s the Syria debacle worsens, and becomes a practicing ground for Nato and Russia airforces, it would seem that Barak Obama, the American president does not understand what Putin, the Russian president, sees clearly, which is that, Islam, as we have seen it in the Middle East, does not do democracy and and human rights.
Putin seems to believe that Obama's so called Sunni moderates, with time, will metamorphose into an intolerant dictatorship, which would invariably turn Syria into an Islamic state. Perhaps, Russia learnt something about Islam in Afghanistan, which the west is yet to learn.
Middle East is a region with deep sectarian divide, which dates to antiquity. In many of the countries, people are massacred, tortured, beheaded or stoned to death by governments and extremist groups, simply for exercising their fundamental human rights or because of who they are. At this moment, in Saudi Arabia, an innocent teenage boy, Ali Mohammed Al-Nimr has been sentenced to death. Ali is accused of participating in an illegal demonstration and firearms offences. His parents denies the fire arm allegation. There is also news that 28 people will be beheaded for their role in the stamped during the hadj.
In many Middle East countries, there is very little respect for life and, death seems to be an accepted means of settling differences. You often hear people from Middle East shouting death to to their enemies, perceived or real. They mean it. It would seem, the only way they know to settle differences with their enemies, is to kill them. The whole region has become a cesspit of intolerance, hate and extremism, which explains why very few of the refugees from the region, even though Muslims, would prefer to resettle in the west. They are heading west, not just for economic reasons, but also for the freedom and respect for human life, which Islamic countries cannot offer them.
Middle East has been a region of brutality, suffering and summary executions. It is now a region, where the world expect the worst of humanity. It is a very polarised environment with the obscenely rich and the abject poor. The direction is not towards enlightenment and civilisation. In many countries in Middle East, the worst of religion is the norm. Yet, it is the cradle of the three Abrahamic religions. In this dark abyss, what is important is your ethnic and or religious identities. It is about Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Jews, etc. it is not about values, ideals and strength of character. It is about what you believe and, which gate you haven chosen to enter heaven.These deluded intolerant extremists, believe that evil is right because a supposedly godly man(one who believes God exists) inflicts it on a 'bad' person(one who does not share the believers belief). They are blinded by ethnic and religious considerations and believe that God accepts them because of their beliefs.
This is the region, Barak Obama convinced himself that a man, who holds strong prejudice against his neighbour can be a moderate. He believes that those who fight terror by brutalising those who have been terrorised because they belong to a different religion, can be moderates. He trained and equipped them and turned them loose on Assad. Little did he know that many of them will decamp to ISIS to fight not for a democratic Syria, but an Islamic state.
Barak Obama does not seem to understand that his moderates do not believe that all men are brothers and equal and, it is our duty to 'do unto others as we would want others to unto us. He seems oblivious they they are misguided by religion and ethnicity. He does not seem to know that his Sunni moderates do not accept that the reason for going to war does not excuse war crimes, which is why they would kill their enemies, rip out their hearts and eat them raw. These are the people Barack Obama calls moderates.
It is therefore clear to objective minds that Assad, though a brutal dictator, is a lesser evil and represents hope of achieving a form of multiethnic democracy in Syria, in a region, locked in intractable conflict and where there seem to be no good and hope.
For the past decade or so, Putin has demonstrated a better understanding of Middle East and exposed the naivety of western leader, who seem to have forgotten the art of politics of cunning and craft. Time and time again, he has wrong footed them, only to do the obvious. He has talked about unity, only to act out of selfish interest. He has talked of cooperation, when he does not trust. In Georgia, Ukraine and now in Syria, he has shown that fortune favours the cunning and brave. He points them to East and moves north. This is politics as the west once played it.
As waves of determined refugees force their way into Europe and, the European Union finally coming to terms with the failure of its policy on Syria, Putin knew it was the right time to make his move in Syria.
By so doing, he has exposed the inaquacy of the western Middle East policy lead by America, which have been lead by young and inexperienced leaders, in recent times. The policies pursued by these neophytes and ideologues have resulted in the destruction of Iraq, implosion of Libya, destabilisation of Egypt and currently the decimation of Syria. All these because the leaders,inexperienced, blinded by ideologies and, without a grasp of history, failed to appreciate the depth of mistrust between people and nations.
The position of the west on Syria shows that they learnt nothing from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The result of the west foreign policy has been a resurgent Russia, the emergence of ISIS a more malignant form of al-Qaeda, which has been devastating Iraq and Syria and creating huge refugee problem and disruption of international travel.
By underestimating the hold Islam has on the people, and the dept of the ethnic and religious divide and hatred, the west played into the hands of religious extremist, resurrecting the Shia-shitte religious war. Today, Saudi Arabia(Sunni) is devastating Yemen in the guise of fighting the Houthi (Shias), while ISIS ( Sunni) is running riot in Syria and Iraq against Jews, Christians, Yazidis, shites, and Alawites. Yet, western intelligence could not correctly deconstruct what is happening in Middle East and, still think that Syria has any future without Assad. I can see another partitioning of a country between Russia and America.
Therefore, any policy that excludes the Assad regime, in a war of extremist is irresponsible. It may not be the moral thing to do. But certainly it is right and pragmatic to include Assad in the search for a solution the the Syria quagmire. To do otherwise would be to underestimated how far Russia is determined to go, in support of Assad to protect its Mediterranean military bases.
Each time, Putin has outmanoeuvres the west and, leaves them to explain their nativity. He has demystified America under a president, who is an ideologue and doesn't seem to know the limit of idealism. It is time for the west to swallow its pride and unite with Russia to defeat Sunni extremism in the Middle East. Sunni extremism is the very worst of Islamic extremism and remains the greatest threat to civil society, human rights and peaceful coexistence and the would must join hands to defeat it and any other form of religious extremism.
Barak Obama should understand that the so called moderate Muslims he is arming in Syria, are like moderate drinkers. With time, they usually get radicalised. No one who believes Mohamed is in heaven, martyr(suicide bombers) go to heaven, adulterers should be stoned to death, protesters should be beheaded, thieves should have their hands cut off, and women not equal to men can honestly accept liberalism, on which western civilisation is based.
Without a role for Assad, the Alternative solution may be to partition Syria and let those intolerant and prejudiced Muslims have their own country, where they can cover all women in black cloths and engage in debauchery, and sadomasochistic killings, while deluding themselves that ideas they hold in their heads alter reality and what happens after death. A man who does not know that his enemy's enemy is his friend, no matter their differences. is confused to say the least. History may finally prove Putin right.