Russians see their Syria foray as lonely stand for future of civilization

A Russian bomb explodes in Syria in a photo take from video posted on the Russian Defense Ministry website.
A Russian bomb explodes in Syria in a photo take from video posted on the Russian Defense Ministry website. AP

While in U.S. press reports Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Syria strategy is a troubling mix of helpful and counterproductive, Russian news media are following a very different narrative.

In their version of the story, Putin’s Russia is the lone warrior willing to stand up against evil, protecting those who are incapable or unwilling to protect themselves. Russia is, essentially, Batman, or an old West movie sheriff who fights alone, while the town he protects cowers in the background.

Europe is lost in a maze of “foul-smelling humanity.” The United States is the cause of the current problems in Syria, especially: “The main antagonist of the Russian leader, Barack Obama.”

A commentary piece by Russian political scientist Svetlana Lourie on the pro-government Izvestia website perhaps puts it most succinctly. Under the headline, “The coalition against the black force” runs a second one: “The historical moment when chaos becomes ungovernable, and only one force remains to stop it.”

“We live in a new reality,” she writes. “We are fighting a new evil called Islamic State, an evil the West decided not to confront. The West is lost. Our step forward is an expression of great courage and responsibility. We have to accept this responsibility. There will be consequences, maybe severe ones, but we took this decision.”

She goes on to note that Europe, the sadly loyal American lapdog, today “smells of unwashed human bodies.”

She is talking about the Syrian refugees, and notes that their arrival is the result of a weak and failed U.S. foreign policy that has been accepted by its allies. Russia, she writes, warned of this potential as soon as the danger became apparent during the Arab Spring. Yet, even now the West retains an irrational fear of Russia.

“Russia called for a coordination of anti-Islamic State activities,” she writes. “America hesitated.”

This, she notes, is no great surprise. “It is no coincidence that the U.S. has no coherent plan for dealing with the Islamic State, as the chaos weakens a unified Europe and makes it more reliant and obedient,” she writes. “Russia is trying to defeat the black force, an evil born out of American politics, that is calling into question the future of our culture, the Christian world. Lord be with us.”

Matthew Schofield: @mattschodcnews

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