Russian Policy Makers Need a Patriotic Reality Check

While many Russian people and indeed many members of Russians main opposition parties (LDPR and KPRF) believe in the fraternal struggle of the Syrian people and seek to associate Russia with this fraternal struggle, for the majority in government, it is simply a matter of protecting Russian interests in the region while also helping to turn Russia into the major Middle East diplomat mediator. In this sense, Russia’s mission is just over 3/4ths accomplished, while the reality of liberating Syria and fully restoring the inviolability of her political institutions over all of her territory has a ways to go in spite of substantial progress since 2016.

Ultimately, it is impossibly to convince a Russian government that has allowed fellow Russians in the historic Russian lands of Donbass to be slaughtered by a fascist aggressor to empathise as fully with the Syrian people as many ordinary Russians, Russophiles, Russian opposition leaders and some in Russian media do. This is not an opinion but a cold hard fact. However, there is another fact that these same Russian politicians must come to grips with as soon as possible. If they do not, then the safety of not only Syria, but Russia is imperilled for the medium and long term.

The fact is that the western imperial powers, no matter how much they decline in terms of prestige, economic power and even military power, the fact is that they will never be a friend to a country like Russia, indeed they have set out to be Russia’s enemy, just as they have generation after generation. Any deal struck between Moscow and a western power is merely a delaying tactic which will give the western powers more time to coordinate the next assault.

The fact of the matter is that while it is popular to say that Russia is fighting terrorism in Syria so that terrorism is eradicated throughout the wider world and consequently does not “come to Russia”, the truth is that, Russia is fighting western proxy terrorist militias in Syria so that Russia does not have to fight western armies in the streets of Sevastopol, Saint Petersburg or Vologograd – the three major cities which have historically been the most vulnerable to western imperial aggression in the late modern era. The fact that this battle is also helping to stop Takfiri terrorism from spreading is merely a secondary bonus, assuming the fight will even be ultimately won.

Every time Russia has made an agreement in good faith with so-called “western partners”, Russia has ended up losing not only pride, but military strength, territorial and political influence. This was true whether in respect of the Berlin Treaty of 1878, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Yalta Agreement, Helsinki Accords (in so far as these bought the US time to commence an arms race five years later), the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and George H. W. Bush’s promise not to expand NATO to Russia’s borders. In each case Russia has been humiliated and made weaker by trusting the western powers as honest brokers of just agreements when in-fact, history has shown the powers of Europe and North America to be anything but reasonable – particularly in relation to great Asian powers.

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States against all odds, many in Russia felt that against even greater odds, he would be able to deliver on the promises he made to have better ties with Russia. This was a natural reaction, as no normal country wants a powerful enemy if such things can be prevented or at least ameliorated. I too hoped for a meaningful respectful detente as it would have been literally insane to want more rather than less hostility between superpowers, although some in the media (both alt and mainstream), challenged the notions that sanity is a prerequisite for gaining notoriety as a political commentator.

The bitter reality soon bit, that whatever Trump’s intentions, his own words betrayed what those in the US elite actually meant when they spoke of de-escalation with Russia. Many in Moscow, including those among major oppositions parties, particularly the LDPR welcomed the chance for the US and Russia to respect one another as fellow superpowers that would work together on a limited number of issues while ceasing hostility in other matters. But the US sought to make “deals” with Russia that would involve Russia surrendering its geopolitical interests and influence in favour for short term US investments in a Russian economy where some business owners continue to be bewitched by New York, London and Paris rather than be inspired by Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Donald Trump made this modus operandi perfectly clear in the following set of Tweets issued prior to the tripartite aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic:

These Twets can be summarised in the following way: ‘Abandon your Syrian and Iranian partners (and while you’re at it abandon Turkey too), learn to distrust the honest Chinese and learn to love the perfidious west, reduce your modern arms so that you cannot defend yourselves and in return the US will give a corrupt Moscow based oligarch with multiple passports a contract to build a new McDonald’s mega-store beside Lenin’s tomb’ and a Kentucky Fried Chicken inside the Christ The Saviour Cathedral. I’m certain that some oligarchs are even so traitorous that if an American company wanted to sponsor celebrations on the 9th of May, one might see enough bribery to make “MasterCard Presents Victory Day”, live from Red Square, a disgusting reality as the final blow to Russian pride in the face of western corporatism. Just because the 1990s is over, it does not mean that the 1990s mentality has been fully exorcised from the Russian elite of today.

The truth is that Russia must support Syria if not with its heart than with its head. The real enemy in Syria is the US and its allies. If terrorist movements were organic they could not balloon into quasi-armies with tanks, Jeeps, Manpads and an endless supply of broadcasting technology that some developing nations do not even possess. The Syrian Arab Army, like its Russia and Iranian partners, is fighting the US and its client states in the conflict.

Even if Russia did the unthinkable and abandon its bases in Syria and told the Syrian President to fend for himself, this would not placate the US. In such a grim scenario the US would simply move more weapons into the Baltic states, send US troops to Kiev, send terrorists to the North Caucasus and liberal street fighters to the South Caucasus. The US would continue to provoke Russia in its Arctic territory, and continue to attempt and bribe Russia’s South and East Asian partners to conspire against Russia. The Russian traitors among the undetectable opposition including Grigory Yavlinsky and people like Mikhail Prokhorov who ran in 2012, foolishly think that if Russia surrenders half of itself, the streets of Moscow will suddenly be paved in gold. This is a delusion that has been proved fatuous among all those throughout Russian history who have attempted such humiliating bargains befitting of none but Judas Iscariot. Donald Trump’s “art of the deal” for Russia would mean nothing more than accepting the art of trecherous capitulation against all rational interests, pride and long term sustainable material prosperity.

Russia must protect Syria, if not for Syria than for itself. Anything less is not only a betrayal of the Syrian people but a betrayal of the Russian people and of a balanced more civilised world order that can only come about when the US learns that its own cities will only become better places when the US decides to protect its people rather than the interests of its own corrupt elite.

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