Putin Stings America
I bring to your attention these two beauties:
“We have a contract for the delivery of the S-300s. We have supplied some of the components, but the delivery hasn’t been completed. We have suspended it for now. But if we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world.”
Translation: if you bomb Syria against our wishes, we will make sure it’s much harder for you to bomb other countries in the future.
6. On U.S. failure to bring Snowden home to face justice:
“Representatives of the American special services — and I hope they won’t be angry — but they could have been more professional, and the diplomats as well. After they found out that he was flying to us, and that he was flying as a transit passenger, there was pressure from all sides — from the Americans, from the Europeans — instead of just letting him go to a country where they could operate easily.”
Translation: Your secret services are incompetent. Why not let him fly somewhere where you can send a drone, or helicopter gunships or covert operatives?
Of course, that’s why Snowden went first to China and then to Russia: they are countries that the US can’t drone without huge repercussions. Most countries can’t do a damn thing if the US sends in drones or gunships, they just have to take it, they have no real retaliatory ability.
Putin’s a profoundly evil man, as with most world leaders, but he’s also one of the few who is also frighteningly competent.
As for Syria, it is now clear that Obama will almost certainly get his war resolution, unless there’s a huge caucus revolt amongst Republicans. The Ba’ath will fight, they have no choice because they believe (correctly, in my opinion) that if they lose their families and communities will be slaughtered. Syria may not have the best Russian AA weapons, but it has better weaponry than any other enemy the US has faced in decades, and has Iranian and Hizbollah support (ie. competent advisers and troops with which to use those weapons.)