The Russian people "sincerely mourn, as nobody else, with the American people and are in sympathy with them on this sorrowful day", says a message by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to participants in the annual service for the dead in Moscow at the St. Great Martyr Catherine, devoted to the memory of the victims of the terror acts in the US on September 11, 2001.Unfortunately, the Russian and American views of who are terrorists and who sponsors terrorism are worlds apart. International terrorists have chosen to target Russia? Name them - Russia's problems with terrorism are almost entirely domestic in origin.
"Russia whom international terrorist networks chose as one of the main targets for their evil deeds, knows about horrors of terrorism not by hearsay. The number of the dead and injured runs into thousands, while in Beslan, terrorists surpassed themselves, depriving children of their life in cold blood and in an inhuman way when they came to school for the first time."
"It is impossible to be indifferent onlookers how terrorists and their patrons sow panic and fear, trying to destabilise the situation in various countries. Russia has taken a firm and uncompromising stand on this question. It is necessary to pool efforts of entire international community to fight terrorism."
The Russian viewpoint regarding state funded terrorism seems to be pragmatic or even opportunistic. In essence, if terrorists are not operating within or targeting Russia, then they don't exist. Any nation that the U.S. refuses to sell arms to, Russia greets with open arms. Hamas, Syria, and Iran all know they can turn to Russia for diplomatic, financial, and armament support. Russia is also pouring billions of dollars of weaponry into Indonesia, Venezuela, and Asia. Putin's most recent tour of southeast Asia was little more than an arms dealer visiting his new customers (very nice table of contents for Rosboronexport's catalog of land armaments at that last link).
This isn't to say that U.S. policies are perfect. Part of the reason there is a demand for all these Russian weapons are our own actions and mistakes in Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. So, we have undoubtedly provided the impetus or opportunity for Russia.
However, does engaging that opportunity by offering comfort and support to Hamas, Syria, and Iran lessen or increase the risk of terrorism in the world? Does doing so in the face of U.S. policies reveal cooperation against terrorism or antagonism of the problem?
The unfortunate consequence of Russia attempting to reinsert themselves at the top of international discussions and recreate a "multipolar" world diplomatic environment is they find themselves cozying up to nations that are diametrically opposed to the U.S. and West. Is that really a position Russia wants to occupy?
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