Wednesday, November 25, 2015


President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty his people rebelled and the rebels (who are good) started winning (Hurrah!).

But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and are now called Islamic State (who are definitely bad!) and some continued to support democracy (they're still good.)

So the Americans (who are good) started bombing Islamic State (who are bad) and giving arms to the Syrian rebels (who are good) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad ) which was good.

By the way, there is a breakaway state in the north run by the Kurds who want to fight IS (which is a good thing) but the Turkish authorities think they are bad, so we have to say they are bad whilst secretly thinking they're good and giving them guns to fight IS (which is good) but that is another matter.

Getting back to Syria.

So President Putin (who is bad, cos he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks including that nice Russian man in London with polonium poisoned sushi) has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking IS (who are bad ) which is sort of a good thing?

But Putin (still bad) thinks the Syrian rebels (who are good) are also bad, and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).

Now Iran (who used to be bad, but now they've agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel, are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (still bad) as are the Russians  (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.

So a coalition of Assad (still bad) Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad) which is a good thing, but also the Syrian rebels (who are good) which is bad.

Now the British (obviously good, except that nice Mr Corbyn in the corduroy jacket, who is probably bad) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good/bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to IS (who are super bad).

So Assad (bad) is now probably good, being better than IS but, let’s face it, drinking your own wee is better than IS so no real choice there) and since Putin and Iran are also fighting IS that may now make them good. America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr Putin (now good) and that nice mad Ayatollah in Iran (also good) and so they may be forced to say that the rebels are now bad, or at the very least abandon them to their fate. This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe or join IS (still the only constantly bad group).

To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War, and the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadis fighting in the Holy War and hence many Muslims will now see IS as good (Doh!)

Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal (mmm ... might have a point) and hence we will be seen as bad.

So now we have America  (now bad) and Britain (also bad ) providing limited support to Sunni rebels (bad) many of whom are looking to IS (good/bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin (also, now, unbelievably, good ) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started.

So, now you fully understand everything, all your questions are answered!!!!

Hat Tip to UK MOD briefing document circulated.


Noel said...

And Russia is now providing Kabul with vehicles helicopters and weapons because they are worried about Taliban in provinces near their border.
Aint the wheels of international politics wonderful?

Anonymous said...

No wonder politicians can't sort the mess

Chris said...

Gee what a mess!
I was talking to a reasonably senior army officer a few days ago. The subject of the Middle East came up. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said do you know who would be the best person to lead Iraq?
The answer was Saddam Hussein, which I had to agree with, as there was reasonable stable Govt there before the 1st Gulf war and the USA trying to tell all who should be doing what.
Also he said the best person to lead Syria is Assad for much the same reason.
Why should we in the west dictate to other nations who should run their countries?
Sometimes it needs a dictator to be doing this.
And with the US, isn't it all about oil?

The Veteran said...

Chris ... Saddam and Assad were/are both dictators. Yes, their countries were relatively stable although for Iraq you needed to turn a blind eye to their conflict with Iran, their invasion of Kuwait and their gassing of the Kurds in the north. In both countries any and all dissident activity was met with an iron fist but, if the world community was of a mind to disregard all of that, then you could argue that both countries were relatively well managed.

the oil thing however is more fiction than fact. Th US is projected to be self sufficient in oil by 2020. Two years ago US domestic crude oil production exceeded imports for the first time in two decades. Next year the US is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia as the worlds top oil producer driven by a boom in the nations shale oil output.

Source ... Energy Information Agency (EIA).

Ross said...

Thank you. Clearest explanation of the Syria situation I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Don't forgot NZ's good buddy communist China. And what is the ratio of so called 'good' rebels compared to the 'bad' rebels (I believe 'proxy armies' and 'war by proxy' are the appropriate terms/concepts for adults) not that it matters now

I guess the military geniuses at NATO didn't figure that destroying/destabilizing dam near the entire Mid-East and North Africa might result in a little blowback - ie Europe [or should I say Eurabia?] being over-run by muslims.

This whole sorry situation would be laughable.....if it wasn't so deadly serious

West Bank Dave said...

Godd, though tortuous, synopsis, Vet. Reminds me of Churchill's relatively simple "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

Anonymous said...

“The military’s resistance dates back to the summer of 2013, when a highly classified assessment, put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya. A former senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs told me that the document was an ‘all-source’ appraisal, drawing on information from signals, satellite and human intelligence, and took a dim view of the Obama administration’s insistence on continuing to finance and arm the so-called moderate rebel groups. By then, the CIA had been conspiring for more than a year with allies in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to ship guns and goods – to be used for the overthrow of Assad – from Libya, via Turkey, into Syria. The new intelligence estimate singled out Turkey as a major impediment to Obama’s Syria policy. The document showed, the adviser said, ‘that what was started as a covert US programme to arm and support the moderate rebels fighting Assad had been co-opted by Turkey, and had morphed into an across-the-board technical, arms and logistical programme for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn’t doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. ‘If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told me. ‘We understood Isis’s long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.

Our policy of arming the opposition to Assad was unsuccessful and actually having a negative impact,’ the former JCS adviser said. ‘The Joint Chiefs believed that Assad should not be replaced by fundamentalists. The administration’s policy was contradictory. They wanted Assad to go but the opposition was dominated by extremists. So who was going to replace him? To say Assad’s got to go is fine, but if you follow that through – therefore anyone is better. It’s the “anybody else is better” issue that the JCS had with Obama’s policy.’ The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obama’s policy would have ‘had a zero chance of success’. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.

Once the flow of US intelligence began, Germany, Israel and Russia started passing on information about the whereabouts and intent of radical jihadist groups to the Syrian army; in return, Syria provided information about its own capabilities and intentions. There was no direct contact between the US and the Syrian military; instead, the adviser said, ‘we provided the information – including long-range analyses on Syria’s future put together by contractors or one of our war colleges – and these countries could do with it what they chose, including sharing it with Assad. We were saying to the Germans and the others: “Here’s some information that’s pretty interesting and our interest is mutual.” End of conversation.