Some thoughts on Putin’s op-ed article in the NYT – John Gelmini

English: Vladimir Putin at school age

English: Vladimir Putin at school age (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vladimir Putin makes good points in his Op -Ed concerning the risks of wider war and more casualties.

However, his real concern is the retention of the Port of Tartus and continued arms sales to Syria.

For all the talk about international law, the Putin article shows that what both Russia and the West wants is control of Syria.

Russia wants it as a warm water port in the Mediterranean, something they have coveted since before the Crimean War and in several brutal wars with the British in Victorian times.

Secondly, they want it as a first line of defense against a military strike on Iran and Iran as a second line of defense against an attack on themselves(See PNAC website).

Thirdly, he sees himself as the savior of Greek Orthodox Christians and has made a promise to the head of that church to defend it and its values which is part of the rationale behind his anti gay legislation and his desire to stop the march of militant Islam in the Caucasus,the Balkans and everywhere else.

America for all the hand wringing about gas attacks and 5 million refugees, wants to topple the regime as a precursor to doing the same in other countries including Iran.

So far Putin, being more fleet of foot than the cautious Obama, is winning the argument because the vast majority of the public in America, the UK and Europe are heartily sick of wars which deliver death, destruction and more trouble rather than the purported benefits of acting or “making history” as Senator McCain puts it.

That said, we should not see Vladimir Putin as someone entirely reasonable with whom we can have tea and cake on the vicarage lawn after lunch.

Chechnya with its oil pipeline was subjugated by being reduced to rubble at the behest of Putin albeit with the squeamish acquiescence of the G8 and the EU as it was at the time.

Other uprisings in the Muslim fringe of Russia have been crushed and the Ukraine and Estonia were subjected to blackouts by the GRU‘s 2 million cyber warriors and cutoffs of gas and power when they failed to pay their bills and when Estonian Nazi sympathisers defaced a Russian war memorial.

With him and the Chinese it is all about realpolitik and the endgame rather than the niceties that precede action.

John Gelmini

 

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5 responses

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