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Thread: A Plea for Caution From Russia

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    A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Opinion piece run in the NYT written by Vladimir Putin

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/op...ml?ref=opinion

    "RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

    Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization the United Nations was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again."



    It is an interesting read, filled with the standard half truths and appeals to raw emotion that is common in progressive politics. It's just funny seeing someone use it on Obama for a change.

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    Opinion piece run in the NYT written by Vladimir Putin

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/op...ml?ref=opinion

    "RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

    Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization the United Nations was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again."



    It is an interesting read, filled with the standard half truths and appeals to raw emotion that is common in progressive politics. It's just funny seeing someone use it on Obama for a change.
    This may not turn out so well for "the One"....
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    In case anyone had any doubts as to who Putin is, this confirms it. He's a troll.

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    The thing I find funny is that when push comes to shove on the subject of Syria, and Obama finds his apologetic media fleeing to the side of Putin, his most sympathetic venue would suddenly be Fox News.

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    A President of another country gets to address the people of USA and the USA free media is racing over each other to air or press him. Only in USA I tell you, only in USA.

    You know what is the message? USA and Russia allow each other to influence one anothers' people for foreign arrangements. It is a joint venture to divide the world!

    What is next, Obama addressing Russia?
    Quote Originally Posted by poweRob View Post
    Stats come out and always show life getting better. News makes money in making you think its not.
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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Syria has set partisan politics on its head. We have Putin writing to urge caution, Fox news coming out against war, the Democrats attempting to back their president, the US on the same side as the terrorists, it's quite the hodge podge of ideologies.

    I predict that the outcome will be that Syria will at least pretend to turn its weapons over to the Russians, Putin will beat his chest and claim victory, Obama will maintain the claim that it was fear of a US attack that prompted them to turn them over and thus claim victory himself. Meanwhile, Assad will manage to regain power in Syria and the world will keep spinning. So will our heads, of course, trying to understand just what really happened.

    and the Mid East will still be a powder keg just waiting for a spark, any spark.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Syria has set partisan politics on its head. We have Putin writing to urge caution, Fox news coming out against war, the Democrats attempting to back their president, the US on the same side as the terrorists, it's quite the hodge podge of ideologies.

    I predict that the outcome will be that Syria will at least pretend to turn its weapons over to the Russians, Putin will beat his chest and claim victory, Obama will maintain the claim that it was fear of a US attack that prompted them to turn them over and thus claim victory himself. Meanwhile, Assad will manage to regain power in Syria and the world will keep spinning. So will our heads, of course, trying to understand just what really happened.

    and the Mid East will still be a powder keg just waiting for a spark, any spark.
    Yep, and defenders of the president will change their defense with every hourly twist and turn. Credibility be damned.
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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Some thoughts on President Putin's op-ed:

    President Putin understands that without broad public support, policy is not sustainable for the long-term in the U.S. He wants to reach out to an American people who are either skeptical or against military action to maintain public opposition to military strikes on Syria. How the public turns might well turn out how Congress votes. As the issue of force was put before Congress, a degree of legitimacy would be lacking were military strikes conducted in the absence of Congressional authorization. President Putin is using the op-ed as part of a larger strategy to press the U.S. against using force against Syria.

    For those who have read some of President Putin's major addresses, his narrative of frequent uses of force by the U.S. and his critique of "American exceptionalism" are recurring themes. That he repeated them in this op-ed is not surprising. He also maintained his position that the anti-Assad movement was responsible for the chemical weapons attack.

    In terms of substance, he points out that military strikes against Syria could be destabilizing. I don't disagree, but believe President Putin goes too far in suggesting that the damage would be so great that it "could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance."

    Having said that, his point that Syria "is not witnessing a battle for democracy" and that "there are few champions of democracy in Syria" is spot on. The war is a brutal sectarian conflict between a repressive minority regime and repressed majority seeking to topple it. It is not a democratic or liberal uprising. UN investigators who have been to Syria have confirmed the absence of support for democratic governance among the anti-Assad movement. Earlier this year, Reuters reported, "Most Syrian rebel fighters do not want democracy..., independent U.N. investigators said on Tuesday."

    U.N. investigators say most Syria rebels not seeking democracy | Reuters

    IMO, it is both inaccurate and dangerously nave for U.S. policy makers (most prominently Senators McCain and Graham) to view the anti-Assad movement through the prism of their preferences in transposing their ideals on the movement. The movement should be viewed as it is, not as one might wish it were.

    The anti-Assad movement has never furnished any kind of manifesto declaring a commitment to democratic, inclusive government. In contrast, it has eagerly incorporated extremist elements into its ranks, some of which are affiliated with Al Qaeda. The growing influence of the extremist elements was documented in a UN report that was released yesterday. Just as is the case with the Assad dictatorship, the anti-Assad movement has shown little regard for civilian protections.

    Those realities are wholly incompatible with a desire for inclusive representative government. Actions speak louder than words, and even words proclaiming a commitment to democratic inclusive governance are lacking.

    In the end, an effective policy approach should aim to reduce the likely use of chemical weapons (the diplomatic initiative being explored might facilitate that effort, but a lot of difficulties lie ahead). A second element should involve reducing arms flows to all participants to reduce the intensity of the conflict. A third should involve a ceasefire to stop the conflict. The fourth should include increased pressure for the development of a political process to begin what will likely be a fairly lengthy effort to resolve some of the major issues related to the civil war.

    However, it remains to be seen whether the parties would participate at this point--Assad had previously committed, but the anti-Assad movement did not--much less adopt the kind of flexibility necessary to reach agreement. In sectarian or ethnic conflicts, the parties usually view things through a zero-sum basis and don't accept the notion of mutual benefit. The extremist elements that comprise a significant part of the anti-Assad movement also view things through an uncompromising and fundamental religious perspective, which further undermines the possibility of near-term flexibility. The incorporation of outside elements on both sides of the conflict also suggests that some of the underlying issues may have little to do with purely Syrian matters.

    If the first three elements can be pursued and implemented to a meaningful extent, Syria's people would benefit. Benefits to the armed participants in the sectarian conflict would be smaller, but those factions are not the victims. The civilians are the victims, caught between two ruthless parties, one seeking to retain power, the other seeking to gain power.

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    I see it more as a warning than a "plea".
    Guys like Putin wont lay out a plea in these type of cases. Putin has squared up, and looked down his nose at Obama and told him how its going to be.
    Or else.

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    Re: A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Some thoughts on President Putin's op-ed:

    President Putin understands that without broad public support, policy is not sustainable for the long-term in the U.S. He wants to reach out to an American people who are either skeptical or against military action to maintain public opposition to military strikes on Syria. How the public turns might well turn out how Congress votes. As the issue of force was put before Congress, a degree of legitimacy would be lacking were military strikes conducted in the absence of Congressional authorization. President Putin is using the op-ed as part of a larger strategy to press the U.S. against using force against Syria.

    For those who have read some of President Putin's major addresses, his narrative of frequent uses of force by the U.S. and his critique of "American exceptionalism" are recurring themes. That he repeated them in this op-ed is not surprising. He also maintained his position that the anti-Assad movement was responsible for the chemical weapons attack.

    In terms of substance, he points out that military strikes against Syria could be destabilizing. I don't disagree, but believe President Putin goes too far in suggesting that the damage would be so great that it "could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance."

    Having said that, his point that Syria "is not witnessing a battle for democracy" and that "there are few champions of democracy in Syria" is spot on. The war is a brutal sectarian conflict between a repressive minority regime and repressed majority seeking to topple it. It is not a democratic or liberal uprising. UN investigators who have been to Syria have confirmed the absence of support for democratic governance among the anti-Assad movement. Earlier this year, Reuters reported, "Most Syrian rebel fighters do not want democracy..., independent U.N. investigators said on Tuesday."

    U.N. investigators say most Syria rebels not seeking democracy | Reuters

    IMO, it is both inaccurate and dangerously nave for U.S. policy makers (most prominently Senators McCain and Graham) to view the anti-Assad movement through the prism of their preferences in transposing their ideals on the movement. The movement should be viewed as it is, not as one might wish it were.

    The anti-Assad movement has never furnished any kind of manifesto declaring a commitment to democratic, inclusive government. In contrast, it has eagerly incorporated extremist elements into its ranks, some of which are affiliated with Al Qaeda. The growing influence of the extremist elements was documented in a UN report that was released yesterday. Just as is the case with the Assad dictatorship, the anti-Assad movement has shown little regard for civilian protections.

    Those realities are wholly incompatible with a desire for inclusive representative government. Actions speak louder than words, and even words proclaiming a commitment to democratic inclusive governance are lacking.

    In the end, an effective policy approach should aim to reduce the likely use of chemical weapons (the diplomatic initiative being explored might facilitate that effort, but a lot of difficulties lie ahead). A second element should involve reducing arms flows to all participants to reduce the intensity of the conflict. A third should involve a ceasefire to stop the conflict. The fourth should include increased pressure for the development of a political process to begin what will likely be a fairly lengthy effort to resolve some of the major issues related to the civil war.

    However, it remains to be seen whether the parties would participate at this point--Assad had previously committed, but the anti-Assad movement did not--much less adopt the kind of flexibility necessary to reach agreement. In sectarian or ethnic conflicts, the parties usually view things through a zero-sum basis and don't accept the notion of mutual benefit. The extremist elements that comprise a significant part of the anti-Assad movement also view things through an uncompromising and fundamental religious perspective, which further undermines the possibility of near-term flexibility. The incorporation of outside elements on both sides of the conflict also suggests that some of the underlying issues may have little to do with purely Syrian matters.

    If the first three elements can be pursued and implemented to a meaningful extent, Syria's people would benefit. Benefits to the armed participants in the sectarian conflict would be smaller, but those factions are not the victims. The civilians are the victims, caught between two ruthless parties, one seeking to retain power, the other seeking to gain power.
    Well thought out and superior post don.
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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