Putin’s moral clarity on radical Islam at the UN – Did I just say that?

by DR. ROBIN MCFEE October 5, 2015

Last week two critically important, dare I suggest historic speeches were given at the United Nations, not that most Americans will ever hear or appreciate it, let alone acknowledge the significance of the presentations given by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian Federation President Putin.

Both Netanyahu and Putin shared a refreshing moral clarity, presenting an unvarnished snapshot of the world as it is, the threats awaiting us, and gave an unfiltered insight into the challenges they face, as well as approaches each will take in the protection of their respective nation's interests and sovereignty.  Without naming the elephant in the room, both leaders deftly made it clear that the United States had abandoned the former, and was no longer considered much of an impediment to the latter.

Putin called us out on our folly in the Middle East, and the disaster Obama wrought on the world during his failing presidency, ineffective foreign policies, including the failed Arab Spring, our mistake in abandoning Iraq, the refugee problem largely of our making, and the immoral acts of POTUS (though not named) ignoring the Christians, the Kurds, Israel, and our interests.

Consider part of Putin's speech last week:

"It seemed, however, that far from learning from others' mistakes, everyone just keeps repeating them, and so the export of revolutions, this time of so-called democratic ones, continues. It would suffice to look at the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as has been mentioned by previous speakers. Certainly political and social problems in this region have been piling up for a long time, and people there wish for changes naturally.

But how did it actually turn out? Rather than bringing about reforms, an aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself. Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.

I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation, do you realize now what you've done? But I am afraid no one is going to answer that. Indeed, policies based on self-conceit and belief in one's exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.

It is now obvious that the power vacuum created in some countries of the Middle East and North Africa through the emergence of anarchy areas, which immediately started to be filled with extremists and terrorists. 

Tens of thousands of militants are fighting under the banners of the so-called Islamic State. Its ranks include former Iraqi servicemen who were thrown out into the street after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many recruits also come from Libya, a country whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. And now, the ranks of radicals are being joined by the members of the so-called moderate Syrian opposition supported by the Western countries.

In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one's service in order to achieve one's own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.

To those who do so, I would like to say - dear sirs, no doubt you are dealing with rough and cruel people, but they're in no way primitive or silly. They are just as clever as you are, and you never know who is manipulating whom. And the recent data on arms transferred to this most moderate opposition is the best proof of it.

We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone to arm them, are not just short-sighted. This may result in the global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions, especially given that Islamic State camps train militants from many countries, including the European countries."

Beyond a few glaringly obvious issues, like Russian influence in Iran, and criminal money laundering, nevertheless, Putin highlights important facts.

Yes Putin is calling us out. He has announced his role as global statesman, sheriff, and arbiter. Putin is telling us, Russia is back, and he will fill "the power vacuum. " He is saying we are foolish to arm folks who are no more virtuous than the savages they are fighting.

We would be wise to reflect upon such foolishness since Obama became POTUS in terms of "'the mythical moderate in the Middle East.' It is Obama's white whale. It truly is a fool's errand.  The Arab Spring, to which Putin refers, was a glaring example of this folly.

There are no white whales or white hats except Israel in the Middle East. The remaining players wear only shades of grey on the scale of evil and threat. Iran, arguably the most evil (and a client of Russia) wears the darkest black hat, with ISIS and Al Qaeda tied for 2nd all of which have emerged more powerful on Obama's watch, not less influential. Obama has created "the power vacuum." Israel is less safe thanks to Obama in terms of the Palestinian threat, where rockets pour in from Gaza, and thugs are rampantly knifing, stoning and killing Jewish parents, as children watch helplessly in Jerusalem. Israel, as I mentioned last week, walks the tightrope between the US and Russia. And we have created this mess. The Saudis play both ends against the middle, and we do nothing to force them into being part of the solution. Egypt is seeking closer ties with Russia given the US has demonstrated fecklessness. Yemen is for all intents and purposes an Iranian proxy. Well done Obama/Kerry. Bahrain remains targeted by Tehran. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt; the IRGC is working actively with the Shia population. Not that Obama would care. Russia might. Bahrain has a nice port that currently hosts the US Navy.  

The resulting refugees - many of which in numbers if not percentage will be ISIS or other radical jihadist members -  pose a risk to US communities, and a threat to our domestic well being if not outright security. And Obama rolls out the welcome mat. Street crime, though perhaps not terrorism, is still a homeland security problem.  Overcrowding of schools, swelling welfare rolls - expect this and more when the Middle East moves to Main Street. As an aside, Putin is correct - fix their homelands, find places in the Middle East reflective of their culture and language, not bring the refugees to the streets of Moscow and NY, London and Berlin. It is madness to import what can better be handled elsewhere - while still providing humanitarian aid.

The speech Vladimir Putin gave at the UN General Assembly was something one would expect from an American President - reminding us of mistakes made, a time when working together as a family of nations we made great things happen, and warning about the threat terrorism poses to the civilized world. Yet it was the leader of the Russian Federation who gave this speech. Who would have believed the leader of any spin off of the former totalitarian Soviet Union saying such things?

Of course we should never forget Putin is KGB, which is to say there is danger and duplicity in his words. Any more than we should forget Obama is a product of rabid anti American mentors (George Soros, a few radical domestic terrorist/bombers, a Marxist or two or three, a racist minister, and the list goes on); something the media like to overlook. Lest we think POTUS is a virtuous man with patriotic ideals, we need a reality check.

So instead of the West being perplexed by, or dismissive of the Putin speech, or actions, we ought to heed the Russian president's warnings. To be sure, this current iteration of Russia, led by Putin's Moscow is not the USSR, but neither it, nor its leaders have exactly been the progeny of Athenian democracy or acolytes of Voltaire, either. Nevertheless, Putin has emerged as the go to global statesmen on the world stage. He is the new sheriff in town. That has been his plan all along. On Putin's international remake the image of Russia tour over these last many years, he has been very savvy about mixing diplomacy with projected military influence.

For all the derision Romney and Palin received from a smug Obama, and his fawning media supporters, the former Governors were not wrong in their warnings about the rise of Russia. Russia is rising. Make no mistake about it. But I've been writing about the alliances Putin has made globetrotting these last 7 years - from Venezuela to Iran, Syria to, well, fill in the blanks. Doing what a Russian leader is supposed to do, he rightly challenges missile systems on his Western borders. He rightly challenges US hegemony in the Middle East where much of the fossil fuels lay in wait to be transited through Russian pipelines and LNG processing. Putin rightly challenges NATO and other perceived threats to his nation. And he rightly seeks out major markets and commercial alliances, as well as geopolitical, even military ones. That's his job. I don't like it or agree with it from an American perspective. But that's the point isn't it? Our job is to push back. To say "get over it" and add more missiles to Eastern European allies' defense systems, not cave in and say "OK we'll take them out if they bother you Mr. Putin." Our job is to build bigger and badder weapons, and better alliances. But we don't and we didn't. We moved aside. Pure and simple.  Obama let it happen. One might argue, made it happen! In a future article we'll discuss why I think Obama's remake of America, undermining our great nation at every juncture was planned, not a result of incompetence. Don't get me wrong. I think Obama and his band of little rascals are Kool Aid ®kids, and generally amateurish. So do military leaders, most terrorism experts, the intelligence community, and pretty much any sentient being who has had the misfortune to work with the JV that is the political leadership of this Administration.

Which brings me to the next point - Putin is correct - our enemies are not stupid; we would be wise to remember that, instead of denouncing them as the JV, the way Obama did referencing ISIS.  Obama was wrong, again.

Listening to the speech Putin gave made me think ‘welcome back to the late 1970's' when Russia was the dominant player on the world stage, where the US was pushed around (thank you Jimmy Carter) like a paper tiger, and where the Soviets were a powerful influence in the Middle East. But even under a weak president like Carter, Israel knew it had a friend in the US and even POTUS. Except we are in 2015, and Russia again is the dominant power in the Middle East, only this time Israel cannot say they have a friend in Obama. While Russians are blowing up jihadists in Syria, we may have blown up a hospital in Afghanistan. Gosh can we get anything right under Obama?  

Americans should be outraged that under Obama, the United States is weaker, less influential, and on a downward spiral in global affairs. Americans should be outraged that under Obama our allies chase commerce more than coalition - as our so called European partners against terrorism readily abandoned that role to chase Iranian money, build commercial relationships, and find alternative sources for fossil fuels this winter.

What Main Street may not appreciate is the fact that abandoning our leadership role in the world, allowing our military to degrade, capitulating to competitor nations allowing bad trade agreements or currency imbalances, in essence disadvantaging ourselves on all fronts - well these aren't merely academic distinctions, or discussions for political science wonks. This is the future of our nation. Bad business deals on a national scale are called trade deals - and Trump is correct, we are losing badly, which ultimately impacts the American worker one way or another, in our wallet, and the opportunity we give to our kids. Bad policies set the stage for war, not reduce the risk of them; and our youth will have to fight. Bad policies set the stage for our culture to be lost, our language diluted, and our borders ignored. Which portends the great enterprise known as "the American Experiment" may soon cease to exist in the form as we know it. This isn't the lamentation of someone wanting to return to Happy Days or Walton's Mountain. On the contrary; it is the warning of so many of us at FSM that, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, we are a generation from losing the freedoms and greatness the US was built upon, that we grew up in, and hoped to pass on.

More is the pity that the American media effectively censor anything that reflects truthfully, which is to say badly against our current Administration. Were that not the fact, perhaps at least some US citizens might actually have facts with which to discern for themselves the truth, thereby recognizing how misled they are, and how poorly led our nation is.

Recent events reveal to all willing to exhibit some intellectual honesty, Obama has taken the final steps to destructively transform our nation, started decades ago as a slow trickle by determined adversaries of capitalism, democracy and the United States, nearly completing the undermining of our economic base, domestic security, and international influence.

Perhaps most importantly, both speeches demonstrated the reality that the US has left the building, both literally, and figuratively.

To paraphrase from the film "Troy" - Achilles, speaking to the Trojan king towards the end of epic war with the Greeks, says to him "you are a far greater king than the one that leads our army." Sadly, Putin is a far greater leader of his nation than the one who leads ours. And that is said with all the caveats and disclaimers required when discussing Russia and her leaders.

Putin's moral clarity on radical Islam at the UN - Did I just say that? And when will we, the US, provide the moral leadership needed in the world to counter the radical Islamic threat? That question will be answered in 2016; and underscores why this may be the most important election in contemporary US history. 

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Dr. Robin McFee, MPH, FACPM, FAACT, is a physician, and clinical toxicologist. As medical director of Threat Science - and nationally recognized expert in WMD preparedness, she consults with government agencies, corporations and the media. Dr. McFee is the former director of the Center for Bioterrorism Preparedness (CB PREP) and bioweapons - WMD adviser to the Domestic Security Task Force, the former chair of the Global Terrorism Council of ASIS International, and a member of the US Counterterrorism Advisory Team. She has coauthored two books: Toxico-Terrorism by McGraw Hill and The Handbook of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Agents, published by Informa/CRC Press    

 

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