America as the Protector of Putin, Assad, and Khamenei

When protests broke out in Syria in late 2011, Russia hoped for a short, nasty war as a matter of Russian national interest -- just enough to put the Muslim Brotherhood and assorted Sunnis in their place.  Violence from its own Sunni Muslim population has plagued Russia for decades.  Saudi Arabia took over the defeated nationalist Chechen rebellion in the late 1990s, infusing it with money and Islamist overtones, prompting the second Chechen war.  More recently, there has been open fighting and rioting in Moscow between Muslims and Slavs.  Iran counted on a short war as well -- something to shore up the Shi'ite crescent from Iran through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon out to the Mediterranean Sea.  It didn't work.  Turkey and the Gulf States armed and trained various Sunni militias, including the Free Syrian Army, the Muslim Brotherhood, and "foreign" jihadists of many stripes, including al-Qaeda and Chechens.  Keeping Assad...(Read Full Article)

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