Good but not Excellent

Good but not Excellent

Could Russia Still Become an Ally of the West?
THE SAKER • MARCH 11, 2016

[This is one LONG paragraph]

Listening to Donald Trump speaking about his desire to turn Russia into an ally, I caught myself wondering if that was even still a possibility. After all, “the West” – and by that I mean every single western politician – has been lying to Russia ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. Not only has the West lied to Russia (for example on the promise to to expand NATO), but the West has also back-stabbed Russia and sided, fully, with the most vicious and evil enemies of Russia including the Wahabis in Chechnia or the Nazis in the Ukraine. The West assembled a huge air force to mercilessly and illegally bomb the Serbs, a historical ally of Russia and fellow Orthodox people, in Croatia, then in Bosnia, then in Kosovo and then even in Montenegro and Serbia proper. The West also illegally and brutally overthrew Gaddafi in direct violation of UNSC Resolutions and now, having laid waste to Libya (and Iraq!), the West is trying to repeat this performance with Syria. In the case of the Ukraine, the West stood by while the Ukronazis used every single weapon in their arsenal, including chemical weapons, ballistic missiles, heavy artillery, multiple rocket launchers, cluster munitions and bombers against the cities of the Donbass and then imposed sanctions, no, not on Kiev, but on Russia. And even when the Ukronazis burned over 100 civilians in Odessa, the West fully backed them again. Before the Olympic Games in Sochi, the West then unleashed its “homo lobby” and its “pussy rioters” to try to paint Russia as some kind of quasi-Saudi society while never even uttering a single word of criticism against what was really taking place in the real Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the “indispensable nation”. And when Turkey ambushed a Russian bomber which had given its full flight plan to the US and then shot it down, the West had no more to say about it then when the local al-Qaeda franchise in Egypt bombed a Russian airliner. In its latest manifestation of rabid russophobia, the West, lead by the US Secretary of State Kerry, is demanding the release by Russia of a rabid Nazi deathsquad member accused of murdering 2 Russian journalists, Nadezhda Savchenko. Most amazingly, Kerry is claiming that Russia is violating her obligations under the Minsk-2 Agreement by judging Savchenko even though Russia is not a party to this agreement which has nothing to say about Savchenko’s case anyway. We can be pretty sure that if the Devil himself decided to appear somewhere in the USA or Europe and declared that he wanted to fight Russia, the West would give Satan full support, money, training, recognition, etc.

1280px-Sukhoi_Su-25SM_(1)

 

Analysis of the Russian Military Pullout from Syria
THE SAKER • MARCH 14, 2016

The key issue here is what criteria to use to measure “success”. And that, in turns, begs the question of what the Russians had hoped to achieve with their intervention in the first place. It turns out that Putin clearly and officially spelled out what the purpose of the Russian intervention was. On October 11th, he declared the following in an interview with Vladimir Soloviev on the TV channel Russia 1:

Our objective is to stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise

That’s it. He did not say that Russia would single-handedly change the course of the war, much less so win the war. And while some saw the Russian intervention as a total “game changer” which would mark the end of Daesh, I never believed that. Here is what I wrote exactly one day before Putin make the statement above:

Make no mistake here, the Russian force in Syria is a small one , at least for the time being, and it does not even remotely resemble what the rumors had predicted (…) There is no way that the very limited Russian intervention can really change the tide of the war, at least not by itself. Yes, I do insist that the Russian intervention is a very limited one. 12 SU-24M, 12 SU-25SM, 6 SU-34 and 4 SU-30SM are not a big force, not even backed by helicopters and cruise missiles. Yes, the Russian force has been very effective to relieve the pressure on the northwestern front and to allow for a Syrian Army counter-offensive, but that will not, by itself, end the war.

I was harshly criticized at that time for “minimizing” the scope and potential of the Russian operation, but I chose to ignore these criticisms since I knew that time would prove me right.

Sukhoi_Su-34_flight_display_at_2015_MAKS

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Putin and the Art of the Deal
What’s the Russian withdrawal from Syria all about?
by Justin Raimondo, March 16, 2016

It’s no wonder that Putin has expressed admiration for Donald Trump. The conventional wisdom is that the two are simpatico because they’re both tyrants, bad guys who would sooner waterboard you than look at you, but the reality is a bit more nuanced: like Trump, Putin seems to have mastered the art of the deal, and is ready to strike one rather than call out the troops. Oh, he may have to threaten to use military force, and even occasionally do so, but essentially he’s ready to sit down and bargain – because the alternative is a lose-lose situation.

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