russians only took back a small area.

Of course debate as pointless as screaming that nazis run Ukraine. Time shatters all illusions.

Yes, the Russians showed up, destroyed ISIS and the world will never hear from the bad guys ever again. Yeah right, just turn on your TV.
Last edited by grzegorz on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:32 am

I have seen a positive trend since last summer with multiple visits by Kerry going to Moscow, and I think one by Lavrov to DC. In general, I think cooperation between the USA and Russia is the best course and specifically I think that's proven true in Syria. My interpretation is that Russia's support of Syria has made it impossible to prevent high level cooperation between Kerry and Lavrov, as well as between Obama and Putin. This cooperation is highly visible, as opposed to the other obscure, influential forces that always seem to lead more toward war and suffering.

So here's an article describing Kerry's latest visit to Moscow.

Kerry in Moscow: Penny has dropped; isolating Russia was never going to work
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:57 am

In an interview last Friday by Webster Tarpley with Thierry Messan, the latter journalist, based in Damascus since the war began, has reported that, contrary to the usual sources, the announcement by Putin to withdraw from Syria was not a surprise to anyone involved, including Assad, and in no way indicates problems between Russia and Syria. In fact, there is a recent agreement between Obama and Putin, including Assad, to end the war in Syria, for the US to support the YPG Kurds there with weapons to fight ISIS since they defeated them in Kobane, who are now selling, and will continue to sell weapons to the PKK Kurds inside Turkey, and that Obama and Putin have agreed to cooperate for the end of Erdogan's rule in Turkey.

Messan says Turkey has fooled the EU on the refugee crisis because they have agreed to give him 3 BILLION Euro per year to keep the refugees/immigrants out of Europe. He says there was previously a deal between France and Erdogan, arranged by Juppe and Alland, to help Turkey created a Kurdistan in northern Syria, to where Erdogan would expel all the unwanted Kurds from Turkey, under the leadership promised to one of their own. However, when the USA changed its policy toward Turkey's involvement in Syria last summer, France chose to follow the new US policy and reneged on its agreement with Erdogan, for which it is likely that he arranged the Nov. 13 Paris attacks as a response, according to Messan.

And according to Messan, Erdogan is the prime suspect in the Brussels bombings last week following his March 18 speech specifically warning Brussels of the likelihood of being bombed, and accusing them (Belgium and Europe) of terrorism for supporting the PKK Kurds inside Turkey. This was followed on Mar. 24 by Erdogan's saying the bombings were just punishment.

Messan characterizes the current situation as Obama and Putin cooperating against the EU, who are, at some level, keen to regain influence over the Middle East in Libya and Syria. In that context, the direct communication between Obama-Putin / Kerry-Lavrov is superseding those who have enabled the Syrian Civil War.

DISCLAIMER: I think a lot of what Messan reports checks out, but his report last year about Russian electronic countermeasures demoralizing a US Navy ship so badly that 27 resigned was never confirmed, nor was the claim that all NATO communications could be stopped by Russia. It takes lots of news sources to get any kind of balance picture of far away, complicated events.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:03 pm

So since the terrorists were from Russia and two former Soviet states does that mean Russia was behind the attack on the Turkish airport or do conspiracy theories only apply to the US and its allies?

Just curious. ;)
Last edited by grzegorz on Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:19 am

No idea. I'm focusing more on my southern strategy than geopolitics these days.

Go <insert name of country here>. Long live <insert name of demagogue here>.

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