It now becomes evident that the Russians knew what they were talking about, when confronted with the threat of the Islamic State.
From the very beginning, the Russian government warned that the West’s efforts to subdue the Jihadists would not succeed. Moscow felt it would inevitably have to intervene in order to avoid facing the Caliphate threat in the future along the Caucasus or in Central Asia. The Kremlin’s rationale was based on specific considerations.
Victory will be unattainable if the ISIS cannot be wiped out from the land it occupies. The Caliphate’s legitimacy is tied up with territory. ISIS will be recognized by no one and be unable to attract new recruits, particularly from the West, were it to be deprived of the area it controls. According to the teachings of Islam, the hold on land is a necessary prerequisite for the deceleration of a Caliphate. The Islamic State, however, can never be annihilated by bombing raids alone. Inevitably land forces would be necessary to drive the Jihadists out. This cannot be done, however, by the armies of the Christian West. It would be more efficient if the assault could be conducted by Muslims – the mortal enemies of the Sunni jihadists. The Allawite followers of Syrian President Assad, along with soldiers from Iran and Shia militias from Iraq, can perform this task quite successfully, with the help of air assaults from the West and Russia.
President Putin did not mince his words and quite bluntly confronted some Muslim “allies” of the West, who keep ISIS going by financing its endeavors and thus contributing to its longevity. During the last G20 gathering in the Turkish city of Antalya, the Russian leader reiterated that at least four of the present nations were responsible for ISIS economic well-being. He clearly implied that it was futile to attack a target that at least some of the belligerents wanted to leave safe. If hypocrisy is not eliminated, Putin implied, the war against Islamic radicals can never be successful.
Leading by its example, Russia is now proving that the doctrine of multiculturalism, embraced by the West in dealing with immigrants and refugees, has gone bankrupt. For centuries, the Christian nations have struggled to implement cultural values that foster tolerance, respect for human rights and diversity. Today the West is in danger of jeopardizing these achievements by succumbing to alien cultures bringing medieval beliefs and practices to the forefront. By accepting the deeply religious immigrants who adhere to values reminiscent of pre-modern societal practices, Western nations undermine their own social coherence. Islamist beliefs do not really allow the faithful to integrate into their new social environment. Islands of dissent thus appear, allowing frustration and hate to surface. Sermons preaching millennial messages and apocalyptic forecasts poison the hearts of the immigrant Muslim young, leading them away from reality and to the embrace of militant Islamic fanatics. The end result is a religious Armageddon causing distress and upheaval.
You cannot deal with the Islamic State without getting blood on your hands, changing your internal immigration practices or confronting so-called friends and allies. It is impossible to face Islamic terrorism on the basis of Western liberal preconceptions. Their aim is destruction and death. You cannot respond with understanding and containment. Neither can you tolerate a flood of newcomers adhering to values alien to the culture prevailing in the host society. It is irrational that indigenous cultures will struggle to conform to the values of the newcomers instead of the incoming refugees/immigrants trying to adjust to the laws and moral principles of the countries, in which they now reside. They escape to the Christian West because they, theoretically, admire its values, democratic practices and social maturity. It is totally without a logical precedent that the Western nations will regress to their medieval past to correspond to the habits, norms of behavior and religiosity of their new guests.
Russia obviously understands the issue more comprehensively than its Western co-religionists. Cooperation of the two, which finally appears to be happening, may bring the challenge to a desirable outcome.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.