Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, October 1, 2015

We Are Almost Fighting Alongside Russia in Syria

Yes, that'sTom Cotton, reminding us that there were politics in the 1980;s and the 1930's. What I find interesting, as a student of history and politics, is that Russia and the US were aligned in the conflict that Cotton is alluding to--the fight against Nazi Germany, and were cautiously allies.

What the simpleton from Arkansas doesn't understand is that we--the United States, have been dealing with Syria via diplomacy or direct warfare, for a couple years now. That would be under the leadership of our current president, Barack Obama. We have to be leading from behind in the sense that being the US (not being the leader of the US, Barack Obama, but a representative thereof) is regarded negatively in the world because of things like the Iraq invasion which made so very many things regionally worse for people in the Middle East.  There have been Iraq and Syrian refugee crises.

But here is an interesting thing. Iran, Russia and some Iraq military are allied in going into Syria to allegedly whack ISIL. Ask yourself--what does Russia even want with the dirty candy that is being on Assad's side?

Syria is just about the last little old place in the Middle East that has ties with Russia. Putin also has dealt with terror, mostly Chechen, but is not immune to the idea that terror destabilizes whole global regions. Cotton isn't totally wrong in that our goals are not Russia's goals. We aren't bringing down Hitler together--they are on the side of Assad, the guy we look at as being a tyrant that has to go.  But I can't say to which degree Russian military has "less" reason to be there than we do. (I say propping up Assad has no practical value--at this point, you can have Assad in power, but that would be with him presiding over a totally empty country. Not worth it. But then again, if not Assad, who?)

Except for Russia hitting militants we trained instead of ISIL, we're practically fighting side by side.

Was he expecting better?  Of course this is a steaming pile of suck. There aren't good options there. Antagonism with Russia won't improve things, either.

1 comment:

mikey said...

You're absolutely right. Different goals = different targets.

Our 'goal', our rather nebulous reason for intervening in the Syrian civil war at all, is to 'destroy' ISIS and support the rebels trying to remove the Alawite Ba'ath under Assad from power. The Russian goal is to preserve some portion of Syria under Assad, especially the coastal portion from Latakia to Tartus. They don't really care about ISIS at this point - whoever is directly attacking Loyalist positions in the west will get the Russian's attention. If at some point they can stabilize a Syrian enclave on the west coast they may then decide to push ISIS back or relieve the Deir ez Zor and Damascus perimeters. But make no mistake - the goals of Russia and the US are 180 degrees apart - Russia's goals align only with Iran...