Bizarrely, Putin is talking more sense on Syria than anyone else

At the outset of Syria’s brutal four-year civil war, I was an almost unique voice in the British media deploring the push to depose the secular dictator President Bashar al-Assad, especially in the absence of a genuinely popular uprising against him. Here in The Spectator I tried to point out that such a short-term strategy would have devastating long-term consequences. Assad, I argued, would not fall, because the people of Damascus would not rise up against him. The so-called secular rebels were in fact vicious Islamists in disguise. Western interests in the region would be dramatically undermined by Saudi and Iranian militias, who would fight a devastating proxy war. Syria’s extraordinarily diverse population risked annihilation as a result. And we could even end up provoking a full-blown war with Russia.

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  • African

    What is wrong with Western leaders and Western society? Why is Russia and its leaders keep proving to the world that Western leaders are childish, naïve and very STUPID? What is the source of this Western civilizational confusion and naivety?

    • moraywatson

      The source. 40 years of socialism in our classrooms.

      • African

        Russia was ruled under very strict Socialism/Communism for 0ver seventy years and they did not lose their common sense and so is China. No. There is something else at work here.

        • Alex

          Freedom? Is freedom (or “too much” freedom, in some sense) corrosive to a society in the long run? I’m asking this semi-seriously. I just wonder: there are advantages to dictatorships over democracies and we often hear variations of “most people are too stupid to be allowed to vote”. (NOT that I wish to live under one, personally….)

          • Norman_In_New_York

            As Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms. Dictatorships have short-term advantages, but in the end democracies prevail.

          • African

            Wherever Western “liberal democracy” takes root, what will
            immediately follow are political-correctness, moral relativism, multiculturalism, consumerism, materialism, “gay marriage”, “gender fluidity”, “LGBTQ” activism, destruction of traditional family values, down-grading of common sense and Christian-based moral & social principals, extreme social and political naivety, spinelessness, political-correctness and complete emasculation and the enfeeblement of the local nationals, hugely emboldened and assertive local muslims who are not afraid to start jihad and take over the weakened infidels there. In conclusion, Westerners won’t believe this but eventually IT IS THEIR BELOVED AND RADICAL SECULAR RELIGION KNOWN AS “LIBERAL DEMOCRACY” THAT WILL EVENTUALLY DESTROY THE WEST AND THE PROCESS OF DECAY AND DESTRUCTION HAVE ALREADY STARTED.

          • eMan14

            You make it sound like a bad thing.

          • African

            It is a BAD thing and it will get worse.

          • P_F

            Fall of Roman Empire in 5th & 6th century AD and the demise of Indian civilization during 9th & 10th century AD has so much in common with the downfall of modern western civilization, one only has to read the un-distorted version of history to understand where we are heading.
            And yes in both the cases the contributing factors were same as mentioned in your comment.

          • African

            “…Is freedom…in some sense, corrosive to a society in the long run?…”Yes, it is and this is part of the answer but there is a larger and bigger context in which this “freedom” takes place and that is the real source of this confusion and naivety,
            I won’t disclose it though because no one will believe it!

        • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

          “Russia was ruled under very strict Socialism/Communism for 0ver seventy years and they did not lose their common sense and so is China. No. There is something else at work here.

          There sure is: the KGB-led subversion of Western society, based on Gramscian principles of “passive revolution” through civil institutions, is something you conveniently left out.

          Russia has a lot to answer for. Now take your red-russkie pandering garbage and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

          • African

            What is destroying the West and will Surely eventually destroy it, is their radical secular godless religion known as “liberal democracy” and ALL the EVILS that spring from it. This is as clear as the day light to anyone who pays a closer attention to it and the sad thing is that No one in the West will believe this until of course it is too late.

        • FactsWillOut

          Look up Frankfurt School, Critical theory, etc.
          The techniques used to impose communism on western capitalist societies are different and take longer than the techniques used on agrarian Russia and China of the early 20th century.

          Watch Bill Whittles vid on youtube called “The Narrative”.

    • mobuyus

      obama.

      • African

        Obama himself is a victim of this malice as it existed before him.
        No it is not Obama. Go much deeper!

        • mobuyus

          Ya can’t plumb the depths any lower than that bottom feeding denizen of the deep obama.

  • moraywatson

    It takes a thuggish hand to control the thuggish dogs of totalitarian islam. Assad is doing what is necessary to resist a revolting ideology.

    • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

      “Assad is doing what is necessary to resist a revolting ideology.”

      …By handing 75 tanks over to Hizballah? *rolls eyes*

      • moraywatson

        There are no saints in this quagmire. Rolling your eyes will just make you dizzy…and when you stop, keep in mind that Obama has provided (purposely or otherwise) vast arms, vehicles and training to ISIS, and is on a path to releasing $150 billion of sanctioned assets to Hezbollah’s state sponsor, Iran.

        • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

          Both BHO and Putin are cut from the same cloth.

          Siding with Putin’s puppets (Assad [the guy who brought all these jihadis to unleash them next door to begin with] and the Islamic Rep. of Iran) or O’bwana’s diplomatic Frankenstein (ISIS) hardly makes any sense at this stage.

          • moraywatson

            The enemy is islam. In that regard BHO’s actions are beyond suspect (the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of islam etc etc). Putin may be every bit the narcissist that BHO is, but he appears to be loyal to Russia’s best interests.

          • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

            There’s no doubt Putin looks out for his country’s own interests above all things (although some may argue otherwise considering the homegrown muslim population and plutocratic oligarchy in charge there).

            And a post-American (and suspiciously islamophilic) president like Obama is both a blessing and a geopolitcal bargain to him. So far, Barack Hussein has been every bit as ‘flexible’ as he promised Medvedev he’d be a couple of years ago.

          • FactsWillOut

            Assad runs a secular regime that protected Christians and Jews in Syria, until the islamic uprising euphemistically called the Arab Spring hit Syria, and when it hit, he did the right thing, and used force to quell it. It would have worked, too, if it were not for the west siding with ISIS/AQ.

            ISIS/AQ want regime change, NATO/the west want regime change.

          • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

            No offence, but I think there are major facts we’re missing out on here. Every one is getting over-enthusiastic on the subject of Assad and his allies. It is so widespread in Europe that it borders on the cliché:

            First of all, the notion of a secular state is entirely alien to the arab world. Syria is a byproduct of French postwar decolonisation.
            Syria defines itself as an Arab Republic, its main ideology stems from Ba’athism: which is hugely sympathetic to islam.

            Secondly, Syria has had an awful record when it comes to its Jews. It has tortured, raped, murdered, humiliated, vandalised, and (eventually) expelled much of that community in the second half of the 20th century. There’s barely about 22 Jews left in Syria today.
            Furthermore, Assad is no protector of Christians as his family fully participated in the downfall of Christian Lebanon decades ago.

            Beyond the stakes involved here, it should remain clear that it was Assad who brought all the jihadi groups in at a time when Western powers were active in Iraq. He saw common ground with them and the situation got out of hand.

            Siding with either actor only amounts to blatant foolishness. One should only wish that both end up being ‘victorious’ over each other. And may that conflict last three million years!

          • Ho Hum

            “his family fully participated in the downfall of Christian Lebanon decades ago.”

            Has there been a “downfall” of Christians in Lebanon? Unofficial estimates place the Christian population at just over 50%. Under the constitution the President of Lebanon MUST be a Christian (the PM must be Sunni Muslim). The Assad family have protected Christians in Syria so I don’t know why they would have threatened Christians in Lebanon.

          • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

            “Has there been a “downfall” of Christians in Lebanon? Unofficial estimates place the Christian population at just over 50%. Under the constitution the President of Lebanon MUST be a Christian (the PM must be Sunni Muslim).

            There is a huge diaspora on the part of Lebanese Christian and the area is de facto dominated by Hizballah. What the constitution stipulates is of little relevance at that point. Lebanon is no longer the “Switzerland of the Middle East” it once was, needless to say that neither is Beirut (“Paris of the Orient”) for that matter.

            “The Assad family have protected Christians in Syria so I don’t know why they would have threatened Christians in Lebanon.”

            Tell that to the Lebanese Forces, SLA, Guardians of the Cedars, Marada activists, Tigers militia members, Tyous, AFL and Al-Tanzim who had to beat the sly Syrian proxies (like the SSNP) to a pulp.

            And also, two words: Cedar. Revolution.

          • Ho Hum

            According to Wikipedia Syria’s occupation of Lebanon was in response to threats to Maronite Christians :

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_occupation_of_Lebanon

            “In January 1976, its proposal to restore the limits to the Palestinian guerrilla presence in Lebanon, that had been in place prior to the outbreak of the civil war, was welcomed by Maronites and conservative Muslims, but rejected by the Palestinian guerrillas and their Lebanese Druze-led and leftist allies. Syria’s interventions came in response to appeals from Maronite leaders, who feared attack by leftists and Palestinians.[1] In a 1976 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, a US diplomat stated “if I got nothing else from my meeting with Frangie, Chamoun and Gemayel, it is their clear, unequivocal and unmistakable belief that their principle hope for saving Christian necks is Syria. They sound like Assad is the latest incarnation of the Crusaders.”[5]

          • Half Judean (Destroyer-Drone)

            If that’s true, then why did they fight Assad in 1982?

            Who killed about 940 Christians on the 13th of October 1990?

            Their ‘protection’ was a mere pretext for their occupation and the partitioning of Lebanon (as the Assads considered it part of their sphere of influence). When they sent troops on the ground, they soon turned out to have very different intentions in the region. The Cedar Revolution was a culminating response from those same Maronites.

            Syria was neck-deep in its attempts to divide the Phalangist faction, so much that they did end up turning the Lebanese Forces on itself. Thanks to people like Hobeika, they got what they wanted up until 2005.

            Again: look at the proxies they fought against during the Lebanese Civ. War. One’s no other than the second largest ‘party’ in Syria after the Ba’ath movement. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

            If you love the Syrians so much (like so many naive & brainless left-wing nationalist Europeans do), then go speak about your enthusiasm to LF vets. They’ll indulge in the matter. At that point I don’t even know why I bother.

          • African

            Thank you!

  • Icebow

    Putin is probably richer than Trump, and so should probably be allowed to run for President of the US,

  • ellake

    Well, no. There was genuine anti-Assad uprising in Syria, however that uprising was anti- Shia and majority of people who took part in that uprising were anti-Western and (particularly) anti-USA. Syrian people for a long time now genuinely hated USA, both pro-Assad and anti-Assad Syrians. So the Western decision to support them was mistake. That’s true.
    As for Russia, I really want their ground troops go there, At present it is USA who is perceived as an enemy no. 1, when Russian forces will go to Syria they change their minds and the Russia will be perceived as an no 1 enemy.

  • mobuyus

    People got drunk on obama’s Arab spring after his groveling apology tour now they will get drunk on Russian armor and air weaponry.

  • The so-called “Arab Spring” was something invented by progressive intellectuals in the West. It was never a serious widespread movement in any of the Muslim nations. And many of us made this observation back in the day, not only the writer referred to above. But the progressive media censored any contrary analysis, to the degree that even Canada’s top security people — e.g. the RCMP and CSIS — got sucked into believing that the Arab Spring was a reality just because “everybody says so”.

    And Barack Obama says so, hence it must be true! What a complete dolt and catastrophic failure that man has turned out to be as a President and world leader.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow was much more significant than his pending visit to Washington. He worked out series of dos and don’ts with Putin and agreed to maintain communication with Russian headquarters to avoid unintended accidents between them. Israel is calculating that this Russian effort will only deepen the Sunni-Shiite stalemate and will therefore not intervene unless attacked.

  • pdxnag

    He must think that Islamic State is Obama’s ally, with an abundance of hand-off discretion.

  • African

    A double revolution is needed in the West if the West has to survive as a civilization:
    Spiritual revolution in Christianity in the West and worldview revolution in the Western political dogmatic mentality.

  • P_F

    This guy is no dope smoking community organizer and as a child he didn’t woke up to the sound of azaan from a mosque.