Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Russian Checkmate In Syria





Endgame: Putin Plans To Strike ISIS With Or Without The U.S.



Revelations (which surprised no one but the Pentagon apparently) that Moscow is coordinating its efforts in Syria with Tehran only serve to reinforce the contention that Assad isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the US will either be forced to aid in the effort to destroy the very same Sunni extremists that it in some cases worked very hard to support, or else admit that countering Russia and supporting Washington’s regional allies in their efforts to remove Assad takes precedence over eliminating ISIS. 

Because the latter option is untenable for obvious reasons, Washington has a very real problem on its hands - and Vladimir Putin just made it worse.


The Kremlin is prepared to launch unilateral strikes against ISIS targets if the US is unwilling to cooperate. Here’s more: 



President Vladimir Putin, determined to strengthen Russia’s only military outpost in the Middle East, is preparing to launch unilateral airstrikes against Islamic State from inside Syria if the U.S. rejects his proposal to join forces, two people familiar with the matter said.

Putin’s preferred course of action, though, is for America and its allies to agree to coordinate their campaign against the terrorist group with Russia, Iran and the Syrian army, which the Obama administration has so far resisted, according to a person close to the Kremlin and an adviser to the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

Russian diplomacy has shifted into overdrive as Putin seeks to avoid the collapse of the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad, a longtime ally who’s fighting both a 4 1/2 year civil war and Sunni extremists under the banner of Islamic State. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow for talks with Putin on Monday, followed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

Putin’s proposal, which Russia has communicated to the U.S., calls for a “parallel track” of joint military action accompanied by a political transition away from Assad, a key U.S. demand, according to a third person. The initiative will be the centerpiece of Putin’s one-day trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, which may include talks with President Barack Obama.

“Russia is hoping common sense will prevail and Obama takes Putin’s outstretched hand,” said Elena Suponina, a senior Middle East analyst at the Institute of Strategic Studies, which advises the Kremlin. “But Putin will act anyway if this doesn’t happen.”
And that, as they say, it that. Checkmate.

The four-year effort to oust Assad by first supporting and then tolerating the rise of Sunni extremists (presaged in a leaked diplomatic cable) has failed and the Kremlin has officially served a burn notice on a former CIA “strategic asset.”
There are two things to note here. 

First, Russia of course is fully aware that the US has never had any intention of eradicating ISIS completely. As recently as last week, Moscow’s allies in Tehran specifically accused Washington of pursuing nothing more than a containment policy as it relates to ISIS, as allowing the group to continue to operate in Syria ensures that the Assad regime remains under pressure. 


Second, even if Russia does agree to some manner of managed transition away from Assad, you can be absolutely sure that Moscow is not going to risk the lives of its soldiers (not to mention its international reputation) only to have the US dictate what Syria’s new government looks like and indeed, Tehran will have absolutely nothing of a regime that doesn’t perpetuate the existing Mid-East balance of power which depends upon Syria not falling to the West. 


 Additionally - and this is also critical - Russia will of course be keen on ensuring that whoever comes after Assad looks after Russia’s interests at its naval base at Tartus.

 This means that even if the US, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are forced to publicly support a managed transition, Washington, Riyadh, and Doha will privately be extremely disappointed with the outcome which begs the following question: what will be the next strategy to oust Assad and will it be accompanied by something even worse than a four-year-old bloody civil war and the creation of a band of black flag-waving militants bent on re-establishing a medieval caliphate?








Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for unilateral air strikes against Islamic State in Syria if the United States rejects his proposal to join forces, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Russia has increased its military presence inside Syria and its arms supplies to the Syrian army as it steps up support of longtime ally President Bashar Assad, drawing warnings of further destabilization from Western countries that oppose Assad.

Bloomberg reported that Putin's preferred course of action was for the US government and its allies to agree to coordinate their campaign against Islamic State militants with Russia, Iran and the Syrian army. It cited a person close to the Kremlin and an adviser to the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

But one source told Bloomberg that Putin was frustrated with US reticence to respond and was ready to act alone in Syria if necessary.







Not only is the Islamic State (IS) persecuting Christians but so are the U.S.-supported “rebel” forces, which the Obama administration assures are “moderate.”  According to a recent NPR report, “With backing from U.S. allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, this [U.S. supported] rebel coalition fights both the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. But the coalition has extremists in its own ranks who have mistreated Christians and forced them out of their homes”—just as IS has done.


In response, Mideast Christian leaders made clear that, far from expecting the West to intervene on their behalf, they merely wish that the West stops arming, supporting, or simply facilitating the Islamic terrorists making their lives a living hell—as plainly spelled out in a Christian Today article titled, “Syrian Christian leader tells West: ‘Stop arming terror groups who are massacring our people.”


According to the Patriarch of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, “If the West wants to do something about the present crisis, the most effective thing would be to support local governments, which need sufficient armies and forces to maintain security and defend respective populations against attacks.  State institutions need to be strengthened and stabilized. Instead, what we see is their forced dismemberment being fueled from the outside.”
Another Christian leader had another message to the West.  According to Iraqi priest Fr Douglas Bazi, once a torture victim who takes care of thousands of refugees forced to flee Mosul since the Islamic State took over the city last year, the West needs to “Wake up!”  During celebrations of St Peter and St Paul, the Iraqi priest further reflected that “We cannot celebrate the feast of two martyrs without remembering the living martyrs of our time.”
The rest of July’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following accounts, listed by theme.

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
1)          To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.
2)          To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam;  theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or third-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.














2 comments:

GG2013 said...

Our daily food for thought. God Bless us all! :)

Ephesians 5:6-20
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Walk in Light
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit[a] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Walk in Wisdom
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

George Baker said...

Thank you gg.