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View Diary: AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria (109 comments)

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  •  don't know if cameron can afford to (7+ / 0-)

    politically. nothing putin does surprises me anymore. nothing.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:30:20 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, they seem to live in their own cold war. (0+ / 0-)

      Except their opponent appears to be the Kennedy Administration.

      They not only have different viewpoints about the world but they really seem to be living in a different reality.  I don't know if it's out of a desire for a fading superpower-turned-petrostate to still be a superpower or if it's a show to distract the public for their continued decline, but whatever it is, it's quite disturbing.

      I've never quite understood why Putin couldn't simply seek assurances from the rebels that their bases would be allowed to remain and then just sit back and not take sides.  If a military base is really worth this much to Putin, he's got stranger priorities than we thought.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:55:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  umm . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice
        I've never quite understood why Putin couldn't simply seek assurances from the rebels that their bases would be allowed to remain and then just sit back and not take sides.
        (1) Who speaks for the rebels?  The nice little committee propped up by David Cameron, or Al Qaeda, or the Saudi royal family, or . . . ?
        (2) Given Russia's almost exclusively diplomatic support of the Syrian government -- no arms except for the fulfillment of pre-civil-war contracts, no money, and certainly no "military advisers," this may have been all he wanted: assurances that he'd get to keep his naval base.  You think we would've settled for less if we were in that position?
      •  There is a lot of (0+ / 0-)

        what strikes us as living in the past about Putin/Russia.

        The 75 years of Communist rule resolved a lot of Russia's great international relations problems and empire aspirations and lack of contact and competitiveness with the rest of the world.  But such governments can't seem to solve internal divisions and hard social problems.  A lot of the regional/internal problems (e.g. the proper borders of the Republics, ethnic disputes and prejudices, true gender equality, colonizations, property rights) remained stuck where they had been in 1915 or 1925 by management of them and poor top-down solutions by fiat.  So when Communism and its forcible suppressions of internal disputes fell in 1990-93 there was an awful emergence of or regression throughout the USSR to many of the internal and regional problems and forms of around 1917.

        One way of looking at Russia since 1993 is that first Yeltsin and then Putin and the 'oligarchs' and the Orthodox Patriarch are doing a corrective, mostly domestic, rerun of what Russia would or ought to have been doing internally since roughly 1917.   I'd say that they're roughly up to where Western countries were in the 1960s now, with the Russian elites holding a similarly muddled, by majority superiorist and yet paranoid, outlook on Third World conflicts and the First/Second World-ish competition as Western elites did then.  The current Russian fear and loathing of Islamism looks rather parallel to Western fear and loathing of Communism in the 1960s- faraway conflicts and their fallout might embolden similar on or close to your own borders if The Enemy is victorious.  Or even inside your country.

        I don't get the value of the Tartus base (by description actually just a bunch of poorly upkept docks and warehouses and barracks) either.  It's their Guantanamo or downscale Canal Zone equivalent, perhaps- a token of spite more than anything else.  A distraction from the dismal and banal mire of domestic affairs.

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