The Russians are coming.

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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:47 am

Michael wrote:Another example of the problem with USA foreign policy on Syria. On October 13, 2015, during a pro-Assad and pro-Putin demonstration in the streets that eventually led nearby to the Russian embassy in Damascus, there were two mortar attacks on the embassy building. Russia categorized these as terrorist attacks, but the USA refused to acknowledge them as such in a letter issued by the UN Security Council.

source wrote:Russia criticized the United States on Wednesday for refusing to support the statement of the United Nations Security Council condemning the terrorist attack against the Russian Embassy in Damascus.

"Unfortunately our American colleagues, who are interested in whether we are fighting terrorism, refused to support it (the statement) in the wording which described the incident as a terrorist attack," Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Duma, or lower house of parliament.

Lavrov stressed that the U.S. proposed instead to write that «we condemn the attack and affirm that responsibility for the security of embassies and consulates are covered by the host party», referring to the Syrian government.

"It is sad that our American colleagues in this case in fact do not side with those who fight against terrorism and condemn terror.

"Once again we have to speak about double standards," Lavrov added.

Lavrov stressed that the Security Council of the U.N. "always" issued statements condemning "this kind of attacks (...), wherever they take place."

The Russian embassy in Damascus came under mortar shelling on Tuesday morning.

The embassy's residential quarters was hit by two shells.

No one was killed or wounded.

Lavrov also mentioned that Washington rejected the proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold a bilateral meeting at the highest political and military levels to coordinate positions in the fight against terrorism and the settlement of the conflict in Syria.

According to Lavrov, the U.S. said it is only willing to coordinate with Russia to take steps to avoid incidents in Syrian airspace.


Fellow terrorists,

Sounds like terrorists is the big buzzword for the Russians too.

It is laughable to me how the Russians and the Republicans want to label everything a terrorist.

From now on I think I'm going to address everyone as a terrorist so I won't be considered part of the problem.
Last edited by grzegorz on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:55 am

I think this article gives a good summary. It's time for the USA to make a choice and have a consistent policy of peace in Syria and the Middle East.

In Syria, the US has nothing but bad options
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/10/27/syria-has-nothing-but-bad-options/Cs1ilB9kSmnklD1ZUzrN2J/story.html
Boston Globe — By Stephen Kinzer OCTOBER 27, 2015
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:57 am

Fellow Terrorists,

I suggest the U.S. just leaves the Middle East alone and just buys their baklava.

By the way, Frontline's Obama's War illustrates the headache called Syria very well.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:03 am

grzegorz wrote:From now on I think I'm going to address everyone as a terrorist so I won't be considered part of the problem.

If you're Russian, your next move will be to bomb them. If USAnian, disburse a TOW missile and a Toyota pickup.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:03 am

grzegorz wrote:Fellow Terrorists,

I suggest the U.S. just leaves the Middle East alone and just buys their baklava.

By the way, Frontline's Obama's War illustrates the headache called Syria very well.

I'll take a look.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:50 am

Michael wrote:
grzegorz wrote:Fellow Terrorists,

I suggest the U.S. just leaves the Middle East alone and just buys their baklava.

By the way, Frontline's Obama's War illustrates the headache called Syria very well.

I'll take a look.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obama-at-war/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/obama-at-war/transcript-84/

Some interesting quotes from the program.

ROBERT FORD: The Syrian protesters were just very surprised that I came. They surrounded our car. My bodyguard was— was very afraid.

OUBAI SHAHBANDAR, Syrian Opposition: But when the people saw that the American ambassador was coming, they came up to his car and were throwing flowers. They were throwing olive branches. They were excited. The Americans were here. They were showing their solidarity.

ROBERT FORD: They were happy that the international community was paying attention to them. They believed that my presence would deter the government from sending in security forces, which they said would create havoc and violence.

DEMONSTRATORS: [subtitles] The people want the downfall of the regime!

Do you think it is appropriate for the US ambassador to Syria to join this kind of demonstration? Is this diplomacy? The USA diplomats also did this in Moscow in 2009,Beijing in 2011 and Kiev 2014; they were in the streets in the middle of protests. I think it's contrary to diplomacy for an ambassador to take such a prominent position against the current government.

Pres. BARACK OBAMA: We have been very clear to the Assad regime that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.

DAVID ROTHKOPF, CEO and Editor, Foreign Policy: That was not, apparently, a planned thing. He said it in response to a question from a reporter who was asking about the use of chemical weapons.

An off hand and unplanned remark from President Obama during a news conference on a different topic created the red line that almost drew the USA into another Middle East War. Does this reflect an intelligent foreign policy capable of producing good results in Syria?

MARTIN SMITH: It began when a reporter in London asked Secretary Kerry how Assad could possibly avoid a strike.

JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week, turn it over, all of it, without delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that. But he isn’t about to do it. And it can’t be done, obviously.

MARTIN SMITH: It was an off-hand remark. But it got the attention of Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. He contacted his Syrian counterpart, who got Assad to agree.

Obama went on network TV to sell the idea to the American public.

An off-hand and pessimistic remark, essentially a diplomatic gaffe by Kerry provided an opening for Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to propose a diplomatic solution to destroying all of Syria's chemical weapons. The USA was a day or two away from an air campaign on Syria when the British parliament went against the bombing [read the Seymour Hersch article posted earlier for a theory why] and luckily this solution was proposed by Russia.

39 minutes
ROBERT FORD: When you’re in a civil war and the side that’s fighting you is dropping barrel bombs, killing indiscriminately, when it is using chemical weapons, and then someone comes to you and says, “We will help defend you against those people—” I think it’s human nature to seek the help of those who will defend you against this external threat that’s killing you, arresting you, torturing you.

Is it really a surprise that— that Syrian opposition and the people that support them would seek the help of anybody to get rid of the regime that is inflicting this pain?

Moderate rebels join ISIS.

DEREK CHOLLET, Asst. Sec. of Defense, 2012-15: The fall of Mosul was something that we had not anticipated. And the suddenness with which that fall occurred was something that— that was a shock. They seized everything from small arms to light-armored vehicles to anti-aircraft weapons.

When terrorists of this kind get their hands on weapons, it was a huge concern to us. I don’t think we truly understood the depth of the problem until the fall of Mosul.

MARTIN SMITH: [on camera] For all the contingency planning that you routinely do here at the Pentagon, were there plans for how to react to the fall of Mosul to ISIS?

Gen. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, no, there were not, because, of course— so, look, there were several things that surprised us about ISIL, the degree to which they were able to form their own coalition both inside of Syria and inside of northwestern Iraq, the military capability that they exhibited, the collapse of the Iraqi security forces. Yeah, in those initial days, there were a few surprises.

DAVID ROTHKOPF, CEO and Editor, Foreign Policy: Within in the White House, the reaction was shock and concern that it looked like they were losing Iraq. But there was very little action. Mosul, the second biggest city in Iraq, even that was not enough to really motivate action.

USA surprised at ISIS ability, total failure of USA trained Iraq security forces who leave all kinds of weapons for ISIS. USA has no plan for what to do.

47:50
JOSHUA LANDIS: In a sense, Washington needs Assad today. That’s the horrible truth. We don’t want to ally with Assad, but we— strategically, we’re allied with Assad. He is a bulwark against the spread of ISIS today. We’re trying to destroy ISIS. But if America destroyed Assad and helped that agenda to come forward, who’s going to take Damascus? It’s going to be ISIS and Nusra.

This is the truth. Assad's government and army is the only way to stop ISIS in Syria or Iraq.

OUBAI SHAHBANDAR, Syrian Opposition: The Assad regime is still using chlorine gas bombs against Syrian civilians. Now, chlorine gas is certainly of less lethality than Sarin gas, but it is a chemical weapon, nonetheless. So you have a regime that’s using chlorine gas continuously against the civilian populace without international repercussions.

Has not been proven that Syrian army ever used chemical weapons. Assad's response to the charge is that such weapons are ineffective and the international inspectors have not confirmed the accusations about who is responsible.

51:00
Col. ANDREW BACEVICH (Ret.), Author, The Limits of Power: History shows pretty emphatically— history of the last 30, 40 years— that our efforts to police the Middle East haven’t worked. And when you talk about moral obligations, there is also a moral obligation, it seems to me, to take history seriously, to learn from one’s mistakes rather than simply to insist that if we try harder next time, we will get a better outcome.

Many of the particulars about what should be done in Syria in regards to the Assad government and whether or not to give military support to the armed Syrian opposition in the past or now can be answered in what has happened in the past 25 years of USA/UK/NATO military involvement in the Middle East. There is no need to speculate about the outcome in Syria because it's already played out in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. That's what happens when the USA uses military force in the Middle East.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:44 am

Lots of articles from Reuters, etc., proclaiming Russia's ineffectiveness at the air campaign, as well as Syrian army not making any advances. I assume the opposite must be true.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:19 am

The Russians are finally accepting that IS may be responsible for the plane disaster.

Putin orders halt to Egypt flights, Britons flown out

http://news.yahoo.com/us-uk-bomb-may-do ... 26229.html
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:24 am

There was also a report in September, before the Russian air campaign, that a group of Saudi Wahabbi financiers had issued a fatwah against Russia and promised retaliation if Russia bombed their fighters in Syria.

I mean look at that ridiculous Reuters article when the plane crashed, claiming an unnamed Egyptian rescue worker heard survivor's voices. Rub it in much?
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:33 am

You can't trust anything from the Egyptian government. They still deny that one of their pilots crashed a plane full of Americans into the Atlantic ocean dispite all the proof. I imagine they'll forever deny this too.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:42 am

My guess is the Reuters story about hearing survivors from a high altitude breakup is completely made up just as an FU to Russia and that Egypt had nothing to do with being a source for that nonsense.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:06 am

In all big news stories misinformation is often reported as people demand up to the minute information a bit like Chinese whispers. Everyone wants to the first to break a story. Someone probably heard some sounds from the plane and Bob's your uncle. I can't imagine the tricks your mind must play on you when you are stacking up hundreds of dead bodies.

I have heard hunters often see the animal they're hunting for when it's not even there.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:23 am

Obviously though there is a lot at stake politically. I'm not surprised that the Egyptians and Russians didn't want it to be a bomb.

Who would?
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:56 pm

Yes, I'm sure neither Russia nor Egypt would want it to be a bomb, but I think the general assumption is that it's not a coincidence that it occurred a month after Russia started its air campaign in Syria.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:14 pm

Russian plane black boxes point to 'attack', Putin halts flights

Analysis of black boxes from the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt killing 224 people points to a bomb, sources close to the probe said Friday, as Moscow halted flights to the country.
Meanwhile, British airlines were scrambling to evacuate passengers in Sharm el-Sheikh after cancelling flights to the Red Sea resort from which the doomed Airbus took off.

The flight data and voice recorders showed "everything was normal" until both failed at 24 minutes after takeoff from the Sharm el-Sheikh resort Saturday, pointing to "a very sudden explosive decompression," one source said.

The Islamic State group claimed it down the plane, providing no details, saying it was retaliation for Russian air strikes in Syria.

The data "strongly favours" the theory a bomb on board brought down the plane, the source added.

Another source said the plane had gone down suddenly and violently.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/rus ... li=AAa0dzB
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