George W Bush received a lot of criticism from both the Left and the Right when he remarked that he had looked deeply into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw a Christian. You know what? I think Dubya was right.
And you know what else I think? I think that Vladimir Putin is a real leader. And that he bestrides the Middle East today as a colossus. That’s what happens when you have an American president and State Department that is feckless. If nothing else, he pulled Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire, waylaying us from a war that the vast majority of the American people clearly did not want. Frankly, I would not be surprised if a plurality of Americans viewed him more favorably than we do our own president.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think for one minute that our military isn’t up to the task. Though morale is down for a variety of reasons that will be explained in due time, the lethality and ferocity of American firepower cannot –and should not–be underestimated. The United States defeated Iraq (the so-called Prussia of the Arab world) not once but twice in very short order. Assad has nowhere near the resources and strategic depth that Saddam Hussein did. The capability of American arms in not the problem. It is the will of the American people. To say that we are war-weary is only half the truth.
Our occupation of Islamic countries has made us wiser and more realistic. The Trotskyite notions of Democrusaderism has been deservedly dealt a body blow. There really are differences between the various peoples of the world: some are capable of self-government, some aren’t. In addition we have not forgotten Al-Qaida. Our president still can’t explain in any coherent manner why the United States must be the air force of that odious organization, the same one which killed three thousand of our fellow-citizens some twelve years ago. American Christians are beginning to recognize that they have brothers in that region of the world, even if they do wear funny hats and kiss icons. The so-called Christian Zionists are no longer calling the shots and even within that community, there are some who are questioning the theological soundness of harnessing American power in the service of Zionism.
Now, I’m not saying that Putin is a saint, that he wasn’t a KGB apparatchik, or whatever. What I am saying is that he is a Christian leader and he takes his Christianity seriously. Seriously enough to get his hands dirty and do what needs to be done to save Christians from genocide. And that ain’t nothing.
We can quibble over his unseen agenda. That’s fair and we shouldn’t be naïve. But when the history of this period is written, people will remember that the president of the American Republic had been on the side of Al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, while the president of the Russian Federation did what he could to prevent the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East from being slaughtered. For us, now, we can ask: why does the American president want us to be on the side of the Islamists? Is there something deeper in his psyche or perhaps in the collective consciousness of the American Establishment that compel us to side with Islam and against the Church?
Interesting questions, don’t you think?