To Defeat the Terrorists

Under no illusion or delusion that my opinion has even one iota of political influence, I recently spouted off about my personal experience with a disgusting politician and was gratified that the hypocrite actually lost the election.  Congratulations, Louisiana.

Again with no expectation of an audience or response, I’ll now blogiate brashly on another far more disturbing moral and political situation.

In their recent press conference, Presidents Obama and Hollande pledged mutual support and solidarity of the United States and France in the fight against an insane pseudo-state of terrorist barbarians in Iraq and Syria.  The two Presidents also called for broad international cooperation and coordination in the struggle and urged Russia to join the coalition against this common enemy of free civilization and humanity.

Today (Thanksgiving), President Hollande is to meet with President Putin to argue for his country’s involvement in facing down the true foe.  May he meet with resounding success!

On the grounds of my lifelong involvement with things Russian, I must remind the world of an important historical fact.  Several centuries ago that state (then called simply Rus) was viciously conquered and for many years utterly terrorized by the Mongols.  That psychic trauma was elemental in shaping the identity and spirit of today’s Russia.

Albeit presumptuous of an eccentric old man, I maintain that Russia still operates from a place of paralyzing fear.  No, make that terror.  Their experiences with radical violence in Ossetia, Georgia, and even at home in the Moscow subway have once again terrorized the country.

Our western democracies have refused to be terrorized by abominations like the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 or the wholesale slaughter in Paris on 11/13 and have been actively opposing the terrorist threat with resolute force.

Meanwhile, Russia has been blustering and blundering around in Ukraine and the Crimea trying to expand its control along the Black Sea as a rampart against the Middle East (and incidentally NATO).  There is, of course, precedent for these blatantly self-defensive actions in Russia’s several wars over the centuries with the (real) historical caliphates and the Ottoman Empire.

In this context, democratic and secular Turkey is now crucial, and the recent fighter jet debacle must be thrust aside.  Russia and Turkey both must shake hands and say, “Sorry, man—my bad.”  Blame and excuses serve no constructive purpose whatsoever.

Other purely self-defensive actions have been Russia’s close relations with Iran and its support of the despicable dictator in Syria.  Using its military might simply to prop up Assad, terrified Russia is ruthlessly holding that suffering nation up as a human shield, a helpless buffer against the barbarians.  This is unarguably and definitively the heartless act of a coward.

To see Russia’s cowardice, just look at the abject fear in President Putin’s eyes.  I desperately hope that President Hollande will convince that frightened leader to find his courage, to take up arms against the true enemy.  Remember Aleksandr Nevsky!  Arise, ye Russian people!

But I’m not done pontificating.  There’s an even bigger problem here than Russia’s temerity, and it’s even more complicated.  Broad international cooperation and coordination in the fight against the barbarians absolutely must include their co-religionist states, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt to name just a few across Asia and Africa.

These states have been lying idly about while untold millions of their own and people in their wider community of nations languish in poverty, misery, and oppression.  Here’s the root cause of the refugee crisis, their failure as honorable and responsible governments of their people.

Another cause is that their religious culture is schizophrenic and expresses itself exclusively in sectarian terms.  Every sect is by definition inimical to any other, and adherents of one gladly annihilate those of any other for the most painfully meaningless differences in their supposedly shared faith in the one true divinity.

Just imagine.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are at each other’s throats over some senseless question of whose uncle or cousin was once supposed to be top spiritual banana—or of which finger to use to pick your nose.  That’s as absurd as Presbyterians making war on Baptists.  Come on, guys!  Why in heaven’s name should your deity give a fat rat’s ass how you choose to adore it?

This sectarian insanity is what has bred today’s new barbarian horde.  And meanwhile you sectarian powers that be have simply been standing by, aloofly watching the carnage and mayhem that your misbegotten and misguided children are wreaking in your own houses and abroad.  Don’t you understand that one day those barbarians will be coming after you too?

It’s high time that you co-religionist states take decisive control of your bad seed offspring.  Severe discipline (at which you are, of course, past masters) is in order.  Get up off your pious duffs and be a part of the solution—not the large part of the problem.

If you keep diddling around, the world will have reason to think that this struggle between civilization and barbarism is a clash of religions.  It is most definitely not.  Or in your sectarian delusions is that what you want?  For God’s sake, don’t go there!

Why wait?  Help your good friends and neighbors rid the world of this evil scourge.  Then we can all have an eternally grateful and Happy Thanksgiving.