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A Few Thoughts on Syria From a Famous Russian Journalist (Vladimir Mamontov)

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Vladimir Mamontov is one of the best known journalists in Russia.  Formerly Editor-in-chief of Izvestia, Russia's largest daily newspaper, he is currently the CEO of a large radio station and a popular blogger.  

The ideas in this short post, which originally appeared on Facebook, accurately reflect what a wide majority of Russians are saying about Syria, their response to Western reactions conveyed in the media.

Translated by Vladimir Gavryushin.

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Vladimir Mamontov

No sooner had the dust settled after the first strikes against terrorists in Syria, it became clear that:

1. The Syrian army will provide Russia with the identities of killed ISIS fighters, to the extent that this is possible.  These notices will contain the names of people who joined ISIS out of zealotry, greed or stupidity. At least 4000 ISIS troops come from countries of the former Soviet Union.  

2. Our opponents will go above and beyond their usual efforts to “prove” that we are bombing the wrong people and that we are “bombing civilians or moderate opposition”. What do we have to say to that? - With all due respect ladies and gentlemen, piss off!

3. Assessing the validity of the oxymoron “military positions of the moderate opposition” will now be the responsibility of the Russian armed forces, who will gladly take over the task from the chattering classes.

4. Projecting power with our armed forces beyond our borders is from now on going to be a daily reality for Russian foreign policy, joining that other pillar of Russian power, our nuclear deterrent. This is not very pretty, but that’s the world we live in today.

5. People can argue about the legality of Russia's action in Crimea, but in Syria we are acting in the strictest possible compliance with international law. This returns Russia to the moral high ground. Claims about “Assad’s tyranny” have become meaningless because he is fighting (with the support of our Air Force and Iran which is in a new phase of cooperation and raprochement with the West) against those who decapitate Christians and other ordinary civilians. 

6. Boneheaded John McCain, who seemingly didn’t get enough war during his Vietnam captivity era, is now bawling that the US has lost the initiative. You had the place to yourself for three years!  What the hell were you doing all this time, playing footsie? 

7. Amidst all the developments in Syria, Poroshenko (who at the UN was hanging on to Obama for dear life, while Obama spitefully reproached him with: “Well, Petro, when are you going to invite me to your Crimean resort?”) is now in a serious jam. I doubt the recent increase in the sales of his chocolate company will be enough to compensate the bitterness of the rest of his life.  As Alexander Lukashenko (the president of Belarus) pointed out in his speech to the UN, “God sees it all”.

8. Russia is waging a pre-emptive war in Syria.  It’s about time!

9. Guys, be careful, and fly with the angels!

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