In Bureaucracy, History, Military, Politics, Social commentary on November 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin started launching airstrikes against Syria.

The objective: To bolster the dictatorship of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is now caught up in civil war.

This began on March 15, 2011, triggered by protests demanding political reforms and the ouster of al-Assad.  More than 310,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

The Obama administration is worried about Russian intentions. And Republicans are furious, demanding that American military forces directly confront those of Russia.

Yet despite Right-wing alarms about Russia, there is no reason for alarm–by Americans.

Putin’s intervention in Syria’s civil war offers three possible outcomes for the United States.

And they’re all positive.

Vladimir Putin

First, the Russians will kill thousands of America’s sworn enemies.

Russians are well-known for their disregard for human life. During their invasion of Germany in 1945, Russian soldiers literally nailed civilians to barn doors, squashed them under their tanks, and raped countless women of all ages.

In Syria, they will slaughter everyone who gets in their way. Thus, they will kill far more of America’s Islamic enemies than even our own military–hamstrung by do-gooder “rules of engagement”–could possibly eliminate.

Second, Russia will replace the United States as “The Great Satan” in the eyes of most Islamics.  

The Soviet Union waged a ruthless war against Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. Out of that war grew Al-Qaeda.  Millions of Islamics still hate Russians for their brutalities.

From 1999 to 2009, Russia fought a brutal war against Islamics in Chechnya. Chechens responded with terrorism across Russia.

Russia’s intervention in Syria will only harden its image as an enemy of Islam–even if it’s supporting one group of Islamics (the Assad regime) against others.

If Islamic terrorism starts raging throughout Russia, Putin may be forced to back down from his military moves against Syria and Ukraine.

Third, if Russian planes get shot down or Russian soldiers killed, Russia will suffer the casualties–not the United States.

The Soviet Union never fully recovered from its losses in Afghanistan–13,310 soldiers  killed, 35,478 wounded.

If Russia starts taking heavy losses in Syria or at home through terrorism, this could lead to widespread unrest.  Even Vladimir Putin could find himself in danger of being replaced.

And for Russia, the chicken Kiev has already come home to roost.

On October 31, Airbus A321, a Russian airliner, broke up in mid-air, then crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

The plane was carrying holidaymakers from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg when it crashed into a mountainous area of central Sinai.

In Egypt, a militant group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed that it had brought down the plane “in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land.”

At this point, it’s too early in the investigation to know whether this is true.

Egyptian analysts began examining the contents of the two “black box” recorders recovered from the airliner.  But this process could take days.

And there is more to determining what caused an airline crash than examining the contents of “black boxes.”

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17) was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in Ukraine.  All 283 passengers and 15 crew on board were instantly killed.

Boeing 777-2H6ER 9M-MRD Malaysian (6658105143).jpg

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Not until October 13, 2015, did the Dutch Safety Board release a final report on their investigation into the incident. Its conclusion: The airliner was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile launched from Eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian insurgents.

It could easily take a year for investigators to reach a verdict on the cause of the Airbus A321 disaster.

Meanwhile, the crash has already proved emotionally wrenching for Russians.

Flags across Russia are flying at half-staff and Russian Orthodox priests are conducting services to pray for its victims.

President Putin declared a nationwide day of mourning.  In St. Petersburg, home to most of the victims, authorities ordered the mourning to last for three days.

Many Russians no doubt already believe the plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile.  And there is good reason for this.

American military officials have told Fox News that it “appears likely/probable” that U.S.-made Stinger missiles have fallen into the hands of ISIS combatants.

The Stinger is a shoulder-fired surface-to-air weapon. During the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, the United States supplied huge numbers of these weapons to Afghan forces. They proved devastating against Russian planes and helicopters.

And how might have ISIS fighters acquired such a weapon? From American-supplied army bases they have occupied in recent days.

AQMI Flag.svg

 Flag of ISIS

There’s also the possibility that a bomb could have been smuggled aboard. 

Even if the investigation finds the plane wasn’t shot down or blown up, many Russians will blame Putin’s intervention for their loss.

And if the investigation finds that terrorists were responsible, there may well be major protests throughout Russia against Putin.

And if this loss is followed by others equally dramatic and costly, all bets are off for the long-term future of the Putin regime.

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