SYRIA. So, another fun military intervention that will be over by the weekend is about to light-heartedly begin. It is justified by unshakeable evidence that will later turn out to be ephemeral; evidence so certain indeed that we can’t wait for the inspectors who were conveniently nearby to report. Actually, it’s already fading. As before, the costs will go to us and the benefits to our enemies. I just don’t understand why we are spending our blood and treasure supporting our enemies .I never thought I would ever agree with Robert Fisk, but there it is.
RUSSIA-SYRIA. I believe there is too much talk of Syria being Russia's "ally" and all that: I see such assertions as part of the preparation of the intellectual battlespace: Putin and Assad are each made a more acceptable target by their alleged close association. Moscow has three main interests here. Principled: Moscow sees the actions of Washington and a few others re-arranging governments as destructive of such principles of international behaviour as exist. Practical: Moscow believes, and precedent suggests it is correct, that these “humanitarian interventions” just make things worse. Personal: the appetite grows with the feeding; is Moscow on the list to be overthrown by the new moral imperialists? The consequent instability can overflow into Russia. As a member of the P5 it is a strong upholder of the UN, a forum in which it is a big player with a veto; it doesn’t like all that to be bypassed by some sanctimonious fraction of NATO. All quite simple in fact and firmly based on national interest. The famous “Mediterranean naval base” in reality amounts to the occasional use of a dock in a small port (look at it on Google Earth). The arms sales are small change and the big ticket items are postponed. There is little Moscow can do to stop intervention, but Putin plays the long game. From that perspective, these “humanitarian interventions” weaken the USA and the other participants. He is the only adult in the playpen.