What is happening now in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia etc. is out of a KGB playbook to destroy if possible Sunni Muslim governments and cultures throughout the world and it appears right now the plan of Putin.
How did he think of this?
First, he watched Arab Spring liberate countries into democracies one by one. But, then it got over to Syria and Syria and previously Iraq under Saddam Hussein and Iran were almost always in the Soviet Camp. However, Saddam Hussein was sort of everyone's friend and everyone's enemy including the United States. So, the U.S. sort of always looked at Saddam Hussein a little like it would a Mafia boss running a country similar to the way the U.S. looked at Qaddafi in Libya too.
Arab Spring freaked out Putin because it was going to further erode old Soviet Power in the middle east and further erode the power of today's Russia as well, especially in places like Iran, Iraq and Syria.
So, when Arab Spring moved into Syria he stopped it and has continued to stop it. This caused Arab Spring to be like a great constipation of the whole area and eventually caused ISIS to be formed from extreme Sunni Frustration (the frustration of 1.1 billion Sunnis around the world regarding the ongoing injustices to Syria Sunnis.
But, long term this has caused an outright sectarian war between all Sunnis and Shias.
However, Russia is aligned with the Shias through Iran, Hezbollah and Assad in Syria and the Shias ruling Iraq.
So, Sunnis worldwide have begun a war economically against Iran and Russia.
This is manifest right now in extremely low and still dropping oil prices.
The last time the Saudis and others did this the Soviet Union Collapsed in on itself and went bankrupt around 1989 and after.
This time Russia and Iran might well go bankrupt this time too. We have to see how all this plays out.
However, right now, Iran is attacking Saudi Arabia through the Houthis in Yemen and this war could easily spread into Saudi Arabia and affect oil production too in the future.
So, we see Putin's support of Assad and Iran has frustrated 1.1 billion Sunnis and turned this into an economic war and in some proxy senses like Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen a very bloody proxy war in multiple countries and still spreading sort of like a World War Based upon the price and accessibility to oil and oil profits.
So, we see Saudi Arabia now sending Russia towards Bankruptcy and insolvency and harming IRan financially too and harming ISIS by reducing the price of oil too.
A Byproduct of this is harming all oil producers in the world by so reducing their profits that many are no longer economically viable at this present price of oil especially if it goes any lower for any length of time.
For the U.S. this is a no win war no matter what position the U.S. takes. Because in the end it is an all out war between Russia, Assad, and Iran and all Shias on one side and 1.1 Billion Sunni Muslims throughout the world on the other side. And it appears to be a war to the death for both sides.
Obviously, all of the peoples of all countries will not die. However, governments on both sides likely will end, some states will become stateless and millions of people in the coming years are likely going to die, most from starvation most likely. And unfortunately there is no good or useful position the U.S. can presently take without starting a nuclear war and permanently ending all life on earth.
This in it's own way is a worse mess than World War II mostly caused at this point by Putin's stance.
And we are presently at a point where it doesn't even matter who started it it could go on for 10s or even hundreds of years at this point which is completely insane and could leave most of the Middle East and Northern Africa depopulated and in much worse shape than it was before all this started 5 or more years ago with Arab Spring (which was primarily caused by overpopulation and not enough jobs for young people under 35 to marry. This was and is a problem because Muslims don't date they only marry if they follow Muslim Tenets.
So, by Putin protecting what he saw as "The Russian Empire" basically he has created a de facto World War III.
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