Call me a Russophile.  Even when I was younger and recognized the failures of the Soviet Union I had no animosity against the people of its largest component (Republic was a bit of a stretch).  As a boy I was thrilled when visiting hockey teams toured North America or played in the Olympics.  I loved the game and I loved the approach embodied by the Soviet/Russian clubs.  In college we delved into Russian literature from the latter days of the Czar.  I may have been the only one in my class to read Crime and Punishment from cover-to-cover.  My dad made it clear I wasn’t going to spring break.  Instead I went home for a cold week and filled the time reading.  The book offers a look into Christian Russia and is a tale of forgiveness and redemption.  The author very much criticized the modern world and its break with the Judeo-Christian God.

Russian hockey is thrilling. Courtesy, Getty Images.
Russian hockey is thrilling. Courtesy, Getty Images.

Russia has long since re-established its national church.  Some claim Vladimir Putin simply made the move to strengthen his grip on government.  Wow!  A politician made a political move.  Nothing of the sort would ever happen here, right?  There is a notion among elites in this country that somehow the Russians missed the freedom boat.  As if the people of the United States haven’t seen an erosion in personal liberty.  As if powerful oligarchs with their political action committees haven’t purchased Congress, the White House and state governments like drunks roaming a whorehouse.

While I still consider my country and culture a darn sight better than the alternatives I don’t believe one size fits all.  Many cultures also don’t play well with others.  Did you see any of the pictures lately from France or the Middle East?

Russia’s long southern border is like a minefield.  Many of the old Soviet States are now Islamic States and they don’t always play well with the larger neighbor.  In a small town called Beslan Islamic terrorists captured the schoolchildren and then killed them.  In another case Muslims took theater goers hostage and the Russian government unfortunately killed everyone involved in an attempt to gas the bad guys.  Mistakes are made in war.  Omar Bradley didn’t believe his troops at the front needed winter gear 71 years ago this month.  It cost many, many young men their lives.  Was Bradley a poor leader?  Hardly.  He eventually shouldered 5 stars.

Leaders sometimes make mistakes but by definition are take charge fellows.  Even many of Barack Obama’s sycophants in media complain he, “leads from behind”.  In other words the President of the United States often dithers.  Unless he and his two Secretaries of State are wearing neo-con clothing.  Such as when they toppled the leader of Libya, a man who had spent the previous decade as a U.S. ally and making good for his past support of terrorists.  You can also cite the attempt by Mr. Obama to topple the Assad Dynasty in Syria, which had kept the lid on a cauldron of Islamic anger.  Isn’t this what the left accused President George W. Bush of messing up in Iraq?

More than 3 years ago the leader of Russia approached President Obama and the Prime Minister of Britain and suggested a revival of the old World War Two alliance.  Putin even suggested he could persuade President Assad to step down.  The Russians were told, “No, thank you!”

Three years passed and Putin tired of waiting.  Now the man is accused of imperial ambitions in the Middle East.  Pull out a map and find where ISIS operates.  Look at the distance between the Islamic State and the United States.  Then see how far Russia is from the conflict.  And in between are millions of potential Islamic State sympathizers.  Mr. Putin is a man working to ensure his people are secure.  For all the belly aching about Russian incursions into Ukraine keep in mind there is a massive Russian naval base in Crimea.  If suddenly there was instability in Japan or Cuba do you believe for one minute the United States wouldn’t step in and protect its military installations?  As a matter of fact there is a long history of American troops being flown all over the world to protect “interests”.  As for Russian relations with Turkey the Turks know they’re playing a dangerous game.  Still unable to admit the Armenian Genocide a century later the current Turkish leader has spent most of the last decade cozying up to Islamic radicals.  First as Prime Minister and now as President.  Mr. Erdogan rules his country much like Vladimir Putin rules Russia.  By shifting offices as necessary but maintaining a grip on power.

What would an alliance with Russia bring the west?  Turkey would be silenced.  The lid would go back on tightly across the Middle East.  Many of the worst Muslim excesses in Europe would lose sponsors and there is an added benefit.  China’s rise would be checked.

I’m enclosing a few links from my morning reading and I think if you click on them you’ll see a Russian alliance is the best course for peace.

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