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Monday, November 9, 2015

Russia to host Syrian peace conference; any Assad opposition that the Russian's haven't killed will be invited to attend.

Links:  A. ISIS considered strong suspect in downing of Russian passenger jet over Sinai.
            B. Russian action in Syria strengthens Iran.
            C. Russian sending clear message to Syrian civilians about support for Assad.

Since the destruction of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai on October 31, the international community was left to decide the veracity of claims of responsibility by ISIS.  Although ISIS proved that it had influence in the Sinai last year when an ISIS group attacked an Egyptian military compound, many questioned their ability to actually carry out a successful attack on a passenger plane.  Sadly, it seems to be more apparent everyday that ISIS was indeed responsible for this tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of 224 mostly Russians on holiday at Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt.  In addition, experts now believe that an onboard bomb was most likely responsible for the crash.  This event raises the stakes in the war against ISIS.  As most European nations and the United States come to grips with the likelihood that open-border policies have allowed ISIS operatives into the EU and the U.S., security and inspection procedures at airports, ports, and other likely targets will have to be reviewed and increased when necessary.  Any person having access to a passenger plane on the ground or a tourist cruise liner in port will have to be vetted and searched.  This includes regular employees like pilots, cabin crew, ship officers and crew, maintenance and repair staff, medical personnel, refueling crews, and food and beverage suppliers, for a start.  This necessary policy will cause a decided inconvenience for many, but ISIS has shown no regard whatsoever for civilian lives.  If they can successfully access a Russian passenger plane on the ground at an Egyptian Airport (Egyptian Airport Security has a solid reputation), then western nations can not take chances.

Regarding the current conflict in Syria, the latest entrant into the war has decided hold a peace conference.  Russia intends to invite all factions involved in the conflict to this conference in Moscow, including Syrian opposition to Russia's favorite, de facto Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Two questions must be answered before the conference commences: will the Assad opposition boycott the conference?  How many members of the Assad opposition feel safe to travel to Moscow, in light of the beating they have taken from Russian bombs in the last two weeks?  As Russia continues to build its own anti-ISIS coalition, this conference is an important opportunity for Vladimir Putin to demonstrate that Russia is indeed a power-broker in the Syrian theater.  No doubt the United States, which labeled the conference "premature", will send representatives, in order to not appear "unconstructive".  Russia will use the conference as another chance to build up the credentials of its ally, Iran.  The captive audience in attendance, diplomatic representatives of China, the United States, European nations, Israel, Turkey, and other concerned parties, will see Iran treated as the dominant regional power in the Persian Gulf.  Russia wishes to perpetuate this idea as often as possible, hoping that the international community will eventually see it as a "fait accompli".  How Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates respond will be pivotal.  The Gulf monarchies understandably do not want to see Iran become the most powerful leader in the Persian Gulf region.  Iran is tied to Shi'a fundamentalism like ISIS is tied to Islamic extremism.  The Gulf states are quick to point out Iran's support for Hezbollah, and Iran responds with accusations of Saudi financial support for ISIS.  Up to now, this effort to reform Iran's image has been basically diplomatic, but for the world to truly consider Iran in a new light, something monumental must occur.  Russia is aware of this fact, and intends on Being the "Eastern Hammer" which will be used to destroy ISIS.  Russia, of course, and her budding coalition, will be the "Western Hammer".  Once Iran has isolated and minimized the U.S. presence in Iraq, then it will be free to deploy regular divisions from Iran into Iraq, to attack ISIS.  By then, Russia will be in a position to fully engage ISIS in the west.

The stage is being set for Russia and Iran to deliver the world from the greatest threat since Nazism.
Wouldn't it be nice if someone else had stepped up to tackle this problem with the conviction of Vladimir Putin. 

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