Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Monday, March 29, 2010

Russia's Islamic Enigma

If there is a country which has suffered tremendous trauma from the murderous acts of Islamic Jihadists, that country would undoubtedly be Russia. Russia has seen some of the most vomiting acts of terrorist since 9-11. This country has witnessed such horrific acts when Islamic terrorists attacked a theater in Moscow and hostaged grade school children in Beslan. Search for Google on the word "Beslan" and you will see the top results alluding to the hostage crisis. That was five years ago and with the fast changing face of the internet, it just shows that the world was never really healed from such horrors.

Winston Churchill though described Russia as a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma". This perfectly fits its present relationship with radical Islam. Though it has enormous odds facing Islamic terrorists, it has no qualms supporting nation states like Iran who support such groups in Syria and Lebanon. If there is a country who would understandably crack down on these type of groups with impunity, it will be the Russians. But that is not the case here. Why is this so?

Four possible reasons for this can be surmised:

1. Russia (just like the United States) had always had ambitions of having a strong influential presence in the Middle East. In Zhirinovsky's "Final Thrust to the South" , we can see the inner sentiment of Russia for its Middle East ambitions.

2. The Zhirinovsky book also shows hatred for the Jews, a great adversary for radical Islam. This sentiment is not without basis. In the 1967 and 1973 wars, Russia has helped Israel's enemies by supplying high-tech weapons.

3. By being allies with radical Islamic nations, there could be certain instances when these Chechen rebels are kept on a tight leash by groups sympathetic with the Russians.

4. Actually the Chechen rebels also give justice to the tough posturing of Putin before the Russian public. Russians will now fear that an overly democratic government will be a sign of weakness and they could be an increase in attacks by Chechen rebels.

In the end it is inevitable that for Russia's dreams to come true, it will have to have a showdown with Israel and it will bring a great Islamic coalition with them. And with another Russian dictator (probably Putin or someone else), this won't be far-fetched possibility.