Cleaning up Syria: What Comes Next

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Musburger1, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

  2. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    The articles primary theme is that US policy is unclear and that there is no effort by either the administration (this one or the previous one) to clarify policy and no pressure from the press to produce clarity. The possible result is a calamity where nobody understands how it precipitated.
  3. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    The battle that must never be waged is addressed in the back half of Putin’s State of the Union delivered earlier today.
    Scroll down about 60% of the way down to read the military component.
  4. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Begin at the 1:18 mark.

  5. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  6. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    No, that would be Trump and the idiot neocons like McMaster and the millions of ignorant Americans that wholly swallow everything they are told.

    The front half is Russian domestic policy.
  7. iatrogenic

    iatrogenic 1,000+ Posts

    It actually contained video footage of him landing on the moon, discovering America, and quarterbacking USC to victory over the Horns on 1-4-06 in the Rose Bowl.
  8. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    ... while wrestling a bear
    Mr. Deez likes this.
  9. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    That seems to be a consistent trait among all male Russians. They are all convinced they are smarter than Americans.
  10. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    How smart do you need to be to understand it’s foolish to threaten and antagonize someone with the ability to annihilate your country?
  11. iatrogenic

    iatrogenic 1,000+ Posts

    And Putin showing a computer generated video of mythical Russian cruise missiles approaching the U.S. is a excellent example of such stupidity and foolishness.
  12. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    If you had any sense, you’d realize that if Russia’s intent was to initiate a first strike they wouldn’t announce the capability. The goal is to convince the US to back off the ABM deployment, sanctions, and constant threats, because Russia can and will hit back. I know you can’t understand this but perhaps some people in the military may.
  13. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    Type "Russia" inside the search bar filtered by search titles and this forum, and here is what you get from the smarter crowd (aka Musberger)

    "Inside Seattlehusker's Russia" Exposed as Lies and Half-Truths" (you could and probably should do more of these)

    "Russia: Obama was the most evil President" (more of these too)

    "How Russia-Gate met the Magnitsky Myth"

    "Selling Billions of Weapons to the Saudis: A Great idea?" (this is really about key Russian ally Iran. Indeed most all Musberger posts on the ME come down to this simplistic formula)

    "Why can't the US and Russia reach an agreement in Syria?" (Can you guess whose fault this is?)

    "Who sponsors terrorism? (Can you guess whose fault this is not?)

    "The Russia Game"

    "RT Editor Lambastes Western Press at Russia-Chinese Media Conference ('she simply tells the truth')"

    "Buchanan: Trolling for War with Russia"

    "Opinion on Russian Perspective Toward US"

    "Putin has Turkey for dinner"

    "The Putin Interviews"

    "Interview with Russian Foreign Minister, Surgey Lavrov"

    "Lavrov Responds to Question About Globalism vs Populism"

    "Putin Documentary"

    "Putin ups the Ante"

    ....and so on ....
  14. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    And your point?
  15. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    But of course, the US doesn't have that sense, right? It announces its withdrawing from the ABM treaty, its deployment of missile defense systems, and the addition of more US forces in Europe, but it does plan to initiate a first strike.

    The military understands all the dynamics. Keep in mind that your rationale (that the West is aggressive and that the East is just an innocent force protecting itself) isn't novel. It's an old cliche from the Cold War era. Putin is just recycling and regurgitating their old tropes of spinning everything he does as defensive.

    The Soviet installation of puppet regimes with no political freedom in Eastern Europe wasn't for conquest but to protect against invasion from a US-backed Western Europe. The Berlin Wall wasn't intended to keep people from East Germany (and the rest of Eastern Europe) from emigrating to the West. It was intended to keep fascists from entering East Berlin. They even called it the "Antifaschistischer Schutzwall" (Antifascist Protection Wall). They didn't support revolutionary movements in China, North Korea, Cuba, Angola, Nicaragua, and Vietnam because they wanted to spread international communism. They did it because of Western "interference" in those countries. If it wasn't for the big, bad Americans, Stalin would have pulled all his troops back to the Soviet Union after Nazi Germany was defeated and called for free elections in Eastern Europe, and he and his successors would have had no ambitions or concerns beyond their own borders.

    Putin simply employs the same tactic. He doesn't want to build up his military or deploy missiles. He's only doing it because we're doing it. He's not in Syria because he wants to be there. He's only there because we're there. He didn't want to get involved in the Ukraine. He only did it because the US and the EU were involved. If he decides to launch a nuclear attack in Europe, it won't be for nefarious reasons, it'll be to defend himself from NATO ABMs in Europe. It's the same rap.
    Garmel likes this.
  16. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    A lot of straw men in your diatribe.
    First of all the current Russian government does not have the same ideology as the USSR, and Putin himself condemned USSR policies.

    Second, Russia does not have the financial might nor the manpower to reconstruct an imperial regime. The notion that Russia can invade, occupy, and pacify Eastern European countries, much less Western European countries is preposterous in light of those facts.

    Third, Putin has been consistently transparent on Russia’s assessment of the US pulling out of the ABM treaty, why Russia considers this a threat to Russian sovereignty, and how Russia would counter the move; unlike the obfuscation and lies spouted by the Neocon led US leadership which used the facade of protecting Europe from Iranian missiles as an excuse to expand NATO, surround Russia, install puppet governments and arrange coups, bomb former Yugoslavia, and make absurd claims as justification for economic war in the form of sanctions.

    While the USSR did engage in the accusations you enumerated from Viet Nam to Cuba, so has he US. And the US continues. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
  17. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    Just trying to help.
    (1) If we already know what you are going to type before you type it, then I am saving you a lot of time and effort. As always, I encourage efficiency.
    (2) Unless of course they are paying you by the post or by the word?
  18. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    They are compensating me in Bitcoin.
    Mr. Deez likes this.
  19. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    My guess is that Putin sees some positives and some negatives about Soviet policy. However, I'm not comparing their ideologies. I'm comparing their justifications for their respective actions.

    You sorta play both ends here. You go on about how strong they are and that we better walk on eggshells with them, because they'll attack us. However, when it's convenient you talk about how weak and poor they are and how they could never threaten anybody. They can't even threaten Lithuania, but they can and will nuke the United States.

    The reality is that they aren't a global power that can challenge the US or China, but they certainly are a major regional power that can assert its influence and cause a lot of trouble in nearby places like the Middle East and in Europe. And of course, things can change. In 1919, Germany couldn't threaten anybody. Obviously by 1939, they were threatening East and West.

    Just because you don't think Iran (a convenient Putin ally) is dangerous doesn't make it so. And this is my point. You say how transparent Russia is, but you only think that because you believe everything they say.

    Nobody's calling the kettle black. Both countries sought to expand our protect their influences and interests in those countries.
  20. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Russia’s weapons technology is every bit as good or better than the US. But Russsia cannot project military power globally as the US can because it requires massive spending - Russia doesn’t have the money - and also because military power works hand in hand with financial clout (IMF, World Bank, etc) and the US has defacto control of these institutions. It’s not that Russia couldn’t threaten or even destroy nations, but doing so would not bring about any benefit. How has the US benefitted from the destruction of Iraq for example? Yes, some companies and the MIC benefitted but America as a whole received nothing but trillions more in debt and a bunch of veterans suffering from assortments of physical and mental ailments.

    I never said Iran wasn’t dangerous. I said that Iran was used as a pretext for aggressive US policy directed toward Russia. And while Iranian influence in the Middle East is contrary to US interests in the region, wasn’t it the interventions by the US in both Iraq and later Syria which opened the door for Iran to expand a foothold in each country? But while Iran presents problems for the US in the Middle East, the capability and rationale for the Iranians to fire missiles into Europe was absurd.
  21. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    First, the ability to project power (meaning the presence of overseas military installations capable of striking targets that are far from the mainland) isn't what's expensive. The actual projection of power (meaning overseas war fighting) is what's expensive. Fighting in Afghanistan costs a fortune, but if the US redeployed its military forces currently based in Europe, Asia, etc. back to the United States, it wouldn't save a ton of money.

    Russia can and does have some bases abroad (mostly in proximity to Eastern Europe and Asia). Obviously, it's a fraction of what it had, but it's not insignificant. Furthermore, the Russian Navy is pretty substantial and has some of the world's best submarines (some of which carry ballistic missiles). The point is that their military and their economic clout are substantial enough to project power - not like the US can or like the Soviet Union did, but they can do it if they have to.

    Second, terms like "threaten" or "destroy" are loaded political verbiage, but Russia obviously benefits from its presence in Syria. It's not there out of the kindness of its heart.

    Third, you're making points that undermine each other. You claim that Russia wouldn't threaten or destroy other nations because it wouldn't bring about any benefit, but you claim that the US is endangering itself and provoking a nuclear attack on itself by things like NATO expansion, installing ABMs, etc. It's hard to reconcile those points. How would it benefit Russia to attack the United States for any reason other than a direct attack by the US on Russia? Suppose Belarus and the Ukraine joined NATO, installed ABMs, and hosted NATO troops. I don't endorse doing any such thing, but if that happened, Russia would still be out of its mind to directly attack the US in retaliation for that. Not only would it not benefit them, it would destroy their civilization. However, you think they'd do it but wouldn't do anything to the Baltic states because it wouldn't benefit them. That's nonsensical.

    Again, you're trying to have it both ways. If Iran is dangerous, then that suggests that the policy probably isn't pretext.

    They have a missile program and will have nuclear weapons, and they're likely getting Russian help in both. That's a good reason to deter them (and Russia).
  22. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Establishing military installations, building large fleets consisting of destroyers, associated air craft, etc., maintenance of supply lines, and doing this on several continents is a multi-billion dollar effort.

    If I want to place warships off the coast of Africa while simultaneously doing same in South America and Aisa, I have to have built the warships in the first place. That isn't something you can do when your military budget is 10% of what the US is. France, UK, Germany, Russia, China, and the US all have the capability of launching an attack most anywhere in the world. But only the US has the ability to permanently place equipment and personnel on site; a global police force if you like. This is what I mean by projecting power. France cannot intimidate Peru tomorrow with warships but the US can if it chooses. The UK can't launch an attack and follow up with ground forces in North Korea on short notice but the US has that capability because we have permanent bases in the region, particularly Japan and South Korea. This is what I mean by the ability to project power globally.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  23. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Its hard to reconcile these points because I don't understand what you're talking about.

    Did you even read my post earlier? The entire premise of Russia's accelerated technological weapons program is to have a response for a US first strike. Prior to the ABM buildup, the feeling was that if a nuclear attack was launched against Russia, they would retaliate. The threat of mutual destruction was a deterrence. The ABM installations around Russia are there to prevent a Russian retaliation. The idea is that a first strike would take out the majority of facilities. The remaining missiles would be launched in retaliation but the ABM system would in theory be able to handle the left overs that weren't taken out by the initial attack. In other words, Russia believes that the US has been preparing to actually win a nuclear war.

    Since the US wasn't going to negotiate and in fact keeps building the ABM system, Russia needed a deterrent. Now they have it. It's that simple. While the US is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on its nuclear arsenal, building large naval fleets, and erecting an ABM system, Russia has spent a fraction of that money and rendered the trillions of US tax dollars spent the past decade obsolete.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  24. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Iran is dangerous within the context of the Middle East. Not in Europe. That's not having it both ways. That's the present reality.

    We've used sanctions to deal with Iraq. That failed. We used sanctions to deal with North Korea. That continues to fail. We used sanctions to help cripple Venezuela. That has fueled anti-American animosity and that will fail. We used sanctions against Cuba. That has failed. And we have used sanctions against Iran. That will fail too.

    Russia is an semi-authoritarian country that practices capitalism. China is a communist hybrid country. Unlike the US, when Russia or China have issues with countries they generally use diplomacy rather than force. The results? Countries they have trouble with such as Turkey are beginning to shift toward them and against the US.

    Venezuela has an ideology different from both the US and Russia. The US threatens and sanctions Venezuela. Russia ships than food and forgives their debt. The result? Russia will have a trade relationship with Venezuela and will benefit from its oil reserves. Russia will likely sell them weapons which will allow them to defend themselves. The US will likely wind up fighting a guerrilla war in South America against a region that has become anti-American.

    But the topic was Iran. The principle is the same. We deal with threats and break deals, and eliminate any possibility of progress. Russia negotiates and tries to find solutions.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  25. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Hey, if you are upset about what the Russians have developed, don't blame Putin; blame Hillary.
    Article below.

    Starting in May 2010, The Washington Examiner reported, drawing on emails obtained by Citizens United, “Clinton Foundation staff pushed Hillary Clinton’s State Department to approve a meeting between Bill Clinton and a powerful Russian oligarch as her agency lined up investors for a project under his purview.”

    His name was Viktor Vekselberg of Renova (a Clinton Foundation donor) and the project under his purview was the Skolkovo Innovation Center, which is being built near Moscow. The following month, Bill Clinton would receive $500,000 for a speech in Moscow from a Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin, a Clinton Foundation donor, a Skolkovo executive, and which talked up Uranium One, whose sale the Clinton State Department would approve, and whose executives together contributed $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.

    This shocking set of emails that the Examiner reported on shows the nexus of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Bill Clinton, Russian oligarch Vekselberg, and Skolkovo, “Russia’s Silicon Valley,” the Putin project to transfer Western technology to Russia that was championed and driven by Mrs. Clinton — and, what do you know, 17 out of 28 tech companies that hitched up with Skolkovo also contributed to the Clinton Foundation? What a coincidence. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s support for Russian WTO membership made the whole global flow so much easier.

    No wonder Herd Media, the Uniparty Congress and FBI Director James Comey never noticed a thing. Oh, except that Putin “hated” Hillary Clinton, “wanted to do her harm,” as Comey told Congress this week. Grrr. Maybe hypersonic technology wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of the story.

    Let’s pick up with an Army report on Skolkovo written in 2012 (released in 2013) to assess “the implications … for U.S. policymakers.”

    Although military activities are not an official cluster of activity, the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. The project is a response to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, part of the Prompt Global Strike program.

    Fast forward to November 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was elected president when the US Air Force released a report on — no way — the Russian and Chinese hypersonic missile threat to the United States.

    The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study.

    “The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.

    “These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.”

    In a functioning democratic republic, the executive branch decisions and procedures and corruption that led to this defense cataclysm would actually alarm security officials, lawmakers, and even arouse media curiosity, if nothing else. But Skolkovo, the money, the corruption, the treachery, the danger, inspire no reaction at all.

    Not even this plain, shocking language, from the Army, circa 2012:

    Skolkovo is an ambitious enterprise, aiming to promote technology transfer generally, by inbound direct investment, and occasionally, through selected acquisitions. As such, Skolkovo is arguably an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage—with the additional distinction that it can achieve such a transfer on a much larger scale and more efficiently.

    Hillary Clinton, her State Department, the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton did much to make Skolkovo possible — did much to activate what was, according to the Army report, “arguably” a massive “clandestine industial espionage” operation. Not that any of this is in the past. This plain-sight-“research”-***-collusion with the Russian government goes on, and goes on unchecked — and despite the Obama administration’s supposedly hard-as-nails, cold-as-ice, tough-on-Russia finish.

    The Army report continues:

    Implicit in Russia’s development of Skolkovo is a critical question—a question that Russia may be asking itself—why bother spying on foreign companies and government laboratories if they will voluntarily hand over all the expertise Russia seeks? Since multinational institutions hire talent worldwide and seek access to foreign markets without regard for national interest, only the U.S. government would be in a position to persuade them to scale back their commitments in Skolkovo if U.S. relations with Russia continue to deteriorate.

    However, given the global dimensions of Skolkovo’s technology transfer program, it is not clear how much leverage U.S. industry has. Therefore, the key issue for U.S. policymakers is balancing the benefits of constructive technological engagement with Russia against the risks that Russia could leverage transferred scientific knowledge to modernize and strengthen its military.

    Whether that is the key issue for U.S. policymakers, circa 2017, one thing seems clear. They haven’t heard of it, and they don’t care.

    More proof that the hysteria over “Russian influence” on Donald Trump has nothing whatsoever to do with official Washington’s (read: the Swamp) concern about the national security of the American people. They are concerned about protecting the Swamp they live in and profit from, and that is all.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  26. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    If you have a $20T economy, financing a multi-billion dollar effort isn't that hard. It costs a lot to build the infrastructure for a global military presence, but once it's in place, it's not a big drain. We've been doing it since the Spanish-American War and especially since WWII. It's mostly already paid for. Before you start jumping up and down about our military budget, I'm not saying that our military isn't expensive. It is, but what I'm saying is that having a military presence overseas rather than in the United States isn't a big cost - certainly not in relative terms.

    If France or the UK actually needed to do something to Peru or North Korea, they would turn to the United States for help and use our infrastructure. Nevertheless, France and the UK have pretty substantial militaries. Certainly on a case by case basis, they can project power even on their own depending on what they had to do. They could do a hell of a lot of damage with air and sea power. Launch a major land invasion without US help? Not without massive conscription.

    What I'm talking about is that you've argued points that are in conflict, and now you're dancing around them by talking about MAD. That isn't the point. Go back and re-read.

    But you don't build your military infrastructure for the present reality but for the likely future reality.

    I sometimes favor sanctions, but overall, I'm not a big believer in them. I would have joined the sanctions on Iraq, Iran, and North Korea (like many nations have), but I believe in military preparedness more than in sanctions. That's why I don't crap in my pants over the Iran deal as much as some do. I think it was a stupid deal, but no deal would actually stop them from getting a nuclear weapon if they wanted one. My objective is to be prepared for that eventuality.

    I don't support sanctions on Venezuela, and though I would have favored sanctions on Cuba during the Cold War, by around 1995, I would have been negotiating a deal to end them. I think it's stupid that 25 years after the Cold War, we still won't buy Cuban cigars, sugar, or rum.

    For the most part, the US uses diplomacy as well. We have relations with every country in the world. Disagreements of one kind of or another come up every day. Military force is the exception, not the rule.

    It's easier to do that when you have a common enemy.

    I doubt that will happen. Could I see the US aiding anti-socialist rebels in hopes of Maduro getting overthrown? Yes. But a full-blown US intervention with ground troops fighting a guerrilla war? No.

    Russia has been able to negotiate deals with countries that are common enemies of the United States - Iran, Syria, Venezuela, China, etc. That isn't hard to do. However, if Russia was truly the benevolent negotiator, then they would be respected, and we would be isolated. The US "negotiates and finds solutions" with virtually all of Europe, most of Central and South American, and about half of Asia and a third of Africa. The handful of countries that can't play ball with the United States turn to Russia. Russia is the dude that hooks up with the jilted brides.

    In addition, if the US disappeared tomorrow, most of these countries would not stay allied with Russia very long.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  27. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Just a few disagreements or at least clarifications:

    1. The military budget in conjunction with the entitlements necessitates enormous deficit spending. This is sustainable only as long as the US dollar retains its position as global reserve currency, which leads to point #2.

    2. There are countries “on the fence” which are drifting away from the US and looking toward China/Russia. Turkey and Pakistan immediately come to mind. Such moves if consummated would strengthen the Yuan and weaken the dollar as well as geopolitically pressure the US.

    3.The case where the US military gets involved in South America on the ground occurs when Venezuela makes the move into Columbia and then Panama. Venezuelan seizure of the canal means war. Don’t think it isn’t a possibility and that Venezuela won’t give justification for such.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  28. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

  29. Musburger1

    Musburger1 1,000+ Posts

    Sound serious. Nikki Haley needs to shut her face.
    We will not hesitate to shoot out US jets in Syria
    On Mar 13, 2018
    MOSCOW, Russia – Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday that terrorist organizations in East Ghouta to the east of Damascus city center are preparing a chemical weapons attack to try and force a US response against the Syrian government as they will inevitably be blamed for it.

    Russia is completely aware of this false flag operation and has facts to prove that they are preparing to stage a chemical weapons attack against civilians by Syrian government forces, Gerasimov stressed.

    He emphasized that the United States plans to “furnish the so-called ‘evidence’ of the alleged mass civilian deaths through the fault of the Syrian government and the Russian leadership supporting it.”

    “As a countermeasure, Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts,” Gerasimov said.

    He then warned that the United States would face a Russian retaliation if they decide to attack Syrian Defense Ministry facilities.

    He explained that “in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles.”

    “At the same time, Russian military advisors, members of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides and military policemen are staying in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities in Damascus. In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them,” he said.

    According to Gerasimov, “events to further normalize the situation in Syria’s capital are going on.”

    According to earlier reports, illegal armed groups are shelling with mortars both positions of the Syrian government forces and the residential quarters of Damascus and its suburbs.

    Meanwhile, an intense 16 minute long video of the Syrian Army battling terrorist forces has been released. The video can be found here.

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