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  #51    
Old September 9th, 2013 (06:04 PM).
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Well, it would appear now that we have a proposal from the Kremlin to round up Assad's chem weapons to avert a U.S. strike, so basically, a somewhat diplomatic alternative.
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  #52    
Old September 9th, 2013 (06:30 PM).
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Sad part is that Kerry meant that comment as a joke. He didn't think anyone would take it seriously, but Russia decided to do so and turn it into a legitimate proposal.
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  #54    
Old September 10th, 2013 (09:01 AM).
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I suppose Russia strong-armed Syria into opening talks about giving up their chemical weapons. Maybe Russia is going on a big PR offensive in preparation for the Olympics or they didn't want to see one of their trading partner fall to a US-lead military attack and made a deal to sell Syria more conventional weapons (which, let's face it, are just as deadly to civilians as sarin) so that the West would be satisfied.

Or maybe Russia wanted to stop the violence and unnecessary killing and help bring peace to the Middle East. Haha, I'm such a joker.
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  #55    
Old September 10th, 2013 (12:46 PM). Edited September 12th, 2013 by Kanzler.
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The regime /is/ one of Russia's biggest arms clients. But the PR offensive for the Olympics is an interesting point for me. I wonder if there are other things Russia might be doing along that line?

But perhaps this is Russia reasserting its influence in the Middle East? Perhaps not - Russia doesn't seem to have a coherent policy concerning that. Some analysts say that Russia sees Syria as being vital to its Mediterranean policy, providing a naval base for oil exports. This makes sense. They also want to control oil pipelines to several Mediterranean countries, and so supporting the regime that they know is friendly to them and has been doing business with them for decades should be part of the mix as well.

When Russia says something like "the Syrian question should be answered by Syrians", we would be wiser than to take that with a grain of salt. Not everybody supports the rebels, and apparently not the urban commercial class in Syria's big cities. It's easy to see why they would fear a rebel victory, although I don't see why they'd shy away from a political compromise that protects their interests. Big business is an important part of civil society, and is important to the support of any regime, even our own. Assad and the Baath Party are not working alone, bending everybody to their will.

They're probably calculating what would be more stable at this stage - keeping the regime as is (through a victory maybe) after all this turmoil, or a political resolution. Assad isn't important in and of himself. If Russia can get what they want without him being there, he can leave the picture.

The following are very good articles that informed this post. The first one is especially refreshing in the midst of whitewashing by Western (American) public sentiment and Americentrism.

http://carnegie.ru/2013/05/30/russia-s-middle-east-gambit/g7ml
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/05/20/for-russia-syria-is-not-in-the-middle-east/


---

To lighten the mood somewhat:

Spoiler:
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  #56    
Old September 12th, 2013 (07:12 PM).
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I think it's obvious now that part of Putin's plan is to take a jab at the Obama Administration. The administration builds up the naval presence in the Mediterranean. Check. Obama asks for congressional approval to begin a swift bombing campaign of vital targets to Assad's Government. Check. France/Hollande is on board for intervention in Syria, to quote-unquote "punish Syria".

Essentially, they're an inch away from war, and Putin swoops in at the eleventh hour to change up the entire situation by adding the proposal allowing the UN investigators to confiscate the alleged chemical weapons in order to avert a strike, which now shifts a lot of the heat to the Obama administration. I can almost hear the "Obama gave in to the soviets" chants from the far-right wing. It could very very damning for Obama's foreign policy, depending on what we do now, and it makes John Kerry look bad/even worse in the eyes of the public.
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Old September 12th, 2013 (07:20 PM).
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Putin is a BAMF isn't he XD Dang, statesmanship at its finest. Speeding up the erosion of American influence one step at a time. But in the spirit of multilateralism, he did do the right thing, as Syria only trusts Russia to carry out such a plan and we'd expect the great powers to be on the same page. Very well played.
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Old September 12th, 2013 (07:26 PM).
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Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
Putin is a BAMF isn't he XD Dang, statesmanship at its finest. Speeding up the erosion of American influence one step at a time. But in the spirit of multilateralism, he did do the right thing, as Syria only trusts Russia to carry out such a plan and we'd expect the great powers to be on the same page. Very well played.
And Kerry/Obama/The UN played right into the whole thing, hook, line, and sinker. So the Kremlin is totally secure and on the offensive whereas Washington barely has a clue about what the next plan of action is. Oy.
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  #59    
Old September 12th, 2013 (08:02 PM). Edited September 12th, 2013 by Kanzler.
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?hp&_r=2&

You. Putin is speaking to you.

Edit: Ouch. That last paragraph.
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  #60    
Old September 15th, 2013 (10:20 AM).
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Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:

Hahahahaha oh the irony of Putin dropping the "we're all created equal" bit there at the end.

With regards to the policy on Syria though, Putin did throw in some tidbits, especially about the future of the United Nations, and how to make sure that it doesn't go the way of the League Of Nations. The process needs to be honored, and he basically warned/took a shot at Kerry & Obama in the process. I do honestly think Obama and Putin could really work together to thaw some of the ice on our mutual relationship, and start acting like allies again. I liked the bit about how the United States & Russia worked together to defeat the Nazis. We are better together as allies than we ever were separately.
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