Syria’s Civil War Is Over—Russia Won

It’s time to accept the painful reality of Syria

Observer, Oct 26, 2016

It’s not every day an American presidential candidate flatly says his opponent will cause World War Three. But Donald Trump did just that, accusing Hillary Clinton of recklessly seeking confrontation with Russia over Syria—where, he claims, the Democratic nominee is insufficiently worried about the Islamic State.

“What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” Trump stated. “You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.” He then hinted at possible nuclear Armageddon caused by Hillary’s recklessness.


According to Vladimir Putin, the Americans are supporting terrorists in Syria at the expense of the country’s government, led by Bashar al-Assad. In recent months, the Kremlin has issued warning after warning to Washington to stay away from further involvement in that country’s awful war, which has raged for more than five years now.


Earlier this month, Russia’s defense ministry, which has reinforced its air defenses in Syria with very modern S-300 and S-400 missiles—although ISIS has no airplanes—bluntly informed the Pentagon that any efforts by the U.S. Air Force to bomb targets in Syria without Moscow’s approval will be met with force, without delay or hesitation.


President Obama’s confident prediction that Moscow’s Syrian intervention would find the same quagmires his White House has abetted in Iraq and Afghanistan was badly wrong.


We need to accept strategic reality, now. While many American politicos and foreign policy mavens—importantly Hillary Clinton is among them—advocate a No-Fly Zone in Syria to prevent the Assad regime and its Russian allies from using airpower to kill civilians, the reality is that an NFZ already exists in Syria. It’s supplied by the Russians.


Similarities between Syria and Yugoslavia are unavoidable, and nobody in Moscow seeks to avoid them. Both were unnatural, ethnically and religiously diverse states cobbled together by the victorious Allies after World War One. Yugoslavia fell apart exactly 20 years before Syria did.


Moscow, reeling from its Cold War defeat and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet empire, was impotent to save Yugoslavia from Western aggression—to use Russian terms. Indeed, the dismantling of Yugoslavia by NATO stands as a lesson to Putin about what neoliberal imperialists named Clinton will do to weaker states.


The fate of Yugoslavia in the 1990s—including the fact that significant chunks of that former country remain under NATO and European Union occupation today—is a cautionary tale for the Kremlin, and Putin has spoken passionately about how he will never allow Russia to be dismantled by the West like Yugoslavia was. He pointedly defended his 2014 seizure of Crimea from Ukraine by noting that redrawing Europe’s map—Putin cited NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serbia that achieved Kosovo’s independence from Belgrade—was acceptable when the West did it.


For Putin, his Syrian intervention has been an unambiguous win on the world stage. Its benefits exist on many levels, not least Russia’s reinforcing the potent message that Moscow, unlike Washington, stands by its friends.


That same year, when his regime was facing the abyss as civil war enveloped Syria, Bashar al-Assad got all the help he wanted from Moscow. Russia saved Assad and has not cared one whit about cries from the international community and NGOs.


We should not lose sight of the human cost of this tragic folly. Something approaching half a million people have been killed, most of them civilians, in Syria’s fratricide.


The Assad regime has prevailed, thanks to Moscow. It will survive and the Middle Eastern balance of power has shifted to Russia’s advantage. If Hillary Clinton becomes president in January, as looks likely, she would be well advised to admit what her predecessor did in Syria and what it means for the region and the world. She would be very foolish to give Vladimir Putin a military confrontation in Syria.


Уроды США: Obama и Bush, Trump … а Порочная Баба Clinton Хуже Всех!


Правительство США жестоко нарушило мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» —

Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 12 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.

ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — мне запретить выступать в СМИ и не пропускать большинства отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…

Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США


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