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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt, "Russian Moves in Syria Pose Concerns for U.S.": No Mention of Iran?

In a New York Times article entitled "Russian Moves in Syria Pose Concerns for U.S.," Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt tell us that the arrival of an advance Russian military team in Syria is causing concern within the Obama administration. Gordon and Schmitt write:

"Syria is one of Russia’s major arms clients, and is also host to a Russian naval base at the port city Tartus. But the new concerns from intelligence analysts, as well as news and social media reports in the Middle East, led to warnings this week from the State Department and White House about Mr. Putin’s intentions.

'We have regularly and repeatedly expressed our concern about Russian military support for the Assad regime,' said John Kirby, the State Department spokesman. 'But we’re also watching their actions very carefully. If these reports are borne out, it would represent a very serious shift in the trajectory of the Syria conflict and call into question any Russian commitment to a peaceful settlement.'"

But why should this come as a surprise to the Obama administration? After all, back in March 2012, Obama asked Medvedev to inform Putin, "After my election, I have more flexibility," and Putin is obviously taking Obama at his word. More to the point, Putin believes that he can now do whatever he pleases without objection from the invertebrate occupying the Oval Office . . . and he's right.

Gordon and Schmitt go on to say:

"[I]f Russia targets rebel groups that are opposed to Mr. Assad, they might be striking some of the moderate Syrian fighters who have been trained by the C.I.A. and the Pentagon."

Russia could strike some of the Syrian fighters trained by the CIA? Probably not, because it will be difficult to find them. Notwithstanding a $500 million budget to aid Syrian rebels, only 54 of such fighters have been trained, their leaders have already been abducted, and several more of them were recently killed in a battle with al-Nusra.

In fact, Gordon and Schmitt's story is not all that new. As was already reported by DEBKAfile on Tuesday:

"Despite strong denials from Moscow, Russian airborne troops are preparing to land in Syria to fight Islamic State forces. The surprise attack on Monday, Aug. 31, by ISIS forces on the Qadam district of southern Damascus, in which they took over parts of the district - and brought ISIS forces the closest that any Syrian anti-Assad group has ever been to the center of the Syrian capital - is expected to accelerate the Russian military intervention.

Moscow is certainly not ready to endanger the position of President Bashar Assad or his rule in Damascus, and views it as a red line that cannot be crossed. If Russia intervenes militarily in this way, Russia will be the first country from outside the Middle East to send ground forces into the Syrian civil war."

But what remarkably goes missing from Gordon and Schmitt's article is any mention of Iran. Russian deployment in Syria is being carefully coordinated with Tehran. Yes, that's right: America's P5+1 partner in the nuclear talks with Iran is now cooperating with Iran to prop up Assad, who just also happens to be an Iranian vassal.

And although Obama and friends now have their underpants in a knot over Russian intervention in Syria, they couldn't care less about Russia's sale of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran. Obama doesn't understand that that it's all part and parcel of Putin's expansionist designs on the Middle East, which are eerily reminiscent of the Cold War and include arms for Egypt.

Or stated otherwise, an omniscient Obama and his obeisant friends in Congress are being snookered by Putin and Khamenei. By why should this matter to Obama? In another year and four months, the president will have departed the White House and will be spending his days in golf heaven.


  1. My bet is the EU wants Russian boots on the ground and in the air in Syria, if only to end the refugee crisis.

    Keep your eye on the Sinai Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). This WH seems to believe that America will only deploy troops if they are guaranteed to not get shot at. Wonder how #44 will react to the West Point pillow fight injuries?

    #44 is more likely plotting to replace the Clinton Foundation: lots of money (from NIAC) AND plenty of golf .
    Whether anyone listens to him after 2017 is another 'legacy' question.

  2. As long as Congressional pockets are padded with NIAC money, all is right with the world.