- Russia stepped in with its air campaign against ISIL and other terrorists in Syria on September 30, after a request by the Syrian government; meanwhile, the US and some of its allies have been carrying out airstrikes against what they say are ISIL positions in Syria since last September, without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
While the Western media is adamant in misrepresenting what Russia is doing in Syria – namely the destruction and dismantling of terrorists’ infrastructure such as ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and the al-Qaeda factions, as confirmed by Syrian authorities – we reached out to American journalist and radio host Stephen Lendman to share his opinions on what really is going on inside the war-ravaged country.
What follows is the text of his interview with Mehr News:
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of Russia’s airstrikes in Syria? How do you compare them with Washington’s campaign?
Putin’s intervention in Syria represents a major geopolitical shift - a brilliant move, again showing he’s a master chess player, taking the initiative in confronting the scourge of terrorism, what America supports and fosters as part of its dirty game. He’s now the preeminent world leader, a peace champion, a geopolitical defender of right over wrong, forthrightly opposing US imperialism, the world’s greatest terrorist scourge.
Why has Russia chosen now to step in with its airstrikes against ISIL in Syria? Why not sooner?
He has several objectives. Most important is preventing the scourge of ISIL and other Takfiri terrorists from infesting Russia and Central Asia. Better to confront them now than later. He’s protecting Syrian sovereignty he respects and is willing to conduct a similar campaign in Iraq if Baghdad requests help, which looks increasingly likely. Key also he’s challenging US hegemony, changing the dynamic on the ground and doing it very effectively. I wish he did it much sooner - before Obama’s aggression in Libya, ideally before George Bush invaded Iraq.
Is there any chance that Washington and Moscow would join forces against ISIL? And if not, what are the possible reasons the US-led coalition would not cooperate with Russia's mission in targeting ISIL militants in Syria?
There is zero chance for Washington and Russia to cooperate because both nations have opposite objectives. Putin wants terrorism eliminated. Obama supports it as part of his imperial strategy, using these elements as proxy foot soldiers.
Observers say that the US and its allies helped create and train the terrorist organizations to wreak havoc in Muslim countries. What is your take on that?
Virtually all anti-Assad fighters are terrorists. No so-called “moderates” exist. Terrorists would fade away and disappear if Washington, other Western states and regional ones like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan stopped supporting them. That’s where they’re getting their weapons, equipment, funding and training. Absolutely true that CIA operatives and US special forces recruit and train terrorists, instructing them to commit atrocities and other war crimes - using US camps in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan - then deploying these elements cross-border to wage war on Assad.
What are the possible scenarios for the future of Syria? Can there be any agreements, directly or indirectly, between all parties involved who are leading the campaigns against ISIL in Syria?
Russian airstrikes have had a devastating effect on ISIL and other terrorists - destroying their weapons, munitions, facilities, command and control centers, as well as their will to fight. Thousands are deserting front line positions, hiding in residential areas or fleeing cross-border to Iraq or Turkey. Washington will do everything possible to continue endless war interminably. Russia is going all-out to defeat terrorism. I’m betting on Putin if he’ll stay the course. It could take years, but I’m hoping America will tire of conflict like in Korea and Vietnam, Syria retaining its sovereign independence with considerable help from Russia and maybe China. No one can say for sure what’s ahead. Yet Putin made a decisive move intervening in Syria for a just cause. He’s becoming a world hero. Why should he quit? If I had his job, I’d fight the good fight for as long as it takes to win. In Putin’s case, he has overwhelming public support at home.
Stephen Lendman received a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Supporting progressive causes and organizations, he began writing in summer 2005 on a broad range of issues. Topics regularly addressed include war and peace; social, economic and political equity; and justice for long-suffering peoples globally - notably, victims of America's imperial wars, Occupied Palestinians and Haitians. In early 2007, he began hosting his own radio program. Currently he hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
Interview by: Marjohn Sheikhi
- Mehr News