April 24th, 2014
05:14 PM ET

What I'm reading: Syria key to handling Russia

By Fareed Zakaria

“[S]hots fired by the U.S. in Syria will echo loudly in Russia. The great irony is that Putin is now seeking to do in Ukraine exactly what Assad has done so successfully: portray a legitimate political opposition as a gang of thugs and terrorists, while relying on provocations and lies to turn non-violent protest into violent attacks that then justify an armed response,” writes Anne-Marie Slaughter in Project Syndicate.

Recall that the Syrian opposition marched peacefully under fire for six months before the first units of the Free Syrian Army tentatively began to form. In Ukraine, Putin would be happy to turn a peaceful opposition’s ouster of a corrupt government into a civil war. Putin may believe, as Western powers have repeatedly told their own citizens, that NATO forces will never risk the possibility of nuclear war by deploying in Ukraine. Perhaps not. But the Russian forces destabilizing eastern Ukraine wear no insignia. Mystery soldiers can fight on both sides.”


“Sixty-one years ago, a telegram arrived at the State Department from the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Its purpose was to examine the sources of the conduct of the men who ruled in the Kremlin. Its impact was immediate,” writes Yuliya Tymoshenko for Foreign Affairs’ iPad extra on Ukraine. “The ‘Long Telegram,’ penned by a young diplomat named George Kennan, became the basis for U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union for the next half century. Although the Soviet Union is long gone, the West is once again groping to understand what motivates the leaders in the Kremlin.”


“[T]he Iraq Syndrome has generated its own myths and knee-jerk reactions. Among those is an oversimplification of the Iraq war itself, often portrayed (both by leftists and Ron Paul libertarians) as a criminal act of wanton slaughter by the U.S.,” argues Cathy Young in TIME. “In reality, nearly 90 percent of war-related Iraqi deaths were at the hands of other Iraqis in sectarian or insurgent violence – and numerous surveys over the years have found Iraqis themselves consistently ambivalent about the invasion, with just over a quarter calling it ‘absolutely wrong’ and three out of four agreeing that Saddam Hussein’s removal was worth it. A similarly simplistic narrative of American evildoing shows up in denunciations of drone strikes, which even some critics grudgingly admit are far less deadly to civilians than either terrorist attacks or anti-terror operations by the domestic military in the same regions.”


“The lack of maintenance in our transportation grid is putting the U.S at a competitive disadvantage. The U.S. once led the world in infrastructure development,” writes Barry Ritholtz for Bloomberg. “We have now fallen to 15th in infrastructure as China and India leapfrog us. Both invest as much as 9 percent of their gross domestic product in infrastructure construction and maintenance. In the U.S., we now spend less than 2 percent of GDP on such projects. Our system is so old and decrepit that we should be running much closer to those nations in terms of spending.”


soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. newageoftruth

    Reblogged this on newageoftruth.

    April 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
  2. GOP Prayer

    GOP Prayer – GOPers, Read Together and Out Loud With Me
    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    April 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  3. misubakachan

    Reblogged this on misumisublog and commented:
    Well said ^^

    April 24, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
  4. Betty Lee

    In connection with Russia and the Ukraine situation == Didn't Pres. Bush I promise Russia that Nato would not get into the small countries between Western Europe and Russia when East Germany united with West Germany? ... Then Pres Buss II got Nato into the small countries next to Russia, and then the Serb and Kosovo mess was dominated by Europe/USA, and now some Ukraine citizens want to unite with Western Europe and deny Russian speaking Ukrainians language rights, etc. etc. What if Russia would move into USA sphere in North American and Central America...Neocons want to dominate South America and fight against any middle and low class rising... Look at the benefits of a bridge between Russia and Europe in Ukraine. Give up this 'containment' act around the world. Russia and also China want respect, not scolding and 'we know best' loud talk and put downs on any errors USA sees. Kettle calls the pan black. ??? Oligarchy rules in Ukraine and USA?

    April 25, 2014 at 1:13 am |
    • George Patton

      I couldn't agree with you more,Joseph. While they're at it, they should invade Ukraine and help themselves to the most beautiful women on the planet!

      April 25, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
  5. derss

    Sorry, but this coverage continues to be WALL-TO-WALL propagandist.

    April 25, 2014 at 2:57 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you derss. You said it all!

      April 25, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      I feel that Ukraine was stolen from CH I NA. It should be invaded by chin chang.

      April 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
  6. Ron

    How could you anyone with gray matter between their ears follow your pathetically inadequate justification for a new US war on Syria. Syrian people have suffered far more than you think mister and what they need is for the war to STOP so they can get on with their lives. US has a dozens of ways in which it could bring Russia to its knees without getting involved in Syria. You sound like a well paid agent of the Saudis and Quataris who, like yourself, would love to see the US dragged into the Syrian conflict. You sir have got to be one of the worst political pinheads on the this channel. I feel dumber for having read past the first sentence, which in essence clearly illuminate your agent status, of this repulsive article.

    April 25, 2014 at 8:45 am |
  7. George Patton

    Here goes Fareed Zakaria spewing out more on that anti-Russian manure of his again! Unfortunately, most of the general public is dumb enough to fall for it and than makes me want to puke!!!

    April 25, 2014 at 11:42 am |
  8. rupert

    Bunch of dirty russian commie rats

    April 25, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Is that right, rupert? You sound just like another ignorant, hillbilly Tea Partier from the South spewing out your lack of knowledge about both Russia and the Communists. Are you one by some chance?

      April 26, 2014 at 10:26 am |
  9. ✠RZ✠

    Hey Zak! I'd like to read that you're hosting a show on the changing American Sentiment on Washington. Guests might include the likes of Alex Jones, Paul Craig Roberts, Lofgren, Shiff, Celentes, and so on. And don't forget the live video feed with Snowden. Now that would really be something. Should be good for ratings too. So what do ya say Zak?

    April 26, 2014 at 8:59 am |

    . . . in Syria.

    April 26, 2014 at 10:35 am |
  11. My View of Point

    The biggest threat to USA are their Friends Israel and Saudi Arabia. Israel wants to destroy Hezbollah and Syria which is against Israel, Saudi Arabia only is afraid of Iran because it will gain more Power and Prestige after the Sanctions, so they look forward to kick out Assad and Hezbollah of Syria and Lebanon to make the most possible damage to Iran. What wants USA? First of all to destroy Russian influence in the World so they can turn their Eyes to China. So easy, they bombed Libya because of the Russian Marine Station there and now they want to destroy also Syria to get rid of Russians influence there and Tartus Marine Base the only one outside Russia. And the UPRISING in Ukraine was also US MADE, to destroy the Last and Main MARINE BASE in Sewastopol. When somebody believes that is all purely coincidental that happens, i would believe it, when in this COUNTRIES LIBYA SYRIA UKRAINE would be not a RUSSIAN MARINE BASE. And the FSA get medical Service from Turkey, Education from Qatar, Weapons from USA, and Loans from Sunni Arab Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and the biggest help TURKEY which to blind eyes to let in and out to Syria.

    April 26, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  12. j. von hettlingen

    The hawkish Anne-Marie Slaughter believes she may make herself a better commander-in-chief than Obama. Military actions should be the last resort. It's true that Assad will continue to slaughter his citizens, if he doesn't stop. But Syria is not Libya. Unfortunately the Middle East is a hornet's nest.

    April 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
  13. Ivan

    believe my friends nobody in Russia want to fight it is enough to do. just to remember too much people tried to invade my country but no one did it. the only result of war with Ivan is too much coffins from both sides. we are world citizens and as i think we have nothing to divide. good luck

    April 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
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