Snowden Reportedly On His Way to Venezuela Via Cuba
Russia's role in his flight from Hong Kong is raising tensions with the United States. Click here for the story.
U.S. lawmakers and officials are understandably upset. But why should relations with Russia be so bad in the first place? The Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended more than two decades ago. Russia and the United States share a common enemy--radical Islam. Moscow and Washington should be allies in the struggle against Islamic clerical fascism; instead, they are each trying to ride an Islamist tiger without being eaten by it. Russia is backing nuclear/missile-mad Shiite Islamist Iran and Hezbollah while the U.S. is supporting Suuni Islamists, including Turkey's neo-Ottoman Islamist regime, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-connected, -collaborating, and -sympathizing groups aiming to overthrow Syria's Shiite-Alawite Assad regime--Russia's longstanding Arab ally.
The stage has thus been set for a new Cold War and a confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers akin to the Cuban Missile Crisis that nearly ended in a nuclear holocaust. Recall that a menacing Soviet intervention in Cuba, only 90 miles from Florida, sparked a superpower confrontation that came perilously close to all-out war. This time, the U.S. is meddling in Russia's backyard--Syria is driving distance from the Russian border. Khrushchev's offensive, nuclear-tipped missiles were aimed at Washington. Putin's defensive missiles could shoot down U.S./NATO or Israeli warplanes; and clashes could result in Russian casualties as well as U.S., NATO and Israeli casualties.
None of this was necessary. Syria did not have to follow the … disastrous … Libyan script. Syria could and should have been … and perhaps still can be … politically neutralized, divided along ethnic and religious lines into demilitarized provinces under a federal parliamentary republic.