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Russia’s intervention in Syria seems (so far) to be a very positive historical development. Seems to be , yet I cannot quite say ‘is’.
My sense of caution doesn’t derive from any hostility to Russia’s policy (which I generally support), but rather from my suspicions over the world response to it. While I personally love to see Russian bombs bursting in Islamist neighbourhoods, I am aware that members of our political elite are altogether more troubled by it. I am also aware of the reason for their unease.
Though it is the catchphrase of many lunatic characters, there really is something called the ‘New World Order’ – and in that ‘order’, things like this are never supposed to occur.
The NWO (the real one) is simply another name for the post-Soviet order, itself a slightly updated design of the post-WII order, with which it still bears many similarities. Conservative journalist Peter Hitchens (younger brother of Christopher) summed it up by rehearsing the following famous attitude – ‘Keep the Americans in, the Germans down, and the Russians out.’
Put in greater detail, the order was designed to keep America as the worlds only accepted military superpower. Expeditionary exercises by states unallied to Washington were to become the stuff of history. There were to be no more Stalins, Hitlers and Nassers; no more upstart challenges to the US military’s global predominance in the air, on land or at sea. This is why Milosevic and Hussein were so quickly disposed of, why Germany and Japan’s economic growth was once so unnerving, and why Putin’s Russia is now regarded as so threatening.
In the NWO, only Washington’s opinion on world affairs matters (the UK being little more than a button on America’s shirt). Most Europeans (myself included) are fine with this. Though it tends to make world affairs rather lopsided, American hegemony plays a very positive and important role in maintaining peace. If American might was suddenly subtracted from the globe, vicious, large-scale wars would begin almost immediately. China would begin bombing Taiwan (and possibly Japan). Iran and the stronger Arab states would start threatening the Israelis. Pakistan and India would recommence their nuclear stand-off over Kashmir. The Serbs (backed by Russia) would retake Kosovo and attack Albania. The Turks would move ruthlessly against the Kurds. Sudan (backed and armed by China) would retake South Sudan and begin a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Long-simmering tensions between Venezuela and Colombia would be brought to the surface. Russia would follow through on its threats to invade the Baltic and move its forces close enough to menace Poland and other Slavic EU states. Etc…
America has thus given the world a very long and very prosperous period of calm. We should be thankful for it. But now, Obama’s astonishing weakness on foreign affairs is now threatening to undo it all. Who can accurately say how far this will unravel and with what historic effect?
As anyone could have foreseen, America has loudly condemned Russia’s activities in Syria. Only today, Obama rather idiotically claimed that the airstrikes will end up ‘strengthening ISIS’ (by weakening those charming US-backed Islamists in the Al-Nusra Front, for example).
And in Britain, the reliable, chew toy-seeking David Cameron has since barked his agreement with the Washington line, followed swiftly by the human-shaped cardboard art-exhibit known as Francois Hollande. The media has been similarly obedient. As Russia Today drily noted “No sooner had Russian planes taken off to bomb ISIS terrorists.., claims made by the West’s anti-Russia lobby (were) repeated in much of the western mainstream media… (alleging that) Russia wasn‘t really targeting ISIS but “moderate rebels” and its strikes killed scores of innocent civilians… Now there’s two possible explanations for the lightning fast way this new chapter in the “information war” against Russia has been launched… The first is that the anti-Russian lobby have fantastic sources in Syria and know exactly who has been killed in air strikes moments after the bombs are dropped, or, in some cases possess clairvoyant powers and know who the victims will be even before the bombs fall…The second explanation is that the accusations and allegations that we’ve seen were already written up – filed and saved – and ready to be posted online as soon as Russia’s parliament authorized the use of military force.”
Western government and Western media are thus united in hostility towards the Kremlin. This might not end well.
I don’t believe our leaders are ready to intervene in Syria (that is, against Russia) – or not just yet. We nevertheless have to be prepared for such an occurrence. With Russia fighting proxy wars against American security assets, it isn’t Bond-novel fiction anymore.
And just what would happen if the West did intervene on behalf of its preferred barbarians? World War III? Quite possibly, yes.