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POLITICS: Russia Will Take Syria's Side if Conflict Arises With The U.S. Over Assassination Charges

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posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 01:19 AM
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According to Novosti, a Russian News and information agency, Russia will take Syria's side if a conflict arises between the U.S. and Syria over the charges against Syrian officials with involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A report from an international commission chaired by Detlev Mehlis and which was delivered to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in October of this year, suggested that high ranking Syrian and Lebanese officials were involved in the February 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria has denied the charges, and stated that "the report was politically motivated and innacurate."
 



en.rian.ru
"If Russia is to choose between its two strategic allies, it will undoubtedly take Syria's side," said Shamil Sultanov, a coordinator of an inter-faction association, Russia and the Islamic World: A Strategic Dialogue.

Nikolai Leonov, a member of parliament's security committee, who had recently visited Syria along with Sultanov and other MPs, said it was primarily beneficial for the U.S. to accuse Syria of murdering Hariri. "Indeed, Syria is an excellent oil corridor with access to deep-water Mediterranean ports. Besides, this is a good pretext to distract the world community's attention from the events in Iraq," the MP said.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I have to wonder if Russia will side with Syria if there is any conflict between the US, even if there is conflict for any other reasons.

Would the Russian government also side with Iran if there are any conflicts with that nation over it's nuclear weapon's program?

If we are to believe the statements from Russian officials, they will side with the Muslim world in any conflict.


Related News Links:
www.npr.org
jurist.law.pitt.edu


[edit on 22-12-2005 by Muaddib]




posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 04:01 AM
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I have to read the Russian statement to mean that they will side with Syria regardless of the facts of the situation.

In other words, Hariri himself could come back to life and identify his killer. The killer could confess to killing Hariri, and Russia would still side with Syria.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I have to read the Russian statement to mean that they will side with Syria regardless of the facts of the situation.

In other words, Hariri himself could come back to life and identify his killer. The killer could confess to killing Hariri, and Russia would still side with Syria.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?


That is exactly what i read in the statement.

This is not the first time that Russian officials have said this in the past two years. I recall president putin saying something similar.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 05:42 AM
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It's a little late in the game for Russia to pretend it's got a spine. They've already. I suppose they may be willing to skirmish if a bluff goes badly. I really don't think Russia is in the mood to lose a war though. If there's a general worth his salt anywhere in Russia, they know they'll lose, short of moving Russian troops to Iran and making an invasion of Iraq to link up with Syria before America can deploy additional forces for a conflict.

Tactics is getting there the firstest with the mostest if Russia comes at us through Iran. They've got to cross the Tigris before American forces can orient themselves to defend that river, and certainly before additional armor, artillery, and aircraft arrive. If America keeps deploying when Russia starts deploying, Russia had better either go all the way right away, or resolve not to cross the Iranian border under any circumstances, and just run a pure bluff in hopes of saving Iran- hopefully for them we'll think twice about Syria then, but they wouldn't be wise to try and stop us if we didn't.

If both sides were to plant their feet and trade punches, so to speak, Russia loses in the air, finds their armor badly outmatched, but makes it interesting with a major infantry brawl in Mosul- the kill ratio though will go heavily against them.

Once the air campaign had dispensed with their air defenses, unless they can take Mosul press Baghdad from two sides, Russia would have to force peace with a nuclear bluff, because their offensive capability will start to evaporate when US airstrikes concentrate on their logistics, and then it's on a matter of time till the US makes an armored attack in the South which will allow America to take Khuzestan- he wealthiest province of Iran, and begin to roll up Russia's flank in Iraq, forcing them into the Zagros Mountains.

Once that happens, Russia's chances of ending the war on favorable terms depend almost entirely on their willingness, and the US perception of that willingness, to use nuclear weapons. With their nose bloodied and most oil-bearing region of Iran in US hands, it becomes a matter of convincing the US to give into unreasonable demands for fear of nuclear attack. America may refuse to give up Khuzestan, or may demand regime change in Iran as a term of surrender in exchange for Iran remaining intact and Russian forces being allowed to escape with their skin.

So long story short, a good outcome here depends on both sides being reasonable as early as possible the more stubborn America is at the beginning, the more likely a very messy war is. Then if Russia gets stubborn once the tide turns, a nuclear standoff becomes a lot more likely.

Not even to mention what a war like this would do to world politics if they fought a war over Iran to near-worst-case-scenario. I think America and Russia could both kiss the security council good bye if they showed their butt like this, China would probably get extremely paranoid if America embarrassed Russia, and Russia would probably look to regain its pride by regaining power over the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia before America could take an interest.
India could easily find itself a permanent member of the Secuirty council in such an extreme event also. I don't even know what to guess that would mean.

Final answer- Russia shouldn't try to be serious about this, America shouldn't push them if they do, and Russia DEFINATELY shouldn't make the third move if America doesn't flinch after the first. That couldn't be good for much of anyone in the long run.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 05:57 AM
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Final answer- Russia shouldn't try to be serious about this, America shouldn't push them if they do, and Russia DEFINATELY shouldn't make the third move if America doesn't flinch after the first. That couldn't be good for much of anyone in the long run.

Good summation, and one I'd bet both sides have tacitly agreed to. Nothing to gain here; just let the once great bear have a toothless roar.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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Originally posted by Muaddib
Would the Russian government also side with Iran if there are any conflicts with that nation over it's nuclear weapon's program?


It all depends on how long till a war would break out.

Give it three years and it is more than likely you will see a United Russia, India and China with a common-defence pact. At the moment most of the World wants a grip on oil, one of the best ways to do this is to play "Devils Advocate" and Russia always have played that well.

Look at Iraq and the views many Middle East Nation's and the population has taken, against the United State's and then look at who provided the information to invade - Russia. Who provided Iraq with the weapons they found? Russia.

It's a big chess game and Russia is baiting the U.N. and the U.S. because Putin knows there is only one way for them to become "Top Dog" and that is for the U.S. to fall and one of the best ways for that to happen is to keep a large on going war in the Middle East with the U.S. and I would not be shocked if this move with Syria is to get them to focus on Iran.

Iran has been given no protection, it now seems the easier target and will put up one hell of a fight when compaired with Syria. The real question is, will the Bush Admin fall for Russia's trap once more? If they do, I would not be shocked to see China and Russia allowing troops to join the Iranian/Syrian Army but not declaring war and again we move back to the age of "Proxy Wars".



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:26 AM
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is this going to be start off the gulf war agen ? i see a parttern forming



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by Odium
Iran has been given no protection, it now seems the easier target and will put up one hell of a fight when compaired with Syria. The real question is, will the Bush Admin fall for Russia's trap once more? If they do, I would not be shocked to see China and Russia allowing troops to join the Iranian/Syrian Army but not declaring war and again we move back to the age of "Proxy Wars".


I don't know that the age of proxy wars ever really ended, but a good Proxy war involves neither side directly. The '80-'88 Iraq-Iran War as a great example. The Six Days and Yom Kippur Wars were decent examples. Libya vs Chad. Proxy wars are basically unofficial wars of conquest.

Then there are one-way proxy wars, which are wars of economic and military attrition. Vietnam, Russia in Afghanistan, possibly the intent of the USSRs backing of Desert Storm, probably Iraqi Freedom- those were all one-way proxy wars, where one superpower starts a fire and invites the other to go waste men and money putting it out.

With Iran, we may not truly be looking at a proxy-war though. I'm not sure that Russia is just starting a fire- i think they really want Iran and Syria on their side, but they can't afford to fight over it. We've seen things like this in Cuba, and the Suez Crisis. It's tricky business for everyone involved so it doesn't happen much- if things get totally screwed you can end up on the brink of nuclear war.

Things almost got totally screwed with Cuba and it ended in a stalemate- Cuba stayed safe but the missiles went, and so did the ones in Turkey.

In the Suez on the on the other hand, there was really nothing Russia could rationally do to make the most out of their rapidly improving relations with Nasser's Egypt. They bluffed their way out of a total loss and NATO did suffer some political embarassment, but the Suez was kept neutral and the stage was set for two subsequent Israeli thrashings of Egypt


I don't so much agree that Iran needs to be set up to be the logical target then, because I don't think Russia wants them to be a proxy for war. They just naturally are the critical point for an attack on Russias move for control of Iran and Syria.

Iran and Syria's so-called defense pact was really only good one way- Iran can limit access to the gulf with the SS-22s they got from Russia, so without help from Turkey, Jordan, or Saudi we really need to take Syria first, and the Iranian-Syrian alliance is designed to prevent that, giving us only the choice between Iran first or both at once.
The Russian threat in defense of Syria is probably backing the same play- it's ultimately an Iran-focused policy.

I don't see China getting into the mix, even by allowing cross-recruiting, because the troops can't get there in appreciable numbers. The US Navy can stop that before it ever starts.

I also don't think Russian troops can really make a difference without Russian hardware, and even with Russian hardware, unless Russia maintains control then you're looking at an American general's wet-dream: A chance to fight the Russians without the nuclear problem. Then my "both sides plant their feet and slug it out" scenario plays out, except that Iran is conquered because Russia isn't whole-heartedly backing them.

If I had to bet a large sum of money, I'd have to bet on America being satisfied with a couple of airstrikes then backing down. If America wanted to get nuts though, Russia wouldn't be served well by making good on its promise. I can't imagine it going further than that, though if it does, Russia will take a bit of an embarrassment before forcing America to back down.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 07:09 AM
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I think that there is a grain of truth that although we may not do exceedingly well in an unconventional war as we have in Iraq, we have shown that during major hostilities we cannot be beaten. Every instance of direct conflict with current technology existing in the US arsenal has proved it self superior to that of former Soviet products. Our armor is better and faster, our air power is better with better trained pilots and finally is the ground troops ability to engage an enemy that is fighting pretty well in Iraq. If you look to Chechnya you will see that the Russians are not winning and morale is very low. We may have a few soldiers who are down in the mouth but generally speaking, all of the troops I have spoken to and know are very hopeful about the ultimate outcome in Iraq. Not so in Chechnya and the Russian soldiers there.

Now the three way pact. I think that China would be well advised to not get involved militarily with Russia if they make the mistake and go toe to toe with the US military. We know we cannot win a war with conventional means with them and the only real option is the Rogue Dagger option. This is where the main intelligence areas and nuke sites in China are hit. Intel because it is where a cyber attack will originate, nuke sites for obvious reasons.

India will not go toe to toe on Russias side. They know where thier bread is buttered. We would just call on Pakistan to launch and distract them until we take care of Russia. As for any Syrian attacks, well just imagine that bug that hit the glass at 60 MPH....nuff said.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 07:25 AM
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The grand old game of Posturing

I really think that what is being missed in all this discussion on this matter is:


"If Russia is to choose between its two strategic allies, it will undoubtedly take Syria's side," said Shamil Sultanov, a coordinator of an inter-faction association, Russia and the Islamic World: A Strategic Dialogue.


My point here is that till somebody higher up in the Russian government confirms this, like Putin, that people really should consider the above quoted sentence in detail before beating the 'drums of war or of gloom and doom' reflexively. Furthermore, one should also consider the sheer absurdity of considering Syria a strategic ally in that context.

This would be like the US and/or the EU coming out and stating that Chechnya is a strategic ally...






seekerof



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 07:27 AM
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I was going to comment on the outcome of a US/Syrian conflict, but this response summed it up quite nicely:

As for any Syrian attacks, well just imagine that bug that hit the glass at 60 MPH....nuff said.



That leaves Iran, a stickier problem...



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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Hi Guys, I think some of the strategic scenarios here are really well informed and laid out. However, whilst I completely agree with them in a general war scenario I'm always skeptical that the only reason I "know" anything is because I heard/read about it (usually on the web). It's clear that often leaders of countries (especially the G8) will agree on deals behind closed doors & announce often conflicting statements to the media. You know how interantional politics plays out, and remember that Syria isn't a G8 nation but the US & Russia are. I wouldn;t expect a G8 member state nation to go to war with another without a HELL of a good reason. Personally, I don't think this is it...

[edit on 22-12-2005 by Eddie Peoples]



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by Eddie Peoples
Hi Guys, I think some of the strategic scenarios here are really well informed and laid out. However, whilst I completely agree with them in a general war scenario I'm always skeptical that the only reason I "know" anything is because I heard/read about it (usually on the web). It's clear that often leaders of countries (especially the G8) will agree on deals behind closed doors & announce often conflicting statements to the media. You know how interantional politics plays out, and remember that Syria isn't a G8 nation but the US & Russia are. I wouldn;t expect a G8 member state nation to go to war with another without a HELL of a good reason. Personally, I don't think this is it...

Hi Eddie - welcome to the looney bin.


Part of the fun with these scuffles is separating the wheat from the chaff, although very few people are keeping score. Most times, alliances are formed for financial and strategic reasons; very rarely for ideological reasons. Nations talk a good story about rights and values, but in the end they'll destroy their most loyal ally for that last gallon of crude.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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Didnt Russia also support the former Yugo-makers during the NATO bombing raids?

Russia doesnt want to go head to head with the US anymore then we do with them.

Would Russia send supportive war tech? Since 1980, they either havent supported countries we invaded with war tech or they have and it was ineffective.

Seeing Russia's lack of effort in its own war on terror (cold war at best), I would expect they would stay the course.

So, for Syria or Iran to brag about Russian support, its kind of like not having anything to brag about at all.

The United States is the only country in the world willing to go outside its region to enforce it's policies with troops.

Russia and China and everybody else stay close to home.

Plus we have the most money. And the most advanced technology. So its understand the the rest of the world either hates us or is afraid of us.

When your #1, there is only one direction you can go. Its simply a matter of when.

We dont want a war with Iran or Syria but it is certainly in the best interest of our enemies to provoke us to attack so we will continue to thin oursevles out.

The truth is, if the military was allowed to take off the kid gloves, we could turn the middle east into the newest US territory.

But back home, Americans barely have the stomach or patience for the current situation. If we open up another screen in the theater, lack of support will magnify in its current size.

So it increase the war effort with garunteed support, you'll need another act of terror.

So, why not relax the airport policies and let people take small sharp objects on airplanes again. Why? Well, it just takes to darn long to look for that stuff.

Its like a fly on your face. The only people that dont swat at it are the people that are used to having flies on their faces.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are standing around going nuts because you want swat at the fly.

Do I think we will attack Iran?
Yup. Before 2009.

Self proclaimed prophets and predicters claim 2006 is the year we bomb Iran.

Those people arent reliable but its still a good guess.

Opinions?



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:58 PM
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Russia and China need to protect their National Interests in the Middle East just as much as the US.

Either by proxy war or direct conflict, I think they both will end up fighting for their interests in this theather.

As for the timing?

I predict March is when things get interesting in this region: www.abovetopsecret.com...

Guns are not the only means of starting, waging or winning a war...
.



posted on Dec, 23 2005 @ 12:46 AM
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But what about "Head of State" immunity? Im sure Assad can use that Get Out Of Jail Free card cant he?


Russia still has hundreds of nuclear weapons, you think thats a bluff George W. Bush is willing to chance on at this point in time?



posted on Dec, 23 2005 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by subz
Russia still has hundreds of nuclear weapons, you think thats a bluff George W. Bush is willing to chance on at this point in time?


You can't have it both ways though. I thought everyone thought he was an ultra-right-wing moron, but now he's got the common sense and discernment to know better than to start a war.

Personally, from an arm-chair general's perspective, G-dub is kinda fun. Whenever somebody says "Nobody would be crazy enough to _____", it's G-dub to the rescue.



posted on Dec, 23 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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Bush might be a complete moron, but his handlers most definately are not. He has the gumption to carry out any of his directives, but I cant see starting a potentional shooting war with Russians over Syria of all places.



posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 04:22 AM
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I'm not exactly sure how this thread turned to the possibility of a confrontation between the U.S. and Russia over Syrian involvement in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, but such an outcome is such a low probability it might as well be ignored. Russia simply sent a signal to the U.S. that they will go along with the investigation (and its likely finger pointing), but not if it means the U.S. tries to take down Assad as a result. It's pretty good politics on the part of the Russians to telegraph their intentions ahead of time. It would be wise for the U.S. to do the same just so there can be no misunderstanding by either side. BTW it is generally good to have lower ranking officials put out the desired official position--as happened here because higher ranking officials can then say the remarks did not reflect official policy (just in case there is an unexpected reaction to the stated position).

[edit on 24-12-2005 by Astronomer68]



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