2015: The year Russia told America to ‘F*ck Off’
In an age when diplomats regularly correspond with each other behind the cold cover of firewalls and Twitter accounts, Moscow’s method of informing its US partners that it would start bombing operations in Syria was reminiscent of a gesture from a more chivalrous era.
Washington said it first learned of Moscow’s plans in Syria when it received a personal visit from a Russian general who appeared at the US Embassy in Baghdad.
Just hours later, the Russian military – with the full support of Damascus – stunned the world by opening a powerful aerial assault against Islamic State forces in Syria where they were stubbornly entrenched not only as a viable fighting force, but as the owners and operators of a profitable oil-producing enterprise, no less.
This Russian demonstration of shock-and-awe provided an exclamation point to comments delivered by President Vladimir Putin, who just one day earlier had berated Western powers in the UN General Assembly for the massive mess they had created in the region.
“I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity,” Putin told the audience.
The Russian leader went on to make a direct connection between the West’s blundering foreign policy, which has recklessly usurped various leaders and governments without any clear idea as to what or who will fill the vacuum, and the rise of Islamic State.
“The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed… And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State,” he noted.
Putin is far too experienced a statesman to say exactly which global power(s) might be interested in cannibalizing the broken bits and pieces of Iraq, Libya and Syria and turning them into a private proxy army, but he left no doubt that the rise of Islamic State was by no means an accident.
“In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere,” Putin said, in what may have been the most telling yet downplayed part of his speech. “It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes.”
Putin is by no means alone in this belief. In May of this year, Judicial Watch, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits, became privy to some highly explosive Pentagon documents that were compiled about a year before Islamic State appeared on the global stage in their Toyota trucks and US-made weapons.
The document states that “The Salafist [Islamic State], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria. The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.”
The declassified document continues:
“If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared
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