President Obama’s deliberately defeatist foreign policy has scored another major victory for Russia. He has pushed NATO member France and its weak socialist president into the arms of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It may be that François Hollande felt that he had no alternative to deal with the international terrorist networks that have targeted his country and were begun decades ago by the old Soviet Union.
For those with short memories, in the 1980s the U.S. Congress examined in detail the origins, direction and support of international terrorist networks, which were then also based in the Middle East and Europe. A 1981 report by the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism cited evidence that most of the terrorist groups at that time were Soviet-financed and Cuban-trained. A concrete example was “Carlos the Jackal,” the Marxist terrorist trained by the Cubans and controlled by the KGB who eventually converted to Islam. The roots of terrorism are in Russia. Former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was murdered by Putin’s regime in London, most likely because he exposed KGB training of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. ISIS is a spin-off from al Qaeda.
President Reagan had rallied NATO governments in Europe against a Soviet nuclear threat and the international communist-backed terror networks operating during the 1980s. Today, under Obama, NATO is in disarray, and international terrorist groups are back on the march.
As the London Telegraph has noted, France has turned to the European Union, not NATO, for military resources to be used against ISIS. This move, writes Matthew Holehouse, is a “decisive shift” away from NATO.
There are also important shifts occurring domestically in France. Capitalizing on Hollande’s failure to deal with the Islamist invasion, the National Front is poised to make major gains in upcoming regional elections in France. But the term “far-right” does not apply to the National Front, since its leader Marine Le Pen is a Putin admirer. Putin’s use of “conservatives” in Europe and America has been well-documented by this columnist.
Obama’s deliberate failure to lead the Free World is so blatant that even members of the press who normally pay him deference have gotten testy. They actually asked some tough questions at his recent news conference. But Obama doesn’t want to be questioned about a foreign policy that gives strategic and tactical advantages to America’s enemies around the world.
Of these enemies, Russia is the most dangerous, since it has thousands of nuclear weapons, backs a nuclear Iran, and is still committing military aggression in Ukraine. In addition, Putin protects NSA defector Edward Snowden, who has made it easier for ISIS to escape surveillance and kill Europeans and Americans. The latest reports indicate that the terrorists in Paris used encrypted messaging apps.
If Putin is opposed to ISIS and terrorism, why does his regime continue to protect Edward Snowden?
In his new book, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, Russian dissident and activist Garry Kasparov writes about the “appeasers and cowards” who “talk ceaselessly of what might happen if the free world stands up to Putin or the consequences of taking direct military action against ISIS but what they do not want to address is what will happen if insufficient action is taken.”
The ISIS slaughter in France stands as the most recent evidence of what happens. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the deaths of 6,000 Ukrainians, and the downing of the Malaysian civilian airliner by Putin’s thugs, provide more examples.
Obama has pushed France into Russia’s hands in the fight against ISIS, which enables Putin to look like a savior of the world against the barbarians. Russia claims that a bomb downed a Russian airliner over Egypt on October 31, killing 224 people. Even if ISIS carried out this act of terrorism, it plays into Putin’s hands. As House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) has noted, Putin had ignored the ISIS offensive in the Middle East until his allies in the murderous Assad regime in Syria started losing too much ground. At that point, Putin “stepped in to solidify the Syrian dictator,” Royce noted. Instead of attacking ISIS strongholds in the Middle East, Royce continued, “Russia has spent weeks bombing opposition forces in Syria backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Russian airstrikes have flattened markets, schools and villages—killing scores of innocents. And aided by those same Russian airstrikes, ISIS gained ground.”
Now, after the French attacks, and with Obama still refusing to commit sufficient force to get the job done, Putin fills the void, now pretends to turn on ISIS, and enlists France in a coalition led by Russia. The old KGB spy is playing a geopolitical game, outflanking the United States and our “allies,” who are now deserting us.
It’s getting monotonous to ask which side Obama is on. At every critical juncture, he defers to Vladimir Putin and his comrades. The pattern is clear. The next step is for Obama to follow Putin’s lead into a New World Order that ignores past Russian support for international terrorism and Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine.