Features

Putin’s winning in Syria – but making a powerful new enemy

This time he’s taking on Turkey’s President Erdogan, a ruler as ruthless as he is

20 February 2016

9:00 AM

20 February 2016

9:00 AM

Russia’s bombing of the city of Aleppo this week sent a clear message: Vladimir Putin is now in charge of the endgame in Syria. Moscow’s plan — essentially, to restore its ally Bashar al-Assad to power — is quickly becoming a reality that the rest of the world will have to accept. America, Britain and the rest may not be comfortable with Putin’s ambitions in the Middle East, or his methods of achieving them. But the idea of backing a ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria has been proved a fantasy that leaves the field to Putin and Assad.

The Syrian partial ceasefire, brokered in Munich last week by America’s John Kerry, only served to reinforce this sense of Putin’s power. Under the terms of the deal, all combatants were to cease hostilities while humanitarian aid was delivered to rebel enclaves besieged by government troops. Except Russia, whose planes have continued bombing ‘terrorist targets’ — and since Assad insists that all his enemies are ‘terrorists’, the Munich ceasefire effectively means business as usual for Russian and Syrian warplanes. In recent days, they have bombed Médecins Sans Frontières hospitals in rebel-held Idlib and Azaz, and Free Syrian Army positions in the northern suburbs of Aleppo. In response to international condemnation, the Russian foreign ministry has declared that it ‘has still not received convincing evidence of civilian deaths as a result of Russian air strikes’.

Presidents Putin and Obama have both sought to intervene in the conflict militarily, but all the successes have been Russia’s. Between August 2014 and December last year, the US Air Force made 4,669 air strikes to aid Syria’s elusive ‘moderate opposition’ and degrade Isis. But while this made little impact strategically, Russian air power has proved decisive. Since last September, a single squadron of Russian bombers flying some 510 sorties a week has turned the balance of the war in Assad’s favour. Russian armour and tanks have reinvigorated the Syrian army’s battered forces. Ostensibly flown in to protect the Khmeimim airbase, Russian T-90 tanks have since been reported in the vanguard of Syrian army assaults on rebel strongholds south of Aleppo.

Putin is also seeking to reconcile Syria’s warring factions. While the Pentagon spent billions trying to train an army of democracy–friendly moderates which turned out not to exist, Russian military intelligence has been working with its Syrian counterparts to identify rebel groups who would be willing to cut a deal with Assad. The senior Syrian officer corps was largely trained in Moscow during the Cold War. According to one well-placed Russian diplomat, the Kremlin has drawn up a list of 38 potential opposition allies and has been actively wooing them since last October. The list is said to include the Syrian National Council’s current president, Khaled al-Khoja, together with three of his predecessors — Ahmad Jarba, Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib and Hadi al-Bahra.

Throughout the winter, a number of rebel leaders have gone to Moscow to discuss terms — with mixed success. Late last month, a Russian attempt to bring several Syrian opposition parties together in Moscow collapsed. Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, a close Assad ally who defected from the Syrian Republican Guard in 2012, has drawn up an 11-point ‘national project’ which envisions a general ceasefire, followed by a joint regime-rebel assault on Isis. It is a proposal backed by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and part of a wider strategy that Russia pursued successfully in Chechnya in the early 2000s: reward rebels who are willing to change sides with a place at the winners’ table, while mercilessly bombing those who resist.

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Russia’s new best friends are Syria’s Kurds. Earlier this month, the ‘Rojava Democratic Self-Rule Administration’ proclaimed itself the new government in Kurdish-held northern Syria and opened its first overseas representative office, in Moscow. Meanwhile, 200 Russian military advisers have been deployed to the Kurdish-controlled town of Qamishli, next to the Turkish border, to secure a military airport for Russian use. That gives Russia a stronghold from which to strike Isis in northeast Syria and protect its new Kurdish friends from attack by Turkey.

A wider Kurdish-Russian pact could be a game-changer for Assad — but it also massively raises the risk of the Syrian conflict spilling over into a wider war. A deal between the Kurdish YPG militia and Damascus would deprive the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces — a coalition that includes Arab and Assyrian groups — of some of their most effective soldiers. It would also further confuse United States policy in Syria, since the Kurds have been Washington’s closest allies in the region for years.

The danger is that Russia’s overtures to the Kurds could put Moscow on a direct collision course with the Turks. Ankara sees the Syrian Kurdish YPG as an offshoot of Turkey’s home-grown Kurdistan Workers’ Party — or PKK — which has been fighting a renewed insurgency against the Turkish state since last summer. Turkey’s tough-talking president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has repeatedly declared that he will not tolerate a de-facto Syrian Kurdish state on his southern border.

Last week, Turkey’s army — the second largest in Nato — backed up Erdoğan’s words by shelling YPG positions from across the frontier, ostensibly in self-defence. Moreover, Erdoğan recently said that a Turkish-US buffer zone mooted for northern Iraq in 2003 would have preserved Iraq from its current problems with Isis. Erdoğan added that he saw no need ‘currently’ for a similar buffer zone in northern Syria — but said that the Turkish military had all the parliamentary authority it needed to create one if the order was given.

More worryingly, Putin and Assad have accused the Turkish army of running weapons to Ankara-backed rebel groups deep inside Syrian territory via the Bab al-Salam border crossing point. The Russians expect Turkey to go further. ‘At a certain point, a full Turkish intervention is inevitable,’ Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, told Bloomberg last week. ‘That would mean a completely different conflict, with a much larger force fighting on the side of the opposition and the risk of a direct Russian-Turkish conflict.’ Nationalist-leaning media on both sides are already fighting a war of words. It’s highly likely that another clash — beginning with, say, a Russian airstrike hitting Turkish troops inside Syria — would escalate quickly. In that case, Turkey could potentially invoke article five of Nato’s founding treaty, which states that an ‘armed attack against one [member] shall be considered an attack against them all’. The terrifying result: war between Nato and Russia.

To further complicate the situation, Saudi Arabia moved fighter jets to Turkey last week to carry out strikes inside Syria — and both Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers agreed that Saudi special forces troops deploying via Turkey might be involved in a future operation to liberate Raqqa from Isis. But Saudi troops on the ground in Syria would be a red rag to Assad’s other key ally, Iran — which already has troops from its revolutionary guards fighting in Syria.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, US senator John McCain correctly predicted that Russia would not observe the recent ceasefire. ‘Russian presses its advantage militarily, creates new facts on the ground, uses the denial and delivery of humanitarian aid as a bargaining chip, negotiates an agreement to lock in the spoils of war, and then chooses when to resume fighting,’ he said. ‘The only thing that has changed about Mr Putin’s ambitions is that his appetite is growing with the eating.’

Certainly part of Putin’s plan in Syria is to distract international attention from his own unfinished intervention in eastern Ukraine. That conflict has cost Russia dearly: international banking sanctions and falling oil prices have sent inflation soaring and halved the value of the ruble. Putin is also ambitious to restore his country’s status as a world power. And he would like to show potential allies in the Middle East and the wider world that Russia stands by its friends. For the first time since the 1980s, Moscow’s military and diplomatic backing is something truly worth having.

Putin’s intervention in Syria is an act of reckless geopolitical buccaneering — just like his invasion of Georgia in 2008 and his annexation of Crimea in 2014. But it’s worth asking the question: if Assad wins decisively, and peace breaks out, is Putin’s plan so terrible? Washington and Moscow want many of the same things: an end to hostilities on the ground, the destruction of radical Islamist groups such as Isis and the Al-Nusra Front, the establishment of a transitional government and, eventually, free elections. Even the Americans are willing to fudge on a key rebel demand — that Assad, personally, be removed from power. They agree that he could at least stay for a transitional period.

If Putin’s latest gambit does bring peace to Syria, even if it is a peace on Assad’s terms, it may one day be counted as a success, albeit a self-serving one. But it is also Putin’s riskiest move yet, and growing riskier by the second. So far Putin’s opponents have consisted of the disorganised regimes of former Soviet nations. In his Syrian war, he faces a ruler every bit as choleric and ruthless as himself — Erdoğan — and an increasingly belligerent Saudi Arabia. The prospect of peace in Syria is now dependent on the wisdom, restraint and goodwill of Putin and Erdoğan: an unsettling prospect.

Owen Matthews is a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, based in Istanbul.

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Show comments
  • Bobserver

    Without the USA’s backing Erdogan is not going to send aircraft or soldiers into Syria. The Russians are looking to return the favour of the downed Russian jet. The Russians will also take the opportunity to test out both the S-300 and S-400 against American made jet fighters. If a Russian-Turkey (ex-NATO) clash occurs one side is not going to end up happy.

    • Cyril Sneer

      I think the Russians have enabled the kurds – the kurds have made great
      strides these last few weeks. I think this is the Russian way of sweet revenge on the Turks. It is entirely conceivable that the kurds could
      hold the ENTIRE Syrian/Turkish border. Which would be a nightmare for Erdogan.

      • Lawrence James.

        Indeed: why on earth didn’t Britain allow a Kurdish state in 1919: TE Lawrence and Churchill were sympathetic.

        • Cyril Sneer

          It would seem that the Kurds have always undeservingly been screwed over.

    • Headstrong

      Maybe Erdogan is banking on Article 5, and bashing on regardless – expecting NATO to pull his chestnuts out when the balloon does go up, or gambling that Russia would not take the bait and back down for fear of Turkey invoking Article 5

      • Mr B J Mann

        Article 5 only says NATO:

        “will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith,
        individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it
        deems necessary, including
        the use of armed force, to restore and
        maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

        It doesn’t say it will use armed force!

  • Dr. Heath

    When you refer to the “merciless bombing of those who resist”, would “those” include the thousands of men, women and children inside the Russian Federation whose deaths by carpet bombing constitute one of Vladmila’s numerous crimes against humanity? Tell us, please, precisely how they were resisting. And who in Chechnya, other than the psychopathic warlord and would-be founder of a dynasty, Kadyrov, has been rewarded for gore-soaked obedience to the Federation’s Tsaritsa?

    • 22pp22

      Putin inherited a country that was in apparently terminal decline and was increasingly a laughing stock. It’s not a laughing stock now, is it? By contrast, we are turning Western Europe into a Third World slum and our suicidal evil leaders think the non-European World admires them for this. European women from Rotherham to Munich are abused on an industrial scale and our police and media hide the evidence or even side with the abusers. We complain about bombed hospitals in Syria, but forget about Kunduz. If South Yorkshire secedes as an Islamic State (not an impossible scenario in the medium term), what do you propose we do?

      • zappata

        “Upper Volta with rockets”…..”A gas station masquerading as a country”…..military equipment “a pile of rusted junk”.
        Oh how they laughed!

    • stewart

      This was really interesting The big question last Sunday had the former British ambassador to Syria on and he seems to be backing Assad and Russia and says ” the British have behaved like dogs returning to their own vomit”and “There are NO moderates” He also accuses our secretary of defense Philip Hammond for scuppering the peace talks Its a must watch here is a link… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e.

      • Dr. Heath

        I’m sure Assad would agree that there are no moderates. I have yet to see him refer to the opposition inside Syria as anything but terrorists. I’m no more able than you or our ex-ambassador to tell what might happen if Assad ever regains some form of control over most or all of his territory. My guess is that it will be what the majority of Syrians have grown to expect of him; he will continue to describe any form of dissent as terrorism and to massacre the ‘terrorists’. Voluntary exile will, I’d also predict, would continue to prove to be the only means for millions of Syria’s Sunni Arabs to avoid being slaughtered, peace treaty or no.

        I’m old enough to recall any number of examples of governments using their planes, tanks, artillery and small arms to butcher ‘terrorists’ in the way that Assad has been doing for the last four years. I struggle to recall instances where the UK’s foreign secretaries or ambassadors have behaved in anything but the most craven and megalomaniacally Pontius Pilate fashion. Nowadays, if I want a plateful of spew in which it’s argued that the best option is to do nothing, I turn to Sir Simon Jenkins’s appalling columns on another site. I think he makes a fine spokesman for the Chamberlain Tendency.

        • stewart

          I think you are correct in much of what you say,But you have to remember that Assad has been shown to have the support of between 60% and 70% of the Syrian people which will include the vast majority of the minorities but also a very large number of Sunni who are no doubt the true moderate Sunni .Syria was the last of the secular countries in that region before the uprising which I feel was inspired by the Sunni extremists supported by Saudi Arabia,Turkey and Qatar..It was very note worthy that the uprising began when Assad rejected the proposed Saudi to Turkey gas pipeline which angered both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. I think that when we talk about Assad butchering his own people we have to remember that he has been fighting desperately with what weapons he had available to protect the 60% to 70% of Syrians who reside within the government controlled areas from these monsters who would no doubt slaughter many of them. I think the phrase barrel bomb has also been a propaganda word as a bomb is a bomb pointed or round and kills people just the same and if that is all you have to fight with against people who would slaughter you what do you do?…The real people to blame for this and the loss of lives is the people who encourages armed and financed these extremists and I am afraid to say our government and other western governments have been complicit in doing that

          • Mr B J Mann

            Not only is phrase barrel bomb pure propaganda but so is “Killing his own people”.

            It’s a civil war: who else would he be killing?!

            Except that all too many of the people “he” is killing are foreigners!

            And the Yanks killed 750,000 “of their own people” in their own civil war, so even if the propaganda figures are true he still has a long way to go to catch up!

  • jack

    “Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers agreed that Saudi special forces troops deploying via Turkey might be involved in a future operation to liberate Raqqa”

    Psychopathic, head chopping, murdering religious thugs also known as ‘Saudi special forces’ have already been in Raqqa for some 5 years now.

    • stewart

      This was really interesting The big question on Sunday had the former British ambassador to Syria on and he seems to be backing Assad and Russia and says ” the British have behaved like dogs returning to their own vomit”and “There are NO moderates” He also accuses our secretary of defense Philip Hammond for scuppering the peace talks a must watch here is a link… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e.

    • Headstrong

      In fact, some call them IS or ISIS or Daesh – take your pick

  • William Brown

    “…..the idea of backing a ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria has been proved a fantasy that leaves the field to Putin and Assad.”
    Will that be a lesson learned, I wonder. Nah, probably not.

    • stewart

      This was really interesting it is a must watchThe big question last Sunday had the former British ambassador to Syria on and he seems to be backing Assad and Russia and says ” the British have behaved like dogs returning to their own vomit” and “There are NO moderates” He also accuses our secretary of defense Philip Hammond for scuppering the peace talks here is a link… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e.

  • yesterdaytodayforever

    A ‘hybrid cold war’ is what we seem to have here; instead of being in diametrical opposition to each other, Russia and NATO are sort of fighting on the same side, while at the same time, not. Meanwhile the backdrop to all this, at least as far as Britain is concerned, has been the publication last month of Sir Robert Owen’s report on the deplorable murder of Alexander Litvinenko. This extended article is intended to provide a viable alternative interpretation of the available evidence (‘Russia’s bad rap’ is followed by ‘All Berezovsky got was this lousy T-shirt’ and further entries): http://www.only9sixty.blogspot.com

    • stewart

      Very interesting read..I have no doubt that the Litvinenko inquiry was falsified for propaganda

      • Lawrence James.

        The Russians dealt with Litvinenko in the same way as Eden intended to real with Nasser and the CIA with Lumumba.

        • yesterdaytodayforever

          Nasser was Egypt’s president; Lumumba was Congo’s prime minister. Litvinenko was an obscure ex-middle-ranking FSB officer who had fallen foul of his employers and won asylum in Britain. Can you see the difference?

    • stewart

      This was really interesting The big question last Sunday had the former British ambassador to Syria on and he seems to be backing Assad and Russia and says ” the British have behaved like dogs returning to their own vomit”and “There are NO moderates” He also accuses our secretary of defense Philip Hammond for scuppering the peace talks a must watch here is a link… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e.

      • mattghg

        Will you please stop posting this exact same message under everyone else’s comments, please?

  • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

    We have been completely wrong from the start and the idea that a ‘moderate opposition’ would take over after the rebellion was always a fantasy. Why? Moderate people don’t win civil wars -psychopaths and extremists do. Have we not seen this happen over and over again? Where has it worked to topple a regime by violent insurrection, defeat its forces and replace them with forgiving intellectuals who will make wise and benign decisions?

    And Bashar al Assad is right – ALL his enemies are terrorists. What is a terrorist? I think the definition will include the use of violence to gain political ends by forces who have no constitutional legitimacy. That is EXACTLY what ALL of Assad’s enemies are doing and what they are.The fact that the rebellion began with peaceful protest by a dissatisfied section of the populace, takes nothing away from the fact that their cause was then taken over by people with guns and explosives who used them against the regime. This is terrorism.

    As for the frightening prospects of this proxy war developing into a war between Russia and a NATO member or other local actors – it just underlines the utter stupidity of what is primarily an American policy, naively backing rebellions of what look like liberal democratic groups against somewhat unsavoury ‘regimes’, irrespective of their likelihood of success. We did it in Ukraine, we’ve done it in Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt and we are doing it in Syria. IT NEVER WORKS and usually results in chaos, death and more barbaric regimes.

    • red2black

      I agree with what you say, but… It’s easy to be reasonable when you’re living a comfortable life. I don’t think constitutional legitimacy has much to do with what’s happening in places like Syria at the moment.

      • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

        That’s what rebellion and civil war bring. Chaos and disaster. Check out other post revolution societies like Libya, Ukraine, Iraq and any others you care to name. The results of the revolution and deposed dictatorship are almost NEVER anything like as good as what was there before. All the states I named and Syria had tolerably good conditions before they were destroyed. People DID live comfortable lives. Syria was a jewel. I know people who lived and worked in Libya. You could go about the streets as a westerner and sit and drink coffee at cafes without the slightest problem. My partner went to Baghdad in 1974 – flew there on her own aged 14, to join her parents. Her dad was a cardiologist and was treating the dictator before Saddam Hussein. I think he was called Ali Basher. He had a very bad heart. Saddam Hussein later killed him and took over. Saddam Hussein actually hosted a dinner where they were there – he tried to get off with my partner’s mother :)) I kid you not. It’s true. These places were dictatorships that ruthlessly held down the forces we are now up against. It was ok as long as you didn’t create an armed insurrection or plot against the state

        • red2black

          I did mean you and I as regards living a comfortable life (tee hee). Most people seem to have realised that the ‘Arab Spring’ has been an unmitigated disaster, and that Britain has been America’s ‘useful idiot’ in supporting it. I’m aware that Saddam Hussein’s regime was relatively liberal. Even so, suggesting that the West is in any way responsible for the current state of affairs seems to be regarded as anti-West. anti-Christian, or anti-White as far as some people are concerned. Perhaps what Mr Putin is trying to do in Syria is the only thing that can be done? As regards your partner’s mother and Saddam Hussein, I’m sure Les Dawson or Bernard Manning could have made so much more of it.

    • stewart

      This was really interesting The big question last Sunday had the former British ambassador to Syria on and he seems to be backing Assad and Russia and says ” the British have behaved like dogs returning to their own vomit”and “There are NO moderates” He also accuses our secretary of defense Philip Hammond for scuppering the peace talks a must watch here is a link… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e

      • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

        That link is truncated and doesn’t work.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Philip Hammond needs a punch in the face.

    • John Smith

      Naivete, is it? Who benefits from turning Syria into a weak, divided, or failed state? Is there a certain small country in the area that has a hugely disproportionate lobbying influence in Washington? Hmm….

  • jeremy Morfey

    There is another solution, and one that actually reflects on the constitutional setup in the UK.

    It has proved impossible to shift Assad, given his powerful allies in Russia and Iran, and prolonging this is merely destroying what little infrastructure and national honour Syria has left. If a hit squad could have taken out Assad as they took out Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gadhaffi, then they should have done so by now. What’s been holding it back is the very likely result would be a takeover by Daesh.

    What would work out best is to turn the clock back before 2011, when Assad was still fairly benign, and the country still had its people, its ancient monuments and its souks. Assad as President, who relies on popular support, clearly does not work, since the popular support is in deadly conflict. So how about crowning the man as King? That way, his position is assured and not dependent on the support of anyone bar the military (which actually reflects the current position). As King, he can afford then to assemble a Government who may all have their own diverse opinions, sectarian loyalties and power bases, but all must swear loyalty to the king and then argue it out in Parliament.

  • JabbaPapa

    Attempts to redefine the necessary war against ISIS as some ludicrous geopolitical manoeuvring between Security Council members are suicidally idiotic.

    • mattghg

      Yes ISIS needs to be destroyed, but that doesn’t mean bombing the $h1t out of every other group opposed to Assad as well.

      • Daidragon

        Half of these groups are just as bad as ISIS. If the Assad regime ever fell I’ve no doubt all of Syria would pretty quickly become part of the caliphate.

        • Bonkim

          Spot on!

      • Bonkim

        Selective insecticide will not work – you set the whole lot on fire as you are not sure who will and will not join up with ISIS – and ISIS is confident that when it comes to the crunch all Muslims will heed their call. The region is heavy on the Sunni brand – the most dogmatic in Islam.

      • grumpy_carpenter

        Russia’s campaign in Syria is using sound, conventional military tactics. They started out the campaign with strategic strikes Syria wide and securing the ground around their airbase.

        They then move on to focus on the East of the country with the aim to liberate Homs, Apello and damascus.

        They then started on a ground invasion with Syrian regulars and focused their air war on CAS to take Apello.

        Now they have flanked and cut off Apello.

        As expected they are successful because they are treating this war like a war not a political game.

        As for those who complain that Russia is attacking “moderate terrorists” that are bought and paid for by the west tell me how the Syrians / Russians are to take the ISIL held terrority in the west of the country while leaving the “moderate terrorists in the east at their rear. That’s military suicide.

        As for the those that complain about Russia’s “medieval siege warfare” please refer to the second battle of Fallujah in 2004 where the USA and the UK surrounded Fallujah, sealed off the city then proceeded to bombard the city with ordinance that included white phosphorus and cluster bombs then reduced the city to rubble in a ground attack to take out 5000 insurgents armed with small arms and mortars.

        • mattghg

          “”moderate terrorists” that are bought and paid for by the west”

          You’ve given yourself away. Thanks all the same, though.

          • grumpy_carpenter

            Ok ….. you caught me…..I’m Canadian. still doesn’t change the facts that the USA funded and trained ” moderate rebels” freedom fighters or terrorists….whatever you want to cal them. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUSKCN0S31BR20151009

          • Mr B J Mann

            “The Pentagon said it would shift its focus away from training to providing weapons and other equipment to rebel groups whose leaders have passed a U.S. vetting process to ensure they are not linked to militant Islamist groups.”

            So, what are they doing?

            Checking to see if they are pacifist, anti gun, pro gun control, non violent, canvassers and leafletters for a liberal non militant, democratic political party lacking a militant wing?!

            Oh no:

            “By vetting only rebel commanders, the new U.S. policy could raise the risk that American-supplied arms could fall into the hands of individual fighters who are anti-Western.”

          • Cyril Sneer

            You have an awful lot of catching up to do Matt. Your ignorance is truly something to behold.

      • Cyril Sneer

        So you wouldn’t bomb Nusra, Al Sham and all the other Salafist groups that make up most of the non-ISIS rebels?

        Hint: You can find these Salafist groups fighting alongside the FSA. Yes they share a frontline, they fight alongside AQ.

        So, which groups wouldn’t you bomb? Can you name them?

        • Zoe Butcher

          I believe the U.S. needs to bring in our solid state laser guns and our rail gun to take out the S-400’s when the time comes for the ground invasion by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Over 350,000 soldiers will be marching in Syria, so they will need to be able to operate freely which is why we’ll need the laser and rail guns, the S-400s are simply too slow to react to our far more advanced and lightning quick weaponry.

          • grumpy_carpenter

            Just curious how you would get these weapons within range of the Russian air defences and why would you bother when you have a bazillion dollars worth of stealth aircraft sitting at home in the garage?

          • Lawrence James.

            Forward the Light Brigade ! Was there a man dismayed ? Yes, me ! Rattle your sabre/laser elsewhere. If the worst comes to the worst, then you should take command since you know how to defend a hopeless position.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Your real name is Hilary Clinton.

          • Cyril Sneer

            So that’s an illegal ground invasion that you’re supporting and thus a determined push for a global nuclear war.

            Still, at least we have laser guns.

      • Mr B J Mann

        It does for the sovereign state they are trying to overthrow.

        And it’s allies.

        Or are you of the opinion that as soon as anyone rebels governments should hand over control to them to avoid “killing their own people”.

        Can’t say I’ve heard any plans for the US to disarm their homeland security staff dealing with US citizens.

        And they managed to keep the number of their own people killed in their own civil war down to 750,000!

    • Bonkim

      Well said but who is listening? The West is simply reacting and those who put the first foot forward usually win. In this case ISIS has started it and for all the faults Putin is supposed to have – he is the one seen as the Saviour.

  • outlawState

    Islam is not a moderate religion but a brutal religion, that Putin understands. The West does not. Therefore Putin will win.

    The idea of a “moderate opposition” was engendered by the West being deluded by its own fatuous propaganda that Islam is no more than an alternative version of Christianity, which the likes of Cameron (“Islam is a great religion”, “Islam is a religion of peace”) & Obama etc espouse.

    http://conservativepost.com/20-shocking-quotes-from-barack-obama-about-islam-and-christianity/

  • Terence Hale

    President Putin and President Erdogan who many associate with cholera and the pest. One thing must be said for President Putin he has under taken some thing against ISIS however clumsy it may be.

  • stewart

    This was really interesting The big question last Sunday had the former British ambassador to Syria on and he seems to be backing Assad and Russia and says ” the British have behaved like dogs returning to their own vomit” He also accuses our secretary of defense Philip Hammond for scuppering the peace talks a must watch here is a link… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b071fc9f/the-big-questions-series-9-episode-6

    • Bonkim

      Philip Hammond is an idiot. How did he get the job?

      • jeremy Morfey

        William Hague didn’t want to do it any more.

  • Marvin

    Turkey part of NATO, how insane is that. They hide behind the NATO umbrella and bully and persecute small groups around them. They could now be responsible for big problems with Russia. Throw them out and then see if they have the spine to throw their weight about. All of Syria must be cleared of all terrorists, and then the talking can start.

    • Norse Notion No.9

      Exactly: Turkey out of NATO!

      • Marvin

        NOW!

        • Zoe Butcher

          Nope. If Russia so much as lobs even a firecracker into Turkey, it’s on. NATO will tear Russia to pieces.

          • Lawrence James.

            Oh dear ! We’ll beat the Russian bear ! Sharpen your sabres and bayonets lads and off to the Crimea !. Sorry Zoe, this is not 1854 and the Russians have rather more destructive weapons than Cossack lances. Step back into the 21st century before it is too late

          • jim

            Side with the moslems against the Russians?.Madness!.I’m no fan of Putin but that is the kind of talk islam loves to hear.Infidels butchering each other to save moslems!!.Didn’t Yugoslavia teach you anything?

          • Mr B J Mann

            I see the Yanks, not content with taking out hospitals, old people’s homes, TV news reporters, and embassies in Belgrade, and getting their own embassy staff killed in Libya, have just take out a couple of Serb embassy staff in Libya too?!?!?!!!!

            I suppose the Yugoslavs should think themselves lucky they only had two of their states handed over to mujahadeen jihadi terrorist gangsters.

            And a third state only handed over to ordinary fasc!st terrorist gangsters.

          • jeffersonian

            If you think NATO will come to the aid of Muslim Turkey, due to a conflict they themselves were the cause of, I think you may be in for a shock.

          • RWJ

            NATO will come to the aid of Turkey as an excuse to inflame the situation. NATO and the UN……controlled totally by the USA will use Turkey as the useful idiots of NATO.

          • Mr B J Mann

            NATO will only deliver a diplomatic objection.

            Try reading what Article 5 actually says!

          • Cobbett

            Ha Ha Ha….we can rely on Belgium, Estonia and Luxembourg that’s for sure.

    • Bonkim

      US will ditch them if they do something silly.

      • Marvin

        Not with backward Obama at the helm. He is a coward.

        • Discuscutter

          Obama is much the same as most American Presidents, no American President is going to ditch Turkey. Same as Hillary or Trump will not if they are in power.

          • Mr B J Mann

            They only sided with Turkey to get missiles there (the ones that caused the Soviets to try to put their own in Cuba!).

            I don’t think they need Turkey as a missile base any more?!

    • Malcolm Stevas

      It’s always been understandable that the USA wanted a NATO ally adjacent to Russia, and that Turkey’s air-bases were handy, but a large Muslim country that funnels so many economic migrants our way (and which still wants to join the EU) is not the sort of place to find ourselves allied with in a shooting war with Russia.
      I’m not sure how anyone might clear Syria “of all terrorists” anytime soon. I’d prefer to let them get on with it.

      • Charles Kerry

        I could be mistaken ,but I think Greece denied US having bases on Islands back when Papa Andreous father was running Greece. I don’t know if this is true but maybe that’s why America and United kingdom favor and give benefit’s to Turkey more then to Greece . If Greece allowed US to have bases on Islands it would’ve achieved same goal (by having United State bases in Turkey) Greece is not that far from Turkey(plus bases off the Aegean and Mediterranean Islands would’ve been a better advantage in my opinion for US) . I think the Greek Government maybe did that so as not to make enemies with Russia because of the Orthodox connection . I don’t know I could be all wrong, I don’t know all facts.

      • RWJ

        The reason countries like the old eastern bloc like Poland etc are in the EEC is exactly to allow lands close to Russia to be open to the USA. The USA dictates to fools like Cameron who is not UK prime minister but the USA’s UK agent over here.

    • Tom Sykes

      Turkey has been in NATO since 1951. The USA placed nuclear missiles in Turkey before the USSR sent nuclear weapons to Cuba. I think they have pulled their weight.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Exactly.

        Turkey was only in NATO to act as an advance base against the Soviets.

        And placing nukes there is what provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis an nearly triggered WW3!

        Marvellous!!!

        • Tom Sykes

          Maybe. The Cuban move was also linked to Berlin where we backed off when the Soviets isolated West Berlin

        • RWJ

          Thats why spongers like Poland etc are allowed into the EEC. MISSILE SITES.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Hardly spongers.

            Don’t forget they saved the UK’s a$$ in the Battle of Britain, were the ones that really got their hands on the Enigma Machines and code books and did the original work on cracking them, as well as numerous other contributions to the war effort on the battlefield and in the field of technology, plus they were passing on info about Auschwitz and the like from the earliest days to the Allies, but were ignored.

            And their reward was to have their country handed on a plate to the Soviets and not even allowed to join in the Victory Parade!

            And now they even send over their own planes to take back any Polish criminals who manage to get into Britain so that they can be punished in their own proper prisons!!!

            But if we’re stupid enough to give them presents of loadsamoney, they’d be foolish to turn it down after being totally destroyed in the war (“historic” Warsaw is a total reconstruction after being obliterated by the Germans) and then f*ped by the Soviets……

            Maybe some other countries, but you can hardly paint Poland with the same brush as you’d paint them.

  • Cobbett

    Turkey and Saudi Arabia are nothing to worry about. Let Russia sort them out.

  • H0MIE

    Can article 5 be invoked if Turkey is the aggressor? Without US air protection, Turkish and Saudi armies will be destroyed by the Russian and allies. Saudi regime can be toppled over if there is a major defeat of its army. The likelihood of an Syrian invasion is close to none if the US is not part of the invasion. And Obama will not do any major offensive move in an election year.

    • Business Cat

      In short, no….. its for defensive only.

      If Turkey goes rogue, it’s on its own.

      • Zoe Butcher

        That’s why Turkey hasn’t invaded Syria. They know if they are to be backed up by the U.S. they must wait for Russia to make a foolish error.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Even if Russia were “to make a foolish error” NATO wouldn’t dare make the foolish error of responding militarily:

          Read Article 5 you foolish girl!

          You are Hilary and I claim my $5!

      • Cyril Sneer

        “If Turkey goes rogue, it’s on its own.”

        Or so the rule goes…

  • Bonkim

    What is Medicins sans Frontier doing in Aleppo? Drawing enemy fire? Get out and let the adversaries fight it out to the bitter end. The Middle East is not made for Western style democracy or human rights. It is a Medieval frontier fighting it out.

  • thetrashheap

    THe US and Russia do not want the same thing.

    American and Britain, allowed Turkey and Saudi to run weapons to Islamist lunatics in the hope of over throwing Assad. They tried the same policy that destroyed Libya on Syria.

    The only reason they not support ISIS is they got caught supporting lunatics before they one.

    Turkey isn’t fighting ISIS its fighting the Kurds and aiding ISIS.

    We are on the wrong side in this conflict. After Libya Obama has less moral Authority than Putin.

  • Business Cat

    If people argue that western actions in the ME will stir up resentment & retaliation, the same can be said for Russia.

    In time, it may reap what it sows.

  • sidor

    Turkey is not a “new enemy” of Russia. It is its quite old strategic enemy. Considering the historical record, there seem to be no reason to consider Turkey a British ally. Its traditional alliance with Germany was recently reaffirmed by Merkel. Germany is busy restoring the 3d Reich, Turkey is busy restoring the Ottoman Empire.

    • zappata

      And Iran is restoring the Persian Safavid Empire!

      Incidentally,as far back as 1521 the Shah of Persia made approaches to Russia(then ruled by Ivan the Great,father of the Terrible)about an alliance to take on the Ottomans.I think the Russians were too preoccupied with the Mongols at the time to progress it.

    • Zoe Butcher

      It’s true. Russia lost a couple of times battling the Ottoman Empire. Russia has reason to fear Erdogan. The Turks may have Putin’s number.

      • sidor

        Remind us please when these couple of times happened.

        • Zoe Butcher

          try reading history.

          • sidor

            In what way do you think my reading will help you to answer the question?

          • Zoe Butcher
          • sidor

            Could you please present us with a quote from your reference concerning the “couple of times” that you mentioned above when Russia was defeated by Turkey? Thanks in advance.

          • Zoe Butcher

            Are you unable to read for yourself? 1710-1711 Turkey beat Russia. 1853-1856 Turkey beat Russia. The other times yes, Russia won.

          • sidor

            Do you call the Crimean war a Russian-Turkish conflict? In a similar way, you can claim that Rumania defeated Germany in WWI.

          • Lawrence James.

            No. Turkey won in 1856 because it was backed by Britain and France. Turkish soldiers did well in 1854, but famously ran away at Balaklava where they were thumped by the wives of British soldiers when they arrived at the port.

          • Lawrence James.

            Do and you’ll find the Russians won in 1877 and at Ezurum in the winter of 1914-1915, the battle at the end of John Buchan’s ‘Greenmantle’.

  • electronmigrant

    Why in the world would Europeans listen to Neo-Con McCain when the Americans considers him an old senile fool?

    • sidor

      A very simple answer: the Saudi billions. Follow the money. The Western media are controlled by them. Read the Guardian.

    • On the other hand…

      Bravo! and a failed warmonger.

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      Thankfully Obama didn’t follow McCain’s advice and put 10,000 US troops on the ground in Syria.

    • zappata

      As Mr Putin said : “When he was a pow in Vietnam I hear they kept him in a hole in the ground.He must have left his mind there”

  • SchtenGraby

    I’m tempted to venture that Putin would be quite happy to test Nato’s ‘an armed attack against one, shall be considered an attack against all’ rule over Turkey.

    There’s no way any of the Western European members of NATO or the US would go to war over Turkey. The problem then is that the Eastern European members of NATO might start to see the smoke and mirrors that NATO’s umbrella of protection has always been and start to question their allegiances and strategies.

    • Tom M

      Quite so. The scenario that interests me (and the get-out for NATO) would be where Turkey attacked or was seen to attack Russia first. Shooting down the Russian SU-24 a few weeks ago might just be the sort of thing that could be construed as an attack requiring a military response by Russia.

      • patrick

        Russia shot down a civilian airliner (Korean air flight 007) for invading their airspace….. Was there a war then?

        You remember when they killed all of those civilians…. when the Russian fighter sat on the 747’s tail, saw it was an airliner and fired…..

        • Tom M

          I didn’t say that war was automatic. I said that these things could be used as a handy excuse for a war if you happen to want one.

    • Wyrdless

      The Western european portion of NATO wouldn’t go to war under any situation

    • patrick

      If you think NATO will not defend a member nation from attack you are a fool. An attack on one is an attack on all and causes an immediate response.. either conventional or with tactical nukes

      Why do you think NATO and Russia have been moving nukes into the theater?

      Keep cheering for war Stupid

      • Kimo Krauthammer

        Russia attacking any Turkish forces in Syria is justified. Russia is not planning to invade Turkey. That would justify NATO involvement.

        • Zoe Butcher

          Attack them in Syria then. If Russia takes a single step across the border and tries it all bets are off.

          • Lawrence James.

            You’re really spoiling for a fight: why don’t you pack up your kitbag, shoulder your musket and go to Syria and get to grips with the Russian bear ? Put your bayonet where your mouth is.

        • patrick

          “An attack on one is an attack on all” does not say where the attack occurs

          Besides…Russia attacks any Turkish assets, Turkey closes the straits to them. Russia depends on shipping through the Dardanelles and Bosporus to help feed their people and to supply their forces in Syria…..

          • zappata

            Closing the straits to other littoral Black Sea states would be iIllegal under international law and a series of conventions signed since the Ottoman Empire was dismantled.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Involvement, yes.

          Diplomatically, yes.

          Militarily, not a cat I h3lls chance!

        • Mr B J Mann

          Involvement, yes.

          Military involvement, no.

          See Article 5!

      • Zoe Butcher

        If these Russian trolls are any indicator of how the Russian military and strategists are honestly thinking, then WW3 is all but a given. It would be an extremely foolish mistake to think Russia would not be retaliated against if they invaded or launched attacks on a friendly NATO nation.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Western propaganda has really done its job on you.

          Oh and just to reiterate from your earlier tiresome and moronic accusation. I’m English.

        • Lawrence James.

          Not if Turkey started the trouble.

      • SchtenGraby

        I’m not sure you need to move ICBMs anywhere – they’re pretty good at getting anywhere they want.

      • Mr B J Mann

        No it doesn’t:

        Try reading Article 5!

  • Sid Falco

    “Owen Matthews is a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, based in Istanbul.”

    Singing for his supper.

  • sidor

    The difference between Russia and the US, as far as the ME policy is concerned, is that Russia is pursuing its strategic interests whereas the US is pursuing the strategic interests of Saudi Arabia. A complete absence of strategy has always been characteristic of the US foreign policy, except the FDR era. Nobody in the US is now able to explain, in rational terms, what was the point of the war in Vietnam. The war was lost, and nothing happened.

  • munhu mutapa

    Turkey is playing with fire thinking Nato will help it against Russian firepower.

    • Charles Kerry

      One nuke from Russia, and the Turkey will be over cooked.

      • Zoe Butcher

        One nuke from Russia and there goes humanity because they’ll all fly.

        • patrick

          Lot of these people believe the Russian line that NATO will not respond to a Russian attack… a very foolish view

          • Lawrence James.

            Why should we risk western civilisation to save an increasingly truculent state that is putting itself in the way of a caning ? This is not a ‘foolish’ view but a rational one.Turkey has become a liability and until it comes to its senses should be dropped as an ally.The sooner this is understood in Ankara the better.

    • Zoe Butcher

      We are legally obligated to do so. I have no idea if the rest of EU NATO would back down, but the U.S. stands by it’s commitments. If Russia strikes Turkey, WW3 is on. Let’s just hope Putin isn’t is as crazy as the U.S. thinks he is.

      • Kimo Krauthammer

        But Turkey has absolutely no right to bomb or invade Syria, If they do so it will be an illegal act and NATO will not back them up inside Syria.

      • munhu mutapa

        Russia is not Iraq,Libya,Afghanistan neither France,UK or German.Russia is Russia the superpower.

      • Jacobi

        We are not legally obliged at all. The only relevant authority is a sovereign Parliament. Treaty agreements whether with the UN, NATO, or the European Union do not and cannot overrule the will of a sovereign parliament in a new and unforeseen situation which is what we now have in Syria.
        If Turkey strikes Russian forces (more likely than the other way round) the UK is under no obligation to assist Turkey and its Sunni/Saudi/Qatar/ISIL allies.
        The sad thing is that Turkey is crazy. So Houston, we have a problem. Turkey is now the clear danger, and should be dealt with by both Russia and the US of A.

        • Zoe Butcher

          Not only are we legally obligated to protect another NATO member that comes under attack, to not do so would negate the purpose of the entire organization, so yes. We would protect Turkey.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You never did read Article 5, did you?!

      • Lawrence James.

        And if Turkey provokes Russia in the knowledge that it can hide behind Nato’s skirts if it gets a a good hiding. No, this will not do. Nation should make it clear to Erdogan that he is on his own if he oversteps the mark. Turkey is not worth the life of a single British serviceman.

        • Zoe Butcher

          Then the UK not only needs to leave the EU but also leave NATO if she’s unwilling to do what she legally and treaty-wise promised to do.

          • Lawrence James.

            Not so: Turkey is not a member of the EU. As for NATO, an agreement made in 1949 under very different circumstances need not bind us to defend an ally come what may. Italy did not join the Triple Alliance in 1914 and, in 1898, Russia also stated that she would not support France against Britain over the Fashoda confrontation. The NATO treaty is flawed insofar as it bound signatories to support each other against the Warsaw Pact powers come what may. I don’t think public opinion in Britain France &c would accept a nuclear war to rescue an aggressive Turkey from the consequences of its belligerence. Sorry, but treaties can be broken.

          • Mr B J Mann

            The UK (and the US) are only treaty (not legally) bound to do whatever they think is appropriate in the circumstances.

            Try reading the treaty!

  • Jacobi

    Russia is i/c Syria now, I agree. The USA, Saudi-Arabia and Turkey are not comfortable with this just as Russian had not been comfortable with them. But tough.

    Regarding UN aid, the TV has followed it up to a point and then? We can rest assured that ISIL will get more than its fair whack before anyone else.

    When ISIL occupied Aleppo thousands fled and people were killed. Now that the Syrian government is attacking ISIL and recapturing it, the same is happening. That is war.

    Saudi- Arabian troops are now operating on the ground in Syria, and you tell us that Saudi Arabian aircraft also. But Turkey is the one we have to watch. They are routinely shelling across the border into Syria and are now operating bombing aircraft inside Syria. The chances of a clash with Russian aircraft is very high. But then that is exactly what the Turks want, to draw NATO into armed conflict with Russia. They are prepared for the resulting mess and will indeed welcome it. The member countries of NATO might think otherwise.

    You talk about risk. But the greatest risk by far is for us in the West to leave Syria to the manipulation of Sunni/Saudi/Qatar/ISIL and Turkey.

  • waky wake

    I’ve read a lot of good comments posted here and agree with those that suggest Assad-Syria, Putin-Russia and Iran will determine how this war winds down. I posted a comment on some Syrian article or another back in 2013-2014, that there was only one way to effectively defeat ISIS/ISIL/Jihadists in Syria and that was for the western alliance-{INSTEAD INSERT RUSSIA} to join forces and coordinate with the Assad government’s Syrian army, which is and was then the only ground force in Syria capable of taking on ISIS/ISIL/Jihadists and defecting them, with air support, intel and supply help. Those 2013-2014 have been proven unequivocally, absolutely and undeniably correct and our western government foreign affairs folks should be learning valuable lessons from these so often exampled truths-{Somalia/Iraq/Libya/Yemen/Ukraine and even attempts at Iran and Egypt}, but they aren’t and won’t. I will say it again here and now. This Syrian civil war, sparred on by foreign insurgent elements would end only one way and that is through an alliance with the Assad government, ie Russia and Iran. And I say to western nations citizens. We in the west should be extremely thankful that Russia and Iran stepped in and stopped this regime change plot, because if it had succeeded in overthrowing the Assad government, we would all be living in a much more dangerous world.

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      Well said!

  • Dr Corvus

    Why don’t you just accept that Putin was right from the start, and Western policy has been comprehensively wrong from the start? You come close, but somehow can’t resist obfuscating your admission with a lot of boo-words and smears.

    What is vital now is that the Western Powers, including us, do not engage in a hot war against Russia – a war in which we would be the allies of Christian-killing Yazidi-raping Sunni Islamists and their Sunni Islamist state backers: Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    • McRobbie

      Western policy was wrong..we should have driven Assad out at the first.

  • RSP2022

    We in USA are thankful to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that protects our land from ISIL terrorist supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Russia and EU are not so lucky. Though, Obama’s policies have given the ISIL terrorists to come to USA in the form of refugees. We need to stop this policy.

    Now we need to take care of Turkey who is playing the same game what Pakistan played in 80s to create Taliban in Afghanistan. We need to stop these policies of Turkey and Saudi Arabia to create ISIL, JubatulNusra, Army of Islam in Syria. The wise people in USA are supporting Russia in Syria otherwise our generations will face the music of the policies of Saudi Arabia. We have already had 9/11 from Saudi Arabian Royal family. If this family creates the Army of Islam in Syria. We will again have repeat of 9/11 type event.

    Istanbul Jan. 13th, 2016 10 German died in bombing

    Jakarta Jan. 14th, 2016 10 dead in bombing

    USA New York: World Trade bombing 1996

    Kenya: US Embassy bombing destruction 1998

    USA: NY, DC 9/11 tragedy; Almost 3000 US citizens,

    Afghanistan: The terror of Taliban and Al-Qaeda production factories since 1990s

    Kabul: Dec. 11th, 2015 attack on Spanish Embassy

    Iraq: Destruction of Kuwait 1990; Operation Desert Storm cleansed it, 1990

    Iraq War: Almost 5000 US personnel died with more than 26000 as disabled vets.

    Bombings in London, Spain, Paris, Madrid, Beirut, Several cities around the World.

    Suicide Bombings and attacks in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia.

    Which entities are named? Taliban, Mujahidin, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jubat ul Nusra, Boko Haram, Ugars, Philippine rebellions. Their supporting roots are from one place of Radical Islam of Wahhabi doctrine from Saudi Arabia.

    German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel urged Saudi Arabia on Sunday Dec. 7th, 2015 to stop supporting religious radicals, amid growing concern among some lawmakers in Berlin about the funding of militant mosques by the world’s biggest oil exporter.

    “But we must at the same time make clear that the time to look away is past. Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities,” he said.

    “We don’t need or want it in Germany,” he told the weekly Welt am Sonntag on Dec. 7th, 2015.

    If we want peace in World, we need to stop these terrorists’ organizations and their main root of Wahhabi doctrine teachings and their finances to all USA mosques/schools from Saudi Arabia.

    • milford

      ‘We in USA are thankful to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that protects our land..’
      There we have it. You can cause wars all over the world secure in the knowledge you are far removed from the carnage you cause by thousands upon thousands of miles and will never have to face the consequences of your vile actions. No refugees will be arriving on your shores after all, they’ll all be here in the UK and Europe. The USA is increasingly looking like a nut-job.

  • A. M

    knowing the treacherous Russians they have probably backed ISIS for a long time, in secret. As for the PKK/PYD and Russia, they must be really thick if they think Russia is a genuine friend. Do they seriously think the USA and Russia is going to be their friend at the same time? Russia has handed power back to Assad, free to murder and maim the Syrian population as he was prior to the civil war.

    Like the NAZI’s said repeat a lie enough times and people will eventually believe it.

  • milford

    ‘Russia’s new best friends are Syria’s Kurds’ – Whereas the US’s and the UK’s new best friends are imaginary ones (moderate rebels lol). Funny how the MSM say Putin drops bombs on civilian targets, yet we carpet bomb these countries but only hit military targets, yet whole cities are razed to the ground. The usual BS.

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      The laughably named “moderates” the US are backing in Syria are as bad as ISIS. How did arming rebels against Russia in Afghanistan work out? They turned into the Taliban. Brilliant!

  • Cyril Sneer

    ” business as usual for Russian and Syrian warplanes. In recent days,
    they have bombed Médecins Sans Frontières hospitals in rebel-held Idlib
    and Azaz”

    Totally propaganda bollox. The MSF official press release has not applied any blame to anyone It speaks volumes that the scum mainstream media has taken this and turned up the propaganda dial to 11.

    Yes, you’re losing. Yes it’s over. Yes you f cked up big time.

    • Zoe Butcher

      Nope. There’s 100% evidence that Russia has purposefully bombed 8 different hospitals over 400 times. Sorry, but your country has been busted for war crimes. Deal.

      • Lawrence James.

        I am not sure what country you represent. If its Turkey, then there are the Armenian massacres, denied of course by our NATO ally. If its America, then lets start with the systematic slaughter of the native Americans and move steadily across Latin America towards South-East Asia and then to Iraq. Chuck it ! Your’e on a losing wicket.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Woah 100% eh…. Provide a link to the evidence.

        I’m English you imbecile, I live in England.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Errrrrrmmmmmm your country has busted hospitals from Serbia to Afghanistan.

        Unfortunately no one has dealt with you!

    • bengeo

      Ahh Web Brigade!

      • Zoe Butcher

        Paid Russian troll. Yep. They are in every country’s comment sections defending war crimes or spinning blame.

        • Lawrence James.

          Insults are the lost resort of those lacking reasoned arguments.,

        • Cyril Sneer

          So so tiresome…. I’m English, live in Worcester, born in Worcester, once lived in South Africa. I have made over 13 thousand comments on a variety of subjects over the years.

          Your accusation says more about you than it does I.

  • Francisco Ponce Palmero

    and what about the victims of Al Assad? must be this mass murderer ruling Syria?

    • waky wake

      Every national government on this planet that’s older than a few weeks and put fantasizes on the U.S., has committed mass murder at some point in their reign. Never let it be said that anyone believes Assad and his government officials are angels, but show me “real” evidence that Assad forces started the killing during the Syrian protests of 2011 and I will show you twice as much evidence that the so-called peaceful crowds of protesters had been infiltrated by al-nursa and ISIS members, and they were the ones that started shooting and bombing, killing both Assad government security personnel, as well as protesters. Show me one stitch of verifiable evidence that Assad government Armed forces shelled an areas {that they controlled} with chemical weapons in 2013 and I’ll dig up twice as much verifiable evidence that points to affiliates of al-nursa and/or ISIS being responsible for those attacks. I’m sure you mean well, but you need to understand what real war is. “There are no victims in real war, just unintended targets”.

      • Zoe Butcher

        That’s not evidence. That’s conspiracy talk based on wikileaks posts. There is no real “evidence” to speak of, only cables intercepted, and if we’re going to go on wikileaks type “proof” there’s plenty to go around on the Russian end by the Russian equivalent of wikileaks, InformNapalm.

        It’s clear as day to anyone with a functioning brain that Russia has decided to embrace a new form of militarily aggressive hybrid warfare imperialism. It sees the waning days of Pax Americana and has decided to become the new bully of the world.

        • waky wake

          Don’t understand you reply. I didn’t present any evidence, I asked for some and my comments are based on info obtained from numerous sources, {not including wikileaks. I have not once based an opinion on wikileaks data.

          • Zoe Butcher

            There’s no reason to even speak of what the U.S. did, we were bombing ISIS and were supporting the half of Syria that wanted a war criminal gone. Assad is a bad actor on the world stage. If we made a mistake it was letting rebels decide anything. Now, Russia is supporting Assad, a war criminal, and fighting along side a known terrorist organization in Hezbollah. Does Putin have any idea how badly he’s just made Russia seem to the free world? It’s like he has taken his country down several pegs from a world leader and chosen to be something akin to a drug cartel leader.

            Russia cannot complain of U.S. imperialism when they themselves are engaging in exactly the same thing, waky wake.

          • Kimo Krauthammer

            On a scale of one to ten, the US debacle in Iraq was as bad as it gets at ten, Russia’s support of Assad about a two. Russia happens to be on the right side of this fight.

          • Lawrence James.

            America was doing what it has always done, back anyone who promises to be its poodle, irrespective of their local support or their ruthlessness in dealing with opposition. ‘He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch’ is the golden rule of American diplomacy and still is. Nicaragua, Panama . . . and just about everywhere else south of the Rio Grande. Yankee realpolitik is understandable, but spare us the humbug about ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’.

          • Zoe Butcher

            Spare us the fact that Russia isn’t taking advantage of the Pax Americana waning power vacuum and doing the exact same types of things America would do. There are no “good guys” when it comes to geopolitics. There’s only take what you can get from who you can get it from, Lawrence. Grow up.

          • Lawrence James.

            Aha ! We are in agreement. America and Russia play by the same rules as the British and the French did in the 18th and 19th centuries. That’s fair enough, but what I object to is glossing over old-fashioned empire-building and carving out spheres of influence with airy talk about ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. I have grown up Zoe. I was born in the twilight of the Pax Britannicus and lived through the Pax Americana. One kept the peace in much of Asia and Africa and other did in Europe.Both our countries benefited immensely. So did others: I once met a senior Lithuanian politician who told me how much happier his people would have been had they been part of the British rather than the Russian empire.In a Delhi bar, an Indian told me that British rule was good while it lasted, and, most important of all, we knew when to take our leave.

        • Kimo Krauthammer

          “Iraqi Freedom” and “Enduring Freedom”. Horrible euphemisms for the murder and displacement of millions of Iraqis. “Mission Accomplished” =ISIS created. Tell me the US stuff don’t stink. Russia was invited into Syria by the elected leader of Syria, who is still quite popular.

          • Lawrence James.

            What about operation ‘Enduring Submission’, the wars against the native Americans and Filipinos in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

      • Kimo Krauthammer

        The CIA was involved in adding fuel to the fire by adding armed protesters to the original rallies against the government in Syria, helping ensure that things would explode.

      • Zoe Butcher

        Also, all countries that have been or are superpowers have millions of deaths on their hands, waky. You’re correct, the U.S. is responsible for upwards of 20 million deaths, but Russia is responsible for 30 million and China is responsible for almost 80 million. We’re not the best, but we’re also not the worst.

        • waky wake

          Never said the U.S. is/was the worst, when it comes to industrial scale carnage and death, just that it should be included in the “for example” set. And by the way, it seems you’re not including the Blacks that were lynched, mutilated, starved to death and otherwise killed/murdered during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in America. If you add those to the U.S. count, it would put the U.S. figure closer to a hundred million.

          • Zoe Butcher

            No that was including our part in the slave trade, you would be being unfair to lay every death at the feet of our country, the slave trade was going long before our country took part in it.

          • Lawrence James.

            Yes: interesting how the Arab slave trade, equal in its destructive power to the Atlantic is quietly written out of history. The beneficiaries were Saudi Arabia and the Ottoman Empire which only and very reluctantly gave it up under pressure from the civilised powers.

  • Zoe Butcher

    Russia is aligned with terrorist Hezbollah. They have recently been caught by the U.S. DEA down in Mexico and South America drug-running MASSIVE quantities of cocaine and methamphetamines into the Middle East having partnered up with Mexican drug cartels as well as F.A.R.C., they are also laundering tons of money to support their terrorist plots against Israel. In other words, Russia and Putin are purposefully choosing to align themselves with black market thugs and terrorists, and we can almost watch in real time as Russia becomes less and less a world nation and more and more like a bad player in the globe akin to someone like North Korea’s leader. Putin must be contained fairly soon or the E.U. along with the Middle East may come to regret it.

    • crotchety

      LOL how is the oil business in Turkey? A NATO member!

      Silence you fool!

    • Mr B J Mann

      He’s been an excellent student of the Yanks then!

  • McRobbie

    The opportunity to resolve the Syrian crisis was lost when millibrain and his team voted not to remove Assad in 2013. If Assad had been removed, by force if necessary, then a syrian alternative government could have been formed that would have resolved the differences and fought the daesh in a unified manner. Many thousands of lives would have been saved and the refugee crisis would not be there.

    • Zoe Butcher

      Agreed. Had Obama and the rest of NATO not dilly-dallied and went in and taken him out, Russia would never have had the chance to come in and throw wrenches into the spinning gears.

      • Kimo Krauthammer

        Assad is WAY better than the alternative. The “false flag” gas attacks in Syria were carried out by the rebels, not the Syrian government.

      • Lawrence James.

        You are reckless with other peoples’ lives. NATO is not, despite what you imagine, an imperial power ready to interfere beyond Europe to depose legitimate Middle-Eastern rulers.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Total delusion.

        It’s the fact that the US and Sunni allies have been involved in this illegally from the start, that is why we have continued conflict and now the Russian intervention.

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      And what exactly gives the US the right to overthrow governments? And how did getting rid of Saddam and Qaddafi work out? Everywhere the US treads we leave chaos and increased radicalism. Time to get out now!

    • StrategyKing

      Ah yes. This phantom alternate Syrian government, that was just waiting in the wings for us. Like the one in Libya. Give it up man and face the facts. We made a mess, and had no plan besides some ridiculous half-baked fantasies. We needed the Russians to come sort it all out.

      All this goes to show, that there is no role for the British in the middle east. A hundred years of ruinous meddling, starting with Sykes-Picot have been more than enough. Britain stay out! You are NOT welcome.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Like in Iraq?

      Or Afghanistan, where the US has recently taken out a Medicins Sans Frontiers hospital?!

      Or Libya, where the US has just taken out a couple of Serb embassy guys (the US seems to have a thing about killings related to Serbs and embassies, especially I support of criminal terrorist mujahadeen jihadi gangsters!)!!!

  • william.young1968

    I would have read the article except that I noticed the author’s name. Matthews is just a NATO shill. Remember, he’s spent the past two years waxing poetic about the invincible Ukrainian army.

  • bengeo

    Russia really wants to keep it’s only naval facility on the Mediterranean coast at Tartus, Syria, eh?

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      And why not? The US has hundreds of military bases around the world. In the long run Russia is a more natural ally. I’m more worried about China than Russia.

      • bengeo

        Because of the huge cost in human misery?

        The death toll from three years of Syria’s civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people, the United Nations reported Friday.

        According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million have fled to Syria’s immediate neighbours Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.

        • StrategyKing

          Hmm, and what does Russia have to do with that? You would presumably prefer then that Syria be run by ISIS?

        • Cyril Sneer

          “Because of the huge cost in human misery?”

          Then look no further than US foreign policy.

          The Syrian government falls, thus all of its institutions fall, the jihadists/salafists are the strongest and what will happen then? Democracy? Peace? A safe place for minorities? Secularism?

        • Mr B J Mann

          Wow!

          More than 191,000?!?!?!!!!

          The US killed 750,000 in its civil war!!!!!!!!

    • Cyril Sneer

      The Syrian government are content with it to be there. I’m sorry, who gets to tell who what to do?

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Bastiat#Views Andrew ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Thusfar, Putin has run rings around the hapless West, geopolitically. He’s operating on another level, compared to the comedy show of Obama and Biden.

    You’re brave to bet against Putin, especially considering the farcical competition he’s up against, and who is leading our nations.

    • bengeo

      How many Russian planes have you flown over Turkish airspace recently?

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Bastiat#Views Andrew ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Less than the amount of Turkish military jets flying over Greece?

        In reality, the claim the Russian jet overflew Turkey is dubious, and if true, lasted literally seconds. If countries shot down Jets like that, WWIII would have happened long ago.

        • PulSamsara

          Your petro-state buddy, the slavic Napoleon, can be (and is being) handled by other means.

    • Zoe Butcher

      Thugs always end badly. He will get beaten up at some point. You don’t go around picking fights without getting your nose bloodied as well.

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Bastiat#Views Andrew ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        You’re referring to blowback: the US got a pretty bloody nose on 9/11 …

        • PulSamsara

          stab in the back is a better analogy.

          • sidor

            And that stab in the back didn’t stop the love: Saudi Arabia is still an “ally against terror”. It is now allowed to operate in Syria. Love conquers all.

          • Kimo Krauthammer

            With allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who needs enemies? The Saudis are by far the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. I’m glad Obama is distancing the US from the evil Saudis and befriending the more moderate Iranians. Most Iranians like Americans. Most Saudis think we are heathens to be tolerated for business reasons.

          • sidor

            There is a fundamental difference between Iran and the Saudis.

            Arab nationalism (rather imperialism) and Islamism is one and the same thing.

            Persian nationalism and Islam are two separate and unrelated things.

      • sidor

        Could you elaborate on you remark about thugs? Are you talking about Turkey still occupying Cyprus and bombing Kurds? Or about Saudi Arabia regularly sending its army across its border and spreading wahhabi terror around the world? Or about France who initiated military aggression against Libya which brought ISIS there? The French troops have been continuously engaged in Africa within the last decades.

        • Lawrence James.

          No, the Frogs have been hammering various parts of Africa since they attacked Algeria in 1830: still are.

      • Pat

        You can’t just march into Crimea and take it.
        oh, I guess you can.

        • Jacobi

          Russia did not “take ” Crimea. Crimea, a long disputed area was part of Russia from 1783. This was disputed in circa 1853 by Turkey who for dubious local political reasons was supported by the French and British. Russia won, fact, and Crimea remained Russian.
          It was transferred for purely administrative reason without any consultation in 1954 during the Soviet period, the Soviet entity now being gone and it decisions without any legality, therefore, the previous legality, that of Russia, is now what applies. The Russians chose to re-include it into Russia. That was their business and legal, not ours.

          • Pat

            So?
            Are Putin’s actions in Syria lawful?
            I don’t see why not, I was responding to a post, insinuating that Putin types lose in the long run.
            I say, not always.

      • StrategyKing

        Given the number of fights we have picked this would be the pot calling the kettle black.

    • jeaniansimard

      Putin have the Syrian Intel on is side,so,who have the best strike option?Russia and Syria.Did you notice how i put Russia first?That`s because Assad is such a brown nose that he agreed to let Putin get the biggest credits for bombing targets,Assad strike the second less important ones.Still,the u.s only strike ISIS or they strike where our allies and special op`s paint lawful targets like Nusra own oil fields,”stolen” ISIS Howitzers,terrorists HQ`s ect ect

    • jeaniansimard

      Putin is running a crystal military,i see it for what it is a rust bucket army.They don`t have the GDP to fight the u.s on multiple levels,you need to be a madman to think otherwise.The only thing that keep Putin up there”in Russia’ is his propaganda…that they are master!!!!!!!!!

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Bastiat#Views Andrew ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        The US government could barely afford a war against dirt poor Iraq and 3rd world Afghanistan. The US government is a crystal economy unable to sustain its world empire. Those troops and Carriers won’t run on hyperinflated Fed notes…

      • Chamber Pot

        They don’t need to fight the US on multiple levels as the US is suffering from imperial overstretch and the Russians have a habit of overcoming their enemies and they are hard as nails.

        The Russians should be our friends and the only reason we in the West suffer now with huge instability and a tidal wave of refugees is because of American neoconservative regime change strategy for Syria of which Dave’s grandstanding in Libya forms part.

        If the Russians stabilise Syria they will stem the refugee flow and deserve all our support.

        • jeaniansimard

          Back from vacation. So,a bit late for a reply,but,still you needed one with a statement like that. That`s just a stupid thing to say,why don`t you look at the first day`s of protests in Syria before say stupid thing like that.Bashar Al-Assad started the whole thing when he decided to shoot on protesters ,nothing to do with the u.s. Some idiots think the Arab spring in Tunisia”Where it began” was caused by the u.s instead of by their own civilians who wanted the same freedoms/rights that the western leaders give to their people .We tried time after time to be Russia`s friends,Their leaders are to blame”not Gorbi,he was one of the greatest leader ever” they are jealous and they always try to undermine western foreign decision /policies and when they succeed,look at what happen to the country in question.Look at Cuba and tell me the Russians improved Cuba life style.Now look at Syria,look at the refugees,tell me how many refugees Russia help? The u.s have a terrible record under Bush,the worst one ever.That time will be over after Obama leave office “after doing ziltch for 8 years” Putin is taking Russia down with him and it`s very dangerous.with the help of Trump,Putin will kill us all!

          • Chamber Pot

            Quite frankly I don’t give a damned who started the whole thing and it’s not our job imposing democracy or anything else on the Middle East – we can see what a disaster that policy has been in Iraq and Libya.

            The West and particularly America simply does not have the attention span required to manage the aftermath of such ‘well meaning’ interference.

            I know of what I speak and I am no dilettante and I have lived all over this area for more than 30 years.

            And by the way after almost 60 years of US sanctions Cuba is still a better place to live than many other Latin American countries and I really hate socialism.

          • jeaniansimard

            Maybe you should give a damned instead of simply blame the u.s for everything,It`s not a bad thing when our country take the side of the people when they are shot at by their own government during protests,No?Regime change In Syria !Sure Assad has to go for what he did and still do .What would happen to Obama or Cameron,Harper if they decided to start shooting at people during Occupy protests?

            Please stop,Cuba!!!Central/south America have food in their stores.Not just a few things for Castro tickets.Get real.

          • Chamber Pot

            Quite frankly I don’t give a damned who started the whole thing and it’s not our job imposing democracy or anything else on the Middle East – we can see what a disaster that policy has been in Iraq and Libya.

            The West and particularly America simply does not have the attention span required to manage the aftermath of such ‘well meaning’ interference.

            I know of what I speak and I am no dilettante and I have lived all over this area for more than 30 years.

            And by the way after almost 60 years of US sanctions Cuba is still a better place to live than many other Latin American countries and I really hate socialism.

          • Chamber Pot

            Quite frankly I don’t give a damned who started the whole thing and it’s not our job imposing democracy or anything else on the Middle East – we can see what a disaster that policy has been in Iraq and Libya.

            The West and particularly America simply does not have the attention span required to manage the aftermath of such ‘well meaning’ interference.

            I know of what I speak and I am no dilettante and I have lived all over this area for more than 30 years.

            And by the way after almost 60 years of US sanctions Cuba is still a better place to live than many other Latin American countries and I really hate socialism.

          • Chamber Pot

            Quite frankly I don’t give a damned who started the whole thing and it’s not our job imposing democracy or anything else on the Middle East – we can see what a disaster that policy has been in Iraq and Libya.

            The West and particularly America simply does not have the attention span required to manage the aftermath of such ‘well meaning’ interference.

            I know of what I speak and I am no dilettante and I have lived all over this area for more than 30 years.

            And by the way after almost 60 years of US sanctions Cuba is still a better place to live than many other Latin American countries and I really hate socialism.

      • Cyril Sneer

        “Putin is running a crystal military,i see it for what it is a rust bucket army”

        I don’t think you’ve seen many videos featuring their capabilties on display in Syria. You really should. They’ve performed far beyond what the west predicted. They are not a paper tiger.

        • jeaniansimard

          Back from vacation. So,yes i have seen some videos i just look at Russia military parade and guess what…T-90 just stalled in front of me. Now i will look at some rocket launch from cruisers,i wonder what i will see this time,last time they almost hit their own ship with a cruise missile.Would you like me to get back to you after i watch a few launch? I know there WILL be a bunch of failed one,Russia`s navy is not very good . I can`t say i am surprised by all that Russia after all only put 60 to 90 billions a year minus about 50 to 75% worth of corruption going straight in the brass pockets.Hey,if i was Russian i too would think they are doing great in Syria,but,i am not Russian and i know Russia only have some success because the Syrian intelligence/military/police and let`s not forget the FSB after Five years of war feed them all the intel they need to know where to strike.Still,i give them that…thumbs up Russia! Happy? P.s why you think Putin call it quit and Pretend it was over?

  • Kimo Krauthammer

    The key is that the US and NATO tell Turkey NOT to invade Syria, and if they do, they do it alone. Turkey has absolutely no right to shell or bomb Syria, much less invade or demand a 10km corridor along the border under their control, so they can continue to supply the terrorists.

  • Pat

    Moderate rebels, HAAA
    How about, Friendly terrorists.

    • jeaniansimard

      Not quite!

  • jeaniansimard

    Rebels are not all terrorists,only Assad,Putin and a bunch of other idiots think they all are.People with a bit of brains knows the civil war started with PEOPLE protesting and Assad shooting in the group with AK`s.By Assad Putin and idiots way`s of thinking,what happened after…where terrorists shooting back!!Sorry,but,you are not all that smart if you think so too.I say they where hero civilians who like anyone else didn`t want to get shot at for expressing their voice,for exercise their right to protest.Can you remember the Arab spring?I certainly can! BTW,let`s not make this about the u.s…again!!!

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      The CIA added armed protesters to the fray to ensure that it would explode. The US has been meddling in Syrian affairs for years. The Israeli plan to divide and conquer almost came to be. The Israelis want three smaller, weaker countries next to them instead of Syria.

      • jeaniansimard

        Proof!

        • Kimo Krauthammer

          That’s exactly what Israel is proposing now.

          • jeaniansimard

            ?.

          • jeaniansimard

            I am not a fan of what Israel does to Palestinians…not at all.I would say they need give back settlement taken since 67.

          • jeaniansimard

            got to go back to work now…see ya next time!!!

      • jeaniansimard

        Don`t put news articles!

  • Discuscutter

    Erdogan is much more of a threat to Europe than Putin is. Not that Putin is an angel.

    Erdogan actions are destabilizing the region, fermenting extremism and reasserting Islamic imperialism.

    His letting in the migrants for the last 6 months has already changed European politics and it is only the start.

    • Kimo Krauthammer

      Erdogan is going to destroy Turkey. He is putting his religious agenda ahead of the interests of the country. It’s sad to see these relative secular societies taken over by religious extremists.

      • Zoe Butcher

        No, his sole concerns are twofold. One, he wants the pipeline, and two, he wants to stop the PKK/YPG from bombing his country.

        • jeaniansimard

          Well said!!!

        • Kimo Krauthammer

          He wants Assad out. Not really up to him is it?

        • Cyril Sneer

          He’s not doing a very good job of preventing the PKK/YPG of bombing his country. In addition, his involvement with supporting the jihadists in Syria has resulted in a much strengthened Syrian kurds who now control the majority of the Turkish/Syrian border – take a look at a current military map of Syria. He has seriously messed up. I think they call it blowback.

          Oh and does Syria get to maintain its sovereignty and own interests within its own borders?

      • Chamber Pot

        Erdogan has taken Turkey away from the path trodden by Ataturk and his successors.

        Embracing Islamism will see the destruction of Turkey.

    • Zoe Butcher

      Really. What country has Turkey invaded? The E.U. hasn’t collapsed due to Turkey taking responsibility for the migrant crisis but Europeans seem pretty ungrateful about the help Turkey has given. Russia has done Crimea, Ukraine, I’ve even heard tell there’s incursions into Latvia. Russia is incredibly aggressive and imperialistic lately. The E.U. better watch her back closely.

      • Kimo Krauthammer

        What gives Turkey the right to shell and bomb in Syria and Iraq?

        • Zoe Butcher

          Well the terrorist bombing that just happened in Ankara for one, according to the Bush Doctrine.

          • Kimo Krauthammer

            Yeah, Bush invaded and destroyed the wrong country. He killed and displaced millions of Iraqis. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

          • Zoe Butcher

            Bush Doctrine is now standard operating procedure for any country, Kimo, including Russia, they used the Bush Doctrine to justify going into Chechnya.

          • Kimo Krauthammer

            And how did getting rid of Saddam and Qaddafi work out? Time for the US to leave and let Putin wipe out ALL the terrorist vermin, even those we have been backing.

          • Chamber Pot

            Chechnya is a part of Russia just like Crimea.

          • jeaniansimard

            alway`s go back to that…bush is not the u.s.a

          • Kimo Krauthammer

            Obama’s been trying to back his way out of the three feet of dung he was left standing in.

          • Lawrence James.

            Thank heavens.

      • Oxen

        Jihad Erdogan is a shame to the region, a radical Islamist oil stealing buffoon.

      • Ariel Cohen

        Greece, Macedonia, Cypress, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia Boznia-Herzogovena, Iraq, Syria . .

        • Zoe Butcher

          Russia then has invaded a hundred countries Ariel if you’re going to use history instead of be logical and realize I’m talking about the past decade or two.

          • Lawrence James.

            Golly. Just tot the number of countries invaded by Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the United Sates, Japan, Spain and Portugal. Incidentally, you say that Russian invasions of the past twenty years. Surely you mean centuries ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            If you want to talk about the past decade or two then look no further than the west and its policy of ‘humanitarian democratic regime change’, which always results in chaos, anarchy and conflict. We are here now with this situation in Syria and in many other places as a result of this dreadful US led foreign policy pouring fuel on the Islamic sectarian fire.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Like when you were talking about when Turkey “defeated” the Russians?!?!?!!!!

      • zappata

        The incursion into Latvia was a BBC war simulation programme.

    • jeaniansimard

      2.5 millions Syrian refugees in Turkey,Erdogan is almost a god for most of them.I say he `s done nothing bad compared the MANIAC PUTIN and his new world order plan.Putin invade other country`s for keeps,you will see it again when Assad want him out so that he can start the control in Syria and Putin wont go anywhere.Syria is his now,well most parts anyway!!!

      • Mr B J Mann

        So why are they all jumping into rubber dinghies and onto rafts to escape to Europe?!

  • marvin

    Erdogan is all mouth and trousers – even the terrorists can do what they want in Turkey. The Russian army is the mightiest force in the World – I would not argue with Putin and Erdogan is a fool to do so!

    • Zoe Butcher

      Really. He’s all talk? He’s a lot braver than Obama, he’s actively lobbing artillery shells into Syria and has shot down a Russian jet(which by the way I now view that jet shootdown as saving the lives of countless from Russian phosphorus and cluster bomb attacks since it’s one less war criminal Russian jet pilot allowed to bomb civilians and hospitals).

      • StrategyKing

        As opposed to what? the bombs we have been dropping in that region for god knows how long? Give it up man, and face the facts. We made a horrible mess, and the Russians have sorted things out.

      • marvin

        Braver? Or more stupid!
        The US have backed down on attacks in the Gulf States. They do not have the funding nor armaments to continue and are more concerned that the Russian’s have greater capability.

      • Mr B J Mann

        You like Turkey because you think it has something to do with Thanksgiving, don’t you!!!!

    • Zoe Butcher

      2nd mightiest in the world. There isn’t a single reputable military analysis that rates Russia’s military as a whole better or more powerful than the U.S. military.

      • Oxen

        There does not have to be, see what Russia did in less than one month in Syria and what USA did in 3 years claiming to fight IS. Go figure

        • Zoe Butcher

          We were never going to carpet bomb the Syrians out of existence. If your opinion is that is Russia the most brutal military, then probably so. We like to use precision bombs and try and not kill innocents. Russia is carpet bombing the entire country with cluster and phosphorus munitions which if you don’t know what phosphorus bombs are they’re way worse than napalm. They don’t stop burning into you’re a pile of goo.

          • Oxen

            Baloney, Iraq war was a disaster, millions of innocents were killed even some soldiers stood trial. The photos from the jails were just abominable, USA cannot claim any high moral ground than the others who wage war. So stop dreaming. There was no reason for CIA to take money from Suadi Arabia to train FSA/ISA/Al-Terrorists alliances and send them to Turkey and Jordan to then attack Syria. That is not a war on terrorism, it is a war for and as terrorists.

          • FrankieThompson

            Patrick Moore , who served in the RAF in WW2, once said on television

            “The saying was; when the RAF went up, the Germans ran for cover. When the Luftwaffe went up, the British ran for cover. When the USAF went up, everyone ran for cover.”

          • David Gracie

            What planet do you live on?? ,The head of the U.S air force has recently stated that he is

            impressed with the professionalism and pin point accuracy of the Russian air force in
            Syria, And when have the U.S used precision bombs,Vietnam.Afghanistan, Irag and there
            is know variable proof that either cluster or phosphorous munitions have been used
            But of course your just another embecilc couch potato expert that spews B.S every time you
            post,

          • Lawrence James.

            Really ? Have you forgotten Vietnam ?

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Russia is carpet bombing the entire country”

            Nothing of the sort.

      • Lawrence James.

        Never trust ‘military analysts’ aka armchair generals. The US’s performances in Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan do not suggest battlefield omnipotence.

      • Cyril Sneer

        I agree although Russia certainly is no paper tiger as some have mentioned. Russia alone has enough nukes to wipe out the planet.

      • marvin

        There is not one military analyst who would agree with you.! If you compare the weapons that the US have against the Russian weapons, you will see that the Russian weapons are far more accurate, lighter and more devastating than the outdated US weapons. Russia’s economy revolves around its arms marketing – it sells arms to the US, Syria, the Arab Emirates, China, Japan etc., The US does not have the funding to maintain such a high level of weaponry. It’s allies in Israel are holding a number of nuclear armaments to support the US should these be needed.

    • Sue Smith

      Last night our ABC news headlines at 7pm started with ‘Australians told to avoid Turkey”. My husband and I – retired poultry growers – looked at each other, wondering what new strain of E Coli had hit the market place.

      • Lawrence James.

        Gallipoli memories ?

  • Kimo Krauthammer

    Everyone acts like Russia had no endgame in Syria and it would be a debacle. Russia’s winning and the end result is that Assad reclaims his country, that everybody and his brother has been meddling in.

    • gabarabasab

      Absolutely spot on… albeit I always remember the expression as “the world and his wife” 😉

  • Wakeup!

    Turkey should be kicked out out NATO period. They want to recreate a new Ottoman Empire. They want to take over for ISIS. It’s their destiny according to Erdogan.

  • Oxen

    Russia had no choice but to act in Syria to defend an ally. NATO wants to take the port Russia has in Syria and control the region for oil pipelines and other resources. The Ukraine issue and Crimea was easy to see coming. How could Russia allow NATO to take over Crimea? That would have been naive. Now Russia should prepare to swiftly annihilate any Turkey troops and mercenaries that enter Syria. It has to be a very devastating hit so that Turkey does not think of trying again. They should be hit inside Syria. Any jets that cross taken down and the border sealed. NATO cannot negotiate, they use terrorists tactics and are so damn greedy, Jihad Erdogan and the Islamist dictators of Saudi have to be stopped with their West masters that wand a Radical Sunni Caliphate.. If NATO attacks Russia, then it has to be ready for a nuclear war. Russia should use all it has if attacked by NATO under any pretense.

    • Enoch Powell

      Spot the Putinbot.

      • Gennady Kravenkov

        Exactly. :)

      • AtoZ

        Do you have any answers as to why your dear US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are being shown how to fight terrorism by Russia?

        Any idea why the US spent hundreds of millions of dollars in 1 instance alone training and arming ISIS?

        Any idea why the US created Al-Queda in the first place with the Saudi’s to attack Russia?

        Any idea why within 5 months Putin has pushed them back to 2012 levels, yet the mightiest armies in the world (USA spends more on it’s military than the next 12 nations combined, Turkey is the 2nd largest military in NATO, and Saudi Arabia is the worlds 5th or so largest military) could not take out ISIS yet poor little Putin and Iran could?

        Oh that’s right. Because the west is now owned by Saudi Arabia and gleefully bombs nations into dust illegally yet when a nation like Russia fights under international law you all go nuts.

        Face it kiddos. You lost. :) Your ISIS operation is over. Saudi, Turkey, Qatar, and the US can now take a back seat on the Putin train, or try to start WW3. Up to you kids, wouldn’t put it past you freaks, terrorist addicted fanatics.

        • Gennady Kravenkov

          AtoZ. BS. There is no even a single shred of truth in your statement – just citations from Putin’s propaganda. It is obvious to me that you are a Kremlin bot.

          • AtoZ

            It’s OK if you think that! No one cares about your ignorance as the world already knows it, and the situation on the ground reflects it. It’s as if telling me you don’t believe the world is round. Ok, so what? It’s your own uneducated and crazy opinion and doesn’t reflect the sentiment on the ground and all over the world. So…. that’s cool I guess!

            It’s sad to see you don’t bother to do *any* research though. Oh, I just saw your last name. Seems like instead of me being a Putin-Bot you’re a Russiaphobe perhaps. Either way, best of luck to you sir, the rest of us will be fighting ISIS and ‘moderate heart eating rebels’ while the US, Qatar, Saudi, and Turkey keep funding them.

            It’s so odd that Putin with a tiny fraction of the military of the US has manged to push ISIS back to 2012 levels in 5 months while the mighty US spent 5 years helping them grow. Don’t let simple facts like this bug you though and make you think.

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’ve made 11 comments on your profile to date… you’re ‘the bot’. Perhaps in your future disqus ‘career’ you will only comment on very specific subjects whilst continuing to throw around the increasingly tiresome accusation of ‘krem bot’ to anyone who doesn’t indulge in the equally tiresome russkie bashing.

      • Lawrence James.

        What is a ‘Putinbot’ ? Sounds like a small Russian warship or a Ukrainian folk dance. Translation please.

    • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

      Hope they pay you for this nonsense. Would be pretty unsatisfying else.

      • Gennady Kravenkov

        Right on. :)

  • yesterdaytodayforever

    Daesh is Saudi Arabia’s mini me.

  • Gennady Kravenkov

    As an ex Russian living in Canada, I can tell without any doubt that saying something like Putin’s end-game is the best option – shows me that a person saying this does not understand modern Russia and Putin at all. The rest of what that man is saying is irrelevant to me.

    • Sue Smith

      How do you get to become ex-Russian?

      • Gennady Kravenkov

        To be more accurate – I am Russian born Canadian. And it changes nothing in what I said here.

        • Sue Smith

          I wasn’t commenting on your politics or your comments; I was assuming you don’t have dual citizenship when Russian!!

      • Gennady Kravenkov

        How did you get to become Smith, a russian bot? 😉

        • Cyril Sneer

          Sue has been posting on here for quite some time on a variety of subjects. Your account is new.

    • FrankieThompson

      So what is Putin’s end game?

      And what’s wrong with it?

  • Ariel Cohen

    “Putin’s intervention in Syria is an act of reckless geopolitical
    buccaneering — just like his invasion of Georgia in 2008 and his
    annexation of Crimea in 2014.”

    Owens begins his article with the general facts, then towards the end he degenerates into the spectacular, attention grabbing opinions like the one presented above. There was absolutely nothing “reckless” about Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, nor his annexation of Crimea in 2014. Both were well planned and operationally smooth, well thought out actions that were implicitly necessary for Russia’s security interests. If Russia had not entered Georgia in 2008, Georgia would be a NATO colony by today and if he had not annexed Crimea, it would be a NATO naval base and forward staging area by now. In both situations, Putin reacted to preserve Russia’s own security interests. Brinkmanship perhaps, but never “reckless political buccaneering”.

    • Gennady Kravenkov

      Are you serious? Do you know how much Putin’s “protection’ of Russia’s interests cost Russia since annexation of Crimea and continue to take it’s big toll these days while his country diving deeper and deeper into economical turmoil?

      • Jacobi

        Russia did not “annexe” Crimea. What it did was legal. As for the cost to Russia, that is their business, no concern of ours.

        • Gennady Kravenkov

          Are you kidding me? Legal? Under what law? Do you mean an illegal referendum (according Ukrainian law) under gun point of Russian troops? And the cost to Russia concerns me a big deal – I still have a family there.

          • Jacobi

            No, not kidding, something I never do. I am stating simple fact, such as I always do. I am referring to the pre-Soviet law of Crimea which was part of Russia and as such came back into play when the Soviet Union evaporated.
            The cost to Russia is Russia’s problem, not ours.
            And may I ask, if you have a family here why don’t you go back and help? In my family we have also had a history of war and displacement but leaving family was never an option. Our members would not have dreamt of that.

          • Gennady Kravenkov

            You have a very interesting interpretation of law. If you are familiar with European history, there are almost no place that didn’t change hands many times throughout a couple of last thousand years there. Europe learned from last two world wars that it is completely insane to start claiming territories once belonged to someone else. When the USSR disintegrated, it was a special treaty signed by Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and some other major ex-soviet republics to finalize and legitimize breakout and avoid a chain of wars between them.

            As for some of my family who are still remaining there, they don’t need too much of support from me just yet and a second part of my family is here for quite a while already. Plus, I have a lot of friends living in Russia and those of them who are well educated people are not happy with what regime of Putin is doing in Russia completely.

            As far as I can see it, my knowledge about Russia and current processes unfolding in that country are far more superior to yours and I don’t see any sense in discussing something like that with you. No insult though – just simple fact. I see no interest in arguing with you about this subject. It is similar to discussing calculus with a child of a kindergarten age.

          • Jacobi

            I have a sensible interpretation of law, unbiased.
            And very familiar with European history. Every territory once belonged to someone else, including where I am now. Hence we must draw lines and leave things as they were, that is Crimea being part of the post-Soviet Russia as it has been now for 230 years.
            I’m sorry some of your friends are not happy in Russia. I have friends in several countries who are not happy for a whole variety of reasons. Not sure what your point is.
            And don’t be presumptuous about your superiority. That is a form of Pride you know.
            But I agree with you on one thing. We have both made our positions clear so no point in going round in circles.

          • FrankieThompson

            Is the point about Crimea not this. Leaving aside the unquestioned desire of a large majority of the people who live in Crimea, just now, to be part of the Russian Federation, the treaty that was talked of earlier gave Russia the use of Sevastopol. With the make-up of the newly selected ( by the west) government of Ukraine, and the undoubted moves towards EU and NATO membership the Russians simply could not be certain that that would remain. Accordingly, they had to move as a matter of military necessity. The fact that the people of Crimea were happy to go along with incorporation into the RF confirmed the matter.

          • Jacobi

            You are probably right. Treaties are one thing and a certain amount of pragmatism is always called for. the wayu in which NATO took advantage of a confused post Soviet Russia is some thing which at the time annoyed me , a nd Sthe h

          • Lawrence James.

            The Russians were defeated, first by the Turks in what is now Romania, and then by the Anglo-British forces which prised them out of Sevastopol.

          • Ariel Cohen

            The English were “prised” out of York by the Scots, the Russians were “prised” out of Moscow by Napolean and the French were “prised” out of Paris by Hitler. Does this mean we must now reallocate these cities to the original victors? Or should we take into consideration the greater demographics and history of ownership…?

          • Lawrence James.

            Not at all: having demolished the naval installations, we allowed Russia to keep Sevastopol so long as it was not used as naval base. This was out objective in fighting the Crimean war. Since then the region has stayed part of Russia and rightly so.

          • Ariel Cohen

            No, this is an incorrect assumption. The real strategic objective of the Crimean War was to support the “sick man of Europe” (Turkey) and use Turkey as a buffer in the then global confrontation with Russia. And it was not through any love of Turkey in Britain, but was merely a strategic necessity to help the Turks, so there would be some form of containment of Russian imperial expansion. The British and French, along with Russia had been bullying Turkey for years, using Turkey’s treatment of Christians as an excuse. Not too many years later, Sevastopol returned to Russian ownership, but, as in Afghanistan, Russian expansion was checked for the time being . .

          • Lawrence James.

            Our objective was to maintain naval supremacy in the Med and back Turkey as a useful glacis for the defence of India.

          • Jacobi

            Sorry, have looked it up. We weren’t licked. Apologies to my GGGp/uncles. Nevertheless, the Ruskis ended up with Crimea in the pre-Soviet period and that is what counts.

          • Lawrence James.

            Jolly good. It’s worth going there, for the battlefields are intact and the vodka is good, less so the robust wine. It seems that the beastly Urkainians were bent on building some factories on the site of Inkerman, disturbing British, French and Russian graveyards and annoying the Russian inhabitants,

          • Cyril Sneer

            I have to say I’m not happy living here in the UK – the corrupt establishment, a belligerent US led foreign policy, the EU, mass immigration, the divisive left wing.. oh and the lying media.

          • Baron

            If you disregard the Mongols Hordes, the Crimean Khanate towards the end of the medieval times, Gennady, it was the Ottoman Empire that had held Crimea since the 15th century until it got annexed in 1783 by Russia (Potemkin), which has held it until Nikita gifted it to Ukraine purely for administrative reasons in 1953. (Khrushchev’s son). The peninsula is geographically closer to Kiev, easier to rule it from there than Moscow, but Kiev in turn was ruled by the Kremlin i.e. Russia – no change of effective ownership when the USSR existed.

            In the modern times, if anyone could make a claim upon Crimea it would be Turkey, the successor to the Ottoman Empire. But since the end of the 18th century, most of the Crimea’s burghers have always been Russians, the language Russian, and even when Ukraine was in charge of Crimea, the peninsula had a special status.

            If the Americans didn’t spend $5.0bn in Ukraine (google for Newland’s testimony), the chief aim of which was to seize the Sevastopol naval base, Putin would have been happy leasing the facilities. The Kiev’s February putsch pushed him to act.

            Crimea will remain Russia’s for as long as Russia wants it, and if you know about Russia as much as you claim you do, it will be forever.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “Europe learned from last two world wars that it is completely insane to start claiming territories once belonged to someone else.”

            I guess the EU forgot that with Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Ukraine………

          • olympics fitness

            Crimea was, is and will stay Russian, period. Deal with it, quit complaining !

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Do you mean an illegal referendum (according Ukrainian law) under gun point of Russian troops?”

            It was nothing like that. There is no conflict in Crimea, unlike Ukraine.

            Crimea is Russian.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Are we talking about the economic sanctions that were placed on Russia based on a false accusation?

    • big

      …I would also add ,Crimea would have turned into a blood bath! Putin should have claimed he was simply following the West’s R2P policy!

  • anyfool

    Anyone who defeats religious Muslim zealots of a moderate or militant persuasion is to be congratulated, does it matter if they saw your head off with a blunt knife or a sharp one, the result is the same, both have the same agenda, their end game is the destruction of Western civilisation.

  • Kimo Krauthammer

    Nobody seems to care that Erdogan is abusing tens of thousands of Kurds in Southeastern Turkey. The man is evil.

    • FrankieThompson

      The Turkish attack on the Kurds is one of the great unsayables( of which there are many) on British broadcast media.

      • zappata

        This century’s Armenians?

  • David Simpson

    please stop inviting me to read three articles for free, and then telling me after the first paragraph in each that I have to subscribe. In my world, you have just become spam. And I will not be sharing or recommending your articles to anyone else in future.

    • Sue Smith

      Diddums.

    • bengeo

      Go incognito in Chrome.

      • David Simpson

        many thanks, and the rest of the article was worth the wait. I don’t suppose the Speccy marketing department bothers to read this lot, but for what it’s worth, how about a pay per view system. I dislike nicking stuff but I reaally don’t want to read the whole of the Spectator every week, however enticing the offer.

  • Sue Smith

    Yes, Putin does have a face like a dropped pie. Everything he does is to prevent us noticing that!!

  • longlance

    As resurgent, rough & ready Russian forces roll back American sponsored terror gangs in Syria, powerful, popular President Vladimir Putin continues to earn universal respect & admiration as a strong, serious, sensible statesman.

    • Bobserver

      People like strong, decisive leadership that produces a result to their liking. That is why Putin is popular not just with Russians but with many put upon third world countries. Iraq which has currently part of their land invaded and occupied by Turkey is unfortunately under US control and the latter with their multiple conflicting agendas have no intention of removing the Turks for them. This is unlike the Russians who are slowly helping the Syrian regime to remove all the foreign invaders in that country.

  • Randal

    Turkey being an enemy is hardly “new” – they did murder a Russian airman a while back remember? Turkey has been hostile to Russia ever since Russia effectively ended their opportunist attempt to sponsor a regime change in their neighbour and install a more favourable islamist government there.

    Putin’s intervention in Syria is an act of reckless geopolitical buccaneering — just like his invasion of Georgia in 2008 and his annexation of Crimea in 2014.

    Defending a longstanding ally against an externally backed regime change attempt in Syria, responding firmly to reckless aggression by the clearly unstable (and since unseated) Georgian leader and preventing further talk of the threatened NATO expansion to that country, and securing Russia’s major warm water naval base from an EU/US-backed “colour revolution” in Russia’s core security sphere. These are hardly “reckless”, or “buccaneering” for that matter. Bold, certainly. And successful, so far.

    It’s Turkey who ought to be considering where their leader’s wholly gratuitous, reckless and opportunist buccaneering has left them – an intractable renewed civil war in their own country, war and anarchy where they previously had peace and trade, and a nascent Kurdish state on and inside their borders.

    • Lawrence James.

      Indeed: Britain’s last fling in the Middle East was the Suez fiasco. We should keep well clear of where are no longer strong or wanted,

      • Flintshire Ian

        Exactly. There are no moderates anyway. Leave them to it and try to avoid any contagion. Make it clear that we will not take any more so called refugees into the UK.

  • FedUpIndian

    Summary of article: squeal.

  • StrategyKing

    “The prospect of peace in Syria is now dependent on the wisdom, restraint and goodwill of Putin and Erdoğan: an unsettling prospect.”

    As opposed to the prospects we offered of peace? Firstly can we remember that if we hadn’t been meddling there wouldn’t have been a conflict to begin with? And then what were the prospects we offered? The prospect that various tin pot groups with questionable philosophies would take over Syria, and establish a secular democratic government that everyone would support from now till eternity?

    “Certainly part of Putin’s plan in Syria is to distract international attention from his own unfinished intervention in eastern Ukraine. ”

    Can we stop saying this please? It is embarrassing in its cravenness. Do you think Putin cares about what we think, that he needs to distract us?

    Is the British ego really this big? There are still many variables but Putin might actually be able to end this conflict, at least he has come closer than anyone else. And a united Syrian force that takes down ISIL is good news however you look at it. You might think that the writers here would be grateful. But no, all there is is resentment. Resentment that Putin has proved a far greater strategist and statesman than anybody in Britain. Resentment that Britain is not in charge. Get over yourselves fellows, and just stay out of the way so that you don’t cause any more trouble.

  • Udayavar

    Turkey cannot invoke article 5 if its troops are bombed in Syria. They would be an occupying force in Syria, and occupying forces are protected only in the North Atlantic.

    • patrick

      Show where the NATO charter says that please….. it does not.

      An attack on one is an attack on all

      • stewart

        I think you will find it does not include Turkey invading another sovereign country they would quite rightly be on their own and probably wiped out That is why they will not go into Syria and have not flown over Syria

        • Cyril Sneer

          Leaked meetings of the Turkish government from 2014 would indicate that they have planned or considered an invasion of Northern Syria on a false pretext. Their forces are currently being been built up along the Syrian border but this could very well just be an attempt to secure a better bargaining position in future peace talks. Although the loss of Azad to the Kurds could be that very false pretext that they think they need. It’s ultimately the US that lets them off the leash or not.

      • Udayavar

        Look at article 6, which explains where article 5 is applicable. (Turkey was not a NATO member when these articles were created. The addendum on Turkey’s joining included defence of NATO members outside the North Atlantic, but did not expand coverage if occupying forces.) For example, when India took Portuguese colony Goa by force, others told Portugal that they could not invoke article 5.

  • bengeo

    The web brigades (Russian: Веб-бригады), commonly known in English media as the troll army, are state-sponsored Internet sockpuppetry groups linked to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.

    They are suspected to be organised teams and groups of commentators that participate in Russian and international political blogs and Internet forums using sockpuppets and large-scale orchestrated trolling and disinformation campaigns to promote pro-Putin and pro-Russian propaganda.

    • Carpenter E

      Funny how you don’t mention Israel’s vast organized propaganda drive on the internet. Many thousands of Jewish students, and other Zios with a lot of time on their hands and fanatical fevers, download the “Megaphone” software with which they alert each other to comment sections to invade, posing as “fellow Americans” or “fellow Europeans”. The Israeli government also pays operatives to spread the Zionist worldview online and attack critics of their plans for Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. How very typical.

      But do go on, ordinary concerned citizen. You were saying?

    • Lawrence James.

      ‘Are suspected . . . ‘ Just like the fairies that are ‘suspected’ to exist at the bottoms of gardens. Perhaps these supporters of Russia are just people do don’t allow the CIA and its minions to do their thinking for them.

    • big

      What is that supposed to mean? so let me get this right, if you don’t agree with a deranged ,and very obviously failed foreign policy,you’re a Putin troll?

    • FreeSpeech101

      No one from russia here.

    • Cyril Sneer

      So.. am I a paid Russian troll??

      Born in England, live in England.

  • This Is Vitaly
  • FrankieThompson

    Ah, President Erdogan.

    A reasonable man, do you think? But our ally, and not to be criticised.

  • backwardsevolution

    “America, Britain and the rest may not be comfortable with Putin’s ambitions in the Middle East, or his methods of achieving them.”

    Putin’s ambitions? How about Putin’s “rescue”? Assad did not want to be Gaddafi’d or Hussein’d, and he did not want to see his country taken over and another U.S. puppet government installed. Qatar and U.S. oil and gas interests want to build a gas pipeline up through Syria; Assad said no. The U.S. response to those who do not want to play along is, as always, to take the leader out. Syria was losing and they had their back against the wall. They asked their ally, Russia, to assist.

    ISIS is U.S.-made. The U.S. doesn’t want to take ISIS or the so-called moderate rebels out. The U.S. has been aiding them, with the help of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in destroying Syria. Russia had to step in, and they have been kicking butt ever since they arrived. The Syrian, Iranians and Russians are now winning the battle, a battle that never needed to happen. Gee, we keep seeing the same thing over and over again, don’t we?

    Just think of the weapons that are being sold to both sides and the money being made. The mightiest military force in the whole world has been in Syria for three years, and yet they’ve basically accomplished…what? Nothing! Perhaps they’ve been just pretending to go after ISIS?

    Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Britain, France – none of these countries have any right to be in Syria. Get the f*ck out!

  • Carpenter E

    Funny how the Spectator never reported when Sunni extremists, supported by Israel, Turkey and the U.S., besieged Aleppo until last year, and how they then tyrannized the city as they took it over. But when the Syrian government defeats the mostly Iraqi Sunnis, “rebels”, that is reported endlessly as a humanitarian catastrophe. Yes, the Syrian government is unable to help all the people – and that is because of Washington’s sanctions and oil embargo from 2004 and 2011, destroying the Syrian economy in order to help the Iraqi immigrants take over by force with Turkish weapons and money.

    Also, odd how the media don’t mention Israel functioning as al-Qaeda’s air force in southern Syria, bombing the government’s military on their behalf. And helping thousands of al-Qaeda fighters with medical aid on the Israeli side of the border. The most fanatic Zios in the Israeli government want expansion into a destroyed Syria to create their “Eretz Israel”, Great Israel, as their religion promises them. And the Syrian government had voiced support for the Palestinians, which means they become a target for the Israeli Lobby in Washington, which always gets what it wants. You don’t want us to call our kin in the media, do you congressman? Good boy.

  • Suleiman

    Funny how Spectator has banned my comments criticizing sunnis.

  • Saratov

    Does anybody think this article is an example of good journalism?

    I see all signs of modern western journalism: distortion of the facts and lack of any logic.

    1. Quote: “Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defence Policy”… One important word is missed: NGO. Russia’s NGO Council of Foreign and Defence Policy. The author deliberately tries to give words of a private person for the words of the Russia officials or is it just my ill imagination?

    2. Quote: “… the Kurds have been Washington’s closest allies in the region for years. The danger is that Russia’s overtures to the Kurds could put Moscow on a direct collision course with the Turks.” Does the author really think that situation when one ally of the US is bombing another ally of the US is quite normal? Does the author really think that regular Turkish army operation with heavy arms against Turkish civialians of the Kurdish nationality is normal too? But Russia’s help to the Siriyan (not Turkish) Kurds is dangereous?

    Our relations with the Syrian Kurds don’t touch Erdogan and can not touch at all. These are bilateral relations which are directed against ISIS, not Turkey. If Erdogan wants to attack to our anti-ISIS ally, he’s mad, not we.

    • Freddie Frampton.

      Russia is mad for being there in the first place. Surely the money used to sustain this war would be better spent in a flagging economy, not entertaining a war they can never win. Russia has nothing to gain apart from making America and China richer as they sell arms to the opposition.

      I honestly don’t understand why Russian’s put up with this, the country has so much going for it. If Russia focussed this money spent on war into developing more industry and farming then they would have ever chance at becoming a real financial super power.

      • backwardsevolution

        Freddie – Russia is slowly being surrounded. The U.S. wants more and more NATO bases on Russia’s borders. Russia is not mad for being in there. She must be in there, for her own survival.

        • Freddie Frampton.

          Russia is in it for her own survival. Hmm.. You are telling me that you seriously believe that there is another country on this planet that is stupid enough to invade Russia? Pls name just one country

          • Cyril Sneer

            The objective is not to invade Russia per se, they have nukes, but to break it up into mutliple states which perhaps could be achieved through economic warfare amongst other things.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            Are any parts of Russia wanting to break away? Even if that is the case, it is hardly Russia fighting for survival. Quite how it justifies a war in Syria is anyone’s guess – the mind boggles.

          • backwardsevolution

            Freddie – you’re young and obviously not well read. Start reading:

            http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/02/michael-hudson-discusses-the-new-global-financial-cold-war.html

          • Freddie Frampton.

            Nothing I haven’t read before. Copy and pasting a url is just lazy. If you have an opinion worth sharing or an answer to one of my questions then I’m more than happy to discuss.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Quite how it justifies a war in Syria is anyone’s guess – the mind boggles.”

            You do not understand the geo-political reasons why Russia has got involved. The war in Syria was raging for 4 years before Russia stepped in… you could start there.

      • Saratov

        Freddie, we don’t teach others how they must live. And execuse me very much, but I didn’t ask you for the advise. Did I ask you to teach us to spent our money? I only described our point of view. You can accept it or can not. And you can keep your advices for youreslf.

        And Freddie. you again tell lies yourself. Cause we’re winning, the West in a hurry with seacefire talks. Do you remember Illovaysk, Debaltsevo? The Aleppo is the same.

        • Freddie Frampton.

          Winning? Winning what? What can Russia possibly hope to achieve?

          So you would rather Russia spent your money on war and killing people, that’s your prerogative. I would rather it was spent helping those in poverty by creating a more sustainable economy.

          No need to get precious about opinions, we just think differently.

      • Cyril Sneer

        You do not understand why Russia has got involved in Syria.

        • Freddie Frampton.

          So that America could make it Russia’s problem, not their own

        • Freddie Frampton.

          Correct! I don’t think I will ever understand why Russia has allowed itself to be hoodwinked in to taking on Americas mess.

  • Freddie Frampton.

    Putin has made enemies of the whole Middle East. I think the likes of China and America are laughing all the way to the bank, they encouraged Putin into this war knowing full well that his pride couldn’t resist. Russia is now in the middle of a war it can never win, think Afghanistan, just 1,000,000 x worse in scale. Syria is surrounded, the borders can never be fully protected. China and America happily profit selling arms to rich opposition. Meanwhile Russia is deep in a recession and Europe suffers from immigration. The winners: China and America. The losers: Russia and Europe. The real losers: all the poor innocents that get killed in this twisted political game.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Putin has not made enemies of the whole Middle East. One of the largest players in that region, Iran, is firmly on his side. So is Syria and Lebanon. And local to Syria, the Kurds. The biggest loser could very well be Turkey – the Kurds are in control of almost the entire Syrian/Turkish border, cutting off the American, KSA, Turkish, Qatar backed rebels from their supply lines to the Turkish border.

      It all depends on how extensive this conflict becomes. The Russians, Kurds, Iranians and Syrians are winning in Syria but Turkey could very well invade on some fake pretext and then who knows.

      • Freddie Frampton.

        Vanguards of the UAE Armed Forces on Tuesday arrived in Saudi Arabia to participate in the military exercise dubbed ‘North Thunder’ at the King Khalid Military City in Hafar Al-Batin City in North of Saudi Arabia.

        Saudi Arabia has teamed up with 20 other Arab, Islamic and friendly nations to launch the biggest military exercise ever staged in the region. The Peninsula Shield Force is also involved in the exercise.

        Participating countries in the manoeuvre are: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Senegal, Sudan, The Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Malaysia, Mauritania and Mauritius.

        The exercise constitutes the largest-of-its-kind in terms of the diverse, advanced military equipment and machineries which reflect the qualitative and quantitative spectrum of ground, air and naval forces of the participating countries.

        The three-week exercise aims to consolidate military interoperability co-operation between Gulf, Arab and Islamic countries and upgrade combat readiness and efficiency.

        P.s Lebanon will never back Russia as a country, it is just the Hezbollah faction which are Shia and hence have close relations with Iran.

        All the kurds, Iranians and Russia combined will never be able to stop that lot infiltrating. Make no mistake, Russia is at war with the middle east in their own back yard. The only way Russia could ever win is to nuke the whole of the middle east and we all know that will never happen.

        The strange thing is, what does Russia possibly hope to achieve from all this? They should be using this money to rescue their economy, not fight a war they can never win.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Russia is very close to Syria, geographically, economically (gas/oil pipeline) etc. Assad rejected a KSA Qatar proposed gas pipeline because there is already one present running through Russia, Iran into Syria. Russia cannot afford to lose its presence in Syria and neither can Iran. And more importantly a secular Syria cannot be allowed to fall to the jihadists. These countries have long standing mutual co-operation with each other and it is the west and allies that are flouting international law and pursuing regime change.

          Lebanon has an interest in securing its border, this has been under threat throughout this war.

          Russia and the Syrian government for all their faults are in the right here. In addition there is no other option for Syria in my opinion, the Syrian government and with all the established institutions is the right system to bring stability and security back to Syria. The majority of the remaining population live within the areas of government control.

          I remember Syria before this war, it wasn’t that bad for one of those ‘muslim’ countries, it was secular. This is what the middle east needs, secularism.

          If Russia does not stop the west here like it did in Ukraine then it will be under increasing threat from the west and sunni islamists not to mention the economic harm it would incur. Iran could very well be next if this adventure eventually works in the wests favour.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            So Russia is now going to make Iran secular next? Good luck with that.

            Bringing stability and security to the region? Hmmm… you contradict this yourself when you start talking about WW3

            Make all the excuses you like but nothing positive comes out of war. Russia is being played by America and China, she isn’t changing anything in the middle east, just digging her own hole.

          • Cyril Sneer

            “So Russia is now going to make Iran secular next?”

            I never said it would. I was talking about Syria and what it was like before this war. I’d rather see a stable and secular Syria than an Islamist one with Sharia law.

            “Make all the excuses you like but nothing positive comes out of war.”

            Then complain to the US and their single foreign policy of humanitarian democratic regime change when it suits. The last 15 years have been a disaster.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            “I remember Syria before this war, it wasn’t that bad for one of those ‘middle eastern’ countries, it was secular. This is what the middle east needs, secularism and modernisation.

            If Russia does not stop the west here like it did in Ukraine then it will be under increasing threat from the west and sunni islamists not to mention the economic harm it would incur. Iran could very well be next if this adventure eventually works in the wests favour.”

            Seems to me you are suggesting that Iran will be next in-line to be a secularism.

            I complain about America all the time, there is no doubting that they started this mess in the first instance. Russia has been played by America in to taking over their mess. While Russia loses money, America and China are laughing all the way to the bank, supplying arms to the opposition.

            If Russian’s could put their patriotism to one side for 5 mins they might just realize that Russia would fair much better if they let America deal with the mess they first created. Concentrate on making Russia great, investing in agriculture and industry.

        • Mr B J Mann

          “All the kurds, Iranians and Russia combined will never be able to stop
          that lot infiltrating. Make no mistake, Russia is at war with the middle
          east in their own back yard.”

          But “Senegal, Sudan, The Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Malaysia, Mauritania and Mauritius”:

          Aren’t in the Middle East, in fact, some of them are at the other side of the world.

          And there is no way they are going to be “infiltrating” Syria ever, never mind any time soon!

          Oh, and little Israel (comparable to Yorkshire, isn’t it, and not just because it’s God’s own country), managed to not just stop, but defeat the ones in the Middle East.

          So Syria, with Russia and Iran’s backing, plus the Kurds, shouldn’t have a problem!

      • Freddie Frampton.

        The experience for the west isn’t the same. America is laughing at Russia’s predicament, they can make a fortune from selling arms and watch Russia blow a fortune. Europe is also feeling the pain due to mass immigration.

        If there are any winners in this it is China and America as they will make a fortune from selling arms. China will also wait to see if there are any lucrative deals at the end.

        Don’t be fooled, America might pretend to be squealing but the reality is anything but.

        Unfortunately the real losers in all of this are the innocent lives lost, always the case in war.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Oh I understand America wants to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe and it has done a very good job with that.

          War is expensive, yes. But, America has been doing the same for almost 15 years now. War is also business, and it also provides you with a means to thoroughly test and improve your capabilities, plus territorial control.

          The end of this war could very well result in a more established Russia in Syria with a closer Iranian alliance and perhaps Iraq in with that too. It all depends on how much more this war will extend. If left alone, for Russia and her allies to complete the task on the ground then the end result could very well be that. But that would be a total defeat for the west. I think Turkey and allies will do something, ‘perhaps’ invade but it will be the US that has given them that permission. It is the US all along that has wanted regime change (yet again), this is what they desire in Syria.

          I don’t see an Afghanistan yet because there simply aren’t enough Russian boots on the ground. The use of Russian airpower and intelligence in the last 4 months with the SAA and allies on the ground looks very successful so far. Russia has also provided more modern equipment to the SAA such as the latest version of the BTR and T-90.

          Re. the innocent lives lost… yes, but the west and Sunni allies for the last 4 years cared little for that in regards to Syria or Ukraine.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            No need to be so over protective, I never said the west was right for going to war. If you justify Russia going to war on the basis that the west did previously, that’s really sad.

            Stop kidding yourself that this war has been a great success, no success comes from killing people.

          • Cyril Sneer

            In terms of miltary analysis, successful so far as in defeating the insurgency since the Russia intervention.

            “If you justify Russia going to war on the basis that the west did previously, that’s really sad.”

            In terms of Syria, Russia are complying with international law, the west and Sunni allies are not. It is them that are the aggressors here.

            To stop this war Freddie we have to stop the funding and support for these rebel groups and they have to be defeated on the ground.

  • lazy susan

    The Turks shot down a Rooskie bomber before “” Russia’s overtures to the Kurds could put Moscow on a direct collision course with the Turks “” and the Rooskies started being friends with the Kurds.

    Now the Rooskies have had zero problems with the Turks shooting down Rooskie planes since the Rooskies and Kurds became friends.

    This is proof that the Kurds are very effective in defending the Rooskies air assets in Syria.

  • Randal

    sukyb below gives a link to the BBC Big Question program broadcast last Sunday.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b071fc9f/the-big-questions-series-9-episode-6

    At just after 6 minutes in Professor Michael Clarke, introduced as Former Director-General RUSI, asserts in response to (justified, and absolutely correct) criticism of the US failure to do anything about the IS attack on Palmyra:

    Palmyra fell because – yes we could see what was going to happen – it was Assad’s troops they walked away, they just left it

    As a retired academic, presumably Professor Clarke would have time to come down here and explain the apparent contradiction between his remark and the recorded history of the battle for Palmyra. Here’s the Wikipedia account, for simplicity, describing fierce fighting over several days involving several bloody counter attacks and hundreds of deaths on both sides. It might well be that the government ultimately chose to abandon the defence of the city for strategic reasons, but claiming the Syrian army “just walked away” is the kind of gross insult to the military dead that would undoubtedly have the likes of Clarke up in arms if it were applied to a battle involving our own troops, or even to American troops.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmyra_offensive_(May_2015)

    It’s clear that the US could easily have prevented the IS seizure of Palmyra if it had wanted to, given the surveillance and ground strike resources at its disposal in eastern Syria at the time. Why did the US regime choose instead to watch it happen? The obvious answer is that they hoped that IS gains would help with their primary objective of overthrowing the Syrian government.

    Why is Clarke seeming to mislead the BBC’s audience?

    • zappata

      Randal,as always,your well researched contributions are spot on.

      • Randal

        Thanks, zappata.

        I’d just like one of these establishment opinion formers to actually be held to account for what they say on mainstream media for a change, and maybe actually answer some hard questions. You would think eliciting that would be the role of journalists, but…..

    • big

      “US regime”…i like that,seriously i do! isn’t it about time we all started referring to the USA and its alliance stooges also as “regimes”

      • Randal

        I made the conscious decision to do that many years ago, when I noticed the way our political and media elites use “regime” as a demonisation term for designated enemy governments.

        • big

          Agree

      • Lawrence James.

        Lapdogs might be better.

  • micksture

    I always maintained that getting Assad ousted was a stupid idea. Why try to topple a government and try to use “moderates” to take over, thus meaning you have to build a brand new government with people who know nothing about proper governance and will likely need babying for several years until they’re able to walk largely on their own, when you already have a government who know how things work and who won’t need babying who, if you help, will owe you. You could make that debt “change blah, blah and blah” and after negotiations, they’ll do it.

  • Karol Czenko

    One thing generally lacking in the discussion of Russia’s performance in Syria versus the US/West is the prioritization of interests. Syria (like Ukraine) is at best a ‘second-tier’ national interest for Washington. For Moscow, it has every indication of top priority. The reason for Russia’s prioritization of Syria is unclear, but may have to do with simple international prestige: Syria hosts the only Russian military base outside the ex-USSR, and thus is heavy with symbolic importance for (waning) Russian global power. Ukraine is also a first-priority issue for the Kremlin. It is very likely true, as this article indicates, that Russian intervention in Syria is a desperate gamble to distract world attention from Ukraine long enough to allow a consolidation of Russian military power there. That is, while the rest of the world is looking at Syria, Russia can up the ante in Ukraine while hoping the rest of the world forgets about it. But there should be no congratulation of Putin – now or in the future – for what he has done in Syria. It has not contributed to a benign outcome, and will only prolong suffering in Syria and elsewhere. Since Syria and Ukraine are not areas in which America and the West will intervene directly, sanctions against Russia should be multiplied and intensified. Little countries like Hungary and Slovakia – heavily dependent on Russian energy – will have to be helped out as much as possible through the period of privation, but Putin’s Russia should be isolated and contained until it stops behaving like a rogue.

    • big

      Did you write this after attending the Orwell school of 1984?

    • sidor

      Speaking about national priorities. Don’t you think that protection of the Christian population in Syria from the genocide perpetrated by ISIS is a priority for a Christian nation? That priority was confirmed by the Pope and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. Are you a Christian?

    • FreeSpeech101

      Russia interest is this. CIA was training russian muslims in ISIS to go to russia and kill russians. Putin had to act before thse terrorists land on russia. This is basically hot war between america and russia than cold war. All it need is one spark. I hope russia is unafraid to use nukes at first chance. otherwise its over for russia

      • Freddie Frampton.

        If anyone uses nukes then it is over for everyone. Why an earth would you ever hope for this? Durr

      • Karol Czenko

        Load of Rubbish. Putin and Assad have killed even more civilians in Syria than ISIS has. That’s a fact. Russia is a completely useless country, and in fact a rogue state under Putin.

        • big

          Theres only one rogue state and its America.

          • Karol Czenko

            It’s interesting to see that Putin’s trolls are still out there in force. How much is he paying you goons these days?

          • big

            Karol grow up! You sound like someone from Dr Strangelove.

          • Sergei Levchenko

            Poroshenko’s troll?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Aw diddums… someone has a differing view so the must be a troll. Do you realise how stupid that makes you sound?

          • Karol Czenko

            Classic hallmark of the troll: using adolescent insults such as “stupid,” “idiot” and “moron.” Seen it time and time again. Very sad.

        • Mr B J Mann

          A the Americans killed 750,000 “of their own people” in their own civil war!

      • IanSankey

        well – it wasn’t the CIA, rather the Saudis… look at the threats the Saudis made towards Russia for the Sochi games

      • Pat from New Zealand

        yes Mr Putin has said that they need to stop the CIA trained Russian Islamist’s before they return to mother Russia to this end Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been instrumental in pursuing this agenda….

    • Mr B J Mann

      And what should we do about the US behaving like a rogue?!

      • Karol Czenko

        Yawn. Another Putin troll. Russia violated all kinds of international agreements it had signed at the end of the Cold War when it annexed Crimea. I’m assuming you’re a troll, since that way you’re getting paid. Otherwise you’re just a sucker who’s bought in to Putin’s propaganda. The annexation of Crimea was a unilateral alteration of European borders, in direct and open violation of a raft of international security treaties including the Budapest Memorandum. The US, for all its faults. doesn’t do Anschluss. That Putin could think Saddam Hussein-style annexation is still OK in the 21st century gives some idea of his level of enlightenment. Russia is a throwback to a bygone, primitive, brutal era. It’s also a barbaric wasteland where most of the houses don’t even have indoor plumbing and there’s no continuously paved road running the length of the country. It’s a dump with lots of oil and gas, no diversification of its economy, and a defense sector that can still make planes and tanks while its people scramble around for basic goods in the mafia-hellhole economy. How many people go on vacation in Russia as a percentage of the world’s tourists? Answer: a small handful of twits. Why? Because it’s a dump. The sooner Putin ends up with a bullet in the head, the better.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Wow, for a moment there I thought you might be going to make some sense:

          Then I started reading your reply!

        • Mr B J Mann

          PS it’s just self defence/regime change/not regime change/humanitarian intervention.

          Like Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya……

          Where have you been since the cold war ended?

          And NATO and the EU tore up the old rule books?!

          • Karol Czenko

            Yep, another troll.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Says the troll whose last four posts consist of insulting people and calling them trolls.

            Mind you, the one before that did contain a counter argument:

            “Load of Rubbish…….. That’s a fact…….. completely useless…… in fact a rogue……”!

            Well done you!!!

        • Cyril Sneer

          The people of Crimea wanted to be part of Russia. They had a referendum. There is no violence in Crimea, yet there is in Ukraine.

          Oh I guess that makes me a troll too whilst you continue ignoring the travesty of the US foreign policy that last 15 years at least.

          Perhaps of the US hadn’t of pushed for regime change via an undemocratic coup then Crimea wouldn’t be Russian right now.

          A bit like Turkey really, they support jihadists to destabilise Syria and now almost the entire Syrian/Turkish border is controlled by the kurds.

  • JaGGABhai

    What exactly are the Americans doing,what exactly is the great -Yes We Can President doing.He has not had a single success as far as Foreign policy is concerned.The entire middle east is at war with each other.Today ISIS camp in Libya was destroyed,but how many are still there you want to carry out suicide attacks?No one knows.Obamas policy can be summarised in three words-Its all Bush’s fault.Yes it was but wasnt Libya your fault?Putin is smarter than a 100 Obama’s put together-Unlike Hitler who went on a 360 degree rampage-he has made peace with ISIS and taking back Syria piece by piece.

    • Truckercapjim

      “He has not had a single success as far as Foreign policy is concerned”
      Perhaps yours and Obama’s definitions of success differ.

      • 100

        There have been no foreign policy successes for Obama by any definition or measure.

  • FreeSpeech101

    America do not want peace. They really want to divide syria so israel can eat big chunk. Then israel want another big chunk of iraq and egypt. All for greater Israel jewish empire. Talmud america doing the dirty job for israel murdering people for jewish empire they are dreaming. Turkey dreaming ottoman empire. crypto saudis help out jews in need. Whole USA,saudi, turkey and israel are evil TERRORIST GANG. Russia and assad are fighting for good.

    • Singularity Bound

      None of them are fighting for good…

      And we need to stop putting people and countries in the same blanket. “WE” don’t want this at all. And most of all 99% of everything we see now is propaganda from a side..no truth at all.
      Meanwhile people suffer for it.

      I hope we can get rid of the corruption in our gov this time or we (the US) is done for.
      If we can then we cant start fixing what we have done.

      Humanity in general will not evolve unless we all stop.

  • FreeSpeech101

    USA bombing mudhuts and farming land and leevl humvee of ISIS and roads untouched. Why? ISrael wants ISIS to succeed to divide syria.

    • IanSankey

      I’m not sure; Israel & Syria have had a relatively stable relationship in recent years while the Kurds and Israel have a very good relationship. On the other hand the fall out between the Erdogan regieme and Israel has been spectacular.

  • Gabriel T

    Good Written piece, Putin shall prevail because he is on the side of justice. How would America like it if Mexico and the rest threw their support behind an insurgency. God bless Putin.

    • 100

      We’d love if they’d throw their support behind fighting their own drug cartels and gangs, but they’d rather export them to us to deal with, along with all their poorest citizens.

      • 100

        Further, if/when “Mexico & the rest” have a powerful petrocurrency and threaten to throw the world into another World War, this analogy might be relevant.

  • IanSankey

    Does the Erdogan regieme really think we’d go to war with Russia over his desire to help his islamist mates rule Syria?! Eastern and Western opinion is on the same side here – most see the Kurds as a better ally than Turkey & the islamists

    • backwardsevolution

      Ian – Erdogan would not be moving an inch or saying anything without the direct sanction of the U.S. government, of which he is just another puppet. If Erdogan mouths off, it’s because the U.S. is telling him to. Do you think he’s just allowed to go running around doing his own thang? Not unless he wants to be dead. He’s taking orders.

      If the U.S. and their other puppet, the EU, did not want the migrants flooding into Europe, that too would be stopped – in a New York minute.

      Whatever is happening is happening with the sanction of the U.S. They installed a puppet (Shaw of Iran) in Iran, took out Hussein in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, Afghanistan is a mess, removed the duly elected leader in the Ukraine, and now they’re going after Assad. Their goal is to completely destabilize the Middle East, and then start going after Russia – their ultimate goal.

      • 100

        You must be joking. Why would the US want migrants flooding into Europe? It’s putting pressure on us (the US) to have to take them too, and with far greater public dissent. “If Merkel wanted to stop it” might be more apt.

  • Beimnet Geremew

    I have never seen such Poor analysis.

  • WTF

    A ‘moderate group’ in the middle east right now is an oxymoron as no one in the west knows the true motives of disparate Islamic groups and even including Turkey. We’ve seen the complete failures of trying to install what Cameron, Hollande or Obama believe are moderates only for them to become far worse than anything that Saddam Hussein or Gaddaffi. Many cancers turn very aggressive when treatment is applied that the cure kills the patient far quicker than the cancer and that’s pretty much sums up the western progressive approach to Islamic states.

    https://www.rt.com/news/332741-libya-five-years-unrest/

    Putin isn’t constrained by political correctness and doesn’t have legions of progressive nut jobs trying to oust him from power so he can afford to ignore collateral damage by carpet bombing parts of Syria to achieve his and Assad’s ends or objections from Turkey. In any respect Turkey isn’t exactly the picture of human rights with their Armenian history and denial. In essence, Putin is doing what Trump or Cruz wish Obama had done and in a perverse way, it helps both of them as they won’t have any direct blood on their hands as it will be on Putins, but mission accomplished none the less.

    • Callipygian

      Fine, but please don’t mention Cruz in the same breath as that odious Trump!

      • WTF

        Like it or not, all three Republican front runners back a wall and back smashing ISIS and two of them are just following the lead of number 1. If he hadn’t raised immigration, building walls & vetting immigrants none of them would have even gone there and when it comes to going against Hillary or even Saunders, they’d be in big trouble. Odious he may be, but strip some adjectives that some find objectionable and what you have left is what most in the country agree with. His response to the Pope showed that.

        • Callipygian

          I’ve tried several times to reply and the website is preventing me.

          Isn’t that marvellous. What a triumph for free speech! And I’m using entirely normal English, no rude words (much).

          Trump is a —- and a tyrant in training. The others are head and shoulders above him, in every respect. Trump also polls very poorly among the general electorate and always has.

          Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Kasich, and Carson are all honourable men.

          • WTF

            That happens to me sometimes and I can’t even figure out what they’re objecting to.

          • Callipygian

            Yes, it’s really annoying. Anyway, I feel that T. has hijacked my party (he was a Democrat the day before yesterday: the Clintons were bribed to come to his wedding; he’s given money to their corrupt foundation; he and Bill have played golf together, you get the picture). The only reason that T. isn’t running as a Dem is that he figured the angry GOP crowd would be easier to play. As they have proved.

            Consider my predicament: come November, I could have the choice of a Communist or a felon on the one hand, and a sleazy serial adulterer-liar-ignoramus fraud on the other.

            Where do the conservatives go? It’s beginning to look a lot like Weimar.

          • WTF

            I’m just a very interested observer for now as I can’t vote until I hopefully get citizenship but none the less I still have strong views and know a lot more about the candidates than my American wife.

          • Callipygian

            Well, good for you. Every citizen (and potential citizen) should learn up. Trump is an abomination, and as I say, his close connection with the Clintons ought to make you think very carefully about the context of his candidacy. He is not a Republican. He is not a conservative. He isn’t even a very decent man.

            After two terms of the anti-patriot as pres, a man unqualified to run a good university, this is so demoralizing.

            On the other hand, I think Trump will get his @rse handed to him. I’m in Florida, and I’m itching to kick my boot right in the seat of his —

          • Callipygian

            Just don’t let your wife vote for either the Crook or the Communist. I’m hoping that won’t leave her with the serial liar, adulterer, ignoramus and Putin’s boyfriend as the alternative.

          • WTF

            Its her choice but I know she wont vote for either a serial liar or a socialist so not a problem.

          • Callipygian

            WTF (I remember your previous sign-on, a man’s name, if I’m not mistaken): which state are you living in, just out of interest? I’m in the Sunshine State, as mentioned. We have to wait until 15th March for our primary. I don’t know why they structured it this way, because after pulling teeth, the primaries come all in a rush. I feel that gives undue predominance to the first three states (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, which will vote on Monday I believe).

          • 100

            Iowa and New Hampshire already voted and SC votes tomorrow (Saturday)

          • Callipygian

            Yes I know about the first two: I watched the debates and the results. I refused to watch any further debates with Trump present. Gawd help us, so SC is tomorrow. Fingers and toes CROSSED!

          • 100

            And unfortunately SC has an open primary (Democrats and Republicans can vote in whichever one they want) so it skews things. You end up with cross-overs from both parties who decide they either see it as more important to help nominate the weaker candidate of the opposing party, or sometimes they simply don’t feel strongly enough about any of their own candidates to be compelled to vote for them, so they vote in the other race but will vote with their own party in the general election. So it’s very difficult to make any assumptions overall based on what happens in SC.

          • Callipygian

            I cannot conceive of how this ‘open’ primary came to be. What were they thinking? This is one of the few opportunities for Republicans to talk amongst ourselves — and what do they do? — they throw it open to our opposition’s spoilers! I think that in the wake of the Trump Hijack, rules for the future may well be changed.

          • 100

            Yes it’s a horrible way of doing things and I hope they change it. But the rationale was that it allows registered independents to participate in the primary process

          • Callipygian

            That’s no rationale at all. I am not interested in what the CONFUSED have to say, at this point — even less, the misnamed ‘Democrats’. They will get their moment, later (and ruin everything). What I want is for OUR party, our members, stupid though they often are, to say what WE want. Then: let the country decide. (The Dems cheat, of course.)

          • WTF

            The same state as you, as my wife lived here from around 10 years old until 1999 when we married and then we lived in the UK followed by Spain for 15 years. However, I had been visiting the USA constantly from the late 1970’s until I moved here officially last summer after I went through a torturous immigration process of 15 months. Just like my wife’s UK immigration process, it seems that white Caucasians with no criminal records, self support, no diseases and a home have to jump through hoops for the UK or USA unlike certain ethnic groups I could mention !

            There’s no special relationship between the US & UK for married couples to live in their own country of choice !!!

          • Callipygian

            I sympathize. I know exactly what you’ve gone through (and so does my American husband). So we’ve all been through it and yes, it is asymmetrical and unduly undiscriminating (why do WE need chest X-rays, for heaven’s sake?).

          • WTF

            I’m not actually against chest X-rays per se as they’re normally used for seeing if there is a problem with TB. The UK had eradicated TB until they started letting in immigrants from places like Pakistan without any health checks and now in certain parts of the UK, TB is on the rise again. I was x-rayed for the USA but my wife was waved through (medical wise) into the UK as she came from the USA.

            The biggest issue is that instead of using common sense & profiling for ‘issues’ of any kind (like terrorism of criminality), due to political correctness western governments either put overly stringent checks in place for all or have none at all, they refuse or cant get the balance right.

            Our biggest frustration was the ridiculous procedure I had to go through. It took 8 months for home land security (USCIS) to check me out despite them having records of me going back 30 years and then another 7 months for the Immigration Service to do their bit. None of this was apparent at the start, we weren’t told that both the USCIS and the IS required originals (or certified copies) of all my paper work as they wont pass it from one to the other. The bureaucracy was a sick joke as their website (IS) said one thing, phone advice when you finally got through was contradictory and even the Madrid Embassy gave a 3rd version of what was needed. In essence, they all seem to work from their own ‘song sheet’, there’s at least three ‘songs’ being sung and whilst they drove my wife to real tears, terrorist are let in without any real vetting as in San Bernandino. I thought bureaucracy was bad in the UK until I went to Spain which was more difficult due to our limited Spanish, but the USA beats all of them hands down.

            Enough of my rant, I finally made it, I’m a happy ‘bunny’ living in Florida with my wife and I have a daughter in Illinois who I love but don’t talk politics with due to her husband.

          • Callipygian

            But that’s my point, WTF: I’m native English, not from Pakistan.

          • WTF

            I wasn’t thinking you were from Pakistan and I only used that country to serve as an example of the many third world countries that do not have health care of the sort found in the EU & USA and other countries like Canada, Australia, NZ etc.

            According to the WHO, TB occurs in every part of the world. In 2014, the largest number of new TB cases occurred in the South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions, accounting for 58% of new cases globally. However, Africa carried the most severe burden, with 281 cases per 100 000 population in 2014 (compared with a global average of 133).

            In 2014, about 80% of reported TB cases occurred in 22 countries. The 6 countries that stand out as having the largest number of incident cases in 2014 were India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China and South Africa. Some countries are experiencing a major decline in cases, while in others the numbers are dropping very slowly. Brazil and China for example, are among the 22 countries with a sustained decline in TB cases over the past 20 years.

            That shows a clear link between developed countries (and developing countries) and low or zero reported cases of TB in the UK 30 years ago. The decline in TB for developing countries like Brazil or China where their economies are / were doing well compared to those 6 countries above is coupled to their economy and priorities. Perhaps if India spent less money on space programs and the like and more on health they would be like Brazil also.

            My main thrust over health checks is that during the Ebola outbreaks we ban or quarantine people that are at risk from being infected and yet in the UK which was TB free, we don’t and now we see cases all over the place. It can’t be due to lack of health care in the UK and it can’t be lack of housing, food etc as ONLY only ethnic group that seems to be affected has brought it into the country from outside.

            That’s why I believe mandatory tests on diseases like TB should be made a compulsory part of any immigration process and political correctness or ‘sensitivities’ should play no part of the selection process for immigration.

          • Callipygian

            Fine, if you’re coming to UK or USA by way of Pakistan and other Asian backwaters. But why should a healthy person like me, who has never been to those parts, and what’s more was going directly from England to the US, have to be endangered by radiation? My husband asked the customs people at the airport not to X-ray him because he’s had so many already on account of an early motorcycle accident. They assessed him as an individual and agreed not to do it. We SHOULD be able to make distinctions. I don’t like being treated like a Third-Worlder when I’m not one! (And no surprise: nobody ever looked at my X-ray, though I carried it with me on the plane. It was just to tick a box. You don’t mess with people’s health just to tick a box.)

          • 100

            I respect everyone’s opinion but I see Cruz as nothing more than an opportunist and a typical lawyer. The Goldman Sachs thing with his wife was the last straw for me, and the dirty politics in the recent primaries (particularly against Dr. Carson) have only sealed it. Rubio at least appeals to some of the Hispanic bloc, while Cruz does not – likely a result of being Canadian and not speaking Spanish. It’s a sad fact that it won’t be possible anymore to win an election without specifically pandering to this bloc. In a general, Kasich and Rubio are the strongest candidates we have and they both win handily. I’m not going to base my vote only on principles, it has to be about who can actually win or nothing else matters. As for Trump, you should watch the Larry King interview with him on YouTube from the 80s when he was campaigning for George H. W. Bush.

            http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_presidential_race.html

          • Callipygian

            Chr-st, do I really have to watch that narcissist bloviate about himself AGAIN?

            Can’t you give us the Cliff’s Notes?

            P. S. Cruz is a natural-born American no matter what, and it doesn’t matter a hill of beans if he can’t speak Spanish. I can’t either. Apart from ‘el jefe’, various items of Mexican cuisine, and ‘basura’ (I had to make sure my garbagemen remove items they might not recognize as such otherwise).

          • 100

            Okay the Cliff’s Notes version is that he’s never been this full-blown liberals that his detractors would have us believe. I believe he has always voted Republican, even if he wouldn’t say so himself. I think it’s really always been on social issues that he didn’t align with the GOP, but this is becoming true of an increasingly large percentage of people who vote Republican and it would be wise for the GOP to accept that if they ever intend to win another presidential election or gain back any of the millennial vote. I’ve had so many people tell me “there’s no such thing as a pro-choice conservative” etc. and they are wrong. There is and I’ve always been one. I see it as a lost battle and political suicide to continue trying to make abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. the focal points of every election when it alienates people who would otherwise agree with us on the principles that really matter. It’s clear that Democrats will continue to push for unabated illegal immigration to expand their voter base and will do everything in their power to keep minorities dependent on their entitlement programs, so we ought to do everything we can to expand our voter base as well.

          • Callipygian

            Okay, I get your point, though I wouldn’t want to splash it about too loudly on say National Review Online. But those issues aside, the man is not in any way what we seek in a president. He’s probably more familiar with the NFL rulebook than he is with the Constitution. He changes his mind all the time; he contradicts himself; he has no moral compass that a leader of a free nation ought to have. He was disgusting towards John McCain — Trump, who dodged the draft on a pretext — because he was ‘weak’ and loser enough to be shot down and tortured for years in a Viet Nam prison. How debased is that? Then there is the disgusting ‘Bush lied’ canard, which even Hillary Herself would not dare to say — and as you know, she could lie for the Americas and win the World Cup. Trump is just a revolting man, and he is running for his own excitement, nothing else.

          • 100

            Look, I totally disagree with almost everything The Donald has done since entering this race – particularly the John McCain comment, his denigration of GWB, his ridiculous assertion that 9/11 was his fault, his comments about Carly Fiorina, etc. – and I hardly think he’s a model human. That said, I will vote for him if he gets the nomination and won’t lose any sleep over it. He’s entertaining and wants to close the border, which is enough for me when I consider the Democratic alternatives. I just hope for the sake of the general election odds that he isn’t our nominee.

          • Callipygian

            I’m less sanguine than you are about the Donald, but by and large we’re on the same page.

            I will, however, leave you with this quotation. A day after winning the New Hampshire primary, Trump said: “I will be changing very rapidly. I’m capable of changing to anything I want to change to.”

            See the article, here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/hes-beatable/article/2001039

          • Margot5000

            “Honourable men” are not always (very infrequently in fact) the best choice. Churchill could hardly be called honourable – Chamberlain maybe.

          • Callipygian

            Thanks for your input, Vladimir Putin (oh sorry: you’re wearing a Hallowe’en mask, Obama!).

        • 100

          Trump would fare better in a general election than Cruz. Plenty of us would hold our nose and vote for Trump long before we would for Cruz; he has no appeal outside of the evangelical base and his recent tactics have been dirty and obnoxious. Rubio is my guy, but I’ll wait to see whether he or Kasich get any traction prior to Super Tuesday before I cast my vote. I believe either of them could beat either of the democratic candidates, and most polls seem to agree. Both are weak on immigration but they are better than a communist or a criminal who was wrong on every foreign policy issue she ever was involved in.

          • Callipygian

            NO he would not! Dream on, dreamer!

          • Callipygian

            If Rubio is ‘your guy’, how can you speak of Trump as if he’s normal (the polls contradict your assertion most strongly as well)? The man’s a headcase. He’s a liar and a turd, and we’ve had enough of that with Obama and the Clintons already.

        • Callipygian

          I hate it when the Speccie gets all precious and I can’t say what I want to say!!!!!!

    • Arc333Angel .

      President Putin’s political rivals seem to have the misfortune of ending up dead, in prison, or forced to live in a foreign country–where they may eventually end up dead anyways. I would rather have an actual democratic process, even if some of the candidates are “nut jobs.” A well-informed electorate tends not to vote for them. This of course requires freedom of speech and freedom of the press; something we are seeing less of once again in Russia. Dark times indeed.

      • Cyril Sneer

        “This of course requires freedom of speech and freedom of the press; something we are seeing less of once again in Russia”

        That’s fine but look at what we have here in the west. The propaganda is through the roof. Poor journalism or non existent journalism (media blackouts) when the narrative does not coincide with the narrative of US foreign policy.

        There is very very little intelligent analysis in the western media now. This article a case in point.

        Anyone who solely watches/reads the western MSM is not informed.

      • WTF

        Nut jobs are fine but what we have in the west now are undemocratic leaders perverting democracy which is hardly any different to Putin. We don’t have freedom of speech in the UK as you’re either shouted down by progressives, called a racists and at the extreme arrested on trumped up hate crime charges. Again, not that different to Russia.

  • knave27

    The author is obviously a big idiot. Russia’s intervention is neither reckless or a gamble. It is part of a greater strategy. To put an end to the era of unilateral regime change by the US, meantg to prove that the US from now on will not be able to decide alone on the affairs of the world. Failure to comply with this new reality or take into consideration the interests of emerging powers whose interests are directly affected will be met with military force. Unlike Erdogan, who brought this upon himself for being extremely stupid, delusional and wanting to resurrect his Ottoman ambition, acting like a mad dog with Turkey now effectively being a rogue state, Putin is a pragmatist and not an ideologue, he has shown great restraint in dealing with imbeciles and all kinds of murderous psychopaths to a level far more than they deserved and has gone out of his way to avoid conflict both in Ukraine and in Syria after the Turks shot down the Russian jet.

    It’s also amusing to see the Spectator which writes bullshit all the time about the “Islamic threat” becoming an apologist of the murderous Turkish Islamic regime that directly helps ISIS and floods Europe with immigrants. Islamic extremism is good as long as it is western backed and aimed against Russia, like in Chechnya, which coming to think of it it’s the only bad thing about Islam, take out those western Islamist proxies and there is no problem with Islam at all.

    • 100

      Russia’s intervention is indeed part of a greater strategy but not the one you are describing. You believe the Middle East would be more stable and less of a detriment to the western interests with a powerful Russian/Iranian alliance backed by China/North Korea? A nuclear Iran and North Korea, at that? It’s not simply in America’s interest that the dollar continue to be the petrocurrency of choice. When this changes, it will have a substantial impact on everyone.

      • 100

        Oh and by substantial impact on everyone, I meant WWIII, if that wasn’t clear.

        • DB45

          It doesn’t have to go to nukes. Both sides know if they nuke later one will go off in their country. The Russians fear those crazy religious muslems just might strike back

          • 100

            It doesn’t have to go to nukes but I’m saying it ups the ante when you’re dealing with rogue states who have them. And Iran, like all nations of Muslims, cares more about killing the enemy than they do about their own survival. A nuclear Iran does not bode will for Israel or anyone else for that matter.

          • DB45

            I think that we have made things that kill in a large way and some will be used. I read on the net the other night that people are being given Swine Flu. Kills about 1/3 of the time there. What does that say. Its a mess and its going to get messer.

          • 100

            Oh come on, lol. The Middle East, like everyone else (thanks to Mexico), first had an H1N1 outbreak in 2009; the mortality rate is the same everywhere, and the largest number of deaths was in the US due to having the largest number of infected individuals, of course. Again, thanks, Mexico. There have been small outbreaks over the last few years ever since, most recently last year in Indian, followed by Nepal, followed by Pakistan, and ultimately Iran and Syria in November. There have been 11 deaths from it in Syria. Due to the collapse of their health system over the last 5 years since the war started, the rate of every other communicable disease has increased too– the most deadly have been typhoid, hepatitis and polio. If we were attempting to use biological warfare, I can promise you that Swine Flu would be very low on the list of things we would consider using.

          • rtj1211

            If you look carefully at history the past 25 years, you’ll see the hidden hand of the NWO in ‘new disease outbreaks’, ‘weather engineering’ etc etc. You’ll also see the CIA looking to embed itself anywhere under the guise of anything it can use as a smokescreen. It wanted the World Bank to spend $20bn to address Ebola, when what it really wanted was to embed itself all over west Africa. Those who saw through the nonsense proposed a budget 20 times smaller without any CIA embedded on the ground. Ho hum…….

          • 100

            You seriously believe that? Please tell me why in God’s name the CIA cares to embed itself all over West Africa?

          • Arc333Angel .

            Any culture that views its own death as a glorious path to paradise should never have access to nuclear arms. Imagine suicide bombers with nuclear weaponry. A possible counter-strike offers no deterrence because it would be viewed as glorious martyrdom.

        • Callipygian

          According to Norman Podhoretz, WWIII was the Cold War and we’re now on WWIV — alas, a much hotter one….

      • DB45

        we own 3 trillion barrels of oil. 1/2 is thought to be recoverable. We can drive down the cost of oil by getting off it. Use NG we have tons of that also and its clean. we should stop coal soon

        • 100

          Pipe dreams if Comrade Sanders gets elected, God forbid. He banned fracking in Vermont and intends to ban ALL fracking if elected, in addition to banning offshore oil drilling and apparently just taking us back to the 60s and 70s, wiping out one of the most successful American innovations of modern history, and making us totally reliant on foreign nations for our energy needs I guess. And this is the guy “millennials” want in office. I hate my generation.

    • DB45

      No body wants the Kurds. They seem like an ok group. Turkey will not allow the Kurds to have a state. Its a direct threat to them because there country is 1/3 Kurds. That maybe the bottom line and Turkey comes in. Hope not but I think it is going on right now.

    • Arc333Angel .

      I know this is how Vladimir Putin views his own actions. He sees “American imperialists” under every bush. It seems to never occur to him that democratic nations simply do not like brutal military dictatorships, and tend to render aid to those seeking an end to oppression. Growing up outside of democracy, I can understand his misperception. If it is not corrected, however, his distorted view of Western thinking–his paranoia–will trigger a global catastrophe.

      • knave27

        What absolute bullshit. All conflicts have been triggered by the West. The US in its fight supposedly against terrorism has overthrown secular regimes that kept fundamentalists in check which resulted in extremists taking over large parts of the Middle East and North Africa, causing millions of dead and displaced for which Europe pays now a heavy price for having followed US policies. It this that Putin tries to stop. To stabilize the region that the US destabilized. The global catastrophe would be guaranteed if Putin wasn’t acting as a bulwark. A “democracy” nowadays means to tend to the interests of anyone else except of your constituents, and to the extent that Putin is interesting in serving Russian interests I’m very happy he is not perceived democratic by the the morally corrupt West.

      • rtj1211

        America loves dictatorships, they provide ‘stable economic conditions’ or ‘good prospects for arms sales’. America is solely interested in what is good for American corporations. Democracy vs dictatorship is entirely irrelevant. They supported the psychopath Saddam Hussein for 20 years and only overthrew him because he wanted to sell oil in Euros, not dollars. Nothing to do with using chemical weapons, which were supplied by the USA anyway. Oh, and he invaded the client state of Kuwait, which was a great democracy at the time, wasn’t it?

        America has since 1945 been incredibly active in overthrowing populists elected democratically, if the will of the people who elected them is to kick out American corporations.

        Whether they should be kicked out or not is another matter. The fact is though that domestic democracy is entirely subservient, in the eyes of America’s elite, to American multinational interests.

        If you haven’t grasped that yet, you really do not understand the nature of the West, nor the sham that calls itself ‘western democracy’……..

        • Arc333Angel .

          I’m not really sure why you would equate “Western” with “American.” I’m not an American, but I certainly live in a “Western” democracy. The United States doesn’t dictate our foreign policy at all. In fact, we differ significantly at times. We have an alliance for defense, and a number of trade agreements, but our nation functions independently, and our government is democratically elected.

          Regarding Iraq and Kuwait; this was a United Nations authorized intervention because of Iraq’s invasion of a sovereign country–Kuwait. This wasn’t a unilateral “American” initiative at all.

          The actions of the U.S. in Iraq after the 911 bombings are another matter. This was a unilateral initiative, and one that our nation did not support or participate in. It’s true that Iraq repeatedly violated conditions of the peace that brought their invasion of Kuwait to an end. They especially disallowed mandatory weapons inspections on numerous occasions. Did the Americans overreact? I think so, personally, but I can also understand why. Having just experienced horrifying acts of terrorism, and seeing Iraq refuse WMD inspections, they apparently feared the worst and acted accordingly. We didn’t agree with the actions at the time, but to suggest they were motivated strictly by “corporate interests” is looking through a very narrow lens. I think fear and mistrust played important roles, and this is a lesson all nations can learn from. We must be cautious that fear and suspicion do not lead us to take actions that we will later regret. I think this could be applicable to President Putin’s view of “the West.” Even generalizing like that paints every Western Democracy with the same brush. It’s the kind of thinking that leads to a hostile polarization, and I don’t think that’s either accurate or helpful.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “Regarding Iraq and Kuwait; this was a United Nations authorized
            intervention because of Iraq’s invasion of a sovereign country–Kuwait.
            This wasn’t a unilateral “American” initiative at all.”

            So when will we see the United Nations authorized
            intervention in the US because of the US’s invasion of a sovereign country– Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan (drones and Obama, sorry, Osama Bin Liner….), Vietnam, Korea, half the countries in Africa and South America……

            As for ” It seems to never occur to him that democratic nations simply do not like brutal military dictatorships, and tend to render aid to those
            seeking an end to oppression.”
            earlier:

            In how many Sub Saharan or South American or Asian brutal/ military/ dictatorships has the US tended to render aid to aid to those seeking an end to oppression, never mind invaded?!?!?!

      • Cyril Sneer

        What have these so called democratic nations achieved in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya through their policy of regime change for democracy? Which of these countries are now peaceful democracies?

  • 100

    Of COURSE American airstrikes have been pointless and ineffective– for all the lamenting around the world of the big bad evil USA, why are we the only ones DUMB enough in the midst of a WAR to drop pamphlets 45 minutes before all airstrikes, warning “civilians” and “oil truck drivers” and telling them where to leave to? The majority of our planes have only been dropping aid and weapons to so-called “moderate” rebels AKA terrorist groups that we apparently haven’t learned our lesson about. There are no moderate terrorists! Assad is right about that, even though he fails to include himself. Whoever is left at the end just assumes control and are the next “bad guys”. In the words of Donald Trump on this strategy: “here we go again!”

    • Arc333Angel .

      The United States is only bombing ISIL. In that respect, the strikes have been very effective. What the U.S. is not doing is bombing Syrian government forces. Russia, on the other hand, is bombing anyone it views as a threat its own political interests in the region, with the permission of President Assad. If this was truly an international campaign against ISIL, the American strategy would be viewed as very effective. Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and President Assad, however, obviously have other objectives, and they seem to be willing to kill anyone who happens to disagree. It’s very ugly and inhumane. It is especially disturbing to see Russia “talk” about peace, while continuing its relentless bombing campaign against non-ISIL targets, including civilians. This will not end well if it continues down the same track.

      • 100

        I agree, we are only bombing ISIS, I just find it amazing that we are doing so with our hands bound so tightly when this could’ve and should’ve been successful a long time ago. In the words of my favorite Brit, the Spectator’s own Douglas Murray, “if we’re going to do something, we mustn’t tinker.”

        • Mr B J Mann

          So Putin reads Murray!

          And the Americans killed 750,000 “of their own people” in their own civil war!

          • Todd Unctious

            The Russians had 2.8 million casualties in their Civil War. 1917 to 1922.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So Assad has even further to go to catch up with Whitey than I thought!

            Thanks for the info Todd.

      • Cyril Sneer

        What a load of garbage. Russia is bombing all terrorist units, including AQ aka Al Nusra, Al Sham etc all salafist groups!

        The US is not bombing these Salafist groups.

        Your question should be – why isn’t the US bombing Al Nusra etc??

        Russia does not deliberately target civilians. Neither does the US.

        Perhaps you could explain what sort of strategic military advantage that would be gained from deliberately attacking civilians?

  • godot

    The Spectator seems to be having a tough time attracting good journalists.

  • DB45

    Russia very well may go broke if turkey enters this war in force. That is turkeys backyard. They have at least 250k troops that could run in there and russia couldn’t stop it. The turks have 1.5 million troops. they have a ton of very heavy armor. That with jamming russia its a nightmare for Putin. Turks have 220 f16 and the Saudis put in the hottest Boeing f15 ever made. The Paks have nukes so there on turkeys and Saudis side. Its a mess but its Turkeys backyard

    • backwardsevolution

      DB45 – “Russia very well may go broke if turkey enters this war in force.” So, what, should Russia just sit back and wait for its eventual take-over? As far as Turkey’s troops, if they land illegally in Syria, Russia (who has been invited by Syria) will have to hit them hard and wipe them out. But Turkey will only do his if they get permission from the U.S. beforehand. If they go into Syria, it will be because this move is being sanctioned by the U.S.

      • DB45

        Im with you but the Turks are pissed that Russia let the Kurds open an embassy. Thats their greatest fear. I think it going to happen. We had no right to mess around there. We didn’t really know what we were doing. I think its a trap for who ever goes in there.

      • Arc333Angel .

        You overestimate the influence of the United States in Turkey. NATO does not function like a hierarchy, with one nation making the decisions for others. Each nation functions independently. Turkey will do what is perceived to be best for Turkey. The NATO defense clause is only invoked if a member nation is attacked. The nations function independently, and only work together for defense against a common threat. Unfortunately, with military incursions into Georgia, Ukraine and now Syria, Russia is presenting itself to the NATO alliance as that common threat. Mr. Putin does not seem to truly understand “Western” political realities. As much as he studies “the West” he does so through former Soviet eyes. He does not see the West as it truly is. As a result of this, he is truly risking a global catastrophe through his military aggression. By the way, no one really believes him when he “denies” bombing civilian targets in Syria. Rebel held cities–including hospitals, schools and markets–are being bombed relentlessly, and Russian planes are the only ones flying there. NATO is not systematically bombing its own allies in the region, and they also do not use the “dumb bombs” employed by Russia. If he does not change his policy, Mr. Putin will be remembered for a legacy of death and horror.

        • rtj1211

          Whereas the Americans will be remembered for a legacy of coup, uprisings and sponsorship of terrorism the world over……do grow up and understand that the West have been the belligerents since 1990…….

        • ra232

          If Turkey did what is best for it then their military would overthrow Erdogan.

    • rtj1211

      Amazing how a country poorer than Romania can afford 1.5 million fighting men, isn’t it? Not to mention the arms necessary to keep 1.5 million fighting men busy…….

    • Paul Hunt

      I think you have this backward. You want the fight in the other guy’s backyard. That way, if it comes to use of really big explosives, no one in your own backyard gets hurt.

      It would be just like an Islamist suicide bomber to bring a tank to a tactical nuclear war.

      But, surely, you’ve thought about this. No?

  • Margot5000

    Pragmatism has failed where Turkey is concerned. It is fast becoming another Pakistan with an Islamist nutcase bothered more about his wife wearing a veil than peace based on giving the Kurds a homeland. The US has gone along with such nuttiness hoping for a quiet life. Thank God for Putin..

    • rtj1211

      The US usually go along with whoever will give them humungous amounts of drug dollars.

  • Coombes Larry

    From what I have seen of late, the USA (read ‘Obama’) is not particularly interested in peace in the Middle East. He is known to actively support the Muslim Brotherhood, to despise Christianity and Western culture, and appears to even support ISIS – avoiding any real damage to the Ciaphate and, it seems, even covertly funding and supplying it. So, as it stands, I do not see the US and Russia wanting the same things.

    • rtj1211

      I not sure they ever have. Pipeline wars in the Middle East and Central Asia pit US and Russian interests at opposite ends of the barrels of two guns…….

  • Paulo Romero

    Suddenly the biggest issue in the Syrian war seems a likely clash between Turkey and Russia. How about exposing the Saudis and Turks for what they have been doing all along?? Which as everybody knows is supporting anybody and everybody including Al Qaeda and Isis against Assad and the Kurds. How about painting Western support for the so called ‘moderate opposition’ as ‘reckless buccaneering’. How about painting the Western support for overthrowing Assad in the name of democracy as a reckless miscalculation? Everybody knows that democracy does not survive in the Middle East , only monarchs , theocracies and despots do. At least Assad kept the country together with the people living in peace. Now half the population have become refugees and 11 percent or more have been killed by a war that the West is directly responsible for through tacit backing of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Dear Owen Mathews , the most important issue in this war is the plight of the Syrian people. So many have become refugees that nobody wants. The Turks , Saudis , Gulf States and the West will never be trusted again after the Libya and Syria cataclysms. If Putin ends this war successfully it will be a slap in the face of the West , hence it’s in their best interests to prolong it to save face and save their dubious Allies. Unfortunately this article is poorly researched and biased.

    • rtj1211

      Gracious me, you’ll be having the CIA knocking on your door quite soon if you keep up this intellectual honesty. You really must learn that logic, justice and reason have no place in foreign policy and diplomacy………

    • In2minds

      ” How about exposing the Saudis and Turks for what they have been doing all along??”

      The problem with that is it would expose many members of the government as chancers who simply want the EU to have a plentiful supply of cheap labour.

  • Saratov

    Freddie Frampton, execuse me, I didn’t answer you on time. Cause I put my answer on the top for your convinience.

    Freddie, we don’t teach others how they must live. And execuse me very much, but I didn’t ask you for the advise. Did I ask you to teach us to spent our money? I only described our point of view. You can accept it or can not. And you can keep your advices for youreslf.

    And Freddie. you again tell lies yourself. Cause we’re winning, the West in a hurry with seacefire talks. Do you remember Illovaysk, Debaltsevo and Minsk agreements? The Aleppo and Geneva agreement are the same.

    • Freddie Frampton.

      No need to get so touchy, I’m not trying to teach you anything, just stating my point of view. I believe that war is utterly pointless and money spent on war and death would be much better spent on economic sustainability and the reduction of poverty. You would rather spend the money on war and death, well that’s your choice I guess.

      “We’re winning?” What are you winning exactly? If you seriously think killing is winning then you are deluded. Russia can’t possibly hope to fight the middle east in it’s own back yard, even with boots on ground. Yes, you have Iran on your side along with the Hezbollah faction and that’s your lot.

      Vanguards of the UAE Armed Forces on Tuesday arrived in Saudi Arabia to participate in the military exercise dubbed ‘North Thunder’ at the King Khalid Military City in Hafar Al-Batin City in North of Saudi Arabia.
      Saudi Arabia has teamed up with 20 other Arab, Islamic and friendly nations to launch the biggest military exercise ever staged in the region. The Peninsula Shield Force is also involved in the exercise.
      Participating countries in the manoeuvre are: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Senegal, Sudan, The Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Malaysia, Mauritania and Mauritius.
      The exercise constitutes the largest-of-its-kind in terms of the diverse, advanced military equipment and machineries which reflect the qualitative and quantitative spectrum of ground, air and naval forces of the participating countries.

      Yeah, winning right!

      • StrategyKing

        Given that the policy of the West has been to promote war in the name of regime change, don’t you think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black? No one has made more war recently than the West. Get off your moral horse please. You have no clothes. If war is utterly pointless, then surely you should have opposed the iraq war, the libya exercise, and any backing of syrian rebels? Did you and do you? .

        • Freddie Frampton.

          Yes, I opposed all of those wars, always have and always will. Pot call the kettle black? Wrong person. If you read my posts a little more carefully you would understand that I’m anti war full stop, it is always innocent lives which suffer.

          • StrategyKing

            In that case why are you tom-toming this supposed grand coalition of countries practicing military maneuvers and threatening to join an already overdrawn conflict? The only thing you should care about is that the conflict ends as soon as possible, people put down their arms and seek to progress and make change without fighting. Whether Putin ends up the winner or not should be irrelevant to you.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            That’s exactly my point, I’m telling idiots here who think they are winning the war that there are no winners. Read my posts more carefully and stop taking everything I say as a personal accusation.

          • StrategyKing

            Oh I read them – you sound like every other British egoist. Peace is great, but only as long as we are the ones in charge. If someone else secures the peace, it is bad.

            No more British involvement of any kind in the middle east! One hundred years of ruinous meddling are more than enough. Britain, stay out, you are not welcome.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            Britain has an ugly history, will be the first to admit that. I don’t want Britain to have any part in all of this, unfortunately I don’t make the decisions. Why are you so bothered that I’m anti war?

          • StrategyKing

            Oh I am not bothered that you are anti-war, but it would take a lot for me to believe that you actually are. Hypocrisy is a classic British trait and you can see it all over the press and the posters too – left and right. All are for peace in Syria, all are for the conflict to end, but only if Britain makes the peace, and the way Britain makes the peace is through war and conquest. If someone else does the same, then there is all kinds of phony outrage. Look at the cartoon in this article, Putin the bad guy moving pieces around and inflaming things. That is a joke. We’ve been inflaming things there far, far worse for a very long time. Putin is, in this case, just putting out the fire we lit.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            Stop taking everything so personal.

            I don’t think for a second that Britain could ever solve this, likewise Russia or America.

            Do you honestly think Putin is solving the the middle east problems?

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Do you honestly think Putin is solving the the middle east problems?”

            What is this re tar ded question?

            Is he in Syria to solve all the middle easts problems? Perhaps you could tell us what middle east problems he’s supposed to be in Syria sorting out Freddie?

            Your posts are akin to something a 12 year old would write.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            Do you honestly believe that Putin is solving problems in the middle east?

          • Cyril Sneer

            He’s supporting the right side in Syria. The other side leads to genocide and more war.

            Perhaps if you actually knew anything of what was going on in Syria you’d wouldn’t come across as so clueless.

          • Cobbett

            Don’t worry about it…Britain being able to ”punch above it’s weight” is a myth. I certainly can’t see the use of ground troops…let the Syrians, Russians and Kurds get on with it.

          • Cyril Sneer

            If the rjihadists are being defeated and the SAA and Kurds are retaking territory then surely that is a good thing?? If they win then this war will end.

            That is what we mean when we say winning.

            Your ridiculous moralising to others on an internet discussion forum is pathetic.

            If you’re American, don’t vote for establishment neo-con/neo-lib parties. Stopping them from keeping power will do more for world peace than your inept moralising.

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’re blaming Russia for standing by its ally when it is the west and Sunni allies that instigated this war.

            Your anger should be directed at them.

          • Freddie Frampton.

            Why are you so over defensive, at no point have I ever just blamed Russia, quite the contrary. If I have blamed anyone, I have blamed the Americans for creating the mess in the first instance by invading Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that never existed. Reg Russia: I have just said that Russia is stupid for ever getting involved in a war it can never win. America has neatly side stepped the problem, welcomed Russia in to the fray and now making money alongside China selling arms to the opposition.

            Admittedly I get very frustrated when I have to listen to idiots here saying that they are winning the war, an outside invasion of a civil war never works. War never works, all it does is ruin the lives of the innocent.

            I’m not baying for blood, quite the opposite, Russia, America and Europe should never be in the Middle East, let the Middle East deal with its own problems, meddling will only serve to make it worse.

  • Mark

    Turkish aggression could drag NATO into war with Russia. With NATO again on the side of Sunni Islam against an orthodox Christian country, in a reprise of the Balkan wars against Serbia.

    Sleepwalking with Islamists.

    Is this really NATOs role?

    • Dave Cockayne

      If Turkey tries the NATO route it will be the end of NATO.
      Remember a few weeks ago when when Turkey shot down a Russian bomber? The response from the US and Germany was to announce they would be withdrawing their air defence missile systems from Turkey while Russia deployed it’s S-400 system in Syria.
      There is no chance of NATO getting into a war with Russia in the ME for Turkey.

  • Colin Lonie

    No more British dead for Jew wars. This is all about greater Israel and money.

    • 100

      What have the Jews got to do with any of this? If we really cared about the Jews anymore, our Lord Ears (Obama) wouldn’t have given Iran the green-light on nukes. And we certainly wouldn’t be involved in Syria.

      • Colin Lonie

        Just cant help myself, any opportunity blame the Jews I say, They are always there lurking behind the curtain.

        • 100

          I disagree with you, but I laughed. lol.

        • Ruth Ben-Or

          Oh yes, global warming, cooling, dead dolphins, fluoride in the water, blame the Jews.

      • sidor

        Your question is relevant in the context of entirely confused Israeli foreign policy. They must be schizophrenic assuming that the Saudis are their allies. Absence of political strategy is a fundamental problem of Israel.

        • 100

          It clearly isn’t just Israel. Obama is also clueless, and seems to still be just as clueless today as he was when he began the airstrikes, and as he was in the 4 years since the war began.

          • sidor

            The US is big enough to afford any foreign policy clownery. And they are not in the ME. Israel, in order to survive in the long-time perspective, has to find its place in the historical pattern of the ME. Pure militarism cannot be a solution. The problem is that the Israelis still think in terms of European nationalism. This is a dead end.

      • Cobbett

        Getting rid of Assad is a long term Israeli strategic goal….better to have you neighbour destroy itself in factional violence than have an anti-Israeli nationalist such as Assad in charge. And Iran hasn’t got any nukes for f*k’sake.

        • Ruth Ben-Or

          Keeping Assad is better for Israel than another ISIS controlled country on its borders, not that I am advocating for either side, knock yourselves out!

          • Cobbett

            Keeping Saddam and Gaddafi would have been better as well…They didn’t bank on ISIS did they?….It seem to be too late anyway…can’t really see how Assad can remain Head in a united country. A monumental c*ck up and no mistake. Keeping

          • Ruth Ben-Or

            Funny thing is, the same anti-Zionists and anti America/West/anything else who thought it was better to leave Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddaffi et al where they were, seem to prefer Islamic rule as long as it is only on Israel’s border, I wonder what the difference is?

          • Cobbett

            Nobody wants Islamic rule…especially ISIS. Why are the Turks more concerned with hurting the Kurds instead of letting them fight IS?..Quatar, Saudi and Turkey are the problem here.

            Them and America are to blame for ISIS.

        • Zoe Butcher

          Sure they do. Russian umbrella nukes.

        • Todd Unctious

          Just enough to oil to send the western world into a spiral of deflation.

    • mikewaller

      Are you as daft as you sound?

    • trobrianders

      What do you want British dead for?

    • polidorisghost

      There’s an “o” missing in Lonie

  • Paul Hunt

    “In his Syrian war, he faces a ruler every bit as choleric and ruthless as himself — Erdoğan — and an increasingly belligerent Saudi Arabia.”

    Let’s see. Which of these two half-assed nations is stupid enough to go to war with Russia?

    Other than in the plethora of daily quotes from their outraged statesmen, the remaining countries of NATO will be nowhere to be seen as Riyadh and Istanbul get roasted.

    World War III can certainly not hinge on the strictly local interests of such bit players as Erdogan and the House of Saud.

    If you think I’m wrong about this, just conduct a serious survey of Christian nations to see which will raise an army to fight alongside Turkey and KSA against the Russians.

    I’m betting you wouldn’t even find takers among Muslim countries.

    • John

      Why bother to take on Putin when he’s going to disappear down the plughole along with the Russian economy in a year or so?

      • Tom Sykes

        Russian politics and diplomacy are not focused 100% on wealth. That’s why they are such hard bastards.

        • trobrianders

          Something our liberal education system has tried to kill off in us.

        • Roger Hudson

          Yes, so they are no threat to the UK any more are they.

          • Tom Sykes

            Did I say that? They will not threaten the UK for the sake of it; only if there is some advantage for them.

          • Todd Unctious

            Well whatever they say, they’ll be lieing.

      • Cobbett

        Yeah…then in the chaos we can have a military government…that would be good wouldn’t it?

        • Todd Unctious

          It is virtually guaranteed.

      • Paul Hunt

        John, let’s catch up in about five years to review everybody’s diagnoses and prognostications of all things Putin/Russia.

        I’m easy to find:

        paulhunt@illinoisalumni.org

    • Tom Sykes

      No one will go to war with Russia
      You know that
      They know that

  • mikewaller

    When will our power groupies (= political journalists and commentator) stop rewarding Putin by telling him what a clever boy he is? In fact, he is an awful throwback to the tyrants of the mid-twentieth century, unconcerned as to how many folks die or are crippled in pursuit of his ego-needs. [“Is Putin’s strategy in Syria identical to that of Hitler in Spain between 1936-9?” Discuss] What particularly infuriates me is that when a few months ago a US pilot bombed a MSF hospital, liberal opinion gave the impression that was an almost unparalleled war crime, demanding immediate action. In fact, it was just another US “friendly fire” cock-up. Now Putin has intentionally bombed 4 hospitals in day and then put up some moral deadbeat from the military to say “We Russians never kill civilians!” And what does the World do? Kind of shrug its shoulders, saying “Well, it’s just the Russians being Russians, next story please.”

    Thanks to the happenstance of the oil crisis, Putin’s economy is already hurting badly and we ought to be doing everything within our power to exacerbate this whilst using every means at our disposal to make clear to ordinary Russian why this is happening. Obviously there are dangers in this. Faced with a crippled economy, tyrants usually seek to distract attention with military adventures. Sadly, just watching does not seem very smart either.

    • Tom Sykes

      One word.
      Bismark

      • mikewaller

        Yes and we all know how that worked out in the long run.

    • Cobbett

      “Is Putin’s strategy in Syria identical to that of Hitler in Spain between 1936-9?” Discuss..

      Well, if the commies had won Spain would have probably entered WW2(most likely attacked as a preemptive measure in 1941)….not a smart move…but compared to the chaos and destruction of the Americans, Putin has some way to go….I’m sick of your kind of Totalitarian Humanism(and Neocon b*ll)…it’s not only phony but the cause of the mess since 1990.

      • mikewaller

        Who Neocon Bill is I am not sure [:-)], but I do agree that whereas regime change proved to be a great success in Germany, Italy and Japan (thank God for the USA!), with the Muslim countries it has gone very badly awry. With hindsight, the best use that could have been made of Afghanistan and Iraqi disasters would have been to have made this conclusion an overt aspect of Western policy. However, it would still have been very important to make clear to Putin that his atavistic savagery would come at a very high economic cost. Even so, letting Assad alone do all the killing – his dad did it in the 10s of thousands, he is now into the hundreds of thousands – would have done little to stem the flow of refugees.

        • Cobbett

          ”but I do agree that whereas regime change proved to be a great success in Germany, Italy and Japan”….millions dead and Stalin in control of 1/2 Europe…wonderful…stuff the USA!

          • mikewaller

            A total non sequitur. What the West did in terms of regime change in Germany, Italy and Japan stands to its credit. What Stalin did in the East gives a frightening – but none the less very valuable – insight into Putin’s mindset. But what essentially is your beef? Would you have have left Hitler alone or turned on the Russians once the Germans had surrendered? Please let’s get real!

          • Cobbett

            Better to have let Germany and the USSR get on with it without us(Britain)…a disaster for Europe.

            As for Putin….to suggest he wants a return to the old USSR is garbage, and why should Russia(or China or any other country) not have their own interests independent what the USA wants?

            But hey,you and the rest of the loonies might get what you want…WW3.

          • mikewaller

            Your understanding of my psychology is as hopelessly wide of the mark as is your grasp on world affairs. Whoever came out on top of Hitler/Stalin struggle, we would have been next on the menu. Please think before hitting keyboard!

          • Cobbett

            Blah blah blah.

          • mikewaller

            I presume that your very limited cerebral capacity is now exhausted.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Is he up to the 750,000 that died when the Americans were “killing their own people” in their own civil war yet?!

          • mikewaller

            Yeah, and what about when Rome sacked Carthage?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Sorry, are you saying Carthage are whining about Assad “killing his own people”?

            Or Rome is moaning about it?!

          • mikewaller

            I am saying that you are dummy who is digging into history for examples having no relevance whatsoever to the cases presently under discussion. Is that clear enough?

          • Mr B J Mann

            It’s clear you practice you presentation in front of a mirror!

            You project so well you could run a ten screen multiplex cinema all on your own!!!

          • mikewaller

            I very much admire your fulsome acknowledgement of defeat.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Hello-o!

            I’m over here!!!

            You’re still talking to the mirror!!!!!

            That might also explain why you are seeing things the wrong way round:

            I wasn’t digging into history:

            I was unearthing yet more hypocrisy!

            By the way, have you got any evidence that Putin has bombed 4 hospitals in day, never mind intentionally?!

          • mikewaller

            Where the Russian’s are concerned, from Katyn Forest to the Malaysian airliner, they will do most anything to avoid having to accept responsibility for their barbaric behaviour. That said, perhaps we should take some comfort from the Katyn case in that about 60 years after the event Russia did finally admit that it was they and not the Nazis who slaughtered thousands of Polish officers in cold blood. So, if they keep Assad in power, by 2076 we may get something near the truth.

            At the moment, the best a trawl of Google can yield is that a wide spectrum of informed opinion seems to accept that the Russian armed services, to their everlasting shame, have been heavily bombing civilian areas with precision weapons and that both schools and hospitals have been among their “successful” strikes. Perhaps the most damning evidence is provided by some very clever people who have a deconstructed the Russian photographs which purported to show that no such attack took place on the MSF hospital and they have proved to be the crudest of crude use of photographs taken on a different date. So no change there!

          • Mr B J Mann

            I hold no brief for the Russians, nor Putin, but I think you’ll find you’re confusing them with the Soviets.

            That’s like people who disagree with Merkel calling her Hitler.

            Secondly, even if the Russians hit a, or some, hospitals (like the Americans in Afghanistan and Britain in Serbia) that doesn’t make it deliberate.

            Regardless of whether or not they did or did not, if they did try to cover it up, doesn’t prove anything.

            Thirdly the various factions and sects of Islam are not beyond blowing up their own people, especially if they are from rival sects, deliberately, or of using them as human shields, never mind fabricating false flag “evidence”.

            In fact NATO in general and the US and UK in particular have got history on the fabricated evidence front!

            So, as someone once said:

            “What a brilliant comeback, the inconsequentiality of which is astounding!”

          • mikewaller

            I have now consulted widely on your case and the consensus of professional opinion is that your repeated attempts to defend the indefensible is strongly suggestive of a variant of Stockholm Syndrome. This, as you may or may not know, is usually applied to the strange behaviour of a minority of terrorist hostages who cope with the appalling stress they are under by identifying 100% with the very people who are terrorising them. The assumption is that they have somewhat inadequate personalities and so this is the only way they can deal with the situation.

            Of course, one cannot be certain of such a serious diagnosis on the basis of a few semi-coherent postings, but as best we can judge in this appalling nuclear age, you are so sensitive to the terrible threat posed by the Russian taste for brutal, self-obsessed autocrats that you are repeatedly shouting out sub-textually, “Don’t hurt me as I too am a Russian, and Russians do no wrong”.

            I would like to suggest that a skilled counsellor might be able to help. Sadly, as I am old enough to have meet plenty of folk to whom nothing Russia did from the great purges, the mass starvation of its own population, the slaughter of its own return prisoners of war, cruel suppression of revolts by peoples in Eastern Europe, the much more recent seizure of other people’s lands, targeted bombing of civilians, out-right lying etc.. would shift their slavish adherence, I can really hold out very little hope for you. Sorry!

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re a Ferkin m0ron, so counselling obviously couldn’t help you!

            I’ve got relatives who died fighting in WW2, I’ve got relatives who (as kids) survived Soviet camps and saw many die of starvation and disease, and I’ve even got relatives who were nailed into their homes by the Naz!s and burnt to death.

            I’ve also got relatives who were spared death from terrorism in the Middle East and who died in more recent wars.

            And I’ve got very close friends who escape death from terrorism in Northern Ireland by a miracle.

            I’ve also lost colleagues at work (not war related), nearly got killed myself many times, and seen people die.

            And because I am capable of overcoming my emotional gut reaction, and trying to view the facts dispassionately, and attempting to come to a logical conclusion based on them, rather than being swayed by propaganda, emoting, wearing my heart on my sleeve, virtue signalling, and trying to “win” arguments with emotional blackmail and shroudwaving, you have the cheek to query my mental health as a debating tactic!?!?!?!!!

            I am not siding, never mind “identifying 100%” with anyone.

            I am merely analysing the facts and presenting my reasoned opinion.

            Regardless of what infantilised immature perpetual juveniles like yourself think.

            You, on the other hand, are incapable of doing that, and, so, like a relative of a victim isn’t allowed to sit on a jury, never mind investigate a murder, bring the prosecution, or sit in judgement, because they are too emotionally involved, and incapable of thinking clearly or seeing straight, you should not be involved.

            So don’t you DARE accuse me of of such carp!

            I suggest YOU get counselling rather than spamming discussions with not just hysterical drivel:

            But l!bellous defamat!on!

          • mikewaller

            I am very impressed by what you have been through but I am not sure that this posting fully confirms your capacity to overcome your emotional gut reaction. In my view, as if oblivious to part of what you say above, during these exchanges you have sought continuously to argue that the West is not better than the Soviet Union/Russia; yet your own case history seems to suggest otherwise. I find this strange. Given the North-Westward direction in which the millions of refugees driven out of Syria by the joint barbarisms of Isil, Assad and Russian are streaming, it would seem that they are more of my mind than yours.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Feel free to continue with libellous defamations, why don’t you.

            As to your judgement, Stalin might have executed far more than the 50,000 Cossacks the British merely bundled into cattle trucks for him, but that doesn’t increase Putin’s guilt or lessen the West’s now.

            The West made a mess of the Balkans.

            The West made a mess of Afghanistan.

            The West made a mess of Iraq.

            The West made a mess of Libya.

            And yet, despite being fully aware of the obviously inevitable and. inevitably obvious consequences of their actions they started making a mess of the Ukraine and Syria.

            The very least they are guilty of is provoking what Putin and Assad have done.

            But they actually funded and armed the “moderates” (ISIS anyone?) and egged them on.

            Egged them on to start and fight civil wars, the bloodiest wars known to man.

            And then you try to excuse yourselves by arguing that Assad is “killing his own people” (who the FARQ did you expect him yo kill? Eskimos?!) and HE should lay down his arms.

            I suppose the “moderates” are let of by you because they are Saudis and Iraqis and Uighurs, and whatevers, and so aren’t “killing their own people” (so how come when Assad personally puts his pistol to their heads and blows their brains out while DAESHing a baby’s brains out on the wall with his other hand he is still “killing his own people”?!?!?!!!!).

            Yes, according to “liberals” like you it’s better that 200,000 people die than one “moderate” dictator be allowed to get in the way of oil… sorry, keep the peace and protect non violent minorities… sorry, be allowed to “kill his own people”.

            Especially if, as the still internationally recognised leader of his country, he invites an ally to help rescue the country the west destroyed that you (or I) wouldn’t invite to dinner.

            And you think *I* need psychiatric help?!?!?!!!!

            By the way, so if you were fighting in the NW of Syria, having got there from Turkey to the NW, where, to the NW are located all the refugee camps set up to welcome you, or were just part of the collateral damage there in the NW of the country, and you got invited to come and claim benefits in North Western Germany or Sweden, you’d stream across the front lines to the SW and head for Saudi which didn’t want you?!?!

            Yet more evidence of your mental capacity and state!

          • mikewaller

            You continue to amaze me with the a partisan nature of your observations. The decision to send back the Cossacks to almost certain death I should have thought fully accorded with your realpolitik view of the world. In 1945, the Red Army was the most powerful force in the Europe and the future of countries like Greece lay in the balance. So “holding one’s nose” and appeasing the tyrant at the cost of other people’s lives (albeit in this instance erstwhile allies of Hitler) for the greater good would surely have met with your approval.

            As for you list of Western blunders, the first observation to be made is its incompleteness. No mention is made of the 1st Gulf War, the British intervention in Sierra Leone, and the recent French involvement in Mali

            As for the Balkans, my recollection is that we sat back for years and watched principally Serbian barbarism of a most extreme kind (e.g. the killing of 7000+ captive males, the use of rape as a weapon of war, the relentless sniping of civilians, using the cries of badly mutilated women as “bait” for booby-traps etc. etc.) until, like Popeye we could stand no more.

            With Afghanistan, the US was attacked with devastating results by a group whom the Taliban made clear they were quite happy to leave unmolested. Invasion then became an inevitability.

            Iraq is, of course, your strong suit which was a catastrophic blunder on the part of the Bush administration. That said, there were plenty of decent liberals who though “no Saddam” had to be good news. How wrong we were.

            Libya, has again confirmed the total implausibility of any of the large Muslim countries suddenly morphing from total control by a strong man to becoming a nice liberal democracy. And given the lesson of Iraq, one can only conclude that it was human decency trumping the kind of realpolitik you favour.

            It is presumably because of these experiences that the West has contained its military involvement in Syria direct attacks on ISIS and only giving indirect aid to the moderates whose original modest demands – inspired by the Arab spring, not Western intervention – were so brutally rebuffed by the monstrous Assad family.

            Now, as I had conceded long before you popped up, Assad may well be the lesser of two very despicable evils when compared with the kind of relentless anarchy now prevailing in Libya. But even if this proves to be so I still see immense danger in the current valorising of Putin. The Jewish tradition provides us with the idea of the Golem, a monster brought into being to serve a good purpose, but which then turns on those to whom he had seemed a godsend.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, YOU continue to amaze ME with the a partisan nature of YOUR
            observations.

            I think I’ve already accepted somewhere on this thread if not a related one that the decision to send back the Cossacks to almost certain death was “realpolitik” but it should be clear it didn’t accord with my view. There was no reason to send them back, the Red Army wasn’t going to go to war over the Cossacks, however, if it did go to war over countries like Greece then, if it was the most powerful force in Europe, surely 50,000 Cossacks alive and the West’s side would be preferable.

            So the greater good was to refuse to send them back (although a more diplomatic wording would be preferable in the circumstances).

            But, and again I thought I’d already pointed it out, they weren’t sent back “for the greater good” but because they were a logistical inconvenience!

            But the whole point is that my preference on Syria isn’t “holding one’s nose” and appeasing the tyrant at the cost of other people’s lives:

            The lives are being lost because a relatively benign and largely “popular” autocrat is being subjected, very clumsily, to regime change for a variety of economic, geo-political and “liberal” reasons when it should have been clear that at best, regime change would be achieved at massive cost and for no real benefit to the Syrians.

            And then even when massive numbers of lives were being lost the West continued to fuel the flames!

            That isn’t supporting Putin.

            That isn’t supporting Assad.

            That’s supporting the innocent Syrians caught in the cross fire!

            As for my list of Western blunders, the first observation to be made is that it was merely examples of hypocrisy. So why does it need
            “completeness”.

            As for the Balkans, your recollection seems to be based on NATO and illegal breakaway state propaganda.

            As with the Ukraine, you only need to have been following the course of events, rather than believing each new days new interpretation of the “news” to understand what was going on.

            And, again, this has nothing to do with supporting Putin (or opposing the West), it’s merely realising that thousands, hundreds of thousands, in the Ukraine are suffering due to geo-political interference.

            Even the Guardian and “Independent” were pointing out in the early days that accepting the EU’s offer (which was NOT an offer to join the EU in any sense whatsoever) of a small loan in exchange for handing over the Ukraine’s economy to the West on a plate was economic suicide, and that they had no sensible alternative than to accept the vastly larger, and hardly any strings attached Russian offer.

            Then you had the “protests” with EU and US officials providing support and sustenance on the spot to the rioters.

            And then you had an illegal armed coup despite an imminent election, and new elections in which, by definition, the old government couldn’t participate in because they had to flee the country.

            But now everyone “knows” that a “dictator” was overthrown by “the people” in a “bloodless” (except for the “dictator’s” “Murders” of “innocent” people) and everyone lived happily ever after.

            Except that the Ukraine started off as a failed state, and now it’s a failed state being torn apart by civil war (which, miraculously, has dropped out of the news! Just like Libya!!!).

            Similarly, in the Balkans you had illegal breakaway states encouraged by the EU and NATO, which ethnically cleansed, and worse, the Serbs. You had, literally (look it up) fasc!st and j!hadi illegal governments oppressing, and worse, the Serbs (and their own dissenters) in their areas. And THEN, surprise, surprise, you had a Serb backlash (and remember there are people alive today who would remember the Ustase and Musl!m atrocities against their own families in WW2).

            And (most of) the Western media ignored what had provoked any problems and propagated the “victims'” propaganda.

            Do you know that the B0snian government had actually discussed with the West that it NEEDED a massacre of over 5,000 to get the Western public on side?

            And that, for the first time in history 8,000 missing “men and boys” after the military rout of the defenders of the GARRISON town of Srebren!ca turned into 8,000 dead (most of which were supposedly buried in hidden graves, then exhumed, then burned, or dumped at sea, or are still being driven round Europe in secret Serb black refrigerator trucks, or minced and fed to their families, or whatever….).

            Compare that with 9/11, in a leading advanced city in a leading, non war torn, country, where 10,000 missing became 3,000 dead (and it’s know that probably thousands of the 8,000 “dead”, including all the officer corps of the garrison, were clandestinely recalled back behind the main Bosnian lines before the Serb advance!).

            Or the 125,000 “missing” from Kosovo used to justify NATO intervention, which grew to 250,000 to 500,000 missing, when the final death toll was 4,000. In total. From all sides?!?!?!

            You’re being played for a liberal fool.

            Which seems to have been (un)surprisingly easy!

            You’ll be telling me next that the Hun barbecued babies on their bayonets!

            Did you know that not one, but two, right on, left wing, bleedin heart, “liberal” organisations, something like Amnesty and a wimmins rights group, investigated the supposed thousands of “r-pes as a weapon of war” supposedly carried out by Ghaddafi’s side in Libya, and couldn’t find a SINGLE documented case!

            But you keep believing every news story you are fed by the press!

            With Afghanistan……..Invasion then became an inevitability.

            So why not Pakistan who were also clearly happy to leave such groups “unmolested”?!

            Should Britain have invaded Boston for arming the IRA?!

            “Iraq is, of course, your strong suit…… plenty of decent liberals who though “no Saddam” had to be good news. How wrong we were.”

            “Libya, has again confirmed the total implausibility of any of the large Muslim countries suddenly morphing from total control by a strong man to becoming a nice liberal democracy. And given the lesson of Iraq, one can only conclude that it was human decency trumping the kind of realpolitik you favour.”

            Errrmmmmmmm, no.

            It was “liberal” stupidity trumping the kind of real human decency tempered by common sense I favour!

            People like you and the “decent” self-styled “liberals” would blindly sink an already capsizing lifeboat to “rescue” a terrorist.

            And then try to blame people like me for not sending out another lifeboat to rescue the terrorists?!?!

            As for:

            “It is presumably because of these experiences that the West has contained its military involvement in Syria direct attacks on ISIS and only giving indirect aid to the moderates whose original modest demands – inspired by the Arab spring, not Western intervention – were so brutally rebuffed by the monstrous Assad family.”

            You mean it is because it cost the West so much in blood and treasure that they decided to try to do it on the cheap through third parties.

            And that was going to make a cleaner, quicker, better regime change how, exactly?!

            And what attacks on ISIS? How many thousands of sorties did they carry out, and with what effect, until the Russians stepped in?!

            “Now, as I had conceded long before you popped up, Assad may well be the lesser of two very despicable evils when compared
            with the kind of relentless anarchy now prevailing in Libya. But even if this proves to be so”

            So you believe that Assad cuts out and eats the still beating hearts of his enemies?!

            So you think that either ISIS or a coalition of dozens of disparate “moderate” rebels (just like in Libya) just might, this time, not produce relentless anarchy and despicable evil?!?!

            “I still see immense danger in the current valorising of Putin.”

            I does not matter how many times you make the accusation against people you disagree with, it doesn’t make it true.

            All anyone is doing is pointing out that he is the lesser of two evils, and doing a better job than the West of sorting out the problem the West created.

            “The Jewish tradition provides us with the idea of the Golem, a monster brought into being to serve a good purpose, but
            which then turns on those to whom he had seemed a godsend.”

            The problem with instructive fairly tales is that people sometimes (often, these days?) misinterpret them.

            The Golem here are the West, NATO, ISIS, and the “moderate” rebels!

            Putin and Assad are slaying some of the Golem.

            But that has angered the even bigger Golem of the West!

          • mikewaller

            As Andrew Marvel so eloquently put it…..”Had we but world enough and time…” but, sadly, I most certainly haven’t. So you sail on with your view that the West can do no right and Putin do no wrong, whilst I will stick with my beliefs which although not polarly opposite, are very different! ,

          • Mr B J Mann

            If you continually have to misrepresent what I say and make personal attacks I think we all know why you’ve run out of time.

            But Bye-Bye anyhow!

          • mikewaller

            Why do images of blackened pots and kettles keep floating before my eyes?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Because you are looking in a mirror!

    • AndrewMelville

      The fact is that Syria was a Russian ally and we were at fault for interfering. Putin quite correctly condemned western actions as counter productive, and so they proved to be. Why are we opposed to Assad? It makes no sense. He was and is the best hope for some sort of peace and stability and protection of minorities. The west has beggared it up as it did in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Find some sort of face saving story and get out and stay out and let Putin and Assad sort it.

      Don’t misunderstand me: Putin and Assad are foul thugs, but letting them have their way here is the best way to preserve western interest.

      • mikewaller

        Exactly the same was said by similarly “right-minded” people in respect of Franco and Hitler, pre-WW2, both then being seen as the great bulwarks against communism. And look waht happened next. Interesting point made by Matthew Parris in respect of Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands. Because she got it so right then against much expert advise, she increasingly thought her own instincts were infallible. She was eventually taught otherwise by the Poll tax debacle.

        Much closer to Putin’s case was Hitler’s attack on Russia. Having largely triumphed in the West – again against expert advice – he made the fatal decision to turn East. My conclusion? Once that type of leader gets it into his head that he can do no wrong – as much of the world seems to be telling Putin now – God knows what globally disastrous stunt he will turn his hand to next.

        • AndrewMelville

          I’ve no brief for either Franco or Hitler, but the debacle of the peace treaty significantly irritated Germany without weakening her. Hitler was able to lever that discontent. The west has done the same thing with Russia. Really dumb: NATO in the Baltic States, fomenting a putsch against the elected President in Ukraine etc. A wiser policy would be to recognize that Russia is the dominant power in the region and to create a series of strong buffer states between NATO and Russia. Instead we’ve done the opposite. Why – God only knows, it certainly isn’t for any desirable object that I can see. Our strategy has forced Putin to be canny and aggressive. He’s got back Crimea (always Russian by the way) and is clearly demonstrating to his neighbours that he is in charge. Eventually we’ll end up with buffer states because it is not in our interests to provoke Russia forever and because Russia is where it is.

          As for the notion that Putin’s megalomania will drive him to take dangerous risks – huh? Where is the evidence? Again it is the west that keeps biting off more than it can chew and then retreats leaving the situation much worse than before: think Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq Mark 2, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon and just barely avoided Syria. When Putin has had to fight, he has shown restraint and then acted decisively with overwhelming force to win: Georgia, Chetchnya, Crimea. All close to home, all historical Russian interests etc.

          • mikewaller

            Much more of this and your pal will send you a signed photograph! It is certainly true that atavists like Putin can pursue their objectives with a clarity and disregard for human lives that democratic leaders can only rely upon in times of existential threat. This Russian hawks have long thought that to be the Achilles Heel of the Western democracies and will ensure the ultimate realisation of Khrushchev’s claim that “We will bury you”. Whether telling Putin what a clever and decisive boy he is will in anyway makes this less likely, I leave you to judge. Certainly, admiring words expressed about Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s and toleration of the former taking back places that were “rightfully” Germany’s clearly did not satisfy their respective appetites for more and more. The Baltic States, presumably, are next on Putin’s shopping list.

            And, “by the way” the Crimea has not “always” been Russian. I reproduce below an extract from Wikipedia on the subject for your information. However what that does not point out is that (a) in the context of the USSR break-up, Russia guaranteed The Ukraine’s borders (including the Crimea) in return for The Ukraine surrendering all the nuclear missiles on its territory (as with Kaiser Bill, just another “scrap of paper” to your pal Putin); (b) the indigenous population in the The Crimea having been treated with unspeakable cruelty by the Russian over the years, largely consider the latest takeover a national catastrophe; but to you, no doubt that is small change in the grander scheme of things.

            “Crimea—or the Tauric Peninsula, as it was called from antiquity until the early modern period—has historically been at the boundary between the classical world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Its southern fringe was colonised by the ancient Greeks, the ancient Persians, the ancient Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Crimean Goths, the Genoese and the Ottoman Empire, while at the same time its interior was occupied by a changing cast of invading steppe nomads, such as the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Huns, Khazars, Kipchaks, and the Golden Horde. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century before becoming part of the Russian Empire in 1783.

            Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became a republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the USSR. In World War Two it was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast, and in 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. It became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine in 1991, with Sevastopol having its own administration, within Ukraine but outside of the Autonomous Republic. Sovereignty and control of the peninsula became the subject of an ongoing territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014 and now administers it as two federal subjects: the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.”

          • AndrewMelville

            Mike,

            I don’t admire Putin. I think he is a foul thug. But that doesn’t make him Satan. It is the west that has botched this file. Repeatedly. It needs to rethink its strategy towards Russia.

          • mikewaller

            No doubt, but that should be done in a much lower key. As a matter of routine, any public discussion should start with a detailed excoriation of the man and his behaviour. To do otherwise simply serves to feed his already planet-sized ego.

        • Mr B J Mann

          “Exactly the same was said by similarly “right-minded” people in respect of Franco and Hitler, pre-WW2, both then being seen as the great bulwarks against communism. And look waht happened next.”

          Yes, the western Allies went to war with them in alliace with the communists which led to millions dead and then half a century of col war.

          Whereas if thy’d left well alone?!

          Not a good analogy!!!

          • mikewaller

            Your conclusion, I presume, is predicated on the assumption that whichever tyrant eventually secured total dominance over continental Europe, their internal control outfit would have offered you excellent career opportunities.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So you devastating counter argument is to imply I’m a fascist thug.

            Well done you!

          • mikewaller

            No, simply that you present yourself as someone entirely indifferent to the fate of millions as long as you keep out of trouble.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Says the guy who’s just upbraided me for the astounding inconsequentiality of my comebacks.

            It’s not me who’s supporting the mess the West created in Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia……..

            An feel free to explain how you think you could wriggle out of the defamatory:

            “their internal control outfit would have offered you excellent career opportunities”?!

          • mikewaller

            My approach throughout has not been to defend the undoubted errors the West has made in a number of instances, but merely to argue that any commentary that feeds Putin’s already dangerously over-expanded ego, risks ever increasing trouble from that quarter.

            Regarding your second point, as I have already pointed out, as far as I can see (a) a titanic struggle between Hitler and Stalin would have led to the triumph of one monster or the other and (b) without Anglo-American intervention, that triumph would have extended throughout Continental Europe. Ergo, with the Red Army or the Wehrmacht at Calais with no Continental challengers left in the field, the only Britons I should have thought that could afford to feel relaxed (seemingly your state of mind) would have been those who felt that they could fit in with either regime. Just a harmless piece of inductive reasoning! Of course, in the interests of honesty and openness. my own father having successfully volunteered for the RAF in 1939 and served through to 1945, does incline me not to think well of those who suggest that it was all a misdirected waste of time.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Yet more misdirection,

            Yet more time wasting.

            Yet more ad hominem attacks.

            Keep it up!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Oh, and funny how the left preferred the regressive Rates to the progressive Poll Tax!

          • mikewaller

            What a brilliant comeback, the inconsequentiality of which is astounding!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Which is the most brilliantly consequential comeback the guy who posted:

            “She was eventually taught otherwise by the Poll tax debacle.”

            Could manage to come back with.

            You’ve dazzled me with you polished wit and erudition!

            I bet you’d even forgotten you’d posted that.

            In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t even realised you’d said it.

            It was just a pre-programmed mantra, wasn’t it!

  • Tom Sykes

    Russia acts in its own best interests, thinks strategically and acts decisively.
    We mouth platitudes and react to events.
    Who has created more problems in the last 15 years – us or them?

    • justejudexultionis

      Them.

    • Patrick Roy

      Exactly, Tom. Exactly.

    • fofo

      Both your competitive idealistic imperialist ambitions have spread conflict over all nations that’s for sure. You use /problems/ for /wars/. I think people have started to wake up. Information is accessible at once, so let’s not forget what that means. (8 billion st—id ‘intelligent’ h0m0 sapiens not able to coexist) F——— OFFF

      • Tom Sykes

        Does your nurse know that you are out?

    • Todd Unctious

      Them.

      • Cyril Sneer

        This coming from the man who claims Russia didn’t have to do much against Na zi Germany in WW2.

        You should get your Russophobia looked at mate. Perhaps you should spend a little less time on CNN.

        • Todd Unctious

          What? The Soviets fought a massive War against the Nazis. It is just that the Nazis were not much of an opposition. Germany was a more formidable opponent in WW1, but even then spent 95% of the time on the defensive.

      • Tom Sykes

        Afghanistan- Iraq – Libya- N West Pakistan – Serbia _ Kosova –

    • johnb1945

      It certainly does the latter two, but it does not do the former.

      It is not in Russia’s interests to become an isolated pariah, entangled in costly foreign wars and impoverished by sanctions.

      It is in Putin’s interests to do this (right now), but not those of the country he leads..

      • ra232

        It is most definitely in Russia’s interest to prop up Assad. It keeps a vital ally in power. Russia is not even close to being isolated. They have most of the world as allies and some huffing and puffing by USA and EU does not matter. Besides many American and most European people support Russian actions in Syria.

        • Todd Unctious

          Now that is priceless. Russia has most of the World as allies. You are funny. All Russia cares about is access to the Med’ and their naval base in Syria.

          • ra232

            Russia obviously cares about naval access and their base. But their allies include China and India and just those two have more than half the world population.

          • ra232

            By the way my “priceless” comments are for sale :-) I will glady sell this for one Gold Eagle or Maple Leaf – your choice.

        • johnb1945

          Russia is a country which has lucked out on vast resources. It would be in Russian interests to trade those to a partner base of wealthy, stable countries.

          • ra232

            The West destabalizes other nations and ruins their economy by proxy wars. Then says that people should trade with stable countries!! Russia will do much better trading with China; India; Iran and so on because they are not out to destabalize Russia. The short term benefits of trade with the West is not worth the volumes of ever increasing demands they make. Trade should be just that. Not daily demands of jumping through hoops.

    • ra232

      Because we and the USA in particular have our policy for sale. We are torn between various political donors and big money players. In addition public opinion must also be at least somewhat mindned. So you get a mess that never really works.

  • Cobbett

    ”Officials with Syrian rebel battalions that receive covert backing from
    one arm of the U.S. government told BuzzFeed News that they recently
    began fighting rival rebels supported by another arm of the U.S.
    government”

    ”In the face of public objections from U.S. officials and reportedly
    backed by Russian airstrikes, the YPG has overrun key villages in the
    northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. It now threatens the town of
    Azaz, on the border with Turkey, through which rebel groups have long
    received crucial supplies. Over the weekend, Turkey began shelling YPG
    positions around Azaz in response, raising another difficult scenario
    for the U.S. in which its proxy is under assault from its NATO ally”

    Turkey’smain objective is to crush the Kurds and depose ASSAD…The American
    policy is about as cack-handed as you can get…supporting different
    groups that have a different agenda from each other. ‘Dumb a*ses’ spring
    to mind.

  • Edmund burke326

    Russia is aiding the legitimate sovereign of Syria, Turkey (Armenian genocide, Cyprus occupier, murderer of Slavs) is continuing its campaign of genocide against Kurds and Syrians along with threats to Greece over the Agean. There is nothing ruthless about Russia whether Tsarist or present day. The same cannot be said about NATO Turkey and Pasha Erdogan. In fact without Russia the EU would be torn apart by Turkey and the US at greater speed.

    • Roger Hudson

      Turkey was only pulled into NATO in the early 1950s ( when it’s human rights record was even worse than now ) just so the US could get missiles (Thors) and spy bases up onto the USSR border. Turkey in NATO has always been an anti-Russian flanking force.
      Turkey can’t get NATO article 5 protection if it is the aggressor.

    • Roger Hudson

      Turkey was only pulled into NATO in the early 1950s ( when it’s human rights record was even worse than now ) just so the US could get missiles (Thors) and spy bases up onto the USSR border. Turkey in NATO has always been an anti-Russian flanking force.
      Turkey can’t get NATO article 5 protection if it is the aggressor.

  • bscook111

    Russia and Turkey have been warring for centuries. If hot war breaks out then Istanbul may well become the Greek city of Constantinople once again. Turkey has no chance in that conflict.

    • Bilderberg Chairman

      Even with the luck of a Hilary coin toss I can see no way on Earth that the Turks could take on the Russian military and even hold a town for a week let alone gain an inch

      • Cyril Sneer

        They do have the advantage of being able to deploy their force in full. It’s much harder and longer for Russia to reinforce Syria. But, any conflict with Russia will most likely spread to Turkey and Russia has plenty of capability to do this.

    • ra232

      Russia and Turkey were on great terms before Erdogan decided to pick this fight.

  • JohnCrichton89

    Mass murdering dictators are the moderate Muslims, as opposed to the suicidal child raping slavers that our ‘liberals’ support.

    • shirehorse

      Perfectly sums up the character of members of the ‘religion of peace’ and our islamo-grovelling politicians.

    • ra232

      What is this “mass murder” charge that people throw around? Where is the proof of it? You just make things up and then get on a high horse and repeat yourself.

  • Mr B J Mann

    “Even the Americans are willing to fudge on a key rebel demand — that
    Assad, personally, be removed from power. They agree that he could at
    least stay for a transitional period.”

    Why do we keep on hearing this nonsense over and over again?!

    I don’t see the US/NATO/EU/UK’s own leaders, personally, being removed from power, because the Taliban, or ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or whoever wants them to go!

    So who are the US/NATO/EU/UK/the Taliban, or ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, “Moderate Rebels”, or whoever to tell Assad to go?!

    • CarmenVasquez

      Assad runs a one party dictatorship who has a history of ‘one candidate’ elections. He and his father have killed any opposition for decades. That is why he is different to US/NATO/EU and the UK. Everybody else you mentioned are just as crazy as Assad. The problem is that there isn’t anybody after Assad who can govern without it becoming another Sunni/Shia war.

      • Mr B J Mann

        But I never said he was the same.

        I said expecting him to step down because that was the demand of a bunch of terrorists was the same as expecting Obama to step down because that was the demand of a bunch of terrorists.

        In fact, why would people expect Assad to be the one to give in, and not Obama?!

        • CarmenVasquez

          Because it isn’t just a ‘bunch of terrorists’ who think Assad is a criminal. It is most of the world community. A number of Western countries think he should be tried for war-crimes.

          The problem is the resulting power-vacuum. Because he and his father killed off anybody who remotely threatened them, there is only one party in Syria. That is hardly a good basis for a stable state. That vacuum will be filled by warlords.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “Most of the world community” base their thoughs and opinions on Western Press propagation of anti Assad propaganda and Western “liberal” sensibilities.

            Are any of the rebels doing nothing but fighting pitched battles to Geneva Convention rules with Assads army?

            Are any of them NOT illegally treasonably fighting THEIR government?!

            Are there any of the rebel groups who don’t attack civilians, or monuments, or use car bombs or suicide bombers, or cut out and eat enemy hearts, or use child soldiers or human shields, or deploy jihadi sourced ex-Libyan chemical weapons to win Western support/justify NATO “intervention”, or linked to Al Quaeda, or any other terror group, or……..

            If not, then they are all terrorists!

            And a number of Independent / Eastern / Western countries and / or their citizens think the Western leaders who promoted the revolt/s should be tried for war-crimes.

            As for the problem being the resulting power-vacuum being filled by warlords that’s the West’s fault too.

            Because he and his father killed off anybody who remotely threatened them?

            What? Idly chatted hypothetically about their shortcomings.

            This isn’t Islington or Hampstead.

            People don’t chat over dinner: they plot revolution then exterminate the opposition, not just people who remotely threatened them!

            So what if there is only one party in Syria. That’s better than one sect of one religion that is going to r a p e all other women (and girls) and kill all other men (and boys)!

            That is even less of a good basis for a stable state.

            And it’s the West and the naive bleedin-heart “liberal” who prompted the revolt who are to blame for the state of the countty today and will be to blame if any vacuum will filled by something far worse.

            “Moderates” dont revolt, by definition.

            And if they do, they don’t win against extremists.

            By definition!

            Oooooh, we mustn’t sink to their level!!!!!!!

            By definition the one that fights dirty is the one that wins!

      • Bilderberg Chairman

        ALL middle eastern countries have 1 party or 1 family dictatorships – including the Saudis, Qatar etc whom our Diamond Dave is in love with

        • CarmenVasquez

          Yep that is exactly right – the exact opposite of the West; for that reason, comparing them as equally legitimate as the UK/US/NATO etc as the OP did is wrong.

      • Cyril Sneer

        There were a number of candidates in the last Syrian election. The one that came second got 500k votes.

        I don’t see how regime change will do anything but break Syria up and turn it into a failed state. Have you ever thought that the middle east needs leaders with an iron hand and that your idea of liberal democracy just wont stick and has never stuck.

        I would’ve thought after the failure of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya this would be plainly obvious. It just goes to show what effect US propaganda has on people.

        The US has not authority to call for regime change in Syria.

        • CarmenVasquez

          The Syrian ‘elections’ had ‘opposition’ that was encouraged to run by the Syrian secret police to give them some illusion of democracy.

          But I totally agree with your point of Western Democracy and the Middle East. You need educated people and a relative lack of corruption to run a democracy. Imposing democracy should never be a goal you’d spend money and lives on. I remember one of the first people they interviewed in Iraq in 2003 he said to the camera “Now we can vote for whoever our Imam wants!”. The war was a few hours old and you could tell it had failed :(

  • shirehorse

    Turkey is only ‘powerful’ IF it has NATO backup and the idea that NATO would back these islamonazis against Christian Russia is quite reprehensible. And I wouldn’t want to be in Erdogan’s shoes if he shoots down another Russian aircraft.

    • Todd Unctious

      Turkey has the seventh largest military in the World. One million strong with 5 million reserves and a budget of $20 billion.
      Russia has 800,000 dubious conscripts 2, million reluctant reserves and a budget of $65 billion, spread half way round the world.
      Russia has Belarus as an ally.
      Turkey has the USA and NATO and the Muslim world. Erdogan has all the cards in that poker game.

      • GnosticBrian

        Remind me, how well did the full might of the US perform against the Viet Cong? The Soviets faced what was supposed to be the best army in the world, the German Wehrmacht, and beat the proverbial out of it using (largely) Soviet designed and manufactured weapons.

        • Todd Unctious

          The Wehrmacht was poorly led, under resourced, horsedrawn, with inadequate over engineered arms and massive over extended supply lines. Germany was on the backfoot by early 1941 on a one way trip to failure. Russia was pushing , weakly on an open door.

          • GnosticBrian

            The Soviet Union lost 27 million defeating fascism – not what I would call “pushing, weakly on an open door”.

            If the Germans “were on the back foot by early 1941” and were “poorly led” – how to explain Rommel’s success (with smaller forces) in North Africa (including Kaserine) or Montgomery’s failure to take Caen within the 48 hour timetable or Arnhem (at all)? Were the Brits and Americans really so bad?

          • Todd Unctious

            A few short term successesby pre-emptive strike is irrelevant Rommel was perhaps Hitlers best tactician but he did not trust him, marginalised him and of course he was defeated by vastly superior forces with better supply lines.
            The Wehrmacht was an undercresourced Airforce. A pitiful little Navy and a poorly led Army. Good at Blitzkrieg, abysmal at the long haul.

          • GnosticBrian

            Rommel a better tactician than Manstein, Guderian, Kesselring, Model…? I don’t see it. Rommel enjoyed some success in North Africa when the American military attaché in Cairo was a conduit for secret intelligence from the British. When Fellers was moved, Rommel’s successes against the British ceased.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Really pathetic to dismiss what the Russians did. The Eastern front dwarfed anything else. This was where the war was won.

            Really poor comment Todd.

          • Todd Unctious

            That is where it was fought. It was won in Paris, Berlin ,Dresden, Hiroshima,Rome,the Ruhr.

          • Cyril Sneer

            No the war against Germany was won on the Eastern Front.

        • Cjones1

          The Russians never thanked the U.S. for our essential help in defeating the Nazis and tried to assume responsibility for the Japanese surrender.
          They have played a leading role in escalating conflicts into two world wars and have come close to starting WW III.
          The Russians are free loading squatters in the Crimea.
          The U.S. withdrawal from Iraq facilitated a vacuum which now sucks the Russians and Turks willingly toward a major confrontation.

          • GnosticBrian

            The Soviet Union was led by a Georgian.

            Crimea is, again, Russian just as it was before Kruschev “gave” it to the Ukraine in the fifties. Will the US return Texas, California and New Mexico to the Mexicans from whom they were siezed? Will they return Kosova to Serbia from whom it was stolen to be given to Muslims?

            The Japanese surrender came about because the US, having seen how succesful the Soviets were in Manchuria and the Kuriles, dropped their requirement for unconditional surrender – they allowed the Japanese to keep their Emperor. If they had done this earlier, the war would have ended earlier.

            The US was afraid (and not without reason) that the Soviets would continue down the Kuriles and Invade the Japanese mainland. Just compare the slow rate of progress of US Marines on Iwo Jima with the lightning fast progress of Soviet troops in Manchuria.

            If it comes to thanks, when did the US thank the UK for RDF, computers, jet engines, the implosion design for the atom bomb, the key to Enigma…made us pay through the nose for all “assistance”, even those rubbish Sherman tanks.

          • ra232

            The whole dissolution of Soviet Union was a mess. All the boundaries should have been reexamined and each enclave such as Ossetia; Crimea and so on should have been given the option of remaining with Russia.

          • Todd Unctious

            Before Stalin gave it to Ukraine it had been “Russian” for precisely 28 years.

          • GnosticBrian

            Excuse me.
            Stalin didn’t give the Crimea to Ukraine, that was done by Khrushchev.
            The Crimea had been Russian for a great deal longer than 28 years – to whom do you think it belonged when Britain and France fought there between 1853 and 1856? I thought that the ‘Kievan Rus’ (the first Russians) moved into the Crimea in the 10th Century.

          • Todd Unctious

            As the kippers go by ethnicity, I am talking about that. Russians only became the majority population in 1950 after the forcible expulsion of the last Tatars.

          • GnosticBrian

            I didn’t realise that you were a Kipper.

            I’m not and I don’t know what you mean by “go by ethnicity” and how that led you to conclude that Stalin had given the Crimea to Ukraine. It seemed to me that you simply didn’t know anything about that on which you were pontificating. I’ve been told that is par for the course for Kippers. Do you argue that because London has less than a 50% ethnic English, the city is not part of England?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Crimea is Russian and their referendum was more real than the US election.

          • Todd Unctious

            Historically Crimea was Tatar. But the Czars and Stalin ethnically cleansed it. Russians only became the largest ethnic group in 1925 and only had over half the population by 1950. They make up65% of the population and are there to claim the warm water port at Sebastopol.

          • Cyril Sneer

            So in effect what you’re saying is that Crimea is Russian.

            The referendum was legit by the way.

          • ra232

            Russia paid dearly in fighting the Nazis. Nobody did anyone favors. US fought the Nazis because it had to as did the Russians. No thanks needed.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Goodness sake a large army (manpower) and a bigger budget does not make a professional and efficient war machine.

        If you want to play pointless top trumps games then Russia has China as an ally on this.

        • Todd Unctious

          Great. So N Korea is no threat. Yippee.

          • ra232

            That’s right. N Korea is no threat to anyone other than maybe S Korea and even that is a stretch. I do not worry about N Korea marching to my home and neither should you.

      • ra232

        What are you talking about? What “Muslim World”? I have news for you. Here are some large Muslim population nations: Indonesia; Pakistan; India; Egypt; Iran … none of them are going to be sending troops to fight for Turkey. The two closest ones Iran and Iraq are siding with Russia. This isn’t a board game it is reality.

      • Cobbett

        Bombing Kurdish civilians isn’t the same as facing Russia. Turkey can get stuffed!

        • Todd Unctious

          I am amazed how many people seem to applaud and rejoice at Putin’s grim little dictatorship. Turkey is a major military power. It is taught about at Sandhurst, such is the importance of its armed forces and strategic location.

          • Cobbett

            I don’t particularly like Turks. And Erdogan is hardly different to Putin is he? I’m neutral about Putin although I’m rather against being nuked.

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’re amazed because you’re oblivious to the reality outside of US sponsored Russophobia. Reds under the beds and all that paranoia.

            I fully support Putin when it comes to stopping the USA dead in its tracks.

  • Roger Hudson

    Turkey cannot invade another country and then go to NATO and ask for article 5 help, it’s (supposed to be ) a defensive alliance. I know Clinton and Blair (may they be cursed for ever) conned NATO into attacking Serbia when no NATO country was attacked but we need NATO to be our shield not our sword.

  • Bilderberg Chairman

    The day Russia is intimidated by Turkey and the likes of Erdogan will be a strange one indeed. These people have stared down the barrel of NATO for generations without flinching and, if anything, outwitted, out-innovated and out-lasted horrendous hardships. Erdogan, like McCain in the US, simply has a hard on for WW3 – McCain is a psychopath but Erdogan hopes we will in the most destroy each other so the Ottoman empire can flourish once again. What he hasnt accounted for is the fact that the whole middle east would in fact be one large sheet of radioactive brown glass – or maybe they have, maybe thats why they are all on boats over here.

    • DaHitman

      Agreed and Muslims tend to run when faced with a trained army

      • S Wood

        True. They don’t seem to be able to cooperate to defeat a common enemy either. That’s the trouble with not drinking – Can’t organise a p155 up in a brewery.

      • ra232

        Who are “Muslims” ? Do you mean Kurds or Turks or ISIS? Do you even understand there is a difference between them?

        • Todd Unctious

          Or perhaps Indonesians, Bangladeshis or Moroccans. Or even Bosnians and Chechens.

          • ra232

            Most of whom are not going to get involved in this war. The radical hotheads mostly Chechen and European already joined the Jihadis. The regular troops will never go to war in Syria to benefit Erdogan. I doubt even regular Turkish troops would do it.

        • DaHitman

          Talking about people like YOU, no don’t hide it very well do you

          • ra232

            Hide what? I told you: “Muslims” isn’t a person with a single ideology. A large portion of the so called Muslim population opposes Erdogan and will side with Russia if it came down to a choice between them.

          • DaHitman

            I think you’ve got me mixed up with liberal that believes Taqiyya. Lets be honest if Islam was all that you’d wouldn’t want to live in our nations built with Christian values!

          • ra232

            I think you are mixed up bud. Are you on side of Turkey or Russia or just venting? This is not a discussion on religion it is about Russia vs. Turkey.

          • DaHitman

            I’m on the side of Russia, they know how to deal with them/you

          • ra232

            If you read my posts you’d know I ‘am on the side of Russia. Thank God you are not in charge of anything or you’d be firing at your own side since you cannot tell the difference between sides.

          • DaHitman

            Well the fact you are trolling me shows what an idiot you are then doesn’t it, get a life. A Muslim is a Muslim, Europe is finding that out the hard way now!

    • Todd Unctious

      Most of the problems of the Middle East , N Africa and the Balkans are down to the mismanagement of the decline of the Ottoman Empire. We risk saddling ourselves with another century of strife if we mismanage the collapse of Russia.
      The latter is now inevitable over the next two generations.

      • Cobbett

        Over the next two generations Europe with resemble N Africa…so it won’t matter.

  • ClausewitzTheMunificent

    So Putin’s calculated military intervention in alliance with Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah, the Kurds and the Syrian Army to stop the collapse of the Syrian state after 5 years of US, UK, French and German supported efforts to set the Middle East aflame with Sunni extremists and mercanaries is reckless buccaneering is it? In this case the Americans and British leaders are pirates and deserve to swing from the yardarm.

    • chris chuba

      Sadly it was one of the better articles on the subject :-)
      At least after all of the Liturgy of Putin bashing it asked ‘is Putin’s plan so bad after all?’

      • ClausewitzTheMunificent

        Fair enough. What a shame all these shills couldn’t have reached the conclusion before hundreds of thousands had died.

  • Saratov

    Freddie Frampton, I didn’t again answer you on time. Cause I again put my answer on the top for your convinience.
    Yes, first of all I agree with you the war is the worst thing in the world. Russians don’t wanna any wars.
    You wrote me: ” If you seriously think killing is winning then you are deluded”. I agree with you again – the killing is a pure evil.
    But I can’t udersand you, Freddy. Maybe you don’t know it, maybe you try to forget it when argueig with me.
    The killing is the evil, but the killing of killers is the blessing. The people’s protection is the blessing, the protection of killers is the evil.
    We go to Syria to kill killers, Freddy. And now many, many people are trying to declare them the innocent victims.
    Do you know why? And why all countrries wich were enumerated in your last post are supporting killers?

  • tigerlily

    Let’s face it they’ll probably be better of with a strong dictator.

  • tom kincade

    If you are suggesting NATO would fight over Turkey clashing with Russia you are in the wrong job NATO would never clash with Russia on behalf of Turkey and Russia would wipe the floor with Turkey on a one to one

  • S Wood

    Putin is smarter, more cunning and stronger [also dangerous] than any other leader. He’s dancing rings around them as he knows they are impotent against him. He’s already at war with the EU and they haven’t even realised. His actions in forcing refugees towards Europe will result in it splintering and eventual bankruptcy. He won’t need to invade former USSR states he will just buy them back.

    • Cyril Sneer

      He’s using the Kurds against the Turks. Sweet revenge.

      I really don’t understand this ‘his actions are forcing more refugees to Europe’. This war has been going on for 4 years, Russia has only been involved 4 months. It’s the jihadists that have created this refugee crisis and it’s the west and Sunni allies that are responsible.

    • ra232

      Putin is not at war with EU. It is the Western mentality that only sees life in terms of war.

      • S Wood

        Wars don’t have to be all about guns and tanks.

        • Todd Unctious

          It is more about moving the guns and tanks, water, oil, men and food to the right place at the right time. Something Germany simply could not do in WW2.

    • Cobbett

      Why would he want to invade anyway?…you people have no logic to your rantings.

      • S Wood

        Never said he’d invade. He wants to control. The Americans don’t invade, but they control through cultural and financial influence.

        • Cobbett

          Yes they do invade…and their ‘culture’ is sh*t and their financial influence is more akin to looting….Just because I despise America doesn’t mean I’m pro-Russian.

          • S Wood

            Never said you were.

    • ra232

      To defeat ISIS we need a smart; cunning and ruthless guy like Putin. You do not send the Pope to fight ISIS you send somebody who is willing to kick them and keep on doing it when they are down.

      • Tony Conrad

        They didn’t kick anybody only tortured or beheaded them for not being a Sunni Moslem. We have been praying Psalm 58:6/8 for a year and it seems like we are beginning to see an answer, through Russia of all people.

    • S Wood
  • GnosticBrian

    The independent
    commission appointed by the European Union to investigate the war between
    Georgia and Russia, in 2008, concluded that Tbilisi was responsible for
    causing the five-day conflict – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/eu-report-independent-experts-blame-georgia-for-south-ossetia-war-a-650228.html.

    • Cobbett

      The likes of McCain would disagree.

      • GnosticBrian

        He should stick to making frozen chips.

        • PhilTTipp

          lol, win.

  • fredimeyer

    Turkey does not have the second biggest army in NATO. At over 400 000 active soldiers its forces are bigger than those of France and Britain combined. America is bigger, but the point is America is not IN NATO. It is far away and going to get involved. So Turkey is THE biggest actually in Europe.

    A war with powerful Russia sounds insane. But the fact is that –nukes aside–Russia is not a power. It does not have a single nuclear aircraft carrier, and the old diesel one it has carries less than half the planes of a real American carrier, and all those planes are antiques.

    You would not want to invade Russia. But Putin has very very limited ability to PROJECT power. In Afghanistan Russia was humbled. Against any home team they would lose, any team with modern weapons and will to fight.

    All Russia’s troops are hopeless conscripts. Its modern weaponry, like the Su 35, laughably limited in number, is a generation behind America. Russia does not even have a fifth generation fighter in operation. Turkey’s own air force is limited to F16s, but they have over 200. And these are backed up by American F22s and F15s on alert in Turkey.

    On the ground, in an Islamic region, Russian conscripts would never prevail. Even Putin knows that.

    • S Wood

      Even at the height of the cold war it was clear to me that Russia was no real threat. No matter how many tanks made of cast iron and driven by some poor sod conscripted from a nowhere village were they ever going to be a match for what NATO had.
      Their military might was only as good as the information and plans they could steal or be given by ‘friends’ [including the UK (MIGs with Rolls Royce engines)].
      Felt like the cold war was just theatrics by the time the wall came down.

      • ra232

        Pointless saber ratteling. Why do you want to see ISIS win? What possible benefit would it have for you

        • S Wood

          ISIS win what exactly?
          They’re barbarians who should be wiped from the face of the Earth, but killing everyone else along the way [like Putin seems to think is OK] isn’t necessarily the best way to do it.

          • ra232

            Ok here are the historical facts. For 5 years ISIS made advances in Iraq and Syria. US; Nato and all the West did not manage to stop them. After just 5 months of Russian intervension ISIS is on its last hold out in Aleppo. I want to see ISIS gone. Unfortunately the only effective force so far is Russia. If you know of another proven way to get rid of ISIS that is less violent than Russia please tell me.

          • Tony Conrad

            Thos are the facts of the matter. Whatever they did in the past Russia must be given credit for the way they are dealing with ISIS.

          • hobspawn

            Russia is not held to account in the way that the West is.

          • Cyril Sneer

            ‘killing everyone else along the way’

            What does that even mean. Such mindless generic dribble.

      • Cobbett

        You do realise the USSR defeated the dreaded ‘Nazis’ in WW2.

        • S Wood

          True. After a non-aggression pact fell apart. Kursk was an impressive show, but they were fighting on home ground with dedicated troops and a more suitable tank [which used suspension designed by an American]. Their equipment and logistics were better than the Germans who were hampered by the meddling of Hitler and the incompetence of Goering.
          ………… and they weren’t alone in beating the Nazis, but the other Allies dealt with Japan too [Yes I know Russia joined in at the end!].

          • Cobbett

            Who f*cking cares….get over it.

          • S Wood

            Over it and moving on!

          • Cyril Sneer

            The Eastern Front dwarfed anything else in the war. And Operation Overlord would never have happened if the Russians had been knocked out of the war.

            The Russians took on the cream of the German whermacht, their best troops and the vast majority of the German army.

          • Tony Conrad

            Pity they made them slaves afterwards. They were as evil as the Nazis themselves.

          • Cyril Sneer

            No they were not as evil as the Nazis.

            I’d be interested to know who here is American as the yanks always have a perception of WW2 as being something they won, when in reality they did not.

          • Tony Conrad

            You obviously have not studied the Soviet Union after the war. They were actually worst than the Nazis and that is saying something.

            I disagree that the Soviets won the war on their own but each reads what he reads and it is pointless arguing about it.

          • S Wood

            Good point; no one won the war on their own. Each side had strengths and weaknesses. Working together, using the strengths to defeat a common enemy. Despite the differences.

          • big

            WW2 its difficult! a Eurasia world war between Germany and the USSR ,and an East Asian world war between the USA and Japan.The biggest loser, ultimately was the UK.

          • S Wood

            Under equipped, poorly supplied and severely weakened “cream”. Not saying the Russians didn’t do a good job – more the Germans did a bad job.

          • Cyril Sneer

            My point still stands, the eastern front dwarfed everything else. it made Operation Overlord look like a side show and with respect to influencing the outcome of the war it was a side show.

          • S Wood

            Sounds like the other allies needn’t have bothered. OK, your point is made.

        • Todd Unctious

          The Nazis were a paper tiger…….with no teeth. Just a viscious , evil , cult like Putin and his Stalin worship.

          • Cobbett

            You are f*cking joking…they p*ssed all over the British Army…as well as the French and if they hadn’t have invaded Russia then there would have been no victory…I suggest you get a life and stop worrying about Putin.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            Not in North Africa they didn’t and not even with their best general in charge.

          • Cobbett

            Up till the second battle of El Alamein(when they were short of men and supplies) they did..none of which needed to happen if we’d pressed on against the Italians at Tripoli instead of withdrawing a large number of troops for the Greek disaster(Crete etc)….the only reason Rommel was in N Africa was to bail out the Italians.

          • Tony Conrad

            When Montgomery went to Africa he asked where the prayer meeting was. He was told there was no prayer meeting so he arranged it. They didn’t lose a battle in N Africa after that.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Hilarious. Your posts are comedy gold.

          • Tony Conrad

            Some Tiger. It took the world to de-tooth it.

        • Bob-B

          With the help of 427,000 motor vehicles, 13 million pairs of
          winter boots, 5 million tons of food, 2000 locomotives, 11,000 freight wagons, 540,000 tons of rails, among other things, supplied by the West. (John Keegan, The Second World War, p.177)

          • hobspawn

            Don’t underestimate what access to the complete up-to-date German battle plan did for the Soviets at Kursk.

      • Bonkim

        You are poorly informed about Russia and Russian capability.

        • S Wood

          I get that a lot, just not seen anything to make me think otherwise. You’re point is duly noted.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Then you haven’t seen much at all.

          • S Wood

            Guess not, thanks for your input.

    • Cyril Sneer

      I think you under estimate Russia and the damage it would be able to do Turkey should conflict arise. Getting entangled with Russia is not a small thing for any country, especially Turkey.

      You make it sound so simple, I’m so glad you’re not my PM. Any conflict with Russia could potentially turn into a global nuclear war.

      Rather than bigging up Turkeys military capabilities we should be reigning them in.

      The jihadists are the enemy here are they not? So why are trying to stop the very thing that is defeating them.

      • Tony Conrad

        Agreed. The present evil is ISIS and Russia are playing a crucial part in defeating them. I reckon Putin deserves some kind of Peace prize for it.

        • Cyril Sneer

          If Obama and that deceased water carrier Arafat can get it….

    • ra232

      Numbers of troops mean nothing. What matters is leadership and what is at stake. Turks are not robots to march to the tune of Erdogan.In war there will be mass desertions and surrender by Turkish troops. Remember Turkish military is not made of Jihadis. It is made of normal people with families and most of its leadership is secular. They are not going to die for ISIS.

      Your own argument about Afghanistan proves my point. Russian troops saw no reason to be in Afghanistan and Turkish troops will not see any reason to be in Syria or Iraq or Russia.

    • Cobbett

      What the fcuk are you on about…”Turkey does not have the second biggest army in NATO” ”America is bigger, but the point is America is not IN NATO” America IS NATO

      • fredimeyer

        like a lot of old people, and your comments betray your onset, you are living in the past, and you do not listen to what is said. you just want to bray. america is not ‘in’ nato in the crucial sense that it no longer controls leadership and it is not physically on the ground. at issue is not just abstract numbers, but how much force can be PROJECTED [look it up]. turkey is there. russia cannot GET there with meaningful attributes.

        • Cobbett

          I’m talking about your abysmal ENGLISH..NOW.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Do you also speak English?

    • Todd Unctious

      Turkey has 770,000 in its armed forces. It outgu s Russia on every metric other than the Named Russia could never use. Turkey is the dominant force in the Black Sea and Middle East.

      • Bonkim

        Have you travelled to Eastern Turkey?

      • Cyril Sneer

        I’m sure Russia can use nukes, even tactical ones. Just because you say they can’t doesn’t count for sh t.

        You dismiss Russia like you want to get into a war with them. If we do, you can send your son to fight.

      • Bonkim

        Russia is a better organized society than Turkey and more unified in their direction. Russia also has access to much more natural resources and space to operate from; Russia will prevail.

    • Bonkim

      Afghanistan was a different adversary – note the US/British Army also were worn out had to withdraw in disgrace and the Taliban is gaining control. Also the Taliban was on the US’ side during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Russia had no chance.

      With Turkey it is a different game – not an ideologically driven adversary but a conventional Army with the trimmings of government and a huge population that will also need to be looked after in the event of conflict. Turkey will be routed given that its supply lines to Eastern Turkey is through mountain roads and Shia Iran has no interest in helping Turkey. Turkey can easily be undermined from the South and East with the help of Iran (Assad’s friend), Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The Armenians have a score to settle for the 1920’s ethnic cleansing.

      • Todd Unctious

        … and the Greeks. The sacking of Smyrna in 1922 was an utter disgrace.

        • John Smith

          Assyrians

      • Bob-B

        Russia withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. The Talban was founded in 1994. So I’m not sure how they were ‘on the US side during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan’.

        • Bonkim

          Many headed Hydra – Osama Bin Laden was also part of this lot.

          “The Taliban movement traces its origin to the Pakistani-trained mujahideen in northern Pakistan, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. When Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq became President of Pakistan he feared that the Soviets were planning to invade Balochistan, Pakistan so he sent Akhtar Abdur Rahman to Saudi Arabia to garner support for the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation forces. In the meantime, the United States and Saudi Arabia joined the struggle against the Soviet Union by providing all the funds.[65] Zia-ul-Haq aligned himself with Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and later picked General Akhtar Abdur Rahman to lead the insurgency against the Soviet Union inside Afghanistan. About 90,000 Afghans, including Mohammad Omar, were trained by Pakistan’s ISI during the 1980s.[65]”

          “In his interview with ABC News, the ex Pakistani prime minister and Chief of Army Pervez Musharraf said that western countries, chiefly USA and United Kingdom, had given aid of about 20 billion dollars during the 1980s to Pakistan specifically for training Taliban personnel and providing them with arms and ammunition.[66]”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban#Background

        • ra232

          Taliban didn’t just pop out of thin air. They were what the Mujahedeen morphed to. The same ones that Carter funded to spite Russia.

      • Tony Conrad

        That ethnic cleansing of Armenians by the Turks was an horrific period that few know about. They took most of their country and made it part of Turkey.

        • Bonkim

          Not so simple – national territories wax and wane through history.

          from Wikipaedia:

          “Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Van was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia. In the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion.[21] In between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation.[22][23][24] The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301 AD.[25] The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanid empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Armenian Kingdom was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.

          Between the 16th century and 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and successive Iranian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, after the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence from the Russian empire, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, and in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

          • Tony Conrad

            Thank you for your history but none of this clears the Turks for their ethnic cleansing of Armenia. I have seen the photographs and cannot bear to ever look at them again. The Turks were horrific. Even worse than the Japanese during the war.

          • Bonkim

            I was not justifying anything – simply pointing out the details of Armenian and Turkish history.

            If you look up history of any society/nation state existing today you will find that they were all shaped by wars, conquests, persecution, and other events many of which included barbarities of the worst kind. Wars of conquests, plunder, pillage, mass-rapes, etc, were the norms in the not too distant past and judging such events today in light of post WW2 enlightenment and economic/social development is absurd.

            You will find the past few decades of equality and fraternity amongst people of different ethnicity/tribal loyalties, religions and cultures are a flash in the pan of human history. With populations exploding across the globe and competition for scarce resources hotting up it won’t be long before mankind reverts to type. Nature is harsh and there is no place for all varieties of human beings – the strong and better organized will dominate/take over and weak societies perish.

          • Jones Bones

            You were not pointing out anything. You just cited a very lengthy text from Wikipedia without coming with a point.

            The point you made thereafter, the propagation of social darwinism and arguing with history shows that you do not know that much about history, as such genocidal acts were very rare until nationalism and colonialism took hold.
            You refer (whether knowingly or unknowingly) to the Melian dialogue
            “The strong do, what they can, whilst the weak suffer, what they must.” has always and will always play a huge part in history, but those do usually not mean genocides.

            The Armenians do prove that. They lived in their ancestral homelands for at least 2800 years. The majority of those years they were subjected to the rules of others. Byzantines, Persians, Seljuqs and for a long time period the Ottomans themselves left them in peace, as they were just one out of many peoples they ruled.
            When Turkish nationalism got hold, anyone but the turks was pretty much f****d. Greeks were expulsed in the 20s, the Kurds are oppressed even today with an iron fist.

            And the simple reason why this is still relevant today is the same reason as to why the Turks so fervently deny it.
            Because this Turkish nationalism, this absurd belief in their exceptionalism and therefore have the right to oppress or, in their strife for some Turkish “Lebensraum” even expulse other peoples from their land.

            Your relativation is neither valid nor wise nor helpful.

          • Bonkim

            Yes – my original text was within quotes – but the principle still holds. Nature is harsh and the weak/those unable to defend themselves will disappear. I am not pointing out to the rights and wrongs of genocide or enslavement – only the facts from history. Man is a competitive animal and survival of the fittest is the norm – the fit however may not remain strong for ever and civilizations come and go.

            The Ottomans and all other powers want stability but when that stability is threatened by others wanting to take over – no holds barred conflict ensues. That is also human history.

          • Jones Bones

            Sorry, but your knowledge of history appears to be limited, and you are wrong.

            Man is a competitive animal, yes, but survival of the fittest is usually ONLY the norm for those in power.
            The world is harsh to those in power who are unable to defend themselves, but peoples usually live on and just change rulers.

            So no, genocides are NOT the norm but the exception, and largely an invention of the recent past, based on the theory of social darwinism and “Lebensraum”.
            If you want to see the validity of that theory, just look at the German Reich in WWI and II.

            The Armenian genocide didn’t just happen “post WW1”, but was already organized and executed by the empire while it still existed, and carried out by its successor when it came to be.

            You went on to compare Armenia to examples those that stem from colonialism. Aside the fact that your comparison is invalid, you only proved my point. I quote myself:

            as such genocidal acts were very rare until nationalism and colonialism took hold.

            The point however is, that the course of nationalism and colonialism have largely been disbanded, so your “facts of history” that didn’t exist until the 19th century, also do not exist now.
            Turkey however holds on to this genocide, which is the only thing that makes the Armenian genocide still relevant, as it shows they have not disbanded this policy and are ready to pursue it again.

          • Bonkim

            Thanks for the hitory lesson. History has been going for centuries and millennia before Hitler. Taking slaves and killing off young males was the norm. Even in recent history the North and South American Indians or Aborigines in Australia were eliminated one way or the other often by disease and benign neglect in concentration camps.

            Islamic invasions were often accompanied by massacres, pillage and taking women as slaves and forced conversions. The history of Europe similarly all tthrough the dark and Medieval ages was on of invasions, plunder and pillage, taking of slaves, and forced conversions.

            The so called modern civilization started after WW2 and now unravelling. I am quite happy with my understanding of history and the cause and effect links based on human behaviour. The story continues.

          • Jones Bones

            And you think the right way to prove me wrong is by shifting the topic?

            First you talk about colonialism, which I repeatedly mentioned it several times earlier. So there’s nothing proving me wrong there.

            Your second example is the islamic expansion. The islamic expansion did not come with any large scale genocide at all.
            Islamization happened through various mechanisms, but the expulsion and massacre of an entire ethnicity was not one of them.
            Especially since the Armenians, which are the cause of our debate, survived that one, and did it for a reason.

            You mention massacres and pillage. Well I did not say that they were saints. I say that rulers in those times did not have an incentive to simply kill of people they could tax instead. Nation states with a certain ideology do.

            Which brings us to today. Armenia survived the islamic expansion, the Seljuq invasion and many others for a reason.
            None of the conquerors saw any benefit in expulsing them from their ancestral land rather than keep them there and see them pay taxes.

            The Ottomans in their dying years and Turkey, the country it transformed into did so.
            Your repeated relativisation and topicshifting has neither substance nor relevance to that.
            The fact is that both colonialism and nationalism has been phased out in all the other countries.
            Britain, France, Germany and Russia are quite comfortable talking about their past, and are so for a reason: They are not prepared to do that again.
            Turkey is, and that’s why they fervently deny it.
            It is also the reason why the Armenian genocide remains relevant.

          • Bonkim

            What is the point of proving anyone wrong – in a discussion – you detach yourself from the person and set out from your knowledge/experience/cause and effect.

            I have lost track of this. Judging history today does not achieve anything. Regards plunder and pillage – that was the order of the day. It is settled nations that have to look at reducing social unrest and destroying the tax base as you say. Annual expeditions to enrich the Kings/Chiefs was a common theme in the dark ages and also Medieval times when national boundaries were loosely defined – the local land lords or gangster Chiefs managed local affairs paying tributes to whoever was able to muster strength. In fact Islamic invaders from central Asia and the Arab/Persian Heartlands frequently went on forays to richer parts such as India and many joined these hordes along the way to win booty. They all went back when the weather turned.

            Look up history all through these centuries and the countless civilians massacred.

            Regards the Armenian genocide the Turks who sided with Germany were soundly defeated and lost their Empire. The Christian Armenians were looked at with suspicion and a defeated party usually takes it on minorities. Eastern Turkey had sizeable Armenian population who could well have rebelled to invite retribution. For us to judge the right and wrong a hundred years after the act does not achieve anything. The Eastern Church and Russia were close and religious identity and ethnicity were important in determining who your fried or foe was and in bad times minorities suffered. Still continuing in many parts of the world. Look up Chechen Wars and the way Russians tamed the Islamicists there. It was not a picnic and the Chechens continue to bomb and kill Russians whenever an opportunity arises.

    • Dark Spirit of Cold Ural Mount

      You might want to doublecheck you info on Russian arms, mate.

    • Tony Conrad

      Whatever they are doing a good job against ISIS when nobody else seemed to be able to do it.

    • Freddythreepwood

      “Turkey does not have the second biggest army in NATO. At over 400 000 active soldiers its forces are bigger than those of France and Britain combined. America is bigger, but the point is America is not IN NATO. It is far away and going to get involved. So Turkey is THE biggest actually in Europe.”

      I am having great difficulty deciphering this. Is it gobbledegook, designed to confuse an enemy?

    • Leon J Williams

      In Somalia, Cuba, VietNam and Korea the US was ‘humbled’ what’s your point?

  • JiminNH

    The false narratives our media elites feed us continues unabated. Fortunately more of us, as reflected in the comments, are on to the perpetual lies.

    Some examples here. First, no one is “restoring Assad” to power. He was the president before the war, and elected during the war, and his government is the UN recognized government of Syria. The author somehow missed that fact.

    Secondly, the “moderate opposition” is a “fantasy”, as the author acknowledges, because it has been, since the first days of the conflict in Deraa, actually directed by outside jihadi proxy armies of the western powers and their middle east allies. The declassified DIA memo of Aug, 2012, that former DIA Director Lt.Gen. Flynn was interviewed about, clearly shows who the “opposition” is; it is 1. al Qaeda (no al Nusra and other groups), the “Salafists” (fundamentalist Sunni radicals affiliated with Qatar and Saudi) and the “Muslim Brotherhood”, an Islamicist movement decades old, and allied with the UK and then US since post-WW1 were they helped the UK control the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. That is why police in Deraa were shot and killed in the first days, and army troops ambushed and killed in the first days; the “peaceful prodemocracy protesters” were used as cover for the armed and trained militants who were ready to unleash chaos is our “regime change” operation from day one. We used those groups to destroy Syria, in a “willful decision” that included the creation of the “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria and Western Iraq, now known as the Islamic State’s Caliphate.

    Memo: https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

    Video interview of Gen. Flynn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1oEoCRkLRI

    That memo also says clearly that the “the West, Gulf Countries and Turkey support the Opposition.” Doesn’t seem too ambiguous to me – the US and allies support Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Salafists and MB. The author missed that fact too.

    Next, in backing the US position on a total ceasefire against all rebel groups in Syria, including al Nusra and ISIS, the author missed how governing international law, in the form of UNSC Resolution 2254 that authorized member states in attacking “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups”, and further states that, quote, “that the aforementioned ceasefire will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.” .” In other words, the author, and the US as demonstrated by neocon warhawk Sen. McCain, want to ignore the resolution and impose a ceasefire that deviates from UNSC Res. 2254, passed just two months ago, which would give ISIS and al Nusra a chance to reconstitute and keep destroying Syria. Russia’s position fully complies with the governing UN mandate, the US and allies deviate from it to protect not the people of Syria but the very armed groups we are supposedly at war with.

    The author is under the false impression that the “Free Syrian Army” still exists in Aleppo. It has been defunct for more than a year now, its fighters defecting to other more militant jihadi groups. Only al Qaeda affiliates, like al Nusra, and groups it fights beside, like Ahrar al Sham and the CIA backed al Zinki brigade, are in Aleppo. The FSA is history. Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/free-syrian-army-decimated-desertions-151111064831800.html

    Next, if Turkey, in violation of the UN Charter and Res. 22545 that recognizes the sovereignty of Syria, military invades Syrian terroritory, and is then attacked by Russia, Article 5 of the NATO charter is not applicable, as Art. 5 applies when a member is invaded, as in an “armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America”. Article 6 says “For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack… on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America,…” Syria is not Turkey, and it is not Europe. NATO should not illegal enlarge it’s scope by aiding Turkish forces that illegally invade its neighbors.

    As to the facile assertion that Russia’s intervention is a “reckless geopolitical bucanneering, just like it’s invasion of Georgia in 2008”, the author somehow missed the fact that event he European Union’s own investigation of that war determined that Georgia’s Pres. Shalakisvili launched the war with an unprovoked attack against Tsishvingali. The author, Heidi Tagliavini, stated: “it was Georgia which triggered off the war,” and “none of the explanations given by the Georgia authorities in order to provide some form of legal justification for the attack [on Tshkinvali] lend it a valid explanation.” The famous line from the report is quite clear: “There is the question of whether the use of force by Georgia in South Ossetia, beginning with the shelling of Tskhinvali during the night of 7/8 August, was justifiable under international law. It was not…” Source: https://euobserver.com/foreign/28747 He also missed how Crimea’s political decision was made by popular vote of the “demos”, the people, in contrast to Kosovo’s vote for independence which was by a 100 member “constituent assembly”; our hypocrisy in finding one invalid and the other valid is mindboggling.

    As shown in Steven Kinzer’s column in the Boston Globe, and comments here, the people of the west have caught on to the lies and fabrications of our ruling elites that are spread by mouthpieces like Mr. Matthews.

    • Tony Conrad

      So it looks like the west was at fault for backing bloodthirsty terrorists against a legitimate government. Probably because they thought they people would all now be democratic. The same mistake they made in Iraq and Libya. When will we ever learn that Islamists don’t do democracy.

      • Cyril Sneer

        The know that Islamists don’t do democracy. Their actions in Syria, Libya etc is not about democracy or human rights, never has been. The democratic humanitarian regime change angle is all BS – just a cover for what they do.

  • Cjones1

    The Russians did not abandon their alliance with the Syrian ruling family and protected their assets in Syria. They coordinated with the Iranians to mount major offensives against the remnants of Saddam’s Iraqi Sunni military leadership who formed ISIS and which gathered in Syria Sunni and worldwide Sunni combatants.
    The U.S. withdrawal from Iraq dissolved the fragile Iraqi round table which kept external Sunni and Shiite from exerting too great an influence in the neighborhood. Into the vacuum they rushed with the Russians not far behind. The Russians have a history of escalating conflicts into 2 world wars and stand at the precipice of escalating a third one.

    • Cyril Sneer

      How can Russian be accused of escalating this conflict when it is the west and KSA, Turkey etc that are illegally supporting jihadists groups against Syria?

      Surely Turkey in supporting and financing jihadists is responsible? Their murderous assault on the Kurds and their plans to invade Syria?

      Russia is supporting a long time ally, the legitimate government and within international law against a jihadist assault from several nations.

      • Cjones1

        In my view, Saddam represented the Sunni strongman who sought to displace the Sauds as the champion of Sunni militancy and threatened his neighbors as he consolidated wealth and weapons. ISIS is the former Saddam militants merged with AQI and numerous Sunni militants. The U.S., in support of the Arab Spring rebellions, sought to facilitate the overthrow of the Syrian government while withdrawing the American forces that quelled Iranian and AQI/Sunni militancy within Iraq. The Obama administration set up a weapons pipeline that transferred material from Libya to anti-Assad rebels and led to the Benghazi incident on Sept. 11th with reputed mercenaries hired by Iranian agents in support of Assad. The ISIS attack on Iraqi bases containing U.S. weapons led to their increasing their military viability in setting up their “country”. The U.S. delayed in responding to the looming threat to Iraqi and Syrian sovereignty – perhaps because they hoped it would accelerate the fall of the Assad regime. Into the vacuum the Russians swept to protect their Syrian ally and their bases.
        By their alliance with a growing Iranian presence from Basra to Beirut, the Russians are facilitating a wider conflict between Israel and Iran…especially after assisting the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of the Iranians. The U.S.-Iranian agreement is a joke that leaves both Iran and Russia smirking in delight.

        • Cyril Sneer

          So in other words it’s Obama that is escalating this conflict.

          • Cjones1

            Que sera sera! Negligence and anti-war fervor (I hate war too!) Knowing that neighboring countries were fomenting sectarian violence and abandoning the round table framework that had quelled such violence by expediting U.S. withdrawal could be considered a contribution to the mess. It is tough to predict the future and ISIS was a surprise, as was the chaos resulting from the Arab Spring. Obama team policy fed the flames by their mix of inaction and action. They were supposedly so smart and he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his insight. More blood, death, and toil resulted.

  • Cannonfodder2010

    I’m almost finished reading any of the tripe presented in the mainstream media. Turkey is not a dangerous enemy and if they are attacked while attacking outside their boundary, how could they invoke article 5? The Rand Corporation ran many scenarios for US military advisors; in all these projections, NATO would be soundly defeated in less than a week and most of Europe would look like Aleppo.

    • David

      If Turkey starts a war with Russia, they’re on their own.

      Article 5

      “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

      • Mr B J Mann

        such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force

    • Son_of_Casandra

      “NATO would be soundly defeated in less than a week and most of Europe would look like Aleppo.”

      What absolute nonsense. Where’s some evidence of that ridiculous claim?

      • Tony Conrad

        That’s only if Corbyn gets in surely?

      • Cannonfodder2010

        http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1253.html
        It wouldn’t stop in the Baltics.

      • alnero2

        When was the last time any NATO top brass turned to their political masters and said :- ‘ No hold it there, we have quite enough resources already ? Answer, never. In All scenarios the military opponent is always stronger. That keeps the money flowing.

        • Son_of_Casandra

          If a military man is doing his job properly, they should never be involved in a fair or evenly matchef fight. They should always have overwhelming superiority.

    • Freddythreepwood

      Codswallop!

    • big

      Frankly Europe would look worse than Aleppo.

    • alnero2

      The US top brass and associated NGO’s always predict US/ NATO will lose in all scenarios. How else did NATO end up with a $ 1 Trillion + a year budget. There are more NATO troops in Europe than Russian troops and NATO has more manpower than Russia and China combined. That’s before you get to all the machinery. NATO, is an out of control monster compared to Russia.

    • Leon J Williams

      Unlikely.

      Turkey is the enemy.

      • Rodney King

        And the USA, Britain,France, and the Saudi’s and Qatar etc. in this conflict.

  • Cobbett

    Turkey has no interest in defeating IS(who it is largely responsible for in the first place)…it wants the Americans to give it unconditional support to fight the Kurds…being in NATO shouldn’t mean a thing.

  • Tony Conrad

    On the face of it Russia is doing a wonderful job in dealing with the murderous ISIS. The west only stabbed at it apparently. The winner will also be Assad and lets face it everything detiorated when the west supported the rebels. That was the birth of ISIS. If there are moderate rebels not connected to ISIS then it would be wonderful if Russia could negotiate for them so that there was no backlash from Assad. Another winner would be the Kurds who were the only people in Iraq to stand up to ISIS with their blood. The Iraquis have forfeited any right to rule them. I just hope that Turkey will be sypathetic to the Kurds who have been without their own state for decades. Hopefully the teeth of ISIS can be broken completely so that they do not remain a scourge to humanity.

    • Cyril Sneer

      I believe Assad has already made concessions to the Kurds for their co-operation. I think Assad will allow the kurds some self autonomous rule thus putting further pressure on the Turks. A smart move by Assad.

  • komment

    Some, but not much of the information in this article is true, as for the rest it simply peddling the same old chestnuts of accusations without proof, allegations sans evidence, one might say.
    Very true and very annoying to Obama and his allies is the fact that the Russian intervention, at the invitation of the legitimate government of Syria, has had a dramatic effect and has brought a political solution to the crisis within reach, something that was unimaginable before the arrival of the Russians.
    This article epitomises the hypocrisy of the Wester media who showed little concern for civilian casualties, the majority of which occurred before the Russian intervention. Now they are voicing their concern in the hope it will somehow deflect the criticism levelled against other nations in the region who have on a daily basis committees war crimes, crimes against humanity and broken all thy rules of International law.
    Only those who seek anything other than a peaceful outcome to the crisis would have the gall to criticise Putin, the one man who has almost single handed and decisively brought this about.
    For the historians amongst us, Georgia atacked South Ossetia in defiance of a UN Resolution, Russia stepped in to prevent another European humanitarian dismasted.
    After a referendum, declared fair and valid by International Observers, and which saw an overwhelming support across all ethnic groups, Crimea acceded to Russia thus saving thousands from suffering ethnic cleansing by a fascist led government on Kiev

    • alnero2

      A scourge to humanity, or a useful tool in gas/ gas transit geopolitics ?

  • Gregory Copley

    The reality is the reverse of the sentiment expressed by Mr Matthews. Pres. Erdogan began the war in Syria (it certainly was not a domestic natural combustion) and severely threatened vital interests of Russia, Iran, and Iraq. Thus it was Erdogan who brought down Putin upon his head. Now that the war has transformed inside Syria, what has occurred is that Erdogan’s opponents (now including Pres. Putin, the Iranian leadership, and the Kurds of at least four nations) have now taken the war to him, inside Turkey. The result is that Turkey’s economic and national viability is shaken, and Turkey is now facing civil war.

  • John Smith

    Well, at least we have an article in the mainstream media admitting that the “moderate rebels” were a sham to begin with. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that we deliberately backed a bunch of Salafist crazies against a stable secular government, knowing that the result would likely be hundreds of thousands of deaths, and eventually a weak and divided country under a government worse than the one we originally demonized and attacked.

    That recipe sounds familiar for some reason, though….

  • Bram

    Well indeed. Two autocrats, accountable to no-one, slogging it out. Everybody else will suffer for their incurable antics. Nothing new. As for the “West”, the less said the better. Useless when intervening; useless when standing by the sidelines wringing its hands; useless when half-heartedly throwing some guns and some training into the mix; useless when bombing wedding parties. And shortly, the leader of this powerful “Block” chooses which one of the currently frontrunning megalomaniacal, ego-obsessed narcissists will become president. Jesus wept.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    Russia Commits War Crimes Over Syrian Skies With Acquiescence Of World’s Governments And Media. The Hague Rules of Air Warfare Requires That Military Aircraft Have Affixed A Nationality Emblem, Otherwise The Aircraft Cannot Engage In Hostilities.

    Russian Su-30 fighters at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria

    https://img.rt.com/files/2015.10/original/5613f212c3618892408b45ee.jpg

    Notice Grey painted areas on tail fins where the Russian nationality roundel is supposed to be located, as seen in this photo taken of a Su-30 fighter before the Syrian mission…

    http://idata.over-blog.com/4/22/09/08/Russia/Russia-Air-Force/Su-30/Su-30SM-Fighter-source-Ria-Novisti.jpg

    A Russian fighter at a government airbase in Latakia, Syria…

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/10/05/09/2D15367C00000578-3260182-image-a-2_1444032272329.jpg

    Soviet red star on tail fin is covered over with blue paint.

    The Hague Rules of Air Warfare…

    http://lawofwar.org/hague_rules_of_air_warfare.htm

    …requires that military aircraft have affixed a nationality emblem, otherwise the aircraft cannot engage in hostilities…

    ‘ARTICLE III

    A military aircraft shall bear an external mark indicating its nation; and military character.

    ARTICLE XIII

    Military aircraft are alone entitled to exercise belligerent rights.

    ARTICLE XVI

    No aircraft other than a belligerent military aircraft shall engage in hostilities in any form.’

    Engaging in hostilities without a nationality emblem is prohibited and therefore a war crime.

    The reason Russia is removing nationality emblems from its military aircraft in Syria is due to the high profile nature of the mission which will cast a glaring spotlight on the roundel itself, which is a modified Soviet roundel with the addition of a blue trim…

    https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRdRmV4z8ADeW9OLoSpWWZx31aQdW6Pk3VuZ36lpWU8aEgxCoeF0w

    …and Soviet roundel…

    https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSIe1cVq7kSZJ5-QWHl2bQGKjh7jK08KigXVury0tEAZx0svKKa8g

    Naturally if the ‘collapse’ of the USSR were real a modified Soviet roundel, with the detested red star, would never have ended up being the identifying emblem of Russia.

    For more on this subject (and related subjects), see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

    • Haut

      Rules of Warfare WTF- Tell that to Israel, the false flag masters, who do you think did 9-11, ? Bin laden IDIOTA

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “Rules of Warfare WTF- Tell that to Israel, the false flag masters, who do you think did 9-11, ?”

        The Marxist co-opted West, of course. When did any nation in the West VERIFY the ‘collapse’ of the USSR, verification being necessary for the survival of the West should the ‘collapse’ be a ruse…

        The following are two discoveries I made in April 2015 regarding the Yugoslav ‘civil wars’ and ‘collapse’ of the USSR, and what they prove about the institutions of the West…

        (I) Communist control of Yugoslavia ‘civil wars’ gone unnoticed for quarter century.

        Secessionist Yugoslav Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim factions waged dirty wars against each other, neglecting to first wipe out the 9% of the population that attempted to do away with religion in Yugoslavia, proving the wars were orchestrated and controlled by the communist faction.

        Murder, torture and legal discrimination of those professing religious sentiment was so intense under the Marxist regime in Belgrade, that those who professed no religious affiliation increased from less than 10% pre-1945 to a bewildering 32% by 1987…

        ‘Like in most former Communist countries in Central, Eastern and South­‑Eastern Europe, the means and actions applied by the Yugoslav Government between 1945 and 1990 to reduce the influence of religions and religious organisations were quite effective: While there was just a tiny group of people who regarded themselves to be without a religion before the Second World War (less than 0.1% of the population), this number grew to 13% in 1953 and to 32% in 1987.’

        https://web.natur.cuni.cz/ksgrrsek/acta/2009/2009_henkel.pdf

        That 9% constitutes members of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the Marxist party that subjugated Yugoslavia from 1945 until the party’s dissolution in January 1990. Before any religious sectarian strife, first there would have been massive reprisals against the reviled Communists who implemented policies to wipe out religion in Yugoslavia. The fact that no such reprisals took place proves that the breakup of Yugoslavia, during the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001), was manufactured and controlled by the Communists; and

        (II) When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist-atheist oppression on December 26, 1991, the day the USSR officially ended, there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR is a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,* otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

        ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

        http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/12/20-years-since-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union/100214/

        Notice, however, the Kremlin staged anti-government demonstrations that took place in Russia (and other Soviet republics) in the years immediately preceding the ‘collapse’, yet ZERO celebrations after the ‘collapse’!

        For more on this discovery see my blog…

        https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

        The above means that the so-called ‘War on Terror’ is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending ‘War on Terror’; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’;** which will (5) see the end of NATO.

        The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the ‘collapse’ was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

        It gets worse–the ‘freed’ Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the five million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the cities during the period of ‘Perestroika’ (1986-1991)!

        There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

        Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

        The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

        Conclusion:

        The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.

        ————————-

        * The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) taught Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

        https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/now-you-see-me-now-you-don-t

        ** ‘Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans. We are by no means indifferent to developments in united Europe.

        That is why Russia proposes moving toward the creation of a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – a community referred by Russian experts to as “the Union of Europe,” which will strengthen Russia’s potential and position in its economic pivot toward the “new Asia.”’ – Vladimir Putin (2012).

        https://www.rt.com/politics/official-word/putin-russia-changing-world-263/

    • Hagen vanTronje

      How do you define ,’hostilities’ ?

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “How do you define ,’hostilities’ ?”

        It’s not my definition, it’s the The Hague Rules of Air Warfare’s definition, and there it is in the title!

    • Daniel Mitchell

      But we know the Syrian Airforce don’t use that particular model so it would be hard for Russia to deny they are Russian airforce assets.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “But we know the Syrian Airforce don’t use that particular model so it would be hard for Russia to deny they are Russian airforce assets.”

        My comment had nothing to do with Russia trying to hide their military aircraft over Syria. They removed the roundel on their aircraft in order to hide the Soviet red star still present. If a real collapse of the USSR took place in late 1991, the Soviet red star would never have been kept. In fact, the roundel itself is merely a modified Soviet roundel, with the addition of the narrow blue trim

        • Rodney King

          So what?

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “So what?”

            Obviously the West was long ago co-opted by Marxists, and is enabling the fake ‘collapse’ of the USSR and East Bloc nations.

          • Rodney King

            Your ravings about symbols is just that. Most Russian and even USSR symbols dated back to the days of the Czars. They certainly were not Marxist. By your reasoning Russia is still Marxist because they still call “Red Square” by that name. Do you even know the simple reason why “Red Square” is called “Red Square”.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            Soviet Emblems date to the Bolshevik takeover of the Russian Empire, not to Czarist Russia. All Czarist related emblems and statues were destroyed by the Bolsheviks. Red Square is the name given to the square due to its red bricks, it’s not a Soviet emblem nor a statue to Lenin or any other Marxist ‘hero’.

            That being said, you also prove your Marxist agitation agenda by failing to be shocked by the war crimes the Russian Air Force is committing over Syria by flying combat missions over Syria without its identifying roundel.

    • Rodney King

      At least they have permission from the elected Government of Syria to operate over Syria and have not in gutless NATO style shot down any NATO aircraft. The same can’t be said for NATO. Your point is petty.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        The West’s political establishment was long ago co-opted by Marxists,* which is why the West is enabling the fake collapse of the USSR. In fact, it was the Marxist World War I operation that placed Lenin & Company into power…

        https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/the-marxist-co-option-of-history-and-the-use-of-the-scissors-strategy-to-manipulate-history-towards-the-goal-of-marxist-liberation

        Now you know why the West is causing chaos all over the globe, playing the ‘bad cop’, where Russia plays the ‘good cop’. The Marxist strategy is called ‘convergence’. The so-called ‘War on Terror’ is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending ‘War on Terror’; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’;** which will (5) see the end of NATO.
        ———————————

        * The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) taught Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

        https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/now-you-see-me-now-you-don-t

        ** ‘Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans. We are by no means indifferent to developments in united Europe.

        That is why Russia proposes moving toward the creation of a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – a community referred by Russian experts to as “the Union of Europe,” which will strengthen Russia’s potential and position in its economic pivot toward the “new Asia.”’ – Vladimir Putin (2012).

        https://www.rt.com/politics/official-word/putin-russia-changing-world-263/

    • John Smith

      Did the planes that tried to sink USS Liberty display any nationality emblems? Hmm?

      http://www.gtr5.com/

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “Did the planes that tried to sink USS Liberty display any nationality emblems? Hmm?”

        Sure, the Star of David roundel identifying Israel. Russia uses the Red Star roundel, identifying itself as the USSR. Russian naval vessels have the Soviet Red Star on their bows, identifying them as Soviet naval vessels. The official newspaper of the Russian Ministry of Defense is still named Red Star, with an image of Lenin next to the masthead. In other words, there was no ‘collapse’ of the USSR, and the West is enabling the fake ‘collapse’ narrative, which proves the Marxist co-option of the West.

  • Talkative_mime

    This war is over the proposed Qatar pipeline, it would bankrupt Russia and free Europe from Russian gas. It was suppose to go through Qatar, Saudi, Jordan Syria Turkey off to Europe, 2nd option was Iraq surprise surprise ISIS appears in both areas. Wonder why Russia rarely attacks ISIS makes you wonder.
    When Assad refused to let the pipeline through because it was not in the interest of Russia even though it was beneficial to Syria. Russia then owed Assad big time hence we have the situation we have now. All this can be verified.Yes folks this is another energy war, Russia is fighting for its economic survival

    • Haut

      BS- Its a Bank war, USARY by the Rotschilds, There bank is in Iraq, Libya, and they want Syria then Iran, Its another Proxy Israeli war, but you “DUMB” Americans can,t see it cause your whole country as well as Britain is infested with the “JEW CANCER”

  • alnero2

    It’s always Oil, Gas or transit routes. Follow nearly all the wars in the last hundred years and the same is true. I mean Ukraine is the main hub in the EU/ Russian gas transit system. The original Nabucco pipeline was to cross Syria until it was shelved, but by then the destabilisation system had already been started in Syria. Where will they all play next, the ‘ Stans ‘ maybe ?

    • jeremy Morfey

      The Stans are biding their time until energy prices go up again, which they must as future exploration plans are shelved and no contingencies are made.

  • Hagen vanTronje

    An Israeli online newspaper mentioned that Turkish Officers were recorded communicating with senior IS personnel, my take on this is that Russia not Turkey is on our side !

    • Leon J Williams

      Turkey is definitely not on our side.

    • Rosa Krause

      On the side of US citizens, unfortunately both military and political US officials are on the side of Daesh.

  • African Child

    Using the word ‘REGIME’ to describe the Syrian Administration led by President Assad is first and foremost propaganda and bias.
    Syrian crisis has exposed Western journalists as complete lapdogs of the establishment and it may take a long time to rebuild peoples lost confidence on the media.

    • RWJ

      Regime change action by the UK has created an own goal for us. We have sown the seeds of the destruction of the EU. A self inflicted wound forced on us by the USA who have non of the fallout knocking on their door. A migrant time bomb awaits us after attacking and destroying three countries that did NOTHING to us.

      • vladBEL

        I am russian in Texas for 22 years (just to clarify on scope) and what i see is that US-NATO exercises its sward law on this planet w/o any research on people’s traditions and specifics, with no respect to their moral principles.

  • franky

    why dont presidents fight the war?! Why do they always send the poor!?!?!?

    • Rosa Krause

      From the outset, the US allowed rich people to dodge military duty on account of money, even during the Independence War!

  • jeremy Morfey

    Who’d have thought three weeks ago that Russia would suddenly pull out of the contest as soon as Assad announced he was going for a full restoration of power over all of Syria – something perhaps unacceptable to the Russians.

    My feeling is that Russia has long coveted access to a large port on the Mediterranean. Their only ice-free port to the West is in Murmansk, which is huge trek around Scandinavia to get anywhere. The easy way is through the Black Sea and the reincorporation of Sevastopol into Mother Russia without paying pesky tolls to Ukraine has now been achieved, but there is still the problem of Istanbul which has the capacity to block movement out of the Black Sea into the Mediterranean. For as long as Turkey remains part of NATO, then persuading Istanbul to be Russia’s main port of entry is somewhat risky. So there must be another route.

    If Russia can cobble together a trading union between itself, Iran, Syria and the Iraqi Kurds, which should be possible despite traditional Muslim animosities, then it could prove simpler to achieve that trying to sort out the Istanbul bottleneck.

    Key to this strategy is exploiting the civil wars in Syria and Iraq to enable a Russia-friendly corridor. At one end, it requires Assad to regain control over the Mediterranean coast, the Kurds to advance across Daesh-held lands in Northern Syria and Iraq, and for there to be an open border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran in order to provide access to the Caspian Sea. Iran and Assad are already allies, civilian Sunnis would have to be weaned off the hateful Daesh organised criminals, and Kurdistan should be set up as a stable sovereign state. All this of course is bad news to Erdogan, and he needs then to consider his options including the likelihood of NATO honouring a loose coalition between his forces with Daesh and against the Kurds, which may well rankle with the West. Russia then steps in with an alternative proposition – free up the Istanbul bottleneck, and Russia would not need any further involvement with the Middle East.

    There is one other route that nobody’s thought of. Bulgaria has traditionally been reasonably close to Russia in the past, although it is in the EU now. Next to Bulgaria is Greece, which is short of a bob or two and might appreciate a bailout not linked to German monetarist demands, and not too close to Turkey either. Both might be easier to persuade to accept some Russian infrastructure…

    • vladBEL

      As of Bosporus. There is no way back to past centuries for Turkey since Russia made this gate indisputable. Ones in Soviet era Turkey, as NATO bastard,threatened to close the gate. SU just stated something about intention to widen this gate with a couple of missiles. All threats got in history right then. Russia is not as powerful as SU but NATO and US are not in good shape now either. They still have guts but critically constipated .

      • Chamber Pot

        Any attempt to close the Bosporus would be followed by a very significant mining effort which would make the water way unusable and the Russians would be in their very good right to do that.

        Turkey is very vulnerable although watching Merkel behave like some overweight milch cow one could be confused.

    • Roger Thornhill

      “My feeling is that Russia has long coveted access to a large port on the Mediterranean.” Google Tartus. The Russians have had a small naval base, categorized as a support/maintenance center, in Syria since 1971. I’m sure that with the help that Russia has provided Assad, the Russians would have no difficulty getting permission to expand it, if they were so inclined.

    • Rosa Krause

      If Russia ‘covets’ anything in Syria, how would you call the world greedy desires of the US for bases all over the world?
      Haven’t you noticed that US and NATO bases are tightening the encirclement on Russia and China?

      • jeremy Morfey

        A number of years ago, I went to a lecture from the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who was sacked by Jack Straw for expressing dissent.

        What I found significant was the use by the Americans of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ whereby they send in their agents to the stans in central Asia in order to flush out anti-American elements, ostensibly those who might be supporting Osama Bin Laden. Actually, they needed to have looked no further than the White House to find a close business associate of the Bin Laden family, but that’s digressing. What Karimov was doing was using the pretext of Extraordinary Rendition to neutralise his own dissidents, and quite a few totally innocent, but insufficiently compliant Uzbek peasants met grisly ends because of this. Most had never heard of Osama Bin Laden, but were boiled alive none the less. Jack Straw, understandably, wanted this information suppressed, and his troublesome man in Samarkand was not being terribly helpful. Claire Short, despite being a feminist, had more of a conscience over this, and this contributed to her resignation from the Blair Government. She always surprised me as being a much better political person than her grim disapproving-of-Sun-fun demeanour let on.

        Yes US and NATO are endeavouring to encircle Russia and China, and I am sure Russia and China are quite capable of responding in kind. I see global superpower politics as a bit like a game of Go.

        • Chamber Pot

          Jack Straw has many questions to answer and is a vile human being.

  • RWJ

    America….the UK…France…..Germany NATO, Russia and the UN. It was only Russia who had no part in starting these wars. But Russia played the vital part of trying to end them.

    • Rosa Krause

      Just to urge to avoid ‘America’ talking about the US.
      America is a continent with many countries and not just one of them.
      It’s such a pity that unlike United Stes of Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, the US doesn’t have a name.
      It’s not our fault.
      Please, call that country just ‘US’, as a bonus you spare some letters.

  • Anthony Papagallo

    a quick google search reveals Russia and Turkey fight a major war on average once per Century.

    It appears the pair of them have ‘previous’ and that there is no love lost between these age-old enemies.

    There have been at least twelve wars between them starting in the 1500’s with Russia emerging victorious at least seven times.
    When Turkey has managed to ‘get the drop’ on Russia its usually been with the help of Imperial France, Great Britain and Italy as in the Crimean war of 1853

    There will certainly be another War between them at some point, there is just too much bad blood between these guys, though I suspect Russia will smash Turkey to pieces this time around and settle it permanently while Nato hides in a corner peeing its pants.

    • Chamber Pot

      Here’s hoping.

      • Rodney King

        They will be peeing there pants. What sane person in the USA, Britain, France etc. is going to be willing to fight in such a war. It will be a repeat of Vietnam. Poor young conscripts forced to fight at the best resulting in another humiliating defeat. All the arms and equipment in the world are of little consequence against a dedicated enemy. Of course the USA etc. could call on there favorite allies since about 1980. Terrorists such as ISIS, Al Qaeda the Taliban etc.

  • Gus Ferrachi

    VladImir Putin is doing the things that should of happened to the entire Middle East, USA would not be 21 trillion $ in debt

  • Gus Ferrachi

    Three cheers to Vladimir…

  • no lie

    why would anyone care what the psychotic McCain has to say out about anything he arm terrorist that caused genocide. Belongs in the Hague. Obama and Hillary to join him. No one ever mentions the 12 million people that support Assad, and are protecting themselves from the king of Saudi Pedophilia and Rodan the Turkey Ottoman of hide behind NATO while he throws stones

  • RWJ

    Russia has no new enemies………just the same old enemies it always has. Putin has more western fans in so much as western populations believe he is more valid in the fight against terrorism than western leaders who use terrorism as a regime change option.

  • JFK38

    Thank God somebody’s doing something.

  • Keithon de Bique

    Shut yr hole “reporter”. No one asks or explects Putin to be agreed or he’s even right all the time.
    Condensed thusly IS and more are implements of the west and gulf monarchies to regime change for political and energy reasons. Syria did them nothing but refuse kotowing.
    Absolutely silent you are.

  • Rodney King

    All thanks to a morally corrupt USA and its twisted bent proxies and allies. Hundreds of thousands continue to die and millions are displaced. Thank God we now have one leader in the World willing to stand up to the above &^$#)@.

  • Chamber Pot

    Go Putin. Sultan Erdogan is weak that is why he’s so aggressive. He will lose the eastern provinces of Turkey and we should arm the Kurds to the teeth.

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