This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 15/05/2011
Russia has not only inherited the weakened military power, debts and poverty of the former Soviet Union, it has also adopted its foreign policy of supporting totalitarian and dictatorial regimes in the world. Its stand on the recent events in Syria and Libya is similar to those taken by the Soviet Union in the last century on Cuba, Nicaragua and other totalitarian regimes, which have gone too far in oppressing and humiliating their nations. This stand is no longer surprising due to the existence of a new Stalin who controls Russian decisions - once as president and again as prime minister; thus, he keeps on strangling this huge country forever.
When Moscow prevented the Security Council from punishing the regimes of Damascus and Tripoli for the massacres and oppressive acts committed against the Syrians and Libyans, its act was not only about the game of interests. It actually reflected the philosophy behind the totalitarian Russian rule, which tries to hide behind a democracy that has been tailored for certain persons. There is a growing fear over the possibility of turning genuine democracy into an international infection that may one day affect the Kremlin; thereby, bringing back the heydays of the Eastern European spring. This has prompted Vladimir Putin’s regime to prevent the world from taking the rightful stance to help Libyans and Syrians get rid of the oppressive crematories in which they are being pushed into daily.
Moscow’s regime must realize that its counterparts in Damascus and Tripoli have lost their popular legitimacy. While the latter is currently preparing its death certificate, the former is suffering the last moments of collapse as reflected in the deployment of tanks to Syrian towns and villages to confront those who have been demanding for freedom and reform. Every time the popular voice gets louder, the two regimes become weaker. This is a clear indication that Moscow will lose its bet on allies, which have no other means of ruling but to kill, put people in prisons, and steal national resources.
Moscow has deviated from international legitimacy over the last few years. It has not exerted any effort to maintain peace and stability in the world. It has assisted Tehran in challenging the international community through the suspicious nuclear project, so Iran has started imagining itself as the controlling power in the world. Iran has been issuing threats to whoever it wishes, meddling in the affairs of other countries, and spreading terrorist cells in the Arab and Islamic worlds. All this happens under the supportive Russian umbrella.
No one was surprised when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared that his country is against any humanitarian and legal intervention in Syria to help its people eliminate the unjust acts that they were left to face on their own. He made the statement while the Syrian regime and its thugs continue to commit the most horrendous crimes against unarmed citizens, including children, women and the elderly. Is it not the free world’s duty to punish anyone who supports totalitarian regimes, such as those in Damascus and Tripoli?