Martin Zeis, 16.11.2015
Alexander MERCOURIS is a writer on international affairs with a special interest in Russia and law. He has written extensively on the legal aspects of NSA spying and events in Ukraine in terms of human rights, constitutionality and international law. He worked for 12 years in the Royal Courts of Justice in London as a lawyer, specializing in human rights and constitutional law.
His family has been prominent in Greek politics for several generations. He is a frequent commentator on television and speaker at conferences. He resides in London.
Via http://russia-insider.com/en/users/alexander-mercouris You’ll find numerous articles/statements, written by Mercouris.
His last piece is attached (pdf-file, 7p) and available via http://russia-insider.com/en/users/alexander-mercouris
ISIS Can Be Defeated – Putin Said How
At the UN General Assembly Session Putin set out a clear plan to defeat ISIS.
It is workable but is the West interested?
By Alexander MERCOURIS
Ever since the Islamic State emerged on the global stage in 2014 following its capture of Mosul, the Russians have been hammering away warnings about the threat it represents.
Here is what President Putin said at the UN General Assembly:
“The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. …
And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State.
In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere.
It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes.
Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions.
It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.
The situation is extremely dangerous.
In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists……..
It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.
I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are.
So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.
We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.
Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can’t allow them to return home and continue with their criminal activities……
Russia has consistently opposed terrorism in all its forms. Today, we provide military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other regional countries fighting terrorist groups. We think it’s a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground.
We should finally admit that President Assad’s government forces and the Kurdish militia are the only forces really fighting terrorists in Syria. Yes, we are aware of all the problems and conflicts in the region, but we definitely have to consider the actual situation on the ground.
What we propose is to join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism.
Dear colleagues, I must note that such an honest and frank approach on Russia’s part has been recently used as a pretext for accusing it of its growing ambitions — as if those who say that have no ambitions at all.
However, it is not about Russia’s ambitions, dear colleagues, but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world
What we actually propose is to be guided by common values and common interests rather than by ambitions.
Relying on international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism.
Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind.”
Putin prefaced these words with his now famous rhetorical question – which by the way he also answered in the next sentence:
“I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.”