That raised a lot of eyebrows. But, not The Motley Monk’s.
Why? Put aside for a moment all of the propaganda touting the notion that President Putin is a Russian bully-Bear intent on weakening the United States to the point that it becomes a second-class, has-been superpower. Instead, adopt a post-Cold War mentality. When it comes to the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the interests of Russia and the United States intersect in such a way that Russia can contribute in the effort to resolve the current ISIS threat. Let's not forget that the United States doesn't have a good track record in this regard since it became entangled in the politics of the Middle East after Britain handed off their problem to the US beginning in the 1940s and 50s.
- Isis grew in strength after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. It is now actively expanding to other regions. Putin said: "The situation is more than dangerous." Why? The export of "so-called democratic revolutions" (the "Arab Spring") has led to more violence, greater poverty, and social disaster.
- Moscow has been fighting terrorism for decades. In Putin's view, if the Syrian government falls, it will lead to an upsurge of jihadist violence in Russia. The solution is to restore statehood in Syria which means supporting the Assad regime for the short term. Putin envisions no alternative. Thus, Putin is providing military equipment to the Syrian government because only Assad and his militia are fighting Isis in Syria. Putin said: "We should acknowledge that no one, except for Assad and his militia, is truly fighting Isis in Syria."
- Putin believes the current state of global affairs can no longer be tolerated. Terms in international law should be clear, transparent, and uniformly understood. He also believes a broad international coalition against terrorism—similar to the anti-Hitler coalition formed during World War II—must be formed. So, Putin has convened a meeting at the ministerial level to carry out an analysis of threats in the Middle East. "We are all different and we should respect that. No one should conform to a single development model."
- After the Cold War, "a single center of domination emerged in the world" (that is, the United States). Today, Russia is prepared to work with its partners on the basis of consensus, but attempts to undermine the UN are "extremely dangerous." The outcome would be a world dominated by selfishness rather than collective work. Truly independent states would be replaced by protectorates and externally controlled territories, as has been the case in the Middle East for all too long.
So, as bad as Assad is, President Putin believes Assad is better than the opposition or what would fill the vacuum left since the US has exited Iraq and has allowed events in the Middle East to devolve following the Arab Spring. Putin also believes that nobody--even the United States--really cares about human rights, as national policies are always based on "exceptionality and impunity."
Perhaps that's why President Obama has seemingly walked away from the table, allowing the Russians to support Assad. But, only The Donald has publicly said that it's an idea worth trying (which is to imply that President Obama's strategy has been a complete flop).
Is Russia--and its President--a trustworthy and valuable ally in the GWOT?
Growing up during the Cold War, The Motley Monk never thought he'd find himself agreeing with a Russian President and thinking that Russia and its President may be a trustworthy and valuable ally. But, to countenance that thought requires adopting a post-Cold War mentality where Russia and the US can partner--even with China’s Communist regime--to confront global threats to the intersecting interests of all three global powers.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the ABC News article concerning The Donald's remarks, click on the following link:
To read The Guardian article about President Putin's address at the UN, click on the following link: