from Zero Hedge:
We are now two days into Russia’s air campaign against anti-regime forces in Syria and both Moscow and the West are rushing to spin the narrative.
The frantic attempt from both sides to shape public opinion has been truly amazing to behold and the sheer amount of coverage speaks to what we said on Thursday about just how important the conflict really is for the Mid-East balance of power.
For the US, portraying Russian airstrikes as supportive of a murderous regime and as an imminent threat to civilians is key, as it allows Washington to explain away the fact that the US and its allies haven’t coordinated their efforts with Moscow. Take the following from CNN for instance, who reports that Russia has made a “strategic blunder” and that by opening an air campaign, Russia risks raising the spectre of the Soviet-Afghan war in the minds of potential jihadists who will supposedly rush into Syria to join the fight:
There is no ambiguity now about Russia’s current tactics in Syria — they are seeking to take over the airspace in the region and be the agenda-setting force on the ground, several senior administration officials told CNN.
“Yesterday’s demarche to the U.S. by Russian officials in Baghdad was clear in its intent,” one senior administration official said. “Make sure you don’t have anyone around ISIS targets and get out of the air.”
And while U.S. officials have no plans to cede Russia any ground, they also said it appears that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a dramatic chess move that the Russians have not thought through — one official even called it a “strategic blunder.”
Had the Russians been clear that they are providing support in Syria to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime’s collapse — a scenario that would benefit ISIS — they might have gotten some credit on the world stage.
But their very first strikes in the region hit CIA-backed anti-Assad rebel forces, Arizona Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday on CNN’s “New Day.”
And U.S. officials note that every bomb against a non-ISIS Sunni target puts them more in bed with Iran and Hezbollah, which are Shiite. U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf warn that this could set off a huge sectarian conflict and that the deeper the Russians get into this, the harder officials believe it will be to get a diplomatic process with the Saudis and others restarted.
“It is going to be hugely tempting for the Saudis to start financing their guys again,” another senior administration official said. “Syria will be a magnet for every jihadi, who will rush to fight the Russians, just like they did in Afghanistan. The problem is while this will cause problems for the Russians, it will also mean trouble for the Gulf, when the jihadists come home.”
“The Russians can’t be stupid,” another senior administration official said. “This is going to be wildly expensive. And they can’t hold out long. They know in the end there is no future for the guy (Assad) because the whole reason they had to come in is because Assad and his forces were extremely vulnerable. So we are hoping they will come to their senses, stabilize the situation and then we can agree on the Assad piece.”
Now obviously, there are too many absurd statements there to count, but note (again) that Russia has never hid its support for Assad. When Charlie Rose told Putin on national US television that some people believe Russia is in Syria to help Assad, Putin said, quote, “well, you’re right.” On top of that, it’s glaringly obvious to anyone who knows anything about the global balance of power that Russia is there to support Assad and it’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that Putin isn’t aware of the fact that by supporting the regime, Russia falls squarely on the side of Iran and Hezbollah. It’s also glaringly obvious that ISIS isn’t the only extremist group fighting for control of the country and the notion that the US has now finally managed to identify the “good guys” in Syria after failing to get it right for four years and that now evil Russia is deliberately targeting those good guys simply because they’re the good guys is laughable to the point that one wonders if CNN and others pushed back on being compelled to spin it that way. Additionally, it’s a little late for the US to be concerned about someone inadvertently creating a theatre that in the minds of jihadis will serve as the stage for humanity’s final battle. If Washington was worried about that they might have avoided getting involved in Syria in the first place and they definitely would have avoided training the soldiers who would go on to join the very group that’s perpetuating that idea.
Please follow SGT Report on Twitter & help share the message.