Saturday, September 07, 2013

Russia and Syria

G20 - a club divided over the conflict in Syria Euronews 09/06/2013:

Robert Fisk takes a characteristically unsentimental look at Vladimir's Putin's role in the Syria crisis, Vladimir Putin will happily let Obama sweat it out alone in Syria Independent 09/05/2013:

Oddly, the Western television networks have fallen into a rut over [the G-20 conference in] St Petersburg, asking if Obama can "narrow the gap" between himself and Putin. I’m not at all sure if Putin wants to narrow any such gap. He knows that the US President's "red lines" and "options on the table" and all the other Obama-isms that are talking the Americans into yet another war against Arabs, have given him a powerful card. He knows that the Syrian war is about Iran. And he was perfectly able to entertain Iran's awful former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Moscow. His slouching figure beside Obama at the Fermanagh summit told you a lot about his feelings for America's Punisher-in-Chief. After all, that was the role he himself adopted in Chechnya.

And as he looks south from the Kremlin, he can see Chechnya on the horizon and – just 800 miles further away – Syria itself, where Assad is fighting rebel forces that include Chechens. He may certainly point out that Obama is planning to fight on the same side as al-Qa'ida – which is perfectly true. But is he really going to line up behind America’s latest crusade? I rather suspect – since he’s a self-taught expert on fighting Islamist "terror" – that he might let Obama sweat it out.

He’ll be asking, no doubt, what America's permitted 60 days of "limited" attacks will achieve. And what happens when it’s over and Assad is still in Damascus and gas is used all over again?
G-20 Summit Shows Low Support for Military Strike in Syria PBS Newshour 09/06/2013:

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