What is your opinion of the news media?
Free I can tell you don't think it's a big deal. I see it as extremely dangerous. We differ on this and that's ok.
yes, the knock-on effect of Putin teaming up with Assad is a stream refugees to the EU and possible destabilisation and future acts of terrorism in EU countries. Up till now, I'm sure Vlad doesn't mind this.
Okay so it seems like we agree that Putin is actively trying to undermine the stability of the European countries by making an existing humanitarian crisis worse. Correct me if I am wrong, but that sounds like Putin is not the good guy, and any claim we can "work with Putin" must very carefully take into account his goals is to f#ck with Europe and the western world.
But I find it interesting that you've chosen to blame Putin without mentioning the EU's lax borders and mass immigration policies. The EU itself must also share some blame.
Well, how much have you read about EU control of external borders?
Individual EU countries (for obvious reasons) maintain the responsibility to control external borders. This control is being supplemented by the EU to create a cohesive policy through various initiatives, for instance, Frontex. In the face of the immigrant crisis, moves are being made to strengthen the external EU border by training, buying new equipment, new policies etc. The problem is that when you want to e.g. create an EU coastguard, various crackpots immediately believe a coastguard is a navy is an eu army and OMG nazi germany, presumably because they can't read or get their news from RT today.
Sargon of Akkad made this argument many times and you may recall we had discussions along those lines some months ago. This means that strengthening external EU borders is unnecessarily difficult through various initiatives are being put into place. Note these initiatives has to take international law into consideration; it isn't as simple as just building a wall across eastern Europe.
But this is a red herring: if we agree Putin is making this problem worse, and have no reason to solve it, you can't turn around and blame the EU. It makes no sense.
Why can't the EU seriously tighten its borders/immigration policy and work with Putin, and Putin continue to work with Assad?
But what does this "work with Putin" actually mean, concretely?
"work with Putin" is a soundbite straight out of the Kremlin Trollfarms. I can't understand what the actual content of it should be since we appear to agree Putin has NO interests in actually solving any of the EUs problems with the current refugee crisis; from his perspective, it is great news!
To borrow your analogy. Putin is the guy pissing in the European tent, because that's what he loves to do. You are blaming the EU, a person in the tent, for not cleaning the tent quickly enough and at the same time saying we should "work with Putin" while failing to acknowledge that his goal is to piss more in the tent.
Here is an alternative option: You tell the guy who is pissing in the tent to GTFO or else.
kpop. My bad.
that sounds like Putin is not the good guy - correct, he isn't.
and any claim we can "work with Putin" must very carefully take into account his goals is to f#ck with Europe and the western world - again, correct.
how much have you read about EU control of external borders? - my comment about lax borders referred to both external borders and internal borders. And then there's the bit about mass immigration policies. We've seen what Merkel's immigration policy is doing to Germany. We would see what Sweden's immigration policy is doing to Sweden if the authorities didn't cover up certain aspects of data.
if we agree Putin is making this problem worse, and have no reason to solve it, you can't turn around and blame the EU - I accept Putin is at fault. What I actually said was the EU must share some blame, due to lax borders and mass immigration policies (cf. Merkel's Germany).
Putin is the guy pissing in the European tent, because that's what he loves to do. You are blaming the EU, a person in the tent, for not cleaning the tent quickly enough and at the same time saying we should "work with Putin" while failing to acknowledge that his goal is to piss more in the tent - that's a good continuation of my analogy but it falls down when it assumes the EU immigration policy has been blameless. To continue this analogy: Putin's standing outside the tent with a full bladder, looking for somewhere to relieve himself. The guy in the tent (EU) has opened the tent's door and invited Putin in - "piss where you like ..."
You tell the guy who is pissing in the tent to GTFO or else - I just can't see this kind of faux tough talk and the policies that result from it dissuading Putin from his future plans.
I accept Putin is at fault. What I actually said was the EU must share some blame, due to lax borders and mass immigration policies (cf. Merkel's Germany).
1) The person who creates a problem is at fault, not the person who poorly mitigates the problem
2) Germany determines it's immigration policy. That's why it is "Germany's" immigration policy.
3) why the heck does every discussion about Putin converge to a discussion about Sweedish internal politics?!
The guy in the tent (EU) has opened the tent's door and invited Putin in - "piss where you like ..."
that makes no sense at all. EU did not create the refugee problem, EU (and in particular, the European countries who has a very, very high degree of autonomy in handling their immigration policy) tries to handle the stream of refugees created by the disaster in Syria, a disaster Putin is contributing to.
Once again let's return to your original statement: How do you propose, concretely, that the western world "works" with Putin in Syria?
I have seen this line pushed by pro-kremlin news outlets many times and it never comes with any real context. If you are not simply repeating the line I would like to know what that corporation should consist of? Russia, insofar as I can see, can easily continue to drop gravity-guided planes on Aleppos civilians without western help?
I just can't see this kind of faux tough talk and the policies that result from it dissuading Putin from his future plans.
Perhaps not, but many analysts who understand the situation better than either of us can. Russia has for the past 70 years been testing the west and always required pushback and clear limits; this is not my view but the view of American IC experts with experience with Russian diplomacy: "they push you until you push back".
This approach worked during the cold war when Russia was a military force to be reckoned with. Today Russian military is a strong regional force but it is a shadow of its former self, even Georgia wasn't a completely smooth ride.
People can't simultaneously claim that Putin is intentionally causing trouble in Syria in order to flood the EU with migrants and destabilize the countries AND that the immigrants going to the countries aren't destabilizing and are wholly positive.
The two things contradict themselves.
If the immigrants are good, then Putin is a hero and doing the EU a favor by encouraging all those nice people to move there.
Oh dear, the mental gymnastics the left must go through to try and square the circles they create in their heads.
^^^^ some decent reasoning and solid joined-up thinking from Simon shows up the dubious joined up thinking on the left ^^^^
EU did not create the refugee problem - it played its part, it let all the migrants in.
Simon: I don't quite see the contradiction. My understanding is this:
- The mass immigration to Europe and other countries is currently creating a strain on the affected countries and is dominating the political discourse. Asides the obvious humanitarian ramifications, this instability is bad and something that (according to all analysis I have read) benefits Russias interests.
- In addition to this, the crisis in Syria has allowed Russia to obtain a close alignment with the Assad regime (the likely victor) and various strategic benefits (such as expanded regional military presence).
- The internal optics of Russia as a strong military presence who fix problems others won't touch is being used for internal propaganda purposes, even though Russias bombing campaign is pretty poorly organized and involves bombing civilians.
- This would mean that the immigration crisis is currently in Russias interests
- There is evidence Russia is aiding ISIS while fighting ISIS in Syria, for instance by letting ISIS sympathizers leave for Syria.
I don't see the contradiction. nobody on the left I know of claims the refugee crisis is good... if this is a widely held view I would like to see links.
How do you propose, concretely, that the western world "works" with Putin in Syria? - the West must accept that it has no moral or legal authority whatsoever in Syria. It must accept that Assad, backed by the Russians, is an internationally recognised head of state and will remain so.
The West can bomb terrorists in Iraq; Russia can bomb terrorists in Syria.
There should be some plan by Russia and allies to offer the minority of secular rebels deals and sweeteners to try to persuade them to drop their weapons and accept Assad's rule. Some will accept this, others won't. The ones that refuse to accept the Syrian regime can be wiped out along with the various terrorist groups.
Then in the future Russia and allies can look into a softening of the Syrian regime or some kind of transition to secular democracy.
The EU should stop accepting refugees/migrants/terrorists from this part of the world (stop inviting Putin to piss inside the tent). Money and stuff can be given to temporary refugee camps of a decent standard that are local.