Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Putin and Assad are on our side, says new UKIP leader Nuttall

So goes and article in The Times.

So this is true, is it not?

The Middle East is complicated beyond belief. However, the West has been backing so-called moderate groups in Syria, most of which  have turned out to be terrorist groups.

The US has been bombing mainly ISIS, which is also what Assad has been doing. So have Hezbollah and Iran and Iraq - a coalition of the awkward!

Wow, this is some mess, the main backers of ISIS are Saudi, Turkey and the Gulf States, however they have backed off in recent months.

It is a complete shower of a situation, in Aleppo people are being both bombed by the Government and also held hostage as human shields by terrorists - what a terrible place to be in all respects.

Putin of course has his own ends in mind, mainly to get a Syrian base and keep some Middle East influence, he is hardly in it for a greater good in which he does not believe.

Assad is a murderous bastard too who was the original cause of this by allowing his people to starve despite Syria having more than enough resources to enable a functioning state.

Given where we are though, the quicker ISIS is destroyed and peace returned to Syria and Northern Iraq, the quicker the deaths will end.

There re no good guys to back in this awful situation.


hovis said...

I would suggest the US has effectively been arming ISIS and the Kurds et al. Two elements of the US Deep State are at proxy war in Syria. So it is not untrue that the US is arming and supporting ISIS along with the Saudi's, Turkey etc. It's just not all of the US political/military machine just part of it. We don't live in the binary world many would have you believe.

Putin already has Tarsus as a long established facility if not base. I'm am persnally not sure he necessarily wants another one.

dearieme said...

Yes, I've seen the claim that the Syrian war includes a sub-war of CIA-sponsored terrorists versus Pentagon-sponsored terrorists. So corrupt and incompetent has the Obama administration proven to be that I can just about think it might be true.

And, of course, there is the story that the US supplied some arms to Libyan terrorists with the intention that they be passed on to Syrian terrorists. That allegedly was the policy of the State Department under Hillary Criminal.

Suff said...

Don't tell the BBC. Putin doesn't like gays and that trumps all the above

DJK said...

Ever heard of end user certificates? The Saudis can only supply ISIS/ISIL/Daesh with US weapons if the US govt gives their approval.

Blue Eyes said...

I have been boring on for years that the West should hold its nose, swallow its pride, and go in to back the government to restore peace and order. Only once that is done should it try to get Assad out. He is surely a horror, but there isn't much point in having a soft and friendly guy in charge if he isn't really in charge.

dearieme said...

"the West should": the West should do nowt. Noe of our business.

Blue Eyes said...

Ah yes, because if we do nothing everything will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Destroying ISIS would be good, but it won't bring peace to Syria while Assad and Khameini are bent on subduing the Sunnis.

Assad is a classic Fascist dictator who will always resort to violence and lies whenever things are not going his way.

Don Cox

Electro-Kevin said...

The ME needs nasty dictators, I'm afraid.

Thud said...

EK, it seems to doesn't it? you need to blog again.

Steven_L said...

I always presumed everyone in the middle east all fighting each other would be regarded by 'the establishment' as a foreign policy success. Surely Russia being up to their eyeballs in it should be the icing on the cake?

Anonymous said...

We've got an idea of what Clinton was doing at the State department, destroying Libya, running away from the mess in Iraq and destabilising Syria and promoting civil war in that benighted country.

Probably on the instruction of the Saudi theocracy channelled through the moslem brotherhood via Huma Abedin.

In short, Saudi Arabia had taken over the US armed forces and used them to destroy each and every secular Arab regime in the middle east. Even though by comparison with the West, they looked like barbaric vicious regimes, with hindsight, they were oases of tranquillity.

And probably, much, much better than Saudi Arabia.

Umbongo said...

It used to be - before WW1 - that the general policy of the British government (and applied by the Foreign Office) was to ask the question "What's good for Britain?" and act accordingly. Something happened during WW1 such that after WW1 the FCO gradually became (much like the BBC now) internationalist in general and anti-British in particular.

Well what's good for Britain now in Syria is either hands off or support Assad: actually it was in our interest to support Assad from the start. The Middle East is - apart from the obvious exception - an undemocratic shithole. Dictatorship (even if dressed up as a monarchy as in Jordan) is the default position. Get used to it. Our foreign policy there should be simply to ensure that the bastards are our bastards.

dearieme said...

"if we do nothing everything will be fine"

If we do anything nothing will be fine - see Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria so far.

L fairfax said...

@"There re no good guys to back in this awful situation. "
Surprisingly few people seem to realize this.
@"The Middle East is - apart from the obvious exception - an undemocratic shithole"
What is different about the exception?

Anonymous said...

L,Fairfax asks
What is different about the exception?

Homosexuals and christians don't get thrown from the top of buildings.

Steven_L said...

Well what's good for Britain now in Syria is either hands off or support Assad: actually it was in our interest to support Assad from the start.

I'm not sure it would have been in our interests to arm Assad and incur the wrath of the USA. If the USA wanted to, they could trash the UK and turn it onto a failed state in two weeks or less. So setting ourselves against them would be a tad silly really.

Long term, it's in our interests to stop the Arab and wider Islamic world from uniting and becoming a superpower surely? Hence the default policy of the west there is to try and get them all fighting each other.

You remember a while back in Iraq, Basra I think it was, when the local cops caught a couple of UK troops dressed as Arabs with a car full of explosives? Don't you think it's a bit odd that uk troops would be disguised as Arabs and carrying around a load of bomb-making equipment? I guess they might of been on some kind of undercover sting. But then again?

James Higham said...

Needs a new Operation Cyclone Now Passed.

Umbongo said...

"I'm not sure it would have been in our interests to arm Assad and incur the wrath of the USA"

Support doesn't necessarily mean arm. It means advising the US - as a good friend would - about where its interest lie. It might be that we're ignored. Fine - let the US do what it will in Syria - we can't stop them but we don't actually have to help them.

It seems though that for all the might of the US, Assad is still there and, moreover, winning. Had we supported Assad - diplomatically - or just let matters develop, we might have become an agent of influence in post-civil war Syria. As it is, we're ignored by the Syrians and, for what it's worth, continue to be treated with disdain by the Obama administration (as we have been since 2009).

IMHO the FCO comprises a mob of Arabists and fans of the EU (not mutually exclusive but united in their contempt for this country). In neither the MidEast nor Europe have we, what's the expression?, "punched above our weight". To the contrary: unless "weight" constitutes acting as the US lapdog in the Mideast or signing cheques while giving away our sovereignty cheap in the EU.

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Steven_L said...

It seems though that for all the might of the US, Assad is still there and, moreover, winning.

I get the impression the current US administration are very reluctant to get overtly involved with any sort of foreign conflict. If they wanted to trash anything more threatening than AK47's and RPG's then march in and string him up like they did Saddam, they could. They have the muscle to do that.

But there's not much political will of the electorate over the pond to get too involved in this stuff. But I reckon they have ditched the 'regime change' experiment of the Bush years. Now they've gone back to the old 'keep them at each others' throats' policy of old, which they are pulling off very well by the looks of things.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

It took huge nasty wars to cure the Germans & Japanese of their militarism. The same thing needs to occur in the Sunni Muslim world. Consequently the apparent US policy of arming whoever is losing & keeping them all at it hammer and tongs in perpetuity makes perfect sense.

I can't think of any other explanation for their behaviour since 2008.

rwendland said...

Jane's Defence Weekly actually got its hands on the shipping list[*] of weapons "the United States is providing to Syrian rebel groups" shipped in December 2015. 994.2 tonnes of material (including packaging and containers):


730 odd tonnes of ammo (upto 82mm), 215 odd tonnes of RPG warheads, and 35 odd tonnes of weapons including 2.7 tonnes of anti-tank weapons. Almost all of Eastern European origin Soviet-type weapons.

They are feeding quite some fire-fight.

[*] The joys of military privatisation - the shipping documents came from the Federal Business Opportunities website!