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May 29, 2016 6:15 am

Vladimir Putin Is Winning in Syria — and in Europe

avatar by Ron Agam

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photos: Wikipedia.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photos: Wikipedia.

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Russia has played an extremely Machiavellian political game. By propping up the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, Vladimir Putin has helped create the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

While the West and most of the Sunni regimes in the Middle East want a peaceful end to the horrific war in Syria, Russia’s dictator has other goals. He wants to help Russia became a great power on the world stage, and to punish Europe for the economic boycott launched against Russia following its invasion of the Ukraine.

Europe is overflowing with migrants. They are living in horrible conditions, and they are straining the entire continent. This has led to the largest resurgence of far-right political parties since before World War II.

Putin’s strategy of preserving the Assad regime has produced the crisis that we are all witnessing today. Not only is Putin saving his strongest Mideast ally, but in a double win, he is also destabilizing Europe and generating political support for his regime due to the rise of these right-wing parties. Like most of Europe’s leaders, US President Barack Obama has been befuddled by Putin’s wily strategy.

I cannot recall a more “brilliant and Machiavellian” move by any world leader to further his strategic interests than Putin’s actions in Syria. And, since the refugee crisis is just starting to emerge, we will be living with the consequences of these tragic Kremlin decisions for many years to come.

Just last week, an incredible political achievement by the extreme rightist party in Austria showed us that the repercussion of this crisis and its implications for a peaceful and dynamic Europe will be severe.

Putin has put Europe at great risk, and for him, that is a sweet victory over his enemies of yesterday.

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  • Just wanted to say, that I thought the analysis to be pretty good.

    • Reda b

      Agree on the analysis of Kurt Borgoo ; that is a good one

  • Kurt Borgoo

    I don’t know the agenda of the author of this article, but it’s a long way from truth. First of all, the Syrian civil war was ignited during the so called Arab Spring by Erdogan who wants an Ottoman friendly regime in Damascus which has to be sunni – whether liberal, moderate of extreme. Secondly, Putin has learned a lesson in Libya. Never trust Western regimes on their word. Therefor: being a friend of Russia, means you have a friend forever. By the way: I wonder if the Greek are so happy to be a member of Nato when another Natomember – Turkye – violates its borders on a daily basis. Thirdly, Europe being overflowed by migrants is because the outer borders of Schengen don’t work. Instead of gathering these people in centra on the Meditterean Islands – aka the Australian sollution, harsh but fair – Frau Merkel and her willing acolites manage to offer these desperate people so much false hope that they wrench the European fabric itself. Short sighted politics by Gutmenschen who feel ethically superior and who want to make up for the national socialist nightmare of WW II.

  • zanka

    This article is just a bunch of lies.

  • Reda B

    Also agree, the analysis is just biaised.
    Syria is quite a complex topic with all the rich sunni against it
    and creating a virtual revolution.
    Russia as a historical partner had no choice to support Syria
    Or Syria will loose some geopolical coverage.
    All past action to isolate Russia and destruc Russia
    Are now resulting in reactions showing 1- strong links and loyalty betweek Russia and Syria
    2- strength of the Syrian regime and it’s core people

  • Yes, Russian President Putin is winning in Syria and Europe because he is a strategic thinker. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is another strategic thinker whose country is the only democracy in the Middle East. And the “genuine” war criminals are Islamic fascists who murder Jews and Christians.

  • If somebody started the civil war in Syria it ‘s Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The so called Arab Spring was a disaster and the creation of Isis by the CIA and Erdogan was absolutely the most crazy thing they ever did except the creation and support for Bin Laden after the invasion in Afghanistan.
    There are lots of Jewish people who support so called ‘right-wing’ parties in the EU, don’t you understand why ? They fear islam more than anything else and they are not wrong, look at Brussels, Paris, Madrid, London, 9-11, etc … Wake up !

  • Roland

    This article gets a lot wrong first the migrants were arriving years before Russia got engaged in Syria. Second political leaders in various EU member states have made irresponsible statements that the whole of the worlds poor and suffering masses can come to Europe after which they would be forced upon reluctant EU member states by way of quotas and steep fines. That is the cause of growing anti-migrant and EU backlash and rightly so.

  • A Tolerant Indian

    What a stupid analysis!!! Its not Putin who created Syrian crisis. It is USA & their ally ISIS who destabilized syria and are behind the one of the biggest migrant crisis ever in history..

  • John koivisto

    What a load of crap.

    Who facilitated the civil war in Syria?

    Who at an early stage supported rebels with guns?

  • Matt

    For Gods sake, who did write it? That heap of lie stinks! Created the worst refugees crisis? Ahahah. Who did read that ? Who did believe in that?

    Guys, you either have no minds or your money race has gone to far

  • BiasMuch

    Wow, particularly poor journalism if you can even call it that.

    You should preface the article with the fact that you are prejudice against Russia and so will present a very anti-Russian view, just in case any of your readers think this opinion piece is a balanced and impartial.

    “Vladimir Putin has helped create the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II”
    Which nation has had their hand in every major Middle East conflict for the past decade? Russia has maintained a “do not interfere” policy for decades and after the US started arming Syrian rebels (who have been killing Christians as well I might add), Russia evens the odds and suddenly turns the tide on ISIS. Hmmmm, all of America’s firepower and “good intentions” couldn’t do in 2 years what took Russia 2 months? I think America liked what was going on there. Russia has not created this mess, but they have moved it closer to peace than the US strategy of arm one rebel group, fight the official government, and fight another rebel group. It’s messy as all hell and illegal.

    “Russia’s dictator has other goals. He wants to help Russia became a great power on the world stage, and to punish Europe for the economic boycott launched against Russia following its invasion of the Ukraine.”
    I am guessing you are inferring the more modern and negative term dictator? The tyrant version? Look at independent polls on Russian sentiment towards Putin. He is the most popular leader it’s had for decades. Even more, you talk about him wanting Russia to be great like it’s unheard of for a leader to want his country to be great? And fight against those countries imposing sanctions? Shock horror… Imagine a desire to resist your enemies!

    The US should not be allowed out of the US territory. After Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria, they should be charged with war crimes. So should Israel for that matter.

    This is why Putin is gaining popularity in the educated circles of the West. He is opposing an unrestricted US who is fostering instability in the Middle East through removal of governments so that they can install puppet governments and steal oil through backdoor deals. Love him or hate him, he is getting results and strengthening Russia’s military and economic position – all the West can do now is impose sanctions to try and slow them down, even if it hurts Western economies more in the process.

    • Ephraim

      No, your pals should be charged with war crimes. I notice your blatant antisemitism in ‘throwing in’ so should Israel. It is all too obvious where you stand, with all the other neo-Nazi vermin infesting this world.

    • skip la fleur

      Thank you and bless you. Refreshes the soul. Nice to see knowledge, honesty and decency.

  • Rudy

    You must be the worlds most uninformed person or you work for the State Dept. Every day the western backed militias bomb civilian districts with barrel bombs. They just lob bombs indiscriminately, how do I know this is true? My family lives there.
    I’m not a Putin fan, but at least his support is helping this become a stalemate rather than a continued slaughter.

  • Fiona Jenkins

    How can people writing such lies live with themselves? And what does it say about humanity, that most people read–and believe–such doublespeak?

  • Bombus

    What extreme rightist party in Austria is that supposed to be? There is no such thing.