Russia and the West are fighting to decide whether Syria will be run by Sunni Islamists backed by Saudi Arabia or Shiite Islamists backed by Iran. This insane civil war has burned up countless lives, not to mention plenty of dollars, rubles, euros and pounds. The only certain winners of this war, once the dust has settled, will chant ?Allahu Akbar? and call for the death of the infidels.
Sadly this is nothing new. Russia got the PLO started before Bill Clinton decided to become its sugar daddy. Smuggling weapons to the Mujahedeen to fight the Russians got us into Afghanistan. Except these days it?s the Russians who, through the Iranians, are funneling weapons to the locals to fight us. Between us and the Russians, we?ve put wagonloads of weapons into the hands of Jihadis in Iraq and Syria. The consequences will be felt in Moscow, New York, London and Paris.
The West and the Warsaw Pact countries used to fuel foreign wars. These days the war is at home.
Russia and the NATO countries suffer from low birth rates and rising Muslim demographics, but are in a senseless competition to determine which emergent Caliphate will be able to draw its borders in territories it can?t populate. It?s a battle over a pittance taking place in a burning building.
Moscow has around 2 million Muslims. London has over 1 million. Both sides are at risk of losing their own capital cities to real invasions. The EU and Putin?s Eurasian dreams are both built on the Roman notion that the barbarians can be integrated and will make good foot soldiers and laborers.
France?s President Hollande has called for the creation of an ?Islam of France?. Putin suggests that the Russian Orthodox Church has more in common with Islam than Catholicism. Obama preaches that, ?Islam has always been part of America?. But such efforts at integration will always fail.
The popular European excuse is that Islamic terrorism represents a failure to integrate the terrorist. Islamic terrorism is indeed caused by a failure to integrate. The mistake is assuming that integration on a civilizational scale is possible. It?s not. You can integrate a few people. You can?t integrate a civilization.
There is a long history of Europeans using Islamic raiders and invaders as weapons against each other. Most of us know that our first international conflict was the First Barbary War against Muslim slavers and pirates. But it was the British who found it useful to use the Barbary pirates to clear rivals from the water. Louis XIV of France played a similar role in the Battle of Vienna. For that matter the Muslim conquest of the Middle East heavily depended on their exploitation of Christian rivalries.
Our modern malaise is simply a failure to learn anything useful from history.
The Cold War has become reborn as a strange farce in which two failing power