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Russian Mouse Threatens U.S. Elephant

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The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” So echoed the cry this week from the Pentagon, the US media and Republican candidates for president.

How silly. It seems the Russians have sent six tanks to Syria, some medium artillery and a bunch of military technicians to two bases on Syria’s coast near Latakia. According to Republican warmongers, the wicked Soviets…ooops, sorry, Russians…are intervening militarily in the five-year old Syrian War and planning new bases in the strategic Mideast nation.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The United States has about 800 bases and military installations around the globe. Russia has only a handful of small bases near its borders.

The exception is in Syria where Russia has had a small naval supply/repair facility in Tartus and an electronic listening post for almost 50 years. Moscow has long been Syria’s principal foreign ally and arms supplier.

While the US ruled almost the entire Mideast – what I call the American Raj – Syria was regarded as a limited Soviet/Russian sphere of influence. No more.

Washington ignited Syria’s civil war by infiltrating anti-government forces from Lebanon and Jordan. Over the past five years, the US, along with Israel, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia, has armed, financed and directed Syria’s anti-Assad regime rebels. The Saudis unleashed their secret weapon against Damascus, the Syrian-Iraqi Islamic State movement.

The West’s objective in Syria was to overthrow its government, because it is closely allied to Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Russia. President Bashar Assad’s secular government in Damascus is just managing to hold off the rebels and mobs of fanatical jihadists sent by the Saudis and Washington – which pretends to be fighting the Islamic state. In fact, the Islamic State, or IS, is a tacit American ally.

Astoundingly, it appears that few in Washington’s power circles appear to have imagined that US machinations in Syria would eventually provoke a Russian response.

Republican candidates like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina appeared to be itching for war with Russia. They are creatures of America’s chief neocon, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Most non-Americans must have been horrified to observe such warmongering and pandering to Israel’s far, far right.

One wonders if these amateur strategists could name more than one Syrian city. Or if they understand that Syria is as close to Russia as New York is to Columbus, Ohio? Does anyone remember that in the 19th Century Russia claimed to be defender of Mideast Christians? This week, President Vladimir Putin re-asserted this claim, saying he wanted to protect the Levant’s 2 million Christians who are now gravely threatened by IS.

Why can the US have military bases in places like Djibouti, Okinawa, Diego Garcia, Uganda, Somalia, Qatar, Afghanistan, South Korea, Bulgaria, Japan, Italy, Romania, Pakistan, Iraq and Spain, to name a few, while it’s a big no-no for Russia to dare have a very small base in Syria?

Because the Empire says no.

Russia’s military budget is one tenth that of the United States. Combined with its rich allies like Europe and Japan, the US accounts for 70% of world military spending. The only real threat Russia poses to US security will come if Washington’s ham-handed blundering in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine provoke a direct clash with Russia’s military forces. The West is fortunate to have the cautious, sober Vlad Putin in the Kremlin. He has already averted a US-Russian war in Syria and is calling again for direct US-Russia talks on the growing crisis.

But did anyone really think that the very tough Putin would do nothing while the US and its allies tore Syria apart?

How stupid and arrogant was this. Imperial hubris married to arrant ignorance.

(Reprinted from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Syria 

52 Comments to "Russian Mouse Threatens U.S. Elephant"

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  1. Margolis ignores Turkey’s central role in supporting the Islamic State

    http://europe.newsweek.com/isis-and-turkey-cooperate-destroy-kurds-former-isis-member-reveals-turkish-282920

    Or he doesn’t know the difference between Lebanon & Turkey

    Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. “How stupid and arrogant was this. Imperial hubris married to arrant ignorance.”

    America and Israel….a marriage made in hell.

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  3. JEWISH PLAN: A LESSER SYRIA FOR A GREATER ISRAEL; A WEAKER GOYIM FOR POWERFUL JUDAISTS.

    Thanks for the excellent article, Sir. You are precisely right. ISIS is an American and Israeli creation to remove Assad, not only because it supports Iran, but also to clear space for a Greater Israel and flood Europe with invaders to destroy the white goyim there—killing 2 birds with one stone.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Israel-treating-al-Qaida-fighters-wounded-in-Syria-civil-war-393862

    The Judaists have incited, promoted and executed an invasion of Europe, to exterminate white goyim to ensure Judaists remain in power for ever (“divide and conquer”) and ethnically cleanse whites, and are covering it up by calling it a “refugee” crisis:

    http://forward.com/news/310825/jewish-groups-lead-push-to-open-doors-to-syrian-refugees/

    Not only must Russia intervene, it must arm Assad and Iran heavily, including with nuclear weapons and short range missiles aimed at Israel. The Judaists and the Americans did not think of that because they are delusional. Once America’s master, Israel, is under the gun, they will realize that their scams are not working.

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  4. Putin is a Hero in most of the World. Before the Internet the USA could simply blitz the Media with America good good all the time but these days it’s no secret what America is, they can’t hide any more. They go into Ukraine and everybody says “Oh that’s just the usual CIA bullshit” and it was so no one supports America. The World is a much smaller and better educated place, it’s harder to hide, tougher to bribe and a whole lot easier to find out the truth.
    America bad is what most believe.

  5. good piece by Eric M. Particularly his mentioning the $$$-trail leading from Zionist billionaires to warmongering, Israel-stooge, cuckservative politicians. Basically, we have got to get rid of the Rothschild-controlled Central Bank, a.k.a. Federal Reserve. Then the collectivist/cuckservative welfare/warfare state can no longer be financed. That will, however require a domestic cataclysm that’ll make what’s going on in Syria look like a love-in

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  6. The Russian economy is in the toilet thanks to the plunge in commodity prices.

    Meanwhile, Putin’s wasting valuable resources and possibly even Russian blood propping up an unpopular tyrant.

    You would think the Russians would have learned their lesson about getting stuck in a quagmire in a Muslim country from their experience in Afghanistan.

    Putin’s Syrian strategy sounds like a smart one to me!

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  7. Well, it seems as if whatever passes for russian psy-ops has commandeered unz.com

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  8. Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia versus syphyllitc homo normed America?

    I’m with Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia and their S-500 missile system.

    AMUURCA is a decomposing corpse….

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  9. If Syria falls the Saudis get to build their pipeline to the Mediterranean and Russia loses a fortune in sales of commodities to Europe. If Putin doesn’t save Assad, Russia is in for some rough times.

  10. Syria is a failed state no one knows what to do about. Russia just admitted to having some 2500 of its citizens fighting for Islamic State so, by the numbers, Russia is doing more, unofficially, to prop up Daesh than Assad and if thousands of US and allied air strikes have not been able to take out Daesh a few Russian air strikes won’t either.

    The reality is Syria is a majority Sunni nation ( 70 plus %) being ruled by a small Alawite minority (15%) and only Iranian/Russian support has kept Assad’s regime from collapsing. The problem is that, after 4 years of fighting and 250,000 killed, there is no one acceptable to the Arabs or Iranians to run Syria and the Turks don’t want a Kurdish rump state along its southern and eastern borders though the Russian seem to be preparing an Alawite rump state in Tartus and Latakia. Israel is not going to allow Iran to be the sole remaining ‘Frontline State’ and the Arabs are not going to allow Iran to build an empire that includes Baghdad and Damascus and dominates Lebanon too.

    I see no solution save for the war to grind on until the Sunnis ultimately prevail. Iran and Russia can only delay the inevitable not stop it.

  11. The Judaists have incited, promoted and executed an invasion of Europe, to exterminate white goyim to ensure Judaists remain in power for ever (“divide and conquer”) and ethnically cleanse whites [and Christianity w/ special animus toward Roman Catholicism]

    Phase I,

    the Anglo-zionist war against Germany and Italy to ethnically cleanse and eradicate Christianity and Roman Catholicism
    while zionist Jews establish Fortress Israel, initiate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians and Arabs; plunder German wealth to finance the Jewish toe-hold in the Mideast:

    covering it up by calling it a “refugee” crisis:

    Phase II,

    ethnic cleansing of the Mideast:

    Phase II,
    Esther, the pro to-zionist, retakes Persia

    stay tuned

  12. The Judaists have incited, promoted and executed an invasion of Europe, to exterminate white goyim to ensure Judaists remain in power for ever (“divide and conquer”) and ethnically cleanse whites [and Christianity w/ special animus toward Roman Catholicism]

    That was Phase I, the Anglo-zionist war against Germany and Italy to ethnically cleanse and eradicate Christianity and Roman Catholicism from Central Europe (the Dreyfuss Affair erased Catholicism & Christianity from France. Task #1 accomplished)
    Meanwhile while zionist Jews establish Fortress Israel, initiate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians and Arabs; plunder German wealth to finance the Jewish toe-hold in the Mideast.

    covering it up by calling it a “refugee” crisis:

    This is Phase II, the ethnic cleansing of the Mideast in favor of the zionist entity.

    Phase III is the brass ring.
    Esther, the pro to-zionist, retakes Persia

    Yossi Alpher explained to Bruce Reidel how Russian and Polish Jews fantasize that they are heirs to the Persian empire:

    We Israelis, . . . to this day, have a need to — a deep need to be recognized and accepted by the region.

    You see, Bibi’s demand, which is supported by most Israelis, that the Palestinians recognize us as a Jewish state, or the state of the Jewish people — the nation-state of the Jewish people — this goes way back, this need to be recognized.

    It explains our relationships with some of the Christian and Kurdish and Druze minorities as well, and so at the height of the periphery doctrine, when things are going well, there’s this sense that the ancient peoples of the Middle East have created an alliance, the people who precede the Arabs, okay. We go back with Iran, we just celebrated Purim, all right, we go back 2,600 years with Iran.

    The Egyptian, the Ethiopian national narrative is King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. So, this is almost a biblical — a new biblical chapter.

    This is how some people in Israel felt.

    There were also some people who were just cynical,practitioners of realpolitik. Everybody in Tehran and in Addis and in Ankara were cynical practitioners of realpolitik. They did not reciprocate. They said, we kidded ourselves that they did. And we still do to this day, because if you believe that this is — we are somehow Middle Eastern, ancient blood brothers, then who’s Khomeini? This wasn’t meant to be.

    Russian and Polish Jews/Israelis believe that they are more Persian than Khomeini and that Khomeini is usurping the rightful place of Jews in Iran.

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  13. It’s not all zionist Jews.

    Don’t overlook the role of the Polish, non-Jew Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose life-long, primary dynamism has been seething hatred of Russia.

    Brzezinski marries in one steaming ball of hate the Anglo (MacKinder) ambition to control Eurasia that was the motive for the Allied destruction of Germany and subsequent Cold War, with the Jewish-zionist tactic of suborning another people’s government, military, blood, treasure and children to work out his/their vengeance, as well as the psychopathic disregard for the lives of millions of innocents who will die in service to his/their rage. “The price was worth it.”

    It turns out Jimmy Carter was at least as responsible as George Bush for the destruction of the Middle East: he hired Brzezinski.

  14. “The Russian economy is in the toilet thanks to the plunge in commodity prices.”

    Are you sure about the “toilet” thing? I have seen no evidence that Russia’s economy is dependent solely upon commodities and the anything-but-free-because-price-fixing-is-so-much-fun markets. Our economy isn’t solely dependent upon commodities, but I can definitely see evidence that our economy is in the toilet – and getting toileter.

    “Meanwhile, Putin’s wasting valuable resources and possibly even Russian blood propping up an unpopular tyrant.” Again, I see no evidence that Russia is “propping up” anybody. As far as I can tell (from the oh-so honest and truthful MSM) it hasn’t been until recently that Putin has overtly sent any aid or assistance to Syria. But, perhaps I am misunderstanding your term “propping up”. Do you mean the same sort of “propping up” that the US has done throughout the mideast? That I do not, nor have not ever seen or heard reported until last week. No, and listening to the looney-toons at State claim whatever insanity strikes them today is not fair, not intelligent. Oh, and by who’s standards do you claim Assad is “unpopular”? The MSM, US State, Obammy? Now that’s a joke.

    “You would think the Russians would have learned their lesson about getting stuck in a quagmire in a Muslim country from their experience in Afghanistan.” You are right about this. No question. However, who would you say has wasted more lives and treasure on Muslim quagmires, them or us?

    Is it not possible that Putin and Russia has waited until this late date to begin overt aid and assistance because they were waiting for Assad to ASK for aid? Or do you think that Putin is taking a page from the Obama/US playbook and just barging into another country uninvited, unwanted, but feeling entitled to whatever they can take away?

    I assume that Margolis was labeling Russia as a “mouse” in an effort to be cute or trendy. I am rather shocked in Margolis’ myopic view of the world. It tends to make me question the rest of the piece. A nation that possesses the capability to destroy every living thing on Earth (except, I am told, cockroaches) can hardly be considered a “mouse”. If you believe that, you believe it at your own (and the rest of us) peril.

  15. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    While intervening in Syria is extremely unpopular with the Russian people, Russian nationalists, and the Russian military, the apparent rationale is that Putin does not want the thousands of ISIS fighters from Russian and former Soviet Central Asia to win in Syria and then return to wreak havoc in Russia and its near abroad. The intervention would also allow Russia to “change the subject,” allowing the disputes over Crimea and Donbass to be quietly settled so as to save face for all sides.

    While the Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus has largely faded from Western newspapers, it continues to be a source of daily clashes in separatist regions of Russia such as Dagestan and Ingushetia, elsewhere in Russia, and even in the Donbass.(*) The fighting not only claims hundreds of lives a year, but often flares to the point where Russian forces are forced to use armored vehicles, airstrikes, thermobaric weapons, or the tried-and-true technique of driving the bandits into a specially-laid minefield. While extensively covered in provincial news sources, military-themed publications and websites, and by a few American neoconservative groups (e.g., the Jamestown Foundation), the violence has largely escaped the notice of Western journalists focused on Moscow and St. Petersburg and by Russian state media outlets instructed to only report good news about the Caucasus.

    Were thousands of experienced fighters to return from the Middle East and resume their jihad, the level of fighting would not only intensify but be led by fighters far more adept than those liquidated almost daily by Russian security services. The cost to the Russian budget, military modernization programs, and Putin administration would be immense.

    Far worse, from the Kremlin’s viewpoint, is that that a majority of Russians agree with Russian nationalists – and liberal darling Alexei Navalny – that Russia should “stop feeding the Caucasus” and expel all non-Slavic/non-Christian regions of the Caucasus from the Russian Federation. (Members of the corresponding ethnic groups (e.g., Chechens) would, as newly-minted non-citizens, then be rounded up and deported to their titular country (e.g., Chechnya.)) If the fighting were to flare up, even the policies and draconian laws enacted by then-President Medvedev to suppress demands that Russia “stop feeding the Caucasus” would be unable to stop popular calls to rid Russia of separatist regions such as Chechnya.

    The end result, Russian elites fear, would be a Soviet-style dissolution of the Russian Federation, one in which the St. Petersburg-based bourgeois-oligarchic clique which controls Russian politics would lose control of resource-rich regions such as Siberia and the Far East. Without oil rents, resource-poor St. Petersburg would become another crumbling post-Soviet city on the Baltic, similar to the coastal cities of the former Baltic republics. And that, St. Petersburg-based Western compradors such as Putin, Medvedev, and Alexi Kudrin are unwilling to risk.

    * (In the latter case, Chechen fighters led by a British-educated and -backed commander are fighting along side neo-fascist Right Sector militamen against the people of Donetsk. The Chechens and Ukrainian fascists– like Russian liberals such as Andrei Illarionov — see Chechnya and Kosovo as having the right to violently secede from their parent state while insisting that the Russian majorities of Crimea, Donbass, the Kuriles, and Kaliningrad have no right to self-determination or to avoid being forcibly ejected from their homes.)

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  16. You wrote:

    “The Russian economy is in the toilet thanks to the plunge in commodity prices.

    Meanwhile, Putin’s wasting valuable resources and possibly even Russian blood propping up an unpopular tyrant.

    You would think the Russians would have learned their lesson about getting stuck in a quagmire in a Muslim country from their experience in Afghanistan.

    Putin’s Syrian strategy sounds like a smart one to me!”

    ______________________________________

    Allow me to change a few words to make it more accurate:

    The American economy is in the toilet thanks to the plunge in commodity prices.

    Meanwhile, Obama’s wasting valuable resources and possibly even American blood propping up an unpopular rebellion.

    You would think the Americans would have learned their lesson about getting stuck in a quagmire in a Muslim country from their experience in Afghanistan.

    Obama’s Syrian strategy sounds like a smart one to me!

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  17. Don’t fret. A sharp increase in proUS sycophants is very evident in the comments here at Unz.

  18. Excellent, Mr Meyer!

  19. Some astute observations, indeed. A question: which do you suppose the United States will be fighting on our domestic front Muslims, or Hispanics? Or , do you suppose our “govt” will figure out a way to pit both against each other?

  20. Right on target. Btw, that reminds me of this editorial cartoon from Henry Payne.

    http://www.henrypayne.com/index.php/2014/09/cartoon-syria-anti-war-obama

    I guess some antiwar folks close an eye if it’s Obama who did it because if someone critisize it; one guy will said “that’s racist!”

  21. Interesting analysis of the Russian predicament with its ‘Stans’. I don’t think Russia is bringing enough to the table ( so far) to change the military outcome in Syria but is likely going to be the target of suicide bombings both in Syria and back in Russia for ratcheting up its support for Assad.

    Daesh has demonstrated it can sustain more than 50 suicide bombings per month. How many can Putin endure in Syria against his garrison there or in Moscow itself before Russian public opinion grows weary of this foreign adventure?

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  22. A very convenient ‘marriage’ nonetheless, for Israel.
    It appears blindingly obvious that the Zionists who control America (as well as most other Western democracies) foment the conflicts and then use US/UK/NATO Coalition manpower and monetry resources to do their fighting for them. That is probably why the Zionists continually suggest that the ‘Goyim’ are dopey. We are … because we don’t seem to understand when told, quite implicitly – that, ‘by deception they will wage war.’ It couldn’t be made any plainer than that, could it?

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  23. Suicide bombings were mostly useless against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. I doubt they’ll be any better against the Russians who probably won’t have such restrictive and suicidal ROEs as we have.

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  24. Call me a traitor, but I hope Putin’s gambit succeeds in saving the Syrian Christians.

  25. Islamic State wasn’t around when Obama pulled US forces from Iraq.Then, when they first appeared Obama called them ‘Junior Varsity’. Obama thought the big problem was Boko Harum in Nigeria, a group that has since sworn fealty to Islamic State not that they really matter.

    The problem is that Islamic State uses suicide bombers as ‘cruise missiles’ not simply as terror weapons. They can deploy infantry to either support the delivery of the ‘suicide bomb’ or to exploit the breach in an enemies lines once successfully deployed. They can also try again if their initial effort fails because they have a large supply of bombers.

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  26. Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia versus syphyllitc homo normed America

    HIV rate , Russia: 1.1%

    HIV rate, USA: .6% (most of whom probably belong to minority subpopulations)

    Abortion rate, Russia (2013): 534

    Abortion rate, USA (2013): 252.7

    So double on both counts.

    Homicide rate, Russia: 9.2
    Homicide rate, USA: 4.7

    Believing that Russia is a conservative moral country because its leader (a guy who btw dumped his wife and mother of two daughters for some 20-something girl)) says conservative or moral things is like believing one of those televengalists who pleads forgiveness and wants money after his male prostitution habit was discovered.

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  27. Expelling the Caucuses in order to have a Russian nation-state wouldn’t entail losing Siberia, a region populated mostly by Russians.

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  28. You are correct. But there are a number of intelligent whites in this country who understand what is going on. Since we allow idiots to elect our ‘leaders’ this country is easy to control.

  29. @FLOWER

    Yep, Russia CAN turn ZUSA into a radioactive parking lot.
    It could also defeat the over-rated us military in a conventional war, IF fought in Russia’s near abroad, say, the Donbass. The US military leadership knows it too.

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  30. rod1963

    I doubt they’ll be any better against the Russians who probably won’t have such restrictive and suicidal ROEs as we have.

    Really Mr? Restrictive and suicidal ROEs???

    Let’s actually hear what some Iraq vets have to say on that;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCSy-d_QPg0

  31. You lie as easily as most people breathe. Your precious DAESH/ISIS is nothing if not Al-Ciada in Iraq rebranded and on steroids.

    The rise of the isis lunatics was completely predictable – through destabilizing Eastern Syria which borders the Iraq sunni regions – and it was desired by Washington and its allies.
    In a recent interview ,Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), stated clearly that the rise of ‘ISIS’ was ‘a willful Washington decision’.

    As a German blogger wrote:

    The DIA was the one U.S. intelligence agency that got the Iraq WMD case right but its appraisals, for example that the famous “aluminum tubes” were ordered by Iraq to build mortar tubes, were suppressed by the Bush administration. The now published heavily redacted DIA reports were released after Freedom Of Information Act litigation by the conservative Judicial Watch.
    [...]
    Another released DIA document written in August 2012 and also highly redacted explains that Al Qaeda was, from the beginning, a big part of the Syrian “revolution”. It foresees and warns of the creation of an Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Some quotes (emph. added):

    3 B: AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning …

    3 C: AQI conducted a number of operations in Syrian cities under the name of Jaish al-Nusra …
    Now, the criminals in Washington are trying to use ISIS as an excuse to, in fact, intervene in Syria and try to bring about the regime change they have been anxiously seeking since 2011.

    These are the moderate rebels and activists the main stream media wrote and is still writing about. More from the report:

    8 C: If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.
    The “supporting powers” are earlier listed (in 7 B) as:

    western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey

    The DIA warns that the creation of such an Salafist principality would have “dire consequences” for Iraq and would possibly lead to the creation of an Islamic State and:

    create the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi

    The US, serving zionists interests, is fully behind the madness in Syria. There is no ‘civil war’ in Syria, there is a regime change operation through fanatic Wahaabi fighters from all over the world, financed, armed, trained, provided with logistics and sanctuary in/BY US client states, such as Turkey, KSA, Jordan.

  32. Yes, the stats you highlighted are correct. But, they are not exclusively attributed to Putin or modern Russia but, partially a result of Soviet communism. Much of the societal ills found in current Russian society have their origins in socialist policies from the Soviet era. The high rate of abortions being a direct example of that.

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  33. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Interesting analysis of the Russian predicament with its ‘Stans’. I don’t think Russia is bringing enough to the table ( so far) to change the military outcome in Syria but is likely going to be the target of suicide bombings both in Syria and back in Russia for ratcheting up its support for Assad.

    The apparent goal is not so much to change the military outcome as it is to keep the global jihad (and its fighters) from returning to Russia and its near abroad (*) for as long as possible. The longer the war in Syria and Iraq continues, the more Islamist fighters – and their families – will die in those two countries, thereby ending their threat to Russia. Similarly, every dollar the West and the Gulf States spend funding Islamists in Iraq and Syria is one less dollar that can be spent funding the American-led project to give Russia “a second Afghanistan” in the Caucasus region.

    This strategy, while horrifying to Western and Russian liberals alike, is already showing promise: some Islamist villages in both Russia’s internal abroad and in neighboring Georgia have been almost depopulated, especially of military-age men, as their inhabitants went to fight and die in the Middle East. Consider this a 21st century version of Stalin’s approach to pacifying Chechnya: while Stalin forcibly deported Caucasians to remote areas where they died in large numbers, Putin is encouraging them to self-deport to remote areas where they die in large numbers.

    Daesh has demonstrated it can sustain more than 50 suicide bombings per month. How many can Putin endure in Syria against his garrison there or in Moscow itself before Russian public opinion grows weary of this foreign adventure?

    In Syria, almost none. Even Putin’s support bases among rural and working-class Russians, nationalists, the Russian military-industrial complex, and Russians who mourn the demise of the Soviet Union (and remember Afghanistan) already sound like they are about to stage a Maidan over Syria. Russian soldiers who enthusiastically accepted “volunteer” assignments in Donetsk and Lugansk are now demanding formal orders to deploy anywhere. Similarly, many Russians wonder why Putin cares more about Syrians than he does ethnic Russians in Donbass.

    Nor has Putin been able to secure, as required by the Russian Constitution, the consent of the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) to deploy troops outside Russia’s borders. Since he was able to quickly secure their consent to invade Ukraine, accept reunification with Crimea, and to revoke their grant of authority to openly invade Ukraine, the difference is telling.

    As for terrorism inside Russia, Muslims are always attacking something. Absent a massive attack on par with the 2004 Beslan school siege, the Russian people will likely accept that it is just Muslims being Muslims.

    The 2010 Moscow Metro bombings, and the 2011 bombing of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport, for example, took place at a time when then-President Medvedev and then-PM Putin were providing the Caucasus with massive subsidies, portraying Caucasians as sympathetic victims of ethnic Russians, and viciously suppressing any and all criticism of the Caucasus, people of Caucasian ancestry, or migration from Russia’s internal and near abroads. By 2012, Russian elites would be forced to, albeit very reluctantly, abandon liberalism in favor of another Putin presidency that emphasized nationalism and a strong role for the security services.

    Again, widespread Islamic terrorism would reactivate the drive to simply rid Russia of the Caucasus.

    * In Russian discourse, the “internal abroad” refers to the Caucuses and other areas within Russia but no longer wholly controlled by or culturally linked to Moscow while the “near abroad” refers to the other states of the former USSR.

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  34. I got the goods on jUSA. Plan was to sucker Russia into invading Ukraine.Whereby Russia would be tied up. The prize sought was total control of Syria and oil/gas pipelines feeding Europe. Russia did not take the bait (Like Hitler did in invading Poland in 1938 and France and England declaring war on Germany). Putin has come in to Syria’s rescue as a white Knight.

  35. You are absolutely correct. Just as most bad adults were mistreated as children, so Russia was traumatized by the Soviet nightmare. But the bottom line is that despite the rhetoric by its leaders, Russia is no moral country by almost all standards. It is clearly less moral than the USA.

    The most conservative Western society is that of Russia’s rival, Poland.

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  36. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Expelling the Caucuses in order to have a Russian nation-state wouldn’t entail losing Siberia, a region populated mostly by Russians.

    For Russian leaders, the fear that allowing the Caucuses to secede will trigger a 1991-style dissolution of Russia remains very real. Consider the following statement by then-president Medvedev:

    “Stop feeding the Caucasus? What will come of that?” Medvedev said. “I remember the slogans — stop feeding Central Asia, stop feeding Ukraine, stop feeding Belarus, the Baltic states. And what happened? Our country [meaning the Soviet Union] fell to pieces.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/01/us-russia-nationalism-newspro-idUSTRE7B025420111201

    Or, then-PM Putin:

    When they start shouting ‘Stop Feeding the Caucasus’ a call will inevitably follow to ‘Stop Feeding Siberia, (Russia’s) Far East, the Urals…” he wrote. “This was exactly the recipe followed by those who instigated the break-up of the Soviet Union,” he added in Monday’s article, which was also published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta broadsheet.

    http://sputniknews.com/russia/20120123/170906260.html

    The lack of popular support for Siberian independence is largely irrelevant: people forget that, in 1991, 78% of Soviet citizens voted to retain the USSR under a revised constitution and that the leader of the Kazakh SSR, Nursultan Nazarbayev, led an alliance of Central Asian republics determined to keep the Soviet Union together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union_referendum,_1991 What went wrong? Once it became clear that Gorbachev was willing to allow the Baltic States to secede and Yeltsin to openly plot against him, local party apparatchiks throughout the USSR suddenly saw themselves as nascent leaders of newly created states. So, ignoring both popular opinion and that most republics received massive direct and indirect subsidies from more prosperous regions such as the Russian SFSR and Ukrainian SSR, local leaders declared independence, began transferring state assets to their friends and families, and mollified local populations with cultural and religious concessions.

    Could this scenario occur in Siberia?

    During the Medvedev presidency, the answer was a qualified “yes.”

    The St. Petersburg clique’s bourgeois liberalism, indifference and hostility to most of Russia, insatiable greed, and general arrogance repeatedly triggered protests in Siberia and the Far East, protests that were brutally suppressed by the FSB, Interior Ministry troops, and security forces from non-Slavic areas of Russia. (For more on Medvedev’s aggressive use of security forces against working-class ethnic Russians, read Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin by Ben Judah.)

    If the Caucasian peoples were able to secure independence through constant violence, it would only have been a matter of time until Siberian elites tried leveraging disaffected military veterans, local separatists, and paid protestors to try something similar in Siberia. A weakened Russian state would have been forced to either accept Siberia’s exit and the loss of its resources or grant Siberian elites the privileged status of Caucasian leaders such as Ramzan Kadyrov. While Siberians might not have supported these outcome, they would not have taken to the streets to oppose it.

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  37. “Russian and Polish Jews/Israelis believe that they are more Persian than Khomeini and that Khomeini is usurping the rightful place of Jews in Iran.”
    That is the biggest piece of nonsense I’ve seen in a while.
    What planet are you on ? As I’ve mentioned before, you, sir, pontificate way too much about jews while not really knowing them. Present this idiocy to a group (any size will do) of Russian and Polish jews and you will be laughed out of the place.
    You may have extensive knowledge of obscure bits of history but you end up translating it into real life like Trump with his “foreign policy”.

  38. “America and Israel…a marriage made in shell”

    But Israel doesn’t have much to do with whatever it is we’re doing in Syria. Its heart doesn’t seem to be in that fight. Which is unusual for us, despite the Saudis, our other Gallant Allies (for some reason), being interested. I can’t say that’s why we’re involved. I can’t say at all why we’re involved, actually. You can chalk it up to that being where fighting is (or where potential for fighting was, if we started it) and us not controlling it yet. Doesn’t take much more than that.

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  39. “But Israel doesn’t have much to do with whatever it is we’re doing in Syria. Its heart doesn’t seem to be in that fight.”

    Nor it’s money or troops, but Israel most definitely wants Assad removed. Syria and Iran are very close allies.

  40. “ANONYMOUS” wrote:

    “while Stalin forcibly deported Caucasians to remote areas where they died in large numbers, Putin is encouraging them to self-deport to remote areas where they die in large numbers.”

    Nonsense, Putin is not encouraging Chechens and other Caucasians to go fight in Syria and Iraq.
    That is a lie.
    It was the KSA and other Wahhabi allies of the US – with US complicity – which built Wahhabi religious intitutions in the Caucasus, thus radicalizing a minority of the Chechen people.
    The plague of Wahhabism fundamentalism has also been spread by the usual suspects to Russias near abroad, such as Uzbekistan, etc.

    Caucasians and fighters from the Stans are going to the Middle East as part of a huge recruiting effort developed and maintained by the parties that have brought about this fake “civil” war in Syria, a war which in turn destabilized Iraq.
    That was all intended by ZUSA, aka, the empire of chaos, and its various satraps and allies.

    As to the Russian ‘liberal’ elites; those are the nice folks who brought to Russia a particularly virulent strand of capitalism, with help from special interests in the US, which played havoc with Russia’s post USSR Economy and society.
    It appears Putin has these traitors, who btw do not enjoy popular support, under control.

  41. Yeah, Vlad Putin and his boys have nuclear warheads, and the ICBMs to send ‘em on their less-than-merry way.

    If, God forbid, things ever degenerate to that point, I hope Vlad vectors one right onto Washington, District of Corruption. . . .

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  42. Tom-R is right on the money. The U.S. has become a pawn of Israel — and a craven, sycophantic pawn at that, providing billions of taxpayer dollars and the most advanced technology and weaponry to support and help further Israel’s grand, long-term plan to achieve hegemony in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. In my view Israel is a brutal, warlike nation, but the U.S. is worse because it won’t control Israel. Instead, the U.S. will continue to send our nation’s wealth and advanced technology to Israel, a cowardly, irrational policy that will result in destroying most of the Middle East and murdering hundreds of thousands more people to add to the hundreds of thousands of people it has already killed.
    No nation can long survive if its leaders are never held accountable for their horrendous crimes against humanity.

  43. For Russian leaders, the fear that allowing the Caucuses to secede will trigger a 1991-style dissolution of Russia remains very real. Consider the following statement by then-president Medvedev…

    Public rhetoric meant to convince Russian people t hold onto these territories.

    The lack of popular support for Siberian independence is largely irrelevant: people forget that, in 1991, 78% of Soviet citizens voted to retain the USSR under a revised constitution

    That vote did not include independence as an option so it is not correct to conclude that 78% of the Soviet people wanted to keep the USSR. All the referendum meant was that 78% of Soviet citizens preferred a decentralized USSR. It wasn’t 78% for USSR vs. 22% for independence. It was 78% for a decentralized USSR vs. 22% not for a decentralized USSR.

    Once it became clear that Gorbachev was willing to allow the Baltic States to secede and Yeltsin to openly plot against him, local party apparatchiks throughout the USSR suddenly saw themselves as nascent leaders of newly created states. So, ignoring both popular opinion

    See above. They weren’t ignoring popular opinion because the referendum didn’t say anything about independence.

    local leaders declared independence, began transferring state assets to their friends and families, and mollified local populations with cultural and religious concessions.

    This part is correct.

    Could this scenario occur in Siberia?

    During the Medvedev presidency, the answer was a qualified “yes.”

    The St. Petersburg clique’s bourgeois liberalism, indifference and hostility to most of Russia, insatiable greed, and general arrogance repeatedly triggered protests in Siberia and the Far East, protests that were brutally suppressed by the FSB, Interior Ministry troops, and security forces from non-Slavic areas of Russia.

    The crucial difference is that thee are squabbles within the same country. Siberians are still Russian patriots. They may resent Moscow and might want to redistribute Russia’s wealth more in their favor, but they are not interested in breaking Russia apart. Indeed, they are probably bigger Russian patriots than the urbane Muscovites against whom they protest. Any local elites who would do this would be reviled as traitors. This wasn’t the case, for the most part, in the non-Russian Soviet republics. Unlike elites in Azerbaijan, Ukraine etc. Siberian elites seeking to become big fish in little ponds don’t have native pro-independence, non-Russian identity politics to draw upon for support.

  44. Haha, my hopes as well, Larson!

  45. […] Source: Russian Mouse Threatens U.S. Elephant – The Unz Review […]

  46. Washington – which pretends to be fighting the Islamic state. In fact, the Islamic State, or IS, is a tacit American ally.

    Washington has become so desperate to come up with an explanation for its policy that its cover story is now incompetence. After years of arming ISIS through its proxies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey), all the while claiming the CIA was “vetting” the recipients of arms so they wouldn’t all into the hands of ISIS, they’re finally admitting there are no “moderate” rebels and the “moderate” rebels we want must be trained and armed by the US Army.

    The real intent, of course, is for all the arms supplied to fall into the hands of al-Nusra and ISIS, which is precisely what has happened. But now we have a jihadi bragging that he “scammed” Uncle Sam and his intent from the beginning was to turn arms over to al-Nusra (al-Qaeda affiliate). So the US government can now claim it had no intent to arm al-Qaeda and al-Nusra. You see, it’s not evil, merely incompetent.

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  47. After years of arming ISIS through its proxies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey), all the while claiming the CIA was “vetting” the recipients of arms so they wouldn’t all into the hands of ISIS, they’re finally admitting there are no “moderate” rebels and the “moderate” rebels we want must be trained and armed by the US Army…The real intent, of course, is for all the arms supplied to fall into the hands of al-Nusra and ISIS, which is precisely what has happened.

    Actually, didn’t some columnist or commenter point out a very useful legal consequence to this silly situation?…

    Don’t we still have that 9/11 “Enabling Act” on the books saying that anyone who lends material support to Al-Qaeda is ipso-facto “an Enemy of the State” and can be indefinitely imprisoned, tortured, or killed without trial? And haven’t all of our top Democrats and Republicans in DC been spending the last few years actively supporting the mass-shipment of heavy arms to all those thousands of Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria?

    It seems to me that having some patriotic general call in a massive drone-strike against both the White House and Capitol Hill would be in total conformity with our current laws and also solve a huge number of all our national problems at a single stroke…

  48. “Allow me to change a few words to make it more accurate:

    The American economy is in the toilet thanks to the plunge in commodity prices.”

    There is nothing inaccurate about saying the Russian economy is in the toilet. The Russian Ruble is very weak. If the Russian economy was blooming, why does Russia have the second highest suicide rate in the world. There is a lot of Russians who would rather kill themselves than continue living in Russia. Over 1 million Russians have killed themselves since the dissolution of The Soviet Union.

    If the Russian economy was flourishing, the culture of suicide would not be so popular in Russia.

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  49. “But the bottom line is that despite the rhetoric by its leaders, Russia is no moral country by almost all standards. It is clearly less moral than the USA.”

    Indeed Russia is not a very socially conservative prudish moral country. Prostitution is huge in Russia. Even Roosh V who has been there can confirm this as well as other sex tourists on his discussion board who have traveled to Russia to get laid.

  50. There is a lot of Russians who would rather kill themselves than continue living in Russia. Over 1 million Russians have killed themselves since the dissolution of The Soviet Union.

    Source please? It was well known that a lot of Russians committed suicide back in the 90s (“since the dissolution of The Soviet Union”) when the economy imploded, but I haven’t heard any recent stats since the economy started to improve after 2000. Have you?

  51. Interesting analysis of the Russian predicament with its ‘Stans’. I don’t think Russia is bringing enough to the table ( so far) to change the military outcome in Syria…

    I disagree. The combatants are well enough balanced that it won’t take much to tip the situation in Assad’s favor. The Alawites are fighting for their lives and they know it. Since they started bombing the Russians have been making a strike about once an hour, around the clock. That’ll be enough for Assad, with Iran’s help, to pull out a military victory. Provided, of course, the US doesn’t get more involved.

    And I doubt the US will get more involved. You could practically hear the sighs of relief coming from Washington as Putin decided to own this problem. Obama will carp from the sidelines the way the Europeans do whenever the US does anything, but he’s not going to risk a war with Russia over Syria. Hell, beyond a few token airstrikes he hasn’t even helped the government of Iraq, which probably has some legitimate claim to US assistance.

  52. {“… why does Russia have the second highest suicide rate in the world.”}

    You are lying: Russia does not have the second highest suicide rate in the world.
    Look it up, anti-Russian bigoted liar: Russia dose not have the 2nd highest rate.
    It is public info: look it up you liar:

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

    #1 Guyana
    #2 North Korea
    #3 South Korea.
    …..
    #14 Russia
    #15 Hungary
    #16 Japan.

    South Korean GDP Per person (PPP). $35,300 (2014 est.)
    Japan PPP: $37,400 (2014 est.)
    Russia PPP: $24,800 (2014 est.)

    In case you missed what that means: suicide rates have no correlation nor cause & effect to the economy of a country.
    People have lots of reasons for committing suicides.
    Economy is only one.

    {“ Over 1 million Russians have killed themselves since the dissolution of The Soviet Union.”}

    The site you got that unsubstantiated b____s___ from, the themoscownews.com, also wrote this, which you being an anti-Russian liar, deliberately omitted: {“ World Health Organization’s figures, however, put Russia at sixth place on the number of suicides after Lithuania, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Japan.”}
    So even your own anti-Russian source proves you are a liar.

    {“ If the Russian economy was flourishing, the culture of suicide would not be so popular in Russia.”}

    South Korea has a very health, flourishing economy.
    The culture of suicide is very popular in South Korea.
    Japan is very prosperous, orderly society.
    The culture of suicide is very popular in Japan.
    Anti-Russian liar.
    Q.E.D.

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