Putin’s “War On Terror” Could Backfire

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

There can be no doubt that the Russians are winning the Middle East propaganda war. But it’s not just the Marxist far-left that is willing to believe whatever Vladimir Putin and his mouthpiece Russia Today (RT) are saying. Some conservatives and self-described Tea Party leaders have also accepted the disinformation the Russians are putting out, even to the extent of affirming the Russian president as a Christian statesman leading the global war on terror.

Consider Chuck Baldwin’s piece, “Rootin’ for Putin,” which insists that “Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the only one fighting a Just War in the Middle East right now.” Baldwin, a Christian pastor “dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded,” was the presidential candidate in 2008 of the Constitution Party, a group associated with the late conservative icon Howard Phillips.

It is simply amazing that any conservative would insist that Putin, who, despite dropping the communist label is still allied with Iran, Communist China, North Korea and Cuba, is somehow doing the right thing in Syria, a long-time Soviet/Russian client state. What Putin is doing is entirely consistent with what the Soviets always did. They are trying to save a client state from what started out as a popular rebellion.

In his column, Baldwin went on to label Barack Obama, David Cameron of Britain, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey as “international gangsters.”

It is true that Obama, through a few of America’s Arab “allies,” has been supporting the cause of some jihadists and terrorists in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been implicated in these dangerous schemes, one of which culminated in the Benghazi massacre of four Americans in Libya. That was a treasonous action that should sink Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and could have justified impeachment charges against Obama himself. Mrs. Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State at the time.

These operations in the Middle East have been characterized by former CIA officer Clare Lopez of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi as “switching sides in the War on Terror.”

But the idea that Putin has clean hands in the Middle East is absolutely ridiculous. Considering that he was a Soviet KGB spy and actually headed one of the KGB’s successor agencies, the idea that Putin has suddenly had a Damascus Road conversion to Christianity is simply ludicrous. His foreign policy is very similar to that of the old Soviet Union.

Since the foreign policy has mostly remained the same, Soviet financing and sponsorship of international terrorist networks, many of them linked to Arab and Muslim groups, also have to be taken into consideration here. It is reasonable to assume that the Russians have maintained at least parts of these networks for a purpose that we see in the backing of Bashar Assad in Syria. Indeed, writer and researcher Christian Gomez has traced the roots of ISIS to the Islamic Revival Party, created by the KGB, during the final days of the old Soviet Union. U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, has noted that the Russians are doing little in Syria to fight ISIS terrorists and that “Everything they [the Russians] are doing is to support Assad, to keep Assad in power.” In other words, Putin is continuing a clever Soviet-style strategy that seeks to maintain Assad in power while using ISIS for his own purposes. One of those purposes, as reflected in RT propaganda, is to make Putin look like a terrorist fighter.

Baldwin isn’t the only personality on the right duped by Putin and his propaganda machine. The CEO of a group calling itself simply the Tea Party has distributed an article claiming that Russia has produced “stunning photographic evidence” that ISIS oil was being smuggled into Turkey on an industrial scale.

The “stunning photographic evidence” shows nothing of the sort. Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider examined the Russian maps and found that the three main routes the Russians claim ISIS had allegedly been using to transport illicit oil into Turkey are not primarily controlled by the Islamic State. Turkish President Erdogan has countered: “Who is buying oil (from ISIS)? Let me say it. George Haswani, holder of a Russian passport and a Syrian national, is one of the biggest merchants in this business.” He noted that the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Haswani, who was also placed on an EU sanctions list, “for serving as middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from the ISIS group.”

If you haven’t heard about the sanctions on the individuals and networks providing support to Syria and facilitating Syrian oil purchases from ISIS, you are a victim of the slick propaganda that is being spread around the world by such outlets as RT. It is a fact that the Russian claims against Turkey are taking precedence, even in the Western media, over the facts on the ground, as determined not only by the U.S. Treasury but the U.S. Army. Colonel Warren said, “We flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL,” he said. “That is preposterous.”

The “Tea Party” article about the Russian claims was lifted directly from the Infowars.com site of Russian apologist Alex Jones, who just scored a major interview with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. No respectable Tea Party group should have anything to do with Alex Jones, who defended the Russian invasion of its former republic Georgia in 2008. Trump’s decision toappear on his show was extremely foolish. He apparently was not aware that Jones promotes claims that actual terrorist attacks, such as the Boston Marathon bombings carried out by two Muslims from Russia, were “false flags” perpetrated by U.S. police and law enforcement agencies. His website ran a “Voice of Russia”story claiming the dead and wounded were actors plastered with fake blood.

Rather than treat Putin as a good guy or ally, GOP presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (FL) argues that Turkey is a member of NATO and an ally that “deserves the full backing of the United States.” He noted that the Russians were “targeting Turkmen-populated pockets of northern Syria rather than territory controlled by ISIS” and that “Most Russian military strikes since the end of September have been non-ISIS targets, including many civilian areas, revealing that Russia does not share our interest in confronting and defeating ISIS but instead is intent on propping up the Assad regime.”

Before he assumed the role as a leader of the Sunnis in the Middle East, mobilizing forces against Shite Iran and Syria, Erdogan was known for his anti-Soviet views. Indeed, he was an anti-communist in his youth. As a result of Russia’s increased military involvement in Syria, he seems to have awakened to the fact that Putin has returned to his Soviet roots and that Turkey’s future lies with NATO and the West. Turkey joined NATO, originally conceived as an anti-Soviet military alliance, in 1952.

Assuming Erdogan is an Islamist of some kind, as some conservatives contend, it might make strategic sense for the West to back him for that reason alone in his battle with Russia. After all, most of Russia’s 14 million Muslims are Sunnis. RT itself recently highlighted how thousands of Muslims had gathered in central Moscow “to witness the opening of one of the biggest mosques in Europe.” The ceremony was attended by Putin and Erdogan, who had been considered to be on friendly terms.

Their relationship turned sour after Turkey shot down the Russian war plane, and it seems to be deteriorating further.

As noted by Ilya Arkhipov of Bloomberg Business, Putin used his annual state-of-the-nation address to attack Turkey and Erdogan in very personal and religious terms. Putin said, “Only Allah knows why they did this. And it seems that Allah decided to punish the ruling gang in Turkey by stripping it of common sense and reason.” Analyst Timothy Ash told Bloomberg that “The religious angle being used by Putin is unlikely to go down well in the region, where Erdogan is still seen as a defender of the Sunni faith.”

One observer has noted, in regard to Russian involvement in Arab/Muslim terrorism and now ISIS, that the monster that the USSR created may have grown too big, and that it may eventually attack its creator.  In the case of Turkey, Putin is facing a Muslim problem of his own making.


Related Articles

5 thoughts on “Putin’s “War On Terror” Could Backfire

  1. Putin is smart and cunning and every move he makes is very thoroughly calculated to further his own goals and agenda. It’s no secret that Putin himself is pursuing an aggressive revisionist policy designed to undermine the post WW2 and post–Cold War orders…

    His possible disengagement from Syria can be associated with the following three scenarios: A. Putin miscalculated and saw the raise of Iran and all the victories going to Iran in the region, who is merely borrowing the Russian Air force. Therefore, once Putin realized there were no bigger prizes for him other than the airbase in Latakia, he decided to pull out and let Iran pursue the remainder of strategic war goals. Also, what Putin achieved at a minimum strengthened Assad regime, so he has a bigger negotiating power during the peace talks.

    B. Domestic economic pressures – bombing runs and maintaining effective military power needs serious financial resources. Once Putin had achieved his minimum – strengthened Assad regime, he claimed the credit at home and made another strategic move to pull the bigger force, while maintaining the minimum presence.

    C. This might be just another trick & maneuver in Putin’s handbook and this might not mean any sort of withdrawal on the short-term or long-term, since the Russian air force is still continuing bombing the rebels in Syria after the withdrawal announcement. What did Putin want to accomplish? Time will show us…

  2. #2, #4, #8, #9 in my own summary below of this video interview clarifies Putin’s agenda, and he’s not to protect Christians or to fight ISIS!

    Daniel Greenfield interviewed by Jamie Glasov (10/12/15):
    <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFK2pCc8qxo&quot; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFK2pCc8qxo

    My Summary:

    1) There is a “Holy War” in Syria–between Shiites and Sunnis, and between different groups of Sunni Muslims. Putin is backing Shiites and Obama is backing Sunnis. It’s about picking one group of Muslim terrorists over another group of Muslim terrorists.

    2) Putin’s target is not ISIS, it’s various Sunni groups in order to keep Assad in power. It’s a face-off between Iran and Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    3) Putin is not really there for Assad, he’s there for Iran (this intervention was planned by a key Iranian figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard). Christians will still suffer in varying degrees under the rule of Iran or the Sunnis or ISIS.

    4) ISIS is not the main target: Russia is aiming at Sunni targets and Turkey is aiming at Kurds and there are ISIS casualties as a by-product.

    5) “Obama got into this to support a Muslim Brotherhood take-over of Syria. They had a major presence in the Sunni opposition originally. Since then, they’ve been displaced, to some extent, by groups aligned with Al-Qaeda.”

    6) The Muslim Brotherhood were able to take over Egypt and Tunisia without an armed conflict, but had an extended armed conflict in Libya. In Syria here’s been an extended religious civil war between the Shiites and the Sunnis (originally headed by the the Muslim Brotherhood which Obama wanted to back militarily, but who is now displaced by Al-Qaeda which he doesn’t want to back). Obama is in the strange position of (a) bombing ISIS but (b) cannot alienate Assad because of his deal with Iran and (c) he cannot alienate the Muslim Brotherhood.

    7) “The truth is there is no such thing as the ‘moderate’ Muslim terrorist. They’re all bad guys and we shouldn’t be supporting any of them.”

    8) Article “How Putin Is Winning And Losing Syria” by Daniel Greenfield
    “The more chaos Russia creates in the Middle East, the more Muslims flood into Europe, the shakier the European Union becomes. If Putin achieves nothing else in Syria, he can keep the flow of Muslim migrants going long enough to bring down the rest of Europe. And if Europe is in bad enough shape, his Eurasian Union becomes more viable.”

    9) “Russia is there for Iran, it’s there to protect Iran’s interests, and that puts it in a direct collision course with Israel.”

    10) (a) “We should focus on taking in Christian refugees rather than Muslim refugees…” and (b) “look for ways to stabilize Christian areas…” and (c) “I really wouldn’t recommend making particular deals with terrorist groups because that’s going to backfire.”

    (Posted on my blog recently.)

  3. “They are trying to save a client state from what started out as a popular rebellion.” Gotta call B.S. The “rebels” were always ISIS. They used chemical weapons on their own people just like Saddam, and it’s obvious. The Sarin gas attack in Syria was not done with military grade Sarin, but basement made “bathtub” grade Sarin. Sarin will stick to everything and kill all the first responders unless you are wearing a hazmat suit. According to Doctors without borders no first responders died, so it wasn’t Assad as he would have used Military grade chemical weapons, also the death rate according to DWOB was closer to 300, not the over 1000 as reported in the U.S. press. Look what happened to Lybia, and Iraq after their Secular dictators fell, anarchy and hopelessness that leads to ISIS taking over. The U.S. government has literally given billions to terror organizations such as the Taliban, Al Queada, and ISIS, over the years hoping to get a hold of the oil in the middle east. Most people commenting on these things don’t know their history, or they white wash what America does. America needs to get out of the middle east.

  4. I spoke with Trevor at a tea party rally. It was outside, and cold and rainy evening in Jacksonville Fl. Hardly anyone showed up. I felt bad for the folks like Trevor who give of themselves to make a difference in America.

    At any rate, I am STUNNED at the people who are praising Putin. Obama told his second in command to tell Putin he would have more flexibility after his election. Like he KNEW he would get re-elected.

    Putin is EX KGB. Once KGB, always KGB.


    1. Hi Peggy, Thank you for your comment and your kind words! Rick Santorum and Brandon Darby were also at that rally if I remember correctly. I am also dismayed at the number of people who seem to support Putin. Hopefully we can wake people up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *