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Putin’s Lightning War in Syria


For more than a year, the United States has been playing patty-cake with an army of homicidal maniacs who call themselves ISIS. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he’d had enough of Washington’s song-and-dance and was planning to bring a little Russian justice to the terrorist militias that had killed 225,000 Syrians and ripped the country to shreds. In language that could not be more explicit, Putin said to the General Assembly: “We can no longer tolerate the currents state of affairs in the world”.  Less than 48 hours later, Russian bombers were raining down precision-guided munitions on terrorist strongholds across western Syria sending the jihadi vermin scrambling for cover.

That’s how you fight terrorism if you’re serious about it.   Bravo, Putin.

Putin’s blitz caught the entire western political establishment flat-footed. Even now, three days into the air campaign, neither the administration nor the policy wonks at the many far-right think tanks in Washington have even settled on an approach, much less a strategy, to developments on the ground. What’s clear, is that Putin’s action has surprised everyone including the media which to-this-day hasn’t even settled on it’s talking points.

This is extraordinary. Ask yourself this, dear reader: How can our political and military leaders watch Moscow deploy its troops, warplanes and military hardware to a theater where the US is carrying out major operations and have absolutely no plan of how deal with those forces if they are sent into battle?

If you are convinced, as I am, that we are governed by numbskulls, you will certainly find confirmation of that fact in recent events.

But while the Obama administration is frantically searching for a strategy, Putin’s air-squadrons are unleashing holy hell on the sociopaths, the head-choppers and the other assorted vipers that comprise the Islamic State.  And Mr. Putin is getting plenty of help too, particularly from the crack-troops in the Iranian Quds forces and from the ferocious militia that defeated the IDF in two separate conflicts, Hezbollah, the Army of God. Check this out from Reuters:

“Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters….

“The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies,” said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict….

“The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisors … we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more,” the second source said. Iraqis would also take part in the operation, the source said.”

(“Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources“, Reuters)

A military alliance between Moscow, Tehran and Hezbollah?

You’re darn tootin’, and you can thank Barack Obama and his lunatic regime change plan for that development.

Many critics of Putin’s action have said that “He doesn’t know what he’s doing” or “He’ll get bogged down” or “It’ll be another Vietnam”.

Wrong. The fact is, Putin is more a devotee of the Powell Doctrine than any of the morons at the Pentagon. And he is particularly mindful of Rule Number 5 which states: “Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?”

Has Putin thought about that or has he merely blundered ahead impulsively like US leaders are so apt to do?  Here’s what he said on September 30:

“We naturally have no intention of getting deeply entangled in this conflict. We will act strictly in accordance with our set mission. First, we will support the Syrian army only in its lawful fight against terrorist groups. Second, our support will be limited to airstrikes and will not involve ground operations. Third, our support will have a limited timeframe and will continue only while the Syrian army conducts its anti-terrorist offensive.”

Bingo. In other words, he’s going to bomb these jokers into oblivion and let Quds brigade and Hezbollah mop up afterwards. There will be no Russian boots-on-the-ground. The Russian airforce will get precise intelligence on ISIS locations from Syrian agents on the battlefield which will minimize civilian casualties and limit damage to critical infrastructure. It will also make mincemeat out of anyone on the receiving end of the bombardment. Does anyone seriously believe that  ISIS and the disparate rabble of “moderate” throat-slitters that receive CIA funding are going to be able to withstand this impending onslaught?

No way. Putin’s going to cut through these guys like a tornado through a trailer park.  Yes, ISIS has had some success against the bedraggled Iraqi and Syrian armies. But now they’re up-against the A Team where they are clearly out of their league.  Rolling up these cutthroats is going to take a lot less time than anyone figured.

Russian bombers are already destroying ammo dumps, fuel depots, heavy military hardware, command posts, anything that enhances ISIS’s ability to wage war.  The new anti-terror coalition is going to cut supply lines and hang the jihadis out to dry. And the whole operation is going to be wrapped up before Uncle Sam even get’s his boots laced.  This is from Iran’s Press TV:

“A senior member of Russia’s parliament says an ongoing air campaign by Moscow against militants operating in Syria is going to intensify. Alexei Pushkov, who serves as the chairman of the Committee for International Affairs at the Russian State Duma, said Friday that Moscow will be intensifying its attacks against the militants in Syria while studying the risks associated with an extensive operation.

“There is always a risk of being bogged down, but in Moscow, we are talking about an operation of three to four months,” Alexei Pushkov said, Reuters reported.

Russia started to launch coordinated airstrikes on the positions of militants in Syria on Wednesday. The move came shortly after members of the Russian upper house of the parliament, the Federation Council, authorized the operations in Syria.” (Press TV)

There’s not going to be any pussyfooting around. Putin’s going to go straight for the jugular and then head for the exits.

Do you think they’ve figured this out at the White House yet?  Do you think they understand that Iranian troops and Hezbollah are not going to distinguish between the “moderate” terrorists and the “extreme” terrorists; that they’re simply going to “kill them all and let God sort it out”.  Do you think they realize that Washington’s Middle East policy just collapsed and that the funding of jihadis and dreams of regime change just ended for good?  Do you think they grasp that Washington’s role as guarantor of global security has just been transferred to Vladimir Putin who has put himself and his country at risk to defend the fundamental principles of international law, national sovereignty and self determination? Here’s Putin again:

 “We are supporting the government of Syria in the fight against a terrorist aggression. We are offering and will continue to offer it necessary military-technical assistance. We must continue a dialogue for the sake of reaching consensus. But it’s impossible to achieve real success as long as bloodshed continues and people don’t feel secure. We won’t achieve anything until we defeat terrorism in Syria.”

Putin is leading a coalition in the fight against terror. We should all be grateful for that.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at

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