Russia on the World Stage – Presidential Candidates and Media at a Loss to Explain

Russia on the World Stage – Presidential Candidates and Media at a Loss to Explain February 20, 2016

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By Stephen Ryan Author of The Madonna Files 

About Russia – “Never before in modern times has such a dire international situation been so ignored in an American presidential campaign.”

I have been following the surprising rise of Russia onto the world stage for a number of years. 

I became interested in that country after reading about the rise of Christianity in Russia and  Vladimir Putin’s  and  Dimitry Medvedev’s strong Christian convictions. The influential role the Russia Orthodox Church had attained in matters of  State in the once former atheist Soviet Union also came as a complete surprise to me.  

Both Putin and Medvedev took political risks to become Russian Orthodox Christians. Putin’s mother had her son secretly baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church – Putin’s father was a staunch member of the Soviet Union’s Communist party. Medvedev, at 23 years of age, risked destroying a promising legal career when he chose to be baptized.

The more I read the more I began to see that the Russia I was encountering was far different from the common narrative espoused by the mainstream media and foreign policy experts. The common view of Russia was that it was a country led by a simmering collection of lawless oligarchs, “thugs”,  KGB agents, and communists pretending to be Western styled capitalist.  

Winston Churchill once described Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside of an enigma.” It seemed to me that leading pundits in the United States  ignore Churchill’s definition and stand by their views of Russia that have not evolved beyond what they learned in their 6th grade history class.

According to the so-called experts, Russia was many things,  but what Russia was not, was a God fearing nation with an unusual devotion to “Theotokos”-  the Mother of God. We in the United States call the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary.

The Russian Orthodox Church, coming out of the shadows of the former communist state, and Vladimir Putin’s Christian beliefs were suddenly not just interesting anecdotes of today’s Russian culture, but to me they helped explain the dramatic geopolitical events – events unforeseen by all the experts – particularly Russia’s bold military efforts in Syria.

The Russian Orthodox Church calls Russia’s move into Syria a “Holy War”. I have begun to ask myself “Why not call it a Holy War” – the description seemed to define activities in the Middle East quite succinctly and more accurately than the “expert analysis” coming from talking heads on CNN and Fox News.

Military analysts call Syrian leader Assad a “barrel bombing brutal dictator”. He may be all these things, but he also has a long record of treating Christians in Syria fairly. Christian Post writes:

The reason many Christians in Syria support Assad is because he has vowed to protect them from ISIS and other jihadists. By Middle Eastern standards, the Assad regime, including his father’s tenure as president, have treated Christians fairly.

Last fall Vladimir Putin, speaking at the UN, gave a now famous speech where he rhetorically asked the Western nations who had supported regime change in Iraq, Libya, and Sryia: “Do you realize what you have done?”

The fallout of Western pursuit of regime change in Syria, Libya and Iraq, all  ruined states, has become an unimaginable horror.  ISIS, al Queda, and CIA backed mercenaries have shockingly reminded the world that evil is still a part of the human condition and that genocide is not a relic of the past. There have been many articles written about genocide against Christians in Iraq (mission accomplished)  and Syria.

Christian genocide, epic human tragedy in Syria, an aggressive Russia, migrants descending onto Europe literally changing the face of a continent, these are gigantic, historical events, yet the apocalyptic  drama is rarely discussed by US media and is rarely a topic of the presidential debate.

Listening to the presidential debates, one could conclude that building a wall along the Mexican border is the answer to most of the United States’ complex foreign policy issues.

I truly do not understand this inexplicable phenomena. Thankfully, the subject of the mainstream media’s curiously mute interest in these big events is starting to catch the attention of some influential news magazines.

Last week, Stephen F. Cohen, contributing editor of The Nation , professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University posted an articled for Nation Magazine titled : “The Obama Administration Recklessly Escalates Confrontation With Russia”:

Is his article Mr. Cohen, speaking of the tensions between the United States and Russia writes:

Astonishingly, these potentially fateful developments have barely been reported in the US media, and there’s been no public discussion, not even by the current presidential candidates during their debates. Never before in modern times has such a dire international situation been so ignored in an American presidential campaign.

I could not agree more.

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