Sunday, October 04, 2015

ISIS is getting whomped by Russia (it seems)

I've been seeing articles like this one today:

ISIS left so weakened by airstrikes and desertion it could be wiped out in just HOURS

Maybe that's a bit overly-sensational. But it appears as if the Russian military means business.

The response from the west (the US included) has been more along the lines that "Assad is worse than ISIS":

It seems as if the west is trying to "thread the needle" -- that is, degrade ISIS while not giving Assad any advantages. Russia doesn't feel the west's sense of propriety.

Older (background):


  1. It's pretty bad when I agree with Russia on this one. Love him or hate him, it's hard to deny that Assad has largely been a stabilizing figure in Syria despite his somewhat dictatorial methods.

    The Syrian rebels were more a part of the Arab Spring movement: their goal was basically to make every country fully Islamic. They don't like Assad because he was actually protecting Christians, although he was keeping them under his thumb.

    ISIS, on the other hand, has the explicit goal of ushering in the Twelfth Caliphate for the end of the world, mainly by killing everyone else, including other Islamic sects. There have been reports of ISIS soldiers coming to Christ as they read through the Bibles of Christians they have killed. Of course, they come to faith at the immediate expense of their mortal life.

    Nevertheless, the government doesn't bear the sword in vain, and it's the job of world governments to eradicate ISIS for the sake of peace. Russia is doing this right now. The US is not. That's a sad state of affairs.

    1. It's pretty messed up when Russia's moral/political compass is truer than that of the U.S.

    2. I probably should qualify my comment above, because I don't necessarily think that it's bad that Russia is working to "eradicate ISIS" although I don't know that they are doing it for "the sake of peace" so much as "Russian self-interest." And further to that, I don't think we ought to consider "Russian self-interest" in this case to be evil.

      For some time now, I've not felt that the US should be the world's police officer -- certainly that connotes some reduction in national self-esteem for the US. But I don't think that's bad. Steve may disagree with me if he sees this comment, but the US really fouled up in Iraq, and there is a strong case to be made that we shouldn't have invaded there in the first place in 2003. Yes, a very hard and brutal military effort (the 2007 "surge") got things straightened out in Iraq for a while, but that also entailed a long-term military presence on the order of what we saw during the Cold War in Europe. It was a military presence in which it seems that as a nation, the US voted "no" (Obama foreign policy vs McCain foreign policy).

      Now, it's "a sad state of affairs" that it is Russia moving into Syria at this point -- but not necessarily because it has anything to do with a loss of US self esteem. For example, did you see news stories now that Iraq is inviting Russia to go after ISIS within its own borders? If that happens, ISIS will be gone, Russia will have the long-term military engagement in a part of the world that is a whole lot less stable than Europe was in the 40's and 50's.

      That is their corner of the globe. They are naturally more "self-interested" in having it be stable.

      From a geopolitical perspective, it will be Russian resources that will be invested -- "blood and treasure" -- and not American resources. That will most likely have Europe sweating more than the US. With that thought, on top of the current refugee crisis, on top of the growing understanding in Europe of what Islam is doing to its own population, I think that we can see some rising realizations and discussions over there about "how we want the world to look moving forward" and that "we don't want a European caliphate".

      Certainly nothing is ideal, but it seems as if there are advantages.