Russia's decision to fight against the Islamic State(IS) in Syria - joining what the United States(US) led International Coalition has done for months via air strikes, has some markings of a good ally in the battle against terror. Yet, the Russian plan amounts to a sinister ploy to shore up the failing regime of Bashar al Assad.
Hence, Russia is asking the international community to accept authoritarianism as the sole means to combating terror although the fallible system is marred with the destruction of individual rights.
Vladimir Putin's argument to salvage Assad is flawed since authoritarianism breeds terror. Its is the authoritarian regime of Bashar al Assad that has brutally slaughtered tens of thousands of Syrians and has gassed hundreds of children to death. It is the authoritarian regime of Assad that has fueled the rise and the spread of the IS in the Levant. So why would the international community want to give legitimacy to a war criminal?
In attempting to get the free world to support Assad, Putin is forcing the nations of free people into a position that would contradict the tenets of democracy, of human rights and of liberty. The crimes committed by the regime of Bashar al Assad can never be forgotten because of a fallible Russian ploy to save Assad. The Assad regime is terror.
Although the international coalition and Russia could find some common ground for military coordination within Syria against the IS, the international community must not allow Russia to soften the crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime. Assad must be held accountable and he must pay for crimes committed against the children of Syria.
So, whatever fantasy of yore Vladimir Putin might seek to harbor as a means to ending terror through authoritarianism, any and all attempts to prop up the Bashar al Assad regime should be utterly rejected.
Other nations, more so than Russia, stand to become more adversely effected from greater radicalization because of Putin's authoritarian agenda for Syria. Authoritarianism will stoke more violent extremism in the Levant and beyond.