Thursday, September 25, 2014
Will Russia be next ISIS target?
Despite being proposed by President Barack Obama, Russia supported a Security Council resolution condemning the Islamic jihadist group ISIS.
After a speech from Obama, the United Nations adopted a binding resolution requiring all members to prevent their nationals from joining the group or aiding in any of its activities. In addition to thousands of Iraqis, ISIS is responsible for the deaths of American, British and French nationals. Some Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, have joined in attacks on the terrorists. Russia approved the resolution. President Vladimir Putin has put himself in a tough position because he has opposed bombing raids on ISIS targets in the homeland of his ally, President Bashar Hafez al-Assad. The Syrian president himself has supported air strikes on ISIS. But ISIS leaders have threatened to “dethrone” Putin and overthrow the government the Russian president installed in Chechnya. Putin’s support of Russian separatists in the Ukraine and allegations of involvement in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner, which cost 298 lives, have made Russian a pariah. “No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force,” Obama said. A Europe that seemed unlikely to take firm action against Moscow now has joined the U.S. in supporting sanctions that are hurting an already weak economy. Obama offered Wednesday to remove sanctions if Putin would back off. Far from it, he has been making threats of being able to capture as many as five capitals in two days. Despite his control of the media, thousands turned out in a Moscow rally last weekend to oppose Russia’s involvement in the war. "Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition," Obama told the General Assembly with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the audience. Obama denounced the seizure of Crimea by Moscow, saying: "Russia's actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order.” Lavrov’s response was to say the United States had no business getting involved in Ukrainian affairs. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon concluded that "Cold War ghosts have returned to haunt our times."