Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Bear threatens to swat down US warplanes

Syria Update:

Haven't posted about this in some time. Things are getting tense so I thought I'd put out some info for people who aren't hearing about it on the news. Here's what's been going on.

-- The Syria peace agreement was broken when the US fired on Syrian national forces.
-- The Russians stated that the US government is fundamentally incapable of keeping agreements. The Saker believes that this is because President Obama does not firmly control the government. He believes the deal was intentionally sabotaged by people in the Defense Department. This is plausible. Remember it came out earlier this year or maybe late last year that the Intelligence side and the Military side of the executive branch were supporting different factions, that were ACTUALLY FIGHTING EACH OTHER. I believe I posted at the time that US foreign policy had hit peak insanity.
-- At a special meeting of the Security Council, Russians were accused of war crimes by US allies. The US ambassador walked out on the meeting, as well as the delegates from France and Britain.
-- The Russian Foreign Minister basically accused the US of supporting ISIS.
-- The Russians are now warning that they will shoot down any US aircraft that attack the Syrian army.

This is possibly the closest the US has ever been to war with Russia / Soviet Union. Here we have the Russians not just threatening military action (there is always an implicit threat of military action if certain boundaries are crossed) but threatening military action for what we are already doing. I'd be confident the Russians are not bluffing. They've established their boundaries, and will be probably behave as they've stated they will. That is, the won't push for a shooting war with the US, but at the same time I would have to believe they will stand by their promise to defend the Syrian army.

The question then is how will President Obama respond? He is in a bind. He won't want to appear weak. He's already been gravely embarrassed twice, maybe three times in Syria. First when he failed to enforce his famous Red Line (largely thanks to Russian diplomacy on the matter). Second, the US was seemingly caught unawares when the Russians showed up one day in Syria with a sizeable air contingent, thus depriving the US of air supremacy in the region, and removing their plans for a no-fly zone (as we saw used in Libya, which was use to overthrow their government). Third, once the Russian bombing campaign began, the Syrian army began making large gains against ISIS. This after a year of US bombardment! The obvious conclusion was that the US was either incapable, or unwilling, to execute an effective bombing campaign against ISIS.

Obama also can't appear strong. The Nobel Prize winner, who promised a more friendly American empire, and who apologizes for American strength where ever he goes, isn't going to stare down Putin. No chance he risks a real fight. But the bigger worry is that some faction of the US might ignore his orders. They may have already done so. He's in a bind where no one relevant respects him. The Russians certainly don't. If they did he could intimidate them to back off. The scarier question is how much the military and other government agencies respect him. Was the decision to break the Syrian peace deal a mistake? Or was it broken by people who believe it to be a bad decision? Or, most worryingly, is there a faction so fed up with Obama that they are starting to mutiny no matter what his orders are? That may sound like an extreme conclusion, but we've had one peace deal broken already. Do the Russians even trust us enough that we can negotiate another agreement? It might be that Obama is incapable of keeping us out of war no matter how much he tries.

Now I'm not beating the war drum here or warning of impending doom. But there is cause for concern. The Russians are clearly concerned. We can't trust this government to handle the situation well. Their incompetence has been shown consistently. They've all but lost any notion of legitimacy of the American empire. US foreign diplomacy consists mostly of issuing dictates and ultimatums, and then not enforcing those ultimatums. I believe nothing will happen. The Russians / Syrian Army have the upper hand. This will probably end up a loss for US neocolonialism (oh well), and might one day be considered the turning point of US hegemony. Although people probably said that about Vietnam. Very interesting how ever it turns out, and there is a decent margin for catastrophe in all this.

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