On Friday, China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, announced – after a meeting on Thursday in Qatar with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov – that Russia and China share "the same position on the Palestine question" and will work together on a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians and to "promote de-escalation of the situation." Putin and his "old friend" Xi, who held a meeting in Beijing last week, both called for an "immediate" cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., during his Sunday TV appearances, branded China, Russia and Iran the new "axis of evil," advocating that this "immediate threat to the United States" must be dealt with on an "emergency basis." McConnell employed the controversial phrase famously used by former President George W. Bush in 2001, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, referring at the time to Iran, Iraq and North Korea. The Kentucky Republican implied that in the Israel-Hamas war, Russia and China, both of whom have recently deepened relations with Iran, were on the side of the terrorists. Most serious national security analysts – except those in the Biden administration – agree that Iran, a decades-long sponsor of terrorism, is highly likely behind the barbaric Hamas attacks on Israel. And no one would dispute that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are ruthless characters. But although it will certainly drive media ratings, attaching derogatory labels to your opponents and lumping very different adversaries together, in an emotional outburst, will not eliminate the threat they present. MCCONNELL CALLS CHINA, RUSSIA, IRAN NEW 'AXIS OF EVIL' THAT US MUST DEAL WITH: 'THIS IS AN EMERGENCY' In the intelligence business, which supports military planning, we don’t comment on the evilness of our targets – state or non-state actors and their leadership. There’s no point. As intelligence professionals, we identify the threats they pose, and they can be eliminated. Only a thorough understanding of your enemy and his motivations – something that the Washington security apparatus is notoriously bad at – will help devise a viable strategy for deterring or countering the threats they pose. Using epithets to describe your adversary does nothing to accomplish that mission. It only diverts one’s focus from the problem at hand. CLICK HERE FOR MORE FOX NEWS OPINION Here's why China, Russia and Iran are not the axis of evil. Their union is rather an axis of convenience and opportunity. Their primary mission now is to outplay Washington in the Israel-Hamas war and the broader conflict. This alliance should’ve never been encouraged in the first place. Yet, the Biden administration has done exactly that, albeit perhaps unwittingly. You don’t push your enemies together – you pull them apart, using every possible insight you’ve gleaned from your in-depth study of them. Yes, Iran is malevolent. Obsessed with the mission to destroy Israel and harm the United States, Tehran can only be dealt with by force. But neither Russia, nor China are motivated by evil when it comes to their actions on the global stage. Putin and Xi are not religious fanatics. They are pragmatic, realpolitik-minded leaders. Although authoritarians, both are focused on: first, ensuring their countries’ security – that they equate with regime survivability; and second, on shifting the balance of power in their nation’s favor and away from the West. ISRAEL, UKRAINE, CHINA: WELCOME TO A WORLD ON FIRE WHERE THE LEFT GETS THE SCENARIO IT ASKED FOR While Moscow and Beijing seek to defeat U.S. forces on the battlefield – in the event that Washington directly intervenes in a conflict within their perceived respective spheres of influence, such as in Taiwan or Ukraine – neither has plans to launch a devastating strike on the U.S. homeland unprovoked. Neither Putin nor Xi seeks to wipe Washington off the map or has authorized decapitations of American babies. What unites them is the grave concern about the threat posed by Islamic extremism and a list of common causes -- displacing the United States as the dominant player in world politics and economy, checking its military power, and legitimizing the authoritarian form of governance as a better alternative to Western democracy. Neither Russia nor China are natural allies with Iran, which is steeped in the Islamic extremist ideology that Moscow and Beijing view as destabilizing. Putin fought two vicious wars in Chechnya, a Muslim republic in southern Russia, turning its towns and villages into rubble and killing thousands of people. One such attack was on a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, in September 2004. More than 300 people, mostly children, died. Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev, a retired Soviet Air Force general under whose command Chechnya seceded from the Russian Federation, was assassinated in a laser-guided missile attack in April 1996. And the capital Grozny was obliterated in a horrific four-month bombardment in the winter of 1999-2000. Putin’s motivation was to prevent Chechnya’s independence from Moscow’s rule, but most importantly, to stop the spread of Islamic extremism and terrorism into Russia. US TROOPS IN MIDDLE EAST ATTACKED 14 TIMES, INJURING 24 PEOPLE OVER THE LAST WEEK: PENTAGON Muslims are the fastest-growing ethnic group in Russia. Its capital, Moscow, has become the largest Muslim city in Europe, with 2 million Muslims out of a population of 12.5 million. Practicing any religion was outlawed in the officially atheist USSR. As a result, many Russian-origin Muslims went to the Pakistan-Afghanistan region to study Islam in religious schools, madrasas, that taught the extremist version of Islam and returned radicalized. Convinced that Islamic extremism is the world’s top existential threat – a sentiment that he shares with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Putin for years has balanced Russia’s policy in the Middle East, aiming to keep working relationships with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, and often leaning pro-Israel. Notably, in 2019, Putin rejected Iran’s request to purchase Russian advanced S-400 missile defense system, one of the world’s best, out of concerns expressed by several Arab leaders about Iran’s growing military capabilities and rising tensions in the Persian Gulf. It is only in response to Washington’s levying draconian economic sanctions on Russia, supplying billions of dollars of high-tech weaponry to Ukraine, and discharging the rhetoric about "strategic defeat" of Russia, in the aftermath of Putin’s invasion of its post-Soviet neighbor, that Moscow began deepening ties with Tehran. The fact that Israel, under relentless pressure from the Biden administration, sided with Ukraine, having authorized military assistance for Kyiv, was the final straw for Putin. BIDEN DECLARES IT IS 'VITAL' TO US SECURITY FOR ISRAEL, UKRAINE TO SUCCEED IN WARS, WILL REQUEST FUNDING Similarly, Xi is no friend to the Muslim world, having subjected 13 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang Province to mass internment, repression, religions oppression, forced political indoctrination and even torture. While Beijing’s actions against these minority groups are certainly barbaric and unjustified, evil is not why China is siding with the Palestinians and Iran. China will do anything that would advance its strategic goals of transforming the world order where Beijing and not Washington is the top dog. It is why Xi brokered the Saudi-Iran détente this past summer, having pledged to firmly support Tehran on "issues concerning core interests". And not because the Saudis chopped up the body of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi regime. Although it is, undoubtedly, evil. The Biden administration is "very, very, very worried that this thing is going to get out of hand," according to the Washington Post, which interviewed four officials familiar with the U.S. government’s contingency planning. But the White House has plenty of time to learn about the threats our country faces. That is the job of the Pentagon and the commander in chief. Instead, not only has the Biden administration missed the opportunity to prevent the unnatural Russia-China-Iran alliance from forming, it forged it. Now President Biden is faced with a real possibility of a broader conflict in the Middle East, in which the U.S.'s top two adversaries – with "near peer" military capabilities, by the Pentagon’s own designation – will be on the opposite side. China, Russia and Iran’s intentions have been known to the U.S. defense establishment for more than a decade. The gradual realignment of the balance of power and the correlation of forces among the top geopolitical players has been taking place right in front of our eyes – whether it’s the formation of BRICS and the drive for de-dollarization, Putin’s plans to reconstitute the USSR-like strategic security buffer, China’s goal to take over Taiwan, Iran’s development of clandestine networks in the U.S. homeland, or the prioritization of nuclear weapons by all the three adversaries in their military strategies. Yet, Washington has chosen to express feelings and emotions, appeal to our enemies' morals, virtue signal, and focus on climate change. Anything but to proactively keep the threats from our homeland. It is imperative that Washington learns from its mistakes. The stakes can be existential.
26 Ekim 2023 - 21:10
Labeling China, Russia and Iran as new 'Axis of Evil' will not neutralize the threats they pose
Putin and Xi Jinping plot to outplay Biden in the Israel-Hamas conflict and the broader Middle East. Washington needs to work to tear the two allies apart not push them closer.
26 Ekim 2023 - 21:10