Streetwise Professor

May 7, 2014

A Cautionary Tale About Western ADD

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:59 pm

Events in Syria today should give pause to those sighing in relief at Putin’s apparent climbdown in Ukraine.

The Syrian government took effective control of Homs, as rebel forces evacuated the city.

This is yet more evidence that Assad is on his way to winning the brutal civil war, making Putin and the Iranians very glad indeed.

What, you haven’t heard about Syria lately? Well that’s exactly the point.

Syria dominated the news in the late-summer of 2013. Then Obama cut a face saving deal over Syrian chemical weapons. The immediate crisis having passed, Obama put Syria in his rear view mirror, and the US and European publics put it out of mind too, as they were more than anxious to do.

But not Assad, Putin, and Khatami. The attentions of the world turning elsewhere, they continued a relentless assault against the rebels, and are now on the verge of victory.

But aren’t you glad that almost none of the tens of thousands slaughtered died from chemical weapons?

There is a very real risk the same will transpire in Ukraine. The immediate crisis apparently averted, the west will eagerly avert its gaze. But Putin, an intelligence operative at heart, will continue his covert campaign to subvert Ukraine. His termites will continue to eat away at the country from within.

Syria demonstrates the decisive effect of differences in the will to prevail. Assad and Putin and the Iranians were dead-set on prevailing. With an emphasis on the dead. Putin is dead-set on prevailing in Ukraine. Hell, he’s been smarting and scheming since the Orange Revolution a decade ago. You think he’s just going to take his ball and go home now?

No. He will draw back. Reconsider. Calculate. And return. He will exploit the inattention of the west. It’s more than inattention, actually. It’s a positive desire to be shed of such messy problems that intrude on the end of history.

What started today is a pause. And it will not refresh.

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10 Comments »

  1. As history since the orange revolution shows, Putin’s meddling in Ukraine will keep on failing to obtain the desired objectives despite his best efforts. The man has the deterministic conspiracy-minded worldview of a KGB lieutenant that simply has no room for the law of unintended consequences.

    Comment by aaa — May 7, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

  2. Western silence on “roasted Colorados” in Odessa is deafening.

    Comment by So? — May 8, 2014 @ 12:18 am

  3. I think you mean Khamenei and not Khatami

    Comment by Yair — May 8, 2014 @ 12:35 am

  4. Agree. Don’t trust the cod-eyed botox-mug; he’s a scheming “tactician”.

    Comment by ETat — May 8, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  5. Despite predictions that the Affordable Care Act would slow the economy, job creation has spiked to a five-year high, with an estimated 288,000 jobs created in April.

    Despite predictions that it would bankrupt the country, the deficit is at a five-year low.

    Despite predictions that cancellations would dull the impact of the law, America’s uninsured population has been reduced by 25 percent in just 7 months.

    Despite a sleazy Republican report saying that only 69 percent of Obamacare marketplace enrollees paid for their coverage, we are finding out that the number is closer to 83 – 90 percent.

    It’s almost as if five-years of Republican lies are being completely proven wrong, over and over again.

    It’s enough to make a decent person shrivel with shame as Fox News desperately tries to change the subject to “#BENGHAZI!”

    There are more hurdles ahead as better statistics and next year’s premiums are released. Our broken system will still have to adapt to this rapid transformation in millions of tiny ways.

    But thanks to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, we can now say with near certainty that we know Obamacare will save lives and improve health because Romneycare did.

    This is a law that taxes the rich and the super rich to improve the health and economic security of working people. After a disastrous launch, this working better than anything the government has done to improve the health care of its citizens since the 1960s.

    And because we know this law will save lives, we also know denying it to 4.8 million working Americans, as Republicans are in 24 states, will lead to a loss of lives. The Advisory Board Company’s Tom Liu points out that 5,790 Americans could die as a result of being denied this coverage.

    The states rejecting this coverage for their residents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid will still have to pay for the coverage in the taxes for the law, higher rates in their exchanges and dead residents.

    Some Republicans justify this cruelty by saying people should be ashamed to get subsidies. Every American who gets employer-provided health insurance, including millionaires, is subsidized by a huge government tax break. Are Republicans calling for higher taxes on every American who gets coverage for their insurance?

    No, they’re pretending that richer working people are more deserving of breaks that poorer working people are not, hoping that the strategy of shaming the poor and “them” can help them keep America’s broken health care system wasting as much as $1 trillion a year.

    The right has spent hundreds of millions of dollars demonizing this law. Even as it’s having its best week, its still unpopular — though nowhere as unpopular as repeal or the GOP.

    The Republican Party is cynically betting on people — especially in the south — voting against their own interests and their own health for fear of this law creating millions of new Democratic voters.

    And they’re even willing to risk thousands of American lives to do it.

    Comment by keepupthegoodwork — May 9, 2014 @ 1:13 am

  6. You give people things and it destroys their spirit. Please see The phb Law of Entitlements-the number of entitllees inevitably increase over the long term to unsustainable levels. I did like the death panel idea in Ocare. If I am going to pay for someone’s medical care I would like a vote on when the plug is pulled. Unfortunately that part would have to be low key for a while. It’s all moot since after November people will go back to the usual unsubsidized way of death.

    I saw an article title-Russian aircraft carrier sails in to the English Channel. Does anyone know if it was able to sail out under its own power?

    Comment by pahoben — May 9, 2014 @ 11:28 am

  7. >> Does anyone know if it was able to sail out under its own power?

    I heard it was stuck waiting for tailwind

    Comment by Ivan — May 9, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  8. @pahoben. Salvage tugs are always a part of every Russian flotilla.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 9, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  9. Yes. A tugboat is part of every Russian flotilla, especially when the Kunetsov is involved.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 9, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

  10. Here are some wise words from Paul “3 Reasons” Goble
    providing insight into VVP’s MO and reminding us about
    our own 5th column, whom he’s playing to, who confuse
    balance with objectivity. http://bit.ly/1scux8W

    p.s. Perhaps this is an example? Kremlin trolls now promoting
    0-care on SWP’s blog?!

    Comment by mudakych — May 10, 2014 @ 12:55 am

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