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Here it comes: Syria

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Here it comes: Syria

Old 4th Jun 2013, 15:35
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Presumably Putin has not delivered the S-300s because Israel have had a quiet word with him explaining what would happen next. They won't tolerate a new threat in the area that could operate in a big slice of their own airspace.

This is becoming more and more a proxy war. With Iran supporting Assad and Hezbollah on the Shia side and Saudi and Qatar supporting the FSA and the Salafists on the Sunni side.
The large scale involvement of Hezbollah seems to have turned the current tide in favour of Assad who is using them, along with air power, to do some substantial ethnic cleansing of Sunnis out of Alawite areas. The Sunni's are responding by bombarding Hezbollah areas in the Lebanon. So we are getting a regional conflict. Israel will strike against Hezbollah every time they think strategy dictates that they must.

We should definitely not get involved in any way or form. Neither side occupies the moral high ground. Over 100 Brits are in Syria fighting with the Salafists, getting training and radicalisation, this they will bring back to the UK with them and cause much trouble. MI6 should be acting directly against these individuals.

Turkey complicates things. Till now they have been incredibly supportive of the Syrian opposition, acting as a conduit for weapons and training, as well as putting Patriots along the border. However they did not react when the Syrians shot down their Phantom. The current disturbances could distract the Turkish government away from the Syrian issue and if the army take over they would probably be likewise distracted. Or maybe they would be more hawkish.

Certainly we live in interesting times, with no outcome certain and with events certain to be very unpredictable. The biggest real danger to us is Syrian chemical weapons finding their way to the West for fundamentalist terrorist use. Followed by the danger of MANPADs being used at Western airports.

Last edited by Eclectic; 4th Jun 2013 at 15:36.
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 17:08
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Ah, yes... Israel the secret superpower!

Capable of dictating to Russia, secret funder of all the world's wars, puller-of-strings in the capital of every nation of the world.

We are all helpless against the Zionist Conspiracy!





See men in the shadows much? How's that tin-foil hat fit?
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 18:23
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GreenKnight121 View Post
Ah, yes... Israel the secret superpower!

Capable of dictating to Russia, secret funder of all the world's wars, puller-of-strings in the capital of every nation of the world.
Maybe not directly but given that Russia has a vested interest in the Assad Regime in order to Keep their sole Mediterranean Base, Russia might Re- think which wepaons to deliver based on 'Cost'/Benefit Analysis.
While S-300s won't help Assad much against the rebels it would be a direct threat to Israel. Israel hasn't yet got too much involved in the conflict.
Russia will prefer that it stays that way. In contrast to Russia, Israel has never shied away from intervening directly if they consider appropriate. So Israel could easily help shifting the powers in Syria if they feel it necessary. For Russia that is much more delicate.

Therefore I wouldn't go so far to say they could dictate but still they might be able to convince Russia that sending some MiGs down there is still OK but sending the S-300 is not a good idea. at the same time Russia can put some pressure on Israel not to intervene, threatening to deliver the S-300. Once delivered they can't use that any more.
So there even might be something to it....

Last edited by henra; 4th Jun 2013 at 18:24.
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 22:19
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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I see that this evening, the French are insisting that Assads mob are using Sarin gas. This based on:

1. Blood samples tested in France.

2. France has access to Sarin gas, if not from French sources I'm sure Bill Hague would gladly help out.

The "results" were passed to the UN who agreed, Sarin gas was in evidence, but they "could not" confirm the origin. I'm starting to smell a Bliar around somewhere. I'll take the flak, but could somebody tell me why we have to see more bodies shipped home, more people attacked and butchered on our streets because once again politicians fed us a load of bollocks? My personal opinion is that our beloved Foreign Office has picked a side, got it wrong and now are too proud to accept that the country is not with them. Once again, the smell of Bliar is in the air.

Smudge
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 04:21
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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You will get no flak from me Smuj I think you could be right, I would not listen to anything the polies say any more
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 06:29
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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No danger in completely disregarding what someone to include a poli says now is there?
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 08:03
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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The most hawkish Western nation over Syria is France.
The reason is simple. Francois Hollande, the president, is a socialist and so is making a huge mess of running the country. This is making him deeply unpopular. A good war would distract the voters and maybe make him less unpopular. It worked for Margaret Thatcher with the Falklands and Gulf wars.

As for nerve gas. It is obvious that both sides have it, the rebels having captured it from bases they have over-run. So who has used it? Why would Assad when he can just drop oil drums full of explosives from helicopters onto Sunni crowds, such as bread queues? But the rebels have a very good reason to use it. They can pin the blame on Assad and so bring in the American intervention that they so desperately want and need.

At the moment we are being fed a lot of disinformation by Hague, France, the Russians, the biased BBC, all the Middle East Sunnis, all the Middle East Shias and anyone else with a vested interest. Cynicism is the only sensible position to adopt. Certainly with so many fundamentalist nutters on the rebel side we would very easily make things much worse by intervening.

In reality we are probably headed for a no fly zone in the north of Syria. Enforced by Turkey, UK, France and USA. Luckily Obama is an indecisive wimp who sits on his hands and the Turkish government is otherwise occupied.
The rationale behind the no fly zone will be to stem the huge flood of refugees, which in itself is massively destabilising. Also Lebanon is a powder keg which is about to explode and further conflate the problem.

Ho hum, interesting times.

Last edited by Eclectic; 5th Jun 2013 at 08:04.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 08:43
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Regrettably, we're in this territory...


Last edited by Not_a_boffin; 5th Jun 2013 at 08:44.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 11:40
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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"Ah, yes... Israel the secret superpower!"

Wellllll...

Don't they have N weapons?

And a bigger airforce than Germany or the UK or France???

Plus a substantial army which is way better equipped than many in Europe??

They don't have much of a Navy true - but I reckon in terms of deliverable armed power they probably come second after the USA
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 13:07
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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@GreenKnight121
Israel is a strategic nuclear power. With around 200 warheads and Jericho III ICBMs to deliver them with.
Their military has a long history of striking with impunity anywhere they want to. They are exceptionally well trained, motivated and equipped. For instance we got much of our UAV technology from them and they lead in ABM technology.
They are a democracy with a popular and very strong prime minister who can be guaranteed to act as and when necessary. Mossad, their intelligence agency, knows more about what is happening inside Middle Eastern countries than their own leaders do.

Russia is a clapped out and highly corrupt shamocracy which is depopulating and has a critically ageing demographic. Their economy depends totally on gas and oil. They are led by an unpopular idiot dictator who postures like Mussolini and who is afraid of girls (Pussy Riot). Their military is also highly corrupt and based on a culture of bullying. They have trouble getting their rust bucket ships to sea or their geriatric aircraft in the air. A typical military breakfast includes copious vodka.

Syria is in the Eastern Mediterranean, an area where Israel has had overwhelming military capability for decades and has demonstrated this comprehensively and repeatedly.
Russia's presence in the Eastern Mediterranean is several levels down from that of the boy scouts. If they do anything that strategically raises the threat against Israel then Israel would have no compunction in acting, quickly and with full force. If Russian "technicians" are casualties then Israel will not give a damn. And Putin, for all his posturing stupidity, knows this.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 13:29
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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an area where Israel has had overwhelming military capability for decades and has demonstrated this comprehensively and repeatedly.
Excepting, of course 2006 where they arguably got their @rses kicked by Lebanese Hezbollah (sp?), despite apparent "overwhelming military capability". At best it could be called a draw; at worst a defeat for the Israeli Military - just saying.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 13:38
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Eclectic, I think that both Bibi and Putin are popular in their own respective nations. I remember hearing a former CIA man saying in his opinion that Putin is one of the most capable and switched on leaders in the world, mainly due to his FSB background, a leader who really understands what is going on and how the game is played. He is certainly more capable than any western leader. Most of my Russian friends like him.

Granted Bibi is highly switched on aswell.

While I agree Russia had huge problems things are improving and their military is certainly not anything the way you describe. They are either military power number 2 or 3 in the world, its hard to say if China or Russia is number 2. Eventually China will be number 1 power in the world.
If you were to add Russian and Chinese forces together right now you end up with something that really comes close to matching if not surpassing the US military.

Israel has probably the best trained military on Earth and are indeed powerful, far more so than any European nation, but they are not in the same league as Russia, China or the USA.

In conventional terms Turkey is a very powerful nation, her conventional forces are far stronger than any European military.

The west is supporting the wrong side in Syria. Russia and China are right to point this out, sure they have their own agenda, but it does not make them wrong.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 13:49
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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The news report that in Turkey police captured some folks with Sarin gas, folks who were tied to one of the Sunni factions, doesn't seem to have grown legs.
Was the report bogus?
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 13:50
  #154 (permalink)  
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While I agree Russia had huge problems things are improving
No, economically, militarily and in terms of population Russia is in terminal decline. Just a matter of when - especially since the only real market that had left - gas/oil - is dying due to the discovery/exploitation of shale.

A biased, but knowledgable blog on Russian politics and industry.

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The west is supporting the wrong side in Syria.
There's a right side? And do we have to support either?
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 13:59
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC, I would agree its best for us not to get involved at all, yet we are openly supporting the rebels, the worst of the two sides in my opinion.

As for Russia, having a vast nation, a small population and being rich in resources has got to be a good thing. I mean look at many of the European nations, small, hugely overpopulated, no resources, hugely in debt. Japan is the same. While Russia is hardly a top economic player I would say things are not nearly that bad for them. If their situation is regarded as bad then I cannot imagine how bad its going to be for UK, Europe, Japan etc.

I have always felt that the UK, Europe, USA and Japan are all in terminal decline. That the future is China, India, South America, maybe Russia due to her resources. I certainly think Russia has a better future than the EU.

I was reading recently how some of the most fertile ground for growing crops in the world is in Russia, with modern technology that's going to be another important industry for Russia to exploit. There will be a huge market with the people of China and India.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 14:00
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Lonewolf_50, the west probably killed the report as it makes the rebel good guys look bad.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 15:26
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC,

No, economically, militarily and in terms of population Russia is in terminal decline.
I cannot comment on the economy, nor population decline however, the Russian Navy is certainly not going downhill. A huge increase in spending is working its way through their system resulting in some excellent new submarines etc, shortly coming into service (well advertised from unclassified sources by the way).

As this post is about Syria, Russian defence material exports are obviously doing well too.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 15:35
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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@Party Animal

And Russian military kit worked so well against us in Iraq and Libya?

And the Israelis have no problem flying over Syria with impunity when they feel like it.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 15:50
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC wrote

"especially since the only real market that had left - gas/oil - is dying due to the discovery/exploitation of shale."

that only applies in the USA ORAc - Saudi/Russia/Iraq can still produce zillions of barrels of conventional oil at prices that are way below shale oil costs - which is why so far it hasn't taken off anywhere else

The US produces shale oil because it has almost run out of conventional - but the cost per bbl for Saudi production is lass than a$ 1 a barrel I believe

Shale oil needs something like 10-15 times that price to work even in the States
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 16:38
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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Eclectic, it worked well against US aircraft in Vietnam!

Also the west has not gun up against Russian kit operated by Russians for a very long time. I think the wars you mention and the way they went more reflects the quality of the military forces of those nations rather than the equipment.

Many have underestimated the Russians before and paid a very heavy price for that. Never underestimate the Russians.

When it comes to the west and its wars the Russian and Chinese people are fully behind their governments, they think one day the west may go against them, a kind of who will they attack/invade next?! Through these wars we lose any possible means of portraying ourselves as the good guys to the people of so many nations. We make ourselves look like the bad guys.
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