The distinguished Israeli commentator Isi Leibler has written a fascinating, thought provoking article in his Blog “Candidly speaking from Jerusalem”, in which he reveals a perhaps surprising insight into the present Israeli – Russia relationship. The title of Isi Leibler’s article is important, ” Putin’s Russia and Israel : a tenuous relationship “, and while I am tempted to quote from the article and make comments on the substance of it, but because of the tenuous and subtle nature of it, I won’t. Isi’s article should be read as a whole without the risk of isolated quotes distorting what he is saying. The article can be read in full here, and I would highly recommend everyone to do so.
Although Isi’s article is naturally centred on Israel’s relationship with Russia, he nevertheless touches on the implications for the rest of the world, and in particular that of the US, and it is that which I want to discuss here. Retiring US General Raymond Odierno speaking from the Pentagon has said that Russia is the most dangerous threat to the US, citing the “sophistication” of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Bearing in mind that this man is a US army General speaking from the Pentagon, it is reasonable to conclude that he is speaking from a military perspective. Does he really believe that Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation is realistically contemplating waging a war against the US and guaranteeing a nuclear holocaust? Or is this just a bit of sabre rattling to draw our attention away from the real enemy? If there is one thing that the long “Cold War” taught us, it was that the Russian people and her leaders, no matter how outwardly aggressive they may be, are not religious nihilistic fanatics or suicidal maniacs who are prepared to plunge the world into a nuclear end of time.
However ISIS and Islam is all of these things. So who is the biggest threat ? There is no doubt that Putin and the Russian Federation are a strategic threat to the US and the West. They are a very real threat to the US’s political interests and influence in the Middle East and elsewhere, and also a threat to the US’s self appointed role as ” leader of the free world”. We must however examine why a Russia which has not yet fully recovered from its collapsed Soviet base has so quickly become a strategic threat to the most powerful State in the world. You do not become or maintain the position of ” Leader of the free world” by divine right. You have to work at it and earn it, and you have to have a leader who exhibits the qualities of statesmanship, resolution, diplomatic nous, and strength, and since Barak Hussein Obama became President of the US, none of these qualities have been in evidence. If Putin has stolen much of the US’s influence in the Middle East it is partly because he has resolution and strength, unlike Obama. This despite Putin’s rather comical macho posturing and Rambo like play-acting, but mostly Putin’s success is down to the fact Obama has handed it to him on a plate.
Prior to WW2 President Franklin Roosevelt with great foresight began a process of negotiation with the Soviet Union and Stalin. It seemed to come to nothing but he persisted, and when Germany finally invaded the Soviet Union Roosevelt with the aid of Winston Churchill at last got and alliance with Stalin to defeat Hitler. Both Roosevelt and Churchill despised Stalin and Communism and foresaw that Stalin would inevitably be a problem after the defeat of Germany, but Roosevelt famously said that he “would hold hands with the devil” if necessary to win the war. Both men cast aside their personal dislikes in the interests of defeating a common enemy who was an immediate threat to Western civilisation. That was statesmanship of the highest order.
Neither Obama or any other Western leader today is capable of such statesmanship. Today we are facing an almost identical situation with ISIS and Islam threatening the US, Britain and Europe, the State of Israel and the Russian Federation, but we don’t have a Roosevelt in the White House or a Churchill in 10 Downing Street to unite everyone in a common cause. When Putin visited Obama he was met on a professional level with openly displayed hostility, and on a personal level Obama behaved like a spoiled adolescent brat. Obama’s treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was precisely the same. No statesmanship, no diplomacy just petty pouting and foot-stamping, so why on earth should the US be so surprised that they are losing influence in the world, and why should they be so shocked when Putin goes it alone ?
Which brings us to the Ukraine situation. Putin’s actions in Ukraine was never about Russian expansionism, but the European Unions attempts to absorb Ukraine into the EU and into NATO was unquestionably about EU expansionism. If Ukraine was to join the EU and NATO, then the military might of NATO would quite literally be parked on Russia’s doorstep. Ukraine was Vladimir Putin’s ” Cuban missile crisis”. If it was good enough for JFK and the US to take us all to the brink of nuclear war to prevent the same thing from happening on her doorstep, then it was perfectly rational for Putin and the Russian Federation to take similar action to protect their security and interests. Putin does not want to own Ukraine, he wants it to remain a buffer State. The only Western politician with the guts and integrity to stand up and say this was the leader of Britain’s UKIP Party Nigel Farage, and he had to take a great deal of flack for it.
The NATO military exercises which are currently taking place in, of all places, Spain, have the mark of Obama all over them. In the full glare of publicity a constant chain of US commanders are openly and loudly declaring that they are practicing for a possible conflict with the Russian Federation. Talk about sabre rattling with a vengeance ! If the EU had had its way this NATO sabre rattling could have been taking place on Russia’s border, and the world would have soon learned that Putin has a pretty big sabre too, and not afraid to use it.However, thankfully the exercises are being held in true Obamaesque style as far away from the danger as possible without falling into the Atlantic Ocean. Putin must be rolling around laughing.
There is a very clear and present threat to Western civilisation, but it is not from Vladimir Putin. It is from two sources. The first and most obvious one is from the sound that Obama think so sweet, Islam. The second is from what Bill Warner calls the ” near enemy ” the enemy within, the progressive enablers and apologists for Islam, who will always seek to draw attention away from the real threat and blame everything on Israel and Russia. The only two States with a grim grasp of reality despite their differences. The ex-KGB man Putin and his administration are undoubtedly not a host of heavenly angels, but when he increases his country’s power and influence in the world he is doing what his country pays him for, he is doing his job.
Contrast this with the leaders of the West. Barak Hussein Obama has managed to turn his once proud nation into a laughing stock throughout the world with his pathetic ” negotiations” with Iran. His complete submission to his beloved Islam evident for all to see. Hopefully the US can recover once Obama answers his call to prayer in just over a years time. Angela Merkel has to all intents and purposes began the destruction of her own country and probably that of the EU as well. History and the German people will not be kind to her. David Cameron seems to be making a belated and desperate attempt to reign in on mass immigration, but he can’t quite control his progressive upper middle class, old Etonian liberalism and is doing everything in his power to keep the UK firmly chained to the undemocratic, unelected, corrupt and disintegrating European Union.
There is only one man who fulfils all the conditions for a statesman, and that man is Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel, a free democratic State which has survived military attacks from its Arab Muslim neighbours, perpetual anti-Semitism from the entire Muslim world, and 60 plus years of constant hostility and anti-Semitism from most of the world. Yet! The State of Israel has miraculously emerged from this almost universal unjust disapprobation a free, democratic, charitable and tolerant country who treat wounded enemies every bit as well as they do their own, and have contributed more than most to medicine, science, technology, music, the Arts and many, many more beneficial attributes to civilised society.
Thank God for Zionism ! It is these same values which makes Islam the real enemy of Israel and not Russia, and it is the remnants of these same values in the West which makes Islam the real enemy of the West. Definitely not Vladimir Putin or Russia.