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Putin's Lightning War in Syria

By       Message Mike Whitney     Permalink
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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

From youtube.com/watch?v=AgQRX-P5Itw: Russian AF bombing ISIS position near Khan Sheikhoun, Syria
Russian AF bombing ISIS position near Khan Sheikhoun, Syria
(Image by YouTube)
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For more than a year, the United States has been playing patty-cake with an army of homicidal maniacs who call themselves ISIS. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he'd had enough of Washington's song-and-dance and was planning to bring a little Russian justice to the terrorist militias that had killed 225,000 Syrians and ripped the country to shreds. In language that could not be more explicit, Putin said to the General Assembly: "We can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world." Less than 48 hours later, Russian bombers were raining down precision-guided munitions on terrorist strongholds across western Syria sending the jihadi vermin scrambling for cover.

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That's how you fight terrorism if you're serious about it. Bravo, Putin.

Putin's blitz caught the entire western political establishment flat-footed. Even now, three days into the air campaign, neither the administration nor the policy wonks at the many far-right think tanks in Washington have even settled on an approach, much less a strategy, to developments on the ground. What's clear, is that Putin's action has surprised everyone including the media, which to-this-day hasn't even settled on its talking points.

This is extraordinary. Ask yourself this, dear reader: How can our political and military leaders watch Moscow deploy its troops, warplanes and military hardware to a theater where the US is carrying out major operations and have absolutely no plan of how to deal with those forces if they are sent into battle?

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If you are convinced, as I am, that we are governed by numbskulls, you will certainly find confirmation of that fact in recent events.

But while the Obama administration is frantically searching for a strategy, Putin's air-squadrons are unleashing holy hell on the sociopaths, the head-choppers and the other assorted vipers that comprise the Islamic State. And Mr. Putin is getting plenty of help too, particularly from the crack-troops in the Iranian Quds forces and from the ferocious militia that defeated the IDF in two separate conflicts, Hezbollah, the Army of God. Check this out from Reuters:

"Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters....

"The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies," said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict....

"'The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisors ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more,' the second source said. Iraqis would also take part in the operation, the source said." ("Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources," Reuters)

A military alliance between Moscow, Tehran and Hezbollah?

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You're darn tootin', and you can thank Barack Obama and his lunatic regime change plan for that development.

Many critics of Putin's action have said that "He doesn't know what he's doing" or "He'll get bogged down" or "It'll be another Vietnam."

Wrong. The fact is, Putin is more a devotee of the Powell Doctrine than any of the morons at the Pentagon. And he is particularly mindful of Rule Number 5 which states: "Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?"

Has Putin thought about that or has he merely blundered ahead impulsively like US leaders are so apt to do? Here's what he said on September 30:

"We naturally have no intention of getting deeply entangled in this conflict. We will act strictly in accordance with our set mission. First, we will support the Syrian army only in its lawful fight against terrorist groups. Second, our support will be limited to airstrikes and will not involve ground operations. Third, our support will have a limited timeframe and will continue only while the Syrian army conducts its anti-terrorist offensive."

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.


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