This is the second part of my defense of Russia. You can see part 1 here: In Defense of Russia. Part 1.
The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would “cross a red line.” So said President Obama in August of 2012. This was an odd statement, because, at the time, there was no reason to suspect that they would use chemical weapons, but it was a very clear message to thinking people around the world what this war really was and what America’s roll would be, as if it wasn’t already clear enough. The US, in particular the CIA, had already been providing financial, logistical and propaganda support for the ‘rebels.’ The rebels from the beginnings were mostly jihadists, and are by now all jihadists.
The US had executed a similar regime-change campaign in Libya that was very quick and successful. ISIS proxies fought the ground war, while NATO, mostly the US and France, executed the bombing campaign from the air. The US allied itself with, not only ISIS, but Libyan rebels as well. When ISIS had to move on to their next target, Syria, there is evidence that their weapons and bombs were transferred by the US State Department. Someone probably promised these weapons to non-ISIS rebels in Libya, because they apparently felt betrayed by this action. Libyan Rebels raided a CIA base/consulate in Benghazi in 2011, killing the US ambassador. I believe this was an attempt to get back their weapons.
But I digress. Let’s get back to the main point: Russia.
Russia began their direct intervention in Syria on Sep. 30th 2015 at the invitation of the Syrian government. Countries are allowed to ask their allies to help them defend themselves during a war. Like it or not, the Russian intervention is 100% legal under international law, while the US’s intervention is 100% illegal. And, most importantly, as the stated goal of both was to defeat ISIS, the Russian intervention has been very effective. For years the US was pretending to fight ISIS in Syria, but ISIS kept on gaining territory. Within weeks of the Russian intervention beginning, ISIS was on the ropes.
This map is the most up-to-date Syrian war map.
At first glance it looks like Syria is doing pretty great, which they are compared to the past, but they still have some major hurdles. You have to almost squint to see it, but the most important area held by ISIS is in the southeast corner. If you follow the border of Syrian territory and Kurdish (US) territory, right before you reach Iraq, you will find a narrow strip of Gray. This is actually the densely populated area around the Euphrates River and is the main border crossing between Syria and Iraq. It is much more populated and strategically important than the larger gray blobs to the west and northeast. It contains the de facto ISIS capital, Hajin. The surrounding area is largely uninhabited desert.
ISIS controls only about a 20 mile strip on the northeast side of the river valley. Kurdish/ US forces control the corridor beyond that. The SAA would have to cross the river to take back the territory. A place is much easier to defend when there is a natural border like a river. On the other hand, this area is completely exposed to the Kurdish/ US forces. They even have a nice highway to drive their tanks down. The US military taking this small territory would be like taking candy from a baby, but they’ve never even tried. In fact, they have never even set up a road block on that highway. Presumably supplies are flowing right under their noses. That should tell you something about what the US’s goals really are.
The green on the map represents territory controlled Rebel forces, mostly Al-Nusra. (the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda) They still control the most important border crossing with Jordan and the area bordering the Israeli occupied Golan Heights and much of the border with Turkey. As I said in Biggest State Sponsor of Terrorism: Iran or Saudi Arabia? these terrorist groups are international organizations. They are not Syrian. All their funding and weapons, and almost all their personnel comes from other countries. Their existence depends on contact with neighboring countries, especially ones that are hostile to the Syrian government.
The Syrian and Russian forces could easily bomb the terrorists in places like Hajin, but contrary to what Western propaganda wants you to believe, they clearly care about civilian lives. These terrorist are known to use human shields. The West pretends to take a principled stand against human shields when it comes to Hamas, but not so much when it comes to their allies in Syria. The US’s best buddies, The Army of Islam, who until recently occupied Douma, and on whose behalf the West intervened with their illegal bombing last month, is known to kidnap the family members of SAA fighters and place them in cages on the roof tops of occupied buildings, knowing that the SAA would never bomb their wives and children. But even when this extreme tactic is not employed, Russian and Syrian forces exorcise considerable restraint, especially when compared to the US’s slaughter fests in places like Fallujah.
Seeing as that they control about two fifths of the country, you would think the Kurds are are large and influential group. In fact, by the most optimistic estimates, they comprise only 9% of the country’s population, and the two largest cities in the area they control, Raqqah and Al Hasakah, are majority Arab, at least before the war. Millions of Arabs in the Kurdish controlled area have fled to the SAA controlled area. Other Arabs have allied with the Kurds and formed the Syrian Democratic Forces, (SDF) but this organization is US and Israeli dominated. I wonder how much longer the Arabs in this alliance will sell out their country to foreign imperialists. I predict elements of the SDF will merge with the SAA in the next year, and that will be very interesting.
I don’t think the US and Israel really care who controls the northeast. It could be Kurds or ISIS, as long as Syria doesn’t regain control of their oil fields. The Zionists have a long tern plan to turn Syria into a failed state, (See The Greater Israel Project) and depriving Damascus of their resources is a big part of that.
Russia is just trying to return Syria to the way it was before the war. Do you really think any Syrian would object to that?
There are a couple important questions you need to ask yourself if you still believe the Western narrative of Syria. Do you remember in 2016 when #holocaustaleppo was trending, and the MSM was saying that East Aleppo was about to fall into the hands of a Nazi-like murderous regime, and Assad’s private army was going to massacre babies and puppies. Well it did fall into the control of the SAA. Now why has the MSM never done any follow-up stories on that. I mean, if what they were saying was true, there must be some heart-breaking personal stories of life under this brutal dictatorship for the West to use to push their narrative. Just like Crimea, you need to ask why are you not being shown these terrible images of war. Type “liberation of Aleppo” or “East Aleppo 2018” into YouTube if you want to see what is going on there now. People happily rebuilding their city, celebrating their liberation, and once again being able to shave their beards, not wear a burka, drink alcohol, and go to school just doesn’t fit the narrative.
One more thing you need to ask yourself. Why is an election off the table? Democracy used to kind of be the West’s thing. Remember? I haven’t heard one pundit or Western leader suggest an election. The plan is to destroy Syria. The don’t want it to be a unified country any more. Also, they know Assad would likely win any fair election.
Russian involvement in Syria is obviously no threat to American security. The US is only there at the behest of its Zionist overloads. But it has to justify this seemingly counter-intuitive operation, so total disinformation on everything Russian is key. This includes Russian domestic policy.
If you believe everything you hear from the American propaganda machine, Russia is an authoritarian hell hole, and its leader, Vladimir Putin, is some type of Machiavellian James Bond villain.
The view held by the vast majority of Americans, even many that I respect, is that Russia’s elections are rigged, and Putin does not have a majority of support.
I’ve been blessed with living abroad for many years as well as working in the hospitality industry, there for I have friends and acquaintances from all over the world, including Russia. I’ve had conversations about Putin with my Russian friends, and I’ve even studied the Russian language a bit. I’ve also spent a lot of time on forums reading the view of actual Russians, so I think I understand the Russian mindset far better than your average American, and I promise you, Putin does not have to rig any election or kill any opponents. He will win by a landslide no matter who he goes up against.
Even the American polling agency Gallop found Putin’s approval rating to be 79%. I’ve also seen the figure as high as in the 80s. The lowest number I’ve ever seen in 63%. He won the 2018 election with 76.69% of the vote, just like we would expect from his approval rating.
But in America, where people are always voting for the lesser of two evils, it is inconceivable for a politician to be this popular. So let me clue you in on a few things about Russia and Russian people that I’ve picked up on over the years.
Firstly, from the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 until Putin’s election in 2000, Russia was widely considered a mafia state. Corruption and organized crime were so systemic that it could hardly even be called a unified nation.
Also, In Russia, the position of president is viewed like any other job. That is, it should go to the most qualified and experienced candidate. They take a very pragmatic view of their presidency. It is not meant to be the position of some ceremonial, national daddy figure, but I tough, intelligent problem solver. Russians do not project some emotional image onto the office. He is not the personification of the nation. He doesn’t spout mindless platitudes and cliches like Trump, and he doesn’t wipe away fake tears like Obama. He’s just a guy with a very important job.
You need to understand that Russia, as a republic, is a very young country. People were not indoctrinated with patriotic, pro-democratic songs when they were kids. They are not fundamentally apposed to authoritarianism like us in the West. I think Putin is largely seen as a middle ground between the USSR and the Yeltsen administration. He favors the law and order of the USSR over the mob rule of Yeltsen, but he’s also anti-communist. He is, in some way, the best of both worlds.
And Russia has objectively become a safer more prosperous nation during this administration. Even people who don’t support Putin acknowledge this.
I don’t follow Russian domestic policy closely, but I’ll tell you what I do know. Russia banned GMOs. Women get 140 days paid maternity leave by law. There is universal healthcare. Keep in mind that their GDP per capita is only $8,748, which is 15% that of the US. For them to have universal healthcare denotes a concern for the well being of their citizens far beyond what we see from the kleptocrats in the US, where 45,000 people die every year due to lack of access to basic healthcare. I’ve heard that the quality of healthcare is not so good in Russia, but the fact that it is universal is still admirable. I’m assuming paying for higher quality is an option.
Putin also has QandA marathons of up to four hours with regular citizens. Here is one dubbed in English. I encourage you to check it out. I cannot imagine any US president doing anything like that. The questions do appear to be pre-approved, but many of the questioners are not Putin supporters, and there is a massive range of topics discussed. It is definitely not scripted. I watched this whole four-hour video over the course of a few days. You can learn so much from YouTube. I don’t know why anyone would still watch TV. You can actually see for yourself how the Russian system operates. You don’t have to take some American pundit’s word for it.
It’s not all good of course. Russia has a lot to answer for. For example: in issues of free speech and media. Profanity and depictions of homosexuality and drug use are forbidden on many platforms. Strangely, lingerie is also illegal. Russia is also, in my opinion, too tough on crime. It has some of the harshest drug laws in the world, and fines for traffic violations are insane.
But it is still not quite as bad as the western media would have you believe. There are zero laws against homosexuality, unlike in a lot of the US’s allied countries like Saudi Arabia.
There has been some very suspicious deaths of journalists. I’ve also seen compelling evidence that the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings may have been a false-flag power grab.
Ultimately, I think that almost all world leaders are ego-maniacal and self-serving. Russia’s leaders are not above my criticism, but for the Western media to single them out as some horrible outlier is disinformation.
In conclusion, I view myself as a global citizen. I try my hardest to view geopolitics completely objectively. My defense of Russia is because I feel they are being unfairly and dishonestly represented, not because I’m pro-Russia. I’m pro-human, pro-earth, pro-truth, pro-justice, and pro-peace, and most people I know could do with a bit more objectivity. Most people have boxed themselves in with labels. I’m trying to break through that paradigm. I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing.