September 24, 2016

"Syrian and Russian warplanes launched a ferocious assault against rebel-held Aleppo on Friday, burying any hopes that a U.S.-backed cease-fire could be salvaged..."

"... and calling into question whether the deal would ever have worked. Waves upon waves of planes relentlessly struck neighborhoods in the rebel-held east of the city on the first day of a new offensive announced by the government.... Instead, the launch of the offensive called into question the entire premise of the agreement painstakingly negotiated by Kerry and [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei ] Lavrov over the past eight months: that Russia shares the Obama administration’s view that there is no military solution to the conflict. On that basis, U.S. officials have explained, Moscow would be willing to pursue a negotiated settlement in return for a cease-fire and the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States against terrorist groups.... The attack puzzled many in Moscow who thought that Russia wanted the deal, said Vladimir Frolov, a foreign affairs columnist for the Moscow Times. But, he said, it now appears that Russia is 'leaning towards the view that this war is winnable. Realistic people realize that this is not possible, but some people are unrealistic,' he added...."

From "A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria" in The Washington Post.


David Begley said...

What?! Putin lied and tricked Obama? Shut your mouth!

damikesc said...

Just think...we almost had PRESIDENT KERRY.

Yancey Ward said...

What sank the deal was the attack on the Syrian forces last week.

I truly don't understand what it is the US government hopes to accomplish in Syria. At least I can tell who the Russians are supporting, I don't think the US has any clue what it is doing, or who it is even supporting. I don't think in my lifetime I have seen a more incoherent military action taken by my own government.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary's proxy war with Putin continues apace. Flooding Europe with refugees. Isn't this the war that she paid Sidney Blumenthal ten thousand dollars a month from the Clinton Foundation to advise her to get America involved in?

From: Sidney Blumenthal To: Hillary Clinton Date: 2012-07-23. Quoting an Israeli security source Sidney Blumenthal wrote:

[I]f the Assad regime topples, Iran would lose its only ally in the Middle East and would be isolated. At the same time, the fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.
- Wikileaks

Now peace activist Julian Assange is public enemy number one to Democrats.

MaxedOutMama said...

Of course, there is a military solution. It may be horrifically bloody, but I doubt Putin is terribly swayed by that consideration after Beslan.

What we have here are unrealistic assumptions by US officials that have played into other hands.

It appears as if Turkey's current strategy is based on the idea that a ceasefire will not succeed, and that Turkey will be in a position to cut through the north and take the north Iraq (Kurdish/oil) territory back when chaos ensues. That territory was historically Ottoman, and keeping the Mosul area was one of the failed Turkish goals back when Turkey was formed.

This is a very dangerous situation, and Israel may be forced into the conflict at some level in order to protect itself.

Etienne said...

If the United Kingdom had negotiated a settlement with Germany, instead of declaring war on them, we could have prevented World War 2.

Does this sound reasonable?

To me, it doesn't sound reasonable. Having a military force inside Europe, who's goal was to destroy the status of other states who wanted peace.

It seems reasonable to me, that the United Kingdom would want an unconditional surrender. That the United Kingdom would bomb Germany in its cities and its factories.

That it would enlist other world powers to join them.

Thus, my conclusion is that the USA is interfering in a war that requires an unconditional surrender. The USA is prolonging the suffering by wishing for food and aid being sent to the people who are the enemy of the world.

There is no such thing as a good rebel in Syria. Syria belongs to the sovereign government, and unless you are willing to force that government out in an unconditional surrender through a declared war, than you are promoting a losing strategy. Only then can you say the rebels are part of your war, and thus legitimate.

The rebels thought they could win a short war. They lost. Now it's time they be shown the door, or be destroyed in battle.

Pugsley the Pug said...

I think John Kerry must have been writing his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech this past week since he announced the ceasefire. He probably considered himself the smartest man in the room during those negotiations. Yet, a blind man could see it coming once the rebel combatants relaxed, that Asaad and Putin would start attacking. I don't know he could take their word on this based on the history of those two leaders...

traditionalguy said...

Leading from behind seems to be getting us behinder and behinder and Russia aheader and aheader every day. A cynic might even say it has been an intentional failure.

Secretary of State Clinton's only claim to success is that her carefully promoted policy to start up as many Arab Spring Revolutions as posible has made the Malthusian Globalists happier every day as it faster and faster exterminates more and more of the Globe's surplus peoples.

sykes.1 said...

The attack on the Syrian army was the US military's veto of the Kerry-Lavrov cease fire agreement. It was essentially a mutiny.

damikesc said...

Of course, there is a military solution. It may be horrifically bloody, but I doubt Putin is terribly swayed by that consideration after Beslan.

For his faults, Putin learned lessons from an atrocity committed by Islamic fundamentalists in his country and vows to never allow one to occur again without severe and vicious reprisals.

I wish our country had the same view on that.

Etienne said...

The one thing that keeps Obama sending Kerry back, is the Israeli's know they are screwed if the Syrian government is victorious.

With the opposition destroyed, the Iranians and Russians will rebuild and create a power base on the Mediterranean.

It will be heavily armed, and it will want the Golan and UN Areas back.

Israel will have to give these area back, and the settlers will have to leave.

They are incapable of winning a war against Iran, Russia, and Syria, in order to maintain the Golan and the UN Lines from the 67 war.

traditionalguy said...

Coupe...Are you aware that you just sketched out the Hebrew Prophet's order of battle for the King of the North's invasion of Israel along the Jezreel Valley invasion route just outside Meggido.

Birkel said...

Remember that the people who voted for Obama were warned that foreign policy weakness would lead to death and destruction.

And greater regulation that choked an economy.

Etienne said...

Whenever I hear the word "cease fire" I think of poor Kissinger; living in Paris, having to eat all those gourmet meals, and suffer the Hotel George V, with it's overstuffed chairs and beds.

All he wanted was the f'n gooks to go plant rice and leave him the f'k alone.

Kerry got a note from Kissinger in Paris, and it said: "I feel your pain."

SayAahh said...

USSR in Afghanistan
USA in Viet Nam
Russia in Syria

MadisonMan said...

I don't understand how this happens. John Kerry is working so hard!

Etienne said...

traditionalguy said...Coupe...Are you aware that you just sketched out the Hebrew Prophet's order of battle...

No, No, I'm ignorant of all that. I was just channeling Patton.

Patton is my go to guy, as far as peace and war. He didn't believe much in the in-between. He thought the in-between was a weakness all in itself.

Can you imagine being half a Christian? No, it's impossible. Can you imagine half a war? How about half a riot? Half a bowling ball?

No, he would say: "Get off of my porch!"

MayBee said...

WTF are we doing?

Will Hillary be asked to defend Obama's foreign policy?

Sydney said...

Will Hillary be asked to defend Obama's foreign policy?

Of course freakin not!

Charlie Eklund said...

I don't know whether Trump will be a good President or not but there's no way on Hod's green Earth he will be as terrible for our country or the world than the deluded pack of numbskulls, fantasists and thieves that have inhabited the current Adminstration for the last 8 years.

I'm always telling people that I'm not Trump guy. I must admit that is no longer the case, since it becomes clearer every day that The Donald is the only way for us to get out of the many messes Obama and his nitwit brand of leadership has gotten us into.

buwaya said...

Of course its winnable.
The only question is if sufficient means are available to the Syrian government and its allies. At the moment they mainly lack manpower, their main deficiency almost from the beginning. Both sides seem exhausted, in different ways.

Charlie Eklund said...

Sorry for the typo above; that should be God's green Earth, that is. Hod doesn't have one, last I checked

buwaya said...

I also suspect that as far as US policy there goes, the right hand doesnt know what the left hand is doing. And that may go for all US foreign policy. The feel of it is the DOD is doing its own thing vis a vis State and anyone else, and the President simply isnt in charge. Whats going on is undisclosed to the public and seems to be covered by a blanket of silence.
Too many random, contradictory acts that dont mesh, like the huge arms sale to Israel, the weird years-long delay in assaulting Mosul (it took a fraction of that to set up D-Day), the failure to cut off ISIS oil export revenues, the uncertainty about what the now fairly numerous US troops are actually up to in Iraq, the recent bombing incident which was very unlikely to be a mistake, and etc. That whole business is a war of shadows.
And then there's East Asia. There are US forces moving around with what seems ominous intent, arms accords with Taiwan (heretofore held up mainly by US opposition), and surprising statements all around (the Vietnamese talks with China are actually the most surprising) plus a glaring, deliberate, incredibly insulting Chinese snub to Obama (this kind of thing is taken very seriously there). Another "Great Game" is going on there, in the shadows.

buwaya said...

As for that bombing incident that scuppered the Syrian ceasefire, allegedly, the assertion going around is that the Pentagon did it deliberately as it is conducting its own Middle Eastern foreign policy.

MacMacConnell said...

Time for the go to Obama sure fire option of a lie and a bribe.

Paco Wové said...

"Moscow would be willing to pursue a negotiated settlement in return for a cease-fire and the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States"

Jeez. From totally bollixing up the Ukraine to this fantasy that Russia aches to be our best friend. US policy w.r.t. Russia seems not just misguided but out-and-out delusional.

buwaya said...

Re Israel vs Iran, Russia, Syria,

Syria (the government) has very little reliable manpower and even in case of victory will be occupied with internal security and economic recovery, because their country is wrecked. Russia is broke, and Iran isnt quite broke simply because the US gave them a pile of cash, though even they cant seem to raise any cannon fodder. And Hezbollah seems to be suffering the effects of WWI level casualties in war exhaustion.

Roger Sweeny said...

Can you imagine being half a Christian?

Sure. Go to any non-evangelical seminary.

khesanh0802 said...

@maxedout mama 0716 This piece in the WSJ a couple of days ago.

If you hit a pay wall here's is the lede:" While international attention is focused on fighting Islamic State in its heartland in Raqqa and Mosul, a much smaller but strategically important pocket of territory has fallen under the extremist group’s sway in southern Syria, right along the borders of Jordan and the Israeli-held Golan Heights."

"Dangerous" is a perfect description. The Russians, Syrians, Turks and Kurds all seem to have a pretty good idea of what they hope to accomplish. Meanwhile Obama and Kerry keep reaching behind themselves searching for their cheeks - without success.

chuck said...

Remember the long civil war in Sri Lanka and how it ended? China gave the government enough weapons to win, war settled everything. Somehow the peace studies folks had managed to drag it out forever with attendant death and destruction. I think they should study war more and peace less.

Sebastian said...

There is no military solution, i.e., there is no military solution for a country that refuses to fight, doesn't know what it wants, and has a leader intent on weakening it. In other words, for the U.S. there is no solution at all. We don't even know what it would mean to "solve" the Syria problem. O is just trying to run out the clock. There is no military solution for Assad and Putin -- except in the sense that they will create facts on the ground that will leave them politically dominant. They'll call it a political solution. They are close to achieving it. They know what they want and are willing to incur the costs. We don't know what we want and are not willing to incur the costs for whatever it is we don't know we want.

MaxedOutMama said...

khesanh0802 - thanks very much. I hadn't seen that. It is inevitable.

The last two months I have been scared out of my mind, because it looks as if we are sleepwalking into WW III. There's not a doubt in my mind that China would be somewhat satisfied by a Gulf conflict (even though it might be inconvenient to some extent with regard to shipping for their large African interests), because it would prevent the US and whatever is left of NATO from interfering with their gradual Pacific expansion.

Without Turkey, NATO is in a very feeble position in the Middle East. And it is clear we no longer have Turkey.

It is to the interest of a great many players to have a widespread eruption of regional conflicts, and it doesn't seem that anyone has a strategy to even minimize the explosion.

Trump is not my cup of tea for many reasons, but I expect far more international realism from a Trump administration than from a Clinton administration, so I am now chomping at the bit to vote for Trump. I was very happy to read of his meeting with Al-Sisi, because the Egyptian relation (and the Egyptian trust in that relation) is now completely critical. It will cost us a lot, but it will be worth it.

ddh said...

"A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria"


mikee said...

Russians and Syrians commit genocide to keep a tyrant/puppet in power, and the story concludes, "U.S. may be wrong on Syria."

This is the Post, where the summation of every story is that the US is horribly wrong about something. Had it been an article in the Times, it would have concluded, "Women and minorities hardest hit."

The US press is irredeemable, deplorable, and should be put in a basket on a hillside to die in the cold night.

JAORE said...

""A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria"


ddh, I was on the verge of typing the exact same thing.

cubanbob said...

Syria under the Assads has been ruled by the Baath Party, an Arab neo-nazi party and the scary thing is that they are relatively sane in comparison to whatever faction of Al Qaeda we seem to be backing. Fortunately in spite of themselves Obama and the Democrats haven't been able to kill fracking and that has lead to a huge drop in revenue for the terrorist sponsoring states.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Dear Yancey,

I don't think in my lifetime I have seen a more incoherent government.
9/24/16, 7:11 AM


mockturtle said...

From Time Magazine, August 10, 2016, "Why Washington Is Worried About a Shifting Rebel Alliance in Aleppo: The role of the hardliners in the current opposition offensive unsettles some moderate Syrian opposition activists. Popular support has waned for moderate Syrian rebels, who say the U.S. and other Western supporters have failed to offer them enough support to turn the tide of the war. The jihadists however scored a significant victory this week with the estimated 300,000 people who live in the rebel sector. Emphasis mine.

The same old story, isn't it? The 'moderates' want more Western support, which amounts to little more than a veiled threat to not remain moderate. Whatever support we give will be appropriated by the jihadists, anyway. Will we never, ever learn?

mockturtle said...

Patton is my go to guy, as far as peace and war. He didn't believe much in the in-between. He thought the in-between was a weakness all in itself.

Coupe, Patton is my favorite, too, of the modern generals. Decisive, audacious and highly effective. I think our troops today are demoralized for lack of leadership and purpose. And, worse, for lack of a coherent foreign policy.

Joe said...

that Russia shares the Obama administration’s view that there is no military solution to the conflict.

How this view could arise baffles me. Russia's support for Syria has been consistent and stable since 1946. It's likely the Soviet Union was partly responsible for bringing the al-Assad family to power.

A big question is that with the so-called peace agreement, whom was the US representing and did ANY of these parties agree to this? Rhetorical question since the US didn't know who the hell they were representing and nobody agreed to the US doing so regardless.

Fact is, there is nobody to support. All sides, except perhaps, the Kurds, are bastards.

If Russia/Syria launched a new attak, they must have done so for a reason. What was that reason? Hell if I know since the Western press has been such liars and in-the-bag for Obama, they are no more reliable than the Russian press.

khesanh0802 said...

@mockturtle Demoralized? You bet. How would you feel if Obama was your commander? Everything I have read says that our troops are overstressed, without enough money or time to train and our readiness is abysmal. My favorite hobby horse is that Marine Corps air is at roughly 50% of capability; not enough planes, not enough pilots, not enough parts. Our defense "establishment" is overwhelmed by a lack of seriousness and rampant politics at its highest levels. Trump and a responsible Congress is the only answer.

mockturtle said...

Trump and a responsible Congress is the only answer.


wildswan said...

I see Obama as basically a spoiled brat who has inherited a large rich complex enterprise and has no idea how to keep it going. He has a bucket list of lefty wishes and his idea is to utter a command that lefty wish #117 or whatever is to come true. Then the little band that really wants #117 rushes forward to carry out the command. Obama's departments will deny Federal funding if the lefty platoon is obstructed so they have that going for them. But nothing can be done without management and leadership and Obama never ever supplies that. He's gone on to Lefty wish #118. And the little platoon just holds its position. It's like school lunches. It's acknowledged that the consequence of Obama's lunch policies is that less protein is being eaten by poor kids because they won't eat most kinds of the only food the schools are allowed to offer. They don't like lentil-barley soup and that is that. They are just kids. But nothing changes even though the policy is obviously bad. No one least of all Obama cares. The meal plan is healthy - end of his interest. It's all like that. If in some world that doesn't exist Obama would be right, then he is right here and now.

And foreign policy is the same. Who knows by now what should be done? Obama is just carrying out some idea formed in 1956 by Edward Said and the unreality of orders and his detachment from results is a factor no one in US foreign policy can mention. But it's important.

And all along he thinks he's great because another order has been issued, another lefty wish is checked off. And the rich little brat goes to a party and then the golf course, ignoring the carnage following all previous orders and then into the White House to issue another fact-free order. Someone goes hungry, someone dies, someone loses their home, someone isn't treated by their unknown doctor. The brat goes to party.

Clyde said...

Darn it, I thought that Neville Obama had brought us Peace In Our Time! It appears that both he and Lurch Kerry have been hornswoggled again by Putin & Co.

Clyde said...

@ Charlie Eklund

Well, technically Höðr is/was a god, and his name is often anglicized as Hod. In Norse mythology, he's the blind god who was tricked into shooting the mistletoe arrow that killed Baldur.