[Marxism] Is Putin Really Planning To Bomb Saudi Arabia? By Mark Ames [part three]

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Sun Sep 8 12:20:11 MDT 2013

On Sep 8, 2013, at 2:05 PM, Shane Mage wrote:

>> The other thing to come out of that Putin-Bandar meeting and the  
>> offers made was Syria’s strategic importance to Russia. The  
>> Russians have lost most of their allies in the Arab world; Assad is  
>> pretty much the last one. With Assad, they have a Mediterranean  
>> port for their naval fleet, a reliable weapons client, and longtime  
>> personal relationships. Assad has also said he won’t allow Qatar to  
>> build its vaunted natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to  
>> supply the European Union. If it were allowed to go ahead, the  
>> pipeline would end Russia’s gas monopoly over Europe, and with it,  
>> Russia’s geopolitical leverage. The Saudis promised Putin that if  
>> their proxies take control of Syria, they’d make sure that Russia’s  
>> natural gas dominance would be preserved, and Qatar wouldn’t build  
>> its gas pipeline through Syria.
>> This coming from the same guy who admitted Saudis have the power to  
>> turn Chechen terrorism on or off at will — an amazing admission  
>> considering the Russia-Chechen wars have killed tens of thousands  
>> of people. Putin could be excused for questioning the reliability  
>> of the offer. As Andrei Soldatov of Agentura.ru put it: "In general  
>> it takes years for the Saudis to keep their promises." If and when  
>> Assad falls, it could mean a lot of things for Russia and Putin:  
>> Total irrelevance in the Arab world, an end to Russia’s dominance  
>> of natural gas markets, humiliation and anger from the siloviki,  
>> and around the corner, a 2014 Olympics whose success or failure  
>> depends on Saudi and Qatari influence over jihadis based in North  
>> Caucasus. Meanwhile, inside of Russia, Putin’s hold on power has  
>> never been weaker, his popularity never lower, and his paranoia has  
>> been making him increasingly eccentric, which is a little jarring  
>> coming from someone as cool, sober and controlled as Putin used to  
>> be.
>> So yeah, the rumors that Putin told his military staff to prepare  
>> plans to attack Saudi Arabia in the event of a US attack on Syria  
>> are crazy. But wars make for a lot of crazy and a lot of surprises  
>> that you never thought possible. The Kosovo War was supposed to be  
>> short and limited; it was supposed to be easy; but it lasted nearly  
>> three months and ended just before the West was about to send in  
>> land forces. Even then, the Serbs only gave up because of a deal  
>> between Yeltsin and the West in which Yeltsin agreed to sell out  
>> Milosevic.
>> And what did Yeltsin get from us in return? Acquiescence to what  
>> was essentially Yeltsin’s own coup against his own government. He  
>> overthrew his prime minister and prosecutor as they were  
>> investigating the crimes of the oligarchs and the Yeltsin family,  
>> and replaced them eventually with Vladimir Putin, who snuffed  
>> Russia’s democracy and protected the Yeltsin family loot from  
>> prosecution. In other words, the price of the Kosovo War has been  
>> Vladimir Putin. And as we’ve seen, the Georgia War nearly sparked  
>> World War Three.
>> That’s the problem with wars — you have no fucking idea where they  
>> will go.
> Note: Just saw this NYT headline:
> PARIS — Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that Saudi Arabia  
> had agreed to support military intervention in Syria.

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