The Russo-Turkish rivalry is not new, nor is Syria’s ties to both Russia and Turkey and before that, the progenitor of both nations, the Roman Empire (both in Rome itself and later, Constantinople). It emerged in 1676 over Moscow’s thirst to establish a warm-water port on the Black Sea, in Crimea, as well as the region comprising of modern Ukraine west of the Dnieper River, and would follow with conflicts in 1688 and 1689. Though these early conflicts ended in defeat for the Russians, by the war of 1695–96, Tsar Peter the Great’s forces successfully captured the fortress of Azov. It was here the Russian Empire’s design for territorial expansion to provide additional buffer zones and sea lanes into the Mediterranean by way of the Bosporus Strait (dividing Constantinople and Europe from Anatolia) began and, by 1878, ended with the Ottoman Empire on the brink of total imperial collapse. The rivalry, even after the two empires’ collapsed following World War I, remains alive and well, and on the brink of war over the civil war in Syria, and a potential confrontation with NATO.
Despite the formation of the union, Western military assistance to Constantinople proved decisively ultimately insufficient, and on May 29, 1453, Constantinople fell to the Islamic Ottoman Turks. The union signed at Florence was never accepted by most Eastern Churches. Perhaps the council’s most important historical legacy were the lectures on Greek classical literature by many of the delegates from Constantinople which greatly reintroduced the West to the ancient customs of Antiquity, a set the tone for the coming era of Renaissance humanism. All this translates to 962 AD, when the papacy had become irreparably corrupt. The new Holy Roman Empire spelled the end to Roman imperial rule in Italy after 200 years of Constantinople’s increasingly weakened position. After 420 years of relative peace beginning with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, the coronation of Charlemagne as the first ‘King of the Romans’ in 800 AD ended the honeymoon period of the early Church, and by 1054 AD, the East-West Split between Latin Rome and Greek Constantinople officially divided the Latin and Greek churches. In any case, the seed of the Beast system planted through Charlemagne’s coronation as ‘King of the Romans’ would, by 1453, be fully in place, marking the end of the Middle Ages and transition into the more secular Renaissance. By 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five theses to the door of his Wittenburg monastery, the Beast system, for the first time under serious threat, mobilized along partisan lines to destroy the Protestant reformers through wars and purges that would kill millions of Christians.
The French Revolution, unlike its American predecessor, was an unmitigated failure that resulted in the indefinite posterity of blood, sweat and tears. It concluded ignominiously with the rise of the most autocratic ruler Europe had seen since the Roman Empire. As Lord Acton noted, no nation had ever “been less provoked by oppression than America.” Because the British Empire had granted the colonies near-total autonomy (even proposing an alliance through the Albany Plan of Union to counter the rising French threat from Canada prior to the Proclamation of 1763), America, on the defensive after peace talks with the Crown regarding taxation without representation crumbled before the initiation of hostilities by the Redcoats at Lexington and Concord, had earned “the right of the nation to judge for itself.”
Because “Freedom succumbs to dizziness,” wrote S∅ren Kierkegaard, than beyond the matter of some spiritual limit, “psychology cannot and will not go.” It is folly to suggest that Kierkegaard was too simplistic to accredit ignorance in the positive, as without ‘ignorance’, one would have no basis for acquiring knowledge for things he has no understanding of through experience. Henceforth, the lessons of history’s first recorded attempt at a(n) utopian nationalist movement beginning with France in 1789, due to the drunken excesses of the violent mobs acting in the spirit of Jezebel, may have meant that the young republic possessed the admirable qualities of passion, motivation, desire, the determination and general will to revolt against a distant and corrupt monarchy, but it was wholly unqualified to govern for one very important reason: the mobs of men have no qualification to govern as might a dynastic king raised to rule nations through a lifetime of grooming since the early Middle Ages. Louis XVI, as with his great-grandfather Louis XIV and grandfather Louis XV before him, were born to rule; it was, after all, as much a part of their pedigree, a millstone if you will, to rule by divine right as it was for the bourgeois partisans Robespierre, Danton, Murat and most certainly Napoleon to remain subjugated within the Third Estate.
Whether Kirill paints Orthodox Russia as a bastion of true faith besieged by the false values and secular immorality of an increasing godless, pagan West, his words are deeply appreciated by both the church and state as evidenced by the West’s embrace of homosexuality through transgenderism and same-sex marriage. Now well into the third millennium, it is ‘Holy Russia’ that again must confront an increasingly Godless, decadent West as it had with Napoleon. And now it is Putin, not Kirill, warning that “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan.” Thus it is irrelevant to haggle over whether Putin and his oligarch inner-circle literally believe in the religious rhetoric since they act as if they do. What must be examined is whether the solidly Orthodox foundation undergirding this new Russian nationalism also ensures that powerful right-wing ideologues like Alexander Dugin will happily rally around Putin and his not-so-ex-KGB clique. In digressing, the survival and indeed, flourishing of Christianity against all odds in the USSR is acknowledged by most of the international community, including many Soviet citizens. But killing people in the name of equality is not the same as attempting to kill God; one cannot kill an idea or basic moral principles taught by Eastern Orthodox Christianity having dominated the Slavs for over 1,000 years. Whether or not Western Europe, as formerly dominated by the Catholic Church, continues to secularize under a left-wing liberal agenda weaponizing political correctness to perpetuate a climate of terror to usher in a Utopian world ‘equality’, one matter is certain: God outlasted the atheist Soviet Union and the occultist Nazi Germany.
As the European Union approaches its final days, as political resolve and soft power in Berlin, Paris and Brussels wane following Britain’s exit from the federal body, and as plans to form a European military center around a final pitiful drive towards a pan-continental empire accelerate out of opposition to President Trump, the ambitions of the Kremlin and, in particular Vladimir Putin, have not waned in spite of a massive economic collapse following sanctions over the illegal annexation of Crimea from neighboring Ukraine. With accelerating numbers of Muslim migrants from war-ravaged regions of the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring arriving in Western Europe and Canada, the seeming ‘defeat’ of ISIS that appeared all too easy while the organization goes underground to attack soft targets internationally all appears to be a ruse. Europe and Canada are on the brink of total collapse, governed by politicians too concerned with winning elections by expanding the welfare state to hostile immigrants seeking their destruction, and to replace their white majorities within a matter of decades. Britain may yet survive, but only if BREXIT negotiations implode, resulting in ‘a hard exit’ from the EU. Otherwise, Britain too will go the way of the rest of Western Europe and Canada.
Yet one last hope remains for Europe’s salvation. East of Germany and west of Russia lie portions of the continent that historically fall under the influence of the stronger of the two flanking the region. “The Intermarium,” writes foreign policy expert George Friedman, “is a concept – really, an eventuality… I predicted it would rise after Russia inevitably re-emerged as a major regional power. Which makes sense, considering it would comprise the former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe: the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and possibly Bulgaria.” Primarily designed to contain any potential Russian shift westward, it is a policy the Trump administration has apparently embraced while the brass over the dying European Union, pledging as have Germany’s Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz to form a “United States of Europe” and a European Army, are no doubt apoplectic.
The Westphalian order effectively eradicated the Church’s corrupt autocracy after a millennium of political repression, persecutions of anyone condemned for heresy, and bloody warfare in the name of Christ. Evil, whether it manifests in the form of left-wing atheism or God’s name, is the natural barrier to a utopian world. Russell Kirk explains that “Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created,” and because the European Union was designed as a secular road map towards a world and future governed by a global technocracy of bankers, software conglomerates, big oil and “elected” bureaucrats in the name of economic cooperation, the agenda to coerce Europe’s beautiful cultural and ethnic variety into a single-minded federation of states deprives its various peoples of their very humanity, language and culture and at the same time, prevents the possibility of an economically and financially stable climate. As John Randolph of Roanoke, the conservative cousin of Thomas Jefferson, noted, “Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries,” where all utopian designs for a radically transforming societies built into secular paradises have time and again succeeded at engineering an undemocratic “terrestrial hell” whose population learns to love an enlightened despot.
The history of Russian Middle East foreign policy with respect to Syria traces back to the pivotal reign of Ivan III (Ivan the Great), who selected the Eastern Orthodox Church at Constantinople to legitimize the royal line’s rule by divine right upon his arranged marriage to the niece of Byzantium’s last emperor, Zoë (Sophia) Paleologue. The Turks of Anatolia…