How the 'War on Terror' and 'Foreign Policy Realism' Enabled Putin to Wage War on Freedom

Feb 05, 2022

The 'international community' has shown contempt for Syrian and wider Arab freedom not just for the past 11 years since the start of the Syrian revolution and the Arab Spring, but for decades, with the 'free world' treating Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the MENA region as another planet where the fundamental rights and freedoms detailed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights don't apply.

While Western leaders like giving lofty, impassioned 'Never Again' speeches, their opposition to genocidal fascism has never extended beyond the West, leaving the Assads and others to establish their own quasi-fascist dictatorships and totalitarian regimes and turning a blind eye to their monstrous inhumanity. When those tyrants who've outlived their usefulness or "threaten regional stability" are periodically deposed or removed, the 'international community' works hard to see that they're replaced by more compliant others who share the same authoritarian worldview, whatever their ideological veneer.

This cynical duplicity with totalitarianism and state terror is called "realpolitik", with Arab and African peoples essentially relegated as for centuries, to the status of chattels - or "collateral damage" - to be subjugated, with any agency simply denied and any efforts that threaten this monstrous status quo depicted as destabilising insurgency or terror. This narrative is justified by the aforementioned political humbug and cant about 'maintaining stability'.

These tyrannical state terrorists, are extremely adept at and reliant on using terror - nobody is as expert in understanding, creating and/or leveraging terror as the tyrants who rule by it - or whatever else serves their interests at a given moment as a means of mollifying the public, justifying their repression and diverting blame from themselves. Both state and non-state terrorists also routinely cynically and shamelessly exploit the cause of Palestinian freedom as a figleaf justification, accusing dissidents of being Mossad and/or CIA infiltrators intent on undermining the Dear Father Leaders' Glorious Resistance states and thwarting their tireless drive for Palestinian freedom, which is apparently to be achieved via jargon-laden editorials and Hitlerian speeches.

In reality, of course, this strongly fascistic 'Axis of Resistance' relies on Israel retaining its current policies and form, with each depending on the other to justify their own repression and bigotry. Both also rely to a great degree on the War on Terror, which serves as an essential tool and figleaf to support the idiotic contention that state terrorism is a 'better option' than its non-state peer, omitting to mention that a 'choice' of two forms of intolerable repression and injustice is no real or desirable choice. Despite this, even supposedly 'progressive' and 'enlightened' Western leaders and governments support the ludicrous argument that the existence of non-state terror justifies or excuses the no less intolerable systemic murderous authoritarianism, injustice and repression of state terror - though only for non-Western nations. This is also justified by the equally idiotic and deeply racist delusion that freedom or tyranny can be justified based on location, with evil being acceptable so long as it's geographically compartmentalized. This in turn is based on the equally foolish, unspoken but apparently widely shared belief that authoritarian states exist in hermetically sealed bubbles safely sealed off from liberal democracy and the Western world.

This acceptance and legitimisation of repression and state terror, using the War on Terror as a tool has also been inspirational to other authoritarians worldwide, most notably Vladimir Putin, who's used 'the fight against Islamist terror' as a pretext for his expansionist policies and repression since the 1990s Moscow apartment bombings.

Putin, who’s nothing if not an exceptionally shrewd political operator, has used the same pretext since the 1990s, with the Moscow apartment bombings giving him his justification for invasion of Chechnya and for his first and most genuine election to the Russian presidency. He’s relied on his status as Iconic Saviour of Russia From the Menacing Islamist Hordes ever since, with anyone who questions this narrative or exposes Putin’s own involvement in the Moscow apartment bombings and other terror operations being dismissed as a terror supporter or dying in horrible circumstances, as with Alexander Litvinenko. For Putin, therefore, the War on Terror was political manna from heaven, giving him all he needed to expand and support this strategy – once again, nobody is as adept at using or exploiting terror as the tyrants who rule by and benefit from it.

Putin's ally Xi and others have also found the War on Terror an endlessly useful pretext for gaining legitimacy with Western leaders, while even the Western 'left' which formerly opposed the War on Terror when it was viewed as an American-British and Western governments' initiative, has joined with the far-right in cheerleading for Putin and Assad, squawking thinly disguised racist, Islamophobic bilge and invective about "Wahhabi Takfiri Jihadis" that would make Dick Cheney sound like a bleeding heart liberal to justify crimes against humanity and to conflate peoples seeking freedom with the non-state terrorists who have a symbiotic relationship with their state terror peers, being essential to justify persecution and denial of freedom.

All this has been Miracle-Gro for resurgent fascism, with fascists leaping on any excuse, however transparent, to justify their hateful bigotry and racist worldview and boost support for repression and tyranny at home and abroad. This in turn has also been essential to boosting Putin and co, who are extremely adept at spotting and exploiting opportunities to undermine democracy, with Western governments' blindness, cynicism and duplicity giving the enemies of freedom, both state and non-state, everything they need to do so.

Now, as totalitarian axes and Xi’s Putin’s and Khamenei’s military alliance grows stronger day by day, Western leaders have the choice of either supporting freedom as a universal right and standing beside free peoples worldwide as equals or handing the world to the Putins, Xis and other state and non-state terrorists whose genocidal values are 100% universal. This is the reality and the invariable result of 'foreign policy realism'.