15 reasons why Putin still stands by Assad


1.  As himself  the Butcher of Chechnya,  Putin clearly  has no moral  problem with the slaughter of  thousands of Sunni Muslims — in the Caucasus or Syria — but not for any sectarian motives, but only if politically useful or necessary to retain power

2.  Syria provides  the only Med Naval Base open [or likely to become open]  to the Russian Navy Med Squadron

3.  Any country with one party, the Baath Party,  in power for 49 years [ non-stop  since 1963 ], and with it also as constitutionally “the leading party in the state and society,”  must make any ex-Communist and ex-KGB Colonel like Putin green with envy

4.  Since the Muslim Brothers [who shot her prof in front of her  med university class where Dr Wafa Sultan was sitting as a young student] are one key part of the  opposition to Assad,  for Putin to support Assad is also to wipe out the kind of Islamic radicals who also still  threaten Russia internally

5.   One utterly ruthless and also secular tyrant — like Putin —  likes another such viper  like Assad

6.  The Moscow leopard — the Kremlin establishment —  has never really changed its old anti-western spots, geo-politically, and also has never internalised an ethical or democratic ethos, and instinctively suspects the west and automatically aligns with its enemies, like Tehran or Damascus or Chavez

7.  Statist -leftist regimes and state-dominated economies appeal to Putin and his ilk

8.  Syria is geographically strategic in location, bordering Turkey, Iraq and Iran,   and influence there is of  major interest to Moscow

9.  Syria is a very valuable market for Russian arms exports

10  Influence over Syria excludes rival powers, such as US

11.  Kleptocratic elites support one another

12.  The never-admitted and unending if deeply buried old Tsarist-Stalinist Russian Antisemitism also makes the Assad regime appear positive to Putin

13.  Order and predictability appeals  to Kremlin types more than anything else — and any post-Assad Syria would be a totally unknowable but also totally uncontrollable sea of anarchy

14   A ruthless police state like Syria, which got away with massacre on a truly massive scale in Feb  1982,  and which also routinely tortures and “disappears” suspects,  will only attract deep admiration [and envy]  from an ex-KGB  thug like Putin — unwillingly restrained as he is  from being as savage with his own dissidents. He also spent time in East Germany where the super-efficient Stasi must have been his pin-up guys

15  For an un-re-constructed Cold Warrior like Putin, Syria, with its  record of aiding anti-western global terror, like the Jordanian-Palestinian Hindawi, who planted Semtex in the bag of his 6-month pregnant fiancée before she was to fly from Heathrow,  is a potential future tool, not to be squandered as a proxy terror sponsor  in future.