Report: Russian “anti-terrorism” troops arrive at Syrian port

posted at 4:50 pm on March 19, 2012 by Allahpundit

They’ve had military advisors inside the country assisting the regime for months and they’re doing their level best to meet Assad’s exploding demand for new weapons. But actually sending Russian special forces to Tartus, presumably to lend a hand in case Syrian troops need help with with their, er, “counterterror” operations, is a new one on me. Message to NATO and any other nascent western/Arab coalition: The price of intervention will be higher than you estimated.

Time to start paying closer attention to Syria.

A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was “a bomb” certain to have serious repercussions

Now the Russian Black Sea fleet’s Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency…

RIA Novosti, a news outlet with strong ties to the Kremlin, trumpeted the news in a banner headline that appeared only on its Arabic language website. The Russian embassy to the US and to the UN had no comment, saying they have “no particular information on” the arrival of a Russian anti-terrorism squad to Syria.

Russia denies it. In fact, their foreign minister said just last week that the country had no plans to send troops to Syria. The State Department also says it has no proof that the reports are true. Maybe that’s just both sides downplaying a provocation publicly while they scream at each other behind closed doors, but Zero Hedge notes that the RIA Novosti report appears not to say what ABC thinks it says, as best as anyone can tell from the Google English translation. The only media outlet that is, unambiguously, claiming that Russian troops are there is Al Arabiya, a Saudi-aligned outfit, quoting opposition sources. Could be that it’s nonsense drummed up by anti-Assad forces who are enraged at Russia’s backing for the regime, but Syria is awfully important to Russia — maybe enough so that Moscow would send troops there just for a few days to show the west that it means business. Why so important? Lots of reasons: Tartus is Russia’s lone remaining foreign naval base; Assad is, as noted, a voracious consumer of Russian arms; Putin’s probably anxious to show strength as he returns to the presidency, both for international consumption and as an implicit warning to Russian protesters. But the main reason is geopolitics. Melik Kaylan argues that it’s not Syria that Russia is desperate to protect, it’s Syria’s patron, Iran:

Why is Iran so central to Mr. Putin’s global pretensions? Take a look at the Caspian Sea area map and the strategic equations come into relief. Iran acts as a southern bottleneck to the geography of Central Asia. It could offer the West access to the region’s resources that would bypass Russia. If Iran reverted to pro-Western alignment, the huge reserves of oil and gas landlocked in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and the like could flow directly out to the world without a veto from Moscow.

According to an Oct. 16, 2008, Wall Street Journal report, Turkmenistan is “one of the world’s hydrocarbon provinces” with enough natural gas to supply Europe’s annual needs three times over. Similarly, Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oil field is considered one of the world’s largest. As things stand, these countries depend on Russian pipelines for their national income…

Russia’s gas and oil leverage over Turkey, Ukraine and much of Europe would evaporate. The Silk Road countries would finally reclaim their history since it was diverted forcibly toward Moscow in the 19th century. Their nominal post-Soviet independence would become a reality. Perhaps most irksome for Mr. Putin and his kind, large swaths of the non-Russian zone would prosper disproportionately in comparison to neighboring Russian Federation provinces.

Do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) J.E. Dyer’s two recent posts in the Greenroom on Russia’s strategic investment in Syria and why Putin’s willing to be proactive here while Obama, Sarkozy and whoever else is gearing up for the next coalition of the willing dither. This isn’t a zero sum game between us and them; Russia might, in theory, accept Assad’s ouster so long as it gets to keep its base at Tartus, keep the weapons flowing to the next regime, and keep the Muslim Brotherhood away from the reins of power where it might cause trouble for Moscow and Tehran. If the west chooses intervention instead of a brokered settlement, then it’s calling Putin’s bluff on turning this into an east/west proxy war. If you go for a brokered settlement, though, then Iran’s going to want some sort of guarantee that its own influence in Syria will be protected, which would be a neat trick for the U.S. since 90 percent of the reason to oust Assad in the first place is to shrink Iranian influence.

Exit question: Anyone know offhand how many total questions about Syria were asked in the 358 Republican debates held so far during this campaign? I remember at least one scintillating “this or that?” segment from CNN but not many segments about whether we’re prepared to fight a new proxy war in the Middle East with a fading but dangerous nuclear power like Russia.


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And then they’ll come here to watch our polls in November.

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

What could go wrong.

So, is Puty-Put worried the rebels will find out what the Ruskies pulled out of Iraq and have been stashing in Syria all these years?

Iblis on March 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Afghanistan part deux.

Wolfmoon on March 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

We should have let Patton go to Moscow like he wanted. Could have saved us a lot of headaches. Anyway, Obama will do nothing and Putin gets a new toy country to play with.

ThePrez on March 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

wtf…

So, is Puty-Put worried the rebels will find out what the Ruskies pulled out of Iraq and have been stashing in Syria all these years?

Iblis on March 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

v.plausible…probably helping the Syrians to get that ‘stuff’ out now …

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Putin doesn’t have the muscle for a campaign in Syria. This is mostly to try to scare Obama off (given how weak Obama is, this tactic might work).

At the start of the year I figured we were in for another year of emptying posturing in the lead-up to the elections. Unfortunately, I’m increasingly beginning to think the Middle East is about to explode. Everyone is waiting to see what Obama and Netanyahu will do.

Doomberg on March 19, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Western intervention in Iraq has already “cleansed” Iraq of Christians, do we really want to do that to Syria too?

It’s best to just work with Russia in anything we do with Syria.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Russia can feel bold now because the US is relatively weak in the Middle East and trying to exit from the growing disaster of Afghanistan. For the first time in two generations, Russia has a strong hand in the Middle East.

Don’t forget the leverage we gave Moscow when we were forced to open up supply lines thru Russia into Afghanistan. I’m sure its not lost on the Pentagon that Afghanistan is land locked and we must have reliable supply lines thru Russia and Pakistan if we are to fight or withdraw. Pakistan is slinking away in bitterness and can’t be thought of as reliable….leaving who?

Russia might still think they owe us one for their Afghan defeat.

richardb on March 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

What could go wrong.

So, is Puty-Put worried the rebels will find out what the Ruskies pulled out of Iraq and have been stashing in Syria all these years?

Iblis on March 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Bush said he looked into Putin’s eyes and was twitterpated. Obama, same thing only he views him as a “how to” manual.

arnold ziffel on March 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

We should have let Patton go to Moscow like he wanted. Could have saved us a lot of headaches. Anyway, Obama will do nothing and Putin gets a new toy country to play with.

ThePrez on March 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

‘us’ and the whole of Central and Eastern Europe, would have spared them 40 years of communism and tremendous life loss on a massive scale…on the other hand, it’s known that those who attempted (Napoleon, Hitler, etc), failed epically…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM

I don’t understand why we’re still enemies with Russia. This has to end because it’s pointless.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

AP said

I remember at least one scintillating “this or that?” segment from CNN but not many segments about whether we’re prepared to fight a new proxy war in the Middle East with a fading but dangerous nuclear power like Russia.

Russia isn’t a fading power- their GDP is growing more than twice as fast as ours.

Jon0815 on March 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Napoleon and Hitler never had nukes. :) Sure we just starting making them but we seemed to have the hang of it.

ThePrez on March 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM

I don’t understand why we’re still enemies with Russia. This has to end because it’s pointless.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

we’re still enemy with Russia??? :-) methinks they see it that way, that’s the Russian way…if you you think Putin/Russia has any loyalty or any respect for any ally or any treaty that they sign, you are mistakenly naive…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and got a sense of his soul. Obama looked into Sandra Fluke’s eyes.

Are contraceptives big in Syria?

SlaveDog on March 19, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Anyone know offhand how many total questions about Syria were asked

Last one I recall was to Perry and his suggestion of a no-fly zone, and that Iran was the real problem.

John the Libertarian on March 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

If ABC says it’s true, then it’s true.

timberline on March 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I wonder what kind of drinking game Putin and Medvedev play when they listen to an Obama speech.

SlaveDog on March 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku%E2%80%93Tbilisi%E2%80%93Ceyhan_pipeline

control Syria and you can control the BTC pipeline. The BTC pipeline is a major oil pipeline. Mind you that Russia is also interested in Georgia in the north.

ted c on March 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

This is not good. Obama is so naive and ignorant about diplomacy and working with other nations, that he’ll do the wrong thing no matter what he does.

Webrider on March 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Good. Let Russia waste their own damn resources in that giant ME stinkhole. Let the whole region become THEIR problem while we just drill drill drill for the next decade or two. They can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

Harbingeing on March 19, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Oh F*ck…

Sh!t just got real…

MooCow has had a number of run-in’s with Russian Marines. Dont ask how…just accept it. These f*ckers do not f*ck around. They are there for one thing, and one thing only. To mess sh!t up. Just wait, dear readers…sh!t is about to get cranked to 11.

Get your asses ready…

MooCowBang on March 19, 2012 at 5:13 PM

With Iran nearing nuclear capability and using the Hormuz Strait as a political football, Egypt turning hardcore islamsist and Russia sending troops to Syria, everything seems on track for some cataclysmic event later this year.

Guess the Mayans could be right, after all.

Norwegian on March 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Russia might, in theory, accept Assad’s ouster so long as it gets to keep its base at Tartus, keep the weapons flowing to the next regime, and keep the Muslim Brotherhood away from the reins of power where it might cause trouble for Moscow and Tehran.

Why would the Muslim Brotherhood cause trouble for Tehran? Wouldn’t the Iranian government WANT the Muslim Brotherhood to take over as many Arab countries as possible?

As for the Russians, the “anti-terrorism” excuse is lame. Syria only borders on Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, and is much too far away to threaten terrorism in Chechnya, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, or the former Soviet Union’s other former “satellite” states. If Russia wants Iranian oil, it can be easily shipped across the Caspian Sea, and Syria cannot affect that trade.

If Assad’s regime is threatened from within, the Syrian army must divert resources from Lebanon to crushing internal rebellions, which means that Israel may want to take advantage of Syrian weakness to oust Syrian troops from southern Lebanon. The presence of Russian troops in Syria could be used to intimidate Israel.

Think Beirut, U.S. Marines blown up in 1983 (by whom?), and even Ronaldus Maximus was unwilling to shed more blood for Lebanon. And Obama is no Ronaldus Maximus.

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Meh.

I’m not too worried about it. Vlad is not so completely deranged that he’d do anything more than protect his little Navy port from prying eyes. I do wonder what Russia has stocked there, though, that it needs an elite commando unit to protect it.

SD Tom on March 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Time for some serious CIA “work”. A few rebel bombs that just happen to blow up a few Russian asoilders.

Tater Salad on March 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Guess the Mayans could be right, after all.

Norwegian on March 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM

heh… The Mayans could predict ‘the end of the world’ thousands of years into the future but they couldn’t predict their own demise in their own time.

Ooooookay.

SD Tom on March 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

This is not good. Obama is so naive and ignorant about diplomacy and working with other nations, that he’ll do the wrong thing no matter what he does.

Webrider on March 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

It’s a boy trying to outfox a man…this is what happened to Kennedy, they steamrolled him within weeks of meeting with him.
In this case, I think they know that he is gone next year, so they are moving the timetable up to take advantage of him running for office, and being internationally naive.
There is not one seasoned international pro on his staff…not one adviser with international experience…and no, Hillary does not count.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

If ABC says it’s true, then it’s true.

timberline on March 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM

{chuckle}

Deafdog on March 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Russia might still think they owe us one for their Afghan defeat.

richardb on March 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Crapdonkey…MooCow thinks you might be right on that one, richard. How easy would it be to initiate a hostile action towards our beloved Homeland, now that Russia has two presidents coordinating for the overthrow of the United States. One in Russia, and the 5th columnist we have over here.

Crap…crap…crap…

MooCowBang on March 19, 2012 at 5:20 PM

*yawn*
Russia’s only military naval base outside of Russia is the Port of Tartus.

Next up: Ronald McDonald spotted at McDonalds.

blogRot on March 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Why would the Muslim Brotherhood cause trouble for Tehran? Wouldn’t the Iranian government WANT the Muslim Brotherhood to take over as many Arab countries as possible?

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

nope, Iranians are not Arabs and they don’t want an Srab dominance in the region…conversely, for most part the Arab countries in the region don’t like or trust Iran and their muscle flexing and fight for dominance in the region…why do you think Saudis, Bahrain, the Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, etc tacitly tolerate Americans troops and bases there…besides, it’s the shia (Iranians) sunni (Muslim Bortherhood) rivalry, they never had common goals or anything…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Maybe Pooty knows something we don’t? Wikileaks: Obama Secretly Took Russian Money for His Campaign

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

There is not one seasoned international pro on his staff…not one adviser with international experience…and no, Hillary does not count.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

What do you mean? Wasn’t she shot at in Tuzla? /sarc

Seriously, this could stir one European leader to action–Nicolas Sarkozy in France. He is currently facing a difficult re-election campaign in France, but many French conservatives feel a strong cultural attachment to Lebanon, and Sarkozy might spin the presence of Russian troops in Syria as a threat to Lebanon, and want to send French troops to Lebanon, to reinforce his own political support.

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

“Anyone know offhand how many total questions about Syria were asked…”

I can’t speak for the GOP candidates…

… but I heard that Obowma was asking if Syria needed any islands.

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 19, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Hillary does not count.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

.
WHAT??!! You mean Biden doesn’t give him the advantage of 35 years of Senate and Foreign Relations experience? Well, I’ll be…. What good is Slow Joe, then?

ExpressoBold on March 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM

now that Russia has two presidents coordinating for the overthrow of the United States.

Russia wants to overthrow the US… what would they replace it with? We’re past the age of ideologies except for globalism.

You know what, you can be a Christian in Russia… but religious freedom is slowly being undermined in the west and I’m afraid people like you will fall for it because it will come so slowly.

I personally support Russia as an escape hatch.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM

This report smacks of BS, the news source in russia they quoted, does not contain any info on any units being sent to Syria.

anikol on March 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I meant to include a question mark…

Russia wants to overthrow the US?

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Iran is Russian and Chinese attack dog against the USA so both will protect the ayatollahs. In that, they will be aided by Obama who probably fashions himself the Thirteenth Imam, or at least a prophet.

Archivarix on March 19, 2012 at 5:29 PM

The KGB has something on Obama. His passport? His birth certificate? His college transcripts? Something. That’s why Obama will let Putin do whatever he wants, at least until after the election. (I personally look for Putin to take back the Crimea from the Ukraine.)

Kaffa on March 19, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Seriously, this could stir one European leader to action–Nicolas Sarkozy in France. He is currently facing a difficult re-election campaign in France, but many French conservatives feel a strong cultural attachment to Lebanon, and Sarkozy might spin the presence of Russian troops in Syria as a threat to Lebanon, and want to send French troops to Lebanon, to reinforce his own political support.

The problem with French sentimentality over Lebanon is that English language is rapidly overthrowing French there.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Russia has previously invaded Georgia. The BTC pipeline transits through Tbilisi and ends up at the Med just north of Syria at Ceyhan, Turkey. That is probably what they are after–they are seeing it as a key center of gravity. Keep watching folks…keep watching.

ted c on March 19, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I personally support Russia as an escape hatch.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM

.
I mentally inserted a /sarc tag. What the heck kind of comment is that, anyway. Do you need to be under lock and key? Are you on meds?

ExpressoBold on March 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I don’t understand why we’re still enemies with Russia. This has to end because it’s pointless.

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

We’re still enemies with them because Russia feels that by attacking us, they remain relevant in global politics. They have become so weak, they were unable to even conquer Georgia, a small weak country, in their own backyard in 2008. Their behavior has less to do with anything America does and more to do with Russian longing for the glorious old Soviet days. We’ve spent years trying to make nice with them and it just hasn’t worked.

I frankly expect that the Russian state as we know is going to disintegrate into a morass of small and inconsequential principalities and republics in the next few decades.

That’s why I roll my eyes at all this liberal media panic of Russian intervention in the Middle East. They don’t have nearly enough power to actually stop us or Israel if we decide to do something.

Doomberg on March 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

nope, Iranians are not Arabs and they don’t want an Srab dominance in the region…conversely, for most part the Arab countries in the region don’t like or trust Iran and their muscle flexing and fight for dominance in the region…why do you think Saudis, Bahrain, the Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, etc tacitly tolerate Americans troops and bases there…besides, it’s the shia (Iranians) sunni (Muslim Bortherhood) rivalry, they never had common goals or anything…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I realize that Iranians are Persians, not Arabs, and that Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq do not trust the Iranians. But Iran has been arming Fatah and Hezbollah around Israel, and probably support the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt, which could break the Israel/Egypt peace accord and create a new enemy for Israel.

Assad in Syria is a Baathist, a former ally of Saddam Hussein (who had attacked Iran in the 1980′s), so Iran would be glad to see Assad toppled and create more instability around Israel.

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

They are to be based at the Russian naval base to fend off “terrorists” that might attack it. Doesn’t seem provocative in that context. The “freedom fighters” might want to annoy the UNs veto party pooper.

BL@KBIRD on March 19, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Exit question: Anyone know offhand how many total questions about Syria were asked in the 358 Republican debates held so far during this campaign?

Silly question. The Pubs are as useless on foreign policy as the Dems. Boehner and McConnell are stooges of Harry Reid’s and don’t know squat about foreign policy and are afraid of their own shadow when it comnes to Obama, Pelosi and Reid. This country is so screwed. When half the country is willing to vote for Obama, while the RINOs diss the conservatives, the country is beyond saving and frankly, may not be worth saving.

they lie on March 19, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Western intervention Islamic principles in Iraq has already “cleansed” Iraq of Christians

ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Fixed.

Islam is 100% responsible for Islamic oppression. No one else.

HotAirian on March 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Our enemies and our former allies all know that the current Obama is much different than the Obama they will confront if he is reelected. So far in his first term Obama is pushing appeasement as far as he thinks he can without risking re-election. If re-elected and free to be himself we will see appeasement that would embarrass Neville Chamberlain. If Obama loses in November his lame duck last 2 1/2 months will be particularly dangerous for America.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

That’s why I roll my eyes at all this liberal media panic of Russian intervention in the Middle East. They don’t have nearly enough power to actually stop us or Israel if we decide to do something.

Doomberg on March 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

But would Obama really decide to do something?

Israel might eventually attack Iranian nukes, but Obama? He would probably show Ahmad NutJob a map while Israeli fighter planes were on their way…

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Russia isn’t a fading power- their GDP is growing more than twice as fast as ours.

Jon0815 on March 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

That won’t last. Russia is in the midst of a demographic collapse, and those are death to growth.

Inkblots on March 19, 2012 at 5:46 PM

The Russian going to get killed. It’s one major proxy war in Syria and I wouldn’t want to get in the middle of it.

jdun on March 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Assad in Syria is a Baathist, a former ally of Saddam Hussein (who had attacked Iran in the 1980′s), so Iran would be glad to see Assad toppled and create more instability around Israel.

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Except that Assad is an Alawite Shia who share the same 12th Imam view that the Shia in Tehran do. That is the Iranian/Syrian connection. They both believe in their ability to awaken the Mahdi and bring about a new Muslim world. Silly, but it is their operative core. The Sunnis are at odds with them because they want to take the path of subversion,infiltration and slow demographic takeover with an end point of domination and parasitism over the subdued non Muslim world.

The Shia want to blow the planet up now and have the Mahdi sort things out and the Sunni want to take the planet by stealth eventually.

That they will succeed seems preposterous but they are going to make a hell of a mess on the way to failure.

BL@KBIRD on March 19, 2012 at 5:49 PM

But would Obama really decide to do something?

Israel might eventually attack Iranian nukes, but Obama? He would probably show Ahmad NutJob a map while Israeli fighter planes were on their way…

Steve Z on March 19, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Good question. That depends on whether Obama thinks a “quickie war” will help his re-election campaign.

Doomberg on March 19, 2012 at 5:51 PM

What the Bear didn’t ask our permission?

Putin will be like joining the wiseguys, if you let them in, they never leave.

What’s the Russian word for we’re here to help you? собственность

Speakup on March 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

We’re still enemies with them because Russia feels that by attacking us, they remain relevant in global politics. They have become so weak, they were unable to even conquer Georgia, a small weak country, in their own backyard in 2008. Their behavior has less to do with anything America does and more to do with Russian longing for the glorious old Soviet days. We’ve spent years trying to make nice with them and it just hasn’t worked.

Doomberg on March 19, 2012 at 5:35 PM

spot on analysis!! Since Russia has been threatened with irrelevance and can’t put back together the (ex)Soviet Union, its only option is to do everything it can to undermine and reduce the US power by obstructing American objectives. This is the fundamental aim of Russian foreign policy (well, actually Putin’s, but then he is a clear case of ‘Russia c’est moi’ :-). Think how often they use (or threaten to use anyways) their veto at the Security Council. This is why Moscow is constantly watering down or blocking resolutions that the US supports, whether they are directed to Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran or whoever. Their rational is that anything that benefits the US must be bad for Russia (guess Putin can’t get that Cold war thingy out of his head obviously :-), and vice versa. Classic zero sum politics. This thinking also underlies their geopolitical position in the Middle East.

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM

rationale, not rational…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Little pokes to the chest or setting up bases with which to defend/supply the oil drillers when Israel attacks or both.

Socmodfiscon on March 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

rationale, not rational…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Oh, please don’t ration my ale.

Speakup on March 19, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I personally support Russia as an escape hatch.
ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I’ll be glad to chip in on a one way ticket for you.

LegendHasIt on March 19, 2012 at 6:05 PM

A Russian / Shia Land (Iranian / Shia Arabs in Iraq) Axis

VS.

Sunni Land (Turks, Arabians, Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, you name it)

For the glory that is Syria?

God I can only hope!

Where do I get ticket? will there be popcorn? Has Vegas put down any bets yet on the over under on the body count and who is favored?

The only thing I can say is stay out of it!

William Eaton on March 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Um, the Tartus was Dr. Who’s transport.

Tarsus is a Syrian seaport.

exdeadhead on March 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Perfect. Now that the Russians have crawled out from under their rock, let them do the fighting in Syria. We shouldn’t lift a finger, or even say a word about this, from now, on. I hope this degenerates into a national bloodbath, and Russia becomes the target of super-increased terror attacks from Chechnya, Syria and anyone else that hates arrogant, pasty-faced infidels that have no regard for anyone, other than themselves. This could very well be Russia’s next Afghanistan, and if so, serves ‘em right.

Virus-X on March 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Perfect. Now that the Russians have crawled out from under their rock, let them do the fighting in Syria. We shouldn’t lift a finger, or even say a word about this, from now, on. I hope this degenerates into a national bloodbath, and Russia becomes the target of super-increased terror attacks from Chechnya, Syria and anyone else that hates arrogant, pasty-faced infidels that have no regard for anyone, other than themselves. This could very well be Russia’s next Afghanistan, and if so, serves ‘em right.

Virus-X on March 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

is there any indication that they’re actually have any intention of getting involved in the bloodbath, or it’s just flexing muscles..More likely Russians are rather protecting some ‘precious stuff’ that they gave/sold to the Syrians there, or are taking it out of the country, in case the UN gets involved, or the rebels actually win…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

exdeadhead on March 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM

UM, that was TARDIS for Dr Who.

And Tarkus for E,L&P’s second album.
;-)

LegendHasIt on March 19, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Is there any indication that they’re actually have any intention of getting involved in the bloodbath, or it’s just flexing muscles..More likely Russians are rather protecting some ‘precious stuff’ that they gave/sold to the Syrians there, or are taking it out of the country, in case the UN gets involved, or the rebels actually win…

jimver on March 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Interesting thought, -that’s likely why they were helping evac WMD from Iraq, because it had their fingerprints all over it. Ditto Syria?

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Next to arrive – the Chinese, North Koreans, Pakistanis and the elite pineapple throwers of Tonga!

This looks like the makings of a new “It’s a Mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world” movie! Mel Brooks and Monty Python in one!
:-)

albill on March 19, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Western intervention in Iraq has already “cleansed” Iraq of Christians, do we really want to do that to Syria too?

It’s best to just work with Russia in anything we do with Syria.

I have a friend who just married a Syrian Christian. Off topic, He had a nightmare trying to get her a Visa here because of where she was from.On topic the Christians in Syria are mostly for Assad because his Alawite/Secular dictatorship is keeping the Muslim majority from running them out. So I agree if he is overthrown the Religion of Peace and Tolerance will run all the Christian, Alawite and assorted smaller sects that have been there since the Roman Empire out.

Kerbouchard on March 19, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Syria is Russia’s last big weapons buyer. If Assad goes down, a lot of Russia’s armament industry is out of work. Two good reasons for Assad to be vaporized.

jb34461 on March 19, 2012 at 7:23 PM

So easy to get the Russians in.

So hard to get them to leave.

ajacksonian on March 19, 2012 at 7:54 PM

LegendHasIt on March 19, 2012 at 6:42 PM

That was a concept album, to be sure.

I personally support Russia as an escape hatch.
ninjapirate on March 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I didn’t know Gospodin Putin was registered here. Nice to hear from you, Vlad!

Iran, Syria, the Persian Gulf have all been in the Soviet (now Russian) playbook for decades. Why should anything change now? If anything, it’s easier with The Dear Leader in the White House. I spent too many years hunting bear to trust it when the cub nuzzles up to us and tells us not to worry about the growling in the cave.

creekspecter on March 19, 2012 at 7:59 PM

That was a concept album, to be sure.
creekspecter on March 19, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Huge ELP fan.. But I preferred Pictures at an Exhibition, Brain Salad Surgery and WORKS(1)

LegendHasIt on March 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM

“I will put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army…” (Ezekiel 38:4)

The prophecy against Russia drawing them nearer to Israel. It is all shaping up and the woose we got in the Whitehouse is making it all possible.

wepeople on March 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM

*yawn*
Russia’s only military naval base outside of Russia is the Port of Tartus.

Next up: Ronald McDonald spotted at McDonalds.

blogRot on March 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

I wouldn’t dismiss it with a yawn, but yeah the Russians want their base in Tartus badly. I wouldn’t be shocked if they sent some “counter-terror” experts to Syria since they do support the Assads and are thus a target. Also, Russian conter-terror forces are about the best in the world, combining the absolute barbarism of their opponents with the technology and education of the West.

jarodea on March 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Syria is Russia’s last big weapons buyer. If Assad goes down, a lot of Russia’s armament industry is out of work. Two good reasons for Assad to be vaporized.

jb34461 on March 19, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Yeah, not really. Syria does owe Russia several billion for weapons but it is still a small part of Russian arms exports (maybe 10-15% at most) and eports are now dwarfed by the purchases of Russia’s reinvigorated defense budget anyways.

Of course, never lose billions if millions will save it.

jarodea on March 19, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I think his adaptation of Halderman’s Forever War will also be classic.

lexhamfox on March 19, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Putin would be a fool not to do this.

Russia has few allies. It can’t afford to throw a friendly dictator overboard just because he’s a bit smelly.

And Obama may not survive his next election. If Putin wants to cash in Obama’s weakness for a foreign policy gain, now’s the time.

David Blue on March 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM