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Thread: Trump gives Putin an 'A' on leadership

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump gives Putin an 'A' on leadership

    http://news.yahoo.com/trump-gives-pu...election.html#

    Trump gives Putin an 'A' on leadership
    Associated Press By JILL COLVIN
    55 minutes ago

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — One day after President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin made little headway in their standoff over Syria at their first formal meeting in more than two years, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is agreeing with Putin on his backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Speaking on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" Tuesday evening, the billionaire businessman and presidential front-runner praised Russia's recent military buildup in Syria and expressed little concern for Putin's support for his longtime Syrian ally.

    "If he wants to fight ISIS, let him fight ISIS," Trump said in an interview taped at his Trump Tower skyscraper in Manhattan.

    "I say there's very little downside with Putin fighting ISIS," he added.

    The U.S. has long insisted that Syria's future cannot include Assad. But Putin has cast Assad's government as the best defense against Islamic State militants, a group the U.S. is also working to defeat.

    Trump also suggested that Assad, who has used barrel bombs and chemical weapons against civilians, was preferable to other potential options.

    "Personally, I've been looking at the different players and I've been watching Assad, Trump said, " ... and I'm looking at Assad and saying maybe he's better than the kind of people that we're supposed to be backing because we don't even know who we're backing. We have no idea."

    Obama and Putin have a tense relationship that was on full display as the pair met at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    Trump has long predicted that he would get along well with Putin and declared Monday that, "Putin is a nicer person than I am." He repeated his criticism that Putin is the better leader when compared with Obama.

    "I will tell you that, in terms of leadership, he's getting an 'A' and our president is not doing so well," he said. "They did not look good together."

    It was Trump's first appearance on Fox since he announced last week that he'd be boycotting the network for "the foreseeable future" because of what he deemed unfair treatment.

    The boycott lasted less than a week.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    A re-run of this interview with Trump will be on O'Reilly at 11 pm EST tonight. I missed the earlier one and I'm going to watch it, some of you may want to also.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    YES!! Let the Russians handle Syria. They know how to restore order in this vile area of the world. It's their hemisphere. They have a vested national interest in how this ends. Their goals are the same as ours, Peace in the Middle East.
    Last edited by Judy; 09-29-2015 at 11:54 PM.
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    MW
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    Trump (and us) would be better served if he quit hyping Putin up as the potential savior of the Middle East. He also shouldn't be voicing support for a ruthless dictator like Bashar-al-Assad.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Syria’s brutal dictator calls for rebels to back him against IS



    SEPTEMBER 21, 20151:09PM



    Bashar al-Assad: Is Syria’s president a brutal dictator or lesser of two evils? Picture: EPA/SANA


    LAUREN McMAHnews.com.au



    HE IS the evil genius dictator who stands to benefit from Australia’s involvement in Syria.

    Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has stubbornly clung to power despite four years of bloody civil war that began with calls for his resignation.
    But it appears fortunes could turn for Assad, who is now calling on those very insurgents who rose up against him — as well as Australia — to join his side against a common enemy: Islamic State.

    Assad seems to have positioned himself as the lesser of evils in Syria — more legitimate and stable than the tangled web of rebel fighters, and the rational choice over hard-line Islamic jihadists.


    But Assad is clearly no good guy. His oppressive, 15-year rule over Syria has been marked by appalling human rights violations and a chillingly pragmatic approach to silencing dissent.


    So let’s revisit the man at the centre of Syria’s devastating conflict, which has resulted in deaths and displacement of millions of Syrian people.


    Bashar al-Assad inherited Syria’s presidential office from this father, former president Hafez al-Assar. Picture: AFP/HO/SANASource:AFP



    A RELUCTANT LEADER

    Bashar al-Assad wasn’t always meant to be Syria’s most powerful man.

    He was an eye doctor, schooled at London’s Western Eye Hospital and the medical school of Damascus University, and seemingly happy to remain in the shadows of his famous and powerful political family.

    It was his older brother Bassel, a darling of the Syrian public, who was groomed to be the next president. Their father was former Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, a man known as a brutal and shrewd political tactician. But when Bassel was killed in a car crash in 1994, Bashar became heir apparent and eventually became president upon Hafez’s death in June 2010, at the age of 35.


    It had been noted that Assad had none of his brother’s charm and charisma, nor his father’s characteristic ruthlessness — at least at the start of his presidency.


    “Growing up, Bashar was overshadowed by Bassel,” former Assad adviser Ayman Abdelnour told the Financial Times.

    “That seemed to be a complex — he didn’t have the charisma of Bassel, who was sporty, was liked by girls and was the head of the Syrian Computer Society.

    “[Bashar was] shy; he used to speak softly, with a low voice. He never asked about institutions or government affairs.”

    Assad’s wife, who he married in 2001 (they now have three children), seemed to improve his public image in those early years.

    Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad in 2008. Picture: AFP/Gerard CerlesSource:Supplied



    Asma Al Akhras is a London-raised former investment banker from an elite Sunni family. As Syria’s First Lady, she fast became regarded as a style icon and received early praise for her progressive position on women’s rights and education. Her Sunni Muslim faith was also crucial — the Assad family is Alawite, a relatively liberal branch of Islam, and Syria is overwhelmingly Sunni.

    Together, the couple seemed to promise a brighter new Syria in the wake of Hazef’s hard-line rule.

    “[Assad] wasn’t Bassel, who was the more thuggish, stronger brother,” Mona Yacoubian, a senior adviser for the Middle East program at the Stimson Center, told the New Republic.

    “He had this beautiful wife. They struck this picture of what people hoped Syria would become.”

    But Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,said Assad was “a master of deception”.

    “I think that the regime — the package of Bashar and his wife Asma, it’s very seductive,” he told CNN.

    “And it draws you — how could someone who seems so reasonable command such a horrific regimen?”

    FROM SPRING TO WINTER OF DISCONTENT


    Assad stepped into power with a view of modernising Syria, which many commentators suggest was influenced by his appreciation for Western life while in London. His maiden speech was peppered with promises of “creative thinking”, “transparency” and “democracy”.


    “Bashar’s inaugural speech provided a space for hope following the totalitarian years of President [Hafez] Assad,” one Syrian activist said, according to Human Rights Watch.


    “It was as if a nightmare was removed.”


    One of Assad’s first orders of business was ushering in the Damascus Spring, a period of free expression, the release of political prisoners and sweeping economic reforms that seemed to fit to Assad’s vision of an open, modern society.

    But the hopeful new era met a quick end by 2001, when the government withdrew reforms and cracked down on the political forums that had been thriving.
    Perhaps steered by members of his father’s old guard, Assad retreated to older styles of repression and relied on the secret security police to enforce his demands.

    This, coupled with an exaggeration of the rich-poor divide caused by Assad’s new neoliberal economic policies, planted the seeds of rebellion that would flourish in the Arab Spring of 2011.


    Assad still had plenty of supporters after things really turned ugly in 2011.Source:AP


    “Whether President al-Assad wanted to be a reformer but was hampered by an entrenched old guard or has been just another Arab ruler unwilling to listen to criticism, the outcome for Syria’s people is the same: no freedom, no rights,” Human Rights Watch director Sarah Leah Whitson said.
    “Whatever hopes Syrians might have had for a new era of political openness under al-Assad’s rule have been dashed.”

    What followed was a decade of repression and human rights abuses in Syria, with Assad increasingly viewed as a brutal dictator.

    Human rights groups say the Alawite-dominated mukhabarat — Syria’s secret police — unfairly detained, tortured and killed political opponents during Assad’s first 10 years in power.

    The media was state-controlled, the internet was censored and Syria remained a de facto single-party state with only Assad’s Ba’ath Party holding effective power.


    Assad has also been criticised for his treatment of Syria’s Kurdish minority, who were denied basic human rights, including the right to learn Kurdish in schools and cultural freedom.


    THE UPRISING AND THE WAR


    The current conflict in Syria can be traced back to the Arab Spring of 2011, when anti-government fervour spread through Middle East and North Africa and people rose up against their rulers. Syrians were among them.


    But as leaders toppled in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, Assad held strong and lashed back with mighty force. Government forces cracked down violently on protesters and the anti-government mood strengthened with news of the deaths in detention of children who had spray-painted a popular catchcry of the Arab Spring: “The people want the fall of the regime”.


    Syrian anti-government protesters hold a bloodied national flag during a funeral procession for slain activists in Izraa, Syria, in April 2011. Picture: APSource:AP


    Aggrieved Syrians took up arms, both for their own defence and then increasingly to oust Assad loyalists from neighbourhoods. Fighting intensified and rebel groups launched offensives in the major cities of Aleppo and Damascus, also claiming areas in the country’s north and east. By 2013, Assad’s regime was fighting to regain ground.

    In the midst of the chaos, Islamic State fighters complicated matters further by trying to enforce its caliphate on Syrian territory.


    Throughout the war, Assad’s regime has been accused of a large number of war crimes, including the detainment, torture and killing of tens of thousands of suspected dissidents.


    In May, following a three-year operation to smuggle official documents out of Syria, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability said it had produced enough evidence to indict Assad and 24 senior members of his regime.


    Smoke billows from the Syrian rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, after a reported air strike by government forces on Wednesday. Picture: AFP/Abd DoumanySource:AFP


    The stories of Assad’s alleged war crimes are many. Last year, horrific photographs smuggled out of the country bore evidence of the “systematic killing” of 11,000 Syrians detainees.

    The Assad regime has also been accused of the vast majority of attacks on Syrian hospitals and medical staff, and of using barrel bombs to kill civilians and destroy infrastructure, although Assad flatly denies this.

    Assad is still suspected of green-lighting the sarin gas attack that killed more than 1400 civilians in 2013. His chemical weapons stockpiles were destroyed last year.

    The FBI says that at least 10 European citizens have been tortured by the Assad regime while detained during the Syrian conflict.


    So severe are Assad’s war crimes, they are the worst the world has seen since Nazi Germany, Stephen Rapp, the United States ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, has said. Rapp added the case against Assad was “much better” than those against former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic or Libya’s Charles Taylor.


    This week, Russian president Vladimir Putin said he would continue his longstanding support for the Assad regime. Assad has also been backed by big players like China and Iran.


    Some Western countries have supported some rebel groups fighting Assad’s regime.


    A Syrian woman kisses a poster of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a pro-Syrian government protest in 2012. Picture: AP/Muzaffar SalmanSource:AP



    WORSE THAN ISLAMIC STATE?

    This week Assad appeared to cleverly leverage the threat of IS and its feared brand of terrorism to dilute opposition from both within his country and governments in the West.


    Appearing on Russian state television, Assad made the unusual move of calling on Syrian rebel forces to join him in the battle against IS, adding that only after IS was defeated could a political solution to the war be found.


    “The political parties, the government and the armed groups that fought against the government, we must all unite in the name of combating terrorism,” he said.


    While he previously branded armed insurgents in Syria “terrorists”, Assad said he would offer amnesty if they switched sides and joined his.

    “This has actually happened,” Assad said about rebels switching sides.

    “There are forces fighting terrorism now alongside the Syrian state, which had previously fought against the Syrian state,” he said.

    “We have made progress in this regard, but I would like to take this opportunity to call on all forces to unite against terrorism.”

    He also blamed the West for his country’s refugee crisis and accused it of double standards for “crying” for the refugees on the one hand and “supporting terrorists since the beginning of the crisis” on the other.


    Assad (far right) being interviewed on Russian state television this week. Picture: AFP/HO/SANASource:AFP


    Meanwhile, one of Assad’s top advisers told ABC’s Lateline on Thursday that Western countries like Australia should also be supporting the Syrian government against IS. It came days after Australia launched its first air strikes on IS-held territory within Syria as part of the US-led coalition.
    “My message to the Australian Government is that there should be a real intention to fighting terrorism,” said Bouthaina Shaaban, who is close to the Assad family.

    “And the real intention should come through a real coalition and cooperation with Russia, Iran, China, the government of Syria, and all countries and governments who truly are interested in fighting terrorism.”


    But will the Assad regime’s new good guy-bad guy narrative wash with the West or with the rebels?

    Leading think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies doesn’t think so, going so far as to say this week Assad was a bigger threat than even IS, reports The Guardian.

    “The West is still running away from the hard truth … Assad is a much greater threat [than IS],” said Emile Hokayem, the institute’s senior fellow for Middle East security.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/...-1227536584178



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  6. #6
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    Putin is probably rushing to the aid of the Syrian Orthodox Church. It'll be a quagmire, just like it has been for everybody else. Maybe this is better than having career Russian military peddling weapons on the informal markets, though.
    Judy likes this.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    It's all upside for Russia to handle this. We stay out of it, as we should. Russia will handle it however which will be better than US being involved in countries we don't understand and have no national interest stake in to begin with.
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  8. #8
    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    It's all upside for Russia to handle this. We stay out of it, as we should. Russia will handle it however which will be better than US being involved in countries we don't understand and have no national interest stake in to begin with.
    I have no problem with that. However, I also think it's probably a good thing for Trump to do the best he can to stay out of it too, especially when it comes to singing the praises of folks like Putin and Assad. Up until a few weeks ago Trump probably didn't even know who Assad was and I seriously doubt he is well versed on the Syrian conflict. I don't hold that against him because he's not a politician. I honestly don't believe Trump has to speak in-depth on every issue to maintain his position in the polls. Although, I do think he could lose support by going into depth on issues he is not solidly knowledgeable about. Just saying ......

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    No he doesn't have to speak in depth on every issue. But he at least needs to pick good people to advise him. I think someone of his personality can probably captivate a lot of the people he would have to deal with internationally. He's just as much of a cock on the rock as Prince Charles. I'm not really thrilled about New York, but it's better than the dunderheads from Texas, for sure; and Trump would also probably be effective at the UN, since they are, for all intents and purposes, New Yorkers, as well.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know how well-versed he is, all I know is he's more well-versed than the morons who got US into this mess to begin with, and so far he's doing a great job getting US out of it, before he's even won a primary.

    GO TRUMP!!
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