I have never been to Syria and I am pretty sure I don’t want a quarter million Syrians coming here. That is why I was concerned when I heard President Obama was sponsoring the migration of that many Syrians to the United States. It struck me we have a bad enough immigration problem already.
That is why I found myself nodding in agreement over the RUSSIAN view of the Syrian “problem.” Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, stated in a recent interview that the way to stop the Syrian immigration crisis is to stabilize that country. That must have seemed music to the ears of European nations awash with refugees. I believe that it would also be welcome news for the Syrian people who would like nothing better than to go home and resume their lives in their homeland.
These people are guilty of no crime except being caught in the middle of a four-way tug of war. In one corner you have the Assad regime. The government of Syria has been handed down from father to son and the son has been no improvement over his father.
In the other corner you have the extreme Moslem fighters who want to establish a Caliphate in the region. We have seen what they are capable of.
In the third corner you have the weak U. S. led coalition of western powers who have stood by and allowed Syria to go to hell. The President’s line in the sand was crossed and we did nothing and continue to do nothing. It seems our President has donned rose colored glasses and is hoping that, somehow, a western style democracy will emerge from the blood in Damascus. That didn’t work anywhere in the Arab world. Remember the so-called “Arab Spring.” It quickly turned into an Arab nightmare.
In the final corner you have the Russians. Putin is an advocate of real politics. He has assessed the situation and come to the conclusion that the only way to wage war on the extremists is to go all out and support the only guy in the region who is holding his own. That man is Assad.
Putin, a former KGB agent, has seen what Islamic extremists have done in his own country. It has not been so long ago that Russian children were held hostage in their school house and Russians were killed in an opera house.
He may have adopted the same policy we used after 9/11. It was called forward defense. You keep your enemies at bay by fighting them on their turf and not yours.
Putin is correct in another assessment. Putin said that the West had destabilized the Middle East through a series of botched attempts to export democratic revolution to Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The resulting “zone of chaos” enabled the rise of extremist Jihadism and triggered the wave of refugees now seeking safe haven in Europe.
The only way out now, he argued, is to bolster the forces that are actually fighting ISIS on the ground, which Putin listed as the governments of Syria, Iraq, and the Kurdish militias.
Russia’s draft resolution for the Security Council reportedly proposes a “two-track” process in Syria: One to defeat ISIS, the second to seek a negotiated settlement between the Assad regime and at least its moderate rebel opponents.
It worries me that the Russian leader is sounding Churchillian while the U.S. President is sounding more like Neville Chamberlain.