Moscow — post-Soviet, neo-feudal, neo-imperial — has invested its politics in a medieval view of the world with commensurate criminality and authoritarian state leadership. Some have in eastern Europe referred to Putin as “Putler”. Notably, Moscow will not designate either Hezbollah or Hamas as terrorists organizations to this day. In the Syrian theater, I believe ISIS was incubated deliberately to assault, bribe, and goad the west while also serving now and then for “target practice” using Russia’s latest war fighting technology.
In Turkey, Erdogan refuse to apologize to Putin for the downing of an aggressive Russian jet, but a few weeks ago, he turned around, issued his apology, then conducted a countercoup against a coup I believe he helped draw into action, and, not least, he has reengaged Moscow over a powerful energy project, “Turkish Stream”.
Using terrorism as a tool, and doing so by indirect manipulation — e.g., if one knows what ISIS wants to do, why not let it have its way and take advantage of its program? — Putin, no less than ISIS and others, has pushed the liberal democracies toward authoritarian nationalism, the natural reaction to assault by an alien force. Our problem is that while we have been focused on Islam or “islamist Islam” another monster — sometimes I call it the “Phantom of the Soviet” — has gotten to its feet.
Inspiration for the post:
Posted to YouTube 7/15/2016.
I often feel I could do with a roundtable of Islamic and Russian Studies experts, conservative side, of course, to has the data and the conclusions I’ve drawn. Indeed, Putin knows that in the face of perceived (!) assaults from Islam, the traditional patriots of nations must rise to meet that threat. What he hides — or perhaps not so much as I write about it — is the effect that has on global politics as regards reinstalling a medieval and divisive mentality in modern states.
I do not wish to be at war with Muslim who have no desire to be at war with me. Most who are modern have now to demonize and repudiate al-Qaeda, Baghdadi, Hezbollah, Hamas and others as belonging to another and long gone age, and they have to find there way into a future that is not their past.
In place of that barbarism? — all those good RFE/RL values: classical liberalism for individuals; democracies that work; and fairness, responsiveness, and responsibility through all the mechanisms of government.
Putin has kept the architecture of the Soviet in place but changed its meaning (very Orwellian, that), but the end remains what is was for the Party: absolute power.