I just read about Russia using their pension funds to save Syria (http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/heres-another-devastating-raid-russia-is-planning/). It’s touching. Will US ever be willing to do the same thing? The West is rich, but is always too stingy to give. Unfortunately, Russia is probably too shy to make it too loud to the world, lest they be seen as a poor nation. Well, charity too loud is charity hypocritical anyway. It’s just better to keep quiet on those occasions. However, I am not a Russian, so I am in a very good position to promote Russia. They want to end the war soon and I hope they succeed. In fact, the more I read about Syria, the more I find it difficult to say which side is better. You know, war damages men, so it may be easier to forgive the Syrian rebels, who may place the blame on the West, which has been giving too little, doing too little (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23190533).
Here’s the best scenario, I think. Assad gets to unify his country with the aid of Russia, as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the West tries to work with Russia to push for reforms in Syria so it becomes a democratic country like Iraq, which has no problem being pro-Russia. Russia has to be willing to risk losing an ally in order to have a better story internationally. It’s a good bet. After all, Syria is not really that important to Russia. It’s better to have Iran and Iraq close to Russia through the Caspian Sea than to have to deal with US Navy in the Black Sea. And if it works, Russia may end up with 3 important allies in the Middle East, Iran, Iraq and Syria, without having to take the blame of supporting dictatorship.
A ground mission is quite safe for Russia, too, given their long-range attack capabilities. However, given that they are using unguided bombs, they may want to stick to airstrikes to save money. After all, they want to be a responsible nation to their middle-aged citizens. You know, Russian pilots have skills so good at dropping bombs that even with unguided bombs they kill less civilians. In fact, statistics probably favor Russia based on the Western news I have read so far. If Western media agree, what more can I say?