There’s no doubt it. Vladimir Putin is no saint, and his nation no beacon of freedom or human rights. But does that mean that we shouldn’t work with Russia when it comes to fighting Isis?
That’s the question that was discussed earlier this week on Tucker Carlson Tonight, where Tucker went toe to toe with Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters, who has long been a cheerleader for regime change across the Middle East, including Syria. During the interview, he even went so far as to compare Tucker to individuals who sympathized with Hitler before World War Two, because Tucker didn’t think it was a bad idea to work with the Russians on this particular issue. That’s when Peters’ rabid Russophobia reared its ugly head.
Ralph Peters seems to have a rosy view of America’s foreign policy. He says that the Russians have been bombing hospitals and refugee camps, but ignores the massive civilian casualties that our airstrikes inflict on a regular basis. That doesn’t excuse those casualties, but it suggests that the Syrian people would be no worse off if we worked with the Russians to snuff out ISIS.
He says that the Russians are helping Assad stamp out freedom fighters, but he ignores the fact that most of the rebels that we helped in the past were and still are, Islamic radicals. In that sense, the Syrian people would be better off with having the Russians on their side. At least they don’t create more terrorists than they kill.
Ralph Peters’ overly simplistic views on foreign policy are aligned with the same views held by neoconservatives who drove the Middle East into chaos in the first place. He’s aligned with the same people who thought they could destroy stable secular governments that were no threat to us, without unleashing a wave of sectarian violence and Islamic militancy. His proposals are more of the same. He wants to destroy a stable secular government, by helping radical Islamic groups (who he thinks are just freedom fighters) overthrow Assad, and he’s determined to prevent the Russians from cleaning up our mess.
We have only a few choices in the Middle East at this point. We can keep doing what we’ve been doing since 9/11, which is trying to force Middle Eastern countries to become liberal democracies by utterly destroying them. That clearly hasn’t worked out. Or we can help the Russians stamp out the radicals that we helped spawn with our chaotic wars, which proved to be petri dishes for terrorism. Or we can back out of the Middle East entirely. Peters and his ilk support the worst of those options, and we should pray that they never come to dominate our government ever again.