From the folks that gave us the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact

For many years the Mideast conflict was a proxy for the cold war. The USSR supported the Arab rejectionists and the Western bloc provided Israel with weapons and aid to defend itself. In 1972, Anwar Sadat expelled Russian military advisors and and began to move away from the Soviet sphere; in 1979, of course, he signed a peace treaty with Israel under the auspices of the US.

Now the Russians seem to be injecting themselves back into the region, and again they don’t intend to be helpful (at least, not from my point of view). Barry Rubin notes,

The recent visit of Russia’s President Medvedev with a huge entourage was a major step toward reestablishing the old Soviet-Syria relationship. There were broad economic talks, including the possibility of Russia building a nuclear reactor for the Syrian dictatorship…

Then there’s Medvedev’s visit to the newest member of the anti-American Islamist alliance: Turkey. In a joint statement the two countries’ leaders said that Hamas should be part of any regional negotiations. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, a hardline Islamist who was so feared that he had to promise before the last parliamentary election not to be a candidate for president. His AKP party won and within a few hours Gul was stepping into that office.

Gul explained in his joint press conference with Medvedev, who said the same exact thing: “Unfortunately Palestinians have been split into two… In order to reunite them, you have to speak to both sides. Hamas won elections in Gaza and cannot be ignored.”

A call for Hamas to be included in negotiations amounts to an endorsement of the genocidal Hamas program. Do I exaggerate? Read the Hamas covenant and consider what Hamas has done since Israel withdrew from Gaza. It really doesn’t matter if Hamas won an election, because even if the majority of Palestinian Arabs believe that Israel should be destroyed and all the Jews murdered, this is not a civilized position and it does not deserve a civilized response (to be precise, Hamas won an election, joined a coalition government, and then violently overthrew it  and set up a rump regime).

The Russians have a spotted history of civilized and not-so-civilized behavior, but this is particularly cynical considering that they are facing violent Islamic insurgencies themselves. Rubin suggests that they have made a deal with Iran that they will support the anti-American Iran-Syria-Turkey alliance in return for Iran’s withholding support for the Chechen and other Muslim separatists. Not terribly surprising, from the folks that gave us the Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact of 1939.

Anyway, this is not aimed specifically at Israel, although I doubt that the traditionally antisemitic Russians would be bothered by the negative side effects of their policy for Israel. The idea is to keep Iran off their backs and also to get on the winning side in the conflict between Iran and the US for influence in the Mideast.

It’s ironic — anti-Zionists in the US often argue falsely that we wouldn’t be a target of Islamic terrorism were it not for our support of Israel. Since the conflict in the Mideast today is at least in part driven by the Iranian desire to push out US influence from the region, one could say that Israel’s problems stem from its support of the US!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “From the folks that gave us the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact”

  1. Robman says:

    I don’t think Iran can help Russia with Chechnya anyway. I’ve never heard of any link between the Chechen Islamists and Iran. Have you?

    My understanding is that the Chechen insurgency is one part age-old hatred of the Russians – Chechnya was among the last regions to fall to imperial Russian rule in the 19th century after an incredibly bloody war – and one part Wahabbi extremism. And guess where the Wahabbis come from…and it ain’t Shiite Iran!

    Real world, what I’m seeing here is good old Russian opportunism and corruption. I’m sure Iran has been greasing Russian palms for some time now to keep the nuclear technology coming, and to keep the UNSC off their back. This is a logical progression of this dynamic. Also, the Russians have been smarting for some time over losing the Cold War, and now that we’ve got an incredibly weak presdident over here, the Russians see an opening to increase their influence at our expense.

    The strange bedfellow here is Turkey. They never did like the Russians. I can’t imagine that they do now.

    That Turkey is involved here smells strongly of Iranian influence. This isn’t talked about much – maybe because there isn’t much hard evidence – but I’d wager that Iranian ops in Turkey are really the biggest foreign policy success the mullahs have pulled off so far. That AKP has GOT to be an Iranian front. Before them, Turkey was pretty solidly secular for generations. Theocratic Iran and secular Turkey – whose founder has long been a bogeyman of the Islamists for setting up an officially secular Moslem state – were polar opposites. Now, with the ascendancy of the AKP, they are getting along just dandy.

    To top it off, a particular journalist – one Gwynne Dyer, whom I’ve long suspected of being an Iranian whore – was shilling for the AKP from the start, years ago. What dog did he have in that fight? This is an internationally syndicated columnist – Canadian born, based in London – who has morphed into the best English-language mouthpiece Iran ever had. If he ISN’T getting paid by Teheran, he sure is a chump, ‘cuz they couldn’t buy better and more consistent propaganda for their side than this guy provides.

    This is just wonderful. A NATO member state that is, in effect, an Iranian mole. But remember, everybody, the BIGGEST obstacle to peace is those darn uppity Jews and their “setttlements”!!!!

    Once again, we see what a difference one election can make…..

  2. Vic Rosenthal says:

    “I don’t think Iran can help Russia with Chechnya anyway. I’ve never heard of any link between the Chechen Islamists and Iran. Have you?”

    No, but Iran could very easily support the Islamic radicals in Chechnya, etc., just like they support them everywhere else. Their staying out is a quid pro quo for Russian support for (or at least non-interference in) their nuclear program, the A-300 antiaircraft system they want delivered, etc. They also have a common interest in pushing the US out of the Mideast.

    Iran has made alliances of convenience with Sunni Islamists before — Hamas is an important example.

    Turkey has historically feared Russia, but apparently the new Islamist regime sees some advantage in shifting its alliances from the West toward the Iran-Syria axis, which Russia seems to be supporting.