Congressman Dana Rohrabacher - Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats - wrote last week:
Not radical Islam, but the Russians have been portrayed to us as the villains in this chapter of history. Yet our government demonstrates a lack of will, incompetence, or both, in confronting the most monstrous of the radical Islamic marauders now spilling vast quantities of innocent blood in the Middle East – as well as in Africa and France.
When Russia courageously stepped into the breach we should have been applauding its willingness to confront ISIS. Instead, we continue to denigrate Russians as if they were still the Soviet Union and Putin, not Islamic terrorists, our most vicious enemy.
So now we see the travesty of a harsh condemnation of the Russians for introducing air strikes against terrorists who will murder Americans if they get the chance.
Yes, Russia does this to protect Syria’s authoritarian Assad regime, which has close ties to Moscow. So what?
Assad, like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, is no threat to the United States or the Western world. If Assad is forced out of power he will eventually be replaced by an Islamic terrorist committed to raining down mayhem on Western countries.
Today we witness the spectacle of American decision- makers, in and out of the Obama administration, joining forces with a Turkish regime that grows more supportive of the radical Islamist movement. There is ample evidence of President Erdogan’s complicity in ISIS’s murderous rampage through Syria and Iraq.
Yet, we hold our public rebukes for the Russians, who are battling those terrorists. A Russian plane on an anti-terrorist mission did violate Turkish airspace, just as Turkish planes have strayed into Greek airspace hundreds of times over the last year. This overflight was no threat to Turkey. Still, it was shot down, as was a Russian helicopter on the way to rescue the downed Russian pilot.
Why do Americans feel compelled to kick Russia in the teeth? Russia’s military is attacking an enemy that would do us harm. Why ignore the hostile pro-terrorist maneuvering of Turkish strongman Erdogan?
President Obama is wrong. American politicians who try to sound tough at Russia’s expense in this case are not watching out for the long-term interests of the United States by undermining those fighting our primary enemy, Islamic terrorists.
Russia should be applauded. Instead, it is being castigated for doing what our government is unwilling to do to confront the terrorist offensive now butchering innocent human beings from Africa, to the Middle East, to the streets of Paris.
If being in NATO means protecting Erdogan in this situation, either he shouldn’t be in NATO or we shouldn’t.