Russia is doing what many people hoped the United States would do. It has gone into Syria and is bombing ISIS, reportedly wiping out its command center. True, Vladimir Putin is supporting the Syrian government, which we don’t approve of, against its various factions of rebels. He is also presenting Russia as the defender of humane values against the evils of terrorism. But this is surely good news for the United States. Let Russia get entangled in another mideast war. And if Russia stops ISIS, that would be good news for everyone.
Vladimir Putin may have caught the U.S. and its allies off guard by striking Syria, but his propaganda machine was ready.“A hundred dead terrorists,” a news presenter on Russia’s No. 2 network announced early Thursday, just hours after the bombing of what Putin has called “evil-doers” began. She then cut to a correspondent in Syria who lauded the precision of the strikes as aerial footage of the attacks supplied by the Defense Ministry aired.
Over on Channel 1, the most-watched station, a parade of politicians, analysts and religious leaders — both Christian and Muslim — rolled by justifying the use of force on both legal and moral grounds.
“This is more than just military strikes against Islamic State,” said the editor of National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, after parliament unanimously authorized the use of force. “We are protecting the values of humanity and taking a stand against the most extreme forms of obscurantism and terror.”