President Putin, whatever one thinks of him, may be on to something:
Russian analyst: Moscow believes Washington is gripped by ‘strategic insanity’
According to Lukyanov’s latest article in Al-Monitor, an assessment of the lessons that he believes Russia drew from the Iraq war that began 10 years ago, President Vladimir Putin and his government are convinced that U.S. foreign policy is basically running on madness at this point. Here’s a snip, with my emphasis added, from Lukyanov’s article:
…From Russian leadership’s point of view, the Iraq War now looks like the beginning of the accelerated destruction of regional and global stability, undermining the last principles of sustainable world order. Everything that’s happened since — including flirting with Islamists during the Arab Spring, U.S. policies in Libya and its current policies in Syria — serve as evidence of strategic insanity that has taken over the last remaining superpower.
Russia’s persistence on the Syrian issue is the product of this perception. The issue is not sympathy for Syria’s dictator, nor commercial interests, nor naval bases in Tartus. Moscow is certain that if continued crushing of secular authoritarian regimes is allowed because America and the West support “democracy,” it will lead to such destabilization that will overwhelm all, including Russia. It’s therefore necessary for Russia to resist, especially as the West and the United States themselves experience increasing doubts…
In other words the undermining of the Concert of the World. Meanwhile ebullient Tom Friedman of the NY Times (who often bubbles over with ideas that are either over-optimistic or impractical) amazingly writes something rather similar:
…We toppled the dictator in Iraq. The people have done the same in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and, soon, Syria, but the same questions hang over all of them: Can they produce stable, decent, representative governments? Can Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians — or secularists and Islamists — live together as citizens and share power? If so, democratic politics has a future in this region. If not, the future will be a Hobbesian nightmare, where the iron-fisted dictators are removed but are replaced by rival sects, gangs and tribes, making impossible the decent governance needed for human development for millions of Arabs…
Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute