Mr. Putin has a list
Its crimes were as black as pitch
And everywhere the USA would go
The list was sure to follow...
Ok ok, it's not Donne or Keats or Shelley, but during this holiday tiime as most people in the west are compiling their shopping lists and party lists and guest lists, this list may have been shuffled right off the radar of attention, but many people sent me various versions of this story, and, in the wake of the Paris attacks, it's worth investing some high octane speculation in it.
Now, as many of you who sent various versions of this story to me pointed out, this story seems not to have made the western lamestream media at all. And for obvious reasons:
President Vladimir Putin says he’s shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.
During the summit, “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them,” Putin told the journalists.
Surprise surprise, though most readers of this site are probably already aware that the USA and its allies had a large share in the funding and training of ISIS. Then Mr. Putin goes on to say, according to the RT article, something unusual, acknowledging that ISIS has grown into an international threat, requiring international cooperation:
It’s not the right time to try and figure out which country is more and which is less effective in the battle with Islamic State, as now a united international effort is needed against the terrorist group, Putin said.
“We really need support from the US, European nations, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran,” the president added. (Emphasis added)
Now, there's two basic ways to read this, and one of them, predictably, will come from the "New World Order-everything-is-secretly coordinated" crowd, who will simply read such statements as yet another detail and data-bit supporting their contention that everything is theater, ISIS is just a pawn of the New World Order crowd, nothing to see here, move along. To that crowd I can only repeat what I've observed in the past: funding and training of a radical group like ISIS doesn't mean control of such a group. At best, it means only influence within it, and the degree of influence is always subject to debate and discussion. The best historical example of course is the now well-known connection between some circles of the American financial elite, and the rise of Nazism in Germany. In the end, whatever influence this gave the Sullivan-and-Cromwell crowd within Nazism, it wasn't enough to convince Herr Hitler not to go on a rampage. I suspect the same situation holds here; money, weapons, and training to a group of radicals like Nazis or ISIS doesn't mean they will always dance to your tune.
The other way is to indulge in an expansion on my high octane speculation of the pattern in Middle East, and Russia-West geopolitics that seems to be emerging in the past few months, for I submit that whether or not the recent attacks were false flag attacks, or a genuine ISIS action conducted without the knowledge and/or approval of its hidden financiers, the end result is the same: people are now waking up to the very real and present threat that a radicalized international Islamicist movement poses. Enter Mr. Putin's statemnet, explicitly mentioning Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran.
By now it is known that Iran is supportive of Russia's efforts in Syria, and it is also a fairly well-known fact that Saudi Arabian connections exist in the backing of Al Qaeda, the Mouhajeddin, and so on, and that this "exportation of Sunni Wahhabism" is of concern to Shia nations such as Iran. Iran, too, has been a back of Hezbollah. My point in mentioning all this is that the "war on terror" is also occurring in a wider and old historical context of the struggles between the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam. In addition to this, Turkey, as I and others have pointed out, is also relapsing into a more "Islamicist" mode under Mr. Erdogan, and using the Middle East instabilities as crises of opportunity to widen its influence.
These are the three nations Mr. Putin has explicitly mentioned in his announcement that Russia has "followed the money", and made the information known to the G20 members. In other words: "Gotcha!" He may be playing a very subtle game, in other words, and that game is not simply about who is supporting ISIS, but also to point out that the state sponsors of terrorism extend much father than the usual western suspects. In a subtle way, he may be trying to point out that so long as such states continue in their support of such groups, no real headway on the war on terror can be made without a concerted international coalition saying "Enough is enough!" Or as I've said elsewhere, it may be that some of these nations are on the long-term menu.
High octane speculattion? To be sure, but it occurs in the context of the Paris attacks, and how Europee will respond. And already, there are signs that the European powers are reassessing the whole Russia-West history since the collapse of the Soviiet Union and German reunification with new eyes...
See you on the flip side...