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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2018, 07:15 PM

15. 1. Brand Russia.

He's earning his keep by being an ad-man for the Putin and keeping to the script. Russia has three real money makers: Oil. Weapons. Nuclear power. It helps explain why it's sort of got weird relations with Iran in Syria: Iran buys two out of three of its products, competes on the third, and is a rival for Assad's little black heart.

On the other hand, Ass-ad probably did manage to move a lot of equipment from likely sites. Which sites were likely? In some cases, that's probably predictable. It would overgenerate sites to be cleared, and might miss some. But in the long run, heck, in any but the very immediate run, who cares?

2. Ass-ad's happy because he cleared out Eastern Ghouta, a large rebel-held territory adjacent to Damascus and the source of missiles that would fall on Damascus from time to time. Imagine if N. Virginia were confederate-held territory. Hard for Lincoln to say, "All's great!" when from time to time missiles landed north of the Potomac. And when anything headed south had to detour 25 miles east or west to get around the territory. "Just ignore the bombs falling around you, we're winning in Kansas!"

3. Whether he's in the dark as to the extent of damage or right, it doesn't matter. The Syrian media will report what they're told to report. If the strike happened and leveled the western half of Damascus and he said, "All's fine," the media would film stories claiming that that not so much as a shingle was so much as moved at at a coffee shop in "western Damascus" enjoying the sunshine, even if the rest of Syria had torrential rains. I know these things from Pravda and Izvestiya, from Literaturka, from translating I don't know how many pages of Czech and Slovak newspaper articles from '68 (the difference pre- and post-Soviet occupation was stark).

It's why hearsay and media distrust are so rampant in countries with a totalitarian bent.

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