America is becoming an embarrassment in the international political sphere. For talking a big talk about defeating ISIS in the Middle East, it is now Russia and Putin that finally put their foot in the door in fighting the terrorist group. President Obama sealed the fate of their Middle Eastern influence during the recent United Nations Summit in New York City.
Both President Obama and President Putin gave speeches to the UN about their plans in international politics, the major focus being combating ISIS. Putin gave a speech worthy of any American president in the 60’s. He was calm, collective, straight forward, and said all the right words. He spoke of the ideals of cooperation that the UN stand for, and asked everyone to join in his efforts to defeat what he considers the greatest evil in the world today. He also argued against the idea that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad should be taken care of before being concerned about ISIS, saying that his army is the only one that is truly combating ISIS and terrorism. Putin spoke of respecting the sovereignty of the legitimate government of Syria, and that it is only the Syrian people who should decide what to do with their own leader. He also spoke about this in his 60 minutes interview last Sunday night. He cites Libya, with the help of America, taking Momar Qudhafi out of power. He pointed out that all that action did was excite more chaos, as the country is now being run by extremist groups that commit actions far worse than Qudhafi. He ended the speech by once again stating that he will take action in Syria, and he asked everyone, including America, to join him.
President Obama’s speech could not have a starker contrast. It was clearly evident his prior meeting with Putin did not lead to any resolution. He spared no effort to antagonize not only Russia, but also China and Syria. He said that the ousting of President Bashar al-Assad was of greater need than combating ISIS. Putin did not direct any negativity towards any nation in his speech, yet Obama could not help himself but antagonize the mentioned countries. He sincerely believes that the way to combat terrorism is through diplomacy and changing the ideals and ideology of the group.The fact that Obama refuses to acknowledge that you cannot change the minds of Muslims who chant ‘Death to America’ and whose leaders say their goal is the destruction of Israel. While changing the ideology may be a viable solution in the future, the more pressing issue is to end the slaughter of Christians, Jews, and even their own Muslim brethren who do not share the shame radical jihadist ideals of Islam that they do. Fox News wrote a story on this, saying that, “The blood-soaked executioners of ISIS have spared neither women nor children since the jihadist army established its caliphate a year ago, putting an estimated 74 kids and even more women to death for such offenses as practicing “magic” and refusing to fast during Ramadan. A total of 3,027 people have been executed by ISIS since it declared itself a state under strict Islamic law in Syria and Iraq last June…”(Published July 02, 2015)
America is now desperate to antagonize Russia for doing what the American ‘coalition’ should have done months ago by saying that those that Russia are bombing are ‘CIA backed and trained rebels of Syria’. This is an absolute manipulation, as it has been documented by the Pentagon that the training program was an absolute failure. John McCain also addressed this in the Senate stating it a “total embarrassment” that fewer than a half-dozen of the Syrian recruits trained to fight ISIS are still part of the battle. (NewsMax, September 17th, 2015) The rest have either given up their weapons to various terrorist groups or joined them. Imagine the absurdity of the situation: the greatest threat to the world are using American weapons and being joined by American train individuals. So the fact is that who Russia is bombing are effectively terrorists.
If America truly wants to make a difference in the Middle East, they should set aside their own interests and take Russia’s offer to join their coalition. The idea of ousting Assad should become an afterthought, and the true focus should shift towards the true present enemy, ISIS. In order to work with Russia, America must heed the wise words of the ancient proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Then, evil will truly fall.
Patrick Lupynis is pursuing a Political Science major and International Studies minor at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.