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Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:09 AM

Vladimir Putin 'doesn't exclude' backing military force on Syria if evidence proves 'beyond doubt'

Source: The Independent

Vladimir Putin 'doesn't exclude' backing military force on Syria if evidence proves 'beyond doubt' Assad used chemical weapons

Steve Anderson Wednesday 04 September 2013



Russia's President Vladimir Putin has said he would not rule out endorsing military action in Syria if it could be proven that Bashar al-Assad's regime had used chemical weapons against its citizens.

Though he "doesn't exclude" the possibility of backing force, he said that action should only be taken once evidence has been submitted to the UN Security Council and that, at present, he felt it was "ludicrous" that the government of President Assad would use chemical weapons at a time when it was holding sway against the rebels.

Speaking in an interview with the Associated Press, he said: "From our viewpoint, it seems absolutely absurd that the armed forces, the regular armed forces, which are on the offensive today and in some areas have encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that in these conditions they would start using forbidden chemical weapons while realizing quite well that it could serve as a pretext for applying sanctions against them, including the use of force.

"If there are data that the chemical weapons have been used, and used specifically by the regular army, this evidence should be submitted to the UN Security Council," he added. "And it ought to be convincing. It shouldn't be based on some rumors and information obtained by special services through some kind of eavesdropping, some conversations and things like that."

...

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/vladimir-putin-doesnt-exclude-backing-military-force-on-syria-if-evidence-proves-beyond-doubt-assad-used-chemical-weapons-8797219.html



In another version of the interview on Al Jazeera, he goes on to say this:

If there was clear proof of what weapons were used and who used them, Russia "will be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way," Putin said.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/09/20139454545354818.html

14 replies, 1516 views

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:14 AM

1. Want to bet though that either China or Russia will use their veto power

even if its proven that chemical weapons were used?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:36 AM

3. yep. He's just playing politics.


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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:44 AM

4. Certainly it's most likely that at least one of them would veto.

I'm wondering though, if it came to a point where the evidence was well-proven objectively and their veto was all that stood in the way of a resolution, if that technicality would matter very much to the rest of the world. If it didn't matter, the vetoing country could be left feeling a bit naked. And that could possibly lead to standing aside in the face of a losing battle to uphold Assad. That's very hypothetical, but you never know.

Some say that Russia and China are more concerned about arrangements regarding the gas pipeline than their loyalty to Assad. Again, that's speculative. Time will tell, I guess.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:20 AM

7. Either / both may be more amenable to a UN resolution

where the wording leaves no doubt whatsoever to the intent unlike the Micky Mouse one on Libya.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 07:32 AM

9. Putin is in a bit of a weird situation

He's got the Olympics coming - he's already getting a lot of bad press about arresting gay athletes and their supporters - the optics of allowing chemical attacks to continue by using their veto could be a real problem. If it weren't for the Olympics, he'd veto for sure.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:25 AM

2. Putin is a liar

There is no way he'd double cross his buddies in Syria. The relationship between the two countries goes back too far and has too deep a connection for Russia to risk changing sides now. His way out will be to continue to deny it happened.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:57 AM

5. I think he wants to appear more "reasonable" prior to the G20 summit, but there is no way he

will ever find the "evidence proves 'beyond doubt' Assad used chemical weapons". There are Russian interests in Syria to protect and potential military sales to dictators who need a "dependable" military supplier who won't lean on them when the going gets tough.

I do think Putin's statement is important in a way which he may not have intended. While he will never be convinced Assad used chemical weapons, his comments provide support for those who are convinced to consider the use of military force. That does not mean force is the right strategy, for other reasons, but it changes the debate somewhat.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:04 AM

6. Our turn

"I don't believe that we should have given up so easily on using the United Nations," Udall told Kerry, who testified alongside Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey during the hearing.

In response, Kerry fired back "We haven't given up" on gaining international support for any military action in Syria.

"Yes, we have," Udall said defiantly.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/320109-dem-sen-udall-admonishes-kerry-for-dropping-bid-un-support-bid

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:29 AM

8. He's hedging his bets. It's highly unlikely he would "act decisively & seriously",

He's hedging his bets. It's unlikely he would "act in the most decisive and serious way" (backing UN force) but he has information we (DU) don't have, and so he's hedging his bets.

Look at his choice of language: "the regular armed forces". He knows that irregular armed forces were involved in the attack. Assad has all kinds of variations of militia and security forces and his brother is a bit of a loose cannon too.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:24 AM

10. Under the right circumstances he just might throw Assad under the bus.

Let's say, for example, that the UN report minces no words in condemning Assad for the attack. With the Olympics coming up, he may not want to be seen as the guy who stood in the way of the world punishing a war criminal. He's hedging his bets.

I would not be shocked if both Putin and Obama know exactly what's going to be in that report.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:27 AM

11. Hopefully he means against Assad, and not us.

 

With Putin you never know.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 09:18 AM

12. I don't want an attack on Syria, but if Obama wins Putin to his side, the last years of this admin

might be a winner for all. If the evidence overwhelms Putin, and there are very limited and precise destruction of targeted chemical weapons stashes and Assad steps down without more bloodlusting, and the people of Syria rout the Islamist militants and Syria forms a relatively stable government (that won't be routed by a military coup within a year) and Israel gives up its bloodlust for Iran and Iran comes to the nuke table....just think of the possibilities for the world.

OK, I'm a dreamer....

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 10:04 AM

13. Putin, trying to be relevant. Nt

 

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Response to Sand Wind (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:33 AM

14. How dare he be relevant? Everyone knows that only the imperialist exceptional USA is relevant. n/t

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