10 October 2015

Eastern Orthodox Narratives and Interpretations Regarding Russia and the Syrian War

This was a helpful discussion regarding the plight of Ethnic Christian groups in Syria. Mattingly is an Eastern Orthodox convert and I do not share his views on a great many issues even some in this interview.

However in this piece he does a fairly decent job in providing a simple overview of the complexities of the Syrian situation, and certainly a perspective quite foreign to mainstream Evangelicalism. His views are refreshingly also at odds with the mainstream impulse in American society and the Establishment media's narrative regarding Putin.

The Free Syrian Army is something of a myth. It's actually a conglomeration of paramilitary groups with complex affiliations. Many qualify as Islamist militants of the ISIS/Al Qaeda variety even if they are not 'formally' affiliated with these transnational organizations. In some cases they clearly are on a de facto basis.

The US has a long history of allying itself with Islamic groups. Contrary to some voices on the Right, this did not begin with Obama. Even George W. Bush made use of groups if they served his purpose. And yet Obama's record has proven especially bad in Syria and Libya. Obama has continued the Bush programme minus large troop engagements, instead relying on drones, Special Operations and proxies.

While Mattingly is right to be cynical of Putin's motives he also hits on some of the salient points and reasons why many in the Orthodox sphere are glad to see the Russian intervention.

Syria has become a fiasco and its going to get worse. At this time the United States, Turkey, Britain, France, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel are all involved in the conflict. And then we must also include Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Kurds and others.

When we consider the chaos of Libya and Syria, the war in Iraq, the proxy war in Yemen, Afghanistan and the Pakistan border region, growing tensions in Central Asia and the ongoing warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa it is as if the world is engaged in a low-scale global war.

Many of the conflicts antedate 9/11, but the US has unleashed a holocaust of blood and death and it looks like it may get worse. This is a time for truth and wisdom but instead we have an American Church turning to buffoons like Carson and thugs like Trump, looking to these political creatures as saviours. The American Church is apostate, wholly given over to idolatry.